The Early Years
Library service began in Cobb County with the Marietta Young Men’s Debating and Library Association in 1874. In 1882 the Franklin Lending Library was opened in the home of Sarah Freeman Clarke and in 1883 the Marietta Library Association was founded. The first library building, the Sarah Freeman Clarke Library opened on Church Street in 1893. In the city of Acworth the Carrie Dyer Reading Club was established in 1889. Austell established library service through the Austell Woman’s Club in the late 1920’s.
Cobb County established a library through the Board of Education in 1948. In 1957 a Cobb County-Marietta Public Library Board organized. Finally, in 1959 the city of Marietta and Cobb County combined bringing the Clarke, Fort Hill and Marietta Place libraries into the Cobb County system. In short order library service began to grow throughout the entire county.
New branches were opened in East Marietta and Powder Springs. South Cobb opened a branch that was supported with private funds but joined the system a year later. Oakdale (now Lewis A. Ray Branch) was formed the same year, 1962. In 1963 the Acworth Library (from the Carrie Dyer Woman’s Club) joined the system, Kennesaw established a branch and the old Marietta Post Office was renovated to become the Central Library. Shortly in 1964 and 1965 Gritters Branch was established and Sweetwater Valley joined from Austell.
The years of 1966-1969 signaled rapid development of library service in Cobb County. A Bond Issue made the construction of seven branches possible and Kennesaw, East Marietta, Acworth, South Cobb, Sibley, Lewis A. Ray, and Powder Springs all opened on the same day in 1967. Finally, in 1969 the Cobb County Public Library System was officially named. New branches were added in 1974 (Stratton) and 1979 (Merchant’s Walk). A Bond Issue in 1987 paved the way for the construction of Central and three new branches that opened in 1989 and 1990. The West Cobb Regional Library opened in 2002. The South Cobb Regional Library opened in 2005 at the intersection of Old Floyd and Clay Roads in Mableton. In 2007, the Powder Springs Library moved into a new facility on Atlanta Road as part of a joint project with the City of Powder Springs.
More Recent Additions
Our newest library, the East Cobb Library, opened February 1, 2010, replacing the Merchant’s Walk Library. At 16,800 sq. ft., the East Cobb Library is almost double the size of the library it replaced; features a modern, open layout; and is wired for the community’s technological needs of the future.