Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is insanity?

When was the last time you could discuss your thoughts openly and honestly with others? Have you ever questioned society and its assumptions, or your own? Would you like to have a good, safe discussion without fear of being attacked for having an opinion that is different?

Adults will discuss these and other questions at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, in the John Barton Payne community hall, 2 Courthouse Square, Old Town Warrenton, during the next Socrates Café meeting.

Socrates Café is a discussion group open to any adult who is inquisitive, thoughtful and enjoys discussing topics in an engaging way. The group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Call (540) 347-8750, ext. 6, for more information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Letterboxing, a great family activity

This summer the library is introducing "letterboxing," a kind of treasure hunt that highlights different sites in Fauquier County. It's fun and easy to do, and it's something the whole family can do together.

In keeping with the Virginia Trails summer reading program, letterboxes – small, weatherproof boxes that contain a log book, a unique rubber stamp, and an ink pad – will be hidden in publicly accessible places all over the county. Online clues will be posted on the library Web site to help families find the boxes.

If you play, once you find a letterbox, you’ll make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp on your personal letterboxing log book and leave an imprint of your personal stamp on the letterbox’s log book.

Details on how to play will be posted soon. In the meantime, learn more about the early history of letterboxing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer reading keeps kids sharp

It has been said, “If you can read, thank a teacher. If you love to read, thank a librarian.” Most adults remember wonderful summer days of swimming, playing, and traveling with family. For many, summer was also a great time for finding a cool spot and reading – not required reading, but wonderful books about horses and dogs, adventures and mysteries.

Summer reading is fun, but there is an added bonus. Don’t tell your kids this, but numerous studies have shown that summer reading programs help ensure that children retain reading and learning skills over the summer.

Fauquier County Public Library’s summer reading programs are geared to inspire reading for the fun of it. The programs take advantage of a child’s natural curiosity and introduce new subjects and different genres – things kids might not learn in school, but are interested in.

The library has also designed a special summer reading program just for teens.

Weekly programs and special events — many of which the whole family can enjoy — begin June 16 and continue through Aug. 11. Register for the free programs beginning June 1.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Teen volunteers needed this summer

Teen volunteers are needed at all Fauquier libraries this summer to help with the children’s summer reading program. Applications are available through May 31.

If you need more information, e-mail or call: Warrenton Library, Jennifer Schultz, (540) 349-1128; Bealeton Library, Helena Richardson, (540) 439-9728; John Marshall Library, Deborah Cosby, (540) 364-4910.

Mystery series available in CD and book formats
The BBC radio collection full-cast dramatizations of the Complete Miss Marple Collection and Hercule Poirot’s Greatest Cases are now available on compact disc at the library. Learn more about these dramatizations and get the latest word on new items at the library when you visit Shelf Scene.

You might also want to check out the library’s mystery book club for adults, which meets at noon the third Thursday of the month in Warrenton. The group will talk about The Thin Man, a classic mystery by Dashiell Hammett, at its next meeting on June 21.

Teacher resources available from library Web site
If you're a teacher and looking to incorporate topics in the news into the classroom curriculum, the library has some resources, available 24/7, on its Educators page.

Visit eResource News to get information about the library’s electronic resources.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bealeton Library's Ernest 'supervises' staff

Some of you may have noticed the resident cat at the Bealeton Library. His name is Ernest, named after Ernest Hemingway, who had numerous polydactyl cats. (There are still descendants of Hemingway's cats living at The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.)

Bealeton's Ernest is cream-colored and has several extra digits making him look as if he is wearing mittens. He first arrived at the Bealeton Library dirty and scrawny. Staff took a liking to him, cleaned him up and nursed him back to health. He now "supervises" workroom activities, although he is not allowed beyond workroom doors.

Cable company tapes at library

The VTS Productions cable crew was at the Warrenton Library taping a spot to let viewers know about the library's upcoming summer reading programs. There are two eight-week programs planned, one for children and one for teens, with programs and events to be held at all Fauquier library locations.

Virginia Trails features weekly programs for children in preschool through fifth grade, special family events, and games and activities that are fun and encourage reading.

Lost … in reading, for teens entering sixth grade or higher, features book discussion, movie, and coffee house programs, and special events such as batik t-shirt creations, mehndi body art, pottery painting, a workshop on anime/manga art and Red Cross babysitting certification classes.

Both programs have events with pirate themes planned, so it was natural for the cable crew to find Pirate Pete (aka Youth Services Librarian Helena Richardson) with his parrot Peggy searching the Warrenton Library stacks for buried treasure. Pirate Pete encountered Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Schultz (played by herself), who told him all about the "treasures" of the reading programs.

Registration for Virginia Trails and Lost ... in reading begins June 1 at all Fauquier libraries and on the library Web site. Programs run June 16 through Aug. 11.

The cable spot will air soon on Fauquier County Government Cable Channel 17, so watch for it. Airing details are forthcoming here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

'Priceless' volunteers honored

The library's Board of Trustees, The Friends of the Fauquier Library and library staff recently honored library volunteers at a reception held in the John Barton Payne community hall in Old Town Warrenton.

Volunteers representing all of the county’s public libraries attended the reception held in the recently renovated hall, which was decorated for the evening’s festivities in red and gold.

Library staff adorned the serving table in keeping with the theme “Our volunteers are priceless.”

Library Director Maria Del Rosso began the celebration by thanking the volunteers for coming to the event. She then introduced Library Board of Trustee Chair Barbara Severin.

“We have a terrific core of volunteers and they are most certainly priceless,” Mrs. Severin told those gathered. Last year, she said, nearly 180 people volunteered more than 3,300 hours to the library. Their contribution, based on a formula used by Virginia Department of Social Services, is valued at nearly $60,000.

Of these volunteers, she explained, 31 were involved with day-to-day operations, donating approximately 2,400 hours at the Warrenton, Bealeton, and John Marshall libraries. More than 65 young people donated 685 hours at the libraries to ensure the success of the summer reading program for children, she added.

Mrs. Severin introduced a special guest, Angel, one of the four “very patient dogs” that donated many hours to the library’s Paws to Read program last year. Angel, a yellow lab attending the celebration with owner Jan Nelson, represented the four certified pet therapy dogs that listen quietly as children read to them during regularly scheduled sessions at all of the county’s libraries. Paws to Read, a popular program at all three locations, boosts the reading skills of children by allowing them to read aloud to the dogs, who listen with friendly nonjudgmental ears. The other canine volunteers are Gilli, a black lab owned by Mary Lou Snyder; Cordymay, a Bernese mountain dog owned by Molly Morgan, and Miles, a German shepherd owned by Nancy Anderson.

Mrs. Severin continued by telling the audience about The Friends of the Fauquier Library members who regularly donate time to work at the Friends’ Book Cellar, a used bookstore located in the basement of the John Barton Payne building. Proceeds from The Book Cellar help provide special items needed by the library and fund the majority of the library’s special events for children, teens and adults, including the summer reading programs, guest author visits, and events during Black History Month and National Library Week.

“As a matter of fact,” Mrs. Severin added, “the Friends of the Fauquier Library sponsor this annual volunteer reception.”

Mrs. Severin concluded her remarks by introducing the other Library Board of Trustee members saying library board members also volunteered “countless hours” to serving the county last year. Each member of the county’s Board of Supervisors appoints a library board member from his district to represent his constituents for a four-year term. Service on the library board is strictly voluntary, members receive no salary. Mrs. Severin, who represents the Scott District, introduced Alice Jane Childs (Cedar Run), Ann Martella (Center), Jack Whiting (Marshall), and Lawrie Parker (Lee), who was not able to attend.

Mrs. Severin concluded her remarks by saying, “It is very gratifying to be able to point to the volunteer’s contribution when the library board submits its annual justification for the library’s operating budget request to the Board of Supervisors.

“The strong support by volunteers in the various areas of library operations is very persuasive evidence of citizen commitment to the library,” she said.

Friends of the Fauquier Library President Tina Ross spoke briefly about the Friends organization spoke, giving a short Friends’ treasurer’s report. She also made a plea for more volunteers to work in The Book Cellar, which brought a chuckle to those in the audience.

Library Director Maria Del Rosso then introduced several library staff members who, in turn, introduced their department’s volunteers and presented each with a certificate of appreciation and a small gift. Book plates honoring volunteers are placed in new library books each year, and volunteers attending the celebration each chose a book in which to place their personalized book plate.

The remainder of the evening was spent by board members, library staff and volunteers visiting with each other and enjoying the refreshments provided by the Friends.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Library wins award

Fauquier County Public Library recently received word that it had won an award for "outstanding library facility."

The Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA) presented the award for renovations done to the library's John Barton Payne Building. The upstairs portion of the building, which was home to the Warrenton Library from 1924 through 1982, is now used for library programs and as a community hall.

Renovations, which were completed early in 2007, included refurbishing the interior, installing a rear stairway and a lift, and modifying the building to comply with American Disability Act (ADA) standards. The new stairway provides a second means of egress, which increased the building’s occupancy load from 50 to 100 people.

The building’s basement, home to The Friends of the Fauquier Library used book store The Book Cellar, underwent renovations as well, resulting in The Book Cellar's space doubling. Proceeds from The Book Cellar help support library programs, such as author visits, guest story tellers, summer reading programs, and other cultural events for children, teens, and adults.

Reservations for community use of the hall have increased steadily since the renovation. The gracefully columned building is an ideal community meeting hall and is an excellent venue for hosting a variety of events, including large meetings, conferences, retreats, receptions, and weddings.

The building is named after Judge John Barton Payne, a Fauquier native son who served as Secretary of the Interior under President Woodrow Wilson and was president of the American Red Cross for 14 years. Judge Payne donated funds in 1922 to build the first permanent home for the Warrenton Library, which is now located across the street on Winchester St.

Request a form to reserved the John Barton Payne community hall.