Cobb County Public Library named GPLS Library of the Year for 2023

Front of Switzer Library, a brick building with a white columned entranceway

The Cobb County Public Library was named Library of the Year by the Georgia Public Libary Service (GPLS).

According to the GPLS press release announcing the award:

The annual Georgia Public Library Awards honor the outstanding achievements of public library leaders, staff, and champions. This year, we celebrate Cobb County Public Library; Alan Harkness, director of Chattahoochee Valley Libraries; Lydia Hahne, business manager at Hall County Library System; Michael Thurmond, chief executive officer of Dekalb County; and Kathryn Ames, former director of Athens Regional Library System.

“Strong public libraries are essential to a prosperous state, and this year’s honorees showcase the vital role that public libraries play in post-pandemic recovery, competitiveness, and resilience throughout Georgia,” said Vice Chancellor for Archives and Libraries and State Librarian Julie Walker. “Our public libraries are a model of collaboration, innovation, and excellence.”

“These award winners, along with so many others who received nominations, exemplify creativity, vision, and flexibility in adapting to the needs of a rapidly-changing world,” said Walker. “They continue to shine as community anchors across the state.”

The announcement stated:

Cobb County Public Library (CCPL) has been recognized as Library of the Year for its commitment to serving its community by partnering with numerous organizations within its county and statewide, and for efforts to expand access to materials and essential services to its community.

“The Cobb County Public Library prides itself with providing excellent, responsive service to enrich people’s lives, support lifelong learning, build and enhance our communities,” said Georgia State Senator Michael Rhett for the news release. “The library meets the needs of patrons across school systems, the county, and beyond by providing high-quality services for early and adult learning literacy, hotspot and internet access, digital skills training, continuing education, health and wellness offerings, and cultural awareness in 15 branch locations.”

“This library has always been a safe haven and refuge from some of the confusing things about growing up,” said Jesse Quinton, Cobb County Public Library patron of over 15 years. “The library, staff, and other patrons have always been very respectful and helpful of my desire to learn, and I’ve grown here in ways that I might not have been able to if I wasn’t provided this resource.”

“We have a diverse, creative, knowledgeable, innovative, and experienced team that goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve,” said Helen Poyer, director of Cobb County Public Library. “Staff are resilient and adapt well to the changing technologies, information needs, and community dynamics. They are public servants who are committed to and passionate about the role they play in promoting literacy at all levels and to all people. It is a joy, a privilege, and an honor to work with such an amazing team.”

To read more about the award and the accomplishments that made the Cobb Libary the award recipient, follow this link to the GPLS website.

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. 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.