Friday, December 19, 2008

Resolve to join a book club

According to numerous polls, many people resolve to learn something new with the start of the new year. Joining a book club is one of the most pleasurable ways to accomplish this goal.

There are many reasons that people join book clubs, but some of the most popular reasons are that people enjoy talking about books they've enjoyed or been moved by, or even disliked. Book clubs are also a great way to challenge your mind, to encourage you to read more, or to read books that you might not normally choose. And some people who are new to an area consider joining a book club in order to meet new people.

Fauquier County Public Library has a number of book clubs and the clubs themselves cover a wide range of interests. There is no fee to attend meetings and new members are welcome to come to meetings any time they wish.

The Bealeton and John Marshall libraries each have book clubs appealing to general interests and popular fiction. The Bealeton club meets in the evening while the John Marshall Library has a daytime club and an evening club.

The Warrenton Library has three adult book clubs: the mystery book club and the daytime and evening Great Books clubs.

All three libraries have a book club for children in preschool through second grade. Books A Palooza meetings introduce the children to a new author or illustrator each month. Those attending get to do a related activity at each meeting and it is not necessary to read ahead of time. With any luck though, the children will be inspired to read more, and that's a good thing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Recycle books, benefit library

The Friends of the Fauquier Library is hosting a series of sales this season at the Book Cellar, its used book store. The Book Cellar offers nearly new and used hardcover and paperback fiction and nonfiction books for all ages and interests at "bargain basement" prices from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Book Cellar will be closed the Fridays of Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, but will be open during regular hours on the Saturdays of, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3. The store will also be open for First Night revelers from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31.

The Book Cellar is offering most items at half price beginning Dec. 19 and 20, and, for the first time ever, it is marking down items in the “old books” section by 25 percent. Many Book Cellar items are in like-new condition and include large, beautifully illustrated coffee table size books, book sets, music CDs and movies in VHS and DVD format. Selections cover a wide variety of nonfiction subjects and include many best-selling authors in paperback and hard cover making the Book Cellar an ideal stop for stocking stuffers, last-minute gifts, and books to read while traveling.

The Book Cellar needs donations, and music CDs, movies, and children’s books are especially needed at this time. To make donations e-mail or call (540) 349-1928.
Donating books and other items is a great way to recycle, and the library benefits in multiple ways. First, donations are reviewed by library staff for possible inclusion in the library’s collection – especially important at this time as the library’s budget cuts include reducing funds for new purchases. Secondly, many items not needed for the collection due to space considerations or because multiple copies are already in the collection, are sold at the Book Cellar. Proceeds from the Book Cellar benefit the library and support programs for children, teens and adults throughout the year.
To volunteer at the Book Cellar or for questions about the Friends of the Fauquier Library, call (540) 439-1939.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday reading a satisfying retreat

Some people consider reading a requisite to staying sane, especially this time of year. In spite of the hectic pace of the holiday season, they often find time to retreat to a cozy spot and read.
Holiday themes are popular fare throughout the season, and Fauquier County’s public libraries are making it easy to quickly pick up reading material.

All branches have book displays featuring holiday fiction and mysteries. The library also has a list of titles for children and adults with holiday themes in print and online.

Traveling over the holidays also presents many opportunities for reading. The library has titles in multiple formats for those who want to take advantage of every opportunity to read or listen to books. Most people are aware of the library’s collection of audio books — commuters use them on a regular basis to help eat up those tedious miles on the road. Your library card also gives you access to hundreds of e-books and e-audio books. The latter is especially popular because it is so easy to download them to listen to later on an mp3 player.

Other options for holiday reading can be found in the Friends of the Fauquier Library Book Cellar. It's a great place to buy stocking stuffers, last-minute gifts, and books to read while traveling. These books are often priced at 50 cents or a dollar - so are great for sharing with friends, relatives and even fellow travelers.

Suggested titles for giving
Library staff members have developed “Gift Suggestions” lists, popular titles to help people prepare shop for books this season. Pick up the lists for children, teens and adults at any Fauquier library. Also, check out the library's Kiddosphere for more tips for children's books and Shelf Scene for adults and the NY Times' 100 Notable Books of 2008.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If you liked 'Twilight'

The movie Twilight has just been released and if you didn’t know about the books that spawned the movie, you soon will.

Teens have made the best-selling love saga Twilight by Stephanie Meyer a multimedia sensation, with 17 million copies of the Twilight series in print, the CD of the movie sound track at No. 1 on Billboard's chart, and more than 350 fan sites.

The first book in the series has been chosen as the New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, Amazon’s “best book of the decade … so far,” Teen People’s “Hot List” pick, and the American Library Association’s “Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults” and “Top Teen Books for Reluctant Readers.”

Fauquier County Public Library has multiple copies of Meyer’s books in print and CD format, and, if you just can’t get enough of this genre, or you are waiting for a title to be returned, the library has a book list entitled If you liked "Twilight” that is helpful for finding similar books.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Make holiday gifts, plan decorations, food

The holidays are right around the corner, so it is a good time to begin planning for the season’s gift-giving, decorating, cooking and music. Fauquier County Public Library has hundreds of cook books and guides for entertaining and decorating.

You can search the library’s catalog or ask library staff to help you find relevant titles, but below are some titles to help with holiday meal planning and other aspects of entertaining this season.

Papermaking for Kids: Simple Steps to Handcrafted Paper by Beth Wilkinson is a great book for kids who want to learn about the paper-making process and try simple projects. Some of the projects would be great holiday gifts.

Handcrafted Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks and More by Marie Browning provides instructions on creating handmade books with information on binding and folding methods, tools and materials, and decorations while her 300 Handcrafted Soaps: Great Melt and Pour Projects emphasizes soap made with additives such as essential oils, botanicals, spices, and even chocolate using kitchen equipment processed with no lye or animal fat.

Gifts of Food by Susan Costner presents tried-and-true recipes for items anyone would be proud to give as a gift, each clearly written to ensure success, and preceded by a brief description of what makes it so special.

Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating and Giving in the Holiday Season by Martha Stewart remains a classic cooking and decorating guide for the Christmas season while Handmade Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living provides instructions for creating your own gifts, stockings, cookie boxes, wreaths and swags, ornaments, wrapping, outdoor displays and candles.

It's in the Bag!: Tasty Gifts in Crafty Sacks presents instructions for creating clever gift bags along with recipes for gift giving all year round. A Kwanzaa Celebration: Festive Recipes and Homemade Gifts from an African-American Kitchen by Angela Shelf Medearis leads us through the season, focusing on rituals and history, traditions and lore, and dishes that connect today's African-Americans to the culinary traditions of Africa, the Caribbean, South America, & the American South.

Christmas Presents Kids Can Make by Kathy Ross, targeted to children in grades 4-6, offers 29 handmade gifts for children to create for their families and friends. Most of the materials can be found in the home and often involve recycling items, such as old felt-tip pen caps, film canisters, laundry-bottle caps, and Christmas catalogs.

Christmas with Paula Deen: Recipes and Stories from My Favorite Holiday is a collection of beloved holiday recipes and stories interspersed with cherished family photographs. The latter includes Deen's most requested homemade gifts of food; a collection of cookies sure to become family favorites; easy dishes for a Christmas breakfast or brunch; impressive fare for Christmas dinner and holiday entertaining and, of course, spectacular cakes, puddings, pies, and other sweet things.

Holidays: Recipes, Gifts, Decorations, Thanksgiving, Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living is worth taking a look at. It was taken, as the title suggests, from several years of the magazine’s November and December issues.

Hanukkah Crafts by Judith Hoffman Corwin explains the history and customs connected with Hanukkah and provides ideas and instructions for making greeting cards, gift wrappings, presents, decorations, and holiday treats.

Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season by Dian Rossen Worthington includes wine recommendations by Peter Marks, one of only 20 wine masters in the United States. This book will show you how to entertain with style and ease while keeping things simple.

The Holidays: 21 Menus for Elegant Entertaining from Thanksgiving to Twelfth Night by John Hadamuscin has more than 200 traditional and new recipes. It provides ideas on everything from a Thanksgiving harvest dinner to a hearty wassailing buffet supper, from a morning-after wassailing buffet supper to a morning-after bunch on NewYears Day and, amusingly, it includes a back-to-diet dinner for Twelfth Night.

Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life by Paula Deen, with Martha Nesbit presenting themed recipes for celebrating American holidays throughout the year.

Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates: Festive Meals for Holidays and Special Occasions presents an assortment of meatless menus for holidays and special occasions throughout the year, including festive delights for Thanksgiving.

November is National Diabetes Month so the American Diabetes Association Holiday Cookbook by Betty Wedman is especially appropriate reading for some.

Check out titles soon for great ideas, resources and recipes in order to plan ahead. If the book or other item you are looking for is checked out, don’t forget that you can reserve titles at the library or online from a personal computer then be notified once it is ready to be picked up.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pictorial tour focuses on Fauquier family cemeteries

Fauquier County Public Library is hosting a free lecture on Founding Veterans in Fauquier Family Cemeteries. Presented by Lory and Larry Payne and sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute, the lecture begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, in the John Barton Payne Building.

The Payne’s are presenting a pictorial tour of Fauquier family cemeteries and graves of veterans from the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars and the War of 1812, including the oldest inscribed tombstone found in the county to date. Information gleaned from manuscripts, legal documents and family histories will be highlighted and tips on researching cemeteries and reporting and preserving these fading historical resources will be covered.

Larry Payne, a native of Fauquier County, has been a student of history since the 4th grade. He is interested in how society has developed and changed in Fauquier County throughout prosperity and war and wishes to respectfully preserve and share historical details of the past with Fauquier residents. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, The Fauquier Civil War Round Table and The Southern Fauquier Historical Society, Inc.

Lorene “Lory” Payne, transplanted from New York at age 6, has always thought of Virginia as her home. Her career in local government is in zoning and code enforcement, but it was a personal experience involving a family cemetery that prompted her and her husband Larry to begin documenting as many Fauquier family cemeteries as they can. Their goal is to provide the county with a resource for safe-guarding the cemeteries when development is encroaching. Mrs. Payne currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Southern Fauquier Historical Society, Inc., and is on the Battlefield Preservation Committee of the Fauquier County Architectual Review Board.

The Fauquier Heritage Institute was created to promote the study and love of American history and presented free lectures throughout 2008 by experienced speakers and historians. Contact program Co-chairs Mrs. Paula Johnson, (540) 341-7019, or Mrs. Jackie Lee, (540) 347-0607.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eisenhower legacy illuminated

A revealing 60-minute retrospective entitled Mandate for Change: The Leadership and Legacy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is being presented by Gar Schulin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Bealeton Library. The lecture is free and registration is not required.

Eisenhower's skills are largely overlooked or discounted in contemporary schools and universities, according to Schulin. As a result, the former president remains largely unknown to younger generations of Americans despite his foreign and domestic policy achievements.

The retrospective will include many accounts of events as related by those who knew the president during his White House years. Eisenhower was referred to as "The President Nobody Knew" by former Special Assistant Arthur Larson and his presidential style was characterized as "The Hidden-Hand Presidency" by historian Fred Greenstein. The lecture will present an informative overview of Eisenhower's remarkable leadership skills and complexities within the context of his administrations, which spanned 1953 to 1961.

Personal glimpses of the enormously popular president and his beloved wife Mamie, who both enjoyed living in the White House after decades of transient U.S. Army life, will be included. An examination of Eisenhower's retirement years as a private citizen and former president provides insight to his relationships with his White House successors.

Lecture presenter Gar Schulin, a Warrenton resident, is a career Defense Department employee. His undergraduate and graduate education includes the United States Naval Academy and George Mason University.

Schulin's preservation and community service includes memberships in the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, Culpeper Minute Men Chapter; Sons of Confederate Veterans, Black Horse Camp #780; The Liberty Heritage Society; Brandy Station Foundation; Fauquier County War Between the States Roundtable; and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation.He is also a member of the Association of Scientists and Engineers (ASE) of the Naval Sea Systems Command; the National Air and Space Society; past president of the Baltimore-Washington Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE); and a former Smithsonian research assistant and museum docent. He helped open the National Air and Space Museum in 1976. His articles on historic topics have appeared in local and national newspapers, magazines and Internet publications.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Authors, historians talk about Mosby

A panel of noted local authors and historians will present a symposium examining the life and legacy of Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby from 1 p.m. to approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the John Barton Payne Building, Warrenton. Members of the panel are: Dave Goetz, Tom Evans, Greg Dudding and Don Hakenson.

Dave Goetz, owner of Mosby's Confederacy, Inc., will kick-off the symposium with a presentation on The Postwar Relationship Between John S. Mosby and Ulysses S. Grant. Mr. Goetz leads tours in “Mosby's Confederacy,” including the Virginia counties of Fauquier, Loudoun, Warren, Clarke and Fairfax. He has served on the Board of Directors of the John Singleton Mosby Museum Foundation in Warrenton, Virginia, which is restoring the house where the Mosby family lived between 1875-77. Mr. Goetz is co-authoring the book The Life and Times of John Singleton Mosby.
Tom Evans’ presentation is entitled Mosby at Hunter's Mill. Mr. Evans, a veteran tour guide, writer, and photographer, has spent years researching skirmish sites, residences, locations where Mosby held rendezvous with his rangers, and other points of interest. He is a charter member of the Stuart-Mosby Society and has led many historical organizations on tours of places prominent in Mosby's life and military career.

Greg Dudding will discuss events surrounding Mosby from “the beginning” to the Fairfax Courthouse raid. Mr. Dudding has been a historian for many years and is an expert on the 17th Virginia Infantry. He is the current president of the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and conducts Mosby Confederacy Tours with Don Hakenson for that organization. He has been a Civil War re-enactor and living historian for more than 12 years and lectures at the Army Management Staff College at Fort Belvoir about the life and equipment of Civil War soldiers.

Don Hakenson will talk about Mosby’s War Years. Mr. Hakenson has spent the last 20 years researching, analyzing and visiting little known civil war skirmish sites and other locations, especially those related to Col. John S. Mosby and his Rangers. He is a past president of the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and has published This Forgotten Land: A Tour of Civil War Sites and Other Historical Landmarks South of Alexandria, Virginia. He co-authored two books with Greg Dudding about Mosby and his men.

The symposium, a Fauquier County 250th celebration event, is free, but seating is limited and registration is required. Call (540) 341-7019 for information and to register.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friends celebrate, host book sale

Friends of the Library groups across the nation are celebrating their organizations and libraries this month. Friends of the Fauquier Library, a nonprofit organization, provides funding for special programs and services that expand and enrich the library's regular budget through membership dues, fundraisers and proceeds from The Book Cellar, a used book store.

Friends will host a huge book sale on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 25, in the Book Cellar and, weather permitting, at an outdoor sale as well. Sale prices will be posted in the Book Cellar while the sidewalk sale will feature hardcover books for 50 cents and paperbacks for 25 cents.
All proceeds from Friends fundraisers support the library.

“I don’t know where we would be without the Friends,” says Library Director Maria Del Rosso. “They helped sponsor hundreds of library programs in 2008 that would not have been possible through funds normally available for library operations. I think most patrons would be surprised to learn how many of the services and programs they enjoy are supported by the Friends.”

Contributions, both in donations, membership dues, and time volunteered are crucial to the vitality of the Friends of the Fauquier Library.

“The library has always played such an important role in my life and in my family’s life,” said Friends president Tina Ross. “I truly enjoy being able to give something back – and being an active member of this group is fun!”
Currently, anyone joining the Friends or renewing their membership will receive a coupon for an attractive, heavy duty tote bag bearing the Friends logo redeemable at The Book Cellar or at any Fauquier library.Call (540) 439-1939 for more information about the Friends or to volunteer in The Book Cellar.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Genealogists getting one-on-one help

Hearing family stories and glimpsing into the past is often enjoyable and rewarding, but researching ancestors can be frustrating, especially for a beginning genealogist. If you are just beginning your genealogy research, you have encountered a genealogical puzzle, or you just need some guidance, you’ll have several opportunities for personalized help over the next few weeks.

Reference Librarian Mary Sue Marsh is now scheduling 30-minute one-on-one sessions with individuals needing help with genealogy research.
Appointment sessions are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 and between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 12 and 19 at the Warrenton Library. Call (540) 347-8750, ext. 6, or e-mail to register for a one-on-one session.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fund-raising basics covered

A representative from the Foundation Center — the nation's leading authority on philanthropy — is presenting a free introduction to grant-seeking basics this month.

Representatives of nonprofit organizations and others searching for grants from foundations, corporations, and public charities will not want to miss this upcoming event, especially in light of the state of the economy and competition for grant funds.

Grant-seeking Basics will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the John Barton Payne Building. Registration is required and limited to one representative per organization. Call or e-mail Natalie Swart, (540) 439-9728, with questions or to register.

Patricia Pasqual, Director of the Foundation Center's Washington, D.C. office, will explain how the center's resources can help people identify potential funders and become more effective grantseekers.

The Bealeton Library was chosen to be a Foundation Center Cooperating Collection earlier this year.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wallis Simpson's life in Fauquier discussed

Fauquier County Public Library is hosting a lecture on Wallis Warfield Simpson, a one-time Fauquier resident for whom England's King Edward VIII abdicated his throne in 1936.

The free lecture, presented by John T. Toler and sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute, is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct.19, in the John Barton Payne Building.

Many people in Fauquier County got to know Simpson when she was living at the Warren Green Hotel in Warrenton in the late 1920s while awaiting finalization of her divorce from her first husband.

Toler, of Broad Run, is a 1965 graduate of Fauquier High School and a 1969 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied English Literature and U.S. History. In the 1970s, he served in Company C, the Virginia Army National Guard unit that was a direct descendant of the Warrenton Rifles. Later he served as an officer in the Virginia Defense Force, which traces its roots to the Virginia Protective Force of World War II.

In addition to writings during his lengthy local newspaper career, Toler has researched and written about many different aspects of Fauquier County's history. He is particularly interested in the county's military history and in learning more about the many legendary characters in Fauquier County.

Toler is one of the authors of the soon-to-be-published Fauquier County history book to be published in 2009. He is also rewriting and adding to an historical piece on the Warrenton Branch Railroad and has worked as a consultant to the John Singleton Mosby Foundation.
The lecture is part of a series on American history sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New book clubs for children begin

Two new book clubs for children began at all Fauquier libraries this month. There is no registration or fee to attend the meetings.


Books A Palooza, a book club for children in preschool through 2nd grade, will feature a different picture book author or illustrator each month and a related activity. Reading ahead of time is not required. The featured author and illustrator for October is Ed Emberley.

Books A Palooza meetings are:


Readers Rock, a book club for children in 3rd through 5th grade, will feature a different author or theme and a related activity each month. The students are encouraged to invite friends and to meet new friends. Participants should read a mystery or detective book before the October meeting.

Readers Rock meetings are:

See more about events and services for children at Fauquier County libraries.

Cival War cavalries compared


Richard Deardoff of the Southern Fauquier Historical Society is presenting the program Hartwood Church and Kelly’s Ford: A Comparison of the Cavalries Early in the Civil War at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Bealeton Library.

Mr. Deardoff will discuss how the organization of the Union and Confederate cavalries determined their effectiveness in the first two years of the war. Probably, he says, the nadir of Union performance came over the winter of 1862-1863, most notably with their rout at Hartwood Church.

The re-organization of Yankee troopers by Joseph Hooker would lead directly to their improved performance on St. Patrick's Day 1863 at Kelly's Ford.

The program, which is the first in a series of historical programs being presented by the Southern Fauquier Historical Society at the Bealeton Library, is free. Registration is not required.
Search the library's catalog for titles related to the Civil War.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Career workshop helps with setting career goals

Career consultant David Jerge is presenting the workshop What Do I Really Want to do With My Life? from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Bealeton Library.

The free workshop is designed for people at any stage of their working lives.

Whether you are beginning your career, returning to the workforce, or considering career change, Mr. Jerge will lead you through exercises for focusing on life goals and mapping career strategies.

The workshop will cover
  • determining life and career motivations and goals
  • matching motivations and goals to career options
  • strategies for maximizing success in a career
  • resources for exploring careers
Participants will also spend "quiet time" filling out various questionnaires and inventories to help pinpoint goals and zero in on possible career choices.
Some recommended resources include:
  • What Color is Your Parachute?
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (U. S. Labor Department)
  • Mid-Atlantic Guide to Information on Careers (MAGIC) by the Virginia Employment Commission

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Economy affecting library use

Studies show that when the economic times are hard public library use goes up.

This was confirmed recently when a man renewing his Fauquier County Public Library card at the Warrenton Library told staff he had priced books at Borders and decided he'd borrow them from the library instead of buy them. He was reminded of the library after hearing a report on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Reporters interviewing librarians across the country found that library usage is up nationwide — and those interviewed believe increased library use is due to the economy.

Fauquier County Public Library found its circulation figures for FY 2008 confirm this trend.

More than 462, 275 items were checked out in Fauquier County last year, the largest number in the library system's history. Nearly 278,900 people visited the county's three libraries, a 4 percent increase over last year, and more than 65,000 questions were asked at the reference desk, up 5 percent.

"I'm just glad we're here for people, " says Library Director Maria Del Rosso, "they turn to us in hard economic times for free entertainment, to search for a job, for free access to computers and to help save money by doing things themselves, like home and auto repairs."
Last year the library presented more than 1,100 programs for children, teens and adults, an 8 percent increase over the previous year, while program attendance increased 10 percent.

This summer the library's reading programs for children and teens reached an all-time high with more than 1,900 children and teens registering for the programs, a 14 percent increase over last year. Summer reading program participants read more books, too. The library's goal of 20,000 books read was far surpassed - the children and teens logged a record-breaking 25,725 titles read between June 1 and Aug. 9.

Use of the library's electronic resources, also known as e-resources, is growing too. Two recently added resources, The Washington Post Historical Online Extra and Newsbank, an online collection of regional and national newspapers, are being heavily used. And e-resources are available 24/7, an added benefit for busy people commuting and juggling family needs and schedules.

A new study by the American Library Association and an organization that researches electronic information sources and their users finds that America’s public libraries are using technology to help children succeed in school and that libraries support lifelong learning. Fauquier County Public Library provides free access to e-resources that would otherwise be out of reach for most families — resources like Britannica Online and World Book Enciclopedia. Online resources for adults run the gamut, too, and include business, genealogy, health, science, literature and legal resources.

"That's why I feel good about what we do," says Del Rosso, "the library is such a wonderful place with so many things to offer to people of all ages. Andrew Carnegie once said 'A library out ranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people.' It was true then and it's true now."

ALA's study also found that Internet access has become even more important as families struggle economically. All of Fauquier's public libraries provide free Internet access, including wireless. People have always used the library's Internet access to check e-mail, read the news, and do things such as check stocks or do homework, but the county's librarians are seeing increasing numbers of people using the free public Internet access to apply for jobs online, look for housing, and take online classes.

"There's a broad spectrum of people using the Internet at the library," says the library's Public Services Manager Dawn Sowers, "from students doing homework to elderly checking bank statements and staying in touch families."

Sowers notes that most traditional library offerings seem to be more popular than ever, including checking out popular magazines and perusing local papers, such as the Fauquier Times-Democrat, and newspaper giants such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Del Rosso agrees.

"When dollars are tight, newspaper and magazine subscriptions go," Del Rosso says, "The library becomes the place where you can still find these things. Come here any afternoon and you will find people lined up to use the computers, to check out books, to ask reference questions. The library is just bustling."

Friday, September 12, 2008

New collection highlighted during Constitution Week

Fauquier County Public Library recently received a free collection of books for children and teens, the fifth annual We the People Bookshelf from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

This year's collection, inspired by the 2009 bicentennial year of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, will be displayed during Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23, at all Fauquier libraries.

The library is among 3,000 public and school libraries that received the books for young readers (K-12). The books are related to this year’s “Created Equal” theme. Spanish translations accompany four of the selected titles.

The library is presenting a series of programs and events to raise awareness of the collection and engage children, teens and adults with the “created equal” theme from now through April 2009.

The Bookshelf is awarded through the NEH We the People program, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture.

Check out the We the People Bookshelf collection, more at the library, and links to related sites.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lecture provides insight to Eisenhower and his legacy

Fauquier County Public Library will host a revealing 60-minute retrospective entitled Mandate for Change: The Leadership and Legacy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented by Gar Schulin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, in the John Barton Payne Building. The free lecture is sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute.

Eisenhower's skills are largely overlooked or discounted in contemporary schools and universities, according to Schulin. As a result, he remains largely unknown to younger generations of Americans despite his many legacies and foreign and domestic policy achievements.

The retrospective will include many accounts of events as related by those who knew the president during his White House years. Eisenhower was referred to as "The President Nobody Knew" by former Special Assistant Arthur Larson, and his presidential style was characterized as "The Hidden-Hand Presidency" by historian Fred Greenstein. The lecture will present an informative overview of Eisenhower's remarkable leadership skills and complexities within the context of his administrations, which spanned 1953 to 1961.

The enormously popular president and his beloved wife Mamie both enjoyed living in the White House after decades of transient U.S. Army life. An examination of Eisenhower's retirement years as a private citizen and former president provides insight on his relationships with his White House successors.

Lecture presenter Gar Schulin resides in Warrenton, Virginia, with his wife Kathryn, who shares his life-long interest in American history. A career Defense Department employee, his undergraduate and graduate education includes the United States Naval Academy and George Mason University.

Schulin's preservation and community service includes memberships in the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, Culpeper Minute Men Chapter; Sons of Confederate Veterans, Black Horse Camp #780; The Liberty Heritage Society; Brandy Station Foundation; Fauquier County War Between the States Roundtable; and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation.
He is also a member of the Association of Scientists and Engineers (ASE) of the Naval Sea Systems Command; the National Air and Space Society; past president of the Baltimore-Washington Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE); and a former Smithsonian research assistant and museum docent. He helped open the National Air and Space Museum in 1976. His articles on historic topics have appeared in local and national newspapers, magazines and Internet publications.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

'Smartest' card opens doors to countless resources

Most people know that libraries offer books, magazines, movies, and music CDs to check out, but some are unaware of the many other free services and resources the library provides.

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, and Fauquier County Public Library is reminding people of the many free services and resources available at the library and through its Web site.

Library services are varied and include offerings such as career workshops, free classes for adults who wish to learn how to use the Internet, access to computers installed with word-processing and spreadsheet software, Internet access, including wireless, and free programs on a wide range of topics.

The library also offers an array of information about business, government, legal and health issues, education, literature and much more in a variety of formats, including in multi-media, print, and online. Encyclopedias, reference material and access to thousands of articles are accessible from the library Web site 24/7, which makes it a convenient and dependable source for information on almost anything you can imagine.

Surfing the Web is fun, but can be frustrating. If you want to quickly cut through a glut of ads and questionable information, using the library Web site to locate information and resources can save you time while providing reliable information.

That is why librarians are often dubbed "the original search engine." And, if you get stuck while doing research at home, you can call the library's reference desk for help. Even if it is after hours you can e-mail the reference desk and you will hear back from a librarian, usually by the following day.

E-resources, which are collections of online information, are one of the most valuable resources available to Fauquier library card holders. E-resources are accessible at the library or from your home computer.

Apply for a card today.

The library's Web site features pages for all ages, including special pages for parents, educators, adults, children and teens.

Free programs for all ages are offered year-round at the library, too. Some programs for children and teens are designed to stimulate an interest in reading and learning while others are just for fun.

Adult programs appeal to a wide range of interests with guest speakers and visiting organizations presenting their unique insights to specific subjects.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

'Smartest Card' improves school performance

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and Fauquier County Public Library wants to make sure that your child has the smartest card of all – a library card.

Studies show that children who use the library and are read to in the home perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. A recent study also showed that families use libraries to spend time together. Forty-four percent of survey respondents reported taking their children to the library for this reason.

Summer reading programs keep children reading during school vacation and have been shown to be the most important factor in avoiding the decrease in reading skills that educators refer to as "summer learning loss." This summer more than 1,900 children and teens participated in Fauquier County Public Library summer reading programs and they read 25,345 books collectively.

Now that the summer is over and children are returning to school, it is important to remember that a library card has always been the most important school supply of all. Children and teens can come to the library to get homework help and check out books, but they can also check out free music, DVDs and use the Internet to do research and to make after school life a little more fun. There’s a lot happening at Fauquier County libraries.

Throughout September, new library card recipients are invited to have their photos taken for display in the library, and small prizes will be given to children and teens that show their new cards to a reference librarian.


Also, all month the library will be featuring the many ways you can use the library, including using online resources and participating in a variety of programs - programs that stimulate an interest in reading and learning. Story programs expose young children, even babies, to the joy of reading, and librarians are on hand to help recommend materials suitable for various ages and interests. Check out online book lists for children and teens and see Kiddosphere for reviews and news on children's materials.

The library's Web site has a wealth of information and features pages for all ages, including special pages for parents, educators, children and teens.

E-resources are some of the most valuable resources available to library card holders and are accessible at the library or from your home computer using your library card.

These e-resources are free - all you need is a library card. Apply online and your library card will be mailed to you in about 10 days.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wireless Internet access available at all county libraries

The John Marshall Library now provides wireless Internet access. The Bealeton and Warrenton libraries have offered the service for several years.

If you are bringing in your own laptop and wish to use the library's Internet connection you must agree to abide by the library's Internet use and wireless Internet policies.

Wireless Internet access is not filtered, therefore patrons must be 18 or over or have a signed Internet registration card to use the wireless service. Get more information on the setting requirements for laptops using the wireless service at the library and get troubleshooting tips.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Teen coffee house, anime club continue

Students entering sixth grade or higher will have a variety of library programs to enjoy this fall.

The popular coffee house gathering for teens, enjoyed by many this summer on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bealeton Library, is continuing.


Teens engage in a variety of activities during the coffee house gatherings, including, discussions, poetry readings, watching movies, and doing book reviews. The program will switch to 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 15. E-mail Anna Ellis or call (540) 439-9728 for more information.

Another popular teen program, which began as a single event then featured as a part of the summer reading program, is the anime club. Teens can now attend regular anime club meetings beginning 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Warrenton Library. Subsequent meetings will be held the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

Bring friends and meet other anime fans. Activities will vary each week but will include watching DVDs and playing games.

Registration is not required for the programs and there are no fees.

Check out the library's teen pages for the latest news on programs and information for teens, homework helps, and links to sites on college prep, health and wellness, and fun and games.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Library adds resources for grant seekers

Individuals and nonprofit organizations in Fauquier County now have free access to a collection of resources for identifying funding sources from the nation's leading authority on organized philanthropy.

The Bealeton Library, (540) 439-9728, recently became a cooperating collection from The Foundation Center of New York. The collection provides valuable information, training and strategies for successfully securing grants. Details on grant providers and information on how to apply for grants are notable features of the new collection.

The collection includes The Foundation Directory Online Professional, which profiles more than 80,000 U.S. grant makers; Foundation Grants to Individuals Online; print directories; and proposal writing guides.

The Bealeton Library will also offer periodic training sessions on how to effectively use the collection and identify potential funding sources.

The Foundation Center of New York, established in 1956, serves grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public.

Thousands of people visit the center's Web site each day and are served in its five regional learning centers and national network of cooperating collections.

Contact Bealeton Branch Manager Natalie Swart, (540) 439-9728, for more information on the benefits of the Bealeton Library's Foundation Center resources.

Friday, July 18, 2008

International recording artist coming to libraries

Musician and recording artist Brooksie Wells will perform for children and their families at all Fauquier libraries on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Everyone is invited to this free fun-filled concert that will offer numerous opportunities for audience participation.

The concert will be held at:


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Confederate spy topic of lecture

Confederate Spy Laura Ratcliffe is the topic of a free lecture to be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at the John Barton Payne Building, Warrenton.

Laura Ratcliffe, born in 1836, was the great granddaughter of Richard Ratcliffe, founder of Providence now called Fairfax City, Virginia.

Laura's home, known as Merrybrook, is located in present-day Herndon. It is currently the private residence of David and Win Meiselman. Win Meiselman will present the upcoming lecture.

An earlier home of Laura's was sometimes used as headquarters by Col. John Singleton Mosby during The War Between the States. Mosby praised Ratcliffe for her bravery and credited her with saving his life after she alerted him to a Union plan for his imprisonment. Her warning enabled Mosby to successfully elude his would-be captors.

During the War Between the States Ratcliffe often served as “banker” to Mosby’s Rangers. She held a large cache of federal dollars that Mosby “liberated” from a Union train. She used a large rock outcropping near her home, later known as “Mosby’s Rock,” to conceal messages and money for him.
Ratcliffe also associated with Major General J.E.B. Stuart, who noticed her while she was caring for wounded soldiers. Stuart wrote poems to her, and asked her to marry him, but she declined.
Although it was obvious that her home was the center of Confederate activity, she was never arrested or formally charged for her activities.

Win Meiselman will speak about Laura’s friendships with Stuart and Mosby and how she influenced the course of the war in Northern Virginia.

The Meiselman's efforts to preserve Merrybrook have led to the founding of The Friends of Laura Ratcliffe, a nonprofit public organization actively involved in educating the public about the historic significance of the home and surroundings of this courageous woman.

The Friends of Laura Ratcliffe publishes a monthly newsletter to encourage wide-spread public interest and support and to ensure county involvement in Merrybrook preservation efforts. The Meiselmans often hold open houses at Merrybrook and recently celebrated Ratcliffe’s 172nd birthday by presenting the first Merrybrook Preservation Gala.

The lecture is part of a year-long series on American history sponsored by the library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Model airplane fun for the whole family

Children and their families are invited to see a demonstration of model airplanes and talk with members of the Fauquier Aero Recreation Modelers (FARM) club at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the John Barton Payne Building. The program is geared to children who are rising 2nd graders or older.

The event, which is free, is part of the library's Catch the Reading Bug summer reading program for children. Weekly programs and special events — many of which the whole family can enjoy — will continue through Aug. 9.

Teens swap stuff, enjoy pizza taste-off
Students entering 6th grade or higher will be swapping CDs, accessories, games, and other cool things at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the John Barton Payne Building, (540) 347-8750, ext. 6; and at 2 p.m. Friday, July 25, at the Bealeton Library, (540) 439-9728.

Swapping is a fun way to help the environment, but the catch is that attendees will be called upon to vote in a pizza taste-off contest. Bring friends, registration is not required, but please bring only items in good condition. CDs and games with parental advisory labels should be left at home.

Teens are also invited to learn what you can do with old CDs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the John Marshall Library, (540) 364-4910. Staff will have examples of some cool crafts made from old CDs and the library will provide CDs for the teens' projects.

The CD crafts program will be repeated at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at the John Barton Payne Building and at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the Bealeton Library.

Deadline approaches for babysitting class for teens
Tuesday, July 15, is the deadline for teens to sign up for the free babysitting training class to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29 and 30, at the John Marshall Library. An experienced instructor will teach the proper techniques for CPR, infant care, and how to handle everyday situations. Participants must be at least 12 years old and attend both sessions to receive a certificate. Class size is limited, so register by calling (540) 364-4910 as soon as possible.

These special events, which are free, are part of a series planned for Metamorphosis, the library's summer program for teens.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Families celebrate the good ol' USA

Children and their families are invited to celebrate the birthday of the good ol' USA at all Fauquier County libraries on Saturday, July 5. There will be free birthday games, crafts and goodies. Registration is not required, just wear your red, white and blue and join the fun. The Happy Birthday America! party gets underway on Saturday at:

The celebration is part of the library's Catch the Reading Bug summer reading program for children. Registration is underway at all Fauquier libraries and on the library Web site. Weekly programs and special events — many of which the whole family can enjoy — will continue through Aug. 9.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Teens make potions

Students entering sixth grade or higher will discover making homemade bath products is fun and easy during the Potions and Lotions event at all Fauquier libraries this month. Learn about aromatherapy and make your own bath salts during this Metamorphosis event.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Emergency juggling planned

Juggler and magician Jonathan Austin will present his fast-paced 24-hour Emergency Juggling and Magic Show for children and their families at all Fauquier libraries for children and their families.
The event is free. Show times are Monday, June 23:

Geology Rocks!
Children who are rising second graders or older will learn how geology affects our lives when they join Ed Blackford of the Roanoke Rock and Gem Club at the library. Blackford will bring his amazing collection of rocks, geodes, fossils and gems.

This free event is Monday, June 30:

These events are part of a series of free special events that are part of the Fauquier County Public Library's free Catch the Reading Bug summer reading program for children.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kids get to act with theater troupe, entertain families

The Rainbow Company, an imaginative and comic theater troupe, will entertain children and their families with its production of Anansi the Spider at all Fauquier libraries on Saturday, June 14. Admission is free.

Troupe players will select children from the audiences to play significant parts during performances of this classic African tale. The event is free.

The curtain will rise at:

This special event is the first of series of events that are part of the Fauquier County Public Library's free Catch the Reading Bug summer reading program for children. Registration for the eight-week program is underway at all Fauquier libraries and on the library Web site.

Weekly programs and special events — many of which the whole family can enjoy — begin June 14 and continue through Aug. 9 at all Fauquier libraries.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer reading is fun, helps kids keep skills

Research indicates that students experience significant learning losses during the summer months, but that children who read during the summer retain reading and learning skills better than those who don't.

To curb learning loss, Fauquier County Public Library is presenting two free eight-week summer reading programs this year — one for children and one for teens — that engage participants in activities that encourage reading and learning over the summer months.

Registration for the programs begins June 1 at all Fauquier libraries. Weekly programs and special events — many of which the whole family can enjoy — begin June 14 and continue through Aug. 9. Learn more about the programs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fauquier's railroading history discussed

A free lecture on the history of railroading in Warrenton and Fauquier County will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at the John Barton Payne Building, Old Town Warrenton.

One of the presenters, Ken Wilson, who describes himself as a life-long railroad fanatic and collector of artifacts and historic railroad facts, will focus on the history of the two 19th century rail lines that cross Fauquier County and how they evolved into the present lines of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. He has been involved with the Warrenton caboose project since 2000. The photo at left was taken by Bill Lee.

Warrenton's caboose was retired from active service in 1994 by the Norfolk Southern Railway and donated to the Town of Warrenton, Va., in 1995. It was moved to the head of the Warrenton Branch Greenway hiking and biking trail, which is located behind the former Southern Railway passenger depot at the end of South 4th Street.

The Piedmont Railroaders club prepared the site for the caboose and completed the restoration of the interior and exterior of the car in 1998. It is opened for public tours on select weekends during the warmer months.

Ron Scullin, the second presenter, has been the project coordinator of the Warrenton caboose project since 1996. He will talk about the history of the Warrenton branch railway and the town's caboose project.

Both speakers will show artifacts that show the progress of railroad technology.

The lecture is part of a year-long series on American history sponsored by the library and the newly formed Fauquier Heritage Institute.
Railroad enthusiasts may be interested in the library's Bernard S. Logan Collection, housed at the Bealeton Library and available to all Fauquier County Public Library patrons. It contains more than 60 books focusing on the history of steam, diesel and electric locomotives. Major lines such as the B&O, the C&O, N&W, and the Southern Railway are included.
The library also subscribe to the magazines Model Railroader and Piedmont Local. Back issues of most magazines may be checked out of the library.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Teen Metamorphosis happening at Fauquier libraries

The schedule for Metamorphosis — the summer reading program for teens entering sixth grade or higher — is available online and at all Fauquier libraries. Features include special events such as pizza taste-offs, car care, t-shirt creations, potions and lotions, anime club, and Red Cross babysitting certification.

Registration begins June 1. Programs begin June 14 and continue through Aug. 9. Get all the details now.

Interested in volunteering to help with the children's Catch the Reading Bug summer reading program? The deadline for applications is May 31. Learn more about volunteering now.








Monday, May 12, 2008

Deadline approaching for teen volunteers

The application deadline for teen volunteers needed to help with the children’s summer reading program and other Fauquier County public library projects this summer is fast approaching. Applications will be accepted through May 31. Print the application, complete and return to the library.

Volunteers must attend a training session prior to the start of the summer reading program, which begins June 14 and continues through Aug. 9. Staff will contact applicants to schedule the volunteer training. Applicants should be prepared to sign up for specific volunteer time slots when they attend the training session.

Some of the tasks teen volunteers will perform include assisting children and parents with summer reading program registration, keeping the registration table stocked and neat and tidy, assisting children and parents with entering the number of books read on the online book log, assisting with crafts and programs, and assisting library staff with clerical tasks.

Teens may call or e-mail for more information: Warrenton Library, Jennifer Schultz, (540) 349-1128; Bealeton Library, Natalie Swart, (540) 439-9728; John Marshall Library, Deborah Cosby, (540) 364-4910.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Florist shares tips at flower arranging workshop

A local florist will share tips and ideas for arranging fresh flowers from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 17, at the John Marshall Library. The program is free but registration is required. Call (540) 364-4910.

Check out the library's many books on flower arranging.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

General talks about ancestor and the Orphan Brigade

Brig. Gen. Lewis M. Helm will speak on Brig. Gen. Ben Harden Helm and the Orphan Brigade, also known as the First Kentucky Brigade, at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the John Barton Payne Building. The lecture is free.

The presenter is a direct descendent of former Chief Justice John Marshall and author of Black Horse Cavalry Defend Our Beloved Country. He is an honorary life member of the Fauquier Historical Society.

Helm's family arrived in Virginia in 1720 from Lanchestershire, England. William Helm, his great, great grandfather was a captain in the First and Third Virginia Continental Lines under Gen. George Washington.

During is military service, Lew Helm rose from private to brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve, commanding infantry, civil affairs and transportation units. For 20 years he was the executive director of SARCA, the professional association of Army Reserve generals and colonels.

He served as assistant secretary of Health, Education and Welfare during the Nixon administration and formerly owned an issues management firm. He taught in the Johns Hopkins University MBA program and graduate courses for U.S. Secret Service and police officials. He was a public radio commentator, produced numerous television programs and was co-editor of Informing the People: A Public Affairs Handbook.

The lecture is part of a year-long series on American history sponsored by Fauquier County Public Library and the Fauquier Heritage Institute.