Category : Adults

GCPL Offers Mailbox Books for Homebound Customers

Submitted by Natasha Washington

Gwinnett County Public Library is proud to provide access to library materials for our homebound cardholders through our Mailbox Books service. Those who are unable to visit the branch due to age, physical disability, chronic illness, or visual impairment, or those who experience a temporary condition which renders them homebound, are eligible for this service. Currently, Mailbox Books is only available to Gwinnett County residents.

You will receive the best readers’ advisory and customer assistance, as staff keep your personal preferences and considerations in mind when choosing your materials. You will have the opportunity to rate items, request titles, and speak directly to staff members that will help you locate the best books to suit your needs in any format you prefer: regular print, large print, DVD, or CD books, and those items may be a part of any collection. To get started, please fill out the online application. For a comprehensive listing of all of GCPL’s accessibility resources, please visit our Accessibility GCPL Guide.

6 Freaky Books Based on True Stories

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

A good scary story sends chills down your spine. A true one keeps you up at all night.
Are you up for a frightening reading challenge this Halloween season? Here are six books based on freaky true stories:

1. Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher (Adult Non-Fiction)

Join Donnie Eicher as he uncovers the mysterious deaths of nine Russian hikers in the Ural Mountains in 1959.
Investigators discovered the hikers’ tents were open from the inside, their belongings left behind. Whatever happened to the hikers remains a mystery to this day. For some reason, their clothes show signs of radiation exposure.

2. Deliver Us From Evil by Ralph Sarchie (Adult Non-Fiction)

You might remember the movie with the same title premiered in 2014. While the film was completely fictional, Ralph Sarchie’s demons were not. The former NYPD officer still performs exorcisms (for free).

3. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Adult Non-Fiction)

H.H. Holmes invited guests to his hotel and they never checked out. His infamous “murder castle” had built-in torture rooms, trap doors, and acid vats. The victims’ skeletons were sold to medical supply companies. Makes you think twice about your next hotel reservation.

4. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (Adult Fiction)

William Blatty’s inspiration for The Exorcist came from two exorcists’ case of Ronald Hunkeler. Hunkeler showed signs of demon possession after playing with a Ouija board (bad move from the start). His St. Louis home still stands today. No demons have been sighted.

5. Norman by Stephen Lancaster (Adult Non-Fiction)

Add Norman to your list of creepy dolls to avoid along with Chucky and Annabelle. Paranormal investigator Stephen Lancaster finds Norman at an antique shop. Unknowingly, he has purchased a doll haunted by an unborn child.

6. The Terror by Dan Simmons (Adult Fiction)

While Sir John Franklin’s 1845 arctic expedition features a monster stalking him and his crew, the real history is a darker tale.

Franklin and his crew never returned from the voyage alive. Rumors of mutiny, poison, and cannibalism added fuel to the mystery. Franklin’s ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror weren’t found until the 21st century. Even then, no further evidence of Franklin’s whereabouts.

If you’re craving more chills and thrills, search through our library catalog’s horror collection.

 

What If You Won the Lottery?

The Mega Millions Lottery estimated jackpot drawing for Tuesday, October 23rd, was $1.6 Billion. Yes, that is Billion with the letter B. That is the largest lottery jackpot prize in history – according to the Mega Millions Lottery website. Perhaps you can imagine what you would do if you won a lottery prize that size. In order to win a jackpot you have to buy a lottery ticket. Whether you buy a ticket or not is completely up to you. But before you decide to go out and buy a lottery ticket in hopes of winning a big prize you should know that the chances of you winning the lottery are very small. How small you may ask? The odds of winning the Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot are about 1 in 302 million – according to the Mega Millions Lottery website. You are more likely to be killed by a mountain lion (1 in 32 million) than you are to win one of the big lottery jackpots worth millions, or in this case over a billion dollars. But if you did win, here is what author David Pogue says you should do in his book “Pogue’s Basics: Money – Essential Tips and Shortcuts”:

1. Keep your life stable. This one can be harder than it seems. Studies have shown that many lottery winners are broke within 5 years of winning the lottery. According to Pogue, the reason for this is because other people will find out you have money. You will be buried by requests for money. Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, distant relatives you didn’t even know you had… may all come to you asking you to give them money. Everyone who has ever been nice to you may come at you with open hands asking for money. What you should do, Pogue says, is hire a financial adviser, and funnel all requests to that person.

2. Consider the taxes. Just because you win millions of dollars does not mean you have that much money to spend. Because the government takes taxes from your winnings. For example, Pogue explains that if you win a $300 million lottery prize, and the government takes 40% in taxes and your state takes its cut, the amount of money you really get from the $300 million prize is now only something like $162 million.

3. Make the right payment choice. When you win you can be faced with a tough choice. You can take the $300 million in yearly installment payments spread out over 30 years (called the annuity option). Pogue says that if you want to get all of the prize money right away and not get the yearly installment payments you will have to accept a smaller amount (like $172 million instead of $300 million). Most people take the smaller immediate payment they can get right away. However, that could be a poor decision. Pogue recommends people who win hire a financial professional to help figure out what option is the best one. There is a lot to think about with such a decision.

For more useful information about managing your personal finances feel free to visit the Gwinnett County Public Library’s GCPL Personal Finance Guide.

Looking for Friends Who Love the Library

Submitted by Pat Bruschini, President of Friends of the Gwinnett County Public Library

Do you like to read? Do you like to meet authors? Do you like the Gwinnett County libraries?

Then you would be a great FRIEND of the LIBRARY (FOL).

The Friends assist the library branches by fundraising and advocating community support. The funds we raise go to pay for author talks, library materials, staff enrichment and appreciation, equipment, programs and more.

Most of the money we raise is through raffles, silent auctions and beverage bars held during author events. But, on Saturday, November 3 from 10 am to 1 pm, we will be holding a children’s and youth used book sale at the Fowler YMCA, 5600 West Jones Road, Peachtree Corners. All the proceeds from the sale will support the children’s department at the Norcross and Peachtree Corners Branches. This is the first FOL book sale in many years.

Our mission statement: To build awareness of the Gwinnett County Public Library through volunteerism and developing private support.

So, what are the Benefits of being a FRIEND?

  • Advance notice of author events through an electronic newsletter
  • Reserved priority seating at author events
  • Making a difference in your community
  • Meet people, like you, who like the libraries and wish to share their time and talents to better our libraries and communities
  • Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent of the law

Membership dues begin at $15 for an individual and $20 for a household and go up from there.

For more information, please visit our webpage at friendsgcpl.org or email Gwinnettcofol@gmail.

Join now and your dues cover the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019.

How to Fund Your Dreams

Submitted by Ashley Melonson

Nearly every high school student has heard the sage advice, that in order to fulfill their life and career ambitions, they must head to college. However, with the rising rates of tuition, what once seemed like an easy given has become a pricey, daunting decision. Mountain Park’s How to Fund Your Dreams program will enlighten you on how you can make your aspirations for a first-rate education a reality.

Hal Wilkinson, a representative of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, will offer illuminating information on financial resources for prospective students. The How to Fund Your Dreams program will go over more than well-known financial assistance programs, like HOPE and FAFSA. It will also delve into unconventional scholarships, from a plethora of organizations, that celebrate the diversity and varied interests of college applicants.

No matter where you are in your search for college financial aid, How to Fund Your Dreams can provide insight on how to reach your goals.

Come join us at this spectacular event, being held at the Mountain Park branch, on October 29th at 4 PM.

LGBTQ Resources @ Your Library

Submitted by Mack Freeman

October is LGBT History Month, and Atlanta just got done celebrating both Atlanta Pride and National Coming Out Day. Gwinnett County Public Library is proud to support everyone in our community. Public libraries have an ethos that makes them open to all, no matter their sexual orientation or gender expression. Whether you’re looking for LGBTQ-related information for yourself or for someone else, Gwinnett County Public Library is here to help.

The library has numerous LGBTQ books available for all ages in our collection. You can browse the collection online or in-person at your neighborhood branch. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, grab a library team member, and they can help you find something that’s exactly right for you. You can also find items that may be of interest in our digital collections on Libby and Flipster (magazines).

One resource that’s especially useful for those interested in LGBTQ topics is the EBSCO Ebook collection available through GALILEO. With over 2,000 titles related to LGBTQ topics, this resource covers everything from LGBTQ oral history to youth issues to health concerns and so much more. This database is consistently updated with new titles, and every item is available 24/7 whether the library is open or not.

If there are any in-depth topics related to LGBTQ issues you’re looking into, don’t forget that you can Book a Librarian. Book a Librarian sessions typically run for about 45 minutes, and they offer 1-on-1 assistance on any of your research needs. Researching LGBTQ issues can be tough. For instance, did you know that many search engines and databases will return different results for gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, GLBT, LGBT, GLBTQ, and LGBTQ? A database sometimes isn’t smart enough to link all of these things together, but a librarian can help make sure that nothing you’re looking for is falling through the cracks.

Not seeing what you’re looking for? Contact your local branch and talk with the team there about what sorts of programs and services you’d like to see in your area. If you’d rather submit your comments digitally, you can submit suggestions for the collection and program ideas digitally. Gwinnett County Public Library is a reflection of our community, but we need your help to make sure we are offering exactly what you want.

Memoir Writing Workshops at the Peachtree Corners Branch

Submitted by Kelsey Simon

Recently, local best-selling author Fran Stewart, has been hosting sessions of a memoir class at the Peachtree Corners branch. Her classes focus on you–your memories, your experiences, and how you can find ways to begin translating those memories onto paper.

There couldn’t have been a better time of year for Fran to host her classes. The weather has begun changing, the trees have started to brown and lose their leaves. I don’t know about anyone else, but fall makes me excited for the coming holidays, and with thoughts of holidays, inevitably comes thoughts of family.

We each have a history. Whether that history is good, bad, or a complex mix of both and everything in between, is for each of us to decide. No matter who you are, or where you come from, your identity is tied to your memories–and those memories are a story.

I realize the words memoir and story might be scary. Most people don’t consider themselves writers. But has your mother ever told you a story about her childhood? Or your family friend ever shared a funny anecdote with you about something they did in a sticky situation? Telling stories is writing too–but instead of using our hands to put words down on paper, we use our mouths and our memories.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer. You don’t have to have written anything before. You could just be thinking about the past, thinking about who you are and the things that have made you that way. Fran’s writing class on memoirs is far less about the writing–it’s more about learning how to remember, how to find a way to jot down memories that might otherwise escape you.  

If you’d like to attend the last two sessions of Fran Stewart’s class on memoirs, come join us at the Peachtree Corners branch on Sunday, October 28th at 1:00, and Sunday, November 4th at 1:00. It’s okay if you didn’t attend the first two–there’s always something new to learn.

LGBTQ+ Books in Honor of Atlanta Pride

Submitted by Dru Hill 

This past weekend, Gwinnett County Public Library participated in the Atlanta Pride Festival. We set up a booth in the heart of Piedmont Park and brought a button maker, crafts, and lots of enthusiasm. Our amazing children’s librarians offered storytimes throughout the weekend and joyfully shared their love of the library, along with the entire community that we serve. We try to ensure that our resources, programs, and collection reflect the diversity that we see all around us and, to that end, we came up with a short list of LGBTQ+ titles in honor of Pride Week. No matter who you are, there’s something in the library for you. Check out one of these amazing titles today!

 

For Kids:

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel

George by Alex Gino

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities by Jerome Pohlen

 

For Teens:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community by Robin Stevenson

 

For Adults:

The ABCs of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism

For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

 

You can find all these titles and more in the library’s catalog.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Halloween is just around the corner. Many kids, teenagers, and adults will be dressing up in costumes to celebrate. Whether you’re planning to cap off a Halloween costume with a pair of cat-eye lenses, get the big-eye look of circle lenses, or switch your eye color from blue to violet for the day, cosmetic contacts — contact lenses meant to change the way your eye looks rather than correct your vision — may seem like just another fashion accessory.

But did you know that wearing decorative or cosmetic contact lenses that are obtained without a prescription can be risky? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Wearing any kind of contact lenses, including decorative or cosmetic ones, can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are obtained without a prescription or not used correctly.” Contact lenses need to fit your eye correctly. If they don’t, or if they aren’t used and cared for properly, they can cause serious damage to your eyes. What kind of damage? Things like infection, decreased vision, scratches to the cornea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or even blindness.

To learn more about this issue feel free to read a recent article about it from the FDA’s website by clicking here.

The IRS Warns of Scams Related to Hurricane Florence

Submitted by Jon Freeman

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that criminals and scammers try to take advantage of the generosity of taxpayers who want to help victims of major disasters.

According to the IRS, fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics:

1. Some impersonate charities to get money or private information from well intentioned taxpayers.
2. Bogus websites use names similar to legitimate charities to trick people to send money or provide personal financial information.
3. They may even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
4. Others operate bogus charities and solicit money or financial information by telephone or email.

To help taxpayers donate to legitimate charities, the IRS website has a search feature, Tax Exempt Organization Search, that helps users find information about a charity or tax-exempt organization’s federal tax status and filings.

To find more information on personal finance money management feel free to visit the GCPL Personal Finance Guide.