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.