DeKalb Coun­ty Pub­lic Library (DCPL) hosts a vari­ety of skill build­ing pro­grams, and best of all, they are offered free of charge!


Remem­ber to shake hands before you begin,” instructs Kei­th Bald­win, the chess coach at the Decatur Library. In 2023, Kei­th, a long­time Decatur patron, brought the idea of start­ing a chess club at the library to Lau­ren the youth ser­vices librar­i­an who loved the idea of offer­ing chess to young patrons. The Decatur Library was my favorite library as a child, so it was the first place I thought of when I was look­ing for a place where I could share my love of chess with oth­ers,” said Kei­th. Young­sters from ages 8 – 12 par­tic­i­pate in week­ly chess instruc­tion. Dona­tions from indi­vid­u­als and a small grant from the Solar­i­um in Decatur help fund the chess sets and fees for the pro­gram. One reg­u­lar play­er recent­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in a chess com­pe­ti­tion which fea­tured play­ers from Rus­sia! Kei­th hopes to expand the pro­gram into begin­ning and inter­me­di­ate class­es and even­tu­al­ly find more tour­na­ments for the play­ers to attend. When asked why they like chess, the play­ers respond­ed, Because it’s fun!”


Jew­el­ry with Gin
One of DCPL’s most pop­u­lar pro­grams began after a chance encounter at the Cham­blee Library. Vir­ginia Mil­ner of Jew­el­ry with Gin,” shared a vision of a jew­el­ry trav­el­ogue series with the man­ag­er, and before she knew it, Gin was research­ing jew­el­ry styles to cre­ate the class series. Five years and a pan­dem­ic lat­er, the Jew­el­ry with Gin” week­ly Fri­day video tuto­ri­als gar­ner hun­dreds and some­times thou­sands of views from DeKalb res­i­dents and view­ers from all over the world. I can see par­tic­i­pants com­ment­ing, Hi from Paris or Hi from Cana­da,” said Gin. Each week, Gin teach­es view­ers how to make a new piece and she has many reg­u­lars. She also teach­es in-per­son class­es at a few DeKalb library loca­tions. Reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pants know exact­ly when the class reg­is­tra­tion opens up, and they sign up imme­di­ate­ly. Gin loves work­ing with wire to make unique bracelets, ear­rings, and neck­laces. Her stu­dents love them too. A stu­dent recent­ly com­ment­ed, I enjoy all the projects you do. I always can’t wait to see what is next to make!”

Join us as we raise $25,000 to sup­port library pro­grams such as these. A gift in any amount will help us reach our goal. Thank you.

Donate Now