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