Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Monday, Aug. 29, 2016
CONTACT:  Roy L. Williams                                                 
Director of Public Relations                         
Birmingham Public Library                                               
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                                        
Birmingham Public Library holding Recovering the Classics contest during month of September
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – "Don't judge a book by its cover" is a saying to evaluate something on its contents rather than its outward appearance.  However, we often judge a book by its cover to determine if it is worth reading, and many of our greatest classics still wear poorly designed or auto-generated covers that fail to capture what makes these books exciting and inspiring.

Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for classic books in the public domain created by illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes.  Its partners include The Creative Action Network, Harvard Book Store, Plympton's DailyLit, the White House, the New York Public Library, and the Digital Public Library of America.  The goal is to bring an exhibit of redesigned cover posters to each of the 50 states, and Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is representing the state of Alabama. 

The Central Library, 2100 Park Place downtown, will host the main exhibit of Recovering the Classics posters, beginning Sept. 1, 2016, and several other BPL branches will have smaller exhibits. The Birmingham Public Library has partnered with Books-A-Million to host a contest for Alabama artists of all ages and abilities to design a cover for a classic book.

Prizes include your cover design on a classic book created by Books-A-Million’s Espresso Book Machine, Books-A-Million gift cards, and Recovering the Classics posters. To enter the contest, visit Both the exhibit and contest will run from Sept. 1-30, 2016. The winners will be announced by Oct. 15, 2016.

“Every classic book deserves a great cover, and we cannot wait to see the new cover designs created by Alabama residents,” Laura Gentry, librarian and chair of the Recovering the Classics committee.  “Through our partnership with Books-A-Million, we have amazing prizes.  Who wouldn’t want their cover design printed on a book?”

This classic book cover contest was selected in August as one of the winners of the BPL Board of Trustees "Innovative Cool" awards. You can find out more about Recovering the Classics at

For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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