Auburn Avenue Research Library Celebrates African-American Impact & Art

Since 1994, the Auburn Avenue Research Library for African-American Art and Culture (AARL) has been a destination for those who celebrate history. Situated on historic Auburn Avenue, it bears witness to the important people and events that have helped shape our nation. After 20+ years of growth, in 2014 renovations were begun to help this branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Library System better display and share its important contents.


Sometimes, the right storage solution is as much about what is taken away as what is added. Innovative ideas by Patterson Pope helped AARL repurpose 95% of its original Spacesaver investment. The repurposed product was blended in with the new as the total storage shelving capacity was more than doubled. In the end, the library gained 10,000 square feet of space by capturing unusable space, a marginal expanse of the footprint, and a bit of discipline.

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A little forethought and lot of elbow grease – not to mention state-of-the-art shelving and storage solutions – helped reinvigorate a space that has been an Atlanta jewel. An auditorium moved, spaces better delineated, archival and reference spaces enlarged, and a highly visible and attractive ground-floor art gallery have together yielded great results. Today, the AARL continues to be a destination for the citizens of Atlanta, the nation, and the world. And the best part? The staff continues to grow its passion for helping to commemorate and celebrate one of the most important aspects of our nation’s history.

“People are astounded when they come inside,” said Robinson. “They love it. We all do. I feel like the books and all the pieces finally have room to breathe. The renovation was long overdue.”

— Sharon Robinson, Principal Librarian, AARL

About Robert

Stuff matters to Robert. In fact, you could say he knows stuff inside and out. Literally. He played the role of "Stuffey" in our most recent P2ube Video series. So chronicling Patterson Pope's battles with stuff problems was a good fit. In his free time he enjoys collecting staplers, ball point pens and sugar packets.

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