Annual Report 2008-2009
Announcer: 2008/2009 was an extraordinary year for the Birmingham Public Library. In one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, library patrons poured into the 20 Birmingham branches. We took this opportunity to ask our patrons what makes the Birmingham Public Library so important. Here’s what they said.

Boy: I like getting books and reading them here and getting them too.

Man 1: I'll be very frank, this is probably the best municipal library that i have been in in these United States and that includes San Francisco, Chicago. New York is pretty good. Your access to people to find out what you need. The help that I get from the people here is just extraordinary. Both on this floor, the first floor fiction and so on and so forth. It's marvelous. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Girl 2: I like the library because it's a quiet place and you can get on computers and find stuff that that you need like for school or just do it for some fun. And you can read books. You can do your homework. And even you can get on the little computer. You can listen to stories, or you can just hang out.

Lady 1: The individuals who work here are very helpful. They take the time to listen to our questions and they also take the time to help us with what we need.

Boy: My experience at the library was great. I met 4 NFL superstars. I met Jericho Cotchery, Kerry Rhodes, Chansi Stuckey and Justin Miller. He visited the library and told us about his career, the NFL and about his life.

Lady 2: In my researching, I used the online research - Heritage Quest specifically because it has a census database and it has a personal database and it also has the Freedman's Database also and it's just in index form, but I do use the numbers for researching. And the reason I like it is because sometimes I don't sleep well, so in the middle of the night I can get up and get on the library. I mean it's just like using the library at 2:00 in the morning you know. There's nothing like it in the world. I enjoy reading a lot.

Man 2: I find that the downtown library is one of the most resourceful libraries in the whole system, but often times I branch out like today I'm in Five Points. Another day I might be on the south side. All of the library branches are really connected. The good thing I like about it is when I need a book. You know, when you need to get a book from one library to another. I use the facilities for Word documents and using the computers and I really am learning a lot through the computer classes.

Lady 2: As an English teacher at Parker High School I make sure that the books are in stock for those who actually read those books and check those books out. I think that the library is a great source for the people of Birmingham.

Lady 3: We enjoy coming to meet new people and for her to play she's the only one so she gets to play with other children so that's really like why I did it and I enjoyed it a lot.

Man 3: It's just a good resource and that's what anybody that doesn't come to the library just kind of misses the boat.

Girl 3: It's fun. Every library is fun.

Woman 4: I used the archives probably at least once or twice a week. But my main thing that I really like is the online database, the digitalization. I enjoy that. I enjoy looking, reserving books. I enjoy just so many things. I blog. I like to look at comments. There's just so many things that I like about our library.

Woman 5: Both boys have loved coming since they were about 6 months old. And now when they started this program, I think the environment is slightly different where they can free-play and not have structured learning and it's been a wonderful addition. So we hope they can continue doing both programs. Our family loves the library programs. We've gotten a lot out of it.

Woman 6: It is the best kept secret in Birmingham and that's why I love the library.

 Expanding Horizons

Infants and toddlers Meeting professional football players  
Did you know?  
dotLibrary card holders under age 6 grew by 64%.
dotThe ever-popular Summer Reading program attracted more than 20,000 patrons.  
dotOur Archives Department hosted researchers from 34 different states and 8 countries.

 Strengthening Education

  Classroom resource Computer classes
Did you know?    
dotIn a single year, our staff handled almost 800,000 requests from our users--a 20% increase over last year!
dotAll library locations offer WiFi.   
dotFREE world-class online practice tests are available for students of all ages, including the SAT, ACT, and a wide variety of professional examinations.

 Embracing New Resources

A thoroughly enjoyable program. Brought back memories. ~Carolyn
Genealogy and insomnia  Reputable information  
Did you know?    
dotGenealogists love the Birmingham Area Newspapers Obituary Index.  
dotKeep in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, and RSS.  
dotExplore and utilize dozens of world-class databases from the comfort of your own home -- information for all users aged 8 to 80.

 Enriching Birmingham

  Avid library user First stop after work
Did you know?    
dotWe have close to a million books, magazines, audiobooks, and DVD's available for use.
dot1,749 programs were presented last year -- wait until you see what we have coming up.
dotWith over 5 million viewings, our websites, blogs, and online newsletters are a big hit!
Birmingham Public Library 2100 Park Place Birmingham, Alabama 35203