Friday, April 13, 2018

Artists Celebrate Installation of Work at Sharon Forks Library

Bronx-based artist and printmaker Tammy Wofsey attended the official Reopening Celebration of the Sharon Forks Library, on Friday, April 13 where her commissioned print, Imagination Takes Flight, was recently installed.

Artist and printmaker Tammy Wofsey visited the
Sharon Forks Library for the installation of
 Imagination Takes Flight.
Wofsey’s work has appeared in public exhibitions across the country, including New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana, as well as exhibits in Germany, Hungary, and India. Her prints also appear in private and public collections. She prints and publishes artist books and it is in the special collections at universities such as Yale and Duke University.

While Imagination Takes Flight is Wofsey’s first commission for a public library, she certainly understands the importance of libraries to the communities they serve.

“Libraries are great places. To me, they seem like one of the last bastions of sharing and creativity - a place where people can congregate to share knowledge freely,” says Wofsey, who also serves as a reference librarian at The Thomas J. Shanahan Library at Marymount Manhattan College.

A great deal of advance planning went into the creation of Imagination Takes Flight.

After responding to a request for proposal from the Forsyth County Public Library, Wofsey’s proposal was evaluated against submissions from other artists. Once her proposal was shortlisted, Wofsey went through an interview process and portfolio review with the FCPL Board of Trustees and library leaders.

A test print of Imagination Takes Flight is
 prepared for printing after inking and placing
individual leaves on the press bed.
Image Credit: Tammy Wofsey, Plotzing Press
When Wofsey’s proposal was selected for the Sharon Forks Library, she visited the area in the fall of 2017 and spent time getting to know the library. She also collected leaves to dry and press for the print.

“Tammy and I went out for a walk with the library’s Financial Coordinator, Monica Hennings, who is quite knowledgeable about local plants, and we collected leaves from trees in the area. Then, Tammy pressed the leaves in old phone books she has collected,” explains Library Director Anna Lyle.

After taking the leaves back to her Plotzing Press studio in the Bronx, New York, Wofsey began the process of creating a linocut monoprint. A monoprint is a one of a kind print that cannot be reproduced. She used linoleum, a sheet of pliable material made from sawdust and linseed oil that would serve as the base for the print.

Next, she inked the pressed leaves with oil-based printmaking ink. The ink dries very slowly, giving the artist enough time to complete the laborious process of inking and placing each individual leaf on the press.

Artist and printmaker Tammy Wofsey (center, in green)
shares a draft of Imagination Takes Flight
with library staff and the FCPL Board of Trustees. 
“Some leaves were inked on top and others were inked on the bottom, so the viewer gets a sense of both the smooth side and the detail in the veined side of the leaves,” explains Wofsey.

Wofsey also created test prints and drafts to share with library leaders throughout the process. In total, Imagination Takes Flight was created in about five months.

Creating the final piece required the use of the largest etching press in Wofsey’s Plotzing Press studio. The finished print is impressive, measuring 4 feet wide by 10 feet long even before it was framed and installed at the library last month.

From a distance, patrons entering the library from the lobby usually notice the bold white shapes of birds taking flight or the hands seeming to catch a falling feather first. A closer inspection reveals finer details to patrons approaching the Ask Us desk.

“I wanted to leave room for the viewer to use their own creativity in how they see this piece, so I hope patrons will let it inspire them and maybe they’ll notice something new or different each time they see it,” says Wofsey.

“In our request for proposals, we asked potential artists to create artwork that would welcome people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Tammy has achieved this beautifully in Imagination Takes Flight, which features an interplay of positive and negative space. The birds are represented in the negative—blank—spaces and it has been so interesting to hear viewers’ reactions to this approach.  Some people see the birds immediately; others focus on the colorful areas and are later surprised to discover the birds.  I expect that our regular patrons will see it a little differently every time they visit the library,” adds Lyle.

Imagination Takes Flight is on permanent display over the Ask Us desk in the adult section of the Sharon Forks Library.

A set of photographs by local artists
Phil and Janet Winter are on display
 in the Sharon Forks Library’s Quiet Room.
In addition, several framed photographs taken by local photographers Phil and Janet Winter are on display in the Sharon Forks Library’s Quiet Room, a bright and comfortable place tucked away from the murmuring of conversation in the main library where patrons can read or work without distraction. Local landmarks in Forsyth County, including a photo of Settles Bridge, are the focal point of the display.

Both art installations were supported by a matching grant from the Forsyth County Arts Alliance Fund at the Forsyth County Community Foundation.

Imagination Takes Flight and the photographs in the Quiet Room are accessible during the library’s regular operating hours. To view the library’s operating schedule, please visit

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Chatterbooks: A Book Club for Grades K-2 at the Cumming Library

Shark Lady:  The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating

Chatterbooks is a book club designed for children in grades K-2 that incorporates a story, book discussion and a craft. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating is this month’s selection.

Eugenie Clark feel in love with sharks after a visit to the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than learning more about these graceful creatures. When Eugenie discovered that people find sharks to be ugly and scary, she was determined to prove them wrong. Through her work, she taught the world that sharks are to be admired and not feared.  Children do not need to read the book prior to the program.   Come join the fun on April 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the Cumming Library. No registration required. 

Lorraine Lane
Information Specialist – Youth Services
Cumming Library

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Library Limelight: Diana Wolski, Information Specialist, Post Road Branch

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!

Diana Wolski
Information Specialist
Post Road Branch

Where is your hometown?
Miami, Florida
How long have you been at FCPL?
10.5 years
What other jobs have you had at FCPL?
Circulation Assistant
Why did you choose to work in a library?
I chose to work in a library because I love the atmosphere – people excited about our collection, programs, and technology.   
Describe your job in five words or less.
Public relations, snags, displays, projects!
What is unique about your job?
I can be flexible when I help patrons with their specific needs, giving them the best customer service that I possibly can.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love seeing newly published books before they hit the shelves. Also, I love that I get to work in a place that so many consider to be their “happy place.”
What’s the most interesting place you’ve lived or traveled?
Fairbanks, Alaska – I visited the North Pole, Denali National Park, the Alaskan Pipeline, and went salmon fishing, just to name a few attractions.
What are your hobbies?
Some hobbies that I enjoy include scrapbooking, walking/jogging when I have time, and going to the park with my kids.
What are you reading right now?
The Wife by Alafair Burke and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Paper books, eBooks, or audiobooks?
I enjoy audiobooks!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I enjoy working with such a great staff!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring Break 2018 Activities for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

If you’re planning a staycation for spring break, make sure your plans include the Forsyth County Public Library.

With dozens of programs and events on the calendar for kids, tweens, and teens – plus a few more activities for grownups – you’re sure to find something to keep the family entertained. Here are a few highlights for each day:

Monday, April 2

The Cumming Library will present Beadweaving, a Just My Imagination workshop sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art on April 2 at 2:00 p.m. This two-hour program is free and recommended for families with children ages 7 to 14. Athens artist and teacher Toni Carlucci will demonstrate the process of simple beadweaving, and participants will use beads to create their own woven beadwork.

Students in grades 5 and up, as well as adults, can experience the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumming Library as instructors from World Jiu-Jitsu Academy demonstrate some basic moves and discuss the principles behind them.

Snuggle in for stories at Once Upon a Family PJ Storytime beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Sharon Forks Library. This family-friendly storytime is open to children of all ages and will include silly fairy tales, songs, and puppet shows.

Tuesday, April 3

Students in grades K through 5 can enjoy a buffet of books while sampling the different flavors of fairy tales....old, new, and fractured in two special Book Tasting: A Fairy Tale Feast programs at the Sharon Forks Library at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Participants will create a few snacks inspired by fairy tales, but space in both programs is limited and tickets will be handed out beginning 30 minutes prior to each program.

Alice's Garden Games, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hampton Park Library, is a friendly competition between families and children of all ages. This hilarious gaming event is inspired by Alice's trip down the rabbit hole and participants can play a nonsensical game of croquet, giant board games, and more Wonderland-themed tournaments!

The Post Road Library will present its fifth annual Touch a Truck program from 1:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and all ages are welcome to experience all the fun of a parking lot full of cool vehicles. Sit in a Forsyth County fire truck, climb inside an ambulance, and then check out a Sawnee EMC cherry picker, a giant dump truck, plus several cool vehicles from the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office! Cool off with car crafts inside the library, too. Parking is limited, so participants may need to park across the street, where the Sheriff’s Office will assist pedestrians with crossing Post Road.

Students in grades 3 – 6 can design their own mini golf course at Mini Golf Mania starting at 3:00 p.m. at the Cumming Library. Participants will have a chance to play through all the courses created in this 90-minute program.

Tweens and teens, ages 10 and up, are invited to get crafty at 6:30 p.m. at the Hampton Park Library with Tiny Crafts: Wonderland Edition. Participants will make miniature version of everything from bows to books.

Tween Scene: Egg-straordinary Egg Challenge at the Post Road Library at 6:30 p.m. is “egg-cellent” for tweens ages 10 to 12 to join hilarious challenges with both real and plastic eggs.

Wednesday, April 4

Spring Break Puppetpalooza is back at the Sharon Forks Library and children of all ages are sure to enjoy fairy tale puppet shows at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Elementary STEAM Team: Brilliant Biomes at the Post Road Library at 1:15 p.m. will take students in grades K through 5 on a virtual trip around the world to study biomes in the tundra, desert, tropical forest, and ocean. Participants will also conduct science experiments and create biome-themed crafts.

The school principal is threatening to recall all students to school and completely ruin spring break, unless we can crack the code at Teen Breakout: Save Spring Break and stop his diabolical plan! Teens in grades 6 and up will love this latest breakout game beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumming Library.

Tween STEAM Slime Lab mixes up amazing ooey-gooey polymer science for students in grades 4 to 7 at the Sharon Forks Library at 6:30 p.m. Participants will experiment with creating several slimes to take home, including galaxy, fluffy, crunchy, and chalkboard slime.

Thursday, April 5

Callooh! Callay! It's time to celebrate poetry at The Jabberwock’s Poetry Slam, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Hampton Park Library. This Lewis Carroll-inspired poetry slam is designed for children ages 7 to 13 and participants will make up words, play games, and learn about the poetry surrounding us every day: in music, on the TV, in our favorite books, and you can even find poetry in the things our parents & friends say. When we're done, we'll record our masterpieces!

Families and children of all ages can meet the adorable costumed character Paddington Bear as he appears at A Beary Special Storytime with Paddington Bear at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumming Library.

Why should kids have all the fun? Parents are welcome to attend Family Fun Night: Fairy Tale STEAM at 6:30 p.m. at the Sharon Forks Library to experience STEAM games and puzzles. Then, compete in fairy tale trivia and work together on several fairy tale-related STEAM challenges. This program is for families with children grades K through 5 and lines will form 30 minutes prior to the program.

Friday, April 6

Explore the science behind one of the most well-known fairy tales, The Tortoise and the Hare, in Preschool Fairytale STEAM at 10:30 a.m. at the Hampton Park Library. Children ages 3 to 5, and their caregivers, will explore the story through a variety of early literacy, STEAM, music, and hands-on early learning station activities.

 Breakout Box: Escaping Wonderland is a breakout box event for tweens and teens, ages 10 and up, at Hampton Park Library at 2:30 p.m. Use problem solving, trouble shooting and teamwork to solve puzzles, riddles and clues in order to breakout of Wonderland before time runs out.

Teens in grades 6 and up can take over the library with video and board games from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at After Hours Teen Lounge: Gaming Madness at the Sharon Forks Library.

For more information on programs at the Cumming, Hampton Park, Post Road, and Sharon Forks Libraries, please visit

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sharon Forks Library Grand Reopening a Success

More than 1, 350 Forsyth County residents and library patrons celebrated Saturday’s reopening of the Sharon Forks Library with tours, educational games, cultural performances, and family activities.

Boy Scouts from Pack 205 opened the newly expanded and renovated library branch with a flag raising ceremony and then music from the Lambert High School Orchestra’s String Quintet filled the adult section of the library as patrons began to explore their new library.

World Languages Collection Opens

In recognition of the new World Languages collection at Sharon Forks that now includes books in Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, patrons participated in several cultural programs.

Instructors from the University of North Georgia spoke about the history of Chinese tea traditions and prepared five teas for patrons to sample.

Several styles of Indian dance were performed by Darshini Natyalaya School of Dance and Atlanta Nritya Dance Academy.

Chien Hong School of Kung Fu demonstrated a traditional Chinese Lion Dance.

Amid all this excitement about the collection, several patrons took a moment to express their appreciation for these new materials. One patron exclaimed happy surprise to see new books by popular Chinese authors and quickly checked out a generous stack of books. Another couple inquired about books in Hindi and gasped with delight to find hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books in their native language. Yet another patron complimented the library on acquiring such a great selection of non-fiction books in Tamil.

Kishore Devarapalli, his wife Jyothi, and their youngest son Krishna, have been patrons of the Sharon Forks Library for 11 years; but, if they wanted to read books in Telugu, they had to bring them back from India or purchase materials from their local temple. Krishna can now read and write in Telugu and Kishore and Jyothi plan to use the World Languages collection to share more of their family’s culture and history with their children.

“We will take just a few books this time and leave some for others, because we expect this collection to be very popular once people know about it,” says Kishore.

“We love this collection!” exclaims Veda Verisetti as she explores Telugu short stories and novels with her husband Suresh Dhulipudi, daughter Amrutha, and son Siddharth.

Veda teaches Telugu and is passionate about bringing her family’s culture and traditions alive through sharing the language. The children are also learning to read and speak Telugu and Amrutha will begin teaching it to others next year.

While the family has about 150 Telugu books at home, their collection consists mostly of novels carried over during their move from India, scholarly books acquired during college, and several things purchased from online retailers who carry books in Telugu.

“I’m so happy for this new space. It’s very nice,” Suresh says as the family selects a few books to check out.

Shyam Kasthuri and his wife Priya Narasimhan welcome the opportunities the World Languages collection will bring for parents to share their culture with their children, especially when frequent trips to India can’t always be managed.

“This a good collection and our parents will be so excited to visit and spend an afternoon surrounded by both familiar stories and popular new books in their language,” explains Shyam, who plans to check out books in Tamil.

Priya, who is fluent in Tamil and Hindi, says having a collection like this to share with her parents brings her family’s traditions closer to their new home while also sharing the culture with their children.

“When I speak to my children in my language, I am showing them my emotion,” says Priya, who believes that reading in Tamil is an important way to help her children learn new words and continually expand their use of the language.

“We’ve been reading online magazines in Tamil, but we don’t have access to very many print books. Now this library has a whole collection that we can use to share our culture and history with our children,” says Shyam.

The World Languages collection at Sharon Forks currently houses about 500 books in each language and adds to the growing collection of books in Spanish housed in the World Languages collections at the Cumming and Post Road libraries. To browse materials, visit and select the World Languages tab in the navigation pane.

Library Tours & Storytimes

Throughout the day, library staff led behind-the-scenes tours, hosted storytimes with costumed characters from popular children’s literature, and assisted patrons with more than 600 inquiries.

By the end of the day, when Girl Scout Cadette Troop #15517 led a flag lowering ceremony, nearly 5,000 books and materials were checked out.

Opening day a wonderful success and a testament to the value the Forsyth community places on literacy, education, and diversity. Additional photos are posted in the Sharon Forks Library Grand Reopening album on the Library’s Facebook Page.