Government Documents Department to Close on Weekends

Visitors to the downtown location of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will no longer have access to the Government Documents Department on weekends beginning December 3, 2011. Staff normally assigned to work in that area on weekends will instead work in the Microforms Room where library patrons have access to microfilm and microfiche copies of newspapers and other documents. Staff will also be available to assist the public in going online and locating services that are offered by federal, state, and local government agencies.

“Closing this area allows for reorganization and the opportunity to use staff in other departments and library locations throughout the City,” says library Director Irene S. Blalock. The move to reorganize comes as the consortium of public libraries in Jefferson County experienced a loss of funding from the Jefferson County Commission. The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is the name for the consortium and its mission is to encourage and coordinate services and resource sharing among the 40 public libraries of Jefferson County, Alabama. Since September of this year, 15 part-time positions assigned to BPL were lost as a result of the budget cuts to the Cooperative. For additional information about the Cooperative, visit

Birmingham Public Library has been a federal depository library since 1895, making it one of the oldest depository libraries in the United States. The Government Documents Department was created as a separate department in 1977 when an effort was made to bring all federal, state ,and local documents housed throughout the library together in one location. Additional information about the Government Documents Department can be found on the library’s website at

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 eighteen locations and serving the community for 125 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.