Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Used Book Sales To Support Literacy Alliance

Did you know that 28% of the metro area's population (that's almost 900,000 adults) are living with low literacy skills? Or that children who aren't read to and don't develop basic literacy practices when they enter school are 3 to 4 times more likely to drop out? Or that businesses nation-wide estimate spending an average of $600 million per year on remedial reading, writing and math skills for their employees? Even the US military spends on average $70 million annually for basic skills remediation for new recruits. Well now you have a chance to help combat the problem of low literacy in the city of Atlanta.

The Literacy Alliance of Metro Atlanta is partnering with A Capella Books to host ongoing used book sales benefiting LAMA! Thanks to Lama's founding member, Laura Hauser, proceeds from the Used Book Sales will support LAMA and find seed grants for its members. The next book sale is on Saturday, December 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. These special book sales will occur on each 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month, just in time for holiday gift-giving season!

The Literary Alliance of Metropolitan Atlanta (LAMA) has a mission to achieve 100% literacy among metro Atlanta's adults and families by providing visibility for the issue of low literacy; providing visibility for its member organizations in their work to combat low literacy; developing and implementing a viable model for expansion of literacy programming; and to offer a single marketing-and-funding mechanism for the member organizations so that they are free to deliver our mission. The coalition hopes to increase public awareness about low-literacy as it is one of the root causes of poverty, un- and under-employment, homelessness, and poor health outcomes. We also provide a gateway to our member organizations as they focus to expand literacy programming in the Metropolitan Atlanta Area.

This practical and innovative coalition is comprised of nonprofits (literacy, refugee/ immigrant services, and human service providers;) governmental agencies, including county library systems, the Technical College System of Georgia, school systems that offer adult education services, higher education colleges and universities; umbrella organizations like the United Way and the Certified Literate Communities Program; and business and community leaders. Together, they strive to have a lasting impact on the Metro Atlanta community. Help support their cause and buy some books this Saturday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Celebrate Thanksgiving At Your Library!

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only one week away! If you're looking for some fun family activities to get you in the spirit of things, look no further than the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System! Many of our branches will continue to have Thanksgiving-themed storytimes, crafts and programs right up until we close for the holiday. And while you're here enjoying one of our programs, why not browse the cookbook aisle to get inspired with some new holiday recipes! Remember that all branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System will close on Wednesday, November 27 at 6:00 p.m. and will remain closed on Thursday and Friday. We will reopen on Saturday, November 30, 2013. We wish all of our patrons a very safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

Giving Thanks, Thank You Turkey Craft!Thursday, November 21. 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Youth will create a colorful feather filled turkey craft and write what they are thankful for on each feather.
Mechanicsville Branch
400 Formwalt St. SW, Atlanta 30312
For information call 404.730.4779

Saturday Storytime Celebrates Being Thankful!
Saturday, November 23. 3:00 p.m.
Ms. Leah will have a fun seasonal storytime and related activities for the whole family. Sign up required, space is Limited. Come by, call or Ages 3-7.
Sandy Springs Branch
395 Mt. Vernon Highway, Atlanta 30328
For information call 404.303.6130

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble Preschool Thanksgiving Storytime and Craft
Tuesday, November 26. 10:00 a.m.
Enjoy Thanksgiving stories, songs and crafts.
West End Branch
525 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta 30310
For information call 404.752.8740

Gobble, Gobble Turkey Surprise Storytime!
Tuesday, November 26. 6:30 p.m.
Children come create a “hand” some turkey craft for the holiday.
Southwest Branch
3665 Cascade Road, Atlanta 30331
For information call 404.699.6363

Thanksgiving Craft 
Wednesday, November 27. 10:45 a.m.
Join us for a turkey-themed craft, appropriate for preschoolers. Ages 2-5. Reservations required for groups.
Ponce de Leon Branch
980 Ponce de Leon Ave., NE, Atlanta 30306
For information call 404.885.7820

School’s Out Turkey Making Craft
Wednesday, November 27. 1:00 p.m.
Make a turkey to decorate your room for the Thanksgiving.
West End Branch
525 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta 30310
For information call 404.752.8740

Friday, November 8, 2013

Community Meeting For South Fulton Library Project

Meeting Will Be Held Monday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: South Fulton Library, 4055 Flat Shoals Rd., Union City 30291

Please join us for a presentation regarding the South Fulton Library expansion project! McAfee3 Architects was asked to study the existing site at the South Fulton Library to determine the feasibility of expanding the existing building and its on-site parking. The group will present their findings at this community meeting.

Phase I of the Library Building Program includes 8 new libraries and 2 expanded libraries. Design has begun on several of the projects, with construction beginning in late 2013 and openings beginning late 2014 and continuing into 2015. Community engagement has been the cornerstone of our Library Building Program, and we would like you to join us!

If you are unable to attend, we’d also like to hear from you with questions or comments. You can get in touch with us in the following ways:

- Online:
- Email:
- Fax: 404-335-5291

And continue to follow our progress at – front page, click “Your New Libraries”

If you have questions, please call 404-730-1777. We appreciate your continued support! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Foundation Center Resources At Your Library

Foundation Center logo
Did You Know?

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is a Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center.

Funding Information Network Partners, which used to be called Cooperating Collections, serve as satellite locations, offering the key databases and book resources offered by the Foundation Center. 
The Funding Information Network is a network of libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers that can be found across the U.S. and around the world. Network partners provide a core collection of Foundation Center publications and a variety of supplementary materials and services in areas useful to grantseekers. 
The New York-based Foundation Center has helped philanthropists and nonprofits since the 1950s and produces the voluminous Foundation Directory, the premier source of information about funding providers and their grants.

The Foundation Directory, its database version (Foundation Directory Online) and the Foundation Grants to Individuals resources are offered free of charge to patrons in the Ivan Allen, Jr. Reference Department on the 2nd floor of Central Library during its hours of operation. In addition, the Ivan Allen, Jr. Reference Department maintains a collection of reference books that help nonprofits get started and manage themselves well.  See the Reference Department’s Grants Resources page to get an idea of what is offered.

The Foundation Center's Atlanta location can be found at:

50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30303

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Teen Flash Fiction Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Brianna Herrington, age 14, from Woodward Academy for winning the Teen Center's Flash Fiction Contest at the Central Library! As part of the annual event, Teen Read Week, the Teen Technology and Homework Center located in the Central Library hosted a writing contest with a Flash Fiction Challange! Flash Fiction is fiction that is extremely brief, typically only a few hundred words or fewer in its entirety.Teens had to write an original story, 800 words or less, using the word ‘Library’ as the inspiration. Thank you to all who participated and we hope you enjoy Brianna's story below!

The three girls knelt  and clasped hands. They’d had lives plagued by sadness.  They’d been too different:; too weird.  Still, their loving parents, wanting the best for them  forced them to come to the transfer program at Woodland Academy. Where “unique ability is cultivated into exceptional skill”. True, they had grown here but today they were living a nightmare as  a fellow student burst into the library with a loaded gun.

See each girl had at one time been a prodigy of some sort, now as they kneeled clustered together in a row of the amphitheater, they feared the worst. The end of all they had worked for. Each girl had her own demons, her own struggle, her own internal battle and yet they felt alone even as they clasped hands and cried out in fear to their different G-ds.  As their lives were flashing before their eyes, they each had one thing in common. The tallest girl, dark-skinned with an afro and wide brown eyes prayed softly to the Virgin Guadalupe. She was Hispanic and all through her life she’d been taunted for it.

‘How could a dark girl be Hispanic, she’s obviously a liar?’

‘What made her think she was better then everyone else, why couldn’t she just be protestant ?’

But despite the taunting, the cruelty and her hardships Analise managed to become a piano prodigy. When her fingers flew across the keys she conveyed words yet to be created. Her feelings flowed through her music and into the minds and souls of her audience and everyone that listened to Analise left her performances a changed person.

‘But what made her think she was so special?!’

As yet another shot went off around them, and the girls grasped each others hands more tightly, Piruva as tears rolled down her cheeks cried out to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The Trimurti; the top three gods of her religion; Hinduism. Vocal prodigy, all Piruva had ever wished for was not wealth nor fame but enough quiet so that one day her tiny voice could be heard above the noise. When she’d been moved to her fourth foster home, the obese white girl was forced to raise her voice over her meek spirit. And when she did she brought people to tears with the beauty and sheer power of her voice. Despite the fact that her beliefs and her face did not fit together. She managed to believe in others more than she thought she would ever believe in herself.

‘Who was she to consider herself pretty?’

‘She would never be enough.’

The last but not least and tiniest of the girls, Mira said nothing, the girls let go of each others hands and with one hand she wrote ‘I believe’ over and over again in a notepad that lay open on the floor. She was mute and autistic. The girl did little in school but was required to go. Her mother a short Japanese woman who couldn’t speak much English mumbled her daughter into the local public school; where she thrived. Mira, was talented in so many aspects it was obvious she had been blessed. At the age of two she could write paragraphs with the  vocabulary  resembling a high school students, when she was ten she wrote a novel as intriguing and enticing as Harry Potter. But the power of the pen was just the beginning. It was when Mira first picked up a paint brush that the world stilled. At the humble age of twelve Mira was using colors in ways indescribable.  She did self portraits and mirror images of  landscapes. Her artwork was featured in many museums in hallways where people looked at her work then at Van Gogh's. Mira was an art prodigy and at thirteen that was more then clear.

‘But why couldn’t the funny-eyed Japanese girl talk.’

Because she could paint. Analise could make music and Piruva could sing notes that flew high above mountains and lifted the saddest of spirits, just not her own. But as each girl finally dropped hands they wrote one sentence. One thing they each had in common.

Analise wrote, “Creo.”

Piruva wrote, “मेरा मानना ​​है कि” (I believe).

And Mira continued to write, “I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe.” Because she did.

As the student walked up to the girls they unashamedly cowered in the confines of the library where they’d first read about, expressed and discovered their talents. One last time Analise wrote, “Creo.” Piruva wrote, “ मेरा मानना ​​है कि.”(I believe) And  as the gunman walked up to Mira, for the first time she spoke. “I forgive you.” she said.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Information On The Affordable Care Act At Your Library

Many of us are now attempting to navigate new and unfamiliar territory within the Affordable Care Act. But did you know that the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has many resources here to help you understand your options? Our government information librarians have put together links to all kinds of resources you may need as you start the process of selecting insurance for yourself and your family. To get started, visit our web site and follow the steps below.

From the home page, look under the Books & Materials tab and click on Government Information. From here, scroll down and click on Health - Insurance and Providers. Here you will find valuable resources and tools to answer your questions, provide you with the necessary provider information, and to help get you started in the Marketplace.

In addition to the below information about Insurance, you can also find a wealth of general health information through the library's website as well. Some other topics covered under our Government Information tab are listed below. We hope this helps all of our patrons make informed decisions about the health and safety of themselves and their families!

Health - General Health and Safety
Health - Home and Community
Health - Medicines and Herbals
Health - Sports Injuries, Exercise
Health - Workplace and School

Health - Insurance and Providers
Use the portal to learn about changes brought about by passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and to access an online tool that helps find the best healthcare option for you. Also links to a tool to compare care in different facilities. Encuentre ayuda local.

Federally-funded health centers. Pay what you can afford, based on your income.
Fulton County residents can take advantage of the Board of Commissioners'Prescription Discount Drug Card. Cardholders can also save on pet prescriptions.

Search a Georgia medical provider's license at the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners search page. Look for Facility Compliance Reports at the Georgia Office of Regulatory Services page. Make sure the facility performing your mammogram is certified.

Seniors and their caregivers can find listings of services from the U.S. Administration on Aging's Eldercare Locator or the National Institute on Aging'sdirectory of organizations. Elders unsure of what benefits they are eligible to receive can use the National Council on Aging's Benefits Checkup.

Medicare and You, the basic booklet on the Medicare program.

Georgia's PeachCare for Kids program and Georgia Families program.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cookbooks For Cooler Weather

Just as the official first day of Fall comes around every year, it seems that this post about fall cooking has become an annual event as well! As of September 22, Fall is here, and with that first breath of cooler air many of us start to crave those warm comfort foods that go hand-in-hand with the season. Soups, stews, chili and the like are all starting to sound pretty good now that it's no longer over 100 degrees every day! So why not get a head start on filling up your recipe box this fall by checking out some wonderful cookbooks from your local library branch? Here's a few suggestions, just to get your mouth watering:

The Big Book of Soups & Stews: 262 Recipes for Serious Comfort Food, by Maryana Vollstedt

Grandma Jo's Soup Kettle: 100 Hearty and Healthy Soups, Stews, Gumbos, and Chowders, by JoAnna M Lund

Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, by Nava Atlas

The Ultimate Chili Cookbook: History, Geography, Fact, and Folklore of Chili, by W.C. Jameson

Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington

Beyond Gumbo: Creole Fusion Food From the Atlantic Rim, by Jessica B. Harris

Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes, by Phyllis Pellman Good

As always, you can check the library's catalog for these and other titles to check out or place on hold. Happy cooking!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Check Out The Zoo Pass!

With fall and cooler temperatures fast approaching, and with the added excitement of two twin panda cubs born this summer at Zoo Atlanta, the coming months are a perfect time to check out the Zoo Pass from your local library! The Zoo Pass is actually a DVD that explores the history of Zoo Atlanta and highlights some of it's animal residents. Once you've watched the DVD simply return it to the branch it came from and get your receipt for admission to the zoo. Using the pass is simple and all you need is a valid library card to get started. Instructions for checking out and using the pass are below, so search the catalog to see if your branch has a pass available today!

Accessing the Zoo Pass

Adults with a valid library card may check out the Zoo Pass at any of the 33 branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System (excluding Auburn Avenue Research Library). One Zoo Pass will be available for checkout per branch.

The Zoo Pass is not available for self-checkout. Patrons should check out the Zoo Pass at the library front desk.

The Zoo Pass may be checked out only once per year, per card and household. The pass may not be renewed or reserved (sorry, can't place holds on this one!)

Return your Zoo Pass to the location of checkout, and you will receive your receipt for admission to the Zoo. The overdue fine will be $1.00 per day, maximum $10.00. The fee for a lost pass is $30.00.

Enjoying the Zoo Pass

Present your Zoo Pass receipt and your library card at the Zoo Atlanta front gate for admission.

The Zoo Pass is good for a family of four. The pass is valid for general admission only and may not be used for special events, including but not limited to Boo at the Zoo, Brew at the Zoo and Love in the Zoo.

We hope you enjoy your trip to Zoo Atlanta thanks to this wonderful partnership with Georgia Public Library Service!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Hugo Award Winners Announced!

In the midst of all of the excitement that takes place here in Atlanta during DragonCon, where all things science fiction and fantasy, including comic books, gaming, literature, art, film and music convene, the prestigious Hugo Awards were announced. Named after Hugo Gernsback, a famous magazine editor who did much to bring science fiction to a wider audience, the Hugo Awards have been presenting awards of excellence in the genres of science fiction and fantasy literature since 1953. On Sunday, Septemeber 1, the 2013 list of winners in all categories was selected. All winners and their works are listed below, so take this list to the library catalog and lose yourself in other worlds! 

BEST NOVEL : Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)
BEST NOVELLA: The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
BEST NOVELETTE: The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris)
BEST SHORT STORY: Mono no Aware, Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)
BEST RELATED WORK: Writing Excuses Season Seven, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson
BEST GRAPHIC STORY: Saga, Volume One, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM: The Avengers, (Screenplay) & Directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios, Disney, Paramount)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM: Game of Thrones, Blackwater, Written by George R.R. Martin, Directed by Neil Marshall. Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO)
BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
BEST SEMIPROZINE: Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Jason Heller, Sean Wallace and Kate Baker
BEST FANZINE: SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo, JP Frantz, and Patrick Hester
BEST FANCAST: SF Squeecast, Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Lynne M. Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente (Presenters) and David McHone-Chase (Technical Producer)
BEST FAN WRITER: Tansy Rayner Roberts
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER: Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2011 or 2012, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Third Annual Walk/Run For Literacy!

Get Fit For Lit! What better way to support the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System as we work towards improving literacy around metro Atlanta? Why not sign up for the 3rd Annual 5K Walk/Run for Literacy, hosted by the Literacy Alliance of Metro Atlanta (LAMA)!
The Literacy Alliance of Metro Atlanta was formed in June 2010 in response to an identified community need: the nearly 900,000 adults in the community with low literacy skills (including both native and non-native speakers of English.) That is 28% of the metro area’s population. Low literacy is one of the root causes of poverty, un- and under-employment, homelessness, and poor health outcomes – all of which have vast implications in terms of the cost to society.
You can find more information about LAMA on their website or Facebook page, and more educational facts about literacy here.

If the statistics above come as a shock to you, then it's time to show your support for literacy initiatives! This event is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 at 8:00 a.m., and will take place in Grant Park at 840 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315. Did we mention it's a Peachtree Road Race qualifier? You can register on the FitForLit website, and when you do be sure to select the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System in the "Additional Information" section to ensure your registration fee goes towards supporting our fantastic GED program, which includes preparation classes and testing. Registration fees are $20 per adult (online and paper registration available), $10 per student and $60 per teams of four. 

And even if you aren't much of a runner (or walker for that matter!) the best part is you can still register and give your financial support without having to participate! Last year patrons and staff from the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System narrowly beat out the participants from the Dekalb County Public Library and we'd love to see that happen again! Help us reach our goal and help support the efforts of all of the organizations in our city that work to make a difference in people's lives every day. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Volunteer At Your Library!

Volunteers: A Gift to the CommunityHave you ever thought about how you can give back to your local library? Maybe you need to earn some community service hours for school or work? Well, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is always grateful for our wonderful volunteers and we encourage anyone who's interested to look into it! All volunteers are asked to fill out a Volunteer Application which can then be returned to any branch location. You can also contact our Volunteer Services Department by calling 404.730.1965 

There are many ways in which volunteers serve in the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and we will do our best to give you an assignment that suits your interests and skills at the location of your choice. However, please be aware that not all opportunities are needed at all times and jobs vary by Library location. Listed below are just some of the many tasks performed by Library volunteers every day!

Auburn Avenue Research Library Volunteer
Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History
Volunteers at the library assist with behind-the-scenes clerical tasks and/or serve as docents/tour guides and hosts/hostesses for special events. See Volunteer Opportunities.

Children's Program Aide
Assist staff with preschool story hour by preparing craft materials and name tags, ushering and supervising children during programs. Assist with puppet shows, parenting workshops and other programs. Help with Summer Reading Program by registering children and distributing certificates.

Computer Lab Specialist
Skilled computer users are needed to assist the public by answering questions and assisting with computer basics, Internet access, word processing, spread sheets and other software programs in Library computer labs or to assist with computer classes.

Computer Lab Trainer/Workshop Presenter
Experienced trainers needed to conduct workshops on computer basics, software applications, resume writing, Internet use and other computer-related topics.

ESL (English as a Second Language) Coach
Volunteers conduct or assist with small classes for individuals learning to speak English. The Library provides training and resources for teachers and students.

Homework Help Assistance
Volunteers are needed in branches that have Homework Help Centers by helping students with their homework after school, including assisting students utilizing the computers for their assignments, and providing general supervision of the children. Another great group project. Adopt a branch now!

Job Search Coach
Help individuals learn to use library technology resources to develop their resume and use the Internet to search and apply for jobs online.

Library Clerical Aide
Help library staff with such tasks as preparing arts and crafts materials for library programs, checking books and other library materials for damage, making simple repairs, assisting with filing and/sorting library material.

Library User Survey Assistant
Take counts of library patrons and distribute surveys on library usage at the Central Library and at branches. Done several times a year. Different shifts available.

Literacy Tutor
Assist adults who are learning to read or are improving their reading skills. Volunteers are paired with learners and work one-on-one. The Library provides training and resources for tutors and learners. (more information)

Math Tutor
Volunteers with math skills needed to assist individuals with basic math such as adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, fractions and percentages.

Shape Up The Shelves!
Shape Up The Shelves group projects make it easy for volunteers to get involved with the Library. Days of service are designed with the busy person in mind. They are also a fun team builder for organizations. Teams search the shelves for lost items, shelve books, assist with processing materials and straighten stacks--important behind-the-scenes tasks that help get books and materials in the hands of patrons. With this blitz approach, groups of volunteers help the library accomplish, in a short time, tasks which otherwise might take months.

Spanish Language Teachers
Volunteers fluent in Spanish and familiar with teaching techniques are needed to present a workshop series on basic Spanish. (Volunteers fluent in other languages may also be needed to present workshops.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Groundbreaking For New East Roswell Library!

East Roswell Rendering
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System will break ground on the new East Roswell Library Thursday, August 1 at 11:00 a.m. and we would love to see you there!
The new 15,000-square-foot library for East Roswell is part of Phase I of the LibraryBuilding Program that is currently underway. The library will be located at 2301 Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. 

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.
For more information or to R.S.V.P. please call 404-730-1972 or email We look forward to meeting and greeting the future patrons of the East Roswell Library!
KHAFRAEngineering Consultants, in association with Holzheimer Bolek MeehanArchitects, have contracted with Fulton County to provide design and engineering services for the new library. Ajax Building Corporation is contracted to provide construction management services on this project, andHeery/Russell is the program management team.
The grand opening of the East Roswell Library is expected in the 3rd quarter of 2014.
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, Stewart-Lakewood and Wolf Creek.
  • Two expansion projects: Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and the South Fulton Library.
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. Each library will reflect the culture and interests of its community. Please join us for this exciting event and be sure to check the progress of the Library Building Program on our website! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: American Stories

Muslims have been a part of the history of America since colonial times. American Muslims, like other religious minorities, have shaped and reshaped their own societies and that of the country as a whole.

Azizah Cover
Reprinted with permission from Azizah Magazine and WOW Publishing Inc.
The community of Muslims throughout American history is so diverse it could not be represented by a single set of books. The five books made available to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System through the National Endowment for the Humanities Muslim Journeys grant provide a framework for approaching the stories of American Muslims with an eye toward their diversity and their involvement in the larger story of America itself.

Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford: Abd al-Rahman Ibrahima (1762–1829) was one of tens of thousands of West African Muslims who found himself sold into slavery in antebellum America. Unlike so many others, however, his story was not lost. Alford’s account explains the effect of the transatlantic slave trade on Islamic movements in West Africa, an angle we are not much familiar with in the West.

Prince Among Slaves (PBS documentary)Unity Productions Foundation, an educational non-profit with an interest in interfaith understanding, created a documentary based upon the book of the same name. Attend a screening of this film at the Central Library on July 17 at 2:00 p.m. The film will be followed by a discussion led by Georgia State University scholar Dr.Rashid Naim. 

The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States, edited by Edward E. Curtis IV: Focuses on the waves of Muslim immigration to the United States who arrived voluntarily between the 1880s and 1910s from Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East plus the  turn to Islam among some African Americans in the twentieth century. Includes primary source material from pioneer Mary Juma, missionaries such as Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb and Pir Inayat Khan, and community-builders like Noble Drew Ali of the Moorish Science Temple, Elijah Muhammad, W.D. Muhammad and Malcolm X.

Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel: The American Muslim population exploded after the Immigration Act of 1965 abolished national quotas. Patel’s family, members of a Muslim religious minority from the Indian state of Gujurat, was part of this wave. His autobiographical account of growing up in the United States as a member of a minority within a minority opens a window into his struggle for identity and his growth into the interfaith activist he is today.

A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, From the Middle East to America by Leila Ahmed: Few aspects of Muslim culture are as poorly understood in the West as the concept of veiling for women. Ahmed explains the many meanings of veiling for Muslim women from the activists of the 20th century who threw off the veil, to the activists of today who embrace it.

The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson: Intense, penetrating and entertaining account by an American woman who converted to Islam, married and lived in Egypt. She provides us with valuable insights on everything from Sufism and the meaning of faith to how one buys chicken in the market. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: Pathways Of Faith

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf
Muslims today make up the second-largest religious community in the world. From Senegal to Indonesia, Muslims share certain fundamental principles and practices, but express their religious beliefs in a wide variety of ways. Readings for this theme explore the basic tenets and requirements of Islam and the relationship between the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They also take a look at the divergent paths followed by the Sunni and Shia communities and the mystical routes to spiritual fulfillment known as Sufism.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf given to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System includes books selected to breathe life into Western understanding about Muslims throughout the world. We invite all of our patrons to check out this rich collection of materials at the Central Library!

The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by Francis E. Peters: How do scripture and tradition relate to one another? What does “worship of God” mean in each of the three faiths? How does it compare across the three faiths, and how is it different within each of them? This seminal work, recently updated, compares and contrasts these three great faiths.

Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown: Learn the facts of the Prophet Muhammad’s life from this short, readable book. It also helps Westerners understand how early Muslims themselves gathered this information for those who would come after them, and to understand the special place the Prophet occupies for Muslims.

The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson: Many Westerners find the Qur’an bewildering. This well-written book explains how the Qur’an was revealed and recorded, and places it in Muslim culture through history. Written by a Western Muslim scholar, it illuminates the Qur’an for non-Muslims while conveying how Muslims view their sacred text.

Koran By Heart: One Chance to Remember: Qur’anic recitation is an art and is carried out in many ways, varying from spiritually satisfying basic rhythmic recitations to advanced types of chanting that can be very moving. This 80-minute long HBO production chronicles one year at the world’s oldest and most prestigious Qur’an-reciting contest in Cairo. Follow 110 young people from over 70 countries as they come together for this event to compete and learn from one another.

The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter: Illuminated manuscripts, wall paintings and photographs, calligraphy, textiles, scientific instruments, decorative tiles, maps, ceramics, metalwork, and powerful works by contemporary artists, are complemented with explanatory narrative and quotes from the Qur’an and traditional literary sources to demonstrate this exciting “pillar of Islam”.

Rumi: Poet and Mystic, edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson: Jalalu’l-Din Rumi (1207-73) was one of the great Persian mystical poets. Through this collection of lovely translations, the reader is introduced to Sufism, a mystical side of Islam. The poems describe Rumi’s longing for and experience of the divine. He believed that in the great mystery of existence we are all united, a revelation that has made him one of the most popular poets in the world.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Government Documents At Your Library!

Federal Depository Library logo
Did you know that the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is a Federal Government Depository? It's the oldest one in the state of Georgia and the only one located in a public (rather than an academic) library. It is housed in the Ivan Allen, Jr. Reference Department (IAD) on the 2nd floor of the Central Library.

Because so many government publications nowadays are found only in a digital format, IAD maintains a set of webpages with links to publications and websites useful to the general public. You can access these pages from the drop-down menu under the "Books and Materials" tab at the top of our homepage under "Government Information," and also from the IAD portion of the Central Library’s website (see the IAD link above.)

Periodically we post a short listing of some of the newer publications received. Check under "New Documents Received" from the U.S. Government Information list. Right now this includes: an article about the first Black physician in the U.S. Army, the website for The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA's) hurricane outlook for 2013, how to look up federal legislative information, a web portal to information on women's heart health, plus links for the latest on the budget and economic recovery.

There is a wealth of important and useful information contained in these pages, and we invite all of our patrons to spend some time with all that can be found here! To contact the Ivan Allen, Jr. Reference Department call 404.730.1900.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: Points Of View

Iranians storm the American Embassy, 1979
We always see the countries of the Islamic world in the news, but our knowledge of them is often so poor that the news can be hard to understand. How do people live their lives in Islamabad, Fez, Cairo, or Tehran? What are their experiences and histories? Through the titles in the Muslim Journeys theme “Points of View,” readers will encounter individual experiences that help make news events three-dimensional. Some are memoirs and some are novels, but all represent great storytelling.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf given to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System includes books selected to breathe life into Western understanding about Muslims throughout the world. We invite all of our patrons to check out this rich collection of materials at the Central Library!

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar:     A coming-of-age story set in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, told through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy in the year 1969. It puts a human face on the events following from the toppling of the Libyan monarchy by a young officer named Muammar Qaddafi.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi:     Entertaining autobiographical graphic novel that covers the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Iran-Iraq War. Whether having a conversation with God or with her dear grandmother, the author’s girlhood self illuminates this tumultuous time in Iran for us - from the inside. Patrons should also check the catalog for the film adaptation of Persepolis and  the sequel to the book, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.

House of Stone by Anthony Shadid:     More than 100,000 inhabitants of the land that would later become Lebanon left their towns and villages to immigrate to the United States around 1900. The author’s family ended up in Oklahoma, and after pursuing a career in journalism, the author set out to return to the ancestral village in Lebanon and rebuild his grandfather’s stone house. The result is an amazing tale that is both funny and bittersweet.

Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie:     A young woman begins to receive letters written in the private code of her missing mother and her mother’s lover, a famous poet who was supposed to have been murdered years before. This young woman sets out to decode the letters, hoping to learn the fate of her activist mother. In the meantime the reader is swept along on a tour of Karachi, Pakistan, during the tumultuous 70s and 80s.

Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi:     Autobiography about growing up in the 1940s in a Moroccan “domestic harem” that illustrates a vanishing tradition of communal life in the Islamic world. The “harem” provided both sanctuary and limitations. It hemmed its residents in but also made them care about one another and pay attention to each another in ways unfamiliar to most Westerners.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dig Into Reading At Your Library!

Summer Reading ChipmunkThe days are growing longer, the temperature is rising and around Atlanta it’s time to begin making plans for summer adventures for the whole family. Why not begin at your library? From babies and children to teens and adults, everyone is invited to participate in the many exciting summer reading activities at your branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System! The program runs from June 1 - August 1, 2013, so events are already underway!

This year's theme for children is Dig Into Reading, perfect for encouraging young readers to expand their knowledge of subjects such as archaeology, geology, gardening, and much more. For our teen readers the theme is Beneath The Surface. Delve deeper into your imagination and explore other worlds through books! Both children and teen readers will be eligible for prizes, coupons, certificates, and a grand prize drawing after completing the program. This year's grand prize is a Kindle Fire, so you don't want to miss out on your chance to win! And there's something for the adults as well. Displays, book lists and programs for adult library users highlight the 2013 theme of Groundbreaking Reads, so you're sure to find something for the whole family this summer at your library. For more information about our summer reading program visit our website or call your local librarian.

You can check our Events Calendar for weekly programs and activities at your local branch, or read the full version of Access, our publication of events, to see what your branch has in store for you this summer. Looking for books on your summer reading lists? Well, check the catalog and start placing your holds today!

And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates and other literary tidbits all summer long!

Wolf Creek

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System would like to invite you to the Groundbreaking Event for your new Wolf Creek Library!

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

We are asking attendees to please park at the Wolf Creek Public Safety Training Center.
3025 Merk Road, College Park, GA

A shuttle will take you from this location to the ceremony.

Please RSVP by Monday, May 27 to: 404-730-1972 or

All are welcome! We hope to see you there!

And for more information on all of the new libraries that are a part of our Library Building Program, be sure to check out the "Your New Libraries - News and Updates" link on our homepage! The Library System is engaged in a $275 million building program, funded by a library bond referendum approved by Fulton County voters in 2008. Updates will be added to this page as the program progresses through the next couple of years, so check back often!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: Art And Architecture

Mirror Script callipgraphy
Most of us have encountered Islamic art in one form or another. Oriental rugs, the Yaarab Temple and Fox Theater are understood to be “Islamic” in some way. But exactly what makes a work of art “Islamic”?
The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf given to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System includes books about Islamic art as well as films that furnish an introduction to the long history and breadth of the arts in Islam. We invite all of our patrons to visit the Central Library and check out this rich collection of materials!

The Art of Hajj: One of the five “pillars” of Islam is the injunction to make a spiritual pilgrimage to visit the holy places in Mecca – the Hajj – at least once in one’s lifetime. As a companion publication to an art exhibit, this beautifully illustrated book takes the reader on a wonderful journey through arts that celebrate the Hajj. It features illuminated manuscripts, wall paintings and photographs, calligraphy, textiles, scientific instruments, decorative tiles, maps, ceramics, metalwork, and powerful works by contemporary artists, all complemented with explanatory narrative and quotes from the Qur’an and traditional literary sources.

Islamic Arts: Artists and craftsmen in the areas influenced by Islam produced some of the world's most beautiful works of art: from the Alhambra to the Taj Mahal, from illuminated copies of the Koran to exquisite decorative arts: ceramics, textiles and metalwork. This well-illustrated is a great introduction to this vast history.

Islamic Art Spots (DVD): These are visual essays on Calligraphy, Mosques, Travel, Gardens, Textiles, Geometry, and Books, presented in a series of 10-minute explanatory pieces. The Art Spots are written and presented by D. Fairchild Ruggles, Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (DVD): A full-length film tracing the history of Islam in its art and architecture. Narrated by Academy Award winning performer Susan Sarandon, this dazzling documentary reveals the variety and diversity of Islamic art.  It provides a window into Islamic culture and brings broad insights to the enduring themes that have propelled human history and fueled the rise of world civilization over the centuries.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Muslim Journeys Theme: Literature

Malian librarian reading
Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf given to the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System includes fiction and nonfiction that give expression to Islam in the lives of individual artists. Here are a selected few to give you an idea of what the bookshelf contains. We invite all of our patrons to visit the Central Library and check out this rich collection of materials!
The Arabian Nights: Stories from India, Persia and Arabia - even China - developing out of an oral tradition that reflects the highly civilized and diverse Islamic world of the ninth to thirteenth centuries. 

The Conference of the Birds: A magnificent work of Persian poetry composed in the twelfth century. A fantastical, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism, it describes the pilgrimage of the world’s birds in search of their ideal king, the Simorgh, and the arduous journey they take to reach him.

Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey): After eight years spent living in exile in Germany, the poet Ka returns to the isolated town of Kars during a historic blizzard. Cut off from the outside world, the author uses this town, once a crossroads for trade between Turkey, Soviet Georgia, Armenia, and Iran, as a way to illuminate the crossroads of ideas: socialism, communism, atheism, political secularism, Kurdish nationalism, and the most rapidly growing movement, Islamist fundamentalism.
Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi (Morocco): In this autobiography, Mernissi writes of the modern-day “harem” to illustrate the traditional communal life of the Middle East. The “harem” provided sanctuary and limitations; it hemmed people in but also made people pay attention to one another in a way we are not accustomed to in the West.
Minaret by Leila Aboulela (Sudan): The daughter of a government official close to the president, Najwa’s life changes radically when a coup overthrows the government. The family escapes to London, and Najwa finds herself orphaned and alone, taking work as a maid.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Check Out The Book Club Play!

Don’t miss a chance to have some big fun and support your libraries in the process! Horizon Theater’s, The Book Club Play will make you laugh out loud. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation will receive proceeds for tickets sold on our website, which will be used to help enhance all library resources including filling empty shelves, expanding programs for communities and providing access to technology. Don't wait, opening night is May 15! 

The Book Club Play is a comedy about books and the people who love them. Ana lives in a letter-perfect world with an adoring husband, the perfect job, and her greatest passion: Book Club. But when her cherished group becomes the focus of a documentary film, their intimate discussions about life and literature take a turn for the hilarious in front of the inescapable camera lens. Add a provocative new member along with some surprising new books titles, and these six friends are bound for pandemonium. A delightful new play about life, love, literature, and the side-splitting results when friends start reading between the lines.

Book Clubs are welcome, so why not get your club together and have a night out at the theatre? For more information contact the Horizon Theatre Box Office:

Horizon Theatre Company
1083 Austin Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry MonthThe Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System wants to encourage all of our patrons to celebrate National Poetry Month this April!
"Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture."       ~ The Academy of American Poets
Poetry can be a powerful and fun way to express any kind of thought or emotion, so now is the perfect time to try your hand at writing your own. And the best part is, anyone can do it! Word-lovers of all ages can enjoy writing and reading poetry, so why not get the whole family together for your own special poetry night? Or check out this list of 30 Ways to Celebrate and find a new and creative way to participate. Of course if you prefer to leave it up to the professionals, we can help you with that too. Our libraries are filled with books and audiobooks of poetry and poets for you to check out and enjoy. Search the catalog or just come in and browse the poetry section. Here are a few suggested titles to inspire you!

  • Writing Poetry: Where Poems Come From and How to Write Them by David Kirby
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats
  • Behold the Bold Umbrellephant and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky
  • New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
  • The Maya Angelou Poetry Collection by Maya Angelou
  • The Kingfisher Book of Funny Poems by Roger McGough
  • Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey (Our current Poet Laureate!)