Category : Teens

New Driving Law in Georgia

Submitted by Jon Freeman

A bill known as the “Hands Free Law” was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and then signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 2, 2018. The Hands Free Law will take effect on July 1, 2018. Links to websites with more detailed information about this law can be found at the end of this article. The following is a brief description of what the law states and some frequently asked questions from the Hands Free Law webpage of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia:

1. A driver cannot have a phone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their phone. Drivers can only use their phones to make or receive phone calls by using speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, phone is connected to vehicle or an electronic watch. GPS navigation devices are allowed.
2. Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment.
3. A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS
4. A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content
5. A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
6. A driver may not record a video (continuously running dash cams are exempt)
7. Music streaming apps can be used provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked. Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road. Music streaming apps that include video also are not allowed since drivers cannot watch videos when on the road. Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle’s radio.


1. Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road conditions.
2. An employee or contractor of an utility service provider acting within the scope of their employment while responding to an utility emergency.
3. A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS) during the performance of their official duties.
4. When in a lawfully parked vehicle—this DOES NOT include vehicles stopped for traffic signals and stop signs on the public roadway.


When the Hands-Free law takes effect July 1, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement have the option to issue warnings for violations as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law. However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1 for any violation of the Hands-Free Law, including those where the violation involves a traffic crash. There is not a 90-day grace period provision in the Hands-Free Law.

For more information about the new Georgia Hands Free Law feel free to take a look at the following websites:

Georgia Highway Safety

Heads Up Georgia

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Georgia Department of Driver Services

How to Find New Books in the GCPL Catalog

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Everything may seem overwhelming to you with all the changes on the GCPL website. All you want probably is the latest James Patterson or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

To make things easier for you, here are two methods how you can find new books on the GCPL catalog.

Method 1: “From the Catalog”
1. On GCPL’s main site, click on “catalog” located on the top right corner of your screen.
2. Click on the “What’s New” tab. The following selections will show up:
-Coming Attractions
-New Adult Books
-New Books on CD
-New Digital Titles
-New DVDs
-New Kids Books
-New Large Print
-New Teen Titles
-NY Times Bestsellers
3. Click on your desired selection.

Method 2: “Browse Menu
1. Find the “Filter your results by…” selection on the left side of your screen.
2. Click on the “New at the Library” tab. There you have a selection of the past days to choose from: 7, 30, 60, 90, 180, and over 180 days.
3. Choose your desired results.

Extra tip: Click on “Published Date” for books published on a specific year under the “Filter your results by…” area.

Need further assistance? Feel free to call us, stop by your closest GCPL location or contact us via the “Ask Box” chatbox on our website.

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 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.

8 Books for Aspiring Millennial Entrepreneurs

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials (ages 25-35) are more likely to still live with their parents. Student debt, expensive housing, and unreliable wages force millennials to think twice before leaving home. Are you one of them? Don’t worry, there’s hope.

Millennials are finding financial success through entrepreneurship. This BNP Paribas Entrepreneur Report reveals millennials are starting more businesses than baby boomers. Millennials are the ones behind Pinterest, Quora, and Airbnb.

If you’re going down the entrepreneur path, here are eight books for aspiring millennial entrepreneurs like you:

1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
2. The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone
3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
4. The Entrepreneur’s Playbook by Leonard C. Green
5. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
6. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
7. The Power of Broke by Daymond John
8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Additional entrepreneur education can be found on Lynda! You have access to hundreds of business-related courses free with your GCPL card.

Don’t have one? Sign up today!

How to Make Successful Compost

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Looking forward to a healthy harvest? Make your own natural compost for an extra boost! All you need is your kitchen scraps and more to get started.

Here’s how to make successful compost:

1. Plan stationary or rotating compost

There are two ways of making compost: Stationary and rotating. Stationary compost is set in one pile in your garden area. Make sure you build a fence around it or keep it in a ventilated container from pesky critters.

Rotating compost is set in a tumbler . Not only animals won’t be able to mess with it, it’ll be easier to mix up to keep it fresh. With a stationary compost, you must mix it with a shovel or a garden fork.

2. Gather the right compost ingredients

“Green” and “brown” are two types of ingredients used to make compost.

Examples of “green” ingredients include:
-Grass and hedge clippings
-Vegetable/fruit scraps

Examples of “brown ingredients:
-Peat moss
-Old newspapers
-Cardboard (not dyed)

Don’t add these ingredients to your compost or you’ll wind up with an unhealthy heap:
-Dairy products
-Pet waste
-Sickly plants
-Animal bones

Check out this extensive site for more acceptable compost materials.

3. Check your compost weekly

Is your compost slimy? Add more “brown” compost ingredients to the mix. If it doesn’t look like it’s breaking down at any point, add more “green” to it. You can add red wiggler worms to expedite the breakdown process further.

4. Compost is ready!

Your compost should ready to use when the ingredients are entirely broken down and has an earthy scent to it.

For further information on compost, read Chris McLaughlin’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting and watch The Perfect Compost DVD.

Many garden programs happening in GCPL. Find the right one for you in our calendar!

The Right Way to Remove a Tick

School is over and the weather is set for kids and adults to spend a lot more time outside this season. Unfortunately, that also means it is tick season. It’s tough to say how dire any given tick season will be, but if you find a tick on yourself or someone else, don’t panic! Consumer Reports says to use these steps for removing a tick:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Once you have a firm grasp, pull upward with steady, even force. Don’t twist or jerk the tick because you might cause its mouth to break off and remain in the skin.
  • If you do accidentally break the tick in half, try removing the mouth with the tweezers. If you can’t, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • You can dispose of the tick in one of several ways: submerse it in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag or container, wrap it tightly in tape, or flush it down the toilet. (Never handle a tick with your bare fingers; pathogens called spirochetes can pass from the tick to you through even tiny breaks in your skin.)
  • Once the tick is disposed of, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Check the bite area for several weeks after removal. If you develop a rash there (or have a fever at any point in that time frame), see a doctor about getting tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

For more information on what to do and what not to do when dealing with ticks feel free to read an article on this topic from Consumer Reports by clicking HERE.

9 Tips for an Awesome Disney Trip

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

There’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than a magical Disney adventure. Before you throw your luggage in the car and hit the road, here are 9 tips for an awesome Disney trip.

1. Make sure to purchase Magic Bands for you and your family.

Use these wristbands to gain park access and FastPass access to any Disney ride.
Disney Magic Bands

2. Download the My Disney Experience app to check ride waiting times and purchase Disney merchandise.

Stuck in line craving a dole whip? You can use the app for its Mobile Order services. Select a meal from your chosen location and pick it up at the quick Mobile Order line.
My Disney Experience App

3. If you’re planning to visit Disney World more than once a year, research the Disney Annual Passes.

Passholders receive discount benefits on rides and hotel rooms.
Disney Parks Annual Passes

4. Are you an AAA member? Members receive Disney hotel room discounts too!

AAA Disney Discounts

5. Going grocery shopping while you’re at Disney? Make sure you rent a mini-fridge for your hotel room.

Grocery Delivery Services

6. Find the hottest Disney ticket discounts on Undercover Tourist.

Undercover Tourist Discounts

7. Arrived at your Disney resort early? No worries! Hotel services will hold your luggage hours before your official check-in time.

Moms Panel: Baggage Services

8. Toy Story Land will open this summer! Make sure your reserve your FastPass access to the latest Disney attraction.

Toy Story Land: Coming Summer 2018

9. Don’t forget to check out our library’s copy of Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World and our Disney Parks DVDs.

Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World and Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes


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

How to Protect Your Twitter Password

Submitted by Jon Freeman

You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. What does this mean? If you have a Twitter account, your password could be exposed. Twitter says that there are no signs of a breach or misuse by anyone currently, but the Federal Trade Commission says it’s still a good idea to change your password. Did you use the password for your Twitter account for other accounts as well? You should probably change those passwords too.

To read some news stories about the Twitter bug issue feel free to read recent articles from the following:

NBC News
CNN Money
Fox Business

Here are some tips on creating new passwords from the Federal Trade Commission:

1. Make your password long, strong and complex. That means at least twelve characters, with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words, phrases or information.

2. Don’t reuse passwords used on other accounts. Use different passwords for different accounts so that, if a hacker compromises one account, he can’t access other accounts.

3. Use multi-factor authentication, when available. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.

4. Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all their passwords. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a reputable password manager, an easy-to-access application that stores all your password information. Use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.

5. Select security questions only you know the answer to. Many security questions ask for answers to information available in public records or online, like your zip code, mother’s maiden name, and birth place. That is information a motivated hacker could get. And don’t use questions with a limited number of responses that attackers can easily guess – like the color of your first car.

6. Change passwords quickly if there’s a breach. If you get a notification from a company about a possible breach, change the password for that account right away, and any other account that uses a similar password.

To get more information about personal finance from the library, visit our Personal Finance GCPL Guide.

Getting on with life after graduation

Discover books that speak to the hopes, fears, and dreams for a life of fulfillment, happiness, and success after graduation. Graduation is just the beginning!