Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oxford Reference Premium: The Classics

Planning a summer vacation to Greece or Rome? Involved in the library's daytime or evening Great Books clubs? If you don't know Ajax from Aesop, you may want to consider perusing the library's Oxford Reference Premium Collection, which includes several authoritative works covering "the Classics."

To access this electronic resource, simply log on with your Fauquier County Public Library card number. Under Subject Reference, choose Classics.

There you'll see titles such as Who's Who in the Classical World. Focusing exclusively on real people, this dictionary of ancient biography covers Greek and Roman history and politics, literature, philosophy, science and art and covers major historical and cultural themes in antiquity, centred round individuals as varied as Herodotus, Socrates, Plato, Alexander the Great and Augustus.

To better understand the inspiration behind so much of Western art and literature, check out the electronic version of the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, an ideal reference book for anyone interested in the classical world and its literary heritage. It gives accounts of the lives of many classical authors and character entries and plot summaries for their works.

If you're looking for something more general, the Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization provides an authoritative survey of the Greek and Roman worlds in all their aspects, offering articles on diverse fields such as history and politics, ethics and morals, law and punishment, social and family life, language, literature and art, religion and mythology, technology, science and medicine.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Genealogy Gems

Fauquier County Public Library has a number of online resources to assist you in your genealogy quest, including Ancestry Library Edition. Ancestry Library Edition provides a wide range of resources for genealogical and historical research. It includes records from the U.S. Census, military records, court, land and probate records, vital and church records, directories, petitions for naturalization; passenger lists and more. Ancestry Library Edition is only available in the library, so make sure to visit your local branch and try it out.

Other databases that can be used outside of the library (only your library card number is needed for access) include Sanborn Digital Maps (discussed in my April 25th post) and HeritageQuest. HeritageQuest allows you to search the complete set of U.S. Federal Census images from 1790-1930, access over 20,000 local and family histories as well as selected records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. Users can also search for individuals in the Freedman's Bank (1865-1874), a banking institution established in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, for the benefit of freed slaves. The information contained in many of the registers includes the account number, name of depositor, date of entry, place born, place brought up, residence, age, complexion, name of employer or occupation, wife or husband, children, father, mother, brothers and sisters, remarks, and signature. The early books sometimes also contain the name of the former master or mistress and the name of the plantation. Copies of death certificates have been pinned to some of the entries.

For information on local residents, the library houses microfilm files of the Fauquier Democrat (1907-present) and the Fauquier Citizen (1989-present). The library does have an online index to the Democrat, which is a work-in-progress. To save yourself some time, you may want to search there first to see if a life event (birth, death, marriage) was indexed yet. No library card or password is needed to access this resource.

Of course, most of the library's genealogical and local history collection is only available in print, so be sure to visit the recently restored Virginiana Room at the Warrenton Library.

Finally, I want to point out a nifty online tool for budding genealogists which has nothing to do with our collection, but seems very cool. It's called Geni and it lets you create a family tree through a very simple, intuitive interface. You can expand your tree (and people to help you) by adding relatives' email addresses. They will be invited to join your tree and can add other relatives (Aunt Sally may think to include information here that she forgot to tell you at the last family reunion). Your tree will continue to grow as relatives invite other relatives. Currently in beta, it's been dubbed a Facebook for families, and it's seems promising.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Current Events in the Classroom

If you're a teacher and looking to incorporate topics in the news into the classroom curriculum, Fauquier County Public Library has some resources to assist you.

First, check out the library's recently revamped Web page for Educators. Here you'll find resources available at the library and across the World Wide Web that are pertinent to your duties as an educator. If you click on the Current Events link under Internet Resources by Subject, you'll see links to sites like FactCheckEd.org and the New York Times Learning Network. These sites include related lesson plans and other teacher-approved resources that help students decipher the messages they receive from various media sources.

Aside from great sites on the Web, remember that the library's collection includes the Current Controversies and Information Plus series, which cover newsworthy topics like crime, HIV/AIDS, the environment and gun control.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Keep Up With Library News and Events

Are you kicking yourself because you missed last month's meet-and-greet with mystery author Sandra Parshall? Now you have no excuse not to keep up with upcoming library programs and special events. If you don't remember to visit the library's Web site to see what's happening, you can sign up for the feed and/or the e-mail subscription to the library's latest blog, Library News & Events (a descriptive enough title, don't you think?).

Identity Theft Resources

It seems like every other day there is a story in the news about identity theft -- government contractors lose laptops with government employee information, a hacker steals thousands of customer records for a retail -- examples are, unfortunately, plentiful.

Did you know that the library's subscription to the Gale LegalForms database offers a number of helpful documents to assist victims of identity theft? Check this out...
  1. Using your 10-digit library card, log in to the Gale Legal Forms database.
  2. In the search box, type "identity theft" and select titles (default is categories), then click the Search button.
In the results listing, you'll see a number of pertinent documents to assist you. The Identity Theft Checklist (US-00710) is a great starting point, as it outlines the steps you need to take with regards to the various credit bureaus, law enforcement, the DMV, any creditor, etc. You can download this document (Microsoft Word), print out and check off the steps as you make your way through the process.

The database goes even further, providing you templates/sample letters that you can use when informing the authorities of the theft.

Having your personal information stolen can be a frightening ordeal. Hopefully, with resources such as this checklist, the process to get your identity back can be less overwhelming.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Save Money and Trees

To cover the costs of paper and toner, the library charges patrons who make printouts a fee of 10 cents per page. Before you print something out, you may want to find out how many pages will be printed to ensure you have enough money and that you're printing out only what you need.

First, click on File in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen and move the cursor to/click on Print Preview. A preview screen will appear. You’ll see at the bottom that there are X number of pages for the document. You can click on the printer icon located at the top left of this screen to print the document. You’ll get the print dialog box. Click on the Print button to complete the job.

If you decide that you don't want to print all the pages of the document, you can instead print just the portion of the document or Web site page that you need. To do this, using your mouse, right click and drag over the block of text on the document or Web site that you want to print, highlighting it. Click on File in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen and move the cursor to/click on Print. You'll get the print dialog box. If the All option is selected, the entire web page will print when you click OK. To avoid this, click the button labeled Selection versus All. Only the highlighted area will be printed when you click the Print button.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Introduction to the Internet

Do you know someone who is uncomfortable using a computer, particularly the Internet? The Fauquier Public Library offers several classes that introduce adults to the Internet. Topics covered include using the mouse, basic functions of the Internet Explorer browser (version 7), search engines and printing documents cost-effectively.

The classes run approximately 45 minutes and are as follows:

  • Warrenton Library: 9 a.m. third Tuesday of the month
  • Bealeton Library: 7:30 p.m. first Wednesday of the month(presented in English) and 7:30 p.m. third Wednesday of the month (presented in Spanish.)

Reserve a space by calling or registering at the library.