Fauquier County Public Library

Library Updates

Reading Riot: Kudos to our Homework Helpers

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For several years now, Liberty High School National Honor Society students and the Bealeton branch library have had a happily synergistic Teen volunteer helping student with homeworkrelationship. To meet their community service requirement, NHS members offer Homework Help (formerly entitled Tutoring) to school-age children. In return, the library promotes the program and provides the space for the students to work.

As word has spread to local elementary and middle schools, the program has grown and thrived. Often seven to ten families drop in for the sessions and a half dozen tutors eagerly wait to assist. Students are encouraged to bring specific school work that they need help with and in they march with math sheets, language arts assignments and history projects in hand. The tutors always give excellent one-on-one assistance to the younger students with kindness and skill. Some of the tutors are even proficient in Spanish and have been invaluable helping our Hispanic patrons.

Volunteer homework helper with student

It is so gratifying to see this much-needed service being taken advantage of. And it’s great that NHS tutors not only gain the satisfaction of helping their community but also earn volunteer hours that boost their job and college applications. So here’s a shout out to our wonderful NHS volunteer tutors – past, present and future – for the great work they do for the patrons of the Bealeton library!

Homework Help is offered 5-7 p.m. each Tuesday at the Bealeton branch library throughout the school year when school is in session. Free; drop-in.

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services Librarian, Bealeton branch library

For book lists, program highlights and staff suggestions for young adult readers published prior to January 2015, visit Reading Riot, our blog about the best books, events and websites for teen.

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Homework Help: Science Fair Madness Begins!

Posted by alison on

kids with test tubesDo you (or does your child) have a science fair project due? Or are you a parent, teacher or home schooler looking for some practice guides for hands-on science learning? Recommended online sources for project ideas, tips and guides include:

  • Access Science – All you need is your library card number and you can access supporting articles and research for your science fair projects and research papers. Award-winning materials include encyclopedia articles, videos, news and more.
  • Discovery Education’s Science Fair Central – Includes hundreds of project ideas, advice from judges and previous winners and display tips.
  • Scholastic.com’s Science Explorations – With the help of audio, text, photos, and video, students thoroughly explore six science topics, from the Galapagos Islands to giant squid.
  • Kids.gov – Here you’ll find science fair projects, ideas and experiments from various government agencies; broken down by age and includes a special section for teachers/parents.
  • ScienceBob.com – Hosted by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, this site is aimed at elementary and middle school students and includes videos and printable directions.
  • ScienceBuddies.org – K-12 students, parents, and teachers can quickly and easily find free project ideas and help in all areas of science from physics to food science and music to microbiology

For offline resources, search the library’s online catalog (or browse in the 507.8 and J.507.8 nonfiction section — sort by “reverse year” to see the most recent titles) to place holds/check out books for science project ideas, including:

Best of luck!

Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian, Warrenton central library

For tech tools and tips published prior to January 2015, visit eResource News, our blog filled with news and information about Fauquier County Public Library’s electronic resources.

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Get Assistance with Health Insurance Sign Up and Income Tax Filing

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The February 15 deadline for signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fast approaching. If you need assistanctaxtimee getting signed up, representatives from Enroll Virginia! will be available at the Warrenton central library and the Bealeton branch library from January 26 to February 13. To make an appointment call (703) 216-5262.

Right behind ACA is income tax season with assistance available at all Fauquier County Public Library locations between February 1 and April 9. To make an appointment with a representative from the Foundation for Tax Assistance, call (540) 422-8465.

With cuts to the IRS budget, only limited tax forms will be available for pick up at public libraries. The Commonwealth of Virginia ceased distribution of forms to libraries several years ago, as well. However, the library will have master copies for photocopying or staff can assist you with printing copies from the IRS or Virginia state website. Copies and printouts are .15 cents per page.

Dawn, Public Services Manager, Warrenton central library 


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Staff Picks: Library Staff Shares Their Favorite Reads

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Book ClubsAs you can imagine, everyone who works at the library counts reading as one of their favorite activities, so it’s not unusual for us to share books we’ve enjoyed with one another. Now, we’d like to share a few with you too, from the people you don’t always see out in the library, but who are working hard to provide Fauquier residents with a wonderful library experience—the Fauquier County Public Library administrative team.

Us: A Novel by David Nicholls.  A romantic comedy that uses angst and humor to illuminate the resilience of the human heart. Douglas Peterson’s efforts to preserve his disintegrating family take him on another kind of journey — from despair to unexpected joy. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls’ reputation as a master of romantic comedy.  Maria, Library Director, Warrenton central library

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Written by one of my favorite authors, the love story that Hoffman weaves between main characters Coralie and Eddie is, like most of her books, a bit magical. Set in New York City during the first decades of the twentieth century, the changes taking place in society are the perfect backdrop for the changes that occur in the main characters lives. Dawn, Public Services Manager, Warrenton central library

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Full disclosure – I originally read Outlander several years ago and went on to read several others in the series. I enjoyed it the first time around and decided to re-read it when Outlander debuted as an original series on STARZ in 2014 (it has gone on to win a 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci fi/Fantasy TV Show). Outlander is rich with history of Scotland in the mid-1700’s and characters that generated strong reactions. I quickly found myself rooting for Jamie Fraser and gritting my teeth over Jonathan Randall (aka Black Jack Randall). Lisa, Public Information Coordinator, Warrenton central library

The Cat Sitter’s Cradle by Blaize & John Clement.  Part of a popular mystery series initiated by Blaize Clement and continued by her son, John, this title features the pet sitter Dixie Hemingway in yet another fast-paced and entertaining story, this time set in the Florida Keys.  Linda, Support Services Manager, Warrenton central library

Day After Night by Anita Diamant.  This was a new author for me – recommended by Dawn S. I liked this book because it was based on a true story and I thought it very well-written and a good read all around. In fact,  I liked it so much that I have already read another book by the same author.  Based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred Jewish prisoners from the Atlit internment camp outside Haifa, this is the story of four young women, haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, who find hope and salvation in the bonds of friendship even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country. Terri, Administrative Specialist, Warrenton central library

61 Hours by Lee Child.  This book is set in a South Dakota winter that happens to be the cause of a bus crash that leaves the main character, Jack Reacher, stranded in a small town. He finds himself tasked with protecting an elderly woman that has been witness to a crime. Jack must keep her alive until she can give her testimony. The book contains some unexpected plot twists and turns and, like all of the Lee Child books, was very exciting. Kim, Accounting Clerk, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library. For online book lists published prior to January 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

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Reading Roundup: Bealeton Book Club Enjoys The Snow Child

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In January, the Bealeton Book Club’s reading selection was The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. This was a great selection to “cozy up with” during the recent cold weather!

The Snow Child book cover - small girl and fox playing in the snow between trees

The Snow Child is a tale set in 1920s Alaska, where the main characters Jack and Mabel face their first winter while homesteading. They are a childless couple desiring isolation, yet experiencing alienation from one another. They are unprepared for the difficulties of an Alaskan winter.

During the first snowfall, they spontaneously create a child out of the snow. The following morning, the “snow child” has disappeared, but they see a young girl wearing the scarf and mittens with which they dressed the snow child. Her name is Faina and she seems to be a child of the wilderness. She gradually begins to trust them and they open their hearts to her. Meanwhile, Jack and Mabel begin to develop friendships with local neighbors George and Esther, and their son Garrett.

The author, Eowyn Ivey, is a native Alaskan, so the story feels authentic, yet magical at the same time. Interwoven throughout the novel are actual poems and Russian fairy tales about a “snow child” who magically appears to a childless couple. I particularly enjoyed the selection at the beginning of the book, which is a basis for the story:

“Let us go into the yard behind
and make a little snow girl;
and perhaps she will come alive,
and be a little daughter to us.”

Little Daughter of the Snow by Arthur Ransome

Most of our book club readers enjoyed the book, particularly the mystery surrounding the “snow child.” There was a lively discussion about the ending. Read the book and see what you think!

If this story interests you, try these (please note that some of these are children’s books):

Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Russia by Virginia Haviland
The Little Snow Girl by Carolyn Croll

 The Bealeton Book Clubs meet once per month. If you would like to join us, please check our schedule for dates, times, and reading selections:

Bealeton Evening Book Club,  Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Bealeton Afternoon Book Club, Thursday 2:30 p.m.

 Happy Reading!

Mary Sue, Adult Reference, Bealeton branch library

Keep up-to-date on library news and events! Subscribe to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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Comic Books for Grownups

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Starting January 27, comics for adult readers are on display at the Warrenton central library. We have something for every reader, from graphic novels to classic comic strips.

If you’re interested in comics but not sure where to start, here are five recommendations for adult readers.

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

book cover of Ice Haven

Daniel Clowes is best known for his wonderfully dark coming-of-age graphic novel, Ghost World. Here I’m going to highlight one of his lesser-known works, “Ice Haven.”

Through deceptively simple comic strips, Clowes weaves a profound tale of love and murder. The storytelling is quirky but accessible and will appear to fans of literary fiction and black comedy.

Graphic memoirs by Lucy Knisley

Knisley’s four slice-of-life memoirs (including the forthcoming Displacement) follow the author’s experiences with travel, food, and relationships.

My favorite is probably An Age of License, a narrative about finding independence as a maturing adult, set during Knisley’s travels in Europe. There’s a lot of humor here, as well as illuminating small details of food, travel, and love.

The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert et al.

book cover for The Photographer

I’m a huge fan of European comics, with their large format art and varied subject matter. It’s no surprise that this flourishing comics scene produced “The Photographer.”

This work of nonfiction follows a photojournalist who traveled in war-torn Afghanistan in the 1980s. The book incorporates Didier Lefèvre’s stunning black-and-white photographs. It’s a dark but moving portrait of a tragic moment in history.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

If you’re interested in learning more about how comics creators produce their works, “Understanding Comics” is a must read.

This smart book gets into the nuts and bolts of how comics creators use art, panels, and words to tell stories. If you enjoy this volume, McCloud’s follow-up Making Comics is equally brilliant.

Six Novels in Woodcut by Lynd Ward

These two masterful volumes from an early graphic novelist push the boundaries of comics as a medium.

Beautiful woodcuts without words tell six dramatic stories about art and the American spirit. Lynd movingly tackles the political and spiritual questions of the twentieth century. These volumes also include Ward’s essays on his artform and an introduction by master comics creator Art Spiegelman.

Becky, Adult Reference, Warrenton central library 

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.  For online book lists published prior to Jan. 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

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Reading Riot: More Opportunities for Teen Fitness

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Teens exercising in fitness class

Last week Bealeton branch library TAG members enjoyed an energetic Teen Fitness class. If you missed that opportunity, it’s not too late to come in out of the cold and shape up! Certified fitness instructor Beth Howser is offering two more exercise and nutrition classes at our other library branches. You will learn about healthy choices and great fitness techniques you can do on your own without fancy equipment. Hosted by TAG for 6th grade and above.

Warrenton – 4:30 p.m., Monday, January 26
Marshall – 5 p.m., Tuesday, January 27

Ann, Youth Services Librarian, Bealeton branch library

For book lists, program highlights and staff suggestions for young adult readers published prior to January 2015, visit Reading Riot, our blog about the best books, events and websites for teen.

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Library Launches Redesigned Website

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Welcome to the redesigned Fauquier County Public Library website!

What’s different? The new website is mobile friendly, fully searchable and easier to navigate.  You can browse the various areas using the navigation menu located at the top of the screen (About, Events, Reading, Research, E-Media, Services, Support Us). Click on the “My account” link located at the top right corner of every page to go right to your library account. Of course, if you get stuck, you can always use the “Search our catalog/Search our website” widget at the top right corner of every page, below the “My account” link.

This redesign would not be possible without your participation in our surveys, focus groups and usability testing. We appreciate your input and look forward to your help to tweak our new site. Tell us what you think of the new design by completing a very short survey.  If you’d like to be contacted by a library staff member, please indicate in your comments and include your contact information.

We will continue to work on ways we can make the website faster and easier for library patrons and visitors. This may result in small changes to the site from time to time. We hope you enjoy the new look and look forward to ongoing improvements to our site.

Happy reading,

Fauquier County Public Library

Keep up-to-date on library news and events! Subscribe to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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If You Liked Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken

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Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken has been popular for its gripping story of wartime survival. It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner who survived a plane crash in the Pacific during World War II. After over a month at sea, Zamperini was captured by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war.

In 2014, a film adaptation of “Unbroken” was released. This month, the film received Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

If you enjoyed the book or the film, here are 4 books of wartime survival that you might also enjoy. You can also visit our “Unbroken”-themed display at the Warrenton central library.

The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

In this classic memoir, Lomax recounts his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II.

As a prisoner of the Japanese, Lomax undergoes privation and torture while being forced to help build the Burma Railway. After the war, he struggles with psychological trauma and embarks on a journey toward inner peace and reconciliation with the past.

book cover of We Band of AngelsWe Band of Angels by Elizabeth Norman

This nonfiction work tells the overlooked story of Army and Navy nurses caught in the war-torn Philippines in the early days of the United States entering World War II.

Nursing historian Norman draws from interviews, diaries, and letters to recount their experiences, from setting up field hospitals in the midst of devastating battles to three brutal years as prisoners of war after their provinces fell to the Japanese.

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Journalist and history writer Zuckoff offers up an engaging true survival narrative that blends drama with humor. In 1945, three American service members survive a plane crash in a remote valley in New Guinea.

Zuckoff recounts the search and rescue mission as well as the survivors’ encounters with New Guinea tribesmen who, despite language barriers and cultural misunderstandings, turn out to be welcome friends.

Broken Jewel by David L. Robbins

book cover of Broken Jewel

This multilayered work of historical fiction recounts the real-life 1945 liberation of Los Baños internment camp in the Philippines.

Robbins tells the story through the eyes of three memorable characters, two civilian American prisoners of war and a Filipina woman forced into prostitution. Their emotionally gripping story of courage and grit brings an overlooked moment in history to life.

Becky, Adult Reference, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.  For online book lists published prior to Jan. 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

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Reading Roundup: Marshall Book Club Favorite of 2014

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In a year of book club reading, it is rare to find a title that is unanimously loved by all readers in the group. Such was the case last November when the Marshall Afternoon Book Club read Moloka’i.

Author Alan Brennert, richly paints a picture of early 20th century Hawaii, while telling the stories of victims of leprosy and their forced deportation to the island of Moloka’i. It is a tragic, yet inspiring, tale of a young girl who is sent to a quarantined settlement at the age of seven. Like many at Kalaupapa, Rachel spends most of her remaining years on the island.

The fear of the disease and the isolation that was forced on its victims brings to mind our world’s current concern with the Ebola virus. Like the medieval plague and the AIDS outbreak in the 1980’s, the stigma surrounding certain diseases has not changed. Those issues proved to be the focus of much of the discussion by members of the book club as we examined “Moloka’i”. Readers are not spared the harsh realities of this history, but we are left recognizing the importance of education and compassion in the face of frightening illnesses that we might not understand.

If Moloka’i intrigues you, you may also enjoy Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks, as it too touches these timeless issues.

Deborah, Branch Manager, John Marshall branch library

Keep up-to-date on library news and events! Subscribe to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


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