Thursday, April 26, 2012

Attention Teachers/Parents/Rick Riordan Fans - Free Webcast

Calling all Rick Riordan fans! Just in time for the release of The Serpent’s Shadow, the third book in the author’s “The KaneChronicles” series, you can visit with Riordan via a live 60-minute webcast from the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium in San Jose, CA.

The free event takes place Tuesday, May 1 at 1p.m. EST, and the bestselling author will tour the museum, which houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America and was architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak in Luxor. Riordan will also read passages from his new book and will field questions from viewers. Read More›››

Friday, April 20, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day With These Eco-Friendly Websites

During the month of April, we celebrate two holidays that focus on Earth and the environment.

April 22
is Earth Day, a day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency's Earth Day site features in-person and virtual opportunities for getting involved in protecting the environment. Earth Day TV and mother nature network allow you to watch online videos related to environmental topics.

On a related note, April 27, 2012 is Arbor Day, a nationally-celebrated observance encourages tree planting and care. Learn about trees, access educational activities, suggested activities for the classroom, and even give trees as a gift.

Websites for Children
The Lorax Project challenges children of all ages to "do their part to conserve the places and species that are critical to the future of our planet." Kids will meet the friends of the Lorax (there's the movie, of course, as well as the Dr. Seuss book that espoused the dangers of ecological destruction well before it was fashionable), including Gibbons, Lemurs and Red Pandas. They can also check out activities, games and even send a letter to the Lorax, describing what they are doing to help the planet.

Switcheroo Zoo's Hoot Endangered Species Map allows you to click on your state to learn about its endangered species. This interactive map also shows the locations of the different biomes in the country. The site also includes loads of educational games and activities. has lots of cool eco-friendly craft projects, coloring pages, games and activities. Watch out for the ads on this site, though (lots of them).

Websites and e-Resources for Teens/Students
Check out our online databases for full-text articles and research reports:
Planet Connect is an online social network where high school students can learn about current environmental issues, funding opportunities, green colleges and environmental careers. Students can also share and exchange ideas about how they are playing a critical role in solving today’s environmental issues..

Go Green @ the Library - Be sure to set up your online account and include your e-mail address so that we can e-mail your notices instead of printing/mailing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic Anniversary

Today marks the 100th anniversary since the sinking of the RMS Titanic passenger ship. Here are some online resources to help you better understand this historical event:

And as always, your local library has lots of books and other items about the Titanic steamship.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Virtual Story Times - Updated

Note - This is an updated post from one I wrote back in 2008...

Can't get enough of the library's story times? Here are some e-resources that will entertain you and your little one(s)...
  • Little Critter Storytime Videos from Mercer Mayer
  • Children's Story Books Online - Ignore the initial popup ad and scroll down to view a variety of illustrated children's books, many penned and illustrated by the Web site owner, Carol Moore;
  • Storyline Online - Watch streaming videos of members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) read aloud their favorite children's stories. If you're on dial-up, not the best experience;
  • International Children's Digital Library - Over 300 books in English (also a number of other languages), many classics;
  • StoryPlace -  Brought to you by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, consists of two libraries, the Preschool Library and Elementary Library;
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog - Read and listen to several Clifford stories online;

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April is National Poetry Month

2012 National Poetry Month poster
April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate the written and spoken word with the following resources...

Online Library Resources Available 24X7 With Your Library Card

Recommended Websites
  • - The host of this site, the Academy of American Poets, administers a wide variety of programs, including National Poetry Month (April), the largest literary celebration in the world; online educational resources providing free poetry lesson plans for high school teachers; and the Poetry Audio Archive, a collection of over 700 recordings dating back to the 1960s. The website provides a wealth of content on contemporary American poetry.
  • Library of Congress Poetry Resources - Covers resources at the Library of Congress, including webcasts, digital collections, exhibitions, learning materials, and other features. Also provides links to guides to finding a poem, locating poetry criticism, official state poems, poets laureate, and more. History buffs will want to look at the section on Civil War poetry, which features poets like Walt Whitman, Henry Timrod (a/k/a the "Laureate of the Confederacy") and Herman Melville.
  • Writing About Poetry - Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) covers the basics on how to write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry.
  • Celebrate World Poetry - EDSITEment, a website of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), focuses on the different poetic forms developed across time and around the world.
  •'s Teacher Site - Features an interactive poetry-making machine and inspirational activities for the budding poets in your classroom.
  • The Poetry Foundation - Publisher of Poetry magazine, the Poetry Foundation "works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in American culture." Use their Poetry Tool to look up poems by poet, category, occasion, title, first line or by glossary term. Listen to the poem of the day, peruse the reading guides and check out the poetry programs for children (recommended reads, activities and tips on introducing poetry to children).
  • PBS NewsHour Extra: Poetry - Along with in-depth profiles of contemporary poets and poetry, features short video documentaries of Americans reading their favorite poems.
Visit Your Library If you're looking for resources at the library, check out our resources under the subject headings poetry and poets or simply browse through the 808.1 area in the non-fiction section. For children, there are hundreds of titles that will help introduce the younger set to the joys of poetry. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

1940 Census Now Available

The 1940 Census is now available online (for free)!

What's included?
For each person recorded in the census you'll find a name, personal description, address, details about their family, education, place of birth (of self and parents), citizenship, employment status, occupation, veteran status, and more. To learn more, the National Archives has published a complete list of the questions asked on the 1940 Census.

How do I search?
At this point, there is no name index. However, researchers will be able to search by address, Enumeration District (ED), and geographic location. Researchers will be able to browse images by ED number directly, or use address or geographic information to locate the appropriate census schedule. For more information, see How to Start Your 1940 Census Research.

On the bright side, has announced plans to index the census after it opens, sometime in 2012. The Fauquier County Public Library subscribes to AncestryLibrary, which is available for use in any library location

For complete details and FAQs on the 1940 census, check out the National Archives website.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

e-Resource of the Month: Bloom's Literary Reference Online

Literary critic Harold Bloom
The month of April features the birthdays of a number of writers, including Hans Christian Andersen (April 2), Maya Angelou (April 4), William Wordsworth (April 7), Henry James (April 15) and William Shakespeare (April 23), so it's a good time to introduce (or reintroduce) you to this month's e-Resource, 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 Bloom's Literary Reference Online. You'll need your Fauquier County Public Library card in order to continue. If you don't have a card, apply for one online.