The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is celebrating 125 years of service to the community. As the oldest cultural institution in Birmingham, the library has grown from a single small room to the system that now includes the 233,000-square foot Central Complex and 18 branch locations housing more than 900,000 catalogued items. Last year, the library’s budget for materials was cut 48%, or $600,000, and this year, it has been reduced even more. To help offset these cuts to the public library’s budget, the library recently announced the 2011 BPL Campaign.
“Our collection is very special and as one of Birmingham’s premier cultural assets our goal is to continue to maintain the resources that make this library special,” said library director, Renee Blalock. “With the 2011 BPL Campaign, we are asking citizens, corporations, and everyone who enjoys the array of services the Birmingham Public Library provides to contribute. By making a donation, you are investing in the library and helping us maintain the high quality services that have made the Birmingham Public Library one of the very special gems of our city. Your contribution also acknowledges how important libraries are to the community.”
The library houses more than 400,000 photographs and is the only Patent and Trademark library in Alabama. Birmingham Public Library also holds the archives for the City of Birmingham and numerous organizations and institutions, creating a collection that contains more than 14,000 linear feet of archival documents.
Donations in honor of 125 years of service to the community will help this library continue to provide free access to the information and technology people depend on, keep the shelves stocked with new materials, and provide systemwide programming, serving more than two million visitors a year.
Donations may be made in person at any Birmingham library location, via the library website www.bplonline.org, or by mail. Checks can be made payable to the BPL Campaign and mailed to BPL Campaign, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203. For additional campaign information, visit www.bplonline.org/about/contributions/ or call 205-226-3761.
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.