Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Friday, Dec. 16, 2016
CONTACT:  Roy L. Williams                                  
Director of Public Relations             
Birmingham Public Library                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                        
Birmingham Public Library Board names Innovative and Cool Award, I Am BPL Award winners for December
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-A new book club at the Smithfield Branch Library has tripled in size since starting in June. The library is hosting a special Holiday Party to help spread the word to potential new members thanks to a $100 gift from the Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees.
The Central Library in downtown Birmingham is hosting a Trivia Night @ BPL event to help the staff engage and connect with their patrons in a night of fun. At Avondale Regional Branch Library, a monthly jewelry-making adventure for adults is adding new activities thanks to an influx of cash from the BPL Board as well.
Those three library programs are the latest recipients of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Innovative and Cool Awards, presented during the Dec. 13, 2016, BPL Board of Trustees meeting. The award was established in April to encourage library staff to come up with unique ideas to serve the Birmingham community.
Also, the BPL Board named four winners of the “I Am BPL Award,” which honors staff who come up with unique ideas that help the 19-library system better serve the public. The December recipients are: Nancy Cleckler of Central Acquisitions Department; Ellen Griffin Shade of Avondale Regional Library, Augustus Jones of Central Library Fiction Department; and Maya Jones, branch manager of West End Library 
The BPL Innovative and Cool Award program has received national recognition, having been featured twice (August and October) in the “Library Journal.” See links to both articles below:
Oct 31 2016 Staff as Innovation Leaders: From Great Ideas to Great Implementation

 August 2016 – Birmingham Public Library Board Funds Innovative Cool Awards
Since inception of the Innovative and Cool Award grants, the BPL Board of Trustees has provided $1,350 for 22 new programs at 14 libraries. The programs funded by the grants are as follows:
April 2016
  • Love to Color @ My Library, North Avondale Branch Library
  • 2 programs - Career Survival Kit for Boys and Career Survival Kit for Girls, Pratt City Branch Library
  • Crochet Class, West End Branch Library
 May 2016
  • Cowboy Boots and Books, North Avondale Branch Library
  • 2 programs - Science Club and Reading Gems, Ensley Branch Library
 August 2016
  • Make Your Own Halloween Mask 
  • Recovering the Classics, Central Library
September 2016
  • KEVA Planks, East Ensley Branch Library
  • Art Attack, Avondale Regional Branch Library
  • Bubble Machine Storytime, Five Points West Regional Branch Library
 October 2016
  • After School Writing Lab, Powderly Branch Library
  • Parenting Program, Springville Road Regional Branch Library
  • Vintage Memory Making Program, Springville Road Branch Library
November 2016
  • Active Living for Adults, Five Points West Regional Branch Library
  • 2nd Wednesday afterschool program, Wylam Branch Library
  • Nintendo NES Console purchase, Inglenook Branch Library
December 2016
  • Book Club Holiday Party, Smithfield Branch Library
  • Books and Beads Adult Program, Avondale Regional Branch Library
  • Trivia Night, Central Library 
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. 
The Innovative Cool Awards program was adopted by the library board in March 2016 upon recommendation from the Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee. The grants are designed to encourage BPL staff to develop “innovative and cool” public programs to better serve the communities that surround its 19 locations.  The award will provide up to two $50 stipends to the 18 branches and the Central Library.
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