See what Switzer Library’s
$10 million renovation looks like
Switzer Library in Marietta reopened after $9.6 million in renovations on June 1, and the county held a ribbon cutting on the updated facility on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
2022 | FACTBOOK 115
By Thomas Hartwell
MARIETTA — Elected officials and other leaders were
among a crowd eager to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated
Switzer Library just after its opening in June.
The $9.6 million renovation project transformed the
building, offering an array of new amenities and brightening
the 32-year-old structure.
“Libraries are a beacon of hope in our community. They are
a place where people come to learn about different topics and
where they come to learn about themselves,” Cobb Commission
Chair Lisa Cupid said at the start of ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to Cobb County Manager Jackie McMorris,
the county’s “central flagship library” ... “now known as the
Charles D. Switzer Library,” has been on its current plot since
1989, “serving as a major community focal point and historic
downtown Marietta landmark.”
From 1963 to the move to its current location at 266 Roswell
St., Marietta, Switzer was housed in the old Marietta post office,
now the home of the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, just off
Marietta Square, McMorris said. In the summer of 2013, she said
Central Library was renamed the Charles D. Switzer Library in
honor of the longtime library trustee and community volunteer.
McMorris also noted that Switzer Library now houses a
larger Georgia Room, home to local historical artifacts, and is
the new home of the Windy Hill Library, which serves those
with special needs. The Windy Hill Library was relocated
to a dedicated accessibility services room at Switzer from a
community center in Smyrna.
State Rep. Teri Anulewicz, D-Smyrna, called Switzer a “third
place,” a place where the community comes to gather and one that
is accessible to everyone.
“Libraries are the most genuine and essential place we have in
our communities,” she said. “We demonstrate our commitment
to our communities through how we demonstrate our
commitment to our libraries.”
Commissioner JoAnn Birrell said the project began in 2019
using money from a voter-approved special 1% sales tax for
county facility projects. But Birrell said the multimillion-dollar
project was made possible by help from state lawmakers and
support from Marietta leaders and community.
She ended her comments saying, with a smile, “Gritters is
next.” Improvements at Gritters Library, at 880 Shaw Park
Road, were approved under the same special sales tax, and
Birrell told the MDJ those improvements must get underway
For her part, Cobb Library System Director Helen Poyer
said the reopening of Switzer Library is a joyous occasion.
Poyer told the crowd it indeed took a village to get the project,
delayed by various COVID-19 factors, finished. But, she said,
she couldn’t be more proud of her staff and advocates of the
Other speakers included Julie Walker, state librarian from
the Georgia Public Library Service; Gilles LaMarche, president
of the Cobb Library Foundation; and Abby Shiffman, chair of
the Cobb County Public Library Board of Trustees.
After county officials crowded in together, golden scissors in
hand, to cut the bright blue ribbon at the entrance to Switzer,
attendees meandered about the library, exploring the newly
Patron services have been consolidated at a central help
desk, where guests can seek reference information, check out
books and get connected with the building’s new services.
Those include a dedicated “maker space,” equipped with 3D
printers and Apple computers, and a family computing space.
The building also boasts a brighter, warmer feel. Out are the
drab gray carpets, dim light fixtures and burnished wood study
nooks; in are fresh coats of paint, modern furniture and new
Other amenities include self-checkout kiosks, enlarged and
renovated rooms for public use in the library’s western wing
and updated bathrooms. Most of the kids’ areas have been
moved downstairs, along with a second maker space for teens.