Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Librarian has the Best Summer Ever with the FCPL Summer Challenge: Part 6

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.


#3 Visit someplace new.

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Dark Sky festival at Sequoia National Park. And now it’s time for true confessions: I grew up in Fresno and I’ve never been to Sequoia. Not even once! Tragic, right? It’s an hour and a half away and I’ve never managed to get around to it. If you are in the same sad, neglectful position I was in, I recommend that you correct it as soon as possible! The park is amazing and full of so many different experiences you’re sure to find something to appeal to your own vacation needs. We hiked, we visited museums, we picnicked, but mostly we just enjoyed cooler weather, pretty scenery, and good friends.



#1 Look at the stars.

Did I mention we were there specifically for the Dark Sky festival? It’s an annual event at the park celebrating astronomy. Sequoia is famous for the blackness of its night skies that allow you to see stars you would never know even existed in a city like Fresno. We were treated to a lecture from a professor of astronomy at UCLA that showed us the magnificent stories of the gods that can be found in the stars if you just know where to look. Now I can find the North Star, just like early explorers did to find their way home.

#21 Go e-device free for 1 hour.

Did I ever! My friends and I were staying in a rented house in Three Rivers, which is a little town just outside the Sequoia park gate. It’s adorable and completely lacking in decent cell service. I’m sure it’s possible to get service through someone up there, but my cell phone provider abandoned me as soon as I arrived. I basically went e-device free for 48 hours with short breaks when I could log onto a Wi-Fi network. It turns out it was just what I needed. Even though I went to bed late and got up early, I felt completely rested after a break from my emails and text messages and social media. Besides, who needs to be staring at a screen when this is your dinner view?



#32 Read for 40 minutes.

Decks with great views make excellent reading nooks.



#40 Read outside.


So do trees.

What did you do last week? Leave us a comment here to share your summer update.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 7 Summer Challenge: Check Out FCPL's eResources


With your brain, the Library, and some handy eResources, you can do pretty much anything!


Want to learn how to code your own website, or how to play an instrument? There's an eResource for that. Meet our friend, Lynda. She'll teach you everything she knows for FREE.

Looking for sources for a class report?  MasterFILE Complete or Explora just might save the day.

Struggling with science or history coursework, or just want to make sure you understand the material? Find comprehensive information on Science Reference Center and History Reference Center, and drop by our online Homework Center for even more eResources.

Practicing for the SAT, ACT, or an employment test? Check out the College and Career Centers on Learning Express.

Trying to learn another language? You can't go wrong with Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

Need your own personal soundtrack for study, workout, or "just because"? Stream and download music from Freegal, and listen to ready-made playlists, or create your own from Freegal's music catalog.

All of this is just a portion of what you have at your fingertips when you log in with your library card barcode. This summer, this week specifically, we encourage you to explore the rest of the great eResources the Library offers. When you leave us a comment here reporting back on which FCPL eResources you use/think you'll use and why, you'll even earn an additional entry into the second Summer Challenge prize drawing!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Go-Between




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.)


The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi, and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle--Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi's mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly.  Her mom's first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi's new friends assume she's a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will teach her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?

With humor and humanity, Veronica Chambers offers a universally appealing coming-of-age novel that poses complex questions of identity and assimilation every immigrant must wrestle with: Who were we back there? Who are we here? Who does everyone think we are here? And how do we meld all those selves together into a new life?

Update: This time around, our Friday freebie goes to Jenny O.!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Librarian has the Best Summer Ever with the FCPL Summer Challenge: Part 5

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.

#15 Contact an elected official about an issue you care about.

Politics are getting a lot of attention these days. The state of the nation is on everyone’s mind and we’re all trying to make sense of the world around us. The big picture is important, but don’t forget the old saying: “All politics are local.” Some of the policies that have the biggest impact on your life are written and implemented right here in Fresno County. Staying active in local affairs is just as important as following what's happening in Washington D.C., and learning the names of your local representatives is a great way to start. USA.gov is a good place to find contact information for elected officials, from The Office of the President to your local mayor. The League of Women Voters allows you to enter your zip code onto their website and receive a list of all of your elected officials. Remember, if an issue matters to you, it should matter to your representatives. Find out who they are and let them know what you care about. I chose to contact a local official about improving public transportation, but you should find an issue you're passionate about. The important thing is to start getting involved.

#36 Watch the movie version of a book you’ve read.

Did you know Clueless is based on Jane Austen’s Emma? Yup. Amy Heckerling’s 1990s classic teen comedy is actually based on a 19th century novel, just with cell phones and a pretty amazing soundtrack added. If you’re looking for a highly entertaining ‘compare and contrast’ this summer, I recommend you check them both out.

#20 Learn 5 words in another language.

One of my greatest frustrations in life is not being bilingual. It’s ridiculous to grow up in a country based on immigration and new beginnings and not be able to communicate with anyone who isn’t speaking English. My Spanish is so bad that it’s pretty much limited to ordering food and telling people I don’t speak Spanish. This is unacceptable. I must improve. Luckily for me the Fresno County Public Library is here to help. Have you seen our language database selection? It’s pretty impressive and they can all be logged into from you home computer using your library card. There are multiple databases to choose from that allow you to improve your language skills in a variety of ways. I chose Mango Languages, so I could use their translator function which allows you to type in one language and get a translation in another. I now know that “Welcome to the public library. Would you like a library card application?” translates to “Bienvenido a la biblioteca p├║blica. ¿Quieres una solicitud de tarjeta de biblioteca?”


Which Summer Challenge log activities are YOU taking on this week? Let us know in the comments!


Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Unscripted




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.)


Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein

Girl looks for a sign. Enter: Boy.

Rainie doesn't have a "passion" like her friends do. She's more of a dabbler--quick to give up and move on. But as graduation approaches, she wishes she had more direction. So when gorgeous Tuck gives a monologue that literally puts into words exactly how she's been feeling lately, it's a sign! Tuck is her passion. How could she not have seen it before?

Girl follows boy. Enter: Second Boy.

Rainie convinces her ex-BFF to let her work at the same summer job as Tuck. She's got a foolproof plan to date him. But when she arrives, Rainie discovers that things aren't so simple. And she meets Milo, a super-cute boy who also works with her. A boy with a complicated past.

Girl needs to figure stuff out. Enter: Drama.

Update: Congratulations to our lucky winner, Lana K.!