May 19, 2022

Georgia: Atlanta-Fulton Library System Debates Downsizing — and Iconic Central Branch is Caught in the Middle

From Creative Loafing:

The board of trustees that oversee libraries in Atlanta and Fulton County might tweak a bond package from 2008 to close some libraries and fix up those overdue for repair. And Downtown’s massive central library designed by famed architect Marcel Breuer plays a role in the discussions.

At the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, the Atlanta-Fulton Library System asked voters to approve a $275 million bond referendum to erect eight new branch libraries, expand two, and renovate a couple dozen others. Plus, if the county could raise $50 million, $85 million of that package would go towards replacing Downtown’s Central Library — a Brutalist concrete building at Margaret Mitchell Square — with another big library.

Sixty-five percent of voters approved the plan. Since then, seven new branches, including one in Capitol View Manor in southwest Atlanta near the Atlanta Beltline, have been built. But maintenance issues, along with budget cuts prompted by the recession, have left some Fulton libraries with leaky roofs, broken climate control, and mold.

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See Also: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Building Program Update (March 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.