Friday, February 27, 2015

Tenth Annual Roswell Reads Event!

Roswell Reads is a community-wide reading event inviting all residents to read the same book. Events, book discussions and a visit from the author of this year's selection will all be held throughout the month of March, so start marking your calendar's now! Imagine hundreds of Roswell residents sharing the experience of reading and discussing a common book and you have the essence of Roswell Reads. It is based on the "One Book...One City" community reading programs held across the country. Sponsored by the City of Roswell, the Friends of the Roswell Library and the Roswell Reads Committee, the novel selected for 2015 is The Distance Between Us by award-winning author Reyna Grande

The Distance Between Us is Reyna Grande’s personal, heart-wrenching, and ultimately triumphant memoir about her journey from Mexico to the United States as an undocumented child immigrant, where she learned that the separation between a parent and child can be measured as much in emotional distance and abandonment as it can be in miles. An engaging writer with a talent for infusing her narrative with personal and affecting characterizations and stories, Grande truly offers an unprecedented look into the immigration experience and the reality that millions of people are facing each day. The Distance Between Us is an inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life. 

You can find copies of this title in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System by searching our catalog. Below you will see a complete list of all the events that will be taking place. The award-winning author will talk about this book and her writing at the Roswell Reads Literary Luncheon on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 11:30 a.m. at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, 770-641-3950.

Luncheon tickets are $20 each and are available online or may be purchased in person (no mail-ins) at the Friends of the Roswell Library Bookstore at the Roswell Library. Reserved seating for groups of six or more. We hope to see you at one or all of these fantastic literary events!

Roswell Reads The Distance Between Us
Roswell Branch115 Norcross Street, Roswell 30075
For information call 770.640.3075

Roswell Reads Children’s Program: Me and My Family Story
Saturday, February 28. 2:00 p.m. 
Hear the children’s Roswell Reads selection My Diary from Here to There by Amada Irma Perez read in English and Spanish. Then discuss your family history and start your own diary. Led by Vicky Jaksic and Martha Powell, Media Specialists in the Fulton County School System.

Roswell Reads Book Discussion: Sunday Afternoon with Mary Apps
Sunday, March 1. 2:00 p.m. 
Discussion of Roswell Reads 2015 book selection The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande.

Roswell Reads Book Discussion: Dana Barrett and FriendsTuesday, March 3. 7:00 p.m. 
Discussion of Roswell Reads 2015 book selection The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande.

Roswell Reads Book Discussion: East Roswell Becomes Part of Roswell Reads
Sunday, March 8. 2:00 p.m. 
Debbie Weiss leads a discussion of Roswell Reads 2015 book selection The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande.

Roswell Reads Program: Immigration Stories
Tuesday, March 10. 7:00 p.m. 
Panel discussion with local immigrants who share their stories as well as stories of immigration from the StoryCorps library. Moderated by Daniel Horowitz Garcia, Regional Manager for StoryCorps in Atlanta.

Roswell Reads Program: Writing Your Story
Friday, March 13. 10:00 a.m.
Jessica Handler, memoirist and author of Invisible Sisters and Braving the Firewill teach a class on writing your own memoir or autobiography. This program held at Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill Street, Room 220, Roswell, GA 30075.

Roswell Reads Program: Literary Luncheon Featuring Reyna Grande
Saturday, March 14. 11:30 a.m. 
Join us for a luncheon with the author of The Distance Between Us. Ms. Grande will discuss her life and work. This program will be held at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30075.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

East Roswell Library Grand Opening Celebration!

Please join us as your new East Roswell Library makes it's long anticipated debut! The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System announces the grand opening of the new East Roswell Library, which will open to the public with a celebration on Friday, February 20 at 11:00 a.m.

The new 15,000-square-foot library for East Roswell is part of Phase I of the Library Building Program. The library is located at 2301 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.

KHAFRA Engineering Consultants, in association with Holzheimer Bolek Meehan Architects, provided design and engineering services for the new library. Ajax Building Corporation of Georgia provided construction management services on this project, and Heery/Russell, a joint venture, is the program management team.

The East Roswell Library’s design centers around a connection with its wooded surroundings creating a functional library space within a canopy of trees. The use of natural materials such as stone and wood combined with the large expanses of glass filter the boundary between the exterior and interior spaces of the library while providing views to patrons looking out from within the building. A welcoming covered bridge entry leads visitors into the space where they are immediately presented with views through the building and into the natural landscape beyond. The community will enjoy and use its meeting room, study rooms and separate spaces for children and teens. 

An important part of each new library is its public art project. Through the Fulton County Art in Public Places Resolution, 1% of each building project budget goes toward the creation of public art. For the East Roswell Library, artist Chris Condon was selected through a community-driven selection process, and has produced a series of wood and stone sculptures of woodland animals visitors will see throughout the library entitled, New Growth Forest

In November 2008, Fulton County voters overwhelmingly passed the Library Bond Referendum. The plan will greatly enhance all of the county’s libraries, and includes 8 new branch libraries: Alpharetta, East Roswell, Milton, Northwest Atlanta, Palmetto, Southeast Atlanta, Metropolitan and Wolf Creek and two expansion projects: Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and the South Fulton Library. The Library Building Program plan maintains 34 libraries, the current number of libraries in the system, by eliminating leased spaces and its oldest libraries. Green building design and sustainability are priorities for these library building projects, and the Library System expects to achieve LEED Silver on all of the Phase I projects.

Those attending the event are asked to park in the front parking lot of East Roswell Park, located at 9000 Fouts Road, Roswell, and a shuttle will take attendees from this location to the ceremony; there is no parking available at the site the morning of the event.

For more information or to R.S.V.P. please call 404-730-1977 or email To keep up-to-date on the Library Building Program or other library events, visit our website. We hope to see a lot of our patrons on this exciting day!

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is the largest in the state, with 34 libraries and a collection of more than 2.3 million items. It offers innovative programs, services and virtual resources tailored to meet the needs of each branch's community. Children, teens and adults may choose from a variety of classes, visit exhibitions, listen to authors discuss their work, check out videos, DVDs and CDs, attend book club discussions, get homework help, hear music and see live performances. Last year patrons borrowed more than 2.7 million items, made 3.4 million visits to the libraries and our website had over 7.9 million hits.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Continuing Education Resolutions for 2015!

eCampus ResourcesFront line librarians at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. spend a lot of time touting the benefits of our library system’s free databases to our patrons and the public in general, and while I do actually use many of them myself while manning the reference desk, I have never actually enrolled in an online course through the continuing education databases that we make available. I hope to change that in 2015! With so many varied class topics to choose from in either personal or professional development, it seems foolish to continue to allow these opportunities to pass me by. And what better way to sell these resources to our users than to become familiar with the process myself?

While we offer several test preparation databases as well that are also very useful for those interested in furthering either education or career (See all eCampus Resources,) the two continuing education databases we subscribe to at AFPLS are Gale Courses and Universal Class. Both are free to library card holders in good standing and both offer a wide array of highly interactive, instructor led courses.

Gale Courses: Courses available through this database run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month. This is a certificate program geared towards professionals, including CEU (Continuing Education Units) and PLU (Professional Learning Units)-granting courses, and online GED, SAT/ACT Prep courses. Enrolling is a simple process that only requires the user to have a library card and email address to create a free account. Once enrolled students must log in and view the first two lessons within 13 days after the start date of the course to avoid being automatically dropped. If dropped, you do have the ability to enroll in the course during a later session. When a course selection is clicked on, users will be given an overview, syllabus, instructor information and requirements for enrolling. Clearly this is not an entirely self-paced set of courses as each session takes place within a six week time frame, however with classes ranging from Accounting and Finance to Writing and Publishing, users from all backgrounds are sure to find value in the classes offered here. An award of completion will be given after a passing final score.

Universal Class: While this database definitely offers courses that would be beneficial to professionals, it also offers hundreds of courses, all instructor-led, on almost any topic imaginable. This resources boasts over 500 online self-paced continuing education classes for adults in a range of subjects related to skills, jobs or personal growth. Face Painting, Weight Training, Flower Arranging, even a Beginner’s Guide to Wine class are all examples of the personal continuing education resources you will find here. When library card holders choose a course they will be taken to a page with a full course description, syllabus, information about the instructor and number of CEUs the class provides. Another feature of this database I liked was the recommended related classes that are also listed for the user when a course is selected. Signing up for that wine class? Maybe you’d like to pair that with Italian Cooking 101! Classes are self-paced here, which may be both a blessing and a curse. It’s wonderful to have the flexibility to take a class at any time of day or night that suits your schedule, however with no completion deadline I can see how a lot of users might start something they never finish.

Both of these offer users so much variety in terms of the range of topics covered. For someone like me just looking to find something fun it’s almost overwhelming! Still, I am excited to discover something new and to accomplish my goal of completing one of these classes in the near future. As the day winds down that wine class is sounding better and better all the time…

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Atlanta Housing Authority Choice Voucher Program

The Atlanta Housing Authority has opened its Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) today, January 6, 2015, through next Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Instructions for registration can be found on the website in both Spanish and English and there is also a 1-800 Hotline you can call for assistance. All branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and many other sites around the city are available to accommodate applicants who need computer access, and these sites have been provided with some information to help applicants get started. Registration is FREE and pre-applications will NOT be accepted at any AHA office or property. If you are selected you will be notified via email at the email address you provide at registration, or applicants can call the Hotline or log onto the Website for updates. 

To submit a pre-application, registrants must be 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor as defined by law. Registrants who submit a pre-application and are selected as applicants to be on the official HCVP Waiting List must meet HCVP eligibility criteria and other requirements at the time they are drawn from the HCVP Waiting List for voucher assistance.

Applicants must meet HUD's Very Low-Income Limits published during the period in which they are drawn from the waiting list, and applicants must reside in the city of Atlanta during their first year on the program. For more information on HCVP eligibility criteria, click HERE.

Don't let this deadline pass you by!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Find Your Next Favorite Book!

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has several tools for helping our patrons discover their next great read, the best tool of course being your local librarian! But while databases such as NoveList (hint: get to this one through GALILEO using the GALILEO password) are excellent resources for finding author or title read-alikes, finding all books in a series (listed in order!) and for finding recommended books in a particular genre, there are other websites out there that can also help readers find just what they're looking for...even if you don't know what it is you're looking for! Below are just five reader's advisory websites that can be used to help discover your next favorite book.

Fantastic Fiction: Bibliographies on over 30,000 authors and information on over 350,000 titles. This site contains an extensive list of Series and Awards. For something akin to read-alikes, search for an author and once on their page scroll down for a list of books that author recommends. Also includes lists of New Books and not yet published Coming Soon titles. Mostly focuses on better known authors, so if you're looking for more obscure authors/titles, you may not find them here.

Goodreads: One of the most popular online book sites, now owned by Amazon, and is great for making book lists based on reader/user reviews. You can search by genre or browse through their lists of Goodreads Choice Awards which compile the year's best books in various genres based on Goodreads user votes. Sign up for a free account, start rating books you've read and receive personalized recommendations based on other reviewers.

WhatShouldIReadNext: This is a very straight forward and user-friendly site both in its interface and it what it offers the user. No need to create an account (although you can if you want to add your own reviews to their extensive database,) simply type in the name of a book or author on the home page and based on member reviews the database will generate a list of recommended reading. This one can be very useful when you just want to quickly get a list of possibilities to check the library shelves for.

Whichbook: A fun site to play with for readers who want to put in a few minutes of time to find the perfect next read. Whichbook generates recommended reading based on the user's mood, or essentially the mood of the book you'd like to read. The site provides a list of sliders that users can choose four of to indicate their mood (are you looking for something more Happy or Sad, Safe or Disturbing, Easy or Demanding, No Sex or Lots of Sex, etc.) Users can also browse through mood book lists that have already been created, or can create their own. A fun tool for discovering titles you may not have thought you'd like, although not as useful at finding author read-alikes.

Shelfari: Another site that has been acquired by Amazon, Shelfari is a social cataloging site for books. It requires a bit of time and effort up front, but if you create a free account you can rate, review and discuss books with other members and even join groups to connect with other readers. What I find most useful here is the virtual bookshelves users can create. Different shelves for books you've read, books you'd like to read, books you own and books you are currently reading help to sort and keep track of all the recommended titles you might come across. The readers advisory is strictly based on other users' reviews, but as an organizational tool this site is very useful.

Happy reading!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Palmetto Library Grand Opening!

The Atlanta-FultonPublic Library System announces the grand opening of the new 10,000-square-foot Palmetto Library, which will open to the public with a celebration on Monday, December 15 at 11:00 a.m. We would love to see as many of our patrons as possible at this event!

This is the second library to open as part of Phase I of the Library Building Program. Houser Walker Architecture provided design/engineering services for the new library. New South Construction provided construction management services, and Heery/Russell provided program management.

The Palmetto Library is imagined as a series of ‘rooms’ or small buildings nestled within a semi-rural landscape. Drawing on vernacular structures from the region, it features large rooms, corresponding to the major functions of the Library. A nearby barn provided inspiration for the overall form of the building, which responds to specific views, solar characteristics, and functional requirements of each defined room. Materials used for the exterior of the library draw upon the legacy of building in the entire Palmetto/Chattahoochee Hills region, while reinforcing the civic character of the structure. The structure will age well and give a rich patina to the building as time passes. 

As with all of the new libraries, a public art project featuring a local artist will be on permanent display for the community. The sculpture, On a Roll, was created by Andrew T. Crawford for the Palmetto Library. Made entirely of bent steel, this work is  loosely based on the imagery of an old tractor that has been left in a field. The sculpture responds to the facility in that its concept is a reflection of the underlying architectural theme.  The structure of the building is based on the reorganization of the forms found in agricultural buildings, mainly barns.

Please join us as we celebrate the opening of this beautiful new library!

WHEN:          Monday, December 15, 2014 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:         Palmetto Library
                      9111 Cascade Palmetto Highway
                      Palmetto, GA 30268

RSVP:            404.730.1977 or 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Celebrates Its Volunteers!

The value of volunteering topped $1.5 million last year at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, with 2,008 volunteers donating 67,645 hours of time in 2013 valued at $1,525,407.15 in donated services. This is the sixth year library volunteer services have topped one million dollars!

The 24th Annual Volunteer Recognition Award Program was held Saturday, November 15, with over 125 people in attendance. Special guest speakers included Stephanie Moody, Chair of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Board of Trustees and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District 6, who is also former Library Board trustee.

Library volunteers serve as adult literacy tutors, English as a second language (ESL) teachers, homework help aides, math tutors, computer assistants, clerical assistants, children’s program aides, special event hosts and more – in any of the Library System’s 34 branches. Volunteers with Friends of the Library groups are active in 24 branches and served over 22,000 hours last year.

Some highlights of the volunteer year include:
  • 146 volunteers donated over 100 hours in 2013, including 58 who donated over 200 hours. Three of these volunteers donated over 1,000 hours in 2013!
  • Several volunteers reached milestones including 28 volunteers who celebrated their five-year service award, 16 volunteers who celebrated their ten-year service award and eight volunteers who celebrated their 15-year service award. Eleven volunteers received the Millennium Award for reaching a career total of 1,000 hours.
  • Laura Thompson, volunteer at the Sandy Springs Branch since 2010, won the President’s Call to Service Award for reaching a career total of over 4,000 hours and with 1,350 of those hours being served in 2013, she was also in the top three volunteers with the highest hours for 2013. Additional winners included Ben Statham who served 1,379 hours with the Friends of the Alpharetta Library and Carol Harrison who served 1,174 hours with the Friends of the Roswell Library.
  • Eleven young adults and nine teens won the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and 15 Friends of the Library groups won the President’s Volunteer Service Award for groups serving over 200 hours in one year.
Congratulations to all of those who reached milestones in volunteering in 2013, and a great big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers throughout the library system! We would not be able to do all of the things we do without your time and dedication. You are much appreciated!

Top 2 Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System volunteers Laura Thompson, Sandy Springs Library, and Ben Statham, Friends of the Alpharetta Library, celebrate the “Big Check” with (L to R) Interim Library Director Anne Haimes and Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, Stephanie Moody.

Odessa Washington-Williams (middle), Friends of the South Fulton Library, celebrating her 5 year anniversary with (L to R) Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District 6, and Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, Stephanie Moody.