Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In Honor of World Refugee Day: a Special Ceremony for New Americans

Once a month at Valdez Hall, a very important ceremony is held for new Americans: more than 800 people take their Oaths of Allegiance, becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. (Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to non-citizens.)

But on June 20th, in honor of World Refugee Day, a special naturalization ceremony took place at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union. The event was the culmination of months of organizing and planning by the Citizenship Academy and partners of the Central Valley Network for Integrating New Americans (CV-NINA). CV-NINA partners include the Maddy Institute of Fresno State, Fresno Adult School, the Fresno County Public Library, Proteus, San Joaquin Valley College of Law and Mi Familia Vota. 

Doors opened at 8 a.m. Before the actual oath ceremony, entertainment was provided by the Polynesian Club of Fresno, the Hmong Cultural Voice Dancers and the CSU Fresno Folklorico. The Boy Scouts of America Troop 35 provided a color guard and a CSU Fresno Brass Quintet played the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.”

Joining the ceremony were special guests Congressman Jim Costa, Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, and CSU Fresno Professor Mark Keppler.  Each guest spoke about the importance of being a nation of immigrants and the rights and responsibilities of becoming a U.S. Citizen (vote!).

The Oath of Allegiance was administered by the USCIS Fresno Field Office Director. There is something very moving about the Oath of Allegiance, especially on World Refugee Day when nearly half of our New Citizens were minors.

At the end of the ceremony, new citizens received their Certificates of Naturalization.  Normally, at the large ceremony downtown, this means waiting in line with the other 800 or so new citizens. But for this special ceremony, each person was given individual attention, walking onto the stage to receive the certificate and shaking hands with the distinguished guests—an extremely special moment for the new citizens and their families.

The day was a huge success and would not have been possible without the hard work of Ana Melendez from the Maddy Institute, Lisa Agao of the Fresno Adult School and Michelle Gordon of the Fresno County Public Library, as well as the 40 or so volunteers (from many of CV-NINA’s partners) who helped with all aspects of the ceremony.

The Fresno County Public Library is proud to be a partner in the Central Valley Network for Integrating New Americans. In addition to this partnership, FCPL offers a number of services to support new Americans including citizenship materials and practice civics tests on our Learning Express databases. Call or email us for more information about these services.

Friday, June 26, 2015

WoW! JobNow!

Job-hunting can be difficult, time-consuming and downright stressful. If you haven’t created a resume in a while, or if it’s been years since you were interviewed, the prospect of going through the job application process may inspire serious anxiety. So where can you go for resume templates and interview advice? JobNow, an online resource provided by the Fresno County Public Library, is a great place to start. Simply go to the Library’s Job and Career page, click Job Now and log in with your library card number. (Never had a library card? Had one a while back but have no clue where it is? Visit any local library branch with your ID to get one.)

What’s so great about JobNow? JobNow gives you access to resume templates, resume advice and (perhaps most impressively) a resume lab where you can submit your resume and get feedback from an expert.

Worried about that job interview? JobNow also gives you access to online interview coaches, who will help you refine your answers and make you more comfortable with the process.

Now, JobNow is one of several Job and Career resources the Library offers. Visit the Library’s Jobs and Job Hunting page or call us at (559) 600-9699 to discover others.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pop-Up Here, Pop-Up There, Everywhere....

Even with more than 35 locations all over Fresno County, sometimes you can’t get to the Fresno County Public Library. With all of today’s technology, there ought to be a way to set up a mini- library in places where a bookmobile wouldn’t fit.


Introducing the Pop-Up Library!

We take some library staff, tables, shelves, books, computers, and a wi-fi hotspot, and we have an instant library. Add an awning for outside events, and the Pop-Up Library is ready to make new library cards, check out materials, and make people happy.

Last week, a Pop-Up Library was part of the Summer Reading Challenge Kickoff at Fresno’s Discovery Center. Mark Halvorsen and Terrance Mc Arthur (librarians from the WoW! Library division) made 17 library cards and checked out more than a dozen books in three hours.

Right now, the Pop-Up library is in its testing stage.  You might find it at a gardening center, loaded with books on plants and cooking. It might show up at a farmer’s market with popular novels. It could even be at a child-centered location, packed with picture books, beginning-reader books, and kid fiction.

So, look for the Fresno County Public Library’s Pop-Up Library. You never know where it will Pop-Up!


Monday, June 8, 2015

What to Do? What to Do?

School's over, and you're...bored. Looking for something to do? Wander in the Internet to the Fresno County Public Library’s database page, down to the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, and you’ll find a world’s worth of things to do.

Articles, book chapters, and other sources on various pastimes are ready to read, look at, or spark creativity, and it’s all FREE with your library card! You can find information on hobbies as common as:


     or Chess


or as unusual as:

Bell Ringing

or Bungee Jumping.

You can learn about:
  • Mosaics (tile and grout are extra),
  • Woodburning (Be careful! It’s hot!),
  • Sketching (landscapes, still lifes, and more),
  • Coin Collecting (foreign or domestic),
  • Basketry (coiling and weaving and twining, oh my!),
  • PEZ Collecting (Did you know they have the Star Trek crew on dispensers?),
  • Candlemaking (dipped or poured),
  • Postcard Collecting (“Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here”),
  • Board Games (from Monopoly to Snakes and Ladders),
  • Batik (wax-dyed fabric),
  • Crochet (Hook it!),
  • Knitting (Knit one, purl two, OOPS!),
  • Origami (It looks like…folded paper),
  • Model Trains (All aboard!),
  • Cross Stitch (decorate clothing and ornaments),
  • Lego Models (You’ve seen the movie, now step on the blocks in the middle of the night),
  • Macrame (Knot, knot! Who’s there?),
  • Bird Watching (the original tweets),
  • Hang Gliding (“Is this thing safe?”),
  • Geocaching (Hide-and-Seek for the GPS generation),
  • Scuba Diving (“Under the Sea”),
  • Magic Tricks (“Now you see it….”),
  • Puppetry (strings, hands, and shadows),
  • Piano (tunes at your fingertips),
  • Astronomy (Star light, Star bright....),
  • Robotics (Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto),
  • Papermaking (What’s a deckle?)

and a host of other pursuits, trivial or otherwise.

Image result for trivial pursuit

Look at all the things you can do, and you’ll go “WoW!”