Saturday, February 28, 2015

2014 Staff Favorites - 18th in a Series

These cookbooks all have easy to follow recipes that contain easy to find ingredients. And, best of all, they have impressive pictures! One of my pet peeves is cookbooks without pictures. If you like to try new things check out these cookbooks!

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food
by Jessica Merchant

Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails and More
by Sara Deseran

The Chew, a Year of Celebrations: Festive and Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion

Gale Gand's Lunch!
by Gale Gand

Marta Peppin
Information Specialist

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Library Limelight: Tonya Wallace, Support Services

Library Limelight is intended to be a quick read to help FCPL patrons get to know our librarians and staff.  We hope you enjoy learning about the people who make our libraries great!

Tonya Wallace
Accounting Assistant
Support Services, Headquarters

Where is your hometown?

Cumming, GA

How long have you been at FCPL?

11 months

What other jobs have you had at FCPL?


Why did you choose to work in a library?

I wanted to be close to home and my family.

Describe your job in five words or less.

Bills, bills, bills!

What is your favorite part of your job?

The 20 minute commute and the wonderful people!

What’s the most interesting place you’ve lived or traveled?

The Pacific Northwest.  I was not used to everything being so gray!  I am a Georgia girl and I was used to the red Georgia clay and the bright sunshine!

What are your hobbies?

Running, camping (RVing), and reading

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy.  Lacrosse season just started for my girls, so my reading time will be limited over the next couple of months.

Paper books or eBooks?


Library to Host Resources Fair for Individuals and Kids with Special Needs

Parents and caregivers of children with special needs are invited to meet other families and connect with local support resources at the Special Needs Resources Fair on Saturday, March 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sharon Forks Library at 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming. The event is free and no advance registration is required.

While parents and caregivers are learning about resources available to address special needs, their children are welcome to participate in storytime and other creative activities led by library staff. Teens and adults with special needs are also invited to attend the Resources Fair.

Several groups dedicated to helping those with special needs will be available to share information with parents and caregivers, including Forsyth Autism and Special Needs Support Group, Forsyth County Schools, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Special Needs Awareness of Public Safety (S.N.A.P.S.) Program, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Special Olympics.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, I’ve noticed that many caregivers and individuals with special needs discover resources through word of mouth,” says Jennifer Forbes, Information Specialist at the Sharon Forks Library and the event’s organizer. “The Special Needs Resources Fair will hopefully highlight community resources that many of our residents may not be familiar with,” adds Forbes.

Forsyth Autism and Special Needs Support Group was founded in April 2013 by Sharon Howell, a mother of teenage twins with Autism, and Mary Kathryn McDonald, a speech-language pathologist. The purpose of the group is to connect parents, grandparents, and caregivers of individuals with special needs to each other to share ideas and support one another by sharing information. Forsyth Autism and Special Needs Support Group meets monthly at The Vine Community Church.

In an emergency situation like a fire or an accident, it is common for individuals with special needs to feel uncomfortable and to resist being spoken to or touched by first responders and public safety personnel. The S.N.A.P.S. program led by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office meets second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m at the Public Safety Training Center to allow individuals with special needs to interact with uniformed public safety personnel in a casual environment. Participants can talk with officers and first responders, role-play emergency scenarios, or just watch until they feel more comfortable.

Volunteers from Special Olympics Forsyth County will present information on upcoming sporting events and how athletes with special needs can get involved. In addition to local, regional, and state sporting competitions, Special Olympics also hosts outings the first Friday of each month at Stars and Strikes that allow participants to socialize and meet new friends.

Representatives from Region One of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities will distribute information about services such as: mental health care; crisis intervention and stabilization; peer support; supported employment; occupational, physical, and speech therapy; respite services; specialized medical equipment and supplies; and transportation services. Staff from the Special Education department at Forsyth County Schools will share information about programs available within the school system to support students with special needs.

The library also offers multiple accommodations for patrons with special needs and information about a new special needs storytime program will be available during the Special Needs Resources Fair.

“We have large print books, audiobooks, mailbox books for our homebound patrons, and ADA computer stations. Patrons can also reserve items from home to pick up all in one location at their branch. If someone needs a specific accommodation, we invite that patron to contact us and we will make every effort possible to accommodate that need,” explains Forbes.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Staff Picks - Adult Fiction

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen's debut novel, Garden Spells, is quintessentially Southern without trying too hard. She weaves a story of family and love with lovable, quirky characters and you could imagine yourself living in Bascomb, North Carolina, gossiping about your neighbors.

Allen has answered all our prayers and given us another story about the Waverly Family, First Frost.

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

From the first paragraph, readers are transported back to Bascomb, North Carolina, to read more about the beloved quirky Waverlys. I really appreciated that the story doesn't pick-up where we left them, but rather, Allen picks the story up nine years later.   Some readers may find the story a bit repetitive in theme, but I loved every syllable. Allen has such a lovely prose that you find yourself wishing the book would never end.

Meredith Bowermeister
Information Services Supervisor
Sharon Forks Library

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Storywalk to Open at Cumming Library on March 7

The Storywalk in The Secret Garden has become a popular attraction for families at the Cumming Library, but now something else has taken up residence in the garden…fairies!

In partnership with the Forsyth County Master Gardeners, the Storywalk in The Secret Garden will be decorated with fairy houses and miniature fairy gardens. The Storywalk will feature the book Good Night, Fairies by Kathleen Hague and illustrated by Michael Hague.

Good Night, Fairies offers an imaginative journey through a hidden world where fairies are responsible for painting rainbows, hanging stars, and teaching birds to sing,” says Holly Raus, Storywalk organizer. “It’s a particularly good fit for The Secret Garden and the fairy houses we’re creating with the Master Gardeners because its colorful and dream-like illustrations help the reader imagine the wonder of what might be happening in nature that we often can’t observe for ourselves.”

Children in kindergarten through 5th grade that believe in the magic of fairies are invited to a special Build Your Own Fairy House event at the Cumming Library on Saturday, March 7 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Children can exercise their creativity and imagination as they use natural materials such as sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, nuts, and pinecones to create their own tiny fairy house.

Participants will hear about fairy legends and folklore while they build their houses, then they will be among the first to take a stroll through the newly installed Storywalk to search for tiny houses tucked among the leaves and bushes of The Secret Garden.

Space in the Build Your Own Fairy House event is limited and advance registration at is required.

Following the Build Your Own Fairy House event, the fairy abodes and Storywalk is expected to remain open in The Secret Garden through Spring Break. To access The Secret Garden and Storywalk, enter the Cumming Library and walk toward the back of the building. Signs point patrons to the exit door near the new study rooms.

For more information about The Secret Garden and Storywalk, or other library programs for families, please visit