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 pública. ¿Quieres una solicitud de tarjeta de biblioteca?”

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

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