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.