Wednesday, December 26, 2012

American Community Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) for the combined years from 2007 to 2011, providing the only statistics down to the neighborhood level on school enrollment, jobs, housing and many other measures. 

According to the QuickFacts section for Fauquier County, we had 169 building permits, a 78.6% homeownership rate and our average mean travel time to work (minutes) for workers 16+ is 38.3 minutes.

In addition, the Bureau also launched Easy Stats, an online tool developed to make statistics quicker and easier to access. The interactive tool provides selected demographic and economic statistics from the American Community Survey. "Easy Stats" allows searching by geography down to the local level, including incorporated places like cities and towns and census designated places. You can view detailed race, age and gender breakdowns, and compare communities.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

E-books great alternative during holiday season

Whether travelling or staying home this holiday season, e-books and e-audio books are a great alternative to the library’s print and CD book collection. Options include thousands of popular fiction and nonfiction e-book and e-audio book titles for adults, teens and children from the library’s OverDrive site, the Blue Ridge Download Consortium.

In addition, the library subscribes to OneClickdigital, which includes exclusive Recorded Books audiobooks, all i-Pod compatible. The OneClickdigital collection includes works by popular authors such as Lawrence Block, Rita Mae Brown, James Lee Burke, Alexander McCall Smith, Elizabeth Peters, and John Sandford.

Both OverDrive and OneClickdigital can be used on your Mac or PC, as well as most mobile devices, e-readers and smart phones. For more details on the library’s e-book and e-audio book offerings, visit the library’s website.

There’s no need to bundle up and visit your local branch, simply use your library barcode to checkout and download your favorite titles.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

e-Reader Reviews & How-Tos

If you're shopping for an eReader (if you plan on using the library's OverDrive service, check out their Device Resource Center), the December Consumer Reports, available at all Fauquier County Public Library branches, reviews the best tablets (p. 27) and best e-readers (p. 30). If you can't make it in to the library, there are also some great online review sources to help you narrow your choices:
Once you have your e-reader (and have read the manual), library staff can walk you through the library's e-book and e-audio book options, as well as help you find information to assist you as you configure and troubleshoot your device(s). (Note: Library staff cannot assist you with the operation, configuration or troubleshooting of your personal electronic device(s). The library assumes no responsibility for patrons' equipment.) If you misplaced the manual that came with your device, here are some links to some of the more popular eReader support sites:
  • Amazon Kindle - How-to guides and videos, FAQs, instructions on connecting to Wi-Fi, etc. ;
  • Barnes & Noble NOOK - Quick start guide, videos, apps and more for various NOOK devices;
  • iPad - Includes a section on iBooks;
  • Kobo - Be also sure to check out their support documents for your specific model;
  • Sony Reader - Drivers & software, manuals, specs, warranty information and troubleshooting information can be found here;
Of course, you can always consult OverDrive's Device Resource Center, which includes links to product pages/support info. for all supported e-book/e-audio book devices;

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SBA's New Learning Center for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration ( recently unveiled their new Small Business Learning Center, a redesigned, online learning portal for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It has a streamlined, searchable catalog of small business educational resources including self-paced courses, videos and web sessions, as well as startup how to’s and information on marketing, financing, contracting and more. Resources can be sorted by topic, making it easier to quickly locate helpful information. The free online courses cover topics such as How to Write a Business Plan, Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business for Young Entrepreneurs, Government Contracting 101, Green Business Opportunities and Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business.

More resources for business owners and budding entrepreneurs can be found on the library's website, on our Business/Small Business Resources page.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian


Saturday, December 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Books & Authors

If you're wondering what to read next, give Books & Authors a whirl. Books & Authors provides expert recommendations as well as a number of search and browsing options.
  • The Read-A-Like Wizard suggests books based on books that you've enjoyed;
  • Browse by title, series title, author or genre;
  • The Who? What? Where? When? Search allows you to search by character, subject, location/setting and/or time period;
  • Recommended reading lists include award winners, expert picks and librarian's favorites;
  • Books & Authors also has a My Reading Room feature that allows you to create, maintain and share lists of your favorite authors or titles as well as your own book reviews.
Find Books & Authors on our Articles & Databases page (under Literature & e-books) as well as on our Readers' Tools page, which includes links to library staff picks, read-alikes, best seller lists and more.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New! - Basic Computer Skills Tutorials from TERC

The Testing & Education Reference Center now offers Basic Computer Skills tutorials as part of their Career Tools module. Specifically, interactive, video-based tutorials for Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint, provide instruction on creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases.

To access the Basic Computer Skills tutorials, go to the library's website and "Search for Articles & More." The Testing & Education Reference Center is listed under College, Careers & Test Prep. If you're accessing from home/outside the library, you'll be prompted to enter your library card number. Click on Career Tools and you'll see Basic Computer Skills listed, along with a number of other career resources. You'll be prompted to register a username and password so that you can keep track of your test scores and progress.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Gadget Guide: Hottest Devices for Library eBooks

Prepare for Black Friday by reading Holiday Gadget Guide: Hottest Devices for Library eBooks - from OverDrive, which powers the Blue Ridge Download Consortium, of which Fauquier County Public Library is a member.

For more information on the library's e-book, e-audio book services, check out our e-books/e-audio books page on our website.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Navigate Senior Health, Aging

If you are a senior or managing the care of elderly or aging parents, check out SeniorNavigator, a Virginia-based non-profit, free public service that connects seniors, caregivers and adults with disabilities with the services they need. It includes more than  24,000 local programs, 2,000 links to other aging support websites and hundreds of up-to-date articles focusing on issues such as health, financial concerns, legal questions, health facilities, housing options, transportation, exercise programs, advocacy, and more.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Explore Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery has developed ANC Explorer, an application that is available across most web browsers and on mobile smart phones. This app enables veterans, family members and the public to locate gravesites using a map location or information such as name, date of birth or death, etc.; browse points of historical interest in the cemetary; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to those locations. Please note that ANC only adds burial records to this public database that have been properly validated.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Thursday, November 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Literati

The library recently added Credo’s Literati to its arsenal of electronic resources for adults and students. Designed as a gateway to the library’s resources, Literati includes reference e-books, journals, and scholarly articles. Here is what some critics are saying about  Literati:
The beautifully simple search page will be a welcome sight to a generation that has grown up on Google … The ability to perform cross reference searching across a large reference collection is liberating and powerful.— Library Journal
In an age in which Wikipedia is king and students are loathe to pick up a reference book, Credo’s [Literati] Topic Pages is an attractive solution for steering students toward trusted information.— Choice Magazine
Literati is a great place for students to get started on their research. Not only does the service provide in-depth, high quality information on a given topic, it provides related entries in magazines, newspapers and the library's own catalog, ensuring researchers are exposed to all the library has to offer.
  • Educational e-content (encyclopedias, atlases, reference books, dictionaries) for K-12 through adult
  • Topic Pages which organize/present materials (reference e-books, magazine articles, etc.) by subjects including Art, Biographies, Philosophy, Technology and more!
  • The Mind Map feature for narrowing and broadening topics -- it helps students to visualize their topic and identify associated keywords - great for brainstorming
  • Subject-specific tutorials and videos that improve information literacy - topics include Genealogy Research and Applying for Jobs Online
  • Links to related items in the library catalog which you can place holds on/check out
  • Live Homework Help (staffed by teachers) for students in grades 3-12 for writing, reading and math. Live help is available from 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 am - 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Teachers and students collaborate in the virutal classroom via an interactive whiteboard!
  • Fun applications such as the Crossword Solver (enter '?' for the letter you are missing in your word)
You can access Literati through the library's online catalog and on the Articles & Databases page (under Encyclopedia & Reference).

Or, go to and enter in your 10-digit Fauquier County Public Library card number.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Library Notices Going to Your Spam Folder?

We recently received word that some library patrons using Gmail were not receiving their e-mail notices from the library, or other e-mail from friends, etc., even though they had received the e-mail in the past. If you're not receiving your library notices (or any other expected e-mail, for that matter), you may want to check your spam folder in your e-mail account -- spam-filtering software from your e-mail provider (Comcast, Gmail, etc.) may block legitimate messages. You may see your library notices (the "From" address will be in there and you'll want to mark them as "Not spam." The message(s) should then show up in your Inbox. When you select/read the message(s), you can click the drop-down arrow for reply (located in the upper right of the e-mail message) and select "Add Fauquier Library to contacts list." Going forward, you should receive your library notices in your Inbox.

Here are links to more details from some commonly used e-mail providers on how to set your e-mail account so that library notices from the e-mail address do not get marked as spam:

A few other options to consider:

  1. In addition to e-mail, consider having your notices sent to your mobile phone.
  2. Check/view your online account. This allows you to see your checkouts, holds, fines, ratings and reading history.  You can also place holds, renew materials and freeze pending holds if you're going out of town.
If you have concerns or questions about your library account, please contact the circulation desk at your local library:
  • (540)422-8500 ext. 6861 (Warrenton Circulation)
  • (540)422-8500 ext. 6871 (Bealeton Circulation)
  • (540)422-8500 ext. 6851 (John Marshall Circulation)
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dig the Debates?

Whether you missed Monday night's debate or just can't get enough of the presidential/vice-presidential candidates in general, check out C-SPAN's video library of presidential debates, where you can view all presidential/vice presidential debates back to the Bush-Dukakis debate on September 25, 1988.

You should note that it's not just Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama who are running for the office of president. Learn more by watching out this year's third party presidential candidate debate between Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Virginia's own Virgil Goode.

For transcripts and advice on what to watch for in a debate, see also the Commission on Presidential Debates website.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Learn how to use the OneClickDigital e-audio book service

Fauquier County Public Library's OneClickDigital service offers thousands of exclusive Recorded Books audiobooks, including Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, that you can listen on your mp3 player, iPod/iPad/iPhone or Kindle Fire tablet.

This fall, OneClickDigital will host two patron-focused webinars that demonstrate the service’s features:
The 45-minute program includes a complete tour of the service and will show you how to create an account, install the OneClickdigital Media Manager, search for content, manage checkouts, and download and transfer audiobooks to your listening device.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Election Information @ Your Fingertips

Forget the negative campaign ads and talk show pundits. If you're looking for nonpartisan information on general and state-specific elections, you'll want to check out the League of Women Voters' tool, Vote411.

Vote411 allows you to register to vote, provides information on voting requirements and state deadlines, allows you to build an online voter's guide, view political races, compare candidate positions side-by-side, and print out "ballots" that can be used on Election Day. The tool also provides visitors with helpful voting information, candidate statements and details on current issues. You can even find your local polling place.

The League of Women Voters is strictly nonpartisan; it neither supports nor opposes candidates for office at any level of government. Learn more about this organziation at the League of Women Voters website, under "About the League."

More Resources to Explore...
  • Check out Newsbank's Special Report, Presidential Campaign 2012. To access, simply go to the library's website and click on Search for Articles & More, which is a link on the left menu, under Find Information. Under the heading Magazines, Journals & Newspapers, you'll see America's Newspapers from Newsbank (you'll be prompted to enter your FCPL 10-digit library card if you are logging in from home). All of the Special Rerports are listed on the left-menu in Newsbank.
  • Kids/classrooms will want to Play the Election, Rand McNally's collection of games and lessons teaches students about the 2012 Election and the election process through a series of games, resources and competition. Students predict the election winners for each state on an interactive election map, and compare their predictions to their class and the country to see where they rank.
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Thursday, October 4, 2012

E-Book, E-Audio Book News

OverDrive E-Books, E-Audio Books
Last week, Adobe officially released Digital Editions 2.0. It’s a new version of the software patrons use to read Blue Ridge Download Consortium e-books on their computers and transfer e-books to e-readers like the NOOK and Kobo. With the upgrade, activating compatible eBook readers has gotten easier - Just plug in the eBook reader you want to activate, then drag the book you want to read over to the device. That’s it. The Adobe ID is automatically registered, and the book is transferred all in one step. Previous editions of ADE should still work, but our partner OverDrive has stated that it's best to download the newest version.

In addition, the OverDrive Media Console app is now available for the Barnes & Noble NOOK color and NOOK Tablet.

OneClickdigital E-Audio Books
The library's OneClickdigital service, which provides exclusive Recorded Books e-audio books for Fauquier County Public Library card holders, now offers apps for the iPhone, all Android devices, and as of last week, the Kindle Fire (download the app for free from the Android Appstore at, by searching for OneClickdigital). App users can now access every title in our library’s collection and download them directly to their device, without having to connect to a computer.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Monday, October 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Find It Virginia

Find it Virginia is a collection of databases that provide free 24/7 access to resources such as newspapers, magazine and journal articles, and books such as encyclopedias. Materials are available for all age ranges and interests. Resources include:
  • full text magazines
  • newspapers 
  • television and radio transcripts 
  • health information databases
  • business and company resources
  • literary criticism 
  • and more..
Databases in Find It Virginia include eLibrary, InfoTrac Newsstand, General Reference Center GOLD, InfoTrac Small Business Collection and InfoTrac Health Reference Center Academic.

Find it Virginia a service of the Library of Virginia, is supported by federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and ensures that all residents of the Commonwealth have equal access to essential resources for lifelong learning.

Like all library premium e-resources, Find It Virginia can be found on the Articles & Databases page on the library's website (look under Magazines, Journals & Newspapers) or at

Related post: Homework Help

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Medicare Drug Plan Info

According to a new analysis of Medicare and Medicaid Services by Avalere Health, seven of the ten most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will raise premiums next year. The seven plans with double-digit premium increases were: the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (23 percent); First Health Part D Premier (18 percent); First Health Part D Value Plus (17 percent); Cigna Medicare Rx Plan One (15 percent); Express Scripts Medicare-Value (13 percent); the HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan (12 percent); and Humana Enhanced (11 percent).

In light of this new report and the fact that open enrollment season runs between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, now is a good time to (re)familiarize yourself with and the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder. The site provides a wealth of information on Medicare plans, including drug coverage, supplemental insurance, help with claims and resources to help you coordinate your care.

Other online resources to check out include:
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Piedmont Virginia Native Plant Database

Are you a gardener looking to incorporate plants that are native to our region? The Piedmont Virginia Native Plant Database, hosted by Albemarle County, now allows backyard enthusiasts to search for native plants by uses and growing conditions.

What is a native plant? In the case of this database, they are: (1) plants found in this region prior to the arrival of the colonists at Jamestown; (2) are historic to the Virginia Piedmont region; (3) help give us a sense of place; and (4) are an important part of our local ecosystem. A panel of local experts chose these plants based on their current or potential availability, their overall aesthetic interest, and their likelihood to grow well without major care.

See also the Piedmont District: Virginia Federation of Garden Club's website

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Great History Sites

Whether you're a history buff or a student (or parent of a student) looking for online materials to supplement your study of history, the following websites deliver an engaging, informative online experience...
  1. The Library of Congress' American Memory site is a great resource for written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
  2. BBC: History offers an impressive array of exhibitions, activities, games, photo galleries and other resources. Major categories include: Ancient History, British History, World Wars, Historic Figures, Hands on History, History for Kids and On This Day.
  3. Mission U.S. immerses playsers in U.S. history via free, interactive online games. There are currently 2 missions (For Crown or Colony? and Flight to Freedom), with plans for additional missions in 2013 and 2014.
  4. The National Archives' Eyewitness site uses original documents and historic photos to present famous events and eras throughout history, including the "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; the view from the Apollo 8; and the reunification of Germany.
  5. This Day in History, from the History Channel, provides a daily snapshot of historical events and people across a variety of areas (historical events, music, literature, etc.). You can view the calendar and choose a particular date of interest and/or sign up to receive a daily e-mail update.
  6. is a free resource where, using an interactive historical timeline, can watch associated television documentaries and videos. Currently the focus is on Britain and the American West.
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Friday, September 14, 2012

Constitution Day - 9/17/2012

Celebrate Constitution Day (also known as Citizenship Day) on Monday, September 17, with these e-resources:
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The War of 1812

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (June 18, 1812–Feb. 17, 1815), a conflict fought between the United States and Great Britain primarily over British violations of U.S. maritime rights and the inspiration of our nation's most patriotic song, the Star Spangled Banner.

If you'd like to know more about this somewhat ignored part of our history, check out the following e-resources:
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Saturday, September 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Kids InfoBits

With school now in session, it's time to reacquaint parents and young students with free library homework help resources like Kids InfoBits.

Kids InfoBits meets the needs of young students with simple, quick access to curriculum-related information on current events, arts, sciences, health, people, government, sports, history and more. Age-appropriate reference books, magazine and newspaper articles from TIME for Kids, Weekly Reader, USA Today, etc., as well as videos, images, maps and charts make for an engaging research tool for students grades K-5.

Kids InfoBits' unique icon-based topics allows young students (and bad spellers!) to drill down from a broad topic to a narrowly-focused one. For example, Animals > Bugs & Worms > Ladybugs. Not only does this simplify research, it also helps students visualize the research process.

Like all library premium e-resources, Kids InfoBits can be found on the Articles & Databases page on the library's website (look under Magazines, Journals & Newspapers).

Related post: Homework Help

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New words in the Oxford Dictionary

New words include: lolz, tweeps and wikipedian. For the complete list, see Hella ridic new words to make you lolz: ODO August 2012 update | OxfordWords blog.

Remember, your Fauquier County Public Library card allows you complete access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online. From the library's website (, select Find Information ... Search for Articles & More from our left-hand menu; you'll see the Oxford English Dictionary listed under Encyclopedias & Reference.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Friday, August 24, 2012

Roundup of Genealogy Webinar Providers from Marian's Roots and Rambles

Researching your family tree? Check out this blog post that lists a number of free and low-cost genealogy webinars:

Marian's Roots and Rambles: Roundup of Genealogy Webinar Providers: There are so many great webinar offerings these days that I thought I would provide a roundup of all the individuals and groups providing ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Find Fresh and Local Foods

Apparently Aug. 5 - Aug. 11 was National Farmers Market Week. If, like me, you missed it, you can instead check out the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, available at You can search for markets based on location, available products, and types of payment accepted, including participation in federal nutrition programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps). Directory features allow users to locate markets based on proximity to zip code, mapping directions and links to active farmers market websites.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teacher, Homeschooler Resources - 2 Sites to Explore

If you're an educator/teacher (or home schooling parent), hopefully you've visited the library's Educators page on the library's website, where we outline library services, books and recommended online materials.

We've recently added 2 recommended websites that are general/cover a number of subject areas:

Share My Lesson - Members can download and share user-generated, high quality teaching resources and lesson plans free of charge.

Sophia - Access more than 25,000 free tutorials on math, science, English and more - and no annoying advertising! Teachers interested in a "flipped" classroom -- students are assigned multimedia tutorials as homework and then class time is used to complete assignments, projects or discussions -- will find Sophia a valuable resource.

Please note that both of these sites require that you create a free account.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Friday, August 10, 2012

Share What You're e-Reading

Do you use the library's OverDrive e-book/e-audio book service? OverDrive recently upgraded the OverDrive Media Conole app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 devices, and now you can "share" what you're reading on Facebook and other services (Twitter, e-mail, etc.).

If you're not familiar with the library's e-books/e-audio book offerings, stop by your local library branch or call the Warrenton Library's reference desk (540-422-8500, ext. 6862) for details on OverDrive and our other e-services.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Monday, August 6, 2012

Computer Skills & Training - Best Bets

The following are sites/sources that will help you learn or enhance your computer skills. Some are actual online courses, others short tutorials/informative in nature. Be sure to bookmark this post (and share with computer-challenged friends and family), as I will update it regularly with new sites.

General Computers/Internet Basics
Typing/Mouse Skills
  • - While this is a site aimed at children, there are plenty of keyboarding and mouse exercises for all ages;
  • Dance Mat Typing - 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;
  • Mouse Exercise - Learn to click, drag and drop using the computer mouse;
  • Mousercise - If your typing skills and/or use of the computer mouse leave much to be desired, this is the site for you;
  • Type Online - Develop your keyboarding schools with this UK site;
  • 10 Free Typing Practice Activities for Students - Compilation of sites, including some listed above, from Free Technology for Teachers;
Office Applications and Beyond
  • CBT Cafe - Free web based software video training, software video tutorials and e-learning for multimedia and graphic design in HTML, QuickTime Video, and Flash video tutorial formats;
  • In Pictures - Online tutorials on popular software and programming tools, including Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher;
  • Microsoft Training - Microsoft offers many free tutorials and exercises to assist you with their products;
Once you have your feet wet/know a little about your computer and/or using the Internet, sign up for the Computer Skills Workshop at the Warrenton Library. Library staff will assist you with computer basics such as cutting and pasting text, optimizing your web-based e-mail account, computer tips and tricks and more. The workshop is on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, at 9 AM. Space is limited and registration is required. To sign up, call the Warrenton Library reference desk at (540)422-8500, ext. 6862.

Alison @ Warrenton

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Ferguson's Career Guidance Center

Are you a new graduate or just seeking a career change? Check out the library’s Ferguson's Career Guidance Center for help in hunting for a job, researching companies, building a resume, preparing for interviews and much more. Start off with the Career Interest Assessment tool to discover the occupations and industries that best match your personal interests. If additional education/training is required to pursue your career, be sure to consult Ferguson's college planning and financial aid tools.
~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ready to Learn, Ready to Read

With fall and the start of school fast approaching, many parents are looking for ways to ensure their child(ren) are ready to start school. Let Fauquier County Public Library get you started with the following online and in-person resources and services that encourage literacy development...

Online and Print Resources
The Library of Virginia recently launched the Virginia Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar, where you and your child can embark on an adventure together through books and reading and the many fun-filled activities that spring from them. The calendar will help you identify events and activities that support early learning and ensure that your child is ready for school and ready to read independently.

The library's Parents web page is chock-full of links to books, DVDs and magazines, as well recommended websites. Favorite sites focused on learning and literacy include PBS Parents, which has a Child Development section that covers Baby & Toddler as well as Preschool & Kindergarten. Their Child Development Tracker includes a Literacy section, covering milestones by age.

Over on our Educators web page, along with numerous resources for grades K-12, you'll want to check the English and Reading resources, which includes links to great early literacy content from Reading Rockets.  Parents and caregivers of early learners should also take a look at the Center for Early Literacy Learning's practice guides for parents, which include everyday practices and activities to encourage reading, and Zero to Three's Early Language and Literacy section, with a range of resources that promote early literacy and language development.

The Educators area also has links for homeschool resrouces, and the library also subscribes to Home Education and Virginia Home Educator magazines.

Library Programs
In-person, the library offers a number of programs geared at our youngest book lovers:

Kindergarten Kick-off - Get ready for the big day! Enjoy story times, songs and finger plays, just like in school. Bring a bag lunch if you like.
  • John Marshall Library: 11:30 a.m. Wed., Aug. 15
  • Bealeton Library: 10:30 a.m. Thur., Aug. 16
  • Warrenton Library: 10:30 a.m. Thur., Aug. 16
Starting the week of August 27 (story times are suspended Aug. 13-24), our regular story times commence...

Baby Steps - A 30-minute program for infancts up to 18 months old; babies will have fun bouncing, clapping, seeing finger plays and singing with their caregivers.
  • Warrenton Library: 10:30 a.m. Mondays
Half-Pints - Stories, songs and activities for 13- to 30-month-olds with a parent or caregiver.
  • Warrenton Library: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays
  • Bealeton Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays
Toddler Story Time - For 2- to 3--year-olds with a parent or caregiver.
  • Warrenton Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays
Preschooler Story Time - Indendent story time for 3- to 5-year-old children. Parents and caregivers must stay in the children's area of the library.
  • John Marshall Library: 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays
  • Warrenton Library: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays
  • Bealeton Library: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays
  • John Marshall Library: 10:30 a.m. Fridays 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Olympics 2012 - Online Picks

With the summer games kicking off in just a few days (July 27 - August 12), the following online resources should keep you up-to-date with the athletes, medals and more:
P.S. You might also want to check out Newsbank's Special Report, The Olympic Games 2012. To access, simply go to the library's website and click on Search for Articles & More, which is a link on the left menu, under Find Information. Under the heading Magazines, Journals & Newspapers, you'll see America's Newspapers from Newsbank (you'll be prompted to enter your FCPL 10-digit library card if you are logging in from home). All of the Special Rerports are listed on the left-menu in Newsbank.

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    A couple of great articles I read this morning which should be of interest to readers of e-Resource News...

    Alison @ Warrenton

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Computer Skills Workshop - Seats Still Available

    Want to know how to jazz up your signature or set up an auto-reply in your e-mail? Wondering how to format the text in your resume? Sign up now for the August 15 Computer Skills Workshop at the Warrenton Library by calling the Reference Desk at 422-8500 ext. 6862. During the workshop, library staff will assist you with computer basics such as cutting and pasting text, customizing your web-based e-mail account and questions you may have about searching for information or filling out an online form. Workshop attendees will also be provided with a list of Computer Tips & Tricks to explore.
    • Warrenton Library: 9 a.m., Wednesday, August 15
    Update 7/18: This workshop is now full. Please call the Warrenton Reference Desk (422.8500, ext. 6862) to be put on the waiting list and/or to register for upcoming workshops (held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month @ 9 AM at the Warrenton Library).

      Monday, July 9, 2012

      Art Appreciation -, part of the Khan Academy, is a free multi-media "web-book" designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional (and expensive) art history textbook. The site includes audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, text, still images and content that is searchable by style (i.e., "Dutch Still Life"), artist or theme, as well as a chronological listing. This site is ideal for educators who teach art history or incorporate art into their curriculum, as well as the layperson who would like to have a better understanding and appreciation of art and architecture.

      Sunday, July 1, 2012

      e-Resource of the Month: Virginia Legal Forms Library

      The Virginia Legal Forms Library provides Fauquier County Public Library card holders with an easy-to-use, step-by-step approach to addressing basic legal matters, such as the prepartion of a simple will, power of attorney, landlord/tenant agreements or employment incorporation.

      Forms available in the Virginia Legal Forms Library include forms drafted by attorneys for a particular legal matter, forms from public records and participating companies and attorneys. "Official" forms for many states are also included.

      There are a number of ways to locate specific legal forms, including: an A-Z list of form categories (bankruptcy, divorce, incorporation, etc.); the ability to browse main categories (adoption, government, probate, etc.) and sub-categories of forms; browse by sample searches ("power of attorney - durable") and a search by either category or title.

      The Virginia Legal Forms Library also provides a dictionary of legal terms and definitions, a law digest (readings on particular legal topics) and sample legal questions and answers (for informational purposes only...these do not constitute legal advice). There are also links to tax forms and an attorney directory by state.

      Please note that while library staff can direct you to the Virginia Legal Forms Library online and assist you with downloading forms, staff cannot assist you in selecting the correct forms. Forms available must be selected by you.

      For additional legal resources, including links to federal, state and local resources (codes, etc.), be sure to check out our Legal Resources page.

      Tuesday, June 12, 2012

      Send Your Kids to Camp Virtual

      With school now out and bored children everywhere clamoring to use their electronic gadgets, how can parents balance a child's need for online fun with potential academic merit? Common Sense Media is here to help with Camp Virtual, a guide to apps, games and online learning activities for ages 2-6, 7-11 and teens, rated according to learning potential.

      For parents, Common Sense Media is also a great site for figuring out the age-appropriateness of movies (in theaters and on DVD), music and video games.

      >>Learn more about Common Sense Media

      500 Free Online Courses To Take This Summer

      Sharpen your skills over the summer with 500 Free Online Courses To Take This Summer - The courses come from notable universities including Stanford, Harvard, and Yale and can be browsed by subject.

      Courtesy of Free Technology for Teachers

      Friday, June 8, 2012

      Cute creatures @ your library

      For kids that love animals, the zoo or aquarium is a great way to spend a day out; the family can learn together and have fun. Not every town has a zoo close by for regular visits, but thanks to a surge in online content from zoos, you and your children can take a virtual zoo visit.

      The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has webcams for all sorts of animals, from single cell organisms to tigers. Other zoos with popular webcams include the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in the Sichuan province, China, and Sea World’s Penguin Encounter in San Diego (seen below).

      Streaming video by Ustream
      For children with a particular fondness for baby animals, be sure to check out ZooBorns blog, which features pictures, news and videos of the newest additions to zoos from around the world. We also have the picture book based on the blog.

      Of course, your library also has a wide range of non-fiction books and videos about animals. Here are a few recommendations featuring our favorite animals, penguins and pandas.

      The Emperor's Egg by Martin Jenkins and Jane Chapman

      One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and David Small

      Penguins by Seymour Simon

      How Many Baby Pandas? by Sandra Markle

      Little Panda: the World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo by Joanne Ryder

      Monday, June 4, 2012

      June is Audiobook Awareness Month

      With June being Audiobook Awareness Month, what better time to acquaint yourself with the library's audiobook offerings? Books on CD have been around for some time and for commuters are a welcome alternative to commercial radio. Books on CD also provide a break for parents on a family road trip.

      Find books on CD @ your local library

      To limit your search of the library's online catalog to just books on CD, go to the Advanced Search page and enter/select the following:
      1. Enter Search Terms - put an asterisk (*) as "any field" if you're not sure what you are looking for; otherwise enter in an author name and change "any field" to author or try a specific title. If you just want mystery books on CD, you could make "any field" equal to CMY, which is the call number of books on CD* that are mysteries;
      2. Add Limits (Optional) - under Material Type, select/click on CD BOOKS
      3. Hit the Submit button
      *Other call numbers specific to books on CD include CF (fiction), CN (non fiction), CB (biography), YCF (young adult fiction), YCN (young adult non fiction), YCB (young adult biography), JCF (juvenile fiction), JCN (juvenile non fiction) and JCB (juvenile biography)

      Download e-audio books to your portable listening device

      The library also offers patrons the option of downloading e-audiobooks. There are two e-audio book services, OverDrive and OneClickDigital.

      OverDrive e-audio books include popular fiction and non-fiction and are compatible with a number of devices. Similar to CD books you check out from the library, when an item is checked out, you will have the option of placing a hold. E-audio titles can be checked out for 1 or 2 weeks. There is an OverDrive Media Console app for the iPod/iPad as well as Android devices. Check out e-books and e-audio books with your Fauquier County Public Library card.

      OneClickDigital, the exclusive provider of Recorded Books audio, allows unlimited checkouts for all titles, so there is no need to place a hold on an item. You can checkout an e-audio title for 21 days. The OneClickDigital Media Manager software is also available as an app for iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices.You will need to set up an account using your Fauquier County Public Library card. For more information, register for a 45-minute webinar which includes a complete tour of the service, and shows you how to create an account, install the OneClickdigital Media Manager, search for content, manage checkouts, and download and transfer audiobooks to your listening device(s). You can register by using one of the links below:

      Saturday, June 2, 2012

      World Wonders Project

      World Wonders Project > Parks & Gardens > Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
      Another year of "staycations"? For those of us stuck at home this summer, Google recently launched the World Wonders Project, which showcases world heritage sites of the modern and ancient world, online. Using Google Street View, videos, photos and in-depth information, visitors of the site can now explore the wonders of the world from the comfort of their home or local library branch with free Wi-Fi. Locations currently available in World Wonders include Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. No Africa at this point. Visit castles, parks, historical sites, natural wonders and more.

      Friday, June 1, 2012

      e-Resource of the Month: Transparent Language Online with Byki

      Plans to travel over the summer? Transparent Language Online with Byki (short for “Before You Know It”) is a rapid learning system employing spaced interval repetition. This innovative learning method takes users through a series of simple steps to memorize words and phrases in a new language, including their meanings and proper pronunciation, in the shortest possible time.

      Program Features & Available Languages
      Available for learning over 80 languages, library patrons are able to access the Transparent Language Online with Byki system using their Fauquier County Public Library card. (Please note that you will be asked to create a username and password after you log in with your library card number. This allows you to track your progress.) Native speakers of Russian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese (Brazilian), Korean, Chinese and Japan can also access English language learning modules.

      A variety of high quality learning options that build listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills are included, as well as dozens of fun and engaging learning activities, including Sentence Unscramble, Game Show, Four Square and many more.

      Experience Authentic Culture
      Patrons can also access an array of online language and cultural resources, including one click access to Facebook and Twitter language communities, as well as Byki language Blogs, featuring a collection of articles covering the language and the culture that surrounds it.

      Take Your Learning On-the-Go
      Transparent Language Online with Byki also includes access to the Byki Mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices, allowing for great language learning on the go.

      Thursday, May 31, 2012

      Queen Victoria's Journals Now Online (for a limited time)

      This book, Mamma gave me, that I might write the journal of my journey to Wales in it.”
      Just in time for the current Diamond Jubilee celebrations of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria's Journals have been  released for the first time and made available online.

      The site makes available online digital images of every page in the entire sequence of Queen Victoria's diaries, and will eventually provide full transcriptions and keyword searching of the journal entries covering the period from Queen Victoria's first diary entry in July 1832 to her marriage to Prince Albert in February 1840.

      NOTE: Only for a limited time is this online collection being made available for free to users around the world. From July 2012 onwards it will remain freely available in perpetuity to all users within the United Kingdom as well as some specific libraries elsewhere (the site does not mention the United States). Hurry and check this site out today!