Get free tickets, audio books & more at metro Atlanta libraries

Virtual reality headsets, 3D printing and even typewriters are available to almost every Georgian with the swipe of a card.

Often overlooked resources, along with several other resources, are dedicated to serving the needs of the community through Georgia Public Library Services (GPLS).

“The (library) has every possible facility that a library would need to allow its patrons to explore and try it out,” said Julie Walker, assistant provost and state librarian for GPLS.

And if people are willing, local libraries will help fill their event calendars as well. All metro Atlanta libraries offer events for children, teens, families and adults. Take the kids to a storytime or enjoy events for patrons 21 and older.

“Libraries are society’s best business,” Walker said. “I think people can only have so many resources that they can access for free. But I believe there are a lot of things that we offer in our libraries that people don’t know about.”

Resources that are free to anyone with a library card.

Of the many books that line the walls of their building, many would be surprised to see hotspots and coding resources like Raspberry Pi ready for checkout.

“A lot of them have virtual reality devices, some have sewing machines, they have 3D printers,” Walker said.

The library system also works with several apps for free audiobooks and e-books. Patrons can also get free tickets to attractions around Atlanta with partner library cards.

“I especially love the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, which specializes in Egyptology and things like that,” Walker said.

Click on the sections above to see some of the other interesting things to do at metro Atlanta libraries, including getting a tie for interviews, green screens, and genealogy research.




Clayton County Libraries


The Clayton County Library System has six locations, and some of its interesting programs are genealogy research, a podcast, and one-on-one technical assistance.


Those interested in learning more about their heritage can search using Heritage Quest Online at any library branch. Powered by GALILEO, this engine will allow people to search images and “head of household name indexes, Revolutionary War pension and bounty application files, Freedman’s Bank Records, and more.” Remote access is also available.

They also have indexes from Ancestry.com powered by GALILEO. This includes things like the Social Security Death Index, World War I draft registration cards, federal slave narratives and various Civil War documents, and much more.


The Clayton County Library staff has a podcast called Biblio Burrito. Listeners can enjoy “a mix of all things books, food and library-related news.” Some of their topics include playing in the library and really learning about the library industry.


Technical assistants can help with using the library’s digital resources, databases, business research for entrepreneurs, general computer help, Internet skills, website creation, digital portfolios, and social media management. People can also make an appointment for help with basic tech needs. In-person appointments are offered at all Clayton County libraries.

Sessions are appointments only; contact your local branch for information on how to register.



Cobb County Libraries


The Cobb County Public Library has 15 locations, and along with its business and entrepreneurship program, the system also has a creative studio and 3D printing.


Five locations in the Cobb County Public Library system offer 5G-3D printing with their MakerBots. The cost of fiber is 15 cents per gram of fiber with a minimum charge of $1.

For more information on what can and cannot be printed, please refer to their policies online or call your local office that offers the service.



The Cobb County Library System has teamed up with several community partners to bring people a guide to running their businesses. They also offer courses and webinars on several things, including project management and business communication. People can get help and more information about applying for business licenses and permits.

Their library system even offers a resource section on humanitarian initiatives for minority-owned small businesses.




The Creative Studio for Cobb County is located in the Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center and offers dedicated equipment, computers, software, production space and practice rooms. And with equipment class and meeting people can use green screen.

There is even an introductory lesson on how to use the software. The space is for people who seek to create and edit “media projects including, but not limited to, video, audio, music, podcasting, photography, digitization, and illustration. CS computers are only available to patrons working on digital media projects. Browsing the Internet or using e -mail is not allowed,” according to their policy.

Link | Here are all the rules for Creative Studio.




DeKalb County Libraries


There are 22 library locations in the DeKalb County Library System. This library system has typewriters, a tie library, and offers online tutoring for students. People can also look into local history.




Most people have never used a typewriter, and for some hardcore writers, getting the chance to put their fingers on one is a bit of a dream.

There are three locations that have the coveted relics: Clarkson, Flat Shoals, and Lithonia-Davidson Libraries. The typewriters are free to use and are on a first-come, first-served basis.



All Georgia libraries have programs to help students excel in school, and free tutoring is available for DeKalb County children. HelpNow offers free homework help and online tutoring for students in grades 3-12 for subjects including math, English, science and social studies.

Tutors are available on the chat every day of the week from 14:00 to 23:00. In addition, the service provides test preparation, writing assistance, and career resources for Kindergarten through 12th grade, adults, and ESL students.


People can come in and get a tie for job interviews and whatever you need it for.

DeKalb County Public Libraries Director Allison Weissinger said you don’t even have to return them.



Longtime DeKalb County residents can head to the Decatur Library for materials on DeKalb County and its citizens, DeKalb County government activities, and Georgia history and genealogy. Some of these items are for library use only. The library offers some city directories that date back to 1928.




Fulton County Libraries


The Fulton County Library System has the most libraries, with a total of 32 buildings full of books. The system also offers GED testing and preparation and a library podcast.




Those looking to get their GED can enroll in prep classes through a partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools System (APS) Adult Education Program. All people need to apply is a valid state ID. Test study materials for the GED along with the ACT, SAT, GRE, TOEFL, ASVAB, GACE and more are available through the FCLS Digital Library.

Call the GED Information Line at 404-802-3560.


Each week, the Fulton County Library System invites community members to put on their headphones and listen to their Checking Out FulcoLibrary podcast.

The show is taped every Friday; watch on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts. During this event, visitors have the opportunity to meet other members of the community and learn about their interesting stories and their involvement in the library system.



Gwinnett County Libraries


There are 15 locations in the Gwinnett County library system. They have homeschooling guides, online courses, and similar to Creative Studio in Cobb County and Learning Labs.



People looking to homeschool their children in Gwinnett County should look no further than their public library. Their resources include homeschooling books, databases, and several free online resources.



Gwinnett County Public Library University (GCPL U) is a series of self-paced online courses designed specifically for the Gwinnett County community. According to the library, these courses are easy to use, high quality and tailored to the needs of the student.

Created by GCPL librarians, they aim to teach practical work knowledge and develop business skills. At the end of each course, participants can demonstrate their learning and receive a certificate of completion. The program is free to access with a Gwinnett County Public Library card.



Like Cobb County’s Creative Studio, the Gwinnett County Public Library system offers a space to create, collaborate and share digital content. For videographers, graphic designers, creative professionals, hobbyists or artists, Learning Lab has the software and equipment to turn your vision into reality. They have many software programs, audio, video and photographic equipment, circuits and microcomputers and manufacturing equipment.



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