Bards & Brews Virtual Poetry Slam Tonight, Central Library Resumes Saturday In-Person Services


Need something to look forward to this weekend? The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) has got you covered with a virtual poetry slam on Friday night and the return of in-person library services Saturday at the Central Library.


Begin at 6:00 p.m. tonight Friday, January 8, by watching some of Alabama’s most talented spoken word poetry artists compete for a $300 grand prize when BPL hosts its first ever Bards & Brews Virtual Poetry Slam.  The competition will air live on the Bards & Brews Facebook page.


BPL’s popular monthly spoken word poetry/craft beer event, in its 11th year, switched to a virtual event last April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Poetry slams are Bards & Brews biggest event, but this is the first time the slam will be held online.

After watching Bards & Brews tonight, join us downtown as the Central Library, located at 2100 Park Place,  resumes in-person services on Saturday, January 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This will be the first time the Central Library is open on a Saturday since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March 2020. In addition to being open to the public, Central Library will offer curbside pickup and drop off of library materials. 

 Patrons can visit and browse the first, the second and the third floors of the Central Library for books, DVDs and other library materials for checkout. In addition, Central Library’s Citizens Services department offers passport applications, notarizations and fax services. Federal and state tax forms will be available by late January.

Public computers and copier printing stations are on the first floor of the Central Library. The BPL Research Library next to Linn Park is not open to the public, but offers visits to the Southern History Department and BPL Archives Department, Monday through Friday by appointment only. 

 In October 2020, the Central Library branch became the first of BPL’s 18 locations to resume in-person services. Click here for background

 Several COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented to protect BPL staff and patrons:

 ·         All patrons entering the Central Library will be required to wear masks.

 ·         Hand-sanitizing stations are set up throughout the Central Library for patron’s use.

 ·         In compliance with city curfew laws, children under age 17 must be accompanied by parents or legal guardian while inside the Central Library during school hours, and children age 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the library. 

 BPL also provides Books by Mail, a free service, offered by the Central Library branch to send checked out materials to patron’s homes. Books by Mail caters mostly to elderly or homebound patrons unable to visit libraries. 

 BPL reminds patrons that even when its buildings are closed, the public can access library services online 24/7. Check out e-books, audiobooks, magazines plus download other materials online on the BPL website,

 BPL offers many other online resources, including tutoring assistance for middle/high school students and pre-K to 5th grade students through our partner agencies including Homework Alabama. 

 Throughout the pandemic, BPL has offered new virtual programs: online storytelling, a BPL Local Authors Online Reading Challenge which won national accolades from the Urban Libraries Council for BPL Read-In for Justice, a new monthly social justice program on the BPL Facebook page began in response to racial unrest caused by the George Floyd killing