Barbara Sirmans

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Barbara Sirmans

Barbara Sirmans (born in South Carolina) was the first African American to head the Birmingham Public Library, serving from 2002 to 2008.

Sirmans began her library career as head of the East Ensley Branch Library in 1978. She has also headed the Smithfield Branch Library and the Avondale Library. In 1991 she was named Associate Director for the Birmingham library system's branch operations. In 1998 she was moved to central operations. In both positions she stressed "system-wide" opportunities for improved public service. She managed several construction projects for the library, including new branches in Titusville, Pratt City, North Birmingham and Southside. She also oversaw major renovations at the Inglenook, East Ensley and East Lake branches, and interior renovations at several others.

In 2002 Sirmans was named director and worked to implement several programs aimed at improving service to the public.

In August 2008 Sirmans announced that she would retire the following October. Pamela Lyons succeeded her as interim director.

Sirmans is married to Russell Sirmans Jr and has two grown children, Russell III and Robyn.

Preceded by:
Director, Birmingham Public Library
2002 - 2008
Succeeded by:
Pamela Lyons (interim)


  • "Barbara Sirmans" (n. d.) Facilitator Bios. On the Rise Women's Leadership Institute

External links