Irondale Public Library

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Irondale Public Library

The Irondale Public Library is a city-owned public library serving the city of Irondale and, as a founding member of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) in 1978, all Jefferson County residents. It is located at 105 20th Street South, just south of Irondale City Hall. The library director is Del Wilson.

The library got its start with the donation of 800 volumes from the Jefferson County Free Library in 1951. The city rented a space next to a barber shop on 1st Avenue. Emma Lee Heritage was hired as librarian on September 1 of that year. She opened the library for two hours on two days each week.

Once the new Irondale City Hall opened in 1957, the library, then holding 500 books, occupied the southern wing and visitor hours were expanded to three hours on three days each week. The library was formally chartered under Alabama law on November 7, 1960. A $1,440 endowment from the Pearce estate funded the purchase of additional books. The updated library was open for 20 hours a week.

The site of the present library building was selected in July 1968, but construction was delayed while the city awaited federal grant funds. The new 5,000 square-foot building, similar to the 1961 Avondale Branch Library in Birmingham, was designed by Harmon & Moss architects and opened on October 28, 1973.

A 3,000 square foot addition to the library building was completed in 1988, expanding reading and staff areas and also adding a public meeting room.

In December 2022 the City of Irondale purchased a 7.9-acre wooded lot at 1080 Grant's Mill Road to accommodate the planned construction of a new 16,000 square foot library building. The city intends for the building to support co-working and more community meetings, and have the feeling of a "library-in-nature", similar to the 2010 Vestavia Hills Public Library.

References

  • Byington, Pat (January 24, 2023) "Irondale to build new public library, seeking community input on Jan. 26." Bham Now

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