Library Updates

Fauquier County Public Library Website Recognized by Virginia Public Library Directors Association

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Fauquier County Public Library Website Recognized by Virginia Public Library Directors Association

(Warrenton, VA) May 28, 2015 — The Fauquier County Public Library website ( was recently awarded “Outstanding Website Serving a Population Between 30,000 – 80,000” by the Virginia Public Library Directors Association.

The library’s new website launched in January, 2015 and is the result of months of systematic analysis by library staff. The features and organization of the site are based on a combination of Google Analytics and patron surveys.

Library patrons like the mobile friendly, fully searchable and easy-to-navigate website. In addition to a “fresh” look and feel, the website allows users to easily search the library’s online catalog, events and news. Staff recommendations and book reviews from the library’s many book clubs are a popular new feature.

Since the launch of the new website, usage has risen dramatically. Mobile traffic now accounts for about 30% of visitors.  Maria Del Rosso, Library Director, said “Increasingly people are using smart phones to reach the Internet. That’s why it’s important for the library to provide access to accurate information 24/7 through a mobile friendly website. It’s just one more way for us to keep pace with what our patrons tell us they want and need.”

Fauquier County Public Library programs and services have a long history of recognition for excellence by the Virginia Public Library Directors Association. The first awards were granted in 2003 for “Outstanding Programs for Seniors” and “Outstanding Service Innovation.” Other award-winning programs have included the annual “Honoring Our Veterans” program and the 2013 Teen Poetry contest.

“This recent recognition by Virginia public library directors points to the excellent library services and resources available to Fauquier County residents.  The library’s success is made possible by support received from the Board of Supervisors as well as the dedication of talented and experienced library staff.  We look forward to continuing to provide efficient, cost-effective services to inform, educate, enrich and entertain every member of our community,” said Patricia White, Library Board Chairman.

Fauquier County Public Library locations are: Warrenton Library, 11 Winchester St.; Bealeton Library, 10877 Willow Drive North; and John Marshall Library, 4133 Rectortown Road, Marshall. Call (540) 422-8500 for more information about library events or locations.

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e-Resource News: Tying the Knot?

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Wedding cakePlanning your own wedding can save you money — but it also requires a huge amount of time and organization. Resources available at your local library can help.

Available for Free with Your Library Card

Instead of spending a lot of money (which you are going to need to pay the caterer, florist, photographer, etc.) on those gorgeous (but expensive!) wedding planning books, take a look at what your local library has to offer, including ideas for nontraditional ceremonies. You can also ditch the subscription to Brides magazine and check out copies from the library.

e-Resources to the Rescue

Fire up your tablet or computer and look into the following websites (many with mobile apps for you smartphone) to help ease the stress of planning for the big day:

  • theKnot – One of the oldest wedding planning sites out there (I used it back in 1997 to plan my own wedding), you’ll find lots of tools for budgeting, creating checklists, managing guests, etc.
  • Google Weddings – Use Google Sites to create a website for your event, share photos with Picassa and use Google Drive (Google Docs) to create checklists, seating charts and more.
  • Real Simple Weddings – Check out their comprehensive wedding checklist, with a timeline based on the 16-month length of the average U.S. engagement.
  • Martha Stewart Weddings – The domestic goddess provides numerous tips (including “working with vendors”) to help you plan/carry off the perfect wedding.
  • Weddings on Pinterest – Set up a free account and settle down into hours of browsing incredible decorations, dresses, flower arrangements, food and more.
  • Microsoft Office– Microsoft has a free wedding budget planner template for recent versions of its Excel spreadsheet program available to download tips for using its OneNote program to organize the event.

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

Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian, Warrenton central library

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Staff Picks: Summer Reading Suggestions

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Summer Reading Are you gearing up for summer? It’s just around the corner and this is the perfect time to compile a list of possible reads for lazy summer days. Our Warrenton circulation team is a group of fantastic readers with wide interests and reading preferences. Here are just a few of their staff picks that you may enjoy.

The Eight by Katherine Neville

If historical fiction is your genre of choice, then this engrossing adventure and international best seller should be on your reading list. Follow the quests of two indomitable heroines – one, a young nun at the start of the French Revolution; the other, a computer wiz working in Algeria during the 1970s – to locate the pieces of Charlemagne’s legendary chess set and unlock the powerful secret they hold. As the two timelines evolve and each faces dangers near and far, you’ll be swept up in the action. If you love it, be sure to check out its sequel, The Fire. Need another reason to try this book? Its renowned author calls Warrenton home.

Emily, circulation clerk

Debt-Free U: How I paid for an outstanding college education without loans, scholarships, or mooching off my parents by Zac Bissonnette

For parents anticipating sending their children to college in the future, I’d like to recommend this book . I found it to be the best and most helpful source of advice. Financial planning is imperative, and the author gives comprehensive, practical and down-to-earth first-hand knowledge of the process. I liked this book so much and agreed with all the strategies it outlined, especially avoiding loans, if possible. Start the journey of preparing for your child’s college education by reading this outstanding and sensible book!

Carol, circulation clerk

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A troubled young woman is convinced that what she witnessed from a speeding train will help solve a dramatic missing person case. When the police deem her an unreliable witness she takes matters into her own hands and makes some startling discoveries about herself and those she thought she knew. Written from the perspectives of the three key characters this page-turner keeps you guessing until the very end.

Julia, Circulation Manager

50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants by Ruth Rogers Clausen

Deer really are gorgeous creatures aren’t they? Delicate, graceful – a truly beautiful sight. Then one morning you look out the window to find Bambi merrily munching on the roses you’ve been painstakingly tending all year and suddenly . . .  it’s war. So, how do you keep the deer from mowing your garden to the ground? Plant things they don’t like to eat.

This book guides you through selecting shrubs, grasses and even bulbs that deer will bypass for tastier treats. And for those of us who can’t pass up those brightly-colored tulips and roses (otherwise known as deer candy) there are sprayable concoctions to make the plants less palatable. By following Clausen’s tips you’ll save time, money and frustration, enjoy your garden and finally be able to call a truce in the war with deer!

Frances, circulation clerk

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Mary Beth Latham has built her life around her three teenage children, her successful husband and a job she loves. When her life is shattered she will have to find the power and determination to help her family keep going. This book is about facing the things we fear the most and finding our way back. It would not be considered “light reading,” but it is a book that will stay with you for a long time.

Shelley, circulation clerk

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Are you a fan of the movie “The Princess Bride?”  If so, I highly recommend this book on CD read by the author, none other than the “Man in Black” himself, Cary Elwes! This is Elwes’ behind the scenes view of the making of the movie including how this particular cast came together under the direction of Rob Reiner as well as many insider anecdotes and fun facts to know and share about the actors. It has made me wish for extended travel time in my car where I’ve listened spellbound for the last few weeks!

Jackie, circulation clerk

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Reading Roundup: Bealeton Book Club Enjoys Orphan Train

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The Orphan Train book cover - small girl looking out a train window Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, was read and discussed by the Bealeton Book Club in May. The book club members enjoyed the book, which is a mix of historical and contemporary fiction.

Molly Ayer is a Penobscot Indian who has ended up in foster care. Rather than being sent to juvenile detention, she agrees to do community service hours and aid Vivian Daly, an elderly woman, with cleaning out her attic.

Vivian became an orphan in New York City in 1929 at the age of nine. She was sent by the “orphan train” to the Midwest. She was put into various homes, first as basically an indentured servant, then in a home with an unsafe environment, then finally in a home with the Nielsens. She constantly lost those she loved along with her identity, as her name was changed several times. The novel covers her immigration from Ireland, her life in New York City’s tenements, her voyage on the orphan train, and her subsequent life in various homes, all told in rich detail. Molly helps Vivian discover answers to some mysteries in her past and they realize that they have much in common. This is an easy and fascinating read with rich historical details and an inspiration to “travel light” and endure what life brings.

If you would like to read similar titles, try these:

All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin
All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick
Empire Rising by Thomas Kelly
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Orphan Train Trilogy by Linda Lael Miller
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

For documentaries and non-fiction titles, try:

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story by Andrea Warren (children’s book)
The Orphan Trains (DVD)
Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson (children’s book)
We Rode the Orphan Trains by Andrea Warren (children’s book)

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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Reading Riot: Learn a New Language

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Earth with Hello in many languagesLast week we recommended audio books for your upcoming summer road trips.  But what if you plan to visit another country? Did you ever want to learn French or Farsi? Japanese or German?

Transparent Language Online is a library subscription offered free to our patrons. Accessed from the Research page of the library website, it’s an interactive language learning tool to develop everyday conversation skills in 60+ languages from Afrikaans to Zulu and everything in between.

Some of the language learning pages include cultural blogs and resources with video content so you can really get a sense of the county you plan to visit. Even if you never set foot outside of Virginia, with Transparent Language you can be an armchair traveler and see the world from the comfort of home.

If you plan to study a language in high school or college, this resource can be an excellent supplement to your classes. You can listen, read, speak and write, moving through the challenges at your own pace.

Simply log on, create your own user name and password and let the conversation begin!

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services, 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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Staff Picks: Every Book Has Its Reader

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In library school I was introduced to the “Five Laws of Library Science” that were proposed in 1930 by mathematician and librarian, Ranganathan.  Two of those laws are “Every reader has his book” and “Every book its reader.”  This is never more evident than when I discover the variety in what my colleagues are reading and sometimes re-reading–visiting like old friends and neighbors. Browse below to see the books library administrative staff has recently enjoyed.  We hope you might enjoy some of them too.

The Glass Castle is an inspirational memoir by Jeannette Walls about growing up in poverty with an alcoholic father and an irresponsible mother. Walls overcame many childhood horrors, such as being terribly burned as a toddler, suffering from sickness, being bullied, and more. She writes in her memoir about overcoming these tremendously awful events and becoming a successful writer and public speaker. I found this book to be very inspiring in that someone who was born into such a terrible situation can overcome all of these events and become successful and content with her life. It is a fascinating story and I would recommend it to someone who is looking for a story about rising up and overcoming events that could have potentially ruined a life. — Kim, Accounting Clerk, Warrenton central library

I’ve been lingering in Fairacre, a lovely rural village in England with thatch-roofed cottages, a church, a school, friendly faces and good cheer.  While there are several books in the series by Miss Read, I didn’t start at the beginning but jumped right in with Tyler’s Row, a satisfying story about  two-hundred-year-old cottages that are supposed to provide a haven of peace for their new owners, Peter and Diana Hale.  Anything but as the Hale’s are beset by carpenters, plumbers, electricians and sour neighbors.  Fairacre is not the utopia they expect, and the Hales must adapt to ordinary life in a village full of extraordinary quirks. If you’ve enjoyed Jan Karon’s Mitford series, Fairacre is the place for you. — Maria, Library Director, Warrenton central library

Not exactly a love story, The Golem and The Jinni tells the tale of Chava and Ahmad—a Golem and a Jinni (Genie) who accidentally find each other in New York City at the end of the 19th century. They are both immigrants to a new country and physical realm, just trying to make their way in the human world, as well as in a diverse but segregated city.  I really enjoy books set in this time period as well as those with a mystical twist (think Alice Hoffman)—so this first novel by Helene Wecker was a special treat for me.   –Dawn, Public Services Manager, Warrenton central library

I am a Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling fan and was intrigued and yes, a little curious, when Rowling moved beyond Hogwarts, Harry and the magical world and crafted this, her “first novel for adults.” (Hey, wait a minute – I’m an adult and I loved the Harry Potter series!)

The Casual Vacancy takes place in a small English town that is full of secrets and strife. Teenagers at war with their parents and parents at war with each other – and a new war beginning when a member of the parish council drops dead unexpectedly. The fight for the vacant seat sets in motion a series of events that lead to the exploration of many social issues – child abuse, racism, domestic abuse and self-harm to name a few.  The Casual Vacancy kept me turning the page, often cheering for the underdog and always wondering what would happen next.  —Lisa, Public Information Coordinator, 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: More Recommendations From the Marshall Evening Book Club

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stack of booksAn eclectic assortment of titles continue to make up the Book Club’s yearly reading list.

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This 1722 classic was such rollicking good fun that I’m sorry it took a book club meeting to get me to read it! Picaresque and vivid, full of wry humor and sharp insights into the human condition, this book brings the early 18th century to life. Moll herself is intelligent, ambitious, exuberant, determined and boisterous, out to make the most of whatever cards are dealt her. She can be utterly romantic, then entirely callous, wholly mercenary, then selfless. Her adventures come fast and furious: lovers, children, riches, poverty, travel, prison, friends and enemies gallop through these pages. Dickens’ Artful Dodger and Thackeray’s Becky Sharp could have taken lessons from our Moll. Especially interesting are her descriptions of life in the British colonies in the Mid-Atlantic and its contrasts with contemporary English society, and the lively portrait of the underclass and the criminal justice system of those times.
Vicky, Marshall Evening Book Club

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell

This is an almost unbelievable true history of the making of a fortune by W. A. Clark and what happens to all that money in the 80 plus years after his death. The story centers on his youngest daughter, Huguette Clark, and what a story it is. She is loved and cared for by a few, duped by many, including a bank that loses millions of her entrusted assets. The characters seem more fictional than real, but it makes for a fun read.
Robin, Marshall Evening Book Club

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Sarah Grimke, daughter of a socially elite, wealthy planter family in 1800’s Charleston, S.C. is the mistress of Hettie Handful, a slave. Each struggles to find their freedom. Sarah is imprisoned by the social constraints of being a woman of the old South, property of her father, with no rights and no hope of attaining her ambitions to achieve and make a difference in the world.  Handful, as they called her, was imprisoned in body, but fought to free her spirit and allow it to fly. Their story is told over 30 years, beginning when both girls are 11 years old. Sarah hated slavery from the time she knew what it was, and eventually she became part of the abolitionist movement as well as part of the earliest thoughts of feminine liberation. Handful uses many methods, both subtle and rebellious, to attain the ability of her spirit to fly to freedom. Sarah’s character is based on a historical figure, while Handful is wholly fictional. Together they tell the story of both freedom from slavery and the beginnings of the feminist revolution. Based on the real lives of Sarah and Angelina Grimke, the novel encompasses a rather different perspective of slavery than is usually found in the pre-Civil War time period.
Laurene, Marshall Evening Book Club

Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard

Once again, this perfect summer read made it to the top of our favorites list. The book really sparked my interest because it was written by a local farmer, who lives in Berryville, Virginia. Forrest Pritchard had such good information about how he started with nothing and worked for years to create what is now a very successful farm operation. When he decided to save his seventh generation family farm, he quickly had a rude awakening. With his first year’s profit at a whopping $18.16, Forrest became more than determined to change the way his operation was going. He began raising free range animals and adopted many of the ideas of Joel Salatin, of renowned Polyface Farm. All the way through the book you find yourself cheering Forrest on to do well no matter how many obstacles he is faced with. Shortly after reading the book, Forrest Pritchard was the invited speaker at a program sponsored by the Fauquier Library. Many members of the book group attended the lecture along with some local farmers. It was very inspiring to hear the interaction between Forrest and others who shared his passion for the land. As you can tell, I felt this was an awesome book read.
Joanne, Marshall Evening Book Club

The Marshall Evening Book Club meets on the last Monday of the month at 7:00. Come join us!

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 Riot: Travel with an Audiobook

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As a kid you probably loved to be read to. That doesn’t have to change now that you’re a teenager. The library has an excellent collection of young adult books on CD. If you’ll be traveling this summer, this is a great time to catch up on your listening. And if you’re in the car with your family, it may even give you and your parents something to talk about on that long road trip!

dead end sign

A while back I listened to “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos, about
a boy growing up in an off-kilter town. Jack’s vacation plans are shot down when he’s “grounded for life” and he has to help a feisty old neighbor with an unusual chore – typing obituaries. Winner of the Newbery in 2012, this laugh-out-loud story will keep listeners endlessly surprised.

Teen girl walking country road

A far different type of story is Gayle Foreman’s “I Was Here” about 18-year-old Cody who is devastated by her best friend’s suicide. Cody thought she knew everything about Meg but when she breaks the code of an encrypted computer file, Cody discovers some shocking secrets. Author Foreman is well-known for the bestseller “If I Stay” which was recently released as a movie. Listening to a good narrator is like watching a movie unfold and “I Was Here” kept me riveted.

Blazing campfire

In “Alabama Moon” by Watt Key an orphan boy leaves the forest home he had been raised in off the grid and becomes entangled in the outside world. Listeners will find themselves cheering for Moon as he is sent to an institution, escapes a relentless enemy and finally finds a new life.

boy and girl sharing headphones

I absolutely loved the heartbreaking story of “Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Told in alternating voices of the two main characters, it captures the joy, pain and insecurity of high school life and first love.
The story will make you cringe and cry.

If you’re about to embark on a long car trip, consider checking out the audiobooks available at the Fauquier County Public Library. Here’s how to limit your search.

  • In the online catalog, click Call Number in the “More Searches” drop-down menu.
  • Type YCF for young adult CD fiction, which gives you a list of all that are available.
  • You can sort by reverse year to see most recent first.
  • Check if it’s available, find which branch location or place a hold by logging on to your account.

Happy Listening!

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services, 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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Reading Roundup: Hercule Poirot’s Return

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Mystery Book Club discusses Monogram Murders by Sophie HannahPoirot

Agatha Christie’s famed Hercule Poirot returns in The Monogram Murders The New Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah. The infamous Poirot first appeared in 1920, in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and ended with Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case.

Agatha Christie readers will tell you that it might be difficult to capture the likeness of Poirot. After all, books penned by Christie have been estimated at two million and remain popular today. The Christie Estate “cautiously” allowed Hannah to pursue the resurrection of Poirot and the Mystery Book Club readers agree, that Sophie Hannah did, indeed capture Poirot and his mannerisms. Many of the elements, characters and descriptions of Poiroit are believable, however our mystery readers did not think the plot was believable. In addition, the book is set in 1929, and our readers did not feel like the setting or tone of this book fit that time period.

The Mystery Book Club was excited, that it was indeed a “true” mystery and discussion of what makes a mystery an actual mystery ended our April discussion. We ultimately agreed that we all have our own way of defining what we consider a mystery. Overall, The Mystery Book Club enjoyed the selection.

Bring your “little gray cells” and join us Thursday, May 21 at noon for a discussion of a “legal thriller,” Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook.

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

Jody, Adult Reference, Warrenton central library

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May 2015 Consumer Reports: Best Supermarkets

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grocery-store-aisleDid you know that the typical shopper makes 83 trips to a grocery store each year?  Today’s shoppers want, as always, low prices and fast checkouts, but they are also looking for healthy, unprocessed foods, organics, local produce and freshly prepared take-home meals. Over 62,000 Consumer Reports subscribers were surveyed about staff courtesy and store cleanliness, as well as t the freshness of the store’s produce, meat, bakery items and prepared foods.  So which store ranked the highest?  Read the article to find out!

“Eat the peach, not the pesticide”

This article provides a shopper’s guide for buying produce.  If you’re concerned about pesticides used on produce, check out the chart showing the risk of pesticide exposure in 48 fruits and vegetables.

“The Low-Impact (but Still Lush) Landscape”

This article provides tips on how to create a beautiful yard with less water, fewer chemicals, and (maybe) less work!

“Take Back Your Garage”

How does you garage look?  Most of us tend to use our garages for storage, making it difficult to park a car.  This article shares has tips for storing everything from sports gear to garden equipment.

More in this issue:

  • Ratings for lawn mowers, lawn tractors, and string trimmers
  • Ratings for blood pressure monitors and glucose meters
  • Ratings for small tablets
  • Ratings for mattresses
  • Article on motorcycles and reliability
  • Comparisons for streaming music services

Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2010 up to the current issue. The Find It Virginia databases have an index to the issues from February 1, 1976 to the current issue, and the full-text of the reviews from January 1, 1999 to June 1, 2009. You can access Find It Virginia from any library computer, or from home with your valid Fauquier County Public Library card.

Reference Staff, Warrenton central library

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