I’m publishing this as a From the Editor rather than a news article because I’m going to intersperse the quotes from the Cobb Public Library with my own observations about how I use the library.
I’m a daily user of the Cobb County Public Library. I listen to downloaded audio books to keep me entertained while I’m washing dishes, I use the library for research in the many databases they host, I occasionally watch movies on their streaming services, and I participate in a monthly Graphic Novel Book Club.
I sometimes even pick up a hard copy book, as I describe in an example you can visit by following this link.
Recently, the library posted a list of 10 Things to Do With Your Library Card.
Here’s the list, interspersed with my comments on whether I regularly use that specific service.
1 | TAKE THE INTERNET WITH YOU
Need to take the internet with you? You can check out a hotspot or a Chromebook to use anytime, anywhere. All Chromebooks can be checked out for a 3-week period and are equipped with built-in cellular Wi-Fi service. All hotspots can be checked out for 7 days and can connect up to ten devices at a time. AWE Early Learning Tablets for kids with preloaded educational games for the little ones are also available at the library.
LJ: The chromebook checkout is not something I’ve used. I have a chromebook of my own that I carry.
2 | READ A NEWSPAPER
Whether you want to read a local newspaper or an international one, the library has many databases like America’s News, Black Life in America, and Hispanic Life in America where you can read your favorite and digital image editions of the AJC, MDJ, WSJ, and more.
LJ: I use the library’s databases of newspapers frequently in researching and fact-checking articles.
3 | SCHEDULE A CREATIVE STUDIO
The Creative Studios in Sewell Mill Library, located east of Marietta, has many studios for you to learn, create, and collaborate. Schedule a spot for access to soundproof suites and/or equipment for audio and video recording, digital editing, design, and collaboration.
LJ: This is a service I’ve just started using, and it’s awe-inspiring. I’m partnering with another Cobb resident on a podcast, and about a week ago we did our first test session in the Sewell Mill Library Creative Studios. My podcast partner had portable recording equipment, but we used the studio’s quiet space and a few accessory items. The studio has all the equipment you need for a video, a podcast, or a musical demo though.
4 | GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Libraries are a place for entrepreneurs and innovators. Grow your business with learning resources from the library including LinkedIn Learning, Business Source Complete, DemographicsNow, and Weiss Financial Rating Series Online.
cobbcat.org/businessincubator & cobbcat.org/databases
LJ: This is another thing I use frequently, and there’s one the library forgot to mention: Data Axle, where you can get comprehensive lists of local businesses for sales lists. Demographics Now can give you most of what you need for a formal business plan, and LinkedIn Learning is a treasure trove of training videos.
5 | GO ON AN ADVENTURE
Through partnerships established by Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS), all Georgia public library cardholders have access to free passes to visit Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in addition to the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Go Fish Education Center, and Zoo Atlanta .You can also receive a discounted entry to the Georgia Aquarium.
LJ: This is another service I should use, but haven’t utilized yet.
6 | LEARN THROUGH ART
Museums and theaters are great for learning about history and cultures as well as to bring people together in conversation. Thanks to various partnerships by GPLS and CCPL, cardholders have free or discounted access to the Alliance Theatre, Center for Puppetry Arts, Macon Area Museums, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Southern Museum, and William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.
LJ: Ditto my previous comment. I should be using the free or discounted tickets more.
7 | STREAM MOVIES, TV SHOWS, & CONCERTS 24/7
You can access countless streaming content from movies to concerts for all ages straight to your mobile device no matter where you are, with resources including Kanopy, IndieFlix, and Qello.
LJ: I’ve gotten a bit addicted to Kanopy. It has things you’re not going to find on the standard streaming services. I wrote about it previously, and you can read it by visiting this link.
8 | COOK YOUR WAY THROUGH THE WORLD
Learn about cultures around the world while cooking with online classes taught by professionals through The Great Courses, like “Cooking Across the Ages”. Find other courses in business and finances, health and mindfulness, history, professional growth, and more!
LF: I haven’t done this out yet, but I love to cook, so I definitely should check it out!
9 | TACKLE VEHICLE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Find trustworthy online automotive repair and maintenance guidance or prep yourself for the Delmar ASE Technician Test Preparation (TTP) with available quizzes to help with the ASE certification exam with Chilton Library.
LJ: This is another feature I haven’t used, but I’m certain could be useful.
10 | HOST YOUR OWN BOOK CLUB
Can’t find a Book Club that fits you? No worries. You can reserve Book Club Kits to host your own club from anywhere. Choose from a list of various titles. All kits come with 12 copies of the book and discussion questions when available.
LJ: As mentioned earlier, I’m a regular at one of the book clubs the library runs, and I can imagine self-organized clubs could be a lot of fun too.
BONUS: SOMETHING YOU DON’T NEED A LIBRARY CARD TO DO
11 | BUY A BOOK
You read right! While libraries are all about checking books out, you can also buy books. Most locations have special areas throughout the year where they have books for sale. Additionally, the library has not one but TWO large book sales with hundreds of books, music, games/puzzles, DVDs, and magazines. All proceeds go back to the library.
Find a library near you: cobbcat.org/libraries
About the Cobb County Public Library
According to the Cobb County Public Library website:
Cobb County Public Library is a 15-branch system headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, where its staff members serve a diverse population of over 750,000 people. Cobb is one of Georgia’s fastest-growing counties, and Cobb County Public Library is dedicated to being a resource center in the community by providing equal access to information, materials, and services.
History of Cobb’s library system
The first public library in Cobb County was opened in the home of Sarah Freeman Clarke in Marietta. The first standalone library building, opened on Church Street in 1893 and was named for Clarke.
Libraries were opened in Acworth and Austell in subsequent years, and in 1959, the city of Marietta and several other Cobb County libraries combined to form a countywide system that began the Cobb County Public Library as we know it today.
You can read more about the history of the Cobb County Public Library by following this link.