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Cobb Celebrates ‘Library of the Year’ Award


The Cobb County Public Library system received the esteemed title of the state’s 2023 Library of the Year from the Georgia Public Library Service, a recognition that was celebrated in a heartwarming ceremony at the Switzer Library in Marietta last Thursday afternoon. All 410 libraries across the state were eligible for consideration, but Cobb came out on top.

Helen Poyer, the director of the library system, was visibly moved by the honor, attributing it to the dedication of her team. “It is a big deal, and we’re all humbled and honored, but I give all the credit to our team,” said Poyer. “They’re dedicated and it’s a great testimony to their dedication.” Acknowledging the stiff competition from other libraries across the state, Poyer emphasized the significance of the partnerships within the community that contributed to their success. She highlighted partnerships with the county’s two school systems, Cobb Collaborative, which leads a literacy program for children under 5, and Vision to Learn, a nonprofit providing glasses to children in at-risk neighborhoods.

Julie Walker, the Georgia state librarian, explained that the selection process involves accepting nominations in the fall, with a committee at the state library service reviewing all submissions. 

“We look for a library that is doing exceptional work in their community,” Walker explained, “and this one in particular, the partnerships they have formed, the fact they seem so integral to the community and so at the heart of everything going on in Cobb County … this one really did stand tall.”

Walker highlighted a touching letter from James Coleman, chairman of the Cobb County Public Library Board of Trustees, reflecting on the profound impact of the library on his life, emphasizing its role in providing access to knowledge and empowerment.

“My local Cobb library is still a place I can go to feel powerful through knowledge and learning,” Coleman expressed in his letter.

“Georgia has a great system of libraries,” Poyer noted. “So we were up against, I’m sure, a lot of libraries that provide great services, so we are quite honored. And our success is not just with the staff, but with the partnerships in the community.”


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