Atira Cotman holding her Pines card the the Augusta Library located on Telfair Street in Augusta, Georgia.

Sharing Your Library Story: Atira Cotman


Every day, people of all different backgrounds visit the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System (ARCPLS). Patrons come in to do their homework, connect their children with early literacy skills, use the internet, search for jobs, research to create business plans, and so much more. For everyone who visits, there is always a story about what the library means to them. The Augusta Library invited our patrons to share their library stories with us. We wanted to collect and share those stories to show how our local libraries positively impact the community.

Ms. Atira Cotman is a native of Richmond, Virginia, who moved to Augusta, Georgia, in 1989. Cotman has been visiting our library system for 32 years. She signed up for her very first library card in middle school from our Headquarters Branch. To this day, Atira Cotman takes her children to the library, where they spend most of their time at our Diamond Lakes Branch.

“The library has positively transformed my life because it has been a great resource for my family and me,” says Cotman. My children have enjoyed storytime, watched movies, played games, created crafts, completed reports, and studied for exams.  I learned how to knit, and my son learned how to play chess at the library.”

Cotman appreciates the sense of togetherness the library brings her family.

“I like when the library has crafts and activities for the family. Those activities give you a way to spend time together as a family in unique ways.  My all-time favorite craft was making ugly Christmas shirts.  All you had to do was bring a shirt in, and the library had the embellishments.  It was so fun!”

Cotman also credits her time at the library getting her through school and employed in the area she specializes in today.

“The Public Library system has helped me complete college. With the use of the resources that they have available, I was able to complete assignments, create a resume, look for a job, and find a job. I graduated from Augusta Technical College in 2007 with a degree in Business. I am now a Data Analyst.”

Cotman has worked hard for her academic success and credits having a library card for helping her get to achieve her professional goals.

“Libraries have a positive impact on the community as it promotes early literacy.  Kids learn to love books and enjoy reading through the many activities that the library provides. Everyone should get a library card. ”

It’s currently Library Card Sign-up Month at the Augusta Library, and we encourage you to register for a new card today. A library card opens up world of infinite resources and opportunities for both children and adults. It is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning. Join our library system for in-person and virtual programming throughout the year. Spread the word and tell your neighbors to get signed up for a card! If you are interested in sharing your own library story, please visit our form below and fill out the questions listed. We want to hear a library story from you.


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