Friday, December 31, 2010

Did Santa Bring You a Camera?

...or a fancy new phone with a built-in camera? Perhaps it's now time to check out the Vimeo Video School, which has both instructions on how to make better videos and a directory of video tutorials. You may want to start with Video 101, a fun, basic guide to making videos. If you have a Digital SLR camera, Vimeo has enlisted DSLR master Philip Bloom to run you through the ins and outs. Vimeo Featured Lessons give you in-depth information and tutorial videos that you can follow, or you can just browse thousands of tutorial videos organized into different categories and skill levels.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tax Forms Online vs. the Library

It's that time of the year again -- patrons are already asking the library about the 2010 tax forms (which haven't arrived as of Dec. 30). We are receiving more inquiries than usual due to the IRS's decision to no longer mail paper tax packages to individual and businesses. While the library receives some federal tax forms and instructions to hand out to patrons for free (while supplies last), we don't receive every federal form/instruction booklet. Also, as usual, we will not get any Virginia state tax forms or instructions. Any form not available at the library will cost you $0.15 per page (printing from Web site) or $0.15 per page if you opt to copy from Package X (the master booklet for forms/instructions), which doesn't usually arrive at the library until February. Thus, if you have a computer and a printer at home, save yourself a trip to the library and print them out (for free) at home.


  • Federal - See - Click on Forms and Publications; includes a detailed summary of how to view and download tax forms from the IRS Web site, how to order online or via phone (1-800-829-3676). Be sure to check out the highlights of recent tax changes.
  • Virginia - See - Click on Need a Form? under Services; download forms or have them mailed to you. You can also call the office at 804-440-2541. The Commissioner of the Revenue should receive some forms, so you can check with them, as well.
Tax Assistance
The IRS provides tax help for individuals. Just call 1-800-829-1040.

You can also make an appointment with the Foundation for Tax Assistance. Please note that some restrictions may apply. Contact the Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County directly at 540-349-8142 to make an appointment. Appointments will take place at all library locations per the schedule below:
  • John Marshall Library: 4-7 p.m., Mondays (Feb. 7 - April 4)
  • John Marshall Library: Noon - 3 p.m.. Tuesdays (Feb. 8 - April 5)
  • Warrenton Library: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Wednesdays (Feb. 9 - April 6)
  • Bealeton Library: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Thursdays (Feb. 10 - April 7)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Google Search Results - Now See Reading Level

Google now allows you to see the reading level of your search results and even filter your search by reading level. Just go to the advanced search and under Need more tools? select "annotate results with reading levels" to see the reading level displayed or filter further by showing only results by a specific reading level (basic, intermediate or advanced).

How did Google come up with the reading levels, you ask? According to Google, "The feature is based primarily on statistical models we built with the help of teachers. We paid teachers to classify pages for different reading levels, and then took their classifications to build a statistical model. With this model, we can compare the words on any webpage with the words in the model to classify reading levels. We also use data from Google Scholar, since most of the articles in Scholar are advanced."

Perhaps at some point Google will allow users to actually rate the reading level (crowd-sourcing)?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Are You a Distracted Driver? Test Yourself.

According to a recent study by AAA and Seventeen Magazine, 86 percent of teenagers drive while talking on their cell phones, texting, eating, putting on makeup, fiddling with the radio/stereo, etc. If what I see during my daily commute is any indication, I think it's safe to say that adults are also guilty of distracted driving.

To teach teens about the dangers of distracted driving, there is a new website and digital curriculum out, Toyota Teen Driver, produced by Discovery Education and Toyota. Teachers and parents, of course, will want to check out the resources to help their students/offspring make wise choices while driving (parents can even create a mutual driving agreement). What I want the rest of you to check out, though, is the "Head's Up!" interactive road distraction challenge. It takes a few seconds to load, but once the site loads you can take practice driving challenges that are definitely test one's driving skills. I seemed to veer off the road quite a bit. There is also a Driving IQ test that drivers of any age should try.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

eResource of the Month - Health & Wellness Resource Center

Looking for a recipe for holiday cookies? Google it. But what if you're looking for authoritative information on a medical diagnosis you just received? The Health & Wellness Resource Center can help you find health and wellness information as quickly as a Google search, but with the accuracy of library-quality results.

Features and Benefits
Including the respected Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, the Health & Wellness Resource Center delivers up-to-date reference material as well as full-text magazines, journals, and pamphlets from a wide variety of authoritative medical sources. Additionally, consumers, students, and professionals are provided with descriptions of and links to many pertinent websites, selected for their usefulness and appropriateness.

Specifically, Health & Wellness Resource Center features:

  • Current health news headlines
  • Videos
  • Newspapers, newsletters and newsfeeds
  • Database of drugs and herbal remedies
  • Up-to-date contact information for various service agencies, offices, companies, people and health products
  • Links to numerous calculators and risk assessment tools
  • An alternative medicine module that looks at health care from a holistic lens

Quality and Quantity
Health & Wellness Resource Center
maintains an index of numerous health and medicine magazines and journals - many of which are peer-reviewed - and most of which are active full-text titles.

Multimedia Features
Health & Wellness Resource Center
has partnered with Healthology, an industry leader in providing health and medical video content and physician-authored articles. You can access the Healthology content from the Health Highlights area of the home page. And whenever you perform a search using the search box or using the Advanced Search page, your results may include video content from Healthology as listed on the Video tab of your results list.

Ivy League Credentials
Health & Wellness Resource Center
also brings you the latest health news from Harvard Health Publications, a division of the Harvard Medical School. You can view top headlines directly from the home page in a section called Breaking News, with a link browse additional headlines.

Access the Database Anytime
Fauquier County Public library card holders can access the database from home, 24X7, using the library's Web site. Under Find Information, click on Search for Articles & More. See the Health & Medicine section and select Health & Wellness Resource Center.

In addition, make sure to check out our Health & Wellness Resources page on our website for additional online health information, as well as lists of recommended books and videos to check out from our collection.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Science Behind the 2010 Nobel Prizes

Be sure to check out AccessScience, which celebrates the 2010 Nobel Prizes with special content and articles on this year's Physics, Chemistry and Medicine prize-winners.

For additional science-focused content, be sure to check out the General Science Collection database as well as the library's online catalog:

Monday, November 22, 2010

National Taxpayers Union - Does the IRS Owe You Money?

National Taxpayers Union - Does the IRS Owe You Money? Enter your last name and select a tax year (only 2008 and 2009 are currently offered) and see if Uncle Sam owes you any money.

The Science of Everyday Life

Did you know that science is all around us? Using the "laboratories" in our world -- our homes, classrooms and community -- students, teachers and families can explore the wonders of science with the help of a new website, Science of Everyday Life. Features of this interactive resource include:

  • An "Innovation Headquarters" showcasing innovations from yesterday to today through brain teasers, virtual labs and an interactive timeline;

  • Unique inquiry-based lessons, aligned to national standards, addressing key areas of science and the technology and innovation behind them;

  • School-to-home family activities encouraging students to discover the real-world science around them and make connections to what they are learning in school;

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010


Whether you are a teacher, a student or a parent, you'll want to check out this terrific set of "Interactives" from the website. The content and activities provide you a solid foundation on variety of topics. For example, check out the Middle Ages section under "History Interactives." Interesting stuff!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's the Year of the Solar System

NASA recently announced that it's the Year of the Solar System (actually a Martian year...23 months). Each month, from October 2010 through August 2012, NASA will highlight different aspects of our solar system - its formation, volcanism, gravity, ice, the possibility of life elsewhere, as NASA undertakes key missions. Teachers and Girl Scout leaders will want to check out the various educational resources on the YSS site. Watch videos, explore space news and events, meet the people who make space exploration possible and much more on this exciting website from NASA.

For books and videos on the solar system, see the library's online catalog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November is American Indian Heritage Month

American Indian 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.

Recommended Web Sites
The Library of Congress (LOC) provides a number of wonderful online resources and source material on specific native populations. For Native American Heritage Month, the LOC pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. The Web site includes images, audio/video 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. And just in time for Veteran's Day, their Stories From Veterans History Project has a special feature entitled, Willing to Serve: American Indians.

For teachers, ReadWriteThink celebrates National American Indian Heritage Month with links to lesson plans, recommended Web sites and texts to inspire classroom learning. Scholastic provides a Native American Heritage Activity Set that explores contributions Native Americans made/make to our nation. Also be sure to check out Smithsonian Education's American Indian Heritage Teaching Resources page.

Parents and teachers may want to try their hand at some Native American Crafts for Kids from

The National Park Service has put together a list of featured American Indian properties as well as lessons/exhibits of American Indian Heritage in our nation's parks.

If you can't make it to Washington, DC to visit the National Museum of the American Indian, check out some of their fascinating online exhibitions.

PBS's American Experience series "We Shall Remain,", which describes itself as "a provocative multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history," includes a Web site with all five (5) episodes available for viewing online. Other PBS sites with information on Native Americans include Colonial House, Antiques Roadshow and Lewis and Clark.

Suggested Databases
The library subscribes to several online databases that can help you with research on Native Americans:
  • Biography in Context alows you to browse for biographical information on the category Native Americans;

  • Both Britannica Online and World Book Online (kids' and regular/student versions) include in-depth research articles on Native Americans;

  • In Bloom's Literary Reference Online, you can search on the terms "native american" and get a host of resources, including Bloom on Native-American Writers, bacckground on Native American literature and short fiction, and more;

  • Ancestry Library (in-library use only) has a number of databases available that cover specific Native American tribes as well as U.S. Indian Census Schedules;

And of course, you can always check the library's online catalog for books and materials to check out/take home. Our children's librarian, Jennifer Schultz, has recommended several books for children and teens that are centered around Native American characters.

e-Resource of the Month - Biography in Context

Virtually every course of study — from history to science to literature — is ultimately tied to the study of people. Biography in Context (formerly known as Biography Resource Center) delivers students outstanding research support with nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography. A curriculum-aligned resource that offers media-rich content, Biography in Context includes:
  • 600,000+ biographies covering more than 525,000 individuals
  • 170+ award-winning Gale reference titles
  • 50,000 new or updated bios added annually in addition to daily updates to account for awards and events
  • Integrated reference material, periodical information and multimedia content
  • Hundreds of hand-crafted topic pages covering the highest-interest features
Updated daily, you can access this terrific online reference source 24X7 with your Fauquier County Public Library card.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Educating the world, one video at a time

If you read this past week's Sunday Parade magazine, you probably saw Bill Gate's mention of his "favorite teacher," Khan Academy. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Over 1800 videos covering math, science, the humanities and test prep are available 24X7. The content is made in digestible 10-20 minute chunks especially purposed for viewing on the computer as opposed to the more lengthy videos of a conventional "physical" lecture. The Khan Academy's goal is to cover all topics that would appear on A.P. tests, SATs, and other standardized tests. There are also several hundred videos devoted to the SAT, GMAT and other standardized test problems. According to founder/creator Sal Khan, because of the granular nature of the 10 minute videos, the content can be mapped to almost any state's or nation's standards.

I see Khan Academy becoming the world's first free, world-class
virtual school where anyone can learn anything--for free.
Sal Khan, founder/creator of Khan Academy

Monday, October 25, 2010

ResourceBlog Article: Resource of the Week -- MetaLib: A New Federated Search Tool from the GPO (Government Printing Office)

ResourceBlog Article: Resource of the Week -- MetaLib: A New Federated Search Tool from the GPO (Government Printing Office) - This article gives you the background/details on a new search engine from the GPO that you can use to access online catalogs, resources and databases from the federal government. For example, if you are doing environmental research, you may want to use the Advanced tab/feature and limit your search to Environment. Then you will access information specifically from the Dept. of Energy, the EPA and other national environmental publications.

Family History Month

October is Family History Month. Whether you are new to genealogy or have already completed your family tree, here are some resources that will help you celebrate your past.

Visit the Fauquier County Public Library Virginiana Room, which has an extensive collection of materials covering Virginia and local history/Fauquier County. If you are looking for copies of specific records (birth, census, death, etc.), be sure to consult our Fauquier County Records chart to determine whether a trip to the library or the county's records room is in order.

Access the library's subscriptions to Ancestry Library (in-library use only) and HeritageQuest Online (access from home with your library card). The library has also put together an online index to the Fauquier Democrat/Times-Democrat if you're trying to narrow down a birth, marriage or death date for a resident of Fauquier County.

Check out a how-to guide as well as the extensive list of staff-recommended genealogical/local history websites on our Local History/Genealogy page.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Typing/Keyboarding Practice

How are your typing skills? If your one of those people who use just their index fingers to type, you may want to check out Dance Mat Typing from the BBC Schools site. While the website is aimed at children/students aged 7-11, it's an easy-to-use tool for anyone needing to get beyond the "hunt and peck" typing style. Their are 4 levels, with each level divided into 3 stages. Each stage/level will recap previous lessons to reinforce what you've learned, and you will learn to type with both hands. In addition, at the end of each lesson, you'll be rewarded with a mini song and dance. Woo hoo! You will need headphones (if you're in a public space/using a public computer) or speakers to enjoy the song and dance in each game. Also, the games use the Flash plug-in - if your computer doesn't have Flash, you can find information on how to download it here, or you can play the alternative interactive versions available at each stage. Worksheets are available for each stage that can be printed out and used offline with a typewriter or computer.

Other keyboarding/typing tutorials:

There are numerous other free keyboarding/typing websites out there...just do a Google search for "keyboarding" or "typing lessons" and you'll see what I mean. Of course, there are also many fee-based programs (order software, etc.), so you may want to stick to those lessons available through K-12 schools (curriculum posted online by a typing teacher).

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week, a program of the American Chemical Society (ACS), runs October 17-23, 2010. This year's theme is "Behind the Scenes with Chemistry!" and focuses on common chemistry topics which can explain the mystery behind the seemingly "magic" that is shown on television and described in books.

The ACS website includes a number of resources educators can use in conjunction with National Chemistry Week, specifically:

Along with the ACS resources, here are some links to some other trusted online resources that are focused on chemistry:

For more science-related websites for teachers, see our educators resources page for science/math.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bullying - Awareness, Prevention and Intervention

As we know from recent tragic events, bullying, and more recently, cyber-bullying, is a serious problem. Below are some online resources that can assist children and the adults who care/work with children learn effective strategies for recognizing, preventing and combating bully-type behaviours.

Out on a Limb - A Guide to Getting Along, is a website that covers common situations children will find themselves in and guide them towards making the right decisions when dealing with others. According to the teacher's guide, the activities on the Out on a Limb website are designed primarily for third graders, but can be used to entertain and educate youth from the second and fourth grades as well.

Stop Bullying Now, a site produced by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration and geared at parents/educators/youth advisors, etc., includes a section geared at kids, with webisodes and games that help children "Take a Stand, Lend a Hand."

STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere) Online provides online training and resources for adults who want to prevent youth violence before it starts. While the site mentions providing "online community workspaces," their Take Action section is still under construction.

The National Crime Prevention Council provides advice for parents on bullying and also has a safety section geared at kids (however, is just a bunch of text; the interactive games/webinars from some of the other providers would probably be more compelling to children/students used to enhanced content).

Websites such as TeensHealth and PBS Kids Go! - It's My Life also have content geared at children and young people dealing with bullying, and there are also materials available to check out from the library.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keep Yourself Safe Online

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stop by any Fauquier County Public Library reference desk and ask for the "STOP * THINK * CLICK - 7 Practices for Safer Computing" brochures or check out the tips outlined on the and websites, including:

Keep your computer clean (keep software up to date, use anti-virus protection, etc.). Free options include:
Protect your personal information
Connect with care
Stay current with online security - find out what the latest viruses, hoaxes, etc. are with these web sites:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear America - American History Resource for Tween Girls

Younger female readers and parents may be familiar with Scholastic's Dear America series, a collection of fictional diaries set during pivotal times in American history. Now there is a Dear America website with activities for children and teachers that allows students to experience American history through the eyes of someone their own age.

The Teach Dear America site, geared at educators and created in collaboration with the Library of Congress, includes discussion guides for the books, links to the Our America student journals and more. You can click on a specific era in history (Civil War, Great Depression, etc.) and access white-board ready slides, student activities (including arts and crafts, recipes) and teaching resources.

The Dear America Kids site allows students to explore virtual scrapbooks of specific Dear America characters that contain samples of the fashions of the time period, a recipe of the food she would have eaten and links to arts and crafts projects popular during the character's lifetime. There is also a discussion area (message boards) where the hope is that kids will discuss the books, themes, characters, etc. However, when I poked around, I saw lots of postings that had nothing to do with the Dear America series. The board is moderated, so you should be safe from having to view anything offensive, but be warned that you'll end up reading the random musings of bored tweens with screen names like "gigglygrl."

Because it's a Scholastic site (part of "The Stacks"), be aware that you will see lots of promotions (i.e., ads) touting other completely unrelated book series, games and websites.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Digging for Data - Global Statistics

Aside from being a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world, the World Bank provides users, via, with access to statistics and data about development in countries around the globe.

For example, did you know...
  • The United States ranks #11 on the list of Internet users per 100 people, just above South Korea
  • Monaco has the most passenger cars per 1000 people (the U.S. is #20 on the list)
  • In 2009, Liberia topped the list with the highest percentage of firms that are expected to make informal payments to public officials to "get things done"
  • Countries such as Luxembourg and Kuwait emit more C02 emissions (metric tons per capita) than the United States
The data catalog also includes a number of datasets on specific topics, etc.

Other sources of statistics can be found on the library's recommended websites page.

Friday, October 1, 2010

World Book Kids Upgraded

World Book Online For Kids has been redesigned and upgraded with new content and functionality. The site continues to offer all of the most useful features of the classic World Book Kids site, including simple navigation, easy-to-read articles, multimedia, maps, interactive tools, and activities. New features include:
  • An engaging new design
  • A tool to help students find information about important people
  • Dozens of age-appropriate science fair projects
  • Interactive maps and outline maps and flags
  • Compare Places, a tool for researching and comparing continents, countries, states, and provinces
  • Dozens of interactive educational games students will want to play again and again

World Book Online For Kids is available on our website (see Search for Articles & More) as well as on our Facebook page. Access to this database requires a Fauquier County Public Library card number. If you do not have a library card, apply for one online and gain instant access to this database.

October eResource - Bloom's Literary Reference Online

Have a paper due on British poet John Donne? How about contemporary author Dave Eggers? Look no further than Bloom's Literary Reference Online. With more than 15,000 entries on births, deaths, publications, and events in world literature from the ancient era to the present day, this online database includes...
  • Biographies of thousands of authors from around the world, searchable by nationality, type of writing, or time periods ranging from ancient to modern
  • Overviews, synopses, analysis, and literary criticism of thousands of works—from novels to poetry to plays—searchable by genre and time period or alphabetically
  • In-depth, full-text entries on literary movements, literary groups, magazines and newspapers, and historical events that help place literature in context, as well as definitions of literary terms
  • A dictionary of more than 34,000 entries with concise, informative definitions, many with pronunciation, etymology, and syllable breaks of the word
  • Information on more than 42,000 major and minor literary characters, including where they first appeared, what part they played in the plot, and how they are related to other literary characters
  • Essays on how to write about literature, including essays by Harold Bloom on popularly assigned authors
  • Harold Bloom's Western Canon: Professor Bloom's selections of the major works of Western literature through the present day

Bloom's also includes video segments covering a range of topics—from biographies of writers to critical analysis of plays to literary genres.

To access this resource, along with additional online resources to help you with your literature studies such as Books & Authors and Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, simply go to the library's Web site, click on Find Information > Search for Articles and More. Under Literature and eBooks, you'll see a link to the Bloom's log in page. You'll need your Fauquier County Public Library card in order to continue. If you don't have a card, apply for one online.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Real Life Math for Middle School Students

The STEM Collaborative was formed when four public television stations were awarded a Local Service Initiative grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to create innovative digital content in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subject areas. The result is this selection of free online activities that have students use geometry, algebra and proportional reasoning to engage in fun tasks such as, measuring a roller coaster ride, building a skateboard ramp, making mouth-watering recipes or traveling the globe on a rock and roll tour.

Each interactive project includes:
  • Teacher guides/educator resources
  • Lesson plans and interactive activities
  • Standards alignment chart
  • Rich multimedia and video
  • Helpful tips and hints for classroom integration
The goal is that once students experience the value of math in everyday life, learning becomes relevant, real and rewarding. Through curiosity, exploration and determination to succeed, learners grasp critical concepts, build confidence and gain valuable 21st century skills.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Identify North American birds by photo, song

Looking for help identifying a bird by photo or song? Then check out Dendroica, an interactive website developed to help students, volunteers and professionals improve their skills at identifying birds by sight or by sound, particularly so that they can participate in nature survey and monitoring programs. The site includes birds from throughout Canada, USA, and Mexico. Participants can contribute new photographs and sound recordings so it will continue to improve over time.

Dendroica (for a definition of the word, see Wikipedia entry) allows you to browse through lists of species found in a particular region to see their pictures and listen to their songs and calls. You can then quiz yourself, based on songs or photos or both, to see how well you have learned the species. You can develop your own custom list of species for study. For the serious bird-watcher, you should note that the site does not include scientific information on bird habitat, range, etc. - just photos/songs.

To use all of the features of Dendroica, including the quiz, or to submit your own photos or sound recordings, you must register and sign in. Registration is free, and only requires that you provide your name and a valid E-mail address.

If you prefer, you can continue as a guest, without logging in. This will allow you to browse through the list of species, see the photographs and listen to the songs. However, several features such as the quiz and the selection of customized lists to study particular groups of species will not be available.

Top 5 Websites with Fun and Insightful Psychological Tests

Top 5 Websites with Fun and Insightful Psychological Tests - Warning: You might get sucked in taking these psychological tests - avoid if you have a pending deadline or save for when you are bored/need a diversion.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Healthy and Safe International Travel

If you're considering any overseas travel, along with the usual travel guides for restaurants, lodging and places to see, be sure to consult Travelers' Health. A service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Travelers' Health provides health information for over 200 destinations, health advisories and warnings, trip preparedness information (what vaccines, etc., you'll need to enter a particular country) as well as a clinic/health specialist directory.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 through October 15. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was enacted into law in 1988. The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept.18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30 day period. Incidentally, the word Hispanic does not refer to race, but is an ethnic term for diverse peoples of many races and origins who hold in common the Spanish language. Explore the following online resources and bring Latino heritage to your home and classroom:

  • The library's subscriptions to World Book Online, Britannica Online and Biography Resource Center, which includes a category browse for Hispanic Americans, provide a multitude of background documents, timelines and biographical sketches to assist students with school reports. Just log in with your 10-digit Fauquier County Public Library card number.
  • The library also has plenty of materials (books, DVDs, etc.) on Hispanic Americans and Hispanic History you can check out and take home to enjoy.
  • The Library of Congress' National Hispanic Heritage Month online exhibit includes images and audio/visual presentations that bring history alive for young and old alike.
  • Smithsonian Education features online educational activities and events at the various Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC.
  • includes biographies of notable Hispanic Americans, information on Spanish accents, and Spanish place names. There are also crosswords and quizzes you can try online or print out.
  • celebrates Hispanic Heritage with featured biographies, study guides, online videos and a Latino trivia game.
  • Gale Cengage Learning offers a number of free resources, including biographies of noteworthy Hispanics, quizzes and a timeline.
  • Schlastic Teachers has an online exhibit and teacher's guide that includes Latino history, games and stories from people of Hispanic descent.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Get Ready For... Research/Term Papers

With the start of school, students will need to get back into the swing of writing research papers. If you simply do a Google search on research papers, you'll have to sift through a number of sites devoted to selling term papers for a fee. Your best bet is to instead try the following selected resources on the web and at the library to help you through the term paper/research paper process.

Suggested Websites...
  • A+ Research & Writing - Designed for high school and college students, this site offers students a step-by-step approach to the research paper process, including choosing a topic, gathering information, analyzing/forming a thesis and writing your paper.
  • Online Writing Lab (OWL) - Though a service of a university (Purdue), the resources here are broken down for students and instructors in grades 7-12, ESL students, parents and even adults studying for their GED.
  • Scholastic Teachers Writing Workshop - Students can follow mini-lessons on choosing a subject, prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, reviewing and publishing a research paper. There is also a teacher's guide.
  • TIME for Kids Homework Helper: Writing Help - Showcases various types of writing (news story, persuasive essay, etc.), and includes examples you can download/refer to later. Best for upper elementary school students.
  • - FM's homework center includes a section devoted to writing skills. Essays, biographies and research papers are covered. Best for middle school and above. (NOTE: This is the same content that's featured on
@ the Library...
Be sure to check the library's online catalog for books and ebooks to assist you with:
Students of literature will also appreciate our literature-focused online databases...
Of course, all of our online databases will help you with the "research" part of your term paper - reliable, scholarly full-text articles and information from trusted sources.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Labor Day: A Great Time to Explore Careers

Labor Day: A Great Time to Explore Careers

e-Resource of the Month: World Book Online

Your online tool for school and homework, the library's subscription to World Book Online includes resources for all ages:

  • World Book Online for Kids - Offers easy-to-read articles and a wealth of engaging multimedia, games, science projects, interactive tools, and activities for younger children.

  • World Book Online Info Finder - Contains content and features designed for school-aged patrons' homework and research needs. Based on the World Book Encyclopedia, the site features rich multimedia, a collection of age-appropriate science fair projects, a Biography Center, virtual tours, video showcases, links to current events and world newspapers, 21st-century research skills, and much more.

  • The World Book Online Reference Center - A powerful reference tool for advanced researchers and information seekers. Along with the entire World Book Encyclopedia, the site features hundreds of thousands of complete e-books and primary source documents along with features developed especially for high school students and above.

  • For Spanish-speakers, there is also World Book Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Autism Resource: Healing Thresholds

Healing Thresholds is a valuable, go-to site for parents of autistic children who need to navigate the many varieties of autism therapies and treatments. Recommended by Library Journal, the site includes research from professional journals and papers, news, therapy fact sheets and an extensive directory of medical, educational, psychological, legal and nutritional specialists that can be narrowed by geographic area. You can subscribe to a free weekly newsletter, research updates and breaking autism therapy developments.

As with any medical website, the contents on Healing Thresholds is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
For more autism resources (books, DVDs, etc.), check the library's online catalog under Keyword autism.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Resource of the Week: Directories! « ResourceShelf

Resource of the Week: Directories! « ResourceShelf

From ResourceShelf, a newsletter aimed at information professionals/librarians; includes descriptions/links to directories for U.S. State Dept. diplomatic staff and spouses; an international directory of finance/economic professionals; and Mandy's Film and TV Production Directory, definitely a resource you will want to check out if you are an actor or want to be involved in the film/tv industry.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tools for Teachers

Recently library staff attended the Fauquier County Public Schools benefits fair to showcase the many resources we have for teachers available 24/7 on the library's website. With school starting soon, take a moment to familiarize yourself with tools and resources for educators and parents who home school their children...

Online Resources

E-books, magazine databases, online language courses and more are available for you and your students 24/7.

Websites for Educators

Education news, Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) resources, online tools and reliable subject-specific websites for use in and outside the classroom.

Assignment Alert Form

Help us help your students. Let us know via a simple online form what the assignment is and we will prepare for your students’ arrival at the library.

Library Tours

Bring your students to their local library. No matter the grade, we’ll tailor your visit with a special story time or customized research instruction and assistance.

Librarian Visits

Librarians are available to visit your classroom to discuss research methods, search strategies or talk up age-level books that foster a love of reading.

Books, DVDs and Magazines

Traditional materials are available for check out at all library locations. The online catalog makes finding and reserving materials fast and easy from anywhere you have Internet access.

Book Lists

Access titles recommended by library staff as well as AR lists, Battle of the Books and more.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

E-Resource of the Month: Culinary Arts Collection

This month the library is featuring its Culinary Arts Collection database, which gives recreational cooks and professional chefs alike instant access to recipes and other culinary information from trusted sources 24/7.

The Culinary Arts Collection comprises more than 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines and almost 20 reference titles.

To sweeten the deal, the collection also provides quick access to restaurant reviews, industry information and practical instruction, including:

✔ Creating baked goods
✔ Preparing popular recipes
✔ Managing your weight
✔ Choosing the right wine
✔ Gaining catering experience
✔ Preparing fast meals
✔ Practical advice on opening a restaurant
✔ Developing healthy eating habits
✔ Calculating recipes
✔ Becoming a wine connoisseur

Coverage includes thousands of searchable recipes and current restaurant reviews and industry information.

Find Culinary Arts Collection, and all the library's electronic databases, on the library’s website under Find Information > Search for Articles & More > Arts & Leisure.

For cookbooks, cooking magazines and more, check the library's online catalog, keyword = cooking.