Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Challenge Fun

Community Librarian, Fae Giffen, has decided to complete the Teen Summer Challenge during this summer by completing fun activities from the list and documenting her experiences on the FCPL teen blog.

The Summer Challenge is for children and teens and each participant is given a log with different activities to complete. The participant is entered into a raffle to win a prize after they have completed a certain number of tasks. For more information on how to participate and to view the raffle prizes, click here.

For her first week, Fae read for 10 minutes, watched a sunset and said "Hi" to a librarian. Be sure to check the teen blog,, every week for her updates. Follow along as each completed activity leads to a new design in Fae's Fresno skyline.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Last month, we wrote about our Taste the World – Community Potluck event.  We hosted this potluck at the Reading & Beyond Mosqueda Community Center on Saturday, April 29th.  We had over 20 dishes at our event.  Here is a small sampling of the foods that were brought for all to share:

Cardamom Bread

Sopes Station
Kalua Pork

Southern Greens with Turnips

Swedish Butter Cookies

Pure de Papas (mashed potatoes)

Apple Pie
Peanut Butter Pie

Before: Tres Leches Cake
After: Tres Leches Cake

At each dish was a handy Potluck Pal sheet we found at  The designer was thrilled to let us use them for our event.  These Potluck Pal sheets listed allowed us to neatly list the ingredients of each dish to help eaters decide what to try and what they would want to admire from afar.  

Story for the Kalua Pork
Participants were also encouraged to share their stories or the history of their dishes.  Some brought their story already prepared and others
used our blank-pages cut-out to share their stories.  It was great to see and try dishes from so many different places. 

This event was the first of a series as a part of the California Center for the Book’s program: Community Conversations about Immigration.  We want to thank our sponsors for the event, too.  Reading & Beyond was incredibly gracious is donating the use of their wonderful banquet room at the Mosqueda Community Center.  And the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library were instrumental in providing support for this event.

For part 2 of this series, “California: The Journey,” check out the New Americans page on our website.  If you’re interested in submitting a story (or a recipe etc), just follow the directions listed there.  Keep an eye out for Part 3 of the series, an Art Hop night at the Betty Rodriguez branch in September.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taste the World - Community Potluck

As someone who moved to Fresno from back East, I often asked people this question: what do you like best about Fresno?  And more often than not, the answer that comes back has something to do with the food.  It makes perfect sense.  The culinary offerings in Fresno are as diverse as the community.  What better way to celebrate this than with a Community Potluck?!

The Fresno County Public Library is hosting an open Community Potluck at Reading & Beyond’s Mosqueda Community Center at 4670 E Butler Ave on Saturday, April 29th at 2:30pm.  For two hours, the community is welcome to share their favorite home-cooked meals.

Let’s all gather and break bread together, sharing stories, histories and recipes!

Here’s what you need to know:
  • Pre-registration is required. 
    • Click on the Potluck banner on the library’s homepage to fill out the form or call the Wow! office at 559-600-9699.
  •  An ingredients list must be provided (this is to classify the dishes to avoid allergy issues)
  • Warming dishes will be provided for dishes not in a crock-pot. 
  • All serving tools will be provided.
  • Coffee, punch and lemonade will be provided, or bring your own beverage.
    • No alcohol permitted
  • There will be door prizes. 
  • Each dish will gain you an entry for a drawing, held this coming Fall, for a personal library of 20 titles.
 Everyone has a story to tell about how they or their family came to be in California.

California: The Journey is a four-part series of programs.  The first program, Taste the World, is our Community Potluck, graciously sponsored by Reading & Beyond and the Friends of the Fresno County Public Library.  The series is a part of California Center for the Book's Community Conversations About Immigration program.

The second part of the series is Tell Us Your Story.  You can submit anything written that has something to do with where you or your family is from.  Share a recipe, a narrative of your journey to California, a description of your hometown…whatever you want to share with us.  These stories will then be gathered and posted on the FCPL website on the New Americans page.  Stories can be posted anonymously.  Submissions are being accepted now and posting will begin at the end of April.  

To submit a story, please:
  •  send it in an email to,
  • mail it to ATTN: WoW Office, 2420 Mariposa St., Fresno, CA 93721,
  • or drop it off at any Fresno County Public Library branch in an envelope addressed: ATTN WoW.
  • Please include your name and a telephone number or email address (for drawing entry). 
  •  Please make a note if you want your story to be published on our website anonymously.
  • Please remember this is for all ages, so please use appropriate language
  • The Library reserves the right to not publish or post entries.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Citizenship @ the Library

Once a month at Valdez Hall in downtown Fresno, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hold a Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony where anywhere from 200 to 1200 new Americans take their oaths of allegiance. On March 11, 2017, the Fresno County Public Library hosted a Citizenship Ceremony at the Orange Cove Branch. 20 new citizens took their oaths, including 14 minors, receiving their citizenship through their parents, and 6 naturalized adults.

Registration began the moment the library doors opened. Everyone has to check in. They hand over their Permanent Resident Card and take care of some other paperwork business with USCIS. This day is something that naturalized citizens work towards for years. Sometimes they have to learn a second language. They also have to take a civics test, a reading test and a writing test during their final interview with USCIS. On top of all that, it is not inexpensive to file for naturalization. While it's a little bit easier for the children who obtain citizenship through their parents, it does require paperwork, a USCIS interview and a fee. Becoming a U.S. Citizen is no easy task.

During registration, the Library offered some activities for everyone to participate in while they waited for the ceremony to begin. At one station, Children's Librarian Allie offered a Dreamcatcher craft where kids could create their very own dreamcatcher.
For the older kids, Teen Programming Librarian, Misha provided a ceramic tile craft. The crafters chose a tile and a pattern, symbol, design or picture to graft to the tile. Here's a picture of the kids making the tiles and of the finished products!

One of the coolest things about the citizenship
ceremonies is WoW!'s world map. We bring out that map to all of our citizenship ceremonies and have every new citizen designate their home country with a small star. It's a great visual representation of the amazing diversity of Fresno County!

Right around noon, the ceremony began. After the Star Spangled Banner, WoW! Librarian Michelle gave some opening remarks on behalf of the library. She spoke about her experiences working with the immigrant communities in Fresno County and how their journeys have inspired her. Then it was time for two other FCPL librarians to provide some fun. Allie Marques, the Children's Librarian for the Blossom Trail Cluster, provided a mini-story time where she read Bark, George for everyone to enjoy. Misha Hacke, the county-wide Teen Programming Librarian, gave a short book talk about Cinder.

Sofia Flores, USCIS Officer, presented the candidates for citizenship and Lynn Feldman, the Fresno Field Office Director, administered the Oath of Allegiance. At that moment, the candidates for citizen automatically become citizens. Everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then listened to our guest speaker, Victor Lopez, the Mayor of Orange Cove. Finally, the new citizens were presented with their Certificates of Citizenship. Each new citizen was called up, one at a time, where Sofia presented them with their certificates; then they were received by Lynn Feldman, Michelle Gordon and Victor Lopez.

It was a great day of celebration. FCPL is proud to partner with USCIS to hose these small citizenship ceremonies and looks forward to future ceremonies.