Page 1

2017 Annual Report

2017 was a year of continued growth and change for the Gwinnett County Public Library. Several library staff members, and the organization as a whole, were recognized with state and national honors including being recognized as a “Top Workplace” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. GCPL was also recognized as an “Emerging Partner of the Year” by Goodwill of North Georgia. Some of the other highlights of 2017 include the implementation of a new network infrastructure which has doubled available bandwidth and should lead to better and faster Internet service for our customers. A major update to our catalog was also implemented with the BiblioCommons catalog overlay. The overlay helped improve the customer experience when browsing materials and also built a digital community of Gwinnett readers to share book lists, reviews and more. These efforts have not gone unnoticed as GCPL was covered in more than 70 stories from media outlets including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB-TV, the Gwinnett Daily Post, American Libraries Magazine, and Library Journal. However, we are not going to rest on our laurels as we continue to make improvements to library services and programs in the year ahead. In 2018 we plan on adding Open+ self-service access to our Suwanee Branch, making it the second location in the system to offer expanded hours. We will also be adding a fourth Learning Lab at our Centerville Branch, equipped with the latest audio and video recording equipment to better serve our customers. The library plans to offer more refined and targeted programs in 2018 to provide the best possible outcomes for our community. Finally, if you haven’t been to the library in a while, come check us out! You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing!

Charles Pace Executive Director, Gwinnett County Public Library

The Year in Numbers

Major Systemwide Statistics from 2017

4,650,830 2,751,593 Materials Checked Out

Customer Visits

1,780,955 1,890,568

655,328 Program Attendance


Website Visits

Computer Sessions

New Accounts Registered




AskGCPL Phone Calls

Wireless Sessions

Adult & Teen Volunteer Hours 3

Welcome to YOUR Library Life in Gwinnett County is exciting, constantly growing, diverse, and fun. Today’s Gwinnett County Public Library has evolved to keep pace! This is your place to be inspired, learn new skills, improve your life, connect with others, or discover more about your community and the world. With expanded hours and a new focus on technology, the Gwinnett County Public Library is the perfect hub for Gwinnett County. Visit your local branch today!


GCPL Celebrates First Class of Career Online High School Graduates Gwinnett County Public Library celebrated the first class of Career Online High School graduates at the Lilburn Branch in 2017. Eight community members who completed an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate participated in the ceremony. Career Online High School, a program brought to public libraries by Gale, a Cengage company, is part of the world’s first accredited, private online school district. The program is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into postsecondary career education or the workforce. “The library is often referred to as the people’s university,” said Charles

Pace, GCPL Executive Director. “In my mind, there’s nothing more important that we can do as a library than be an educational institution and an educational resource for the community. We’re happy to be able to provide these classes and this service to the citizens of Gwinnett County for no charge whatsoever.” Clyde Strickland, whose donation helped launch Career Online High School at the library, shared words of encouragement with the graduates. “This program can put people on a path that they’ve never dreamed of,” said Strickland. “You can not even imagine where you are going.” Career Online High School scholarships are supported through private funding and donations.



GCPL Recognized for Community Impact & Leadership as a “Top Innovator” GCPL’s Customer Contact Center was recognized as a “Top Innovator” in the Customer Experience category by the Urban Libraries Council. The Urban Libraries Council recognized 10 libraries as “Top Innovators” who are providing their communities with essential resources through inventive programs. A panel of expert judges selected the Customer Contact Center from a pool of over 250 submissions as one of 10 library practices that best embodies the 21st century library’s role as a community leader and pioneer for positive change. “Now, more than ever, libraries must act as leaders in their community to provide resources that many have taken for granted,” said ULC

President and CEO Susan Benton. “During times of economic and social difficulties, these libraries have stepped up to the challenge of inspiring change while helping their communities thrive.” The Customer Contact Center was created to decrease customer wait time, improve service, and increase the quality of library subject and research guides. Full-time, specialized staff work from a dedicated call center at the Lilburn branch to handle thousands of customer calls a month, including more than 19,000 in August alone. The list of 2017 ULC Innovations can be viewed at


Every Day a NEW Discovery Today’s Gwinnett County Public Library is an AMAZING place to go for knowledge and fun. Whether you want to READ about it, LISTEN to it, WATCH it, or EXPERIENCE it — every day is a new discovery. Instead of just checking out books, we let you check out the WORLD with FREE access to movies, online magazines — and even subscription websites. You can learn new languages, discover your family history, and add job-specific software skills to your resume.


Go to to register for your library card, and check it all out today!

WiFi Hotspot Lending Program Launches to Increase Access GCPL launched Connect Gwinnett, a new and innovative initiative that allows customers to check out WiFi hotspots from the library. The program helps expand the library’s efforts to increase access to technology and information throughout Gwinnett County. Customers can now check out a Connect Gwinnett WiFi kit, which includes a T-Mobile 4G LTE wireless hotspot, usb cable, and wall charger. Each kit requires a Full Access or Branch Out library card and may be checked out for three weeks at a time. “The WiFi hotspot lending program is part of GCPL’s effort to bridge the digital divide in Gwinnett County,”

said GCPL Executive Director Charles Pace. “Up to 30 percent of households in the County do not have access to the internet at home and this is one step towards creating a more equitable distribution of online resources in our community.” “High-speed, reliable broadband is a necessity, not a luxury,” said GCPL Director of Customer Experience Michael Casey. “This is about helping a student access the online resources she needs to get the grades required to attend college, and giving an entrepreneur the connectivity he requires to develop his business plan to bring new, hightech jobs to Gwinnett.”


GCPL Surpasses 500,000 Registered Library Accounts Gwinnett County Public Library surpassed 500,000 registered library accounts in September. The milestone came as GCPL joined the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, an initiative to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card. More than 128,000 of GCPL’s registered library accounts are held by students who signed up for library cards through partnerships with Gwinnett County Public Schools (Branch Out!) and Buford City Schools (Community Connection).


Both programs allow students to use their student ID number and a PIN for access to the library system’s collection, materials, and databases. “GCPL is proud to mark this milestone achievement of having more than 500,000 registered borrowers,” said GCPL Executive Director Charles Pace. “We encourage every citizen of Gwinnett County not only to sign up for a library card but to use it regularly.”


The library is the FUEL for the search engine! You can’t trust everything you find on the Internet, but you can count on the carefully curated information available at the Gwinnett County Public Library. You’ll quickly discover that getting answers is easier and more accurate than combing through pages of Internet search results. Our expert librarians will find THE answer and will direct you to a depth of information you won’t find anywhere else.




The Atlanta-Journal Constitution Names GCPL a Top Workplace GCPL was awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces, Workplace Achiever honor by The Atlanta JournalConstitution. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by Energage, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few. “We are very pleased to receive this acknowledgment from the AJC,” said library Executive Director Charles Pace. “GCPL’s employees are our greatest resource and their continued satisfaction with their working conditions as demonstrated

by this survey is very important to our overall efforts to maintain an effective library program.” “To be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together.”


CHECK OUT the latest in multimedia! Your library card is your key to downloading books and magazines, and getting FREE access to websites that non-members pay for. For example, you can learn a new language at Mango Languages, find out your family history at or sharpen your skills in business, technology or creativity through This 24/7 access to library resources means you can check it out anytime!


GCPL Participates in USDA Summer Lunch Program Four Gwinnett County Public Library branches served as site locations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, also known as the Summer Meals Program. The program helps provide free nutritious meals to children in lowincome areas so they are better fueled with healthy food to learn and grow.

There are no income requirements or registration and anyone age 18 or younger was welcome to eat. Programs were offered throughout the summer to encourage culinary literacy and continued learning.

This past summer, meals were served at the Buford, Lawrenceville, Norcross, and Snellville branches.


Executive Director Charles Pace Receives National Award for Technology & Innovation The Public Library Association awarded the 2017 John Iliff Award to Gwinnett County Public Library Executive Director Charles Pace. The John Iliff Award, sponsored by Innovative, honors the life and accomplishments of John Iliff, early adopter and champion of technology in public libraries. This award provides a $1,000 honorarium to a library professional or library that has used technology and innovation as a tool to improve services to public library users. Pace was recognized for his “commitment to customer needs” as he led the implementation of Open+, a system developed by Norcross-based technology supplier Bibliotheca, that automatically controls and monitors building


access, self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting, alarms, public announcements and patron safety. GCPL became the first library in North America to offer the service when it launched in June of 2016. Library Board Chairman Dick Goodman applauded Pace’s efforts. “The implementation of Open+ is one of many innovations Charles has brought to our library system with each one greatly enhancing the library experiences of the citizens of Gwinnett County.” Available at the Lawrenceville Branch, Open+ gives customers selfservice access to the library.


CHECK OUT your community hang out! The new Gwinnett County Public Library is a vibrant place to gather with friends and like-minded explorers looking for information, support, or just a chance to connect and learn from each other. Each branch offers many events and programs designed for every stage of life. We welcome groups of seniors, newcomers to the area, students, parents with young children and anyone with special needs or life circumstances. We guarantee that your local library has an event for you – visit to see a calendar of events!


GCPL & SJSU Announce New Innovative Librarians Award GCPL and the San José State University School of Information will co-sponsor the Innovative Librarians Award to recognize library science graduate students who put forward new ideas that improve libraries and library services. “When hiring professional librarians, we’re always looking for those who are willing to put forth their innovative ideas and be agents of change,” said Michael Casey, GCPL Director of Customer Experience. “What better way to discover new and innovative ideas while at the same time giving students and recently graduated librarians an opportunity to make a name for themselves in the greater profession.”

“We are delighted to partner with Gwinnett County Public Library on this wonderful opportunity for MLIS students and recent graduates to showcase their talents and get recognized for their ingenuity so early in their careers,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, professor and director at the SJSU School of Information. “This award celebrates new thinking and fresh perspectives that will positively impact our communities.” Five finalists will be selected from the applications, with one entrant selected to receive a $1,000 cash prize.


Grants & Programs NASA@ My Library GCPL was one of 75 libraries across the country to receive the NASA@ My Library grant. NASA@ My Library increases and enhances STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently under-served in STEM education. Participating libraries received two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits designed for use in hands-on STEM programming, a tablet computer pre-loaded with how-to videos, apps, educational games and other materials. English: Learn and Talk An English Literacy grant from Vernon Library Supplies provided materials to support the homegrown English: Learn and Talk program for newly immigrated residents to build a practical working vocabulary of English words and phrases. The program is presented by bilingual library staff in eight different languages.


Tower Gardens The Tower Garden project, a community gardening initiative made possible by a 2016 Sparks! Ignition Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, supplied 145 donations of fresh produce for local food co-ops, the Gwinnett County Senior Services lunch program and charitable organizations. GCPL also hosted 183 Tower Garden related programs focused on early literacy, cultural literacy, and culinary cuisine.

The GCPL Foundation The Gwinnett County Public Library Foundation’s mission is to encourage private support in order to enhance funding for the following four key strategic program areas: Early Childhood Literacy, Engaging Spaces, Technology & Collection Enhancement, Lifelong Learning, and Community Enrichment. The Lilburn Mural Project The Lilburn Woman’s Club donated $10,000 to provide enhancements for the new Lilburn Branch, including an extensive community driven mural that spans 60ft x 7ft! Mark Williams of Good Day Studio helped make this project a reality. Summer Reading Success Thanks to contributions from sponsors Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, The Gwinnett Stripers (formerly the Gwinnett Braves), Medieval Times, Zaxby’s, and Stars & Strikes, Gwinnett’s kids were able to win fabulous prizes for reading over the summer!

Teen Film Challenge For the first time, the Teen Film Challenge was supported by a title sponsor through East2West Media Group, offering students $1,000 in prizes. Career Online High School Thanks to numerous donors, GCPL offered 50 scholarships to adult learners to obtain an accredited high school diploma. Thank You to our Major Sponsors 12Stone Church Kids-R- Kids International, Inc. The Primerica Foundation The Rotary Club of Duluth The WestRock Foundation To support and learn more about the GCPL Foundation, visit gwinnettpl. org/foundation.


GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dick Goodman, Board Chair Betty Atkinson, Vice-Chair Suzanne Skeen, Treasurer Deborah Oscarson, Secretary Kelly Byrd


2017 Gwinnett County Public Library Annual Report  

A look back at Gwinnett County Public Library in 2017.

2017 Gwinnett County Public Library Annual Report  

A look back at Gwinnett County Public Library in 2017.