Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer of Citizenship

There are different ways of gaining U.S. Citizenship.  Many of us are born in the United States.  Citizenship is automatic when you are born in the U.S.  Then there is Naturalization, where an adult spends years in the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident and fulfills all the requirements of naturalization.  That includes learning basic English, passing a civics exam and a thorough background check as well as several other steps and expenses.  Another path is being the minor child of a U.S. citizen.  The minor is born in another country but has at least one parent who is either a natural born U.S. citizen or becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen.  The minor-aged children of those citizens are then eligible to apply for citizenship.

On August 13, in partnership with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Fresno County Public Library hosted a Citizenship Ceremony for 26 of those young new citizens ranging in age from 8 to 18.  The Woodward Park Regional Library was decked out in red, white and blue for the event.

 The Library had activities throughout the ceremony to showcase how FCPL is a part of the community.

During registration hour, there were two crafts available.  For our younger guests, we had a construction paper Chinese Lantern craft while our tweens and teens were able to make modge podge tile coasters.  
 After USCIS officials opened the ceremony, WoW! Librarian Michelle Gordon offered some welcoming remarks, touching on her experiences working with the immigrant community in Fresno County.  Then two more FCPL librarians showcased their own talents.  Nicole Settle, the county-wide Children’s Programming Librarian, read a story about the U.S. flag.  That was followed by Woodward Park Regional Library’s Youth Librarian, Tiffany Polfer, providing a book talk (think movie trailer but for books) for the tweens and teens in the audience.

Tiffany then took all the candidates on a tour of the Woodward Park Regional Library that ended in the children’s room.  There, all 26 candidates took their Oaths of Allegiance, which was administered by the Fresno Field Office’s Supervisory Immigration Services Officer.  After the Oath, everyone said the Pledge of Allegiance and watched a short congratulatory and welcoming video by President Obama.  USCIS then presented the certificates of citizenship to each new citizen.

It was a wonderful and special event.  FCPL has made a large effort to offer more comprehensive resources to Fresno’s immigrant community.  We offer Citizenship Corners in numerous branches currently and are expanding those locations monthly.  Another Citizenship Ceremony is scheduled for September 17, 2016 at the Central branch.

Monday, July 25, 2016

But Wait! I Want More Time!—How to Renew Library Materials

Checking out books, movies, and audio from the library gives you a sense of joy…until you realize that it’s the due date, time to return them, and you aren’t finished with your reading, watching, or listening.

What do you do? Take a speed-reading class? Turn them in and hope you can check them out again? Keep them until you’re finished, and dip into your savings to pay the overdue fines?

Stay calm. You may be able to renew them and get some extra time.

It’s Not Late, Yet

If the Fresno County Public Library items you want to keep aren’t overdue, you may renew them (get more time) at any library branch, by phone, or even online. If nobody else has it on hold (has requested that item, and is waiting for it), you can renew it up to two times.  
Look at your checkout slip or the self-checkout monitor to see when the materials will now be due. Books and DVDs check out for different lengths of time. The renewal starts the day you renew it, not from the day it was originally due.

You Can’t Always Renew What You Want

If your library materials are already late, you can’t renew them online. You can go to a branch to renew them in person, or renew over the phone with library staff. Some things can not be renewed. The New & Now category is a one-time-only checkout, and is not to be renewed. Inter-library loans from outside the Valley consortium do not get renewed. Items that are on the waiting list for other people don’t get renewed. It’s only fair that others get a chance to read that book or see that movie.

The Fresno County Public Library wants people to have a pleasant library experience, and to share its holdings with as many people as possible.

Read on!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

¿Comprende Ingles?

Learning a new language can be frightening, but Basic ESL is a service that makes it easier to learn English as a Second Language. The Fresno County Public Library has Basic ESL for FREE on its website.

The method is simple, starting with the English language's sounds, then going on to vocabulary and its sentence structure. You can start with primary languages from many parts of the world: French, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, and more. Lessons are spoken in English, with their words and sentences printed in the primary language.

Vocabulary lessons teach words and put them in context, and dialogue lessons show how to use those words in talking to people.

Entering through the Research It link on the FCPL home page, Basic ESL asks new users to register, so their progress can be tracked. The home language, name, email address, and a selected password are used to set up an account. Passwords are six letters and numbers, and can be as simple as “abc123” or “mynam3.”

Once registered, it’s time to learn! Speakers or headphones are needed to hear the audio portion, which is triggered by the clicking the speaker icons
on the page. Listen and repeat the words, and listen again, if you wish.

It’s a simple program, and it’s FREE through the Fresno County Public Library.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Meet Me at the Library

A library isn't just a building with books in it. A library is a part of the community, a place where people can meet.

McCardle Room at the Central Library

Many branches of the Fresno County Public Library have meeting rooms where community groups and not-for-profit organizations can gather, and they are offered FREE to the public. Library meeting rooms have hosted drum circles, rodeo associations, knitters and quilters, table-top gamer groups, line dancers, cemetery use boards, T-ball parents, Scouting events, and community Thanksgiving dinners. Non-library-sponsored gatherings that aren't selling services or products or are campaigning for issues or candidates are welcome to sign up to use library spaces. After your event, you can sign up for another use, if the space is available.

Woodward Park Branch meeting room

Because the library is a public building, restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and flames and candles apply. Rules are meant to keep the buildings safe places. Different rooms have different service capacities. Kitchens, projectors, Wi-Fi, dry-erase boards, public address systems, podiums, or assisted listening devices are available at some locations. Fire Marshal room capacity limits must be followed.

To apply for meeting room use...
  • find a time that is available,
  • provide contact information,
  • choose options
That's what it takes to reserve a library meeting room.
Meet you at the library!
Betty Rodriguez Branch meeting room

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Here Comes Money Smart Week!

Do money matters mystify you?
  • How do I save for retirement?
  • Are payday loans a good idea?
  • How can I protect myself from identity theft?
Financial literacy, understanding how money works and what to do with it, is just as important as knowing how to read. That's why the Fresno County Public Library is participating in Money Smart Week, April 23-30. Government brochures and flyers are available, each geared to teaching people about financial matters from mutual funds to avoiding scams.

The WoW! Library staff are participating in several events.
  • Saturday, April 23, 2016 -- Sierra Vista Mall, Clovis, noon-4pm
  • Monday, April 25, 2016 -- Courthouse Park, Fresno, 11am-2pm
  • Saturday, April 30, 2016 -- River Park, Fresno, noon-4pm
Each event will include information flyers for adults in English and Spanish, computers with games that teach financial concepts, a sample saving plan, and storytimes and piggy bank crafts for youngsters.

The FCPL has links to useful resources on renting, saving, retiring, and credit.

Shannon Morrison of the WithOut Walls Library talked with Kim and Kopi on KMPH-26 about Money Smart Week and the library's National Poetry Month writing contest.

Knowing how to take care of your money is an important skill. If you don't watch your money, you'll watch it fly away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Placing Holds: Get that book locally!

Did you know you can have materials you request (holds) delivered to your nearest branch?  All you have to do is search for the item in our catalog and request it!  It only takes a few easy steps.

Find your Title

You can search for library items by the title, by the author who wrote it, or by the subject (what it's about). If you wanted to find It by Stephen King, you could search with the terms "It," "King, Stephen," or "Clowns--Fiction." If you were looking for Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy with Peter Telep, the subjects to search for include "Taliban--Fiction," :Terrorism--Fiction," "Mexico--Fiction," "Drug Traffic--Middle East--Fiction," and "United States. Central Intelligence Agency--Fiction."

See where it is available 

Requests tells you how many people are in the line waiting for it. The Location list tells you what branches have copies and if they are checked in or checked out.

Click on Request Item

A Request will put you on the list to get what you want sent to a convenient library. Add to My List makes a wish list of things you would like to get from the library...but not right now. When you want one of those items, go to the list. One click will request it.
Once you select Request Item the next screen will ask for your library card number and your PIN, the four-digit Personal Identification Number you set up with your card (if you can't remember your PIN take your ID to any FCPL branch library; one of the staff will be able to look it up for you).

The next page confirms your request and allows you to choose the location where you want to pick up your request. Select the branch closest to your home or where it is most convenient for you to pick up materials

Sometimes you will be first on the request list. Popular books may have a long waiting list. Don't worry. Anything worth having is worth the wait.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Library Film Studies Drought Impact

A four-year drought has brought pain and anger to the San Joaquin Valley. Not only are the solutions unclear, even the questions are hazy.

Jonathan Waltmire of the WoW! Library team is project director for a new video documentary, Reflections of a Drought: a film, which shows the issues through the words of people in Fresno County dealing with the drought’s effects. The film was shown at the Woodward Park, Selma, and Mendota branches of the Fresno County Public Library.
Jonathan Waltmire answered questions about the film
at its Woodward Park Library premiere showing.

Funded by a competitive California Humanities grant underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the California Documentary Project seeks to understand the people and history of the state. Waltmire and videographer/editor Steve Thao interviewed ten people, from civic officials to farmers to homeowners, cutting six hours of raw footage into a 21-minute exploration of how agriculture, communities, and the public are dealing with the lack of water.
Waltmire says his biggest challenge was “trying to find a story that was balanced between urban and rural. There’s something for everybody, farmers and city dwellers. We’re all in the same boat together.”

Sarge Green, interviewed in the film,
spoke at the Selma showing.
“Reflections of a Drought” can be seen on YouTube or at the end of this post. Future plans for the documentary include having DVD copies available for checkout at FCPL branches.

Waltmire’s goal for the project was to “foster discussion on how people can mitigate the effects of the drought.” What surprised him the most was “how complex water management in California is. There is no easy solution.”