Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Search Like a Librarian

If you're a frequent library user, you probably spend a lot of time searching for items in our catalog.

The library catalog is a powerful tool, but sometimes it's challenging to narrow your search to the items you want. Here are some tips for power users who want to master our catalog.

1. Modify Your Search

Getting too many search results? Modify Search will help you narrow your search.


In this example, a search for "pie" has 8 pages of results—everything from pie-themed mysteries to picture books.

Select Modify Search to limit the scope of your search. Options include:
  • Location: Limit your search to items at specific branches and in specific collections (such as Juvenile and Audiovisual).
  • Material Type: Limit your search by material type. Material types include print books, CD books, and DVDs.
  • Year: Limit by publication year. Use this option if you only want newer titles on a topic.
Using Modify Search, I can limit my pie search to the Warrenton Adult collection and Printed Materials. Using this technique, I get 3 pages of results, not 8.


2. Search by Call Number

Modify Search is powerful, but it doesn't search categories such as mystery or science fiction.

You can search these categories using the call number prefixes on our item spines. Prefixes include FIC for adult fiction, MYS for adult mysteries, and CF for adult fiction on CD. You'll find a list of item prefixes on our catalog help page.

To search a single category, include the call number prefix in your keyword search. For instance, to find pie-themed mysteries for a foodie book club, search for pie MYS.


This search will bring up results with the prefix MYS. Instead of slogging through 8 pages of results, you'll get a single page of delicious titles such as Pecan Pies and Homicides. 

You can also search for nonfiction items by their Dewey Decimal Classification. Select CALL NO from the drop-down menu on the left and enter the call number you want.

For instance, a search for 796.323 will find basketball nonfiction, and a search for 378.3 will find college financial aid guides. You don't need to memorize Dewey Decimal to use this technique—browse the shelves, check our catalog Dewey Decimal Classification help page, or ask a librarian to find the section appropriate to your search.


If you have questions about the catalog or need help finding a specific item, our librarians are happy to help. You can visit a library branch, call us, or ask online.

Happy searching!

Becky @ Warrenton


To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Resources for Holiday Giving

One highlight of the holiday season is the wealth of opportunities to volunteer and give charitably. Yet it can be challenging to figure how to best contribute time and resources.

Charity rating websites can help you get a sense of whether the charity you're interested in is truly effective. Give.org and Charity Navigator are two websites that evaluate charities based on their financial reports, organizational transparency, and overall effectiveness. These websites help identify charities that will make the most of your donation.

It's important to be aware that charity scams pop up during the holidays. The Federal Trade Commission has a Charity Scams page that will help you identify fraudulent charities. If you are donating to a charity based in Virginia, you can verify an organization's nonprofit status or submit a complaint through the Virginia Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs.

It can be especially fulfilling to donate one's time during the holidays. At Volunteer Match, you can search for volunteer opportunities based on your location and interests. Closer to home, the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce membership directory lists local nonprofits and charities.

If your holiday generosity extends to organizations within the community, please consider adding the Fauquier County Public Library, to your list. Our holiday tree campaign is in full swing, and we also welcome your support throughout the year.

~ Happy Holidays!

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

e-Resource of the Month - Business Insights: Essentials

Research and analyze companies and industries around the world using the library's subscription to Business Insights: Essentials. Business Insights: Essentials allows you to...

  • Access deep research coverage with scholarly journals, business news and company histories
  • Develop lists of key competitors by industry or location, and sort them according to revenue and other metrics using the company finder. You can then modify, filter, or export your list!
  • Manipulate statistical data and customize your own charts
  • Analyze key metrics and compare companies and industries using our company profiles, proprietary private company database, and fundamentals comparison tool
  • Investigate investment opportunities, comprehensively and easily
  • Find parent-subsidiary relationships
  • Obtain competitive intelligence, market share information and product trends
  • Explore market-industry information and analysis — includes market research, investment, banking and capital market institutions and publishers
  • Study product and brand information
  • Compare companies within an industry
  • Target new customers and inform on potential business opportunities, distribution channels or prime licensing opportunities
  • Research career opportunities by company, geography or industry; explore related associations and business groups

Find Business Insights on our Articles & Databases page (under the heading Business Information) as well as on our Business Resources page, which includes links to library resources, business databases and directories as well as recommended websites.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

e-Reader or tablet on your holiday wish list?

November is the month when most "gift guides" featuring e-devices like tablets and e-readers start appearing in publications such as Consumer Reports, as well as on websites like CNET and PC Magazine.

If you prefer the print version of these websites (some of these tech sites have really annoying pop up ads), use Zinio to read/download Apple Magazine, iPhone Life, MacWorld, PC Magazine and PC World.

If your partial to Consumer Reports, which doesn't take (and thus not influenced by) advertising, visit your local library. Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2010 up to the current issue. Just ask at the reference desk and library staff will help you locate the issue(s) which cover e-readers and tablets.

Of course, you'll want to buy a device that OverDrive, which is the library's largest supplier of e-books and e-audio books, actually supports. If you plan on buying an e-reader or tablet, be sure to check out OverDrive's how-tos for supported devices in Getting Started with OverDrive.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Geography Awareness

Geography Awareness Week, an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP), encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the "interconnectedness of our world." Celebrated during the third week of November (Nov. 16-22, 2014), students, families, and community members are invited to focus on the importance of geography through events, lessons, games, and challenges.

Resources at the library
In the non-fiction section, books and DVDs with call numbers in the 900s cover geography and history, with geography and travel specifically located in the 910s. If you have a specific region or country in mind, check the catalog (try a keyword search) or ask library reference staff to assist you. Atlases, specifically world atlases, can be found in the 912s, in the reference, adult and juvenile (children's) areas of your local library.

If the personal aspect of travel (versus geographical facts or "travel guides") are more your thing, be sure to check out the worldly (and often witty) observations of writers such as Paul Theroux, Frances Mayes, Peter Matthiessen and Tony Horwitz, or winning entries for the Solas Awards Best Travel Writing.

More to explore
Britannica Library Reference Center - Includes a world atlas and the world data analyst module
National Geographic Kids - Explore the magazine, 2009-present, as well as over 200 National Geographic Kids books and 500 kid-friendly, downloadable images
World Book Online Reference Center - Check out Interactive Earth, atlases and more
Transparent Language Online - If you're inspired to travel, learn the language before you hit the road
Virginia Places - Learn more about the places and geology of Virginia
World Geography Games - Play entertaining and stimulating map games to improve your geographical knowledge
Zinio Digital Magazines - Download issues of National Geographic Traveler to your tablet, read any time

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Library resources help student-athletes meet new NCAA eligibility standards

Student-athletes will want to take note that, starting with the class of 2016, the NCAA has released new initial-eligibility requirements, creating a higher academic standard for freshman to play. If you don’t have the core GPA, the test scores or the right core courses in high school, you don’t play in college.

For details and guidance on the student-athlete experience, go to ncaa.org and check out the eligibility center. You can also download/print out the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

According to the NCAA, the new requirements are intended to ensure prospective student-athletes are as prepared to succeed in the classroom as they are in their sport.

e-Resources to help you meet the new guidelines
Along with the tools provided by your high school counselor and athletic department, students can take advantage of the library's free online test prep using the Testing & Education Reference Center, which covers the PSAT, SAT and ACT, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) exams and some high school exit exams. Resources include online practice tests, online courses, e-books, tips and strategies and a Word of the Day.

More @ your library
The New NCAA and the Rules You Need to Know to Play - Paul Sipes Athletic Director, Wakefield School, will lead an informational seminar about the current NCAA player eligibility requirements and changes being implemented that will affect student athletes. If your child is a student athlete with aspirations of playing college-level sports, or if you work with student athletes, this seminar is a must-attend. One-on-one transcript review will follow presentation. This seminar is being offered in cooperation with Wakefield School.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 18
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Location: John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square (Warrenton)

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: Kids InfoBits



The easy-to-use, age-appropriate Kids InfoBits helps children in grades K-5 explore and gain comfort with doing online research and makes homework seem like fun.

Why make Kids InfoBits your first stop for K-5 research?

Broad subject coverage: Categories include animals, arts, geography, health, literature, music and movies, people, plants, science, social studies, sports and technology.

Multiple formats: Resources include books, magazines, news and more than 13,000 images.

Customized for young learners: Recently redesigned, Kids InfoBits features a new, modern, graphical interface and improved navigation, addressing the way kids learn and conduct research.

Engaging: Kids InfoBits highlights interesting facts about a subject, along with connections to current events.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.