Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Jefferson County Public Library Association Recognizes Three BPL Library Champions

The Jefferson County Public Library Association (JCPLA) Library Champion Awards were presented at the JCPLA Holiday Luncheon on December 1, 2015. The Library Champion Award is presented annually by JCPLA. The award recognizes an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution(s) to libraries and/or librarianship in Jefferson County, Alabama. Three people who have supported the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) through the years were recognized as our 2015 Library Champions.

Carmelo Aliano
Carmelo Aliano with Jean Shanks, head of the Wylam Branch Library

Carmelo Alinano is a faithful member of the Wylam community who regularly attends Wylam Neighborhood Association meetings. He has championed the library for many years. A new library building is underway because of Aliano's diligent work in getting the city council, particularly the councilors from District 9, Roderick Royal and Marcus Lundy, to campaign for funding. Without Aliano's persistence, the new building would not yet be out to bid. The Wylam community will greatly benefit from a new building. The planned new facility will include a meeting room, staff break room, staff work room, a larger reading room, and a space for children. The Wylam community is looking forward to the energy that a new facility will bring.

Dionne Clark, Alabama Humanities Foundation, with Sandi Lee, BPL deputy director
Dionne Clark

Dionne Clark sought out the Woodlawn Branch Library during the spring of 2013 to gauge their interest in participating in the Prime Time Family Reading Time program sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation. The program was being re-established after a 21-year absence from the state. Woodlawn Library's family reading program is one of three pilot programs launched in the state to bring this vitally important resource back to families in under-served areas. Clark has been an integral part in making these programs successful by providing materials support and arranging staff training. Clark's passion for Prime Time Family Reading Time is evident in all the roles she plays in conjunction with the program.

Left to Right: Angela Fisher Hall, BPL director; Jim White, Porter, White & Co.; 
Kim Richardson, BPL board president; Olivia Alison, BPL director of development
James "Jim" White III

Jim White is a founding officer of the Birmingham Public Library Foundation Board. At the invitation of David Herring, acting president of the foundation, White joined the newly organized board and became president in 1998. Under his leadership, the foundation, working in unison with the library board, completed the design phase of a proposed renovation of the two buildings that make up the Central Library complex. As a follow-up to the completed designs, the foundation is in the midst of a feasibility study regarding the potential renovation. Additionally, the foundation has received numerous grants, gifts, and donations to supplement ongoing programs for BPL. In 2014, the foundation merged assets with the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library. And in 2015, the BPL Foundation Board made a distribution of funds for various programs equaling close to $30,000.

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