Wednesday, September 26, 2007

College knowledge could save time and money

A representative from Northern Virginia Community College will talk about the college application process and financial aid at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Bealeton Library. The program is free, and registration is not required.

You may also want to check out these resources for college-bound students.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Teens make cards for troops

Teens will make cards for troops overseas early in October when they meet at all Fauquier County libraries. All materials will be supplied to create the original cards, the program is free, and registration is not required to attend.

Don't forget to check out the blog for teens Library Lounging.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hams to talk at library

The Fauquier Amateur Radio Association (FARA) is presenting an introduction to amateur radio operation at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in the John Barton Payne community hall.

Representatives from the association will talk about amateur radio activities and how to get a license. They will also demonstrate radio techniques using some of the radios available on the market today. The program is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about this popular hobby.

Amateur radio operators, also known as “hams,” enjoy a variety of radio communication activities, from simple Morse code to amateur satellites and linking over the Internet. There are more than 2.5 million hams of all ages worldwide who communicate with other hams for fun, but they also play an important public service role as well.

Amateur radio operators provide emergency communications during disasters, often serving as the first link between stricken communities and the outside world when normal communications are suspended.

Some operators experiment with new radio technologies and with helping in the development of long-distance broadcasting, while others have fun competing in contests with other radio hobbyists of all ages and from all over the world.

A license from the Federal Communications Commission is required to operate a ham radio, but the testing requirements were recently updated. Among the changes, the requirement to learn Morse code has been eliminated. By learning some simple operating rules and developing a basic understanding of radio, it is easier than ever to pass the amateur radio license test and to begin talking to the world.

Members of FARA will show a multi-media presentation, answer questions, and demonstrate some of the various types of amateur radio operating during the upcoming program. Information about local radio club membership will also be available.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Whose responsibility is safety?

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?

Today, adults attending the bi-monthly meeting of the Socrates Café will discuss an appropriate topic for Sept. 11, Whose responsibility is safety? The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the John Barton Payne community hall. See the upcoming topics to be discussed in Warrenton.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Library saw growth

The county's public library has grown on multiple fronts according to the 2007 fiscal year statistics recently compiled by the library.

The library's Web site, voted by Warrenton Lifestyle magazine as "Best Web site in Fauquier County" last year, served as the county's virtual library, and more people than ever before took advantage of the library's online services. Patrons reserved 7 percent more books and other items online and renewed their checked out library materials 15 percent more often.

In the latter part of the fiscal year, people checked out 48 percent more downloadable audio books than the same period the previous year, and usage of the library's databases increased nearly 60 percent.

New card registrations showed gains as well. Registrations at the Bealeton Library rose by 8 percent while registrations at the smaller John Marshall Library rose nearly twice that, up 15 percent. Altogether, nearly 4,000 new cards were issued county-wide, bringing the number of library card holders to nearly 33,660.

Popular media hype may lead some to the conclusion that people don't read as much as they used to, but Fauquier's residents disprove that notion. Circulation rose by 9 percent last year — more than 457,400 books and other items were checked out among the county's three libraries.
More than 14,300 new items were added to the system-wide collection last year, bringing the total to nearly 193,600 books, audio books, CDs, videos, DVDs, and downloadable audio books (see what's new). It is not surprising, given those figures, that more people visited the county's libraries last year than had the previous year, 8 percent more, or more than 268,600 visits.

What may be surprising to some, however, given the trend toward more and more people having Internet access, is the increase in reference inquiries by library users. Fauquier County Public Library librarians responded to more than 6,000 reference questions last year, a 16 percent increase. One explanation for this is that reference librarians, known in library circles as "the original search engines," are trained to ferret out information from multiple sources, including the Internet.

Program attendance was another area showing marked increase. Fauquier's libraries presented more than 1,100 programs to more than 19,800 children, teens and adults last year, a 9 percent increase.

The county's library system comprises three libraries conveniently located from the northern end of the county to the south: the John Marshall Library, the Warrenton Library, and the Bealeton Library.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Information to go

The library has more to offer children, teens, and adults with a library card than ever before. In addition to fiction and nonfiction books in print, library materials come in a variety of formats, such as audio books, CDs, DVDs, and downloadable audio books.

Online databases, which are electronic collections of information, are one of the most valuable resources available to Fauquier County Public Library card holders.
They are accessible any time of day using your library card, and they include eBooks, education and college testing preparation tools, encyclopedias, genealogy and local history resources, legal forms, magazines, newspapers, and references for science and literature topics.

To ensure you get the latest information on the library's databases, sign up for the eResource newsletter.