Friday, June 29, 2007

Your Library, Online

Are you familiar with the library's online catalog? Did you know that you can access the library's resources from home as well as in the library? Just type into the address field of your Web browser. From there you can search for books in the library's collection.

If you have a Fauquier County Public Library card, you can set up an online account. With your online library account you can:

  • Access your library record from home or at your local library
  • Modify your personal information on file (address, e-mail, etc.)
  • Renew items you have checked out
  • Place holds
  • When logged in, place mutliple holds at one time without having to re-enter your name, library card and PIN
  • Create Preferred Search lists for your favorite authors and topics
How do you create an online account, you ask?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Let the Battle Begin

Parents, take note: the library has posted the 2007-2008 Fauquier County Public Schools' Battle of the Books lists for elementary and middle school students on our Book Lists page. The lists contain links to our online library catalog, so you can place a hold for the book from the comfort of your own home computer.

For more information about America's Battle of the Books, a voluntary reading incentive program for students in grades 4-12, check out

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Make better, more profitable investment decisions

If you're an investor in mutual funds, you may or may not know that the library subscribes to Morningstar, available in print format in the Warrenton library's business reference section. If you're like me, you might find the print edition, which can sometimes top out at 1600 pages, a tad intimidating. Luckily, the library also provides users access to Morningstar® Mutual Funds™ Online. Now you can access the latest issue under Most Recent Issue, select an entire group of funds to review under Reports by Category (i.e, small growth, short-term government bonds), or find a specific fund (i.e., Vanguard 500 Index) under Search. To use this online resource, please ask a reference librarian at the Warrenton, John Marshall or Bealeton Library to log you on to the service.

Morningstar Quick Facts:
Morningstar Mutual Funds is published in a 10-issue cycle called a volume. Twice per month, a new issue is delivered to the library (hard copy) and posted online. Each issue contains an Analysis Section and a Summary Section. It takes 10 issues or one volume (about five months) to update all 1600 funds covered in Morningstar Mutual Funds.

The Summary Section serves as an index for the entire 10-issue volume. It also includes a commentary, other editorial features (featured funds, top picks, analyst picks, etc.), and updated data tables. At the most basic level, the Summary Section functions as an alphabetical index to help you locate fund reports by page number. Additionally, this section provides a wealth of month-end data on all funds Morningstar covers and the Morningstar Categories.

The Analysis Section contains approximately 170 full-page fund reports, depending on the Morningstar Categories being covered in that issue.

For more library resources on mutual funds, check out the online catalog or ask at the reference desk.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Equilink: A Search Engine With Horsepower

For people who love horses, there is now a search engine for you called Equilink. Before I elaborate any further, please note that, in my opinion, I'm not sure if this Web site is really ready for "prime time." I found some of the features didn't work as expected, others seemed nonsensical. However, if you're a horse lover (and chances are, if you live in Fauquier County, you are), you'll probably find this search engine somewhat useful, or, at the very least, fun to browse through.

There are currently three ways to find information on Equilink:

  1. Search by Keyword

  2. Browse by Category: Breeds, Products, Services, Showing, Betting, Real Estate

  3. Browse by Discipline: Racing, Western, Hunt/Jump, Polo, Saddleseat, Trail, Eventing, Dressage and Vacation

The search engine is supposed to allow you to filter results by geographic location, but often when I tried limiting my results to the state of Virginia, I usually ended up with zero hits. This may be a function of the site being new and the categories not being filled out yet, or that a listing site for say, horse products, sells nationally and does not mention specific states and is thus not tagged by state.

The browsing options allow for lots of detail. For example, I decided to browse on the discipline Polo, and from there I could click on anything from polo apparel to veterinarians who specifically work with polo ponies.

I noticed that the site allows you to change the colors displayed on the site (default is a sort of burnt sienna brown). Useful if you have issues with the color burnt sienna. There is also a button labeled "Login," but when I clicked on that, I was just presented with a login/password screen, no information about setting up an account.

So, maybe Equilink is not perfect, but a search engine that focuses soley on all things horses may save you some time in the long run.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Parenting Resources Online

The library's Web site provides access to numerous electronic resources that can assist and inform harried parents of the Internet age.

The online catalog allows you to search for books, magazines and other resources that the library owns or subscribes to. Examples include Home Education magazine, books on infant care and parenting skills. If you have a Fauquier County Public Library card, you can log in from home and place requests to hold/reserve titles at your local branch.

Our list of Resources on the Web covers such topics as general parenting advice, Internet safety, education and child health and welfare. For instance,'s site includes a number of online and offline activities for parents and children that teach Internet safety and prevent victimization. Or maybe you're not sure what sort of snack to prepare for the kids afterschool. KidsHealth for Parents offers up a number of tasty recipes that are organized by specific health concerns (lactose intolerance, diabetes, celiac disease, etc.).

If you are interested in library programs for children and teens, check out our list of programs and special events, like the 2007 Summer Reading Program.

I encourage you to check out all the great online resources we offer and then get offline and enjoy time with the kids.