Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Spiritual Literacy Month

December, a time for holidays and observances of different faiths and cultural traditions, is also Spiritual Literacy Month. Broadening your understanding of religions and cultures from around the world with these e-resources:
~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Search Like a Librarian

If you're a frequent library user, you probably spend a lot of time searching for items in our catalog.

The library catalog is a powerful tool, but sometimes it's challenging to narrow your search to the items you want. Here are some tips for power users who want to master our catalog.

1. Modify Your Search

Getting too many search results? Modify Search will help you narrow your search.


In this example, a search for "pie" has 8 pages of results—everything from pie-themed mysteries to picture books.

Select Modify Search to limit the scope of your search. Options include:
  • Location: Limit your search to items at specific branches and in specific collections (such as Juvenile and Audiovisual).
  • Material Type: Limit your search by material type. Material types include print books, CD books, and DVDs.
  • Year: Limit by publication year. Use this option if you only want newer titles on a topic.
Using Modify Search, I can limit my pie search to the Warrenton Adult collection and Printed Materials. Using this technique, I get 3 pages of results, not 8.


2. Search by Call Number

Modify Search is powerful, but it doesn't search categories such as mystery or science fiction.

You can search these categories using the call number prefixes on our item spines. Prefixes include FIC for adult fiction, MYS for adult mysteries, and CF for adult fiction on CD. You'll find a list of item prefixes on our catalog help page.

To search a single category, include the call number prefix in your keyword search. For instance, to find pie-themed mysteries for a foodie book club, search for pie MYS.


This search will bring up results with the prefix MYS. Instead of slogging through 8 pages of results, you'll get a single page of delicious titles such as Pecan Pies and Homicides. 

You can also search for nonfiction items by their Dewey Decimal Classification. Select CALL NO from the drop-down menu on the left and enter the call number you want.

For instance, a search for 796.323 will find basketball nonfiction, and a search for 378.3 will find college financial aid guides. You don't need to memorize Dewey Decimal to use this technique—browse the shelves, check our catalog Dewey Decimal Classification help page, or ask a librarian to find the section appropriate to your search.


If you have questions about the catalog or need help finding a specific item, our librarians are happy to help. You can visit a library branch, call us, or ask online.

Happy searching!

Becky @ Warrenton


To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Resources for Holiday Giving

One highlight of the holiday season is the wealth of opportunities to volunteer and give charitably. Yet it can be challenging to figure how to best contribute time and resources.

Charity rating websites can help you get a sense of whether the charity you're interested in is truly effective. Give.org and Charity Navigator are two websites that evaluate charities based on their financial reports, organizational transparency, and overall effectiveness. These websites help identify charities that will make the most of your donation.

It's important to be aware that charity scams pop up during the holidays. The Federal Trade Commission has a Charity Scams page that will help you identify fraudulent charities. If you are donating to a charity based in Virginia, you can verify an organization's nonprofit status or submit a complaint through the Virginia Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs.

It can be especially fulfilling to donate one's time during the holidays. At Volunteer Match, you can search for volunteer opportunities based on your location and interests. Closer to home, the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce membership directory lists local nonprofits and charities.

If your holiday generosity extends to organizations within the community, please consider adding the Fauquier County Public Library, to your list. Our holiday tree campaign is in full swing, and we also welcome your support throughout the year.

~ Happy Holidays!

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

e-Resource of the Month - Business Insights: Essentials

Research and analyze companies and industries around the world using the library's subscription to Business Insights: Essentials. Business Insights: Essentials allows you to...

  • Access deep research coverage with scholarly journals, business news and company histories
  • Develop lists of key competitors by industry or location, and sort them according to revenue and other metrics using the company finder. You can then modify, filter, or export your list!
  • Manipulate statistical data and customize your own charts
  • Analyze key metrics and compare companies and industries using our company profiles, proprietary private company database, and fundamentals comparison tool
  • Investigate investment opportunities, comprehensively and easily
  • Find parent-subsidiary relationships
  • Obtain competitive intelligence, market share information and product trends
  • Explore market-industry information and analysis — includes market research, investment, banking and capital market institutions and publishers
  • Study product and brand information
  • Compare companies within an industry
  • Target new customers and inform on potential business opportunities, distribution channels or prime licensing opportunities
  • Research career opportunities by company, geography or industry; explore related associations and business groups

Find Business Insights on our Articles & Databases page (under the heading Business Information) as well as on our Business Resources page, which includes links to library resources, business databases and directories as well as recommended websites.

~ Alison -- Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

e-Reader or tablet on your holiday wish list?

November is the month when most "gift guides" featuring e-devices like tablets and e-readers start appearing in publications such as Consumer Reports, as well as on websites like CNET and PC Magazine.

If you prefer the print version of these websites (some of these tech sites have really annoying pop up ads), use Zinio to read/download Apple Magazine, iPhone Life, MacWorld, PC Magazine and PC World.

If your partial to Consumer Reports, which doesn't take (and thus not influenced by) advertising, visit your local library. Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2010 up to the current issue. Just ask at the reference desk and library staff will help you locate the issue(s) which cover e-readers and tablets.

Of course, you'll want to buy a device that OverDrive, which is the library's largest supplier of e-books and e-audio books, actually supports. If you plan on buying an e-reader or tablet, be sure to check out OverDrive's how-tos for supported devices in Getting Started with OverDrive.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Geography Awareness

Geography Awareness Week, an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP), encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the "interconnectedness of our world." Celebrated during the third week of November (Nov. 16-22, 2014), students, families, and community members are invited to focus on the importance of geography through events, lessons, games, and challenges.

Resources at the library
In the non-fiction section, books and DVDs with call numbers in the 900s cover geography and history, with geography and travel specifically located in the 910s. If you have a specific region or country in mind, check the catalog (try a keyword search) or ask library reference staff to assist you. Atlases, specifically world atlases, can be found in the 912s, in the reference, adult and juvenile (children's) areas of your local library.

If the personal aspect of travel (versus geographical facts or "travel guides") are more your thing, be sure to check out the worldly (and often witty) observations of writers such as Paul Theroux, Frances Mayes, Peter Matthiessen and Tony Horwitz, or winning entries for the Solas Awards Best Travel Writing.

More to explore
Britannica Library Reference Center - Includes a world atlas and the world data analyst module
National Geographic Kids - Explore the magazine, 2009-present, as well as over 200 National Geographic Kids books and 500 kid-friendly, downloadable images
World Book Online Reference Center - Check out Interactive Earth, atlases and more
Transparent Language Online - If you're inspired to travel, learn the language before you hit the road
Virginia Places - Learn more about the places and geology of Virginia
World Geography Games - Play entertaining and stimulating map games to improve your geographical knowledge
Zinio Digital Magazines - Download issues of National Geographic Traveler to your tablet, read any time

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Library resources help student-athletes meet new NCAA eligibility standards

Student-athletes will want to take note that, starting with the class of 2016, the NCAA has released new initial-eligibility requirements, creating a higher academic standard for freshman to play. If you don’t have the core GPA, the test scores or the right core courses in high school, you don’t play in college.

For details and guidance on the student-athlete experience, go to ncaa.org and check out the eligibility center. You can also download/print out the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

According to the NCAA, the new requirements are intended to ensure prospective student-athletes are as prepared to succeed in the classroom as they are in their sport.

e-Resources to help you meet the new guidelines
Along with the tools provided by your high school counselor and athletic department, students can take advantage of the library's free online test prep using the Testing & Education Reference Center, which covers the PSAT, SAT and ACT, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) exams and some high school exit exams. Resources include online practice tests, online courses, e-books, tips and strategies and a Word of the Day.

More @ your library
The New NCAA and the Rules You Need to Know to Play - Paul Sipes Athletic Director, Wakefield School, will lead an informational seminar about the current NCAA player eligibility requirements and changes being implemented that will affect student athletes. If your child is a student athlete with aspirations of playing college-level sports, or if you work with student athletes, this seminar is a must-attend. One-on-one transcript review will follow presentation. This seminar is being offered in cooperation with Wakefield School.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 18
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Location: John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square (Warrenton)

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: Kids InfoBits



The easy-to-use, age-appropriate Kids InfoBits helps children in grades K-5 explore and gain comfort with doing online research and makes homework seem like fun.

Why make Kids InfoBits your first stop for K-5 research?

Broad subject coverage: Categories include animals, arts, geography, health, literature, music and movies, people, plants, science, social studies, sports and technology.

Multiple formats: Resources include books, magazines, news and more than 13,000 images.

Customized for young learners: Recently redesigned, Kids InfoBits features a new, modern, graphical interface and improved navigation, addressing the way kids learn and conduct research.

Engaging: Kids InfoBits highlights interesting facts about a subject, along with connections to current events.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Keep track of what you've read

If you want to track the books, movies, etc., that you've checked out from the library, be sure to opt in to the library's Reading History feature. This feature is only available through your online account - library staff do not have access to your reading history.

To subscribe/opt-in to Reading History:

  1. Log into your online library account 
  2. Click on the Reading History button
  3. Click on the Opt In button

From this point forward, all items you check out will be recorded in your account and will display in the order of checkout. You can also sort by author and title.

You may opt out at any time or remove any or all titles from your reading history. To delete entries, mark the box beside each item and then select Delete Marked. To delete all entries, select Delete All. To opt out, you will be required to delete all entries before selecting Opt Out.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Awesome History Sites

Paper on World War I due? Looking for inspiration from something other than your possibly (likely!) out-of-date school textbook or Wikipedia? These library e-resources and must-try websites are good supplements to the history topics being covered in the classroom.

For younger students...
  • America's Story - Brought to you by the Library of Congress, this site aims to "put the story back in history and show you some things that you've never heard or seen before." For example, discover what Abraham Lincoln had in his pockets on the night he was assassinated
  • BBC Schools Primary History  - Videos, games and activities for ages 4-11 covering a variety of historical topics
  • Britannica Library-Children - It's best to search for a specific historical topic (versus just "history,"), but users can access articles, videos, images and other related content. Content can be narrowed down by reading level (1-2-3). Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Kids InfoBits - Under Social Studies, younger students can browse through topics like Historical Figures, U.S. Presidents and more. Text can be read aloud. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • World Book Online for Kids - Children can explore "Important People" and "History and Government." For struggling readers, there is the option to hear the text read aloud. Access with your FCPL library card.
For older students...
  • Biography In Context - Get to know the people behind the historical events/social forces you're researching with this engaging database available to FCPL card holders. 
  • Britannica Library-Young Adults and/or Britannica Library-Reference Center - Access articles, videos, images, primary sources and e-books when you search for topics that span history. Like the Children's version, the results can be filtered by reading level. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Crash Course - John Green...yes, "The Fault In Our Stars" John Green, is the star (and teacher) of online videos covering US History and World History. Green, along with his brother Hank, also have videos covering science and literature. 
  • Find It Virginia's U.S History Collection and World History Collection - Search hundreds of thousands of articles in scholarly journals not available on the Internet. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Google Cultural Institute: Historic Moments - Check out online exhibits that feature art, videos, audio and text about significant historical people, places and events.
  • Literati - You can search a topic (i.e., World War I) and topic pages containing hand-curated e-reference materials, will bubble to the top of your results. If you don't have a topic yet, click/tap on the Find Topic Pages tab, Filter by Category "History" and explore numerous entries. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Made From History - Features picture essays, timelines, videos, and interactive guides to significant events in European and World history, and Civil Rights, with additional topics such as the Civil War in the works.
  • National Archives: Online Exhibits - Students can use images and documents from the Digital Vault to create posters and videos to enhance research papers and presentations.
  • World Book Online Info Finder - Older students can access primary sources, e-books and encyclopedia content by searching specific subjects or browsing by subject "History" and then digging deeper into sub-topics such as Russia and Soviet Union, etc. Access with your FCPL library card.
Hopefully the above sites will get you started on your exploration of history and make the research portion of your history project more interesting. Remember too that your local library has loads of good books and videos, and friendly librarians to help you find what you need.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Add the library's mobile catalog to your device's home screen

Your smartphone or tablet’s home screen isn’t just for apps -- you can also pin your favorite websites to your home screen so you can quickly access them.

The directions below explain how you can make the library's mobile catalog one of your home screen icons so that you can quickly log in/access your library account, search for items and place holds.

Android
For most browsers, open the website you want to pin. Tap the Menu button, tap the Page option, and then tap Add to Home Screen. If you're using the "Chrome for Android" browser, open the website or web page you want to pin to your home screen, tap the Menu button and tap Add to Home Screen (there is no Page option).

iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch
In Safari, go to the website you want to add to your home screen. Tap the Share button on the browser’s toolbar — that’s the rectangle with an arrow pointing upward. It’s on the bar at the top of the screen on an iPad, and on the bar at the bottom of the screen on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Tap the Add to Home Screen icon in the Share menu (you’ll be prompted to name the shortcut before tapping the Add button).

If your device is something other than iOS or Android, open its web browser and look in its menu for an option named something like “Add to home screen” or “Pin to home screen.”

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stay Safe Online

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. With smartphone hacks and consumer data theft in the news, online security is always a timely topic.

If you're concerned about staying safe online, the following websites can help you learn about the issues and take steps to improve your security and privacy.

Guides to Online Safety

Online Privacy

Here are some ways to help protect your privacy from advertisers and others:
  • Fix Tracking - Suggestions for improving your Internet browser's privacy settings; click the arrows at the top to find instructions for your Internet browser
  • NAI Opt Out - Opt out of some online tracking from advertisers

Free Antivirus Software

If you don't have antivirus software, here are some free, highly-rated programs to consider:
Want to learn more about online privacy and security issues? You can borrow one of our nonfiction books on this topic.

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: World Vital Records

Image courtesy of WorldVitalRecords.com
If you've ever done research on your family tree, you are probably familiar with the library's Ancestry Library database, which allows you to search for census records, birth records and much more. Because Ancestry Library can only be used inside Fauquier County Public Library's branch locations, we're pleased to now provide anywhere/anytime access to records through our newest database, World Vital Records.

World Vital Records includes the following features:
Image courtesy of WorldVitalRecords.com

  • Complete U.S. Census 1790-1940
  • Cemetery records
  • City directories
  • Yearbooks - high school, college and military
  • Historic U.S. maps - including landowner names
  • Ability to access records from home with your library card

The World Vital Records database must be accessed through the library's website (vs. direct link):

Image courtesy of WorldVitalRecords.com


~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs September 15 through October 15.

Here are some online resources perfect for schoolwork or just for fun:

~Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Constitution Day, Citizenship Day


Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, observed annually on September 17, commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

Learn more about the Constitution and our government with Constitution Day resources from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress American Memory website.

Watch the Emmy Award-winning series, The Constitution: That Delicate Balance online via Annenberg Learner. Geared at high school-aged learners and above, key political, legal, and media professionals engage in spontaneous and heated debates on controversial issues such as campaign spending, the right to die, school prayer, and immigration reform.

Teachers and home school parents will want to check out the collection of lesson plans, educational games and interactive modules available on the National Endowment of the Humanities website, EDSITEment.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can get the Library of Congress' The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation app, which delivers the full text of “Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation”; contains a clause-by-clause discussion of the entire Constitution; discusses all Supreme Court cases and selected historical documents relevant to interpreting the Constitution; lists all federal, state, and local laws struck down by the Supreme Court, and all cases where the Court overturned its prior precedent.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Get Homework Help from the Library

Fall is the season of cooler weather, autumn landscapes, toasty-hot comfort foods... and homework. Never fear—the library has homework resources for learners of all ages.

Tackle Homework

Starting September 30, students in grades K–8 are invited to our Homework Help sessions.

On Tuesdays from 5–7 pm at the Bealeton Library, National Honor Society students from Liberty High School will help students with homework or class assignments.

Students in grades 3–12 can also get homework help from a teacher via our online homework help service from Literati. Teachers are available to help with reading, writing, and math. To get online homework help, visit Literati and log in with your 10-digit library card number. Click the black Homework Help tab on the right to get started.

Research an Assignment

Not sure where to start with your next assignment? We recommend the library's online collection of information sources for students. Unlike an Internet search, our online collection contains reliable sources selected by experts.

Visit our Articles & Databases page to get started. Our offerings include:
You will be prompted to log in with your 10-digit library card number.

For help choosing the best sources for your assignment, visit our Literati service and scroll down to watch videos about finding and evaluating sources.

Older students tackling a research paper should definitely visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab to learn how to write a paper and format a bibliography.

Need More Help?

If you need assistance using the library, our librarians are here to help.

To get assistance, visit a branch or contact us by phone or email.

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Library Catalog Tip - Customizing Your Search

When I'm working at the reference desk, I'm often asked if there is a list of all the DVDs the library owns, or perhaps all the CD books by a particular author.

For the first example, all DVDs the library owns, you can use the wildcard (*) search and limit by the material type:

  1. Go the Advanced Search page (see drop-down menu of More Searches on upper right of the catalog and select Advanced Search, click green arrow)
  2. In the Enter Search Terms section, in the first field (Any Field), put an asterisk (*)
  3. In the Add Limits section, under Material Type, highlight DVD VIDEO
  4. Hit the Submit key
For the second example, a list of all CD books by a particular author, you can do the following:
  1. Go the Advanced Search page (see drop-down menu of More Searches on upper right of the catalog and select Advanced Search, click green arrow)
  2. In the Enter Search Terms section, in the first field (Any Field), put the author's last name, first (i.e., Child, Lee) and change "Any Field" to AUTHOR
  3. In the Add Limits section, under Material Type, scroll down and highlight CD BOOKS
  4. Hit the Submit key

For more tips on using the library's online catalog, be sure to check our Help page.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: Literati Public/CREDO Reference





Literati Public/CREDO Reference  is a great place for students to get started on their research. Not only does the service provide in-depth, high quality information from reference e-books, journals and scholarly articles 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
  • FREE, 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 virtual 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 http://login.credoreference.com/libcard?id=7590 and enter in your 10-digit Fauquier County Public Library card number. If you don't have a library card, apply online today and access this database with a temporary number.

School is back in session and your library is here to help with great resources like Literati Public/CREDO Reference.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Watch the U.S. Open Online

The U.S. Open website is streaming all U.S. Open matches for free -- without the need to verify that you’re a cable subscriber.

You can find a schedule of all the matches on the U.S. Open website.

iPad and iPhone users can access selected matches through the official U.S. Open iPhone app as well as the U.S. Open iPad app. The mobile app will carry live streams of all of the matches during Labor Day weekend (8-30 – 9/1) and the Finals weekend (9/5 – 9/8).

Android users can access live streams during Labor Day weekend (8-30 – 9/1) and the Finals weekend (9/5 – 9/8) through the U.S. Open Android app.

More tennis enjoyment can be found in the library's subscription to Tennis Magazine (current issue in-library use only, but back issues can be checked out) as well as instructional books, DVDs and biographies of previous U.S. Open winners such as Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Chris EvertJohn McEnroeRafael Nadal, Martina NavratilovaPete Sampras, Monica SelesSerena Williams and Venus Williams.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian (and avid tennis player/fan)

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Smart Consuming - Electricity Rate Information

Wondering how your electric bill compares with someone who lives in a different part of the country or uses a different utility than you? The Utility Rate Database (URDB) allows you to search the rates of nearly 3,500 utilities by zip code or utility name. According to the Utilities Gateway, you can now "find out exactly how you are charged for your electric energy usage. Understanding this information can help reduce your bill, for example, by running your appliances during off-peak hours (times during the day when electricity prices are less expensive) and help you make more informed decisions regarding your energy usage."

For more ways to evaluate and reduce your energy consumption, check out the library's Green Building Resource Center series, made possible by a generous donation from the Green Building Resource Center (GBRC).

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Learn Technology Skills

Interested in mastering a technology or making the most of your new device?

Look no further than your library card. Here's a roundup of our online offerings for technology help, as well as librarian-recommended websites.

Library Resources

  • Atomic Training is a collection of video courses that cover computers, tablets, Microsoft Office, the Web, online research, and even web development.
  • You can download magazines with Zinio to your computer or device. We subscribe to Apple, iPhone / iPad Life, Mac World, PC Magazine, and PC World.
  • For more technology articles, our online Computer Collection has articles from hundreds of magazines for technology hobbyists and professionals.

New to Computers

  • Mousercise - Learn how to use a mouse. (A similar tutorial is available in Spanish.)
  • Typing Club - Learn how to type. You can register to save your progress, but registration is optional.

Learn Technology Skills

  • Common Craft - Friendly videos that explain how different technologies work.
  • DigitalLearn.org - Video courses on computer skills such as email and job searching.
  • GCF LearnFree.org - Online courses including iPad, social media, and Microsoft Office.
  • In Pictures - Illustrated tutorials for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.
Remember: in addition to public computers, our branches have free WiFi and friendly staff members who can help with many basic computer questions.

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: America's Newspapers from Newsbank

While many newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, have online editions of their newspapers, access often requires registration and the acceptance of targeted online advertising, or is limited to a few articles per month without a paid subscription. In addition, in some cases the archives (articles older than say, two weeks) are only available for an additional fee. With your Fauquier County Public Library card, you can access more than 1000 regional and national newspapers, ad-free, including their archives, through America's Newspapers from Newsbank.

Coverage includes:

  • Baltimore Sun — from 1990 - current
  • Culpeper Star-Exponent -  from 2007 - current
  • Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star - from 2004 - current
  • New York Post - 1999 - current
  • Philadelphia Inquirer — from 1981 - current
  • Richmond Times Dispatch — from 1985 - current
  • Washington Times — from 1990 - current
  • Winchester Star -  from 2001 - current

As a transplant to Virginia, I love having access to the complete edition of my hometown newspaper back in Michigan. Be sure to check out if your hometown paper is covered!

Teachers/educators will appreciate the Current Events and Special Reports sections, which  focus on topics such as the global economy, conflict and terrorism, and natural disasters.

You will also want to check out America's News Magazines, which includes full-text magazines like the Atlantic, Newsweek and The New Republic.

If you're looking for local reporting (vs. national) or articles that cover a variety of viewpoints, be sure to start your research with America's News from Newsbank.

~Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fun Science for Kids

Has your child (or children) been enjoying the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-focused activities that have been part of this year's Fizz, Boom, Read/Spark a Reaction summer reading program? If so, you/your child(ren) will want to check out Ology, the American Museum of Natural History's science website for kids.

Choose an OLogy (i.e., a topic) that focuses on subjects as diverse as anthropology, climate change and Einstein. Within each scientific subject area, you will find a number of hands-on activities, games and video/text interviews with scientists in that particular field.

Other websites that will supplement your child's science education include:

  • PBS Kids Science Games - For elementary-age children, games emphasize engineering, nature, animals and more
  • Kids.gov - Loads of online and real-world activities brought to you by various governmental departments and agencies (National Park Service, EPA, etc.)
  • Wonderville - Access more than 30 games, numerous activities and videos for free
  • BBC Schools - Find interactive science games for primary, secondary and higher-level learners (Note: Games focus on UK standards; some in Welsh)
  • Lawrence Hall of Science -Play games and have interactive, engaging experiences as you learn about all manner of science topics
Looking for apps for your tablet or smart phone? Check out reviews for science apps and games for kids on Common Sense Media.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Access New Yorker articles from 2007+ for free

According to an article in the July 8 New York Times, the New Yorker website will offer all the articles it has published since 2007 available free for three months. After three months, you will have to pay a subscription fee (price, details to be determined).

If you're not a subscriber/want to save some money, Fauquier County Public Library has copies of the print edition dating back one year, as well as full-text access to articles from 1978+ (indexed from 1959+).

~Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book, Movie and Media Reviews for Parents

Recently I was helping a patron looking for some good young adult books for her 13 year-old daughter. Her daughter had already devoured the Hunger Games trilogy (books and movies), and mom was looking for something similar, but "not too violent." After showing her some of our book lists and staff recommendations, I mentioned that if she couldn't read the book herself before allowing her daughter to do so (always an option I mention, but not everyone has the time!), she might want to try Common Sense Media.

Since I work in a library (and am a librarian), I usually use Common Sense Media, which contains reviews based on age appropriateness and learning potential, more for movies and apps versus books, but the site has some features that parents (and educators) will find helpful.

For example, when it comes to finding books for my daughter, I normally look at book reviews in publications like School Library Journal -- or better yet, go down the hall and ask Jennifer Schultz, our Youth Services Librarian for recommendations (she always has great picks for us!). However, the thing I like about Common Sense Media's Reviews is that they include a "What parents need to know" chart (see example below), which quickly points out hot buttons like violence, sex and language, etc., giving me fair warning. It also includes educational value, positive role models, etc., areas that I think are sometimes given short shrift when compared to something like bad language.


In the example above, for the Glass Sentence, you can click on the "See full details" link for each area, such as the positive role models and get details such as:


I also like how their user reviews are broken down by what Parents Say and what Kids Say. I usually look at these reviews (especially those written by kids) if I'm undecided.

Bottom line, when my daughter, who is only ten, wants to delve into the latest book aimed at teens (gulp!), I have found Common Sense Media's reviews to be immensely helpful. I hope you will, too!

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Home Improvement Resources

Need ideas for your next home improvement project? We have online resources from the library and the web to get you started.

Library Resources

These online resources are available anywhere with your Fauquier County library card.
  • Download magazines to your device or computer. Titles include Do It Yourself, Dwell, Handyman, and House Beautiful.
  • For more magazine articles, search our Home Improvement Collection for articles on home improvement, architecture, and interior design.

Recommended Websites

  • DIY Network - Instructional articles and videos from the television network. (Unfortunately, a lot of ads.)
  • Federal Trade Commission: Homes - Articles to help you save money, conserve energy, and avoid scams during the home improvement process.
  • Going Green Publications - Information from the federal government about energy efficiency topics.
  • Hometalk - Hometalk is a social network for home improvement. You can browse homeowners' projects and, if you choose to register, submit questions to the community. Since most contributors aren't professionals, you might want to consult a second source before trying anything complex.
  • This Old House - Instructional articles and videos from the creators of the television series. This website does have a lot of ads.
  • Learn DIY Skills on Youtube - This article from the website MakeUseOf lists popular Youtube channels for home improvement videos.
You can also visit our branches to browse our collection of home improvement books, magazines, and DVDs.

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: Books & Authors


Summer days, summer reading. Since I'm all caught up on the doings of some of my favorite detectives (Ruth Galloway and Jimmy Perez, I hope you're back soon!) and have some beach time in the near future, time for me to figure out what to read next.

Aside from the incredibly helpful lists of "read alikes" provided by library staff, I often consult Books & Authors, which provides expert recommendations as well as a number of search and browsing options to help me find my next great read. Features of this e-resource, available anytime with your FCPL library card, include:
  • Browsing by title, series title, author or genre;
  • The Who? What? Where? When? search, which allows you to search by character, subject, location/setting and/or time period;
  • 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

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Get schooled this summer

Thinking about taking an online course this summer? You may have heard the acronym "MOOC" tossed around in discussions about online courses (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course), or have heard of companies like edX or Coursera. As more renown institutions (MIT, Stanford, University of Michigan, etc.) around the world are putting their courses online, many for free, a tool like SlideRule will help you find the course that's right for you.

SlideRule, which has indexed courses from almost one hundred providers, allows you to narrow down your choices by subject (Law, Engineering, etc.), provider (Coursera, Khan Academy, etc.) or university (Yale, Princeton, etc.). You can filter your results to those that provide you with a verified certificate, are "always on," or that use a particular teaching method (video vs. audio lecture, for example). You can then sort your results by start date, fees (free will be listed first) or ratings.

Subscribe to the SlideRule Blog and you will learn about free online courses available in the upcoming week.

For more articles on MOOCs and the state of online education in general, such as this recent article from US News & World Report, use your Fauquier County Public Library card to access the Find It Virginia PowerSearch or any of the library's magazine/journal/newspaper databases such as InfoTrac Newsstand or America's Newspapers from Newsbank.

Whether as a supplement to your traditional "bricks and mortar" education, for career enhancement or just for fun, online courses can provide you with flexible learning opportunities this summer and beyond.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Car Shopping: Recommended Resources



Looking for information before you hit the dealer lots? Check out the following resources available through the Fauquier County Public Library and on the web.

Purchasing an Automobile


The following web sites (listed alphabetically) provide a wealth of information about new and used vehicles:
In addition to these general buying guides, there are other automotive resources that will be of interest to purchasers and owners.

Auto Repair and Owner Manuals
The library carries the Chilton manuals. Those available for checkout are mostly located in the 629 area of the non-fiction section.

On the Web, only a few sites offer free repair information and resources. (Chilton, Haynes, etc., charge fees for access to their repair manuals.)

Energy Efficiency and Fuel Economy
The following web sites provide information about vehicle efficiency and fuel economy.

Becky -- Reference Librarian


To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.