Birmingham Public Library
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is the public library system for the City of Birmingham. It consists of the Birmingham Central Library and Linn-Henley Research Library downtown, as well as sixteen regional and branch libraries located throughout the city with around 285 total employees. The Birmingham Public Library is a major part of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. It is supported by the city, by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, and by the Birmingham Public Library Foundation.
A public library was established in the city in the mid-1880s, but did not survive as an institution. It re-opened in 1891 under the auspices of the Birmingham Board of Education, using a large room adjoining superintendent John Phillips' office in the Enslen Building. The public paid a $2 annual fee for membership.
In 1903 the library relocated to the 4th floor of Birmingham City Hall. It was made a free public library by the Birmingham Public Library Association in 1908. The Association was succeeded by a city-created Birmingham Public Library Board in 1913.
After a long debate about where to construct a new library, the present Birmingham Central Library was built across 21st Street North in 1984, designed by KPS Group. The 1927 building was completely renovated and reopened in 1985 as the Linn-Henley Research Library.
The Birmingham Public Library houses numerous notable collections in its archives, including the Tutwiler Collection of Southern History and Literature and the Rucker Agee Collection of Maps of the Southeast.
- Frances Nimmo Green, 1909–
- Carl Milam, 1915
- Lloyd Josselyn, 1927
- Lila Mae Chapman, 1930s
- Fant Thornley, 1953–1970
- Richardena Ramsey, 1970–
- George Stewart, 1984
- Barbara Sirmans, 2002–2008
- Pamela Lyons, 2008–2009 (interim)
- Renee Blalock, 2009–2014
- Angela Fisher Hall, 2014 (interim)
- Angela Fisher Hall, 2015–2017
- Floyd Council, November 13, 2017–present
The Birmingham Public Library has the following branches:
- Avondale Library, built in 1982 to replace an earlier branch
- Five Points West Library, built 2004 to replace an earlier branch
- North Birmingham Library
- Springville Road Library, built 1981 to replace earlier Huffman Library
- East Lake Library
- Eastwood Library
- Ensley Library
- North Avondale Library
- Powderly Library
- Pratt City Library
- Smithfield Library
- Southside Library
- Titusville Library
- West End Library
- Woodlawn Library
- Wylam Library
- East Ensley Library (closed 2010)
- Inglenook Library (closed 2010)
- Slossfield Library (opened 1939, closed 2010)
In preparing to submit his 2011 Birmingham budget, Mayor William Bell asked Library director Renee Blalock to provide a list of five of the city's 19 branches that she could recommend for temporary closure in order to cut costs. The initial list included the Slossfield, North Avondale, East Ensley, Inglenook and Ensley branches. Blalock subsequently developed a plan to cut $900,000 from the library's budget by closing three of the branches (Slossfield, East Ensley and Inglenook), cutting part-time staff, reducing utility costs, and ending Saturday hours except at the Central library and regional branches.
- Alabama Historical Association. (2001) "The Birmingham Public Library" Historical Marker. Linn Park. 
- Wolfson, Hannah K. (December 26, 2009) "Main Birmingham library's map collection ancient, 'priceless'." The Birmingham News
- Wolfson, Hannah (June 18, 2010) "Three Birmingham library branches to close by end of July." The Birmingham News
- Williams, Roy L. (October 23, 2017) "Birmingham Public Library hires Floyd Council as executive director." The Birmingham Times