Gwinnett County Public Library

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Gwinnett County Public Library
Gwinnett County Public Library.png
Gwinnett Library Peachtree Corners branch.jpg
Peachtree Corners Library
Established 1936
Location Gwinnett County, GA
Branches 15
Collection
Size 839,728[1]
Access and use
Circulation 5,500,332 (2015)[1]
Population served 860,000 (2016)[2]
Members 461,000 (2016)[2]
Other information
Director Charles Pace[2]
Website http://www.gwinnettpl.org/

The Gwinnett County Public Library is located in unincorporated Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA,[3] north-east of Atlanta. The library currently has 15 branches throughout the county and employs an interlibrary loan system for those with a valid library card.

In 2000 the Gwinnett County Public Library won the Library of the Year award.[4][5] This library system has also achieved the highest amounts of material circulation out of all libraries in Georgia.[1]

History[edit]

The Norcross Women's Club.

The first library in the Gwinnett County region was the Norcross library, established in 1907 by the Norcross Woman's Club. Following this, in 1935, the Lawrenceville PTA began the Lawrenceville Public Library in City Hall which was renamed to the Gwinnett County Library the following year.[6]

In 1956, in an effort to consolidate resources with nearby Forsyth county, the two library systems agreed to form a joint venture named the Gwinnett-Forsyth Regional Library.[7] During this time Gwinnett county opened the Lake Lanier Regional Library in Buford, and libraries in Snellville and Mountain Park.[6]

As the Atlanta metropolitan region began to fill out, Gwinnett and the surrounding counties saw a huge influx of residents, and therefore a much greater need to expand their library services. In 1986 a bond referendum allowed for each of the seven existing branches to be updated, and also allocated funds for the construction of a eighth branch at Peachtree Corners. Following suit not long after, Forsyth county received monies to refurbish their libraries and add a location of their own.[6]

With the increasing amount of branches in the Gwinnett-Forsyth Regional Library System, Gwinnett county opted to dissolve the venture in 1996. It is at this point the Gwinnett County Public Library was formed.

In 1999, the GCPL's tenth branch opened at Collin's Hill. It was also named a finalist for the Library of the Year award. In 2000 the library system was again among finalists for library of the year, and at this point won.[5]

In 2002 the Centerville branch opened, sharing facilities with the adjacent Gwinnett County community center. A twelfth branch opened in Suwanne in 2004, and yet another in Dacula in 2006.

In 2005 the Grayson branch was opened, and in 2010 the Hamilton Mill branch opened as a LEED Gold certified building.[8]

Censorship Controversy[edit]

In 1997, Gwinnett County Public Library removed Nancy Friday's bestseller Women On Top from its collection after two patrons complained about its sexual content.[9] Connie Cosby, one of the patrons, had requested that the book be made unavailable to children, and was "stunned" but "ecstatic" that library director Jo Ann Pinder removed it entirely.[10] Women On Top became the fourth book Gwinnett County Public Library had removed from its shelves because of complaints about content.[11]

The library's decision prompted many residents to write letters opposing and supporting the library's decision; one such letter from Sheila Blahnik, the other patron who had asked the library to remove Women On Top, called the reaction an "onslaught of media attention".[12] Area booksellers reported increased sales of the book soon after the library removed it; a Waldenbooks manager said, "In two months the bookstore sold one copy, and all of a sudden last week we sold eight."[13] One county resident called for Pinder and another librarian to be fired for describing the reasons for the book's removal as "editing errors and changes in library purchasing guidelines" rather than stating that it was censored because of its sexual content; other residents began shouting questions which the board did not answer, and the police were summoned.[14]

As a result of the controversy, Gwinnett County Public Library created a "parental advisory" category for books deemed suitable only for adults, allowing parents to give consent for their minor children to check those items out.[15] The library also created an advisory board to review the process for handling residents' complaints about library materials, and on the advice of county lawyers the library later opened those meetings to the public.[16] Ultimately, the library made it easier to request removing books from the library, on the advice of the advisory board, because the old form had been "too complicated".[17]

Branches[edit]

Name Address
Buford-Sugar Hill Branch 2100 Buford Hwy, Buford, GA 30518
Centerville Branch 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville, GA 30039
Collins Hill Branch 455 Camp Perrin Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Dacula Branch 265 Dacula Road, Dacula, GA 30019
Duluth Branch 3480 Duluth Park Lane, Duluth, GA 30096
Five Forks Branch 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Grayson Branch 700 Grayson Parkway, Grayson, GA 30017
Hamilton Mill Branch 3690 Braselton Highway, Dacula, GA 30019
Lawrenceville Branch 1001 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Lilburn Branch 4817 Church Street, Lilburn, GA 30047
Mountain Park Branch 1210 Pounds Road SW, Lilburn, GA 30047
Norcross Branch 6025 Buford Hwy., Norcross, GA 30071
Peachtree Corners Branch 5570 Spalding Drive, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
Snellville Branch 2740 Lenora Church Road, Snellville, GA 30078
Suwanee Branch 361 Main Street, Suwanee, GA 30024

Library systems in neighboring counties[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Current Look Georgia Library 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "2016 GCPL Annual Report". Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Home page. Gwinnett County Public Library. Retrieved on February 23, 2010.
  4. ^ St. Lifer, Evan (June 15, 2000). "Library of the Year 2000" (PDF) (125). Library Journal. Gale Group. pp. 34–37. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Past Winners". Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c "GCPL - Our History". Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "History of the Forsyth County Public Library". Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Hamilton Mill Library receives LEED Gold Certification". Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Sibley, Celia; Burkstrand, Beth (19 March 1997). "Gwinnett libraries ban 'Women On Top'". Atlanta Constitution. p. B2. 
  10. ^ Sibley, Celia; Burkstrand, Beth (19 March 1997). "Banning of book surprises petitioner". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J1. 
  11. ^ Sibley, Celia (23 March 1997). "Checking out the library - Staffers: They're doing everything by the book". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J1. 
  12. ^ Blahnik, Sheila (30 March 1997). "Library restrictions vs. parental restrictions". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J9. 
  13. ^ Sibley, Celia (1 April 1997). "Dropped book's sales pick up - Library's action stirs interest in author". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J1. 
  14. ^ Burkstrand, Beth (15 April 1997). "Anger erupts at library meeting - Residents blast board members". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J3. 
  15. ^ Carter, Rochelle (15 August 1997). "Library board opts to create adult shelf". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J1. 
  16. ^ Shelton, Stacy (22 October 1997). "Meetings of library's complaint panel to be open - Decision reflects county legal advice". p. J5. 
  17. ^ Shelton, Stacy (24 November 1997). "Libraries to debut new complaint forms". Atlanta Journal Constitution. p. J1. 

External links[edit]