Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Libraries Rock! Summer Reading Program Announced

Are you ready to rock?  Smyrna Library is celebrating music this summer, and they have lots of fun in store. 

Reading every week throughout summer is the best way to prevent “Summer Slide,” which is the loss of academic skills over the break. Smyrna Library makes reading and visiting the Library fun with prizes, puppet shows, crafts, STEM activities, and surprises.

Early sign-up begins Friday, May 18, at Smyrna Library. The Kick-Off event is Friday, May 25, at 11:00 am in the Community Center.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Abstract Acrylics by David Marchione Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The May/June 2018 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Abstract Acrylics by David Marchione.  Mr. Marchione’s exhibit is on display through June 30. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Public Library. 

Artist Statement:

I use line, color, bisected space, and unreliable perspective in my painting to create a visual field that draws the viewer in. My goal is to bring my audience back to a work to discover previously missed pockets of color and dynamic movement. I enjoy playing with space and forcing the eye to move around the canvas by disrupting the surface, breaking it apart, and rearranging it in whatever way suits me.

My palette is representative of a wide range of visual cues and value associations, but, as with my line work, the color is informed mainly by the mood I’m trying to convey. My goal is to speak to the viewer without words and to paint without narrative, but to remain the artist at the center of my paintings.

The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

FOSL Bookstore Clearance Sale to Run from May 1 to May 13

The Friends of Smyrna Library Bookstore is running a CLEARANCE SALE from May 1 to May 13. All books will be priced for only 75 cents, $1 or $2.  A large selection of fiction, nonfiction, cooking, crafts & decorating, audio books and more are available. More stock will be added when shelf space frees up.

The self-service bookstore is located in the library and is open during library hours. Turn left at the staircase when entering from the parking lot and it’s up against the brick wall. Books with green dots are 75 cents, red dots are $1 and yellow dots are $2. Please pay with small bills at the Circulation Desk. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring Jonquil Festival Book Sale Update

THANK YOU to all of the volunteers and shoppers who made this weekend’s annual Spring Jonquil Festival Friends of Smyrna Library Book Sale a success. We raised over $1,700 to support the 2018 Summer Reading Program at the Smyrna Public Library.

Look for more popup sales in the library lobby this summer and a big clearance sale on the discount shelves starting this week. The Fall Jonquil Festival Book Sale will be held on October 27 and 28. Sign-up to volunteer at

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Clay Ladies by Judy Robkin Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The May/June 2018 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Clay Ladies by Judy Robkin.  Ms. Robkin’s exhibit is on display through June 30. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

I have been working in clay for the last 20 years, beginning with the wheel but quickly moving to handbuilding. I love the freedom and unlimited possibilities of non-functional pieces and am drawn to forms which express something unexpected.


Judy Birnbrey Robkin is a native Atlantan whose work has been shown in galleries around the Southeast, including the RaifordGallery in Atlanta, Bellagio in Asheville, NC, and Off the Wall in Santa Fe, NM. She has worked with a variety of clay techniques throughout her career and is currently immersed in a project entitled "Ladies (& gentlemen)," a series of intricately handcrafted ceramic women and a collection of whimsical men in bowls. Judy launched the arts program at the Weber School where she taught drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. As a ceramics instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, she taught hand building, Raku and other firing techniques.

Revealing the personality that is hidden under the headdress or behind the shawl, I attempt to unearth the simple yet elegant woman emerging from the clay. Just as our lives are textured by time and experience, layered through joy, love, loss, and surprise and colored by world events and personal experience, so too are my "Ladies" - textured, layered and colored.

I use a range of stains, glazes, underglazes, and oxides through multiple firings to build up the color and enhance the marks and textures embedded in the clay. I rarely start a piece with a specific face in mind. For me, the excitement begins as I see the personality emerge from the clay and culminates when the viewer identifies with an individual "lady."

Sunday, April 15, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Author Melissa Beck Speaks on “Blue Ridge Scenic Railway”

Melissa Beck, author of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, was out guest speaker today for the First Sunday Lecture Series. Ms Beck spoke about her book “Blue Ridge Scenic Railway”, which is a photographic history of the copper miners, shop owners, homesteaders, and railroad workers who made these mountains their homes, often for many proud generations. Her research led her into the homes and lives of those families who shared their family photographs and family stories with her, which she brings alive in book and in her shared narrative.

Speaker Bio: Melissa Beck is a published fiction author whose many interests have led her at various times to show dogs, learn improv comedy, join a wool-hooking group, and run a busy needlework repair business. Born in Oak Ridge in the East Tennessee Valley, she regularly visited her grandparents in the Smokies. Melissa says the hills are in her blood, and she hopes to retire soon to her cabin in Fannin County, Georgia.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and the Smyrna Public Library.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

FOSL Joins Keep Smyrna Beautiful's ADOPT-A-MILE and Great American Cleanup Program

The Friends of Smyrna Library now participate in Keep Smyrna Beautiful's ADOPT-A-MILE and Great American Cleanup program. Our first cleanup will be held on April 20th.  

There are 12 volunteer opportunities for each cleanup (age 14 and up). Please email with any questions.

Depending on the cleanup date, we will assemble at either Tolleson Park or the Smyrna Recycling Center and carpool to our designated cleanup starting points. A link to signup to volunteer for the April cleanup is below. All needed supplies are provided free of charge by Keep Smyrna Beautiful. 

Our mile (actually 1.2 miles) is located on the east side of Atlanta Road from Creatwood Trail to the Community Center. All needed supplies are provided free of charge by Keep Smyrna Beautiful (KSB). Volunteers who have never participated in the KSB cleanup before will undergo a short training before we depart. The FOSL event coordinator will send you a link to a video that needs to be watched before you arrive.

Volunteers work the mile in 3 sections:

Community Center to Spring Road
Spring Road to Brawner Park
Brawner Park to Creatwood Trail

2018 Cleanup Schedule 

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Tolleson Park Pavillion
3515 McCauley Rd
Smyrna 30080
* Complimentary Annual Volunteer Lunch to follow at 10:30 am
* Free T-shirts to be distributed after lunch 
Click Here To Volunteer For April Cleanup

Saturday, July 21, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Smyrna Recycling Center
3475 Lake Dr SE
Smyrna 30082

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Assemble at 9 am
Smyrna Recycling Center
3475 Lake Dr SE
Smyrna 30082

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Birds of Prey Invade Smyrna Library (from Marietta Daily Journal)

By Ross Williams, Marietta Daily Journal, March 10, 2018

Falconers from Georgia Mountain Falconry came to the Smyrna Public Library on Saturday with a menagerie of birds of prey, and a crowd of about 100 packed into the library’s event room to ooh and aah at the raptors.

Owls at both end of the size spectrum were represented. On the tiny and cute side was Huckleberry, an eastern screech owl. Huckleberry was about small enough to fit in a pocket. With big, wide eyes, he craned his head around to take in the crowd from atop the gloved hand of handler Jill Lusky.

On the huge and terrifying side of the spectrum was Yona, the Eurasian eagle owl. This bird can have a wingspan of over six feet, and when it flapped its wings, you could feel the wind across the room. In Europe, they are used to hunt animals as big as deer, according to Georgia Mountain Falconry founder Buster Brown.

“You notice the size of her feet, they’re as big as my hand, and there’s 1,200 pounds of pressure in each foot,” Brown said.

Also on the stage were red-tailed falcons and Cooper’s hawks, who looked around the room and flapped their wings as the kids in the crowd lost their minds.

“People come up to us all the time and say ‘Man, you’ve got the neatest hobby in the world,’” Brown said. “We always tell them, ‘It’s way beyond that.’”

Brown said falconry is like an obsession for true aficionados, a true flame for the passions.

But these birds are for more than just looking at, he said. They are work animals, designed to be swift and efficient hunters.

 “Falconry is hunting,” Brown said. “Instead of using a gun or a bow, we use a bird, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not for everybody because of that.”

Unlike shooting or bow hunting, Brown said falconry is about partnering with a part of nature.

“If you can imagine, you’re out there, your partner in falconry is a wild animal,” he said. “That’s pretty cool. Even if you don’t catch anything, to have that wild animal come back to you at the end of the day, that’s pretty cool.”

Georgia Mountain Falconry sells hawks and falcons to licensed falconers and also hosts hawking hunts in Cleveland, Dahlonega or Dawsonville. They also offer pest control services to home, business or farm owners who are plagued by feathered pests.

For more information, visit

Original Article: 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Gwendolyn I. Koehler Presents Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance

Thank you, Gwendolyn I. Koehler, for presenting at today’s First Sunday Lecture.   Ms Koehler, Educational Coordinator for Bulloch Hall in Roswell, spoke about her first book, “Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance”. She discussed the love affair between Martha "Mattie” Bulloch and Theodore Roosevelt. Their courtship, conducted mostly through letters, provides us with an intimate peek into their personal love story.

Speaker Biography:

Born and raised in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State, an area rich in the history of the American Revolution, Gwendolyn Koehler was the daughter of Milton and Lillian (Moody) Roblee. Educated at local schools she graduated from Corning Northside High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She taught elementary grades in Endicott, NY until her marriage to Arthur Koehler, and their move to Ithaca, New York. Her teaching career continued and she enrolled in the Independent Studies Program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her mentors were Pat Carini of the Prospect School and Archives, Brenda Engle, and George Hein. She graduated with a Master of Arts Degree and continued her extensive career in the field of education in Ithaca, New York until her retirement in 2000 and their move to Georgia.

Making their home in Alpharetta Georgia, Gwendolyn found an advertisement in the local paper that caught her interest. Bulloch Hall, the 1839 home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of President Theodore Roosevelt, was looking for Volunteer Docents. She answered the ad, fell in love with the house and the story of the Bulloch/Roosevelt family and entered her journey into the Southern past. What began as a volunteer opportunity to pursue her love of history evolved into her present position. She is the Education Director of Bulloch Hall, responsible for docents and training, tour development, the research library and archives and the intern program. She is President of the Advisory Board of the Schools of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw University. She works closely with Connie Huddleston, her co-author, authenticating the available information regarding the history of the family, and other projects.

For the past five years, assisted by interns from various universities, she embarked on an intensive project; authentically interpreting and transcribing hundreds of pages of Bulloch/Roosevelt family letters written during the 19th century. She researched and published a brief history of the house and family which is available in the Bulloch Hall Museum Shop. Mittie and Thee, An 1853 Roosevelt Romance, is the first of three volumes of letters to be published by the co-authors.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Acrylics & Glazes by Bailey Jack Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The March/April 2018 Art Gallery exhibit has opened – Acrylics & Glazes by Bailey Jack.  Bailey Jack’s exhibit is on display through April 30. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Worked in corporate world as first career. Met with a Life Coach to begin a shift - a new career - a real career - doing what I was meant to do and what I believed I'd enjoy doing. I have chosen the ability to paint ideas that come my way and turn it into my life work.

I've discovered one constant fact about human nature - people enjoy looking at art, discussing art, and choosing art of their choice. People enjoy one of a kind piece of art to take home and view every day. I am still amazed how customers and shoppers and first timers take time from their day to visit an art festival or an art exhibit to observe and enjoy the crazy things artists produce.

I am a Southerner and have raised 3 sons. I am self taught as a painter because I jumped in with both feet to meet my new career head-on. I embarked on a career painting only what fascinates me. From St. Francis to Princess Leia. I enjoy being around some fellow artists that are beyond fabulous thinkers and painters. I am amazed I am in the same shows and galleries with painters I admire. 

You can contact me by e-mail at or snail mail 475 East Main St #229, Cartersville, GA 30121.

Acrylics by Aida Arias Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The March/April 2018 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Acrylics by Aida Arias.  Ms. Arias’s exhibit is on display through April 30. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

Hi! I am a Puerto Rican artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. Acrylic painting & mixed media are my passions. I love to capture the character and essence of my subjects by using decisive and bold brushstrokes.

I also enjoy making mixed media steampunk shadowboxes. These are made with found objects such as vintage watch movements, skeleton keys, and metal tidbits.

Monday, February 5, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Mary Moore Speaks on the Life of Susie King Taylor

Yesterday’s First Sunday Lecture was entitled Susie King Taylor: An African-American Woman’s Civil War Experience.  It was presented by Mary Wallace Moore, Smyrna Public Library Director. 

In 1902, native Georgian, Susie King Taylor published a memoir of her experiences as a newly freed slave working for African-American Federal Troops during the Civil War. Mrs. Taylor provided a window into camp life from a unique perspective. Re-visiting Mrs. Taylor's memoir is an excellent way to celebrate this year's theme for African-American History Month -- "African Americans in Times of War."

Speaker Biography:

Mary Moore has been the director of Smyrna Library for five years. Mrs. Moore ran across a mention of Susie King Taylor while reading online. Surprised that she had never heard of Mrs. Taylor before, Mrs. Moore began researching Mrs. Taylor's life and work.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Smyrna, Georgia: An Episodic History 6-week Lecture Series Announced

Local historian, Dr. William P. Marchione, Ph.D., is to present a six-part lecture series on the history of Smyrna.  Each lecture will address two broad themes, with a half hour devoted to each. The series will begin on Monday February 5, 2018 and conclude six weeks later on March 12, 2018. The class will meet in the first floor meeting room of the Smyrna Public Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

This lecture series is free to attend.  Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. RSVP:

Topical Outline:

Lecture #1. Native Society: Assimilation & Expulsion, 1825-1837; Transportation Challenges and Economic Opportunities, 1837-1851. (Monday, February 5, 2018)

Lecture #2. The Antebellum Economy, 1851-60; The Impact and Legacy of the Civil War, 1861-1880. (Monday, February 12, 2018)

Lecture #3. Agricultural Diversification, 1880-1905; The Suburbanizing Impulse, 1905-1930. (Monday, February 19, 2018)

Lecture #4. The Nadir of Race Relations, 1918-38; The Impact of the Depression Era and the New Deal, 1930 to 1942. (Monday, February 26, 2018)

Lecture #5. The Economic Stimulus of the World War II and Cold War Economies, 1943-70; An Era of Fevered Development, 1970-1985. (Monday, March 5, 2018)

Lecture #6. The Transformative Years, Smyrna since 1985; Looking Backward and Forward (Monday, March 12, 2018)

Reading material:

Marchione, A Brief History of Smyrna, Georgia (History Press, 2013). The library owns eight circulating copies of this history. Copies are also be available for purchase at the Library’s circulation desk and from on-line booksellers like Amazon. Also, a kindle version of the book can be ordered online.

Material posted on the instructor’s blog, “Local Historian North & South,” which can be accessed via

Recommendations will be made from time to time of books and other material housed in the Smyrna Public Library’s Local History Collection.

Smyrna, Georgia: An Episodic History is sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library and the Smyrna Public Library.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

FIRST SUNDAY LECTURE: Celebrated Author & Vintner Martha M. Ezzard Presents

THANK YOU, Martha M. Ezzard, for your delightful and wonderfully informative presentation this afternoon on the History of Georgia Wine at the library. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed your lecture!

Ms. Ezzard spoke for 1-hour. She discussed the history of the Georgia wine industry as a whole since the 1800s. That was followed by a detailed discussion about her award winning winery, Tiger Mountain Vineyards, where she pioneered fine wine in Georgia with her husband John Ezzard. The discussion ended with a reading from her award-winning book, The Second Bud. Ms. Ezzard was named Georgia Author of the year in 2014 when The Second Bud was published.

The First Sunday Lecture series is sponsored monthly by the Friends of Smyrna Library and Smyrna Library. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mixed Media Masks by Jennifer Thomas Opens at Smyrna Public Library Display Gallery

The January/February 2018 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Mixed Media Masks by Jennifer Thomas.  Ms. Thomas’ exhibit is on display until February 28. The Display Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Display Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:

From an early age, Jenifer Thomas felt a need to express herself artistically. She is continuously exploring various forms of visual media. She considers herself a student of life, of the arts always captivated by new techniques and materials.

Expressionistic in nature she relies on feelings, impressions and life experiences as motivational themes for her work. A storyteller at heart, she incorporates calligraphy, images and symbols with a textural quality to impart visual information to the viewer.

Her mixed media artwork has been recognized internationally in Art Doll Quarterly magazine. She is available for workshops, private classes and commissioned work. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Acrylics by Sue Pezely Opens at Smyrna Public Library Art Gallery

The January/February 2018 Display Gallery exhibit has opened – Acrylics by Sue Pezely.  Ms. Pezely’s exhibit is on display until February 28. The Art Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of the Smyrna Library. The Art Gallery exhibits are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.

Artist Statement:
Sue has been a resident of Smyrna, Georgia for 18 years. In the past few years, she has developed a popular portfolio of watercolors of local Smyrna historic sites, as well as landscapes of travels from both her friends and herself. These images are available in prints - as well as decorative household items such as coffee mugs, trivets, and coasters.

Sue has maintained a passion for art and music throughout her life - she has focused in the areas of drawing, painting and photography, as well as being an avid piano player. She studied part-time at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC and participated in several printmaking shows there. She enjoys creating images that invoke a warm, emotional connection for the viewer. Her pastel work has won awards in Foley, Alabama, and Covington, Georgia. Sue's work is on display at Mezza Luna Pasta and Seafood Restaurant, as well as available for sale at The Nest Home and Garden - both of which are in Smyrna, Georgia.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Entrepreneurial Seminar Announced

Mini Business Plan
A Road Map to Entrepreneurial Success
Saturday, January 27, 2018
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Smyrna Library, Meeting Room
Workshop is free of charge. Sponsored by SCORE, the Friends of Smyrna Library, and Smyrna Public Library.

Space is limited. RSVP:
A workshop focusing on these components of a successful business plan:

• Clear, succinct writing style
• Compelling business description
• Importance of market research
• Effective development of meaningful financial projections

About the Workshop

This business plan consists of four sections: Business Description, Management and Operations, Marketing and Sales and Financial Projections. Also included is an application for funding along with a discussion of funding resources, both conventional and alternative.

The workshop teaches you to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your business and your competition; which helps you determine the overall feasibility of the plan. The important aspects of starting and operating a business will be discussed along with applying financial data to the decision processes.

About the Instructor

The workshop is presented by Jeff Dykes, a Northwestern University graduate and SCORE mentor who started and developed three successful businesses. He shares stories from his business career that highlight key points discussed in this interactive workshop. He also provides important handouts that are excellent resources in writing a successful plan.