Category : News

GCPL to Launch Open+ Service at Suwanee Branch

Gwinnett County Public Library is the first library system in North America to introduce Open+, a service which grants customers self-service access to the library outside of normal operating hours.

The service is currently available at the Lawrenceville Branch for registered customers, and will be rolled out at the Suwanee Branch starting October 11th with a soft launch. 

Open+, a system developed by Norcross-based technology supplier Bibliotheca, is a complete solution that automatically controls and monitors building access, self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting, alarms, public announcements and patron safety. Security cameras will monitor the use of the facility. The system has been used for several years in countries including the U.K. and Denmark.

Customers who are 18 years of age or older and hold a library card in good standing may register for Open+ at any of GCPL’s 15 branches. Upon arrival, customers will insert their own library card into a reader at the entrance, enter a pin, and gain access to library resources. Customers will also be able to enter their library card number when without their cards.

For more information about Open+, call the Library Help Line at 770-978-5154 or stop by your local branch.

GCPL to Host Inaugural Fundraising Gala on November 2nd

Gwinnett County Public Library will host its inaugural fundraising Gala, Puttin’ On The Litz, on Friday, November 2, 2018 at Ashton Gardens in Sugar Hill.

The evening will begin at 7 pm with a seated dinner, wine and dessert. The event will feature keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone, a moving message from Judge Kristina Blum and Jody Campbell, and a live auction with Duluth Mayor and auctioneer Nancy Harris. The Andrews Brothers Dueling Pianos will be performing as the musical guests.

The Gala will present a live auction featuring a variety of coveted items and experiences, and a memorable dinner, to support some of the library’s most valuable programs including early childhood literacy initiatives and Career Online High School.

“We are proud to invite the community to our first-ever gala,” says Charles Pace, GCPL executive director. “Tax dollars can build good libraries but private giving and philanthropy help make them great. Be a part of the future of GCPL by supporting what we hope will become an annual event.”

“Our first fundraising event will benefit all residents of the Gwinnett community,” says Shelly Schwerzler, GCPL development manager. “It promises to be an enjoyable and inspiring evening that you won’t want to miss.”

For information, tables and tickets, visit gwinnettpl.org/gala.

ESL Citizenship Classes at the Lawrenceville Branch

August 6 to October 1
Mondays & Wednesdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

Are you a legal permanent resident planning to become a citizen? Join GCPL and the Latin American Association for an eight-week ESL Citizenship course.

The course is FREE, but registration is required. Register on July 30 or August 1 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Lawrenceville Branch. Students must bring their Green Card. Class size is limited.

Gwinnett Libraries bring Learning alive!

Thanks to a generous donation from the Atlanta Retailers Association (ARA) that was matched by the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, Alive Studios is equipping all 15 Gwinnett County Public Library branches with its evidence-based Learning alive™ kits.

Alive Studios is a Gwinnett-based software developer that creates mind-boggling learning experiences to increase student engagement and improve early literacy. Students are motivated and inspired as they interact with 26 virtual zoo animals while learning the essential fundamentals of reading and math. Alive Studios’ programs use a technology called augmented reality (3D without glasses) to bring lessons to life. The learning kits are currently being used in more than 3,500 classrooms around the country.

“We’re very excited to be the first public library in the country to roll out this program,” said Shelly Schwerzler, the development manager at Gwinnett County Public Library. The library system plans to make this highly engaging learning experience available to children all around Gwinnett. “Our youth services team will be incorporating this new way to learn about letters, words, and sentences into our existing early literacy programs,” Schwerzler added.   

The Learning alive Plus kit that will be donated to each library branch includes 26 letter cards, 97 sight-word cards, and 84 word-family cards. Each card is interactive and triggers multiple 3D animations depending on the word or sentence that is created. While learning to identify and sound out each letter, children are able to hear, see, touch, build, and speak throughout the lesson. This multimodal approach appeals to a broad range of learning styles and abilities, increases long-term retention, and is especially effective with at-risk students  and English language learners. Also included are three Interactive Stories and a full, supplemental math program aligned to state standards for kindergarten.

“We are so thrilled to partner with Gwinnett County Public Library and have Learning alive available to so many children around Gwinnett,” said Cynthia Kaye, Alive Studios’ CEO and Chief Zoo Keeper. “What a generous gift from the ARA and Community Foundation!”

Library staff will be installing the learning kits this summer and will receive training on how best to use the reading and math supplemental curricula within their programs. “Our plan is to introduce Learning alive in a couple of our summer programs and then do a full rollout this fall for back-to-school,” said Schwerzler. “We will be using an online assessment tool to monitor the program’s effectiveness and to help us provide the best service for our community.”

GCPL Expands Genealogy Resources with New Databases

Gwinnett County residents searching for long-lost relatives have new resources available to them through the Library. Gwinnett County Public Library added Findmypast, Fold3 and Gale Genealogy Connect to their genealogy catalog which already includes Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest.

Findmypast is one of the leading suppliers of online family history records, currently offering access to a collection of over 2 billion historical records covering the United States, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the globe.

Fold3 features premier collections of original military records. These records include the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served in the military, courtesy of the U.S. National Archives, The National Archives of U.K., and many other sources.

Gale Genealogy Connect features a wide range of comprehensive references and is powered by authoritative information from Genealogical.com. With these unique references, available for the first time online in fully searchable format, users can confidently connect the dots with authoritative contextual information, where the full story lives.

“It is especially meaningful to offer new genealogy resources as we celebrate Gwinnett County’s bicentennial this year,” says Charles Pace, GCPL’s Executive Director. “We hope this celebration encourages Gwinnettians to trace their roots and explore their past with help from the Library. ​We also appreciate the financial support from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to expand our genealogy resources.”

Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast are only available within the library. All other resources can be accessed by library card holders from home.

GCPL to Host Bestselling Author Mary Kay Andrews on Sunday

Gwinnett County Public Library will host bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews on Sunday, June 3 at 6:30 pm at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including The WeekendersBeach TownSave the Date, and Summer Rental.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a delightful novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years. The last ten years of her career were spent as a features reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Guests can park at 153 E. Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

GCPL Gears Up for 2018 Summer Reading Program

Readers of all ages can begin signing up for Gwinnett County Public Library’s 2018 Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Libraries Rock!

Reading for fun builds literacy skills, expands vocabulary, and helps kids explore their growing interests and expand their horizons. Research shows that kids who participate in library Summer Reading Programs read more regularly and maintain or improve reading skills which means they are ready to learn in August.

Readers can collect prizes from sponsors including Aurora Children’s Playhouse, Kona Ice, Gwinnett Stripers, Laser Quest, Medieval Times, Stars and Strikes, and Zaxby’s. Prizes vary by age and are available while supplies last.

The library will also host special programs featuring STEAM, crafts, movies, storytimes, and guest performers all summer long.

Adults can sign up for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge, log time spent reading, and enter to win one of 15 BBQ-themed gift baskets valued at over $75, or one of 15 pairs of tickets to a performance at the Aurora Theatre.

“Summer reading isn’t just about reading anymore,” says Patty Reeber, GCPL’s youth services manager. “It’s also about providing fun ways to encourage different types of learning. We have programs that span virtual reality, knitting, coding and more. The library has so much to offer our community and summer is a great time to explore something new.”

To learn more and sign up for the Summer Reading Program, visit gwinnettpl.beanstack.org/reader365.

GCPL Earns National Achievement Award for Homegrown Gwinnett

Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) earned a Best in Category Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

NACo recognized “Fresh Ideas for Growing Community!” and Homegrown Gwinnett, a community gardening initiative funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services that provided each library branch with an aeroponic Tower Garden system. The project sprouted numerous programs on healthy nutrition, addressed local food insecurity, brought diverse cultures together through food, and has provided a unique STEAM experience for residents of all ages.

“GCPL is honored to be chosen for this prestigious recognition by NACO and the fact that important work the library is doing around food insecurity is being recognized,” said GCPL Executive Director Charles Pace. “We hope to further expand Homegrown Gwinnett in the coming year as we work to provide information about healthy eating habits to the people in our community, particularly the children. Homegrown Gwinnett is just one more example of how GCPL is on the cutting edge of library services across the nation.”

NACo President Roy Charles Brooks said, “Counties seize opportunities to deliver services more efficiently and build stronger communities every day. Achievement Award-winning programs are examples for counties that are determined to enhance services for our residents.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition July 13-16 in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

GCPL to Host N-400 Citizenship Application Assistance Programs in May & June

Gwinnett County Public Library will again join the Latin American Association and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta to host free N-400 Citizenship Application Assistance programs for permanent residents at the Lawrenceville and Lilburn Branches.

Sessions are scheduled for Fridays and run from 10 am to 1 pm.

Lawrenceville Branch: May 4 and June 1

Lilburn Branch: May 18 and June 15

Qualified legal representatives will provide assistance to attendees who provide required documents (below) on a first come, first served basis.

For questions and more information, please email events@gwinnettpl.org.

Required Documents:

  • Green Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Passports
  • Most recent federal tax return
  • Proof of public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid
  • List of employer names and work addresses for the past five years, and the dates you worked for each employer
  • List of all addresses where you have lived in the past five years, and the dates when you lived at each address
  • If either of your parent is a U.S. citizen, parent’s full name, date of birth, and a copy of parent’s certificate of naturalization
  • List of all trips outside the U.S. in the past five years and the dates of each of those trips
  • If married to a green card holder or U.S. citizen, your spouse’s green card/U.S. passport, spouse’s employer name and address, marriage certificate, divorce decrees if previously married
  • For your biological children (including deceased or living in another country) and all current step-children. Bring completed names, dates of birth, green card, and home address
  • Driving record from Department of Driver Services for any traffic tickets