Our Impact

Libraries play a vital role in our community’s cultural, educational, and economic future and provide essential resources for the enrichment and empowerment of all residents. The Library Foundation enhances public funding for programs and materials to help the library meet the needs of the Atlanta community.

Education and Employment

Libraries instill a love of reading and learning in children, teens and adults, but the critical resources they offer go beyond books. We work in close partnership with libraries to ensure they have the materials and programmatic offerings that meet the needs of their communities.

  • Summer Reading Program

    Since the Foundation’s earliest days, we have supported the library system’s implementation of the national Summer Reading program which engaged over 68,000 young readers attending programs this year. Approximately 10,000 students participated in the full 2023 program, with 67,000 books read.

    The program fosters a love of reading, but also helps combat the effects of “summer slide” for children who don’t have access to books in the home. Engaging kids with reading and learning activities over the summer keeps reading skills sharp and has been proven to boost reading and literacy test scores once school returns. Plus, seeing a whole community engaged in learning and earning rewards makes reading more enjoyable even for the reluctant reader.

  • Career Online High School

    The Foundation is supporting a new pilot program that supports adult education and career development at the library. The Career Online High School program is a fully remote program designed for adults who have not finished high school to receive a high school diploma. By using their library card, adult students can log onto their course work from home or at their local branch library. Most students are able to complete this program in 18 months or less. The program is unique in that it also incorporates a career track into the academic work, helping learners prepare for a job and providing a high school degree at the same time.

Digital Access and Technology

Our daily lives are increasingly digital, and we rely on electronic tools for work, entertainment, healthcare and more. Those without access to technology are left behind, exacerbating disparities. Libraries seek to fill this gap with digital access programs.

  • Chromebooks

    Technology access inside and outside the walls of the libraries is fundamental to supporting the Fulton County community. More than 60% of the library branches are in South Fulton where 26% of residents live below the poverty level. Many patrons depend on the library’s computers and wifi to complete homework, apply for jobs and access critical services. The Library Foundation helps the Library System purchase innovative technology equipment, including funding some of the first self-checkout stations for books and resources.

  • Digital Library (learn more)

    Library patrons have access to an extensive digital library, as well as online research and resources. As an example, students in grades K-12 have unlimited, on-demand access to free academic support on Paper and patrons can access GALILEO, a research and learning platform hosted by the University of Georgia.

Partnership and Community Engagement

The community is at the heart of a great library. The Foundation supports programs that bring people together in celebration of books, increases access to resources and advocates for community needs.

  • One Book, One Read (learn more)

    A county-wide book club with the aim of getting as many people across Fulton County reading, One Book, One Read gets people talking about and engaging with the same book. The goal is to promote conversations, community building, and literacy all while having fun with family, friends, and neighbors.

    The 2024 program will focus on The Measure, culminating in a special visit with author Nikki Erlick on Saturday, August 10.

  • Children’s Book Festival (learn more)

    The inaugural Children’s Book Festival (CBF) at Fulton County Library was launched in 2022. Partners include local schools, arts and cultural organizations, and other non-profit organizations. Activities include author readings, storytelling, and music and dance performances

  • Visiting Author Programs

    The Foundation regularly supports bringing authors to Fulton County Library branches to engage with readers. Check with your local branch for the latest program offerings.

  • Advocacy
    More than ever before, libraries play a pivotal role in our civic society. They are centers of diverse thought that enrich our perspectives and help us become more informed, involved, and engaged in our community.

    The Fulton County Library System is a trusted community resource that serves an incredibly diverse community of 1M+ residents in the City of Atlanta and greater Fulton County. More than 60% of the library branches are in South Fulton where 26% of residents live below the poverty level.

    While Fulton County provides essential dollars for operations and staffing, the partnership with the Library Foundation supports innovation and community programming that would otherwise be outside the operating budget. The Foundation raises awareness of the importance of libraries and advocates for public funds to meet the needs of our neighborhoods.