Press Release - Detail
Contact:  Chanda Temple, Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library                   
Phone: (205) 444-9279 (cell)

Downtown Birmingham and the Birmingham Public Library get high marks from
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ­– (March 25, 2014) – Birmingham is one happening place, according to
The site, which averages 1 million page views per month and highlights the best places to live and visit in America, recently named Birmingham as one of the Top 10 downtowns in the nation for the city's revitalization projects that continue to attract new businesses, visitors and residents. A few years ago, the site also named the downtown Birmingham Public Library as a Top 10 Library for children. cited the Youth Department’s fantastic programs that captivate children, its colorful books, its animals and its outreach initiatives.  

Selections for such lists are data driven, according to Matt Carmichael, editor. Data shows that Birmingham is “a great place to live on a number of factors,’’ he says.

Carmichael adds that being on a list can be help cities attract great talent and business. For libraries, the list shows a library’s vital role in the community and the standout work being done.

Birmingham Public Library Director Renee Blalock says the library system is lucky to have dedicated and bright staff in the children’s department, which is full of children on a daily basis. She adds that not only is the downtown location excellent, but so are the other youth departments in the remaining 18 libraries across Birmingham.  “Everyone provides wonderful services and reading support for children of all ages,’’ she says.

Toykea Heard recently visited the library to find planting and farm animal books to use as a visual aid when teaching 4 and 5 year olds. “I come here a lot because I’m always doing something theme-related, reading a book to the students or informing them on something they haven’t learned,’’ she says.

LaTara Johnson says that she and her 6-year-old son, Greyson Sturgis, love everything the downtown library has to offer. “We live in a loft downtown and we love that location because we can walk to it,’’ Johnson says. “Greyson loves Coco the rabbit. He talks to Coco like they are friends. In fact, he loves seeing all the animals in the Youth Department.’’

Johnson also cites how the department changes its book displays to reflect the seasons and what’s going on during a particular time of the year. The changes encourage Greyson to read up on new and exciting things.  

“The Youth Department is set up to cater to him and he can make the selections and choices that he wants. It empowers him,’’ she says.

In 2013, selected Birmingham as a Top 10 spring break destination for families because of the city’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement. The library system participated in several city events and offered several programs for children during the yearlong commemoration. The website also named Birmingham as one of the Top 10 best places to retire.

To see what had to say about the Birmingham Public Library’s Youth Department, visit:

To see what had to say about downtown Birmingham, visit:
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