Thursday, April 05, 2012

West End Branch Library—100 Years



The West End Branch of the Birmingham Public Library is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. An all-day reception will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2012, at the West End Branch Library from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The first West End Branch Library became part of the Birmingham Public Library on April 1, 1912, when the town of West End was incorporated into the city of Birmingham. West End Branch then became the third branch in the Birmingham Public Library system.

By 1962 it was time for a new library because the 1912 branch was too small and outdated to house a modern library. The City of Birmingham approved a bond issue for $109,000 for a new building. While the new library was being built, a store front on Tuscaloosa Avenue was used as a temporary library. So it was that the second West End Branch was opened on Sunday, December 9, 1962. It had a separate area for children and adults and a meeting room for programs and community events. At 4,500 square feet, the second branch was spacious and modern compared to the old building. By 2003 the second West End Branch Library had been in operation for approximately 41 years and desperately needed another new building.

In 2003 the Birmingham City Council accepted a bid to build a new $1.7 million West End Community Library. This would be the third West End Branch Library and would serve the five neighborhoods in the West End Community and the surrounding area. At 8,200 square feet, the new library has a meeting room that will accommodate 75 people, a conference room, thirteen computers for public use, and a spacious reading room that houses a more than 18,000 items.

Maya Jones
West End Branch Library

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