Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kerman Youth Commission SEARCH

On Saturday, April 18th, the Library was thrilled to attend the Kerman Youth Commission's SEARCH event. (SEARCH stands for Successfully Engaging Adolescence through Resources Community Hunt). The event included a community-wide scavenger hunt, information booths and raffles. Librarians Mark Halvorsen and Misha Hacke talked to about 200 families and provided info about library services. 

Thanks Kerman Youth Commission for inviting the Library to your event!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Consumer Reports Articles: Free Online Access with Your Library Card!

Who do you consult when you have to make a big purchase? If you want an objective, evidence-based opinion, you may want to check out Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that's been reviewing products since 1936. Whether you're buying a dryer, a set of tires, a television or a tablet, CR gives you facts to guide you in the purchasing process.

And how can you access Consumer Reports articles from home, for free? With your Fresno County Public Library card. FCPL gives you free online access to even the newest issues of Consumer Reports. Log in from work, home or wherever you're connected to the internet. If you don't already have a card, simply take your valid ID to any branch and complete a library card application. As always, Library staff is here to help! Call us at (559) 600-WOWW or email us now.

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.”

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wander Lonely as a Cloud No More (with Literary Reference Center)

April is National Poetry Month and here at FCPL we’re celebrating with our 16th Annual Poetry Contest. Submit your poem online and enter to win a Target gift card. All entrants may choose to read their poem at the Awards Ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Saturday, May 30th from 2-4 p.m.

Want to read a few poems for inspiration before you get writing? The Literary Reference Center, yet another database available from the Library’s website, can give you access to a few. Browse nearly 160 full-text poems available online. There’s one for every mood: creepy classics like Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess; Shakespeare’s sonnets for the amorous; or metaphysical dreamscapes like Kubla Khan for the meditative.

The database also includes literary criticism-- great for students working on critical essays or anyone wanting to read up on a work’s meaning. Get information on more modern literature as well, including works like Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and our Big Read pick The Maltese Falcon.

As always, FCPL staff is here if you need us! Call, email or send us a text 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.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stories…and Beyond!

One of the most important steps in learning to read is making that connection between letters on a page and words that mean something. On the Fresno County Public Library website, one of the best tools for doing that is a FREE service called BookFlix. All you need is a library card number to unlock dozens of hours of reading and learning!

It features animated videos of picture books for children. Each one is read aloud, with the words highlighted as the story goes along. Since schools are moving into non-fiction-based learning, each fictional story is paired with a book that gives facts about a subject connected to the story.

The non-fiction book can be read aloud for you, or it can be read without audio help. Words that might be new to the reader are highlighted, and their meanings are revealed with a click of the mouse.


The book-pairs are fun and interesting. Bark, George, about a puppy with a strange problem, is teamed up with Pets at the Vet, which tells how veterinarians take care of animals and help them get well.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat shows a worn-out coat that becomes a jacket, a vest, a scarf, and other things as the remaining pieces are remade into useful items.  That book is featured with Recycle That, about new uses for old trash.
BookFlix is a great way to make reading a habit, building a bridge between the printed page and a world of imagination and information. WoW!

P.S.--The FCPL also offers "Dial-A-Story," a call-in recording where a book is read by library staff. It's a great bedtime-helper, with the story changed every few weeks. Call 559-600-8253 (600-TALE) and give it a listen!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Shaking the Family Tree

Do you have any famous ancestors, like:

Henry VIII?     

Marian Anderson

Alexander Graham Bell

Billy the Kid



If you don’t know, and you want to find out, the Fresno County Public Library offers Ancestry Library Edition, a FREE version of Ancestry.com.
Let the Search Begin!
Start with the basic facts you know about an ancestor or relative:

  • Name
  • Birthdate (you can even find a lot of information with just a year or decade of birth)
  • Where they lived (born, died, or any place an important event in their life happened)
  • Other family members (parents, children, spouses, brothers/sisters)
  • Something important about that person (military service, profession)
With just a few bits of information, you’re on your way to discovering your past!
My Family Story
I’ve always been fond of the stories about my great-grandfather, Alexander Baird. Using Ancestry Library Edition and his name, where he was born and the year (Scotland, 1830 or 1832), I found:

  • His parents (Robert Baird and Agnes Bell)
  • His wives (married 4 times: one divorced him, one died)
  • His children (22 of them)
  • His military service (3 tours in the U. S. Navy; he was with Commodore Perry’s expedition to open Japan to Western trade)
  • His theatre company
  • The name of the ship he took to bring his family to America (The Cynosure)
  • A story about the hand-me-down gun he took on his trip West across the Great Plains (one shot could bring down 20 birds)
  • 3 obituaries
  • His prison record

(Some sources say he was the man on the far left. I think he was the bearded one on the right.)
You may not locate as much information as I did about Alexander when you search for your relatives, but—whatever you find—it will make you go “Wow!”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Computer Classes to Go!

Are you a member of a community group or organization? Do your clients or members need technology training? The Fresno County Public Library offers free community computer classes to go. You provide the location; Library staff provides computers, a trainer, and internet access.

Classes Offered:
Computer basics
Online job search
Desktop software (Microsoft Word and Excel)
Library eBooks on Your Device

Do you need a training not mentioned above? Call FCPL’s WoW! Library at (559) 600-9699 today to talk with a librarian.

How do I request a class?
Complete and submit the form here: 

You can also email us at wow.library@fresnolibrary.org or call the WoW! office at (559) 600-9699.

All Library programs are free and open to the public. The Library can accommodate up to ten (10) students per class and requires at least four (4) students scheduled. The venue provided by the requesting organization must safely accommodate staff, students and equipment. All requests are subject to staff scheduling needs and availability.