Friday, January 29, 2016

Girl Scout Expo

Image result for girl scout cookies

Take a thousand or so Girl Scouts, put them in one building, and what do you have? the Fresno Girl Scout Cookie Expo!
The Fresno County Public Library booth at the Cookie Expo was a busy place January 23rd at the Fresno Fairgrounds. Information about library resources, craft activities, and making new library cards were the order of the day.
Even with cookie tasting, inflatable obstacle courses, Star Wars Stormtroopers, Kopi Sotiropoulos, and other displays to get their attention, hundreds of Girl Scouts, leaders, and families from several counties of the Valley visited the FCPL booth. Eric Dunnicliff, Rita Leung, and WoW! staffers Joanna Chase and Terrance Mc Arthur helped Scouts with the craft and answered questions about library services.

Eric and Joanna,
waiting for the Expo to start.

Here come the Girl Scouts!


Bentley going to meet
his fans.
Bentley, the Library's popular mascot, made an appearance, greeting fans and posing for pictures. In the booth, Terrance told people about e-books and downloadable movies, Zinio online magazines, the Freegal music service, and Beanstack. All these FREE services excited leaders and parents, who carried off flyers and bookmarks filled with information.

The Girl Scouts decorated cut-out leaves with what they liked most about the library. more than 150 participated. The leaves will be part of a display at the Central Library in February. For helping to create the display, each Girl Scout received a patch with Bentley's picture stitched into it.

Girl Scout-decorated leaves,
ready for display at the Central Library.

The Library Patch for Girl Scouts,

It was a lively event, with lots to see and do. Next to the FCPL booth, a radio station challenged people to hit a golf ball into a putting cup. Costumed members of the 501st (the local Star Wars re-enactors chapter) swung light sabers as onlookers oohed and ahhed.

Rita putts at the
booth next door.
Terrance learns a lesson:
never jostle a Jedi.
It was a good day for Girl Scouts, families, cookies, fun, and learning about the library. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Books for Them


Beanstack is a new library resource that matches your child to quality children's literature, from  board books for babies to pre-teen fiction.

Just Imagine
Imagine your own electronic librarian, one who knows your child and can recommend books that meet their needs. Each week, your "Robo-brarian" would let you know about worthwhile books that fit your child's tastes and reading level. It would track reading, reward achievement, and suggest enrichment activities.

What Does Beanstack Do?
Beanstack sends e-mails with book suggestions tailored to your child's interests. The website features themed combinations of booklists for reading, subject exploration  learning tracks, and learning tips.

How To Begin
To begin with Beanstack, parents (or computer-savvy kids) fill out a reader profile with contact information, reading level, and reading likes. Explore the service. Enter what books are read. Earn colorful badges.

Oh, The Things You Can Do!
Beanstack's learning tracks are aimed at children from pre-readers to twelve-year-olds. Learning tracks are grouped sets of activities about animals, plants, cultures, behaviors, famous people, and other topics. Each theme has its own activities to engage young minds and reinforce learning skills. For example, the learning track on "Autumn" includes seven books to read, music to listen to, crafts, games, and fun facts. This FREE service helps prepare youngsters for a lifetime of learning. Come on! Climb the Beanstack!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Music to Your Ears

Music--great music--is part of our lives, but it can cost you...unless you can find a way to get it free and legal.

Enter the Fresno County Public Library and Freegal.

The library subscribes to databases and online services to make them freely available to the public. Freegal's catalogue of over 8,000,000 songs and 15,000 music videos is ready to be streamed or downloaded to a mobile device or a home computer.

The collection can be searched by song title, artist, album, or genre. Library card holders can download three songs for personal use a week and stream three hours of FREE listening pleasure per week. Everything from classic performers...
 to current hitmakers...

 to one-hit wonders...

 to unique kinds of music...

are all ready to be heard.

A month of downloads can give you all the songs on a great album that you can put on a CD or store on a device, or make up a set of your favorite tunes to set a mood while you work or study. The music is for non-commercial use only, to play for small groups of friends or listen on your own.

Freegal is one of the ways the FCPL tries to meet the needs of Fresno County and its people. Give it a listen.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Betty Rodriguez Regional Library--It's Open!

The Betty Rodriguez Regional Library opened Saturday, January 9, and team members from WoW! lent a hand. Amid speeches, music, refreshments, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, dignitaries and the public stepped through the doors of the new library building for the first time.

Wow! staffers Joanna Chase, Jonathan Waltmire, Kenny Abramowitz, and Terrance Mc Arthur conducted tours, assisted with computers, gave directions, helped performers, located materials, signed customers up for new library cards,  and introduced people who should get to know each other.

Kenny and Terrance, together again.
To showcase the capabilities of the new Innovation Lab, experts made objects with the 3-D printer from "Star Wars" characters to a wrist brace. The lab will be a place for robotics activities, sewing, and building product prototypes.
In the fifty-person-capacity meeting room, local vintage string jazz band Scats on the Sly had the crowd dancing to its infectious rhythms of the 20's and 30's.

In the library's main area, a colorful, neon-like portrait of the group looked down on the crowds of library-goers.

After the band, the E&M Reptile Family thrilled and chilled children and the young-at-heart with bugs, amphibians, lizards, and snakes.

The Betty Rodriguez Regional Library, at 3040 N. Cedar Avenue (southeast of the Cedar/Shields intersection), housed in a former Fresh 'n Easy building, boasts more than twice the space of the old Cedar-Clinton branch. The area near McLane High School now has a state-of-the-art library that will serve the community for years to come.