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. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Digibus at the Truck Wash

               Have you ever wondered where trucks and RVs go for a wash?  We found out this week!

 On Tuesday, March 7, in preparation for a Digibus Univision commercial, Shannon and Annika took the bus to the Fresno Truck Wash to get cleaned up.

The freshly washed Digibus will be rolling through Firebaugh March 13-17.  The following week it will be in Kerman (March 20-24).  Hop on any time between 10 am-12 pm or 1-3 pm to work on job readiness skills or use the free WiFi.  You can find the full schedule here.  


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Knowledge is Power

On Saturday, March 4, WoW! librarian Annika Janzen attended the Knowledge is Power 2017 conference.  This event was held by the advocacy group Parent Voices, in partnership with Central Valley Children’s Services Network.  Parent Voices advocates for children and parents at the state level and provides resources for parents of young children.  Speakers at the event included representatives from the Fresno County Office of Education, the United Farm Worker's Foundation of Fresno, Central California Legal Services, as well as the Children's Services Network and the Library.

 Deborah Bernal from Literacy Services presented a workshop for parents on encouraging early literacy skills for their children.  The Families for Literacy program, offered through FCPL, provides activities and education for parents and caregivers of young children aged 0-5.  One of the aims of the program is to get kids ready for kindergarten, and there are so many opportunities to get young children ready for school before they even start reading or speaking.  Annika signed people up for library cards and spread the word about the library’s upcoming Spring Storytime and Craft events, as well as other helpful library resources.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Digibus Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Digibus was held in the parking lot of the West Fresno Branch Library on January 27, 2017. The Digibus is a mobile computer lab where instructors will be on hand to assist participants in searching for a job, using email, and sharpening their basic computer skills. 

A beautiful day for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Board of Supervisor Chairman Brian Pacheco, California State Assembly-member Dr. Joaquin Arambula, and representatives from Congressmen Devin Nunes' Office, Congressman Jim Costa's Office, Senator Andy Vidak's Office and Assembly-member Jim Patterson's Office were among those who joined the County Librarian, Laurel Prysiazny, in cutting the ribbon.
The Digibus is officially ready for service.

Collage of the certificates and proclamation presented to Prysiazny at the event by those mentioned above.

The Fresno County Public Library Digibus crew.

Look out for the Digibus in your neighborhood.

Times and locations for the Digibus can be found here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Get Job Ready on the Digibus!

The Fresno County Public Library WoW! is pleased to announce the launch of the Digibus Mobile Classroom on January 27, 2017 from 1-2 pm at the West Fresno Branch.

Equipped with tablet computers, our instructors are ready to help you learn computer skills, use email, navigate the web, search for a job, and create and print your resume!

Our specially designed Digibus website is available in English and Spanish, and can be accessed on any internet computer or mobile device.

The Digibus will conduct a morning and afternoon class from Monday-Friday at selected sites in Fresno County.   This is a free service.

See where the bus is scheduled to visit-