Thursday, February 25, 2016

Library Film Studies Drought Impact

A four-year drought has brought pain and anger to the San Joaquin Valley. Not only are the solutions unclear, even the questions are hazy.

Jonathan Waltmire of the WoW! Library team is project director for a new video documentary, Reflections of a Drought: a film, which shows the issues through the words of people in Fresno County dealing with the drought’s effects. The film was shown at the Woodward Park, Selma, and Mendota branches of the Fresno County Public Library.
Jonathan Waltmire answered questions about the film
at its Woodward Park Library premiere showing.

Funded by a competitive California Humanities grant underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the California Documentary Project seeks to understand the people and history of the state. Waltmire and videographer/editor Steve Thao interviewed ten people, from civic officials to farmers to homeowners, cutting six hours of raw footage into a 21-minute exploration of how agriculture, communities, and the public are dealing with the lack of water.
Waltmire says his biggest challenge was “trying to find a story that was balanced between urban and rural. There’s something for everybody, farmers and city dwellers. We’re all in the same boat together.”

Sarge Green, interviewed in the film,
spoke at the Selma showing.
“Reflections of a Drought” can be seen on YouTube or at the end of this post. Future plans for the documentary include having DVD copies available for checkout at FCPL branches.

Waltmire’s goal for the project was to “foster discussion on how people can mitigate the effects of the drought.” What surprised him the most was “how complex water management in California is. There is no easy solution.”

Friday, February 5, 2016

Librarians Pop-Up on Groundhog Day

You never know where the WoW! Pop-Up Library will pop up...or when.

Fairwinds and fun reading.

On Groundhog Day, Kenny Abramowitz, Joanna Chase, and Terrance Mc Arthur set up a Pop-Up at the Fairwinds-Woodward Park retirement community in north Fresno, bringing more than 100 books and videos to peruse and check out.

What Is This?
People have questions about the Fresno County Public Library's Pop-Ups:

The WoW! Pop-Up packs a lot of library into a little space.
  • Is this a book sale?--These are library books, DVDs, and CDs to check out. It's a mini library branch for lending books, not selling them.
  • How do I return the books?--The Community Pop-Up Library goes to different places at different times, instead of on a schedule. Library materials may be returned to any of the public library branches in Fresno County, or as far away as Merced, Mariposa, and Bakersfield.
  • Do I have to have a library card?-- Materials are checked out with a user's library card, and  WoW! processes new library cards on the spot. Cardholders who don't have their cards with them may check out with proper ID.
    Joanna makes a card at Fairwinds.
  • What if I don't see what I want?-- The Pop-Up Library is a sampler of library services and materials. Each event helps our staff learn what people want, and the goal is to match the books to the people we meet: children's and parenting books at a school night, cookbooks for a gardening group.
  • How can I request a Pop-Up Library near me?--The Pop-Up Request Form on this blog site is designed to help library service users sign up to have a pop-up at their location or event. Filing a request more than two weeks in advance increases the chances of WoW! staff being available. Back-to-School night, church potluck, or shopping center--the Wow! Pop-Up Library can be there!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

TNT. Computers. WoW!

A TNT grant. Sounds explosive, doesn’t it?

It stands for Technology aNd Training, using technology products to provide information services to library patrons. The WoW! unit of the Fresno County Public Library is participating in a TNT grant, providing computer classes to rural communities, focusing on skills that would help adults in job-searching. Librarian-instructors and translators make it happen.

Monthly classes take place in Parlier and Firebaugh, communities with great needs for computer training and job-search help.  The venues used are non-library buildings (Parlier Youth Center and Firebaugh’s First Baptist Church), with morning and afternoon sessions. January's classes taught basic computer terms, mouse skills, and how and why to get an e-mail account; that set will be repeated in February. March is resume-writing, and April is on-line job-hunting techniques. The resume and job-hunting classes repeat in May and June.

The WoW!-mobiles contain the supplies for a pop-up classroom, with laptop computers, projection equipment for visual presentations, and other needful things. Translation is provided for Spanish-speakers by Sonia Bautista and Carlos Estrada of the FCPL staff. After January's first sets of classes, a dozen adult students left with their own e-mail accounts that they could use for communicating with friends, shopping online, and filling out job applications. Information literacy--being able to use computers with confidence and without fear--is a major need for people in the 21st century. According to Shannon Morrison, one of the teachers, class members “enhanced a skill they might not have had otherwise.”

If you are interested in building your skills at these classes, contact the Firebaugh branch library at (599) 600-9274, the Parlier branch library at (559) 646-3835, or the WoW! Library unit at (559) 600-9699.