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|5 Historical Pandemic Books You Can Read for Free (Without Leaving Home)||
Put current experiences into perspective — and find hope through stories of survival and adaptation.
By Katherine Einspahr, Burke Centre Library Information Assistant
Masks, gloves, social distancing and quarantine all seem both new and increasingly familiar to us now. Yet these concepts and their effects on us both physically and emotionally would be just as recognizable to the people of past centuries who suffered through epidemics. Some comfort during this difficult time can come from realizing that throughout history our ancestors survived similar mass-scale disease outbreaks. Individuals and societies were changed, often metamorphosing into a new normal.
Reading about the past can help us put our current experiences into perspective, and it can show us how former generations endured, survived and sometimes even thrived on new paths. The five titles below do just that, spanning from prehistoric plagues through epidemics of the 21st century—and they’re all available as eBooks or audiobooks in Fairfax County Public Library’s digital collection.
Author Albert Marrin tells about one of the worst pandemics in history, which infected about 500 million people worldwide and killed one-fifth of them. Discover why it was dubbed the Spanish flu, even though it is thought to have initially made its appearance on a military base in Kansas. Vivid vintage photos augment this fascinating account.
Three-time National Magazine Award winner David Quammen explains how animal diseases transfer to humans, detailing how a growing human population, environmental destruction, and technology all contribute to ripe conditions for these zoonotic diseases spreading quickly.
This New York Times Bestseller by John M. Barry goes in depth into the 1918 Spanish flu. This pandemic was the first in which science played a major role, and the book explores why the strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. The author concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that... those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one.”
Author Bryn Barnard delves into how past epidemics, like the black death, tuberculosis and yellow fever, altered the course of history. Explicit details along with the revelation of medical discoveries bring history to life for young adults.
Author Michelle Denton describes past pandemics and work that is being done to prepare for handling future ones. Full-color photographs and in-depth sidebars provide young adult readers the opportunity to hear different sides of the issue and reach their own conclusions.
If you are interested in learning from history in order to consider how to move forward during and after COVID-19, search “pandemic” in FCPL’s OverDrive collection to find more digital titles on the subject. The first eBooks and audiobooks shown might be already checked out, but you can place a hold using your library card number to reserve some for future reading. Or select “Available now” in the left menu to see only items currently available for download.
|Read full article||April 24, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/5-historical-books-pandemics.png||1|
|Fairfax County Public Library: Remote Access to Learning Resources||
Keep kids and teens engaged with online educational tools and activities while schools are closed.
In this time of school closures, expanded online learning and social distancing, your library is here to provide essential resources and online support. We have tons to offer, and it can all be accessed without even leaving your couch.
The library provides access to dozens of online resources to help school-age kids — and adults — stay in the know, research for remote-learning classes, seek homework help, or just engage in fun and educational activities while at home.
Of course, we also have extensive collections of eBooks and eAudiobooks available through Overdrive, Libby and RBdigital. Right now that includes 130 popular titles we’ve added to a special OverDrive list of eBooks and audiobooks available with no holds and no waits (limit 1 per customer at a time, maximum 2-week checkout, no renewals).
Don't have a library card yet? That's okay. Apply here for access to our digital resources.
Magazines & Newspapers
Online Educational Resources
With Fairfax County Public Schools closed, caretakers and students may want to keep up with learning and incorporate education into their days at home. The public library gives you online access to research materials to complete virtual coursework, support independent studies or simply provide engaging reading content to supplement eBook and audiobook options. Begin with the Education category in our Research Databases list, and dig deeper starting with the examples below — they're just the tip of the iceberg.
Middle School and High School
Homework Related Websites
Tutoring and Test Prep
Other Learning Resources for Your Family
Enhanced Gale Resources
Gale is currently offering expanded free access to its interdisciplinary, curriculum-aligned resources for pre-K through undergraduate students. You may be prompted to enter these databases with a password. The password for all is "open."
|Read full article||March 18, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/kids-never-stop-learning-online-resources.jpg||1|
|Celebrate the Season of Renewal: Read the Spring Issue of Branch Out Magazine||
Please Note: All Fairfax County Public Library branches are closed until further notice, and all library-sponsored events and programs are cancelled through April 12. In the meantime, we still have tons of digital resources available, including the online version of Branch Out magazine! For more information about library services during the closure, visit research.fairfaxcounty.gov/unlimited.
Have You Explored Branch Out Magazine?
Available in library branches and other public Fairfax County Government locations throughout the county, the library’s quarterly publication is designed to help community members make the most of Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) resources and services. Each quarter features a unique theme through which library events, technology, collections, databases, activities and more can be discovered and explored. Full listings of branch events are available online and in each branch.
The spring 2020 issue of Branch Out magazine — covering March-May — focuses on the many ways people can find inspiration and information for refreshing, rejuvenating and restoring their mind, body and environment using the library’s resources, services and programs.
Let Springtime Inspire Renewal in All Facets of Life
Explore self-renewal, renewable resources, seasonal family activities and more with your library.
Spring Sunshine and Science
With added daylight giving us time to get more things done, warmer temperatures encouraging outdoor pursuits, stronger sunlight to help us soak up vitamin D for healthy bones and immune and nervous systems, and blooming flowers offering proven happiness-boosting benefits, it’s no wonder we feel revitalized, re-energized and rejuvenated in the spring. Even though we can pursue renewal, growth and development at any time throughout the year, the earth’s season of rebirth seems to give us extra energy and motivation to get active, take action and create change.
Studies have shown that the longer the sun is up during the day and the more time we spend outdoors, the less mental distress and the more creativity we experience. Plus, if your new year’s resolution involved fitness goals, research indicates that people who work out outdoors enjoy the experience more and therefore are more likely to repeat it — so springing into some fresh air activity might help you stick with your exercise regimen. And while taking walks in nature at any time of the year has proven to slow the heart rate and promote relaxation, some research suggests that spring has an even greater effect on the brain. A 2005 study from the University of Michigan linked spending 30 minutes or more outside in warm, sunny spring weather to higher mood and better memory.
Renew More Than Books
Capitalize on this springtime surge of energy and optimism; don’t limit your renewal to only checked-out materials or typical “spring cleaning.” Reengage your mind with self-improvement, mental health, career-oriented and educational resources at the library. Refresh your home and garden with our books on decluttering, framed art lending library and Master Gardener workshops. Recommit to eco-friendly living through upcycling events and zero-waste ideas. Reactivate your body and reach health and fitness goals with StoryWalks, workout DVDs and in-branch classes.
Whichever facets of your life you’re inspired to renew this spring, let the library help you learn the why’s and how’s of pursuing those goals — or help you discover new ideas to explore. Read through this issue of Branch Out to learn about the clubs, programs, materials and other opportunities available to support renewal of your mind, body, environment and more, now and in all seasons of life.
Throughout the magazine we share many ways you can renew passions, find new ones, jump start creativity, discover new perspectives, learn new skills and more using library resources — starting with the options listed here.
Replenish your news and current events awareness. The library’s US Major Dailies database provides free access to the five most respected U.S. national and regional newspapers, including The New York Times and Washington Post, co-exclusive access to The Wall Street Journal and exclusive access to the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Visit search.proquest.com to start reading.
Career and Business
If your 2020 goals include career growth or business projects, the library’s research guides are a great place to start your planning and preparation:
Home and Auto
Got renovations or repairs on your to do list? Do it yourself with the help of the library’s Home Improvement Reference Center and AutoMate databases. Home Improvement Reference Center offers information and instructions — including how-to videos and full-text selections from books and magazines — on home improvement and repair projects including plumbing, wiring, painting and decorating. AutoMate provides DIY car repair info on most makes and models as far back as 1954, including manuals, service bulletins and diagrams.
|Read full article||February 26, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/branch-out-spring-renewal-spread.jpg||1|
|Fairfax County Public Library Launches “Common Ground” Campaign||
Throughout 2020 Fairfax County Public Library’s “Common Ground” campaign will explore the concepts of community, civic engagement and American politics to help county residents rediscover that we have more in common with each other than we realize.
“The country is currently focused on ideological differences rather than the many values that we share. The library is for the entire community and encourages civil discussion on tough topics,” said Library Director Jessica Hudson. “We invite the entire Fairfax community to join us to remember how to listen to differing viewpoints and look for the common ground, which is almost always there.”
Four system-wide events are the core of the campaign, with library branches planning localized lectures and workshops. Selected books, articles, databases and websites will be shared throughout the year to enhance the exploration of issues on which community members and Americans in general can find common ground. Registration is appreciated for all events.
To find more Common Ground events filter by the “Common Ground” category in the library calendar.
|Read full article||February 24, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/common%20ground.png||1|
|Celebrating Black History at the Library||
Honor and explore the pasts, presents and futures of African Americans with free library programs and events.
During Black History Month, which is celebrated in February, and beyond, Fairfax County Public Library branches are hosting free events and programs for all ages that highlight and explore the deep and diverse history and invaluable contributions and achievements of African Americans. From author talks and history lectures to movies, performances and more, a wide range of programs are taking place throughout the next few months. Plus, February's Outstanding Reads recommendations from our Collections staff focus on Black authors and stories — read them on FairfaxTimes.com.
Check out the highlights of the schedule below. Asterisk (*) indicates registration required. For a full list of events, view the library’s online calendar.
Consider the Census
As the 2020 census approaches, the library is focusing on the importance of census records not only to determining funding for our public institutions, but also to tracing family histories — including those of African Americans. Visit the library’s Virginia Room, located in the City of Fairfax Regional Library, to discover historic photographs and census records of African American residents of the county.
The Virginia Room maintains a collection—including maps, an extensive photographic archive, local newspapers and yearbooks, manuscript collections and rare books—documenting the historical record of the people, associations, events and places of Fairfax County, Virginia. Researchers can also use print holdings and online databases to research genealogy from all 50 states.
Find booklists for African American family and cultural history in our genealogy research guide.
Join Us for Events All Month and Beyond
|Read full article||January 30, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/BHM-graphic%20copy.jpg||1|
|Start the Decade Making Cultural Connections at the Library||
Free Library Events Begin the '20s with Celebrations and Observations of Culture and Community.
With a new year and a new decade underway, what better time is there to embrace new opportunities to expand ourselves and our communities, explore the lives and perspectives of others and emphasize the values and experiences we have in common?
Through holiday celebrations, guided conversations, educational lectures, social gatherings and more, events at Fairfax County Public Library this January-March do just that. Join us to start 2020 off on the right foot… and maybe learn something new by stepping into someone else’s shoes.
All are welcome at the library, and all our programs are free. Find highlights of events offering a wide variety of cultural engagement and enrichment below and visit the online calendar for a full list. Asterisk (*) indicates registration required.
Chinese Lunar New Year
American Past, Present and Future
A World of Perspectives
|Read full article||January 22, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Cultural_watercolour.jpg||1|
|Fairfax County Public Library Has Loaned Two Million eBooks and Audiobooks in 2019||
Top 25 public library system worldwide in total digital circulation
Fairfax County Public Library reached a new milestone in 2019, achieving a record-breaking two million digital book checkouts in one year. This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library lending of eBooks and audiobooks along with the creative ways the library has served its community with digital services. Fairfax County Public Library is one of only 73 systems around the world that surpassed one million checkouts in one year through Rakuten OverDrive (complete list here).
“FCPL is thrilled to reach 2 million checkouts for our digital library,” said Dianne Coan, Technical Operations Director at Fairfax County Public Library. "Hitting this milestone is a reflection of both our selection staff’s knowledge of our community and the voracious reading habits of that community! The library has such an amazing and supportive readership who provides feedback and suggestions regularly. We are honored to be among the few libraries in North America to reach this level of use.”
Fairfax County Public Library has been providing readers 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks for nearly 15 years. Reader interest and usage has grown every year, reflecting popular trends and interests both locally and across the country. In the last decade, the highest-circulating title across both formats that Fairfax County Public Library readers borrowed through OverDrive was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The top-circulating genre, thrillers, represents the most popular in a vast catalog that also includes romance, fantasy, children and young adult.
The top 5 eBook titles borrowed through Fairfax County Public Library's digital collection in 2019:
The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through Fairfax County Public Library's digital collection in 2019:
Readers in Fairfax County just need a valid library card to access digital books from Fairfax County Public Library’s OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Windows®. With OverDrive’s Libby app, readers can also “send to Kindle®” devices and apps (US only). All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.
Also in 2019, Fairfax County Public Library introduced its new instant-access eAudiobook collection offered by RBdigital. This acquisition includes more than 34,000 always available, no waiting eAudiobooks for readers of all ages. Read more about this exciting new always-available eAudiobooks collection.
Visit fairfax.overdrive.com or download the Libby app to get started and borrow ebooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere.
|Read full article||January 9, 2020||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/LifeChangingMagicTidyingUp-1080x1080.png||1|
|Fairfax County Public Library Takes a Stand Against Unfair eBook Practices by Macmillan Publishing||
Due to new restrictions on libraries’ purchase of eBooks and eAudiobooks produced by Macmillan Publishing, the Fairfax County Public Library stopped purchasing eMaterials from Macmillan and its imprints November 1.
The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is the 17th largest library, by circulation, in the United States according to the American Library Association. When FCPL’s eBook collection via Overdrive surpasses 2 million annual downloads this year, as predicted, it will be one of only about 20 libraries in the country to do so.
Macmillan Publishing began limiting library access to its eBooks and eAudiobooks on November 1 by:
The decision to stop purchasing eBooks and eAudiobooks from Macmillan was “not a decision we made lightly,” Library Director Jessica Hudson said. “But this new eBook policy unfairly impacts selected populations in the county and would have a significant negative impact on the library’s purchasing abilities by requiring us to spend additional funds on one format per title.”
Digital material has changed the reading landscape over the last few years. The ability to manipulate font size and choose fonts has helped readers with vision loss and dyslexia. Library materials also provide equal opportunity for low income residents. The new restrictions impact the library’s ability to offer equal access to information for all.
“We understand publishing is a business, and it’s not our objective to tell businesses how they can and should profit; however, libraries already pay higher costs than the general public, Hudson said. “The new policies would have increased the costs exorbitantly for titles under Macmillan, so our decision allows us to use those funds to expand the library’s collection where our dollar goes further. We have a duty to make taxpayer dollars go as far as possible in serving our over 400,000 cardholders.”
FCPL will continue to purchase Macmillan titles in print and on compact disc, as federal law protects sales to libraries in those formats.
FCPL joins many public libraries nationwide that have elected not to purchase eMaterials from Macmillan including
More information including the list of imprints and authors under the Macmillan umbrella is available in the library’s online guide: eBooks: Inside the Industry.
More information about library responses and impacts can be found on the American Library Association website, including the eBooks For All petition currently supported by nearly a quarter million signatures.
|Read full article||December 2, 2019||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/ebooksforall.jpg||1|
|Library Collects Donations in December for Popular Food for Fines Program||
With the library’s commitment to literacy and learning, it made perfect sense to partner with Food for Others, a not-for-profit food pantry and food rescue operation, during the month of December to serve Fairfax County families living with food insecurity.
Anyone, including customers without fines and community members without library cards, can support their neighbors by bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items to their nearest library branch. Donations can also reduce or eliminate fines accrued on an individual’s library card account. Each item donated will erase $1 from a patron’s overdue fines up to a maximum of $15 per account.
Jessica Hudson, Director of Fairfax County Public Library, hopes this year’s food drive will be even more popular than 2018’s. “Last year was the first time we offered this program, and we collected 12,000 pounds of food for Food for Others,” said Hudson. “We’re hoping to top that this year.” A little interbranch competition could provide additional incentives in the community. “The branch that collects the most amount of food earns a pizza party for the staff,” said Hudson.
Non-perishable food items most needed include canned meats and tuna, macaroni and cheese, cereal, peanut butter, stew and chili (canned), pasta and rice, pasta sauce, canned fruit, beans, fruit juice and vegetable oil. This year non-food items such as shampoo, deodorant, diapers, paper towels and toilet paper are also welcome.
|Read full article||December 1, 2019||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/food_for_fines-1000x480.jpg||1|
|Library Now Offers Children’s Books in Chinese, Arabic, Urdu and Tamil||
Worried about reading to children in your native language? Don’t be. It is easy for children to learn to read, write and speak English if they have a strong foundation in any language. For adults who may be more comfortable reading to children in Arabic, Chinese, Urdu or Tamil, the library offers World Languages Bags, a project funded by the Fairfax Library Foundation, Friends groups and other community donations. These bags are available with picture books, board books and easy readers. Each bag contains eight books that adults can read again and again to and with children. The library’s collection already supports children and adult books in Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.
“The library is committed to ensuring residents in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax have equitable access to library materials,” said Dianne Coan, Director of Operations for the library. “By starting with early literacy materials, including bi-lingual books, the new World Languages Bags support parents, grandparents and caregivers who want to read to young children — a proven strategy for ensuring children are ready to read by the time they enter kindergarten.”
The World Languages Bags are one more element in the library’s comprehensive support of early literacy education. In addition to its popular early literacy storytimes the library offers early literacy outreach, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, picture books and other educational books and resources — including the Ready-to-Read newsletter — for families raising young children.
The library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program encourages families to read 1,000 books to children before they start elementary school. Studies show the more vocabulary and oral language children have, the better prepared they are to learn how to read and write when they enter kindergarten.
Instructions for placing a hold on the World Languages Bags in the library’s new catalog:
If you need additional assistance, please ask at the library information desk where staff are happy to connect you with the World Languages Bags in your preferred language.
|Read full article||November 19, 2019||/library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/world%20languages%20bags.PNG||1|