Image via Flickr by Muffet
Even in our digital age, the power of the local library shouldn’t be ignored. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System offers more than just books. You can also take advantage of digital services, learning centers, youth programs, and more. Read on to discover how to get a library card and learn about the excellent programs your local library has to offer.
Getting a Library Card
If you want to take advantage of your local library, your first step should be to get a library card. Everyone who lives in Fulton County or inside the legal city limits of Atlanta (including the part of Atlanta in DeKalb County) is eligible to get a free library card. Non-residents can also apply for a library card for a yearly fee of $40 per person.
To get a library card, you have two options. First, you can apply online for a temporary library card. Your temporary card will come with instructions on how to activate it permanently. Otherwise, you can visit any one of the library system’s 34 branches to complete an application in person. If you apply in person, bring identification with your current name and address, and you’ll receive a card that you can start using right away.
Once you have your library card, you’ll be able to borrow materials at all libraries within the Fulton County Library System. These materials include books, e-books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, videos, and more. You’ll also be able to access the library’s computers.
Your Atlanta-Fulton Public Library card gives you access to numerous digital library offerings. The library has partnered with the free hoopla digital mobile app to offer thousands of no-cost movies, television shows, audiobooks, and music albums. These resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can instantly stream them or temporarily download them to your tablet, smartphone, computer, or Apple TV.
There are also many other resources you can use. With Kanopy, you get free access to thousands of movies. CreativeBug offers thousands of award-winning arts and crafts videos taught by various artists and design experts. You can also use GALILEO to access educational videos, full?text articles, journals, e-books, and more.
Online Book Clubs
Do you want to enjoy the stimulating discussions of a book club but don’t have time to attend one in person? The library system offers a variety of online book clubs that will perfectly suit your needs. The library system works with PBC Guru to create virtual book clubs that promote personal growth and lifelong learning. The book clubs read one book every two or three months, which means you’ll have plenty of time to finish and discuss each one.
Members connect through a private forum where they can network and discuss the current book. Best of all, there are no membership fees required to join the clubs. The online book clubs are completely free to cardholders, and you have free access to download the e-book version of your club’s reading selection.
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has a wide variety of youth services for children of all ages. The library offers Storytime for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and it also has exciting events and programs for school-aged children. The Buckhead Branch has a children’s department with materials in all subject areas for kids. These materials include books, periodicals, DVDs, and CDs.
Another popular program offered through the library is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Since research shows an important connection between pre-reading skills and academic success in high school and beyond, this program helps parents read 1,000 books with their children before they turn 5. To participate in the program, you can register online, log the books you read together, and help your children earn fun badges along the way.
Other programs at the library include arts and craft events that help children express their creativity, feature movies that are educational and informative, vacation reading programs, and a variety of cultural programs to promote diversity awareness at a young age.
Learning and Career Center
In addition to excellent programs for children, the library also has numerous programs that can help adults. The library has free introductory computer classes that can teach you about computer basics, internet basics, introduction to email, Windows basics, and introduction to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher.
If you’re furthering your education, the library offers study materials for SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, TOEFL, ASVAB, and GACE examinations. You can also sign up for adult literacy services to improve your basic reading skills or English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
Additionally, the Fulton County Library System now offers wireless internet access to all of its patrons. Whether you need to get some work done or do some research, simply bring your wireless-enabled laptop or other mobile devices to the library and get connected. This convenient service is offered free of charge and means you no longer have to wait for an available computer.
Friends of the Library
Friends of the Library is an organization of caring people that’s separate from the library but seeks to support and enrich the library in a variety of ways. They volunteer in the library to help with projects and tasks, and they enhance the library by donating important items and sponsoring cultural activities and programs.
Book sales are also popular events put together by Friends of the Library. During these sales, you’ll have an opportunity to purchase used books, CDs, and DVDs. Funds from these book sales help support the library.
Buckhead Library Auditorium
The library isn’t just a spot where you can enjoy books, arts and crafts, movies, and learning services. Do you need to rent a room that can accommodate a large number of people? The Buckhead Library Auditorium seats 99 people and is available for community meetings. Not only does the auditorium have plenty of space, but the library can also loan you audiovisual equipment to use during your meeting.
These are just some of the many ways you can take advantage of your local library. Do you have a favorite service we didn’t mention? Be sure to contact us at Crème de la Crème of Buckhead, GA. to let us know!