Monday, November 24, 2008

December e-Resource: Ferguson's Career Guidance Center

Getting the job you want is often difficult. FCPL is here to help you with free access to Ferguson's Career Guidance Center. This online tool is broken down in logical areas for ease-of-use:

Jobs - Get detailed information on more than 3300 jobs in 94 industries. To facilitate your search, Ferguson's breaks down jobs and industries into 16 clusters, such as "government and public" and "hospitality and tourism."

Skills - Resume and job hunting skills, including sample cover letters and resumes, along with practical advice on communicating, professional etiquette, working with teams and problem-solving.

Resources - A school search, which allows you to browse a selected list of American colleges and universities to find one that fits your needs as well as the various career assessment tests available (Myers-Briggs, etc.) and where to find them. This section also includes resource guides for specific populations, such as women, minorities and people with disabilities.

Videos - Explore jobs and industries, as well as career skills, by watching hundreds of informative videos.

Ferguson's also includes a monthly career opportunities newsletter, a "My Life" feature, which explores a day in the life of a particular career-holder and a "Focus On" section which provides in-depth information on a particular career sector.

To access Ferguson's Career Guidance Center, go to the library's Web site ( and click on the Search for Articles & More link, under Find Information. Ferguson's is listed under Education, Test Prep and Careers.
Related Links:

Learn a Foreign Language Month

December is Learn a Foreign Language Month. Here are a few free online resources to assist you in your quest to become multilingual:

Of course, you don't have to go online to learn a language. The library has a number of items in the collection for learning a new language, including:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Native American Heritage Month

American Indian Heritage Month, also known as Native American Heritage Month and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, began with an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the First Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. This effort, which began in the early part of the 20th century, resulted in the month of November being designated for that purpose.

InfoPlease has put together a fairly exhaustive Web site that covers notable Native Americans, quotations, information on Native American placenames, tribe listings and even quizzes to test what you've learned. InfoPlease does rely on advertising, however, so watch out for the annoying popup ads.

You can always count on the Library of Congress (LOC) to provide wonderful online resources and source material for specific populations. For Native American Heritage Month, the LOC has partnered with the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. The Web site includes images, audio and links to specific collections and exhibitions related to or encompassing Native American history, as well as lesson plans and activities for teachers and students.

The National Education Association (NEA) has released a recommended reading list that includes titles ranging from such pre-K classics as 'Mama, Do You Love Me' to Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn Series that has been "thrilling young (and older) adults for more than a decade." The list includes titles listed by grade level and include fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Tony Hillerman fans may also want to check out the PBS American Mystery Specials - Based on the Novels by Tony Hillerman site. This online resource includes a Hillerman biography and interview, a list of his books featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police, material on the Navajo yesterday and today, and details about the novels made into films (such as synopses, and novel and script excerpts). There are also links to related sites.

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian's Web site does not have much in the way of online resources, instead focusing on providing information of exhibits and details on visiting the museum (located in Washington, DC) itself. However, they do have an online guide to World War II (WWII) and the use of Native American "Code Talkers" as well as a unique Web site on Native American-produced media called Native Networks, for both English and Spanish speakers/readers.

The library subscribes to several online databases that can help you with research on Native Americans:
  • Biography Resource Center (via Find It Virginia) - Allows you to browse for biographical information on the category Native Americans;
  • Both Britannica Online and World Book Online (kids' and regular versions) - Include in-depth research articles on Native Americans;
  • Ancestry Library (in-library use only) - Nineteen (19) databases available that cover specific Native American tribes as well as U.S. Indian Census Schedules;
  • NoveList - Allows you to search for titles/authors on or by Native Americans. They also have an Author Read-Alikes list for Tony Hillerman that feature author and series that feature Native American protagonists and customs. Also check out their Recommended Reads section, where they have book lists on Native Americans and Native American Mysteries;
As I run across more educational resources on the Web, I will be adding them to this blog posting.

The Plum Book

Looking for a job in the Obama Administration? Check out the Government Printing Office's new release of United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, otherwise known as the Plum Book. Published every four years, after the Presidential election, it “contains data … on over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment (e.g., positions such as agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials). The duties of many such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency head or other key officials.” The data includes salary figures, too. For information on purchasing a print copy or for a copy in TEXT format, visit GPO Access.

Once you've gone through the Plum Book and have landed a job with the new Administration, you'll want to check out the Transition Directory. The Transition Directory was "developed to introduce Presidential nominees, appointees, and members of the President-elect's Transition Team to the operation of the Federal government and to the resources available to help them begin their service in the new Administration." The site includes common abbreviations and acronyms that would be useful to any student of government or reader of the Washington Post.

Friday, November 7, 2008

College Planning

Fall is a busy time on the college-planning calendar.

College fairs and financial aid nights kick into high gear. Younger students will be taking the PSAT. Students and parents need to do their homework on scholarships and ways to pay for a college education. Senior will be completing their college/university applications as well as their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Fauquier County Public Library's web site has a number of e-resources available for students and parents, including:

Peterson's Testing and Education Reference Center - In addition to numerous online practice tests and test prep e-books, TERC includes a college search tool with over 4,000 4- and 2-year colleges. Students can search for colleges stating specific criteria and even have colleges recruit them by registering with CollegesWantYou.

Recently updated test prep ebooks include SAT II Subject Success in Biology, Literature, Physics and U.S. History.

The site also includes college credit test prep for 17 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. With 2 timed, full-length practice tests in each subject, students can get to know their exams well before test day. Each practice test offers 90-days access.

For high school students not ready or interested in pursuing college/university, TERC also includes a Speciality & Career Program Search. Students can explore career colleges, search for vocational programs, distance learning programs and accredited 2-year programs in information technology (network administration, etc.).

Career-minded high school students should also log in to Ferguson's Career Guidance Center, a resource recently added to the library's collection. The database includes information (articles and videos) on more than 3,300 jobs and 94 industries, broken down into 16 "Career Clusters" created by the Department of Education. College-bound students also benefit from this resource, as it will help them determine which colleges will help them meet career goals.

For more information on college entrance exam resources (SAT, ACT), see my Oct. 15 post. There are also additional resources on the For the College Bound page of the library's Web site.