Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Logo

Basic Information

Established: 1902
Address: One Margaret Mitchell Square Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone Number: 404-730-1700
Director: Dr. Gabriel Morley

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Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

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Additional Information

Computer Capabilities:

free computer lab, large format screens, audio books, braille books

Education Programs: ESL, computer program training (word, excel, powerpoint), STEM/STEAM, crafts, maker workshops
Summer Programs: Summer Reading Program
Membership Details:


Library Information:

Our mission: central_library
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System serves as a cultural and intellectual center that enriches the community and empowers all residents with essential tools for lifelong learning.

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System serves the citizens of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta (including the portion of the city in DeKalb County). It is the largest in the state, with 34 libraries and a collection of more than 2.5 million items. It offers innovative programs, services and virtual resources tailored to meet the needs of each branch's community. Children, teens and adults may choose from a variety of classes, visit exhibitions, listen to authors discuss their work, check out videos, DVDs and CDs, attend book club discussions, get homework help, hear music and see live performances. Last year patrons borrowed more than 4.2 million items, made 4 million visits to the libraries and its website had over 4 million hits.

The Central Library, originally designed by Marcel Breuer, has recently been refurbished and includes a modern, fully equipped instructional learning center. The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American History and Culture contains one of the foremost collections of African-American literature and historical documents in the nation. To fulfill its mission as "The People's University," the library also provides a wide variety of classes, workshops, seminars and ongoing learning opportunities for library users at all learning and interest levels.

Library History:

For a fuller history of the library system (from which this brief version is adapted), you are invited to read 100 Years of Library Service: A History, which originally was written for this website on the occasion of the library system's 100th anniversary.

The present Atlanta-Fulton County Library System began in 1902 as the Carnegie Library of Atlanta, one of the first public libraries in the United States.

In 1935, the City of Atlanta and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners signed a contract under which library service was extended to all of Fulton County. In 1982, Georgia voters passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the transfer of responsibility for the library system from the City of Atlanta to the County. On July 1, 1983, the transfer became official, and the system was renamed the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library.

In May 1980, a new Central Library was opened to the public under the leadership of Ella Gaines Yates, first African-American director of the library system. Marcel Breuer, a participant in the innovative Bauhaus Movement, planned and designed the building, working closely with his associate Hamilton Smith. The Central Library was dedicated on May 25, 1980. Breuer was unable to attend the dedication ceremonies and died a year later on July 1, 1981 at the age of 81.

In 2002, the centennial of when library service was first offered to the public, a major renovation of the Central Library was completed. In April 2004, the Library System instituted Sirsi's Unicorn, a state-of-the-art library automation system including iBistro, a virtual portal to resources in AFPLS and throughout the world on the Internet.