Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sneak Peek: April events!


Here's a sneak peek of our April calendar!  Next month, we're planning lots of fun new classes and projects, including basic book folding, canvas painting and paint pouring, genealogy cooking, and tie-dyeing.  Some events required registration in order to participate.  If you would like to sign up for a class or if you would like to learn more about a particular program, please contact the Bristol Public Library at 276-821-6147 or ajohnson@bristol-library.org.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Transparent Language Online: American Citizenship Test

Welcome back to our Transparent Language Online tutorials!

This week, we're taking a look at English as a Second Language (ESL) and the American Citizenship Test.  Thanks to the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL), Tennessee residents and Bristol Public Library patrons now have access to the American Citizenship Test through Transparent Language Online.  This free resource will offer complete English immersion for non-English speaking students, as well as practice tests and lessons to get you prepared for the American Citizenship Test.

To access Transparent Language, visit the www.tntel.info and select Transparent Language Online beneath the Resources tab.  Once you've created an account with Transparent Language (which you can read about HERE), you'll be asked to "Choose a Language."  To reach the American Citizenship Test, click "English."


Next, you'll select "English Immersion," which will take you to a new page.  If you are looking to learn or improve your English, this section also offers ESL lessons for speakers of 29 different languages, including Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Italian.


On this new page, you'll discover a variety of lessons on English grammar and vocabulary, including lessons on understanding rental agreements, ordering food and drinks, communicating with coworkers, and much more.  These lessons can be accessed by clicking the "Learn" button beside each lesson.


However, if you are looking for a specific group of lessons, you can click "Browse" in tabs at the top of the page.  This will also lead you to the section on the American Citizenship Test.


This section offers lessons on the Constitution and the American branches of government, laws and civic responsibilities, American History (from Colonial America to the present day), as well as geography, symbols, and holidays.  Each lesson offers test prep assistance and practice tests to help you prepare for the American Citizenship Test.


If you need extra assistance with learning English as a Second Language, the Bristol Public Library and Mount Rogers Regional Adult Education Program offer ESL classes on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  More importantly, if you need help navigating Transparent Language Online or TEL, be sure to check out our Jones Creativity Center for special workshops or one-on-one assistance.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Transparent Language Online: Language Resources

Welcome back to our Transparent Language Online tutorials!

This week, we're exploring all the resources learners have available on Transparent Language Online.  If you would like to learn more about Transparent Language Online, please visit the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) to get started.  You can also learn more about how to sign up for and log in to an account by checking out our previous tutorial (which you can find HERE).


Once you have logged in to your account and have selected your language, you will notice a series of tabs at the top of the page, which are useful for finding more resources and handy tools.  The "Learning" tab will serve as your language learning homepage, while the "Resources" tab features helpful resources, like video tutorials, proficiency tests, blog articles, social media, and (my personal favorite) a Word of the Day.


The "Browse" tab gives you an overview of the materials available in your current lesson plan and other specialized lessons on vocabulary, grammar, culture, sports, business, medicine, and more.  Some sections offer full Spanish immersion, so you can really put your language skills to the test.  And, for all of our fellow librarians out there, we also have "Survival Spanish for Librarians."


The "Kidspeak" tab will immediately redirect you to the Kidspeak lessons.  These colorful, cartoony lessons feature silly stories, memory games, word recognition, music, matching games, and more for younger learners; however, the Kidspeak tab isn't just for children.  Kidspeak is fully immersive, which means it will still challenge adults who are starting to learn their way around a language.

Kidspeak is only available with Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.



The "My Transcript" tab offers insight into how much time you have spent on each lesson and percentages for total learned vocabulary.  (This could be very helpful for homeschool parents who want to keep track of their student's progress.)

For more information on Transparent Language Online, be sure to check out the TEL online at https://tntel.info or visit the Jones Creativity Center at the Bristol Public Library for free one-on-one computer assistance.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pie Day Celebration!


Join the Avoca Branch Library on Friday, March 15, for their Pi Day Celebration from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  They'll have stories for the kiddos, activities, and, best of all, free pie.  For more information, contact the Avoca Branch Library at 423-968-9663.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Transparent Language Online: Getting Started

Welcome back to our tutorials on Transparent Language Online!

This week, we'll be taking an in-depth look at the resources offered by Transparent Language Online.  Make sure to check out our previous blog entry (which you can find HERE) to learn more about Transparent Language Online and how you can get signed up for your free account through the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL).

Transparent Language Online is one of our favorite resources for studying languages because it offers so many options for new and non-English speaking learners.  For instance, Transparent Language actually provides instruction in more than one Spanish dialect.  Students learning Spanish can select either the option for Latin American Spanish or Castilian Spanish, while non-English speaking students have options to learn Spanish as a Brazilian Portuguese speaker or a Turkish speaker.


We decided we wanted to learn Latin American Spanish.  To get started, we clicked on the link for Spanish and then selected Latin American Spanish for English Speakers.


Once we had selected our language, we were redirected to a new page.  This new page offers lessons on vocabulary, grammar, and more.  To get started, all you have to do is click the "Learn" button beside the highlighted lesson.  This will begin your very first lesson or pick up where you left off in your lessons.  If you wish to skip a lesson in the series, simply scroll further down the screen and click the "Start" button on the right.

On the right-hand side, you can also see the cumulative amount of vocabulary words you have learned and check out practice tests.  These practice tests will help reinforce reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills.


When you begin each lesson module, you'll actually receive a series of prompts to help you get started.  For instance, our first lesson module showed us a Spanish word, followed by the English equivalent and the Spanish pronunciation.  To repeat the pronunciation, simply click the little speaker icon in the bottom left corner.

Still not sure of the pronunciation?  You can also slow down a pronunciation by clicking the little turtle symbol in the bottom left-hand corner.


Please note, you will likely need sound and a microphone in order to participate in some of these lessons.  Most lessons will give you the spelling, translation, and pronunciation of the word, which will require sound.  Some parts of the lesson will require a microphone, in order to capture how you pronounce a particular word; however, these lessons can be skipped and are not necessary to complete the lesson.



Once you complete a lesson activity, you can proceed to the next one.  When you have finished a full lesson, you'll automatically move on to the next lesson.  Next up for us:  Latin American Alphabet - Familiarization.

For more information on Transparent Language Online, be sure to check out the TEL online at https://tntel.info or visit the Jones Creativity Center at the Bristol Public Library for free one-on-one computer assistance.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Newsletter & Calendars: March 2019


Apologies for posting our newsletter and calendars so late!  We have brand new events we'd love to share with our patrons, including a "Pi Day" celebration in the JCC, a special spooky program with Appalachian Truth Seekers, and updates on the Friends of the BPL.  For more information on our upcoming programs, make sure to find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bristolpubliclibrary for daily updates, or contact us at 276-821-6147.

This month, the Teens and Tweens have some exciting programs scheduled.  Starting on March 6, the Teens will be able to enjoy a brand new Gaming club on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.  (This new club will be replacing the Teen Anime Club.)  They'll also have a new D&D Gaming Guild meeting on Thursday, March 7, and Thursday, March 21.  The Teens will be reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, while the Teens will be picking up The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart.

For our younger patrons, we have storytime on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.  The American Girl Book Club meets on Mondays, March 18 and March 25, at 5:00 p.m. while the 8-12 Year Old Book Club will meet on Wednesday, March 20 and 27, at 5:00 p.m.


The Avoca Branch has all sorts of great children's events planned for March.  The Nifty Fifty meets on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m., storytime is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., and the Kids' Classic Book Club checks out Frindle on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.


The Jones Creativity Center is gearing up or a new month with lots of PC Classes and special technology workshops, including a Raspberry Pi Day on Thursday, March 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  This month, they'll be featuring a special Photo Editing Basics course on March 18 at 6:00 p.m. and Intro to Email workshop on March 21 at 2:00 p.m.

VITA Tax Preparation

Free tax preparation services by People Incorporated will be available until Tuesday, April 12.


People Incorporated will be offering free tax preparation services at the Bristol Public Library starting on Saturday, February 2, 2019.  VITA Volunteers will be available on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until Saturday, April 13.  All services are first come, first served and interested filers are asked to bring these items in order to file:
  • Photo ID.  For married filing jointly, both spouses must be present and must have photo ID.
  • Voided check for direct deposit.
  • Social Security Cards or Taxpaper Identification Numbers (ITIN)
  • All income statements, such as W-2, W2-P, W-2G, 1099, etc. for you and all dependents.
  • Expense documents:  dependent care, college tuition, student loan statements, home mortgage interest statements, property tax statements, alimony paid or received, etc.
  • Total paid to daycare provider and provider's tax ID number.
  • Proof of health insurance:  insurance card, Medicare/Medicaid card, 1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-C if you had other kinds of insurance or coverage.
  • Copy of last year's tax return

Taxes are due on Monday, April 15, 2019.

For more information on free tax preparation services, please call People Inc. at 276-619-2235 or visit their website at http://www.peopleinc.net/program-community-services-vita.html.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Transparent Language Online: Sign up and Login

During March, we're exploring a new library resource:  Transparent Language Online.


Transparent Language Online is a language learning software with lessons in over 100 languages, including English lessons for speakers of 25 different languages.  These lessons work to build four core skills of language:  listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  More importantly, all lessons are cumulative and progress is saved after each visit.

Thanks to the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL), Tennessee residents and Bristol Public Library patrons now have free access to this invaluable language resource.  To get started, visit TEL at https://tntel.info and find Transparent Language Online under the "All Resources" tab.  All resources are listed in alphabetical order, so you should find Transparent Language Online toward the bottom.  (You can also search directly for Transparent Language using the search bar at the top of the page.)


Beside the Transparent Language icon, you'll find a "Read more" link and a blue "Go To Resource" button.  Click the "Read more" link to learn more about Transparent Language, or click the blue "Go To Resource" button.  Once you have clicked the "Go To Resource" button, you will be redirected to a new page.


All new visitors will be asked to log in to their account or sign up to create a new account.  If you already have an account with Transparent Language, go ahead and enter your username and password; otherwise, click the "Sign up" tab below the TEL logo.


This new page will ask for identifying information and ask you to create a username and password for your account.  Once you have completed the form and agreed to both the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, you can click "Create Account" at the very bottom of the form.  You'll immediately be redirected to your Transparent Language account, so make sure to remember your username and password so you can log in again!


After you arrived on the Transparent Language home page, you can now select which language you wish to learn.  Transparent Language offers 100 languages, including multiple dialects, so you have a wide range of languages to choose from--everything from Afrikaans to Gaelic to Spanish to Zulu.


You'll click the link of the language you wish to learn.  We decided we wanted to learn German and, since we're an English speaker, we clicked on the very topmost link "For English Speaker."  However, if English isn't your first language, Transparent Language also has options for Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Turkish speakers.

Once you have selected your language, you will be redirected to a new screen.  For each new language you start, you'll receive a "welcome" notice and several tips on how to navigate the lesson plans.  Follow these steps to familiarize yourself with Transparent Language and you'll be learning a new language in no time!


For more information on Transparent Languages, please make sure to visit the Tennessee Electronic Library at https://tntel.info or contact your local library at 276-645-8780 or reference@bristol-library.org.  Make sure to stay tuned to our blog for periodic updates on Transparent Languages, or visit the Jones Creativity Center at the Bristol Public Library for one-on-one assistance.