Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Alpharetta Library Grand Opening Celebration!

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System announces the grand opening of the new 25,000-square-foot Alpharetta Library, which will open to the public with a celebration on Thursday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. Please join us!

This is the sixth library to open as part of Phase I of the Library Building Program. Cooper Carry, in association with Vines Architecture, provided design and engineering services for the new library. Moss & Associates provided construction management services, and Heery/Russell is the program management team.

The beautiful two-level library creates a defining front porch to the Alpharetta City Center and embraces the park-like setting as it welcomes patrons to the variety of spaces and places within. The two levels of the building both feature public entries, and are connected internally by an open central stair. The library features convenient access to upper level collections, computer areas, reading, meeting, study and conference rooms. The lower level includes a variety of children’s program space, an auditorium, lobby and support spaces accessible through a central plaza entry. The brick exterior, cast stone features, large windows and extensive landscaping create a welcoming environment consistent with the ongoing growth of Alpharetta City Center.

In November 2008, Fulton County voters passed the Library Bond Referendum which will greatly enhance all of the county’s libraries, and includes 8 new branch libraries and 2 expansion projects.

We would love to see as many of our patrons there as possible so please come join in the festivities or just come to check out some brand new books, movies and music all day long!

WHEN:           Thursday, July 30, 2015

 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:        Alpharetta Library

10 Park Plaza

Alpharetta, GA 30009

Monday, July 13, 2015

Georgia Author Of The Year Award Announced!

Novelist and Atlanta native, David Darracott, has been named 2015 Georgia Author of the Year for his suspense novel, Wasted, in the detective/mystery category.  The GeorgiaWriters Association announced winners on Saturday June 27, 2015 at its annual banquet at Kennesaw State University.

A resident of Forsyth County and frequent speaker at libraries and literary gatherings, Darracott said he was gratified and appreciative to receive such an honor. “I’m extremely pleased,” he said, because “we writers often toil in the dark with little reward or recognition for the work we do or the arduous careers we lead, so it is particularly gratifying when we win tribute from our fellow writers.”

In her comments about his winning entry, the judge, Melanie Sumner, wrote: 
Darracott writes this suspenseful story with tight, polished prose, allowing his characters to reveal themselves with authentic, controlled dialogue.  The carefully chosen details of his settings, such as the protagonist’s old Triumph and his modest house outside of Decatur, Georgia, with an inch of pine needles on the roof, and a cracked concrete driveway, bring the reader smack into the middle of the story.  More exotic scenes on the Caribbean are illustrated in detail that is both exquisite and essential to the plot . . . the characters of Player and Sharpe are well-portrayed . . . a brilliant ending reveals the subtle satire . . .  and with that Wasted becomes a profound novel, as well as a good read.

In its 51 year history, Georgia Author of the Year has been granted to some of the state’s most distinguished writers of fiction, nonfiction, and specialty books.  Philip Lee Williams of Athens received the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his many contributions to the field. 

Darracott is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of Emory University.  A longtime writer of nonfiction for magazines, television, and film productions, his parallel career in fiction is “why I keep writing." He is also author of the novel Internal Security as well as some short stories. He holds a Masters degree in English and received a Hambidge Fellowship in 2009-2010. Though fiction is his passion—first, last, and always—fly fishing and golf run a close second. You can learn more about his work on his website and locate his books at


Thursday, June 18, 2015

July Art And Author Programs!

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is pleased to present a selection of Art and Author programs during the month of July, so come beat the heat with us and participate in any number of our free programs. You are certain to find something for all ages and interests in any of our 34 libraries, so don't miss out! And it's not too late to sign up for the 2015 Summer Reading Program, happening in all of our libraries through August 1st! Contact your local library to see what other events, programs, films, author talks and crafts will be happening all summer long. Come join in the fun!

Art by Way of Series: A Retrospective of the Artwork of Frank Holland
Through Friday, July 31. Library hours.
Opening Reception, Thursday, July 9, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
The exhibit explores artist Frank Holland’s fondness and passion for creating works of art by way of group/series. Featured are mixed media samples from 10 or more series the artist has created over the last twenty years.
Central Library, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta 30303
For information call 404.730.1745

Author: Shonte Press
Thursday, July 2. 10:00 a.m.
Author Shonte Press will share her recipe for making a nice summer entree.
Dogwood Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
1838 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, Atlanta 30318
For information call 404.792.4961 

The Artist’s Way: A Path to Higher Creativity, Step Into Greatness Series
Saturdays, July 11, August 8. 1:30 p.m.
You are an Artist. We all are. We all have Creative Energy! Whether you are ready to write that book, produce your music, paint, design, live more creatively or simply create the life of your dreams this class is for you. Facilitated by Denise Dyer, life coach and host, Hold the Vision Radio. Teens and adults.
Southwest Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
3665 Cascade Road, Atlanta 30331
For information call 404.699.6363

Children’s Author: Nikki Porter
Monday, July 13. 10:30 a.m.
Nikki Porter will read her book, Grandpa Visits London. Ages 4-6. Reservations required.
College Park Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
3647 Main Street, College Park 30337
For information call 404.762.4060

Altered Book Art Workshop for Adults
Wednesday, July 15. 2:00 p.m.
Give discarded library books a new purpose in life! Learn a variety of methods to turn old books into art. Come in and sample the vast possibilities. You’ll leave with a book to alter, ideas, and a new art project. Reservations required. Adults.
Buckhead Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
269 Buckhead Avenue NE, Atlanta 30305
For information call 404.814.3500

Family Night Craft With Children’s Book Author Mona Scott
Monday, July 20. 6:00 p.m.
DIY family night crafts with Sunrae and friends. Fun simple craft project for the whole family. Mona L. Scott children’s book author and crafter will be instructing the workshop. All ages.
West End Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
525 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta 30310
For information call 404.752.8740

Franklin Pond Chamber Music
Thursday, July 23. 11:00 a.m.
Please come and hear classical music played at its finest with Franklin Pond Chamber Music, a unique year-round chamber music program for talented string students. All ages.
Sandy Springs Branch, a part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
395 Mt. Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs 30328
For information call 404.303.6130

Film Screening and Discussion, African Cinema as Art Film Series Featuring the Work of Ousmane Sembene: Mandabi
Saturday, July 25. 3:00 p.m.
As part of the African Cinema as Art Film Series, the Hammonds House Museum, in collaboration with the Auburn Avenue Research Library, will host a screening of the feature film, Mandabi (The Money Order) is a 1968 film directed by Ousmane Sembène. Based on his novel of the same name this is Sembène’s first film in his native language, Wolof, and explores themes of neocolonialism, corruption and Senegalese society.

Hammonds House Museum, 503 Peeples St, Atlanta 30310

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three New Libraries Opening This Summer!

The Atlanta-FultonPublic Library System is preparing to open the next three new libraries as part of Phase I of the Library Building Program this summer.

The new 25,000-square-foot Northwest Library at Scotts Crossing will open on Thursday, July 9 at 11:00 a.m. The library is located at 2489 Perry Boulevard, Atlanta 30318. The Perry Homes and Bowen/Bankhead Libraries permanently closed on May 15, 2015 to prepare for the grand opening of this new library.

The new 25,000-square-foot Milton Library will open on Thursday, July 16 at 11:00 a.m. Located at 855Mayfield Road, Milton 30009, this branch is providing service to an area of the county that was previously unserved by a library.

The new 25,000-square-foot Alpharetta Library
will open on Thursday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. The library is located at 10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta 30009, and is part of the new Alpharetta City Center. The existing Alpharetta Library, located at 238 Canton Street, Alpharetta, re-opened on June 3 after closing on May 21 to prepare the collection for the grand opening of the new Alpharetta Library. This library will permanently close approximately two weeks prior to the opening of the new Alpharetta Library. The closing date will be finalized in the coming weeks.

These openings are part of Phase I of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Library BuildingProgram, including construction of 8 new branch libraries and 2 expansion projects. In addition to the Alpharetta, Milton and Northwest libraries opening in July, three libraries have already opened: East Roswell (February 2015), Palmetto (December 2014), and Wolf Creek (September 2014). Two additional new libraries, the Southeast Atlanta and Metropolitan branches, will open later this year. Both the Auburn Avenue Research Library and the South Fulton Library are currently closed and under construction as the two expansion projects.

Green building design and sustainability are priorities for all Phase I library projects, and the Library System expects to achieve LEED Silver on each project. Each library will reflect the culture and interests of its community.

This is a very exciting time for our library system! Thank you to all of our patrons for your continued support of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. We hope you all have a chance to visit your beautiful new libraries very soon!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Library Volunteers Transition To New Roles!

Library volunteers assist throughout the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System with clerical duties, returning items to the shelves and tutoring. Over 500 volunteers a month help strengthen our resources available to patrons, but recently volunteers have impacted our system in other ways. Former Ocee Library teen volunteer, Josh Seides, founded the national nonprofit Technocademy when he was in the 9th grade! Recently he partnered with assistant branch manager Karen Kennedy at the Ocee Library to host the first session of their new segment called CodeKids to teach digital literacy. 

Technocademy has already reached over 150,000 seniors and is excited about expanding their work to help children. Two other former Ocee teen volunteers joined for the first of six computer programming classes for elementary and middle school kids. Seides served as a library volunteer from 2010-2013, Alice Tang served in 2011-2012 and Manu Poruthoor served in 2010-2011, but they are serving the library again to help teach 30 kids ranging from 3rd grade to 9th grade computer coding. Technocademy’s  highly skilled team will be providing hands-on Microsoft Office training for teens and adults this summer in the evening. Ocee staff are delighted to expand the Microsoft Office training sessions to reach additional teen and adult students seeking to enhance their digital literacy skills.

Other volunteers have transitioned to new roles as new part-time staff members. Sohna Harzeez started volunteering in 2014 at the East Atlanta Branch and is now working at the Central Library. Harzeez said, “I am able to see more of the inner workings of the library and am already making things easier for the Librarians.” Stephanie Bottom served as a volunteer at the Central Library and Hapeville Branch, but is now employed again as a part-time Library Associate with the Adamsville/Collier Heights Branch. Ellen Baxter is a library student who started volunteering at the Roswell Branch and transitioned into an internship with Collections Management at the Central Library before starting part-time back at the Roswell Branch. Baxter said, 

I am thrilled to be back in the library as an employee.  Volunteering, which I mainly did before being hired in 2011 and then after being laid off in 2014, has kept me connected to the library and to my love of literacy.  I love having a job where someone's day can be changed in an instant by obtaining a library card.  Working again within the library system also enhances my graduate studies in Library and Information Science and gives me more experience to bring to my studies and vice versa.

Are you interested in joining our wonderful group of volunteers? Visit the website to fill out an application and get started!

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Every Hero Has A Story" Summer Reading Program!

Readers of all ages will explore every day heroes as the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System presents “Every Hero Has a Story,” as its 2015 Summer Reading Program theme. By joining the fun, patrons of all ages will have the power to bring science fiction to life in all of our locations with exciting programs and events. Sign up starts in all of our locations on June 1, so be sure not to miss out!

The Library System, with the sponsorship from the Goddard Foundation, is joining forces with Generation Infocus to provide extreme STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) summer programming. Each library will provide a hands-on class or program that exemplifies an element of STEAM along with many other summer reading activities. Patrons will explore their subjects further with related reading resources featured in each library.

Area teens are encouraged to participate in “Unmask!” the Library System’s teen summer library program. Teens are invited to come to their branch and read for prizes, as well as to take part in special events offered throughout the summer.

Special programs this summer will include Computer Coding for Teens, Superfood – The Vegan No Bake Experience, Every Hero Has a Story Mural, 3D Printing (3D Superheroes), Wearable Technology, and e-Textiles Superhero Design Challenge.

The 2015 Summer Reading Program runs June 1 through August 1 and is open to preschool children through young adults, with programs, prize drawings, storytimes, reading clubs and more. Several libraries are also offering an adult summer reading experience.

Sign-up for “Every Hero Has a Story” is easy, just come into any of our 34 libraries to register. Children read 10 books and teens read 5. After signing up, each person receives a reading log to keep track of books that are read during the summer. The library awards a certificate when readers complete their number of books, and their name goes into a drawing for prizes. For a full list of programs and events visit our website or call your local branch. All programs are free and open to the public. 

We can't wait to spend the summer with you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Celebrates Its Volunteers

The value of volunteering topped $1.4 million at Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System for 2014, with 1,871 volunteers donating 64,962 hours valued at $1,498,662.27 in donated services! This is the seventh year library volunteer services have topped $1 million, and the theme of this year’s event was "Volunteers Help Write Our Story."

The 25th Annual Volunteer Recognition Award Program was held Saturday, April 25, during National Volunteer Month, with over 105 people in attendance. Special guest speakers included Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District 4, who is also former Library Board trustee and Stephanie Moody, Chair of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Board of Trustees.

Library volunteers serve as English as a second language (ESL) teachers, homework help aides, math tutors, computer assistants, clerical assistants, children’s program aides, tax 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 26 branches and served over 23,000 hours last year.

Some highlights of the volunteer year include:

An increase over the previous year, 153 volunteers donated over 100 hours in 2014, including 50 who donated over 200 hours. Four volunteers donated over 1,000 hours in 2014. Five young adults and four teens won the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Several volunteers reached milestones, including 31 volunteers who celebrated their 5-year service award, 16 volunteers who celebrated their 10-year service award, 6 volunteers who celebrated their 15-year service award, and one who celebrated 20 years of service. Fourteen volunteers received the Millennium Award for reaching a career total of over 1,000 hours!

Carol Harrison and Janice Tedford, volunteers with the Friends of the Roswell Library, both won the President’s Call to Service Award for reaching a career total of over 4,000 hours and with 1,289 of those hours being served in 2014, Carol was also the top hours volunteer with the highest hours for 2014. Additional winners included Laura Thompson who served 1,224 hours at the Sandy Springs Library, Ben Statham who served 1,216 hours and Gerrie Fornek who served 1,120 with the Friends of the Alpharetta Library.

There was also a dedication to volunteer Ben Statham who has broken every volunteer record and has served more than 20,000 hours since 1991. Twenty southern history books were purchased for the new Alpharetta Library and have book plates in honor of his service.

Four top hours’ volunteers presented a check for the $1,498,662.27 in donated services to the Interim Library Director Gayle Holloman, Board of Trustees Chair Stephanie Moody and Commissioner Joan Garner.

Image 1: Friends of the Alpharetta Library (FOTAL) celebrate their significant contribution in 2014 and help hold the check showing the total donation of services to the Library System of $1,498,662.27. (L to R) Linda Statham; Ben Statham; Gerrie Fornek; Heather Staniszewski, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Volunteer Services Manager; Barbara Selwyn; Susan Fornek; and Sherry Wright (guest).  

Image 2: Friend of the Roswell Library Carol Harrison received the President’s Call to Service Award for serving 4,975 lifetime hours. Carol leads over 30 volunteers in the Friends of the Roswell Book Store and at quarterly book sales.

Image 3: Keisha Sawyer has been a Friend of the South Fulton Library since 2000 and proudly accepted her 15 year volunteer service pin.

Image 4: Kelvin Wright served 262 hours at the Southwest Library in 2014 and was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award for Young Adults.