Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Librarian has the Best Summer Ever with the FCPL Summer Challenge: Part 1

by Fae Giffen, Community Librarian 

Hi! My name is Fae and I’m a Community Librarian for Fresno County Public Library. I’m determined to have the best summer ever by doing the Fresno County Public Library Summer Challenge and sharing my experiences with you on this blog.

#2: Say hi to a librarian.

This one is pretty easy for me. After all, I work with librarians and I’m a librarian myself. I suppose I could have just said hi to myself, but all I have to do is wait until Monday morning and I can say hi to a bunch of librarians. Here we have Nicole Settle waving good morning to me. She’s one of our programming librarians, who helped put together the summer challenge, so if you’re having fun completing the challenges this summer, Nicole is one of the many staff members at FCPL you can thank. Say hi!

#34: Watch a sunrise or sunset.
The weather may be unbearably hot right now, but it does create some pretty sunsets. This is the view from my apartment around 8:30 on Sunday night. The sky was an expanse of different pinks and reds that seemed to go on forever. It’s almost worth it to live through such a hot day to have a sunset like this. Almost.

#30: Read for 10 minutes
One of my summer projects is reading the horror classic It, by Stephen King. Since it's 1090 pages long, it actually may take me all summer to finish. So far I’m really enjoying this story, but I have found out that Stephen King is maybe not the best author to choose as bedtime reading.  I made myself turn out the light and go to sleep after 10 minutes, because I was pretty sure if I kept going I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all. I’m already a little wary of clowns and this book isn’t helping at all. However, if you are looking for an excuse to stay up until the wee hours of the morning scaring yourself to death, I highly recommend you pick up a copy. FCPL has both regular and ebook copies, so there are lots of options for a little terrifying reading.
See you next week, for another update on my Summer Challenge progress!

Monday, June 19, 2017

FCPL Summer Challenge: Earn Extra Prize Drawing Entries

Want to increase your odds of winning prizes during the FCPL Summer Challenge?

When you complete your activity log task for the week and bring it to your neighborhood FCPL branch, you gain one prize-drawing entry, but you can earn another one simply by posting to our social media.

Each week, we’ll post a challenge on social media, and when teens respond to that post (by the end of the week in which it was posted), they’ll earn an extra prize-drawing entry! Participation in the first four social media challenges (weeks 1-4 of the Summer Challenge) will result in additional entries into the halfway-point drawing for the JBL bluetooth speaker, and those who participate in the challenges for weeks 5-8 can gain extra entries into the final Grand Prize drawing for a Go-Pro starter kit.

 Your week 2 challenge is to share a shelfie with us on Instagram. We can't wait to see them all!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"Wonder Women": Girl-Powered Series Worth Watching

by Kristin Baer, E-Services/Web Marketing Librarian

The new Wonder Woman movie is making quite a stir, inspiring women across the world and reminding everyone that "girl power" is far more than just a catchphrase.

However, the Amazon princess is actually in pretty good company: there are quite a few wonder women, in pop culture and real life, if you know where to look for them. If you need some great small screen heroines to tide you over, while you await Wonder Woman's next film appearance (at least a couple years away!), I recommend checking out these series--all available through FCPL!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

No list like this would be complete without mention of Buffy.

Buffy Summers is fairly average, a mediocre student--more street-smart than bookish--and she doesn't quite fit in, but--thanks to a quirk of fate--she's also pretty much the most important person alive, at least in Sunnydale, where she keeps vampires and other supernatural forces at bay.

Buffy helped pave the way for other highly-relatable female pop-culture heroes, like Katniss Everdeen, who show us that women can be extremely tough as well as emotional.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete First Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fifth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Sixth Season
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7


Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels


From take-charge, stoic, veteran soldier, Zoe Washburne, to the endearingly sweet but practical and competent Kaylee Frye, it would be an understatement to say that the women of Firefly are equal partners with the men in the crew's common fate. For instance, Kaylee may be enthralled by floofy dresses and yearn for a boyfriend--stereotypically "feminine" behavior--but as the ship's mechanic, she quite literally keeps Serenity running, and much more successfully than the man she replaced. Each of the women on the crew, even the clearly traumatized River, is capable of saving herself and the lives of many others into the bargain.


Firefly: The Complete Series


Can't get enough of Serenity's crew? After the movie finale, Joss Whedon continued their story with the Serenity graphic novel series.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agent Coulson may be the team's nominated lead, and there are a number of smart and powerful men in this series, but Melinda May (a.k.a. "The Cavalry"), Skye/Daisy Johnson/Quake, Gemma Simmons, and the other female characters bring their own hefty share of brains and brawn to the mix, more than evening the score. These women are truly forces to be reckoned with, for good and for evil.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Complete First Season
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Complete Second Season


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Coulson Protocols
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Under New Management


Is it possible to get much more super than Supergirl?

Kara Zor-El has hidden her superpowers for years, the better to blend in with her adoptive Earthling family, but just as she has finally built the ultimate "normal" life, living in National City and working for a media mogul, she is called upon to help protect the city's citizens--and she must again tap into these abilities and learn to embrace them as part of herself.


Supergirl: The Complete First Season


Supergirl graphic novels

Warehouse 13

Here's one you may not have heard of.

If you find it fun to imagine entire vaults of dangerous, "powered" artifacts, hidden away from us for our own good, then you'll love Warehouse 13. In this short-lived, but much-beloved Sci-Fi series, a covert location in South Dakota, Warehouse 13, houses supernatural objects collected over several centuries, and Warehouse agents have their work cut out for them, investigating reports of unusual activity and retrieving lost and new artifacts that could spell trouble if they got into the wrong hands.

Among quite a few powerful female characters in this show, geeky, sarcastic, Claudia Donovan, computer hacker-extraordinaire and inventor, is probably my favorite. Initially assigned menial work in record-keeping and inventory, she begins tinkering with standard-issue equipment and developing entirely new inventions to amuse herself. While these "improvements" aren't exactly welcome at first, the others come to appreciate her ingenuity and even rely on it.

To say much more would be to give away plot points, and who wants spoilers?


Warehouse 13: Season One
Warehouse 13: Season Two
Warehouse 13: Season Three
Warehouse 13: Season Four
Warehouse 13: Season Five

Anyway, those are a few of my recommendations. What are yours?

Friday, June 16, 2017


Every Friday we give a new book away. To get the book, it's simple: just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and you'll be entered into a drawing. The drawing will run from Friday through Sunday and winners are announced on Mondays. (Note: you must be a Fresno County resident to be eligible for Free Fridays.)

Wintersong: A Novel  by S. Jae-Jones

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family's inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Kathe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her--musically, physically, emotionally. Yet, even as her talent blossoms, Liesl faces an impossible choice. As she grows closer to the Goblin King, both of them must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, when young upstart composers like Beethoven were forever altering the sound of music, S. Jae-Jones' richly imagined debut spins a spellbinding tale of music, love, sisterhood, and a young woman's search for self-actualization.

Update: Excellent news for Pachia V.: she'll soon be enjoying this intriguing new fantasy title. If you didn't win, but you're still interested in reading the book, you can check it out at FCPL!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Challenge: Keep Learning

School may be out for the summer, but that doesn't mean you have to stop learning.

In fact, you can find some exciting opportunities very close to home!

Summer Challenge Programs Begin June 12

What do you want to learn? Improv? Comic illustration? How to make a recycled bag from a favorite t-shirt? How to shoot stunning video with your iPhone or iPad? Learn all that and more with summer programs at the Library branches.

Plus, get a free book of your choice just for signing up for the Summer Challenge (at any FCPL branch)!

Woodward Park Teen Council (monthly)

Meet once a month with fellow teens  and tweens, to plan programs, volunteer opportunities, and make new friends. You can even earn an hour of volunteer credit for each meeting you attend. This month's meeting will be held 6/21, from 6-7 pm at the Woodward Park Regional Library.

Percy Jackson Demigod Summer Camp - June 25, 1-4 pm at Woodward Park Regional Library

Come to our Woodward Park branch and revel in your fandom for Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, with themed crafts and activities.

Yoga at the Library - June 26, 4-5 pm at Betty Rodriguez Regional Library

Always wanted to give yoga a try? Well, now you can--at the Library! 

Fig Garden Teen Anime Night  (monthly)

Connect with other anime fans each month at Fig Garden Branch Library, and enjoy different selections each time. The next Teen Anime Night, featuring a showing of Sgt. Frog, will be June 28, 6-8 pm.

Discover Your Community Media Center - June 29, 6:30-8:30 pm at Betty Rodriguez Regional Library

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? If so, you won't want to miss out on learning more about our local Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) and what you can make there.

Bonus: SYNC AudioBooks  

A little over a month ago, we spotlighted the free audiobook program, SYNC, but we wanted to remind everyone about it because the titles available June 8-14 sound especially exciting: