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#ReadWoke at GCPL

The #ReadWoke challenge was created in 2017 by Cicely Lewis, a nationally recognized educator and librarian from Gwinnett.

“What is Read Woke? It’s a feeling. A form of education. A call to action, and our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge to better protect your rights. Learning about others so you treat people with respect and dignity, no matter their religion, race, creed, or color.” – Cicely Lewis

Stay woke by checking out titles that:

  • Challenge a social norm
  • Give voices to the voiceless
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • Seek to challenge the status quo
  • Have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group

Check out these dates and book choices coming up at the Hamilton Mill Branch:

Read Woke, Ages 13+
Wednesday, August 7, 6:00 pm
The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
Read Woke, Ages 13+
Wednesday, September 4, 6:00 pm
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Read Woke, Ages 13+
Wednesday, October 2, 6:00 pm
Dear Martin by Nic Stone

6 Helpful Guidebooks To Plan Your Southeast Summer Vacation!

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Stuck planning your southeast summer vacation? Here are six helpful guidebooks to help you out:

1. Charleston, SC

Welcome to the Holy City, known for its historic churches. If staring at church architecture isn’t your thing, have a taste of Charleston’s southern cuisine.

Guide: “Insiders’ Guide to Charleston: Including Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Kiawah, and Other Islands” by Lee Davis Perry

-Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
-Drayton Hall
-Fort Sumter National Monument
-Rainbow Row

2. Memphis, TN

Fun fact: Memphis is not only the birthplace of early rock n’ roll, but to Piggly Wiggly. There are over 60 attractions in this music town. Plan your daily sightings in advance!

Guide: “Frommer’s EasyGuide to Nashville and Memphis” by Ashley Brantley

-Beale Street
-Memphis Zoo
-National Civil Rights Museum

3. Miami, FL

Miami is the only female-founded city in America. It gained its name after the Mayaimi tribe who lived in the swamps. Deep-sea divers will love the underwater shipwrecks waiting to be discovered in the city’s waters.

Guide: “Fodor’s South Florida with Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and the Keys by Fodor’s Travel Guides”

-Coral Castle
-Everglades National Park
-Jungle Island
-Miami Beach

4. Nashville, TN

Travel and Leisure magazine voted Nashville in 2017 as one of America’s friendliest cities. Come for the fun and music (if you didn’t have enough in Memphis).

Guide: “Insiders’ Guide to Nashville” by Jackie Sheckler Finch

-Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
-Grand Ole Opry
-Johnny Cash Museum
-The Parthenon

5. New Orleans, LA

There’s no southern town like The Big Easy. Researchers in 2017 counted almost 11 million tourists have visited NOLA. Don’t let the crowd stop you from sightseeing. There’s plenty of room for you and beignets to share.

Guide: “Frommer’s EasyGuide to New Orleans 2019” by Diana K. Schwam

-Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
-The French Quarter
-Mardi Gras World
-St. Louis Cathedral

6. Savannah, GA

Savannah has been labeled as America’s most haunted city. On the lighter side, there are many of garden, history, and food tours to choose from. Don’t leave the city without tasting River Street’s candy kitchen pralines!

Guide: “Savannah” by Sally Mahan

-Bonaventure Cemetery
-Forsyth Park
-Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
-River Street

Want more travel guides? Type in “travel guide” in our library catalog to uncover more vacation inspiration.

Have a great trip!


Did you know GCPL provides Georgia State Park passes?

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth 

Did you know GCPL provides Georgia State Park passes? 

Here are a few of the parks you can visit:

1. Chattahoochee Bend
425 Bobwhite Way, Newnan GA, 30263
Coweta County

About 2,910 acres, Chattahoochee Bend is one of Georgia’s largest state parks. The park provides many fun activities including archery, nature tours, and the Hooch Hike and Paddle (for ages 10 & up). Don’t forget to visit the butterfly garden!

2. Don Carter State Park
5000 North Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30506
Hall County

Don Carter is the first state park established at Lake Lanier. It provides eight cottages and 44 campsites for RVs, tents, and trailers. Horse lovers should tryout the horseback riding trails.

3. Fort Yargo State Park
210 South Broad Street, Winder, GA 30680
Barrow County

You can still see remnants of Fort Yargo built in 1729. The area has about 21 miles of hiking trails and stylish yurts for overnight stay. Bring a bathing suit to swim at Fort Yargo beach.

4. Indian Springs State Park
678 Lake Clark Road, Flovilla, GA 30216
Butts County

This state park with the legendary springs was established in 1927. The Creek Indians nourished themselves with the water for its rumored healing properties. You can have a taste at the park’s Spring House.

5. Sweetwater Creek State Park
1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Douglas County

More Georgia state parks include:

  • Amicalola Falls
  • Black Rock Mountain
  • Cloudland Canyon
  • Crooked River
  • High Falls
  • Panola Mountain
  • Red Top Mountain
  • Seminole
  • Skidaway Island
  • Tallulah Gorge
  • Tugaloo
  • Unicoi
  • Vogel
  • Victoria Bryant
  • Watson Mill Bridge

Note: You won’t be able to use the Georgia State Park pass for Stone Mountain Park, Lake Lanier Islands, Jekyll Island, the Chattahoochee National Recreation area, or any of the state historical sites.

Check out these books before you hit the trails:
-“Camping Guide: Camping Skills You Need” by T. Edward Nickens
-“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Backpacking and Hiking” by Jason Stevenson
-“The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids” by Helen Olsson
-“Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests Intown and Out” by Jonah McDonald


Which park are you planning to visit?

GCPL Digital Resources

1000 Books B4 Kindergarten 

ABC- CLIO: American Government 

ABC-CLIO: American History 

ABC-CLIO: World Geography 

ABC-CLIO: State Geography 

ABC-CLIO: World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras

Ancestry Library Edition ( only available within Library)

Annals of American History


Biography in Context

Business Source Complete

Career Online High School

College Planning GCPL Guide

Consumer Health Complete

Digital Library of Georgia

Driving Test

eBooks on EBSCOhost 

Enciclopedia Moderna 

Escolar Online 

Explora for Elementary 

Explora for High School 

Explora for Middle School 


Foundations Center

Gale Courses

Gale Legal Forms Library 

Gale Literature Resource Center


GCPL Guides

Global NewsStream

Google News Archive (US & International)

Heritage Quest 

Homework Help – Elementary School

Job and Career Accelerator 

Learning Express Library 

Learning Express Library- Espanol

Magazines & Newspapers

Mango Languages

MasterFile Elite



New Georgia Encyclopedia 

Newspaper Source 

Novelist K-8 PLus 

Novelist Plus

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

OverDrive eBooks & More

OverDrive en Espanol 

OverDrive for Kids 

Oxford Dictionaries Online


Reading at Home 

Reference USA

Sesame Street eBooks



Value Line 

Cybercrime over the Holidays

Submitted by Jon Freeman

The National Retail Federation reported that more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2017. About 58 million people shopped online only, while 51 million shopped exclusively in stores. The remaining 65 million consumers shopped both online and in stores. We have gotten to the point where more people are shopping online during the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season than are physically going to and shopping at brick and mortar stores.

Shopping online can be a great convenience. But nothing can ruin your holidays quite like being a victim of cybercrime. Before you get online to go shopping over the holidays here are some ways to stay safe according to an article from Consumer Reports:

1. Update Everything.
The best way to inoculate any device you shop with is to make sure it is running up to date software. That means update everything from the operating system to the apps you use to shop to the web browser you use.

2. Strengthen any weak passwords.
You should especially strengthen passwords on all shopping, email, and bank accounts. Also, try to not use the same password for more than one account.

3. Install antivirus software.
If you have not already installed antivirus software do it before you do any online shopping.

4. Enable multi-factor authentication on accounts that offer it.
Once you do this you will need two pieces of information to log into the account from a laptop or phone. The first is your password. The second item is typically a one-time code sent to your smartphone or email. This will help keep hackers from being able to access your accounts. Multi-factor authentication goes by a variety of names. For example, your google email account may call it “2-Step Verification” and it is “two-factor authentication” for Facebook accounts.

To find more information about personal finance feel free to visit Gwinnett Library’s  Personal Finance Guide.

Warning : What Eating a Laundry Pod Can Do to You

According to Consumer Reports, some teenagers are now putting laundry pods in their mouths as part of an online dare called the “Tide Pod Challenge.” In some cases, according to videos on social media, they bite into the pods. This is actually dangerous, even potentially deadly. Placing these pods in your mouth is dangerous because of the potentially fatal dangers posed by the toxic ingredients in these pods, so it is a bad idea for anyone to intentionally ingest them.

Here are links to just a few recent news stories about this issue:

CBS News
Washington Post
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
USA Today

What’s in a Laundry Pod?

While the exact blend of ingredients in any given laundry pod is proprietary and may differ, Consumer Reports says that they generally consist of ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and what chemists call “long-chain polymers.” This mix of chemicals is great for cleaning your clothes. But it’s not meant to be eaten.

What Happens When You Ingest a Pod?

A recent article from Consumer Reports states, “In their laundry-pod concentration, these three ingredients alone (never mind what else is in there that we don’t know about) have the power to burn through the lining of your mouth and stomach.” The same will happen to your esophagus, stomach and other parts of your gastrointestinal tract as the ingredients make their way through your digestive system. At the same time the contents of the pod are burning the lining of your mouth and stomach, Consumer Reports says, “…portions of the laundry pod that has made their way into your stomach and GI tract can migrate into your bloodstream and vital organs, including your brain. From there, it can be a short path to seizures, coma and eventually, death.” Therefore, don’t try to eat laundry pods and don’t put them in your mouth. You may want to tell any teenagers you know about the potentially severe negative consequences of ingesting these pods as well.

Gwinnett County Public Library: Mid-Autumn Festival

Check our calendar for multicultural themed events and bilingual storytimes at GCPL Branches near you! Click here to learn more!


GCPL Presents: Don’s Corner

Tune in with Mr. Don as he fills you in on events, resources, and books for kids! Visit our calendar for upcoming events!


2016: The Year in Reading

Contributed By: Mark Woodard


2016 was many things: loud, turbulent, sad, exciting, bizarre, and unforgettable. The year in reading was pretty much the same and this is a good time to look back at a few of the bigger literary stories of the year. Library users and book buyers kept reading alive in 2016, and here are a few of the ways they did it:

Harry Potter Returns
J.K. Rowling (with Jack Thorne) returned with the official eighth entry into the Potter series with the well-received London stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. The production’s printed rehearsal script became an enormous international bestseller. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” did not disappoint either. Welcome back Harry.

Hamilton Mania
Yet another published work from the theatre. “Alexander Hamilton”, a big doorstop of a book by Ron Chernow, was a 2011 bestseller and in 2015, poet, rapper, and basic all-around genius Lin-Manuel Miranda adapted it into a stage musical with a hip-hop narrative, “Hamilton: An American Musical“. The show is basically sold out through eternity and the companion book “Hamilton: The Revolution” spent most of the year on the bestseller list, and featured photos, lyrics, and notes from the production – a scorching synthesis of culture, identity, politics, music, and race. Chernow’s book sales also soared into the stratosphere and prompted the happy historian to call the musical “a biographer’s wish-fulfillment fantasy.”

What We Read
Beyond Harry and Hamilton, the 2016 fiction bestseller lists were dominated by older titles: “The Girl on the Train”, “The Nightingale”, and “All the Light We Cannot See”, each began their blockbuster journeys in 2015 and stayed on top throughout 2016. John Grisham bookended the year with two hits, “Rogue Lawyer” and “The Whistler”. Death was the subject of two non-fiction phenomenons: “When Breath Becomes Air” and “Being Mortal” (published in 2011). Also big were Bill O’Reilly’s latest “Killing” series entry (“Killing the Rising Sun”) and Ta’Neheshi Coates’ “Between the World and Me”, a profound treatise on race, also held over from 2015. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” was easily the year’s most talked about autobiography.

The Critics (and Oprah)
One of the best reviewed novels of the year was Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad”, a favorite with critics and the public, and the first Oprah Book Club selection in six years (clearly, she still has the magic touch). Other critically-acclaimed new books in 2016 included “Commonwealth”, “Swing Time”, “The Girls”, “Another Brooklyn”, “Evicted”, and perhaps most prescient, “Hillbilly Elegy.”

We lost some great writers this year, including Natalie Babbitt, Elie Wiesel, and Umberto Eco. But perhaps the most heartbreaking losses were Pat Conroy and Harper Lee. These two beloved and towering figures of southern literature were highly regarded by readers everywhere and their deaths were heavily eulogized. Titles such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Lords of Discipline” will long be remembered.

Here’s to even more reading in 2017!