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.