Jefferson County Library Cooperative
The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is a network of public libraries across Jefferson County which provides all residents with access to the collected circulating holdings of several different municipalities with a single library card. The cooperative's offices are located at the Birmingham Central Library. The current director is Tobin Cataldo, who succeeded long-time director Patricia Ryan in December 2018.
Currently any resident of the county can receive a free library card from any member library, search a unified catalog database and have materials delivered from any library to the one closest to them. Patrons can also access several on-line resources such as educational and archival databases using their cards.
Although earlier cooperative arrangements between libraries had existed since 1924, the current no-fee system was developed by Birmingham Public Library director George Stewart in 1978. It was reorganized more formally as Birmingham Area Library Services in 1985, at the same time that the unified catalog database was unveiled. It adopted its current name in 1997.
Funding for the system has come primarily from the Jefferson County Commission, the state of Alabama, and member cities. In the wake of the Jefferson County debt crisis, the Commission is planning to end funding for the cooperative, which would result in the loss of some services.
- Bouma, Katherine (September 13, 2009) "Jefferson County Library Cooperative eyes trims, fees to save basic services." The Birmingham News
- McGough, Crystal (June 23, 2011) "Pinson library accepted by Jefferson County Library Cooperative." Trussville Tribune
- Rebman, Stephanie (November 7, 2018) "Longtime JCLC leader retiring, successor named." Birmingham Business Journal