Thursday, March 26, 2015

Selma Block Party: March 23, 2015

Library staff Mark Berner and Russell Noland were thrilled to attend Selma's Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life block party on Saturday. The event was a great opportunity for the library to reach out to Fresno County residents; Mark and Russell made contact with nearly 300 people of all ages and issued library cards for almost 20 people. 

The block party was organized with the efforts of neighborhood churches, the Selma police and a number of community organizations. It featured free food, music, bounce houses and a bike raffle. A wonderful opportunity for the Library to make connections with the community! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Library at Your Fingertips

Are you one of the 29 percent of adult Americans who can’t imagine life without a cell phone? Or are you a recent adopter, navigating your way through a world of apps, texts and notifications for the first time? Regardless of your comfort level, you should know the Fresno County Public Library is accessible on your mobile device, on-the-go, wherever you have online access.

It’s 11 at night and you want to know if the library owns the Oscar-winning movie Birdman (we do!). Or maybe you just realized the 23 picture books you checked out for your 3-year-old were due that day. Download our mobile app to your smartphone or tablet, and you can do your library business without leaving the comfort of your nice soft bed. Search our catalog, request items to be sent to your local branch, renew what you have checked out, or ask a real librarian a question via text message, phone, or email. The App works for Apple and Android devices—simply go to your app store and search for “Fresno Library.” Too easy!

Prevent Waiting Room Boredom-- Magazines and eBooks on Your Device
Have you had a doctor's appointment recently? Had to take your car in for maintenance? Did your tax guy's previous appointment run long, leaving you listless in the lobby? You might've had trouble keeping occupied as the minutes slogged by. Of course you can't get that precious time back, but you can be better prepared next time by having the Library's Zinio and Overdrive apps installed on your phone or tablet. Download and keep (yes, we said KEEP) current and back issues of titles like Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, and Car and Driver. Or get the Overdrive app and check out eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming media. Read, watch and listen, right from the app!

As always, these services are free and available to any Fresno County resident with a valid library card. If you're having trouble getting started, call or email us today.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Wow, it's . . . Career Pillar!

--by Mark Halvorsen

While a need for employment skills often begins in high school, few receive the instruction necessary to outmatch the competition. The Fresno County Public Library can help with our newest database – a career coach with massive resources that can help you gain a position in the workforce.  Known as Career Pillar, this innovative and interactive series of videos and lessons is a must.

Take a look at Career Pillar yourself, provided free through our database collection. The assortment of skills covered is impressive. Inside we find strategies for how to thrive in any interview situation by boosting self-awareness and confidence, discovering what makes you unique and learning how to breeze through those common tricky questions. Watch a preview of Career Pillar's features here

Career Pillar talks with you, walks you through the interview process and plays the part!  It is available free to Fresno County Public library card holders. An email address is required. To get a library card to enjoy all of our database resources, visit your local branch or click here for more information.

Happy Job Hunting! 

This post is part of a monthly series of staff blog posts focused on an individual WoW! librarian's biography, subject area specialty or long-term project. They will be tagged with the blog tag "WoW! It's . . ."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Resources for Nonprofits

If you work for a nonprofit, using your time and money efficiently is no doubt a necessity. Are you looking for grant opportunities? Do your staff need training on desktop software? Do you need to find partners or vendors to accomplish your goals? Fresno County Public Library offers a wide range of free services that may help you.

Grants and Nonprofit Center
Take advantage of the Library’s Grants and Nonprofit Center at the Central Library in downtown Fresno. Get access to free grantmaker directories, books on fundraising and nonprofit management, as well as the Foundation Center’s electronic resources. Use these databases to find detailed profiles of all active U.S. foundations, an extensive file of recent grants awarded by the nation's top funders and interactive mapping tools. In-depth training on any of the Center’s resources is available free of charge from the Library. Call (559) 600 - 6201 to make an appointment with a Librarian.

Nolo Guides for Nonprofits via the Legal Information Reference Center
With a valid library card, you get free access to a number of Nolo legal guides designed for nonprofits such as How to Form a Nonprofit Organization, Every Nonprofit’s Tax Guides and Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes, and Records. Download and print a wide selection of legal forms. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Terry Elementary Author Talk

A big "thank you" to Terry Elementary in Selma for inviting the Library to attend their author talk and dinner Thursday evening. Patricia Newman, author of Plastic, Ahoy! and Jingle the Brass spoke to students and teachers at the event. Library staff Mark Berner and Joanna Chase had the chance to talk with community members about the library, make cards for families, and meet and greet parents and students. (You can read more about the event on the Selma Unified School Libraries' blog). Thanks again, Terry Elementary!

Monday, March 2, 2015

College Prep is in the Air: Resources for College Applicants

Spring is approaching quickly-- and while for some the season brings to mind leisure and longer days, if you're applying to college soon, you might be thinking more about entrance exams than flowers and butterflies. Whether you're an educator, a parent or a college applicant yourself, you should know the Fresno County Public Library has online tools to help you prepare for the SAT, the ACT and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. As long as you have a library card, you can use them from home, school or wherever you have internet access.

Learning Express Database
Access tutorials, practice tests and eBooks to help prepare for:
  • SAT Math, Critical Reading and Writing tests
  • Advanced Placement tests for English Lit and Composition, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Government, U.S. and European History  
  • PSAT/ NMSQT Tests
  • College admissions essay writing

eBooks from Overdrive
Having trouble getting your hands on a test-prep book? If you have an eReader, smartphone or PC, you can download test preparation books to your devices. Take a look at the study aids and workbooks available through Overdrive. Ebooks check out for up to three weeks and can be renewed as long as no one is waiting for the title.

As always, Library staff are here to help if you have questions.

FCPL databases provide cardholders with a vast amount of accurate, free online information. This blog post is a part of a weekly series highlighting FCPL databases and is tagged with the blog tag “Resource of the Week.”