Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Learn Locally (@ Your Library), Compete Globally

While we hear a lot about the benefits of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education, what other skills do today's young people need in order to succeed in the new global economy? Many educators and global business leaders believe that exposure to world languages and culture—even at a very early age—is critical to students’ competitiveness in the 21st century. 

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's “Succeeding Globally Through International Education and Engagement,” report stated, “In today’s globalized world, an effective domestic education agenda must … aim to develop a globally competent citizenry.”

Most businesses have customers and locations all over the world. Chances are good that when today's students enter the workforce, they’ll be working with—or at least doing business with—someone from another nation, with its own culture and its own unique perspective, at some point in their career.

How can schools provide this important experience when budgets are being cut (or at least not growing) and/or they can't afford to hire full-time language instructors? What about home school parents? Are parents/caregivers expected to invest in an expensive language learning program (Rosetta Stone, etc.) in order for their child(ren) to stay competitive? Fortunately, technology (and the Fauquier County Public Library) can help.

Transparent Language Online with Byki, available through the library, 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.

Online/Mobile Access
Transparent Language Online with Byki is packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing, and vocabulary building lessons for over 80 languages. Featuring top-of-the-line coursework combined with a free mobile app and extensive social media resources, Transparent Language Online with Byki is the most complete language-learning system available to library patrons.

Offline Access
Don't have internet access at home or prefer not being "online?" Try our Transparent Language interactive language instruction series via USB flash drive. Simply plug the flash drive into your computer, download the Transparent Language software and you're ready to go. No data plan necessary!

Over a dozen different languages are available through the library. These USB drives can be checked out, and borrowed for three weeks, just like other library items.

Free online resources
Check out some of these free online resources to supplement the library's premium Transparent Language offerings:

~ 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, May 21, 2014

Visit the Digital Public Library of America

Bear on side of car with photographer taking its
picture, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo Credit: Clemson University Libraries
A little over a year ago (April 2013), the Digital Public Library of America launched. If you're looking for photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more, the DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of these items from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. The DPLA describes the items and provides the link to the original object on the partner website (i.e., the museum or institution that participates in the DPLA).

Participating institutions include the Smithsonian and the New York Public Library.

Users can browse and search DPLA’s collections by timeline, map, virtual bookshelf, and faceted search; save and share customized lists of items; and explore digital exhibitions such as This Land is Your Land: Parks and Public Spaces, featuring the photo of the bear looking in the car above.

Celebrate DPLA's first birthday by checking out the wealth of resources that have been added to this amazing website!

Related sites of interest:

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents or programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter or online.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Website connects veterans with employers

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden recently announced the launch of the Veterans Employment Center, an online tool that allows veterans, transitioning service members, and their spouses to search for jobs, create resum├ęs, and connect with employers.

Job seekers can use the Military Skills Translator to match military career tracks with civilian occupations and critical skills, create and upload a resume online, and find public and private job openings in a single search. Employers are provided with a direct feed of resumes from Veteran applicants, can view reverse skills translation (military to civilian skills) for applicants, and can make public their own Veterans hiring goals.

The Veterans Employment Center, along with many other job-seeker tools, is available on the library's Career & Employment Resources page.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents or programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter or online.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May e-Resource: Biography In Context

I was recently asked by a young library patron for some "famous people" who were born in the month of May (she had a report due the next day). The first reference tool I consulted was Biography In Context, an ideal resource for finding accurate/trusted information on your favorite authors, musicians, politicians or any famous folk.

Biography in Context delivers outstanding research support with 600,000+ biographical entries — on more than 528,000 individuals — spanning history and geography, politics and sports, arts and entertainment, and more. Teachers and students will appreciate that it’s a curriculum-aligned resource that offers media-rich content in context that's updated daily to meet the needs of today’s user. In it you'll find:

  • Biographies from award-winning Gale reference
  • Multi-media content like videos, images, magazines and newspapers
  • Current historical information
  • Topic pages covering the highest-interest features

Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circa 1850
So back to those May birthdays. We tried to focus on individuals people she may study at some point and have additional library resources on. Here's the list we came up with...

If you, too, have a biographical report due or want to know more about people throughout history, be sure to check out Biography In Context.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collectionevents or programs, visit us on FacebookTwitter or online.