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Why Should I Donate to the Public Libraries in Jefferson County?

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What if you needed 22 library cards, instead of one?

The Public Libraries in Jefferson County (PLJC) is a group of 22 individual municipal Jefferson County libraries that banded together thirty-three years ago to create the "one county - one library card" system. Citizens of all ages use one library card countywide and have access to all the resources of all the libraries in the county, plus an online catalog, the Internet, numerous databases and the Books-By-Mail program. Our countywide delivery system transports materials throughout the county to satisfy users’ requests and returns them to the owning library for the borrower’s convenience. PLJC is the non-profit organization that manages the system-wide services—the glue that links us together.

After 33 years of funding, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative was recently eliminated from the Jefferson County budget. Local library buildings, staff, and operations are funded at the local level. But PLJC, a non-profit organization, provides all 40 Jefferson County city public libraries—including your local library—with essential services like internet access, book and DVD delivery between libraries, one centralized catalog and one centralized library card.

Our members include the following public libraries: Adamsville, Bessemer, Birmingham Public Library System (19 branches), Botanical Gardens, Clay, Fairfield, Fultondale, Gardendale, Graysville, Homewood, Hoover, Hueytown, Irondale, Leeds, Midfield, Mountain Brook, Pinson, Pleasant Grove, Tarrant, Trussville, Vestavia Hills, and Warrior.

On behalf of the 22 directors of our member libraries, we greatly appreciate that over the past thirty-three years you have been such steady, staunch supporters of PLJC and all of our public libraries. Your tax dollars, along with funding from the local municipalities, the Alabama Public Library Service, and tax deductible public donations, aid in making us "one" cooperative. We take great pride in providing world class library service to citizens of all ages throughout Jefferson County.

Tell your friends and family that libraries are essential components of communities— worth fighting for and worth funding.

What is the Library Worth to You?  



"I moved to Birmingham at the age of 10 in the depths of the depression. From the very beginning of my family's move, I started going to the Children's Department of the Birmingham Public Library. I also enrolled in the summer in a children's reading program. I remember bringing my father down at the end of one of the summers in which I had read 30 books, thus entitling me to a certificate of proficiency (10-book minimum for a certificate) plus two seals, (each representing 10 additional books) that were affixed to the certificate.

As I matured, I began to pursue a love of history and good literature. I was seldom disappointed in my selections.

In short, the library has been a resource for me ever since 1938. It is my understanding that all of the libraries in this area are having a difficult time at the present because of our economic downtown. I would like to do my part to help and, to that end, I enclose my contribution to the Jefferson County Library Cooperative."

"The library rocks! Especially our Jefferson County libraries! I've always said, I could live just about anywhere with very little IF I lived within walking distance of one of our libraries!"

"I love the fact that all Jefferson County libraries are connected, and that you can go online to locate books, music, and movies that would not be feasible if you had to go to every library to locate. The librarians are always friendly and helpful as well."

"My library gives me a place to relax and get a hold of some great books w/out having to spend my whole paycheck. I love books and reading and w/out my library, I would have a household of books and be penniless because I would buy every book I could."

"I love the library. I've used the library's books to diet and exercise, cook and reorganize, to raise children and put myself to sleep at night. I used to read books but now I listen to them, sometimes download them. I'm studying Spanish, too."

"This library system works like a well oiled machine!"

In the News

Local Libraries Need Your Help Post Budget Cuts | Alabama's May 6, 2012

Jefferson County, AL, Bankruptcy Cuts Library Funding | Library Journal Mar 2, 2012 by Meredith Schwartz

The bankruptcy of Jefferson County, AL, is leaving a trail of collateral damage to services in its wake, libraries included. Until the current crisis, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) had received the majority of its funding from the county for 33 years.

1925 Sayre Commissary - Bookmobile
JCLC's ancestor: In the 1920s, Jefferson County funded a wagon bookmobile

Unfortunately, the county has had to cut the cooperative’s funding over and over. In 2010 the funding was halved to $500,000, according to The Birmingham News. In 2011 it was halved again, according to the News. And in 2012 the county eliminated funding for the co-op altogether.

Today, the co-op subsists largely on its emergency reserve fund (which it had been increasing since 2006, when the county’s fiscal problems began to look serious), and on fees from its 22 member libraries. “Libraries are paying higher member fees than ever. And at a time when their city funding is level or they have sustained local cuts also,” Patricia F. Ryan, executive director of JCLC, told LJ. ... more

VIEWPOINTS: JCLC libraries offer our society more than books | Sept 16, 2012 by Alexandra Tucci

Twelve-year-old Kendell King goes to the Smithfield branch of the Birmingham Public Library every day it is open, six times a week. He lives a few blocks from the library and walks over to read, play computer games and check out Curious George books for his younger brother.

Although shy at first, King, who has a bashful smile and large, inquisitive brown eyes, describes his walk to school, his fondness for pizza, his worries about his mom's health and his dreams of simultaneously being a football player and doctor. He said he goes to the nearby park and basketball court often, but he comes to the library every day.

The library is "a safe place," he explained. ... more

Jefferson County Library Co-op donations embraced to ease crunch | Nov 22, 2010 by Hannah Wolfson

Facing a second year of tight budgets, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative has launched its first formal fundraising campaign.

The cooperative, which links and provides support for the county's 21 library systems, hopes to make up a small part of the cuts that came last year when the Jefferson County Commission, which provides much of the group's funding, cut its appropriation from $1 million to $500,000. 

"The cooperative is so crucial, because if every library had to do this on their own, they couldn't afford it," Ryan said. "What we're able to offer is economy of scale. The co-op is the glue that holds us all together." ... more

      4825 Main St
      Adamsville, AL 35005
      (205) 674-3399
Avondale (BPL)
      509 S 40th St
Birmingham, AL 35222
      (205) 226-4000                
      400 N 19th St
      Bessemer, AL 35020
      (205) 428-7882
Botanical Gardens
      2612 Lane Park Rd
Birmingham, AL 35223
      (205) 414-3920
Central (BPL)
            2100 Park Pl
Birmingham, AL 35203
            (205) 226-3600          
7257 Old Springville Rd
Clay, AL 35126-2455
      (205) 680-3812
East Ensley (BPL)
            900 14th St, Ensley
Birmingham, AL 35218
            (205) 787-1928          
East Lake (BPL)
            #5 Oporto-Madrid Blvd
Birmingham, AL 35206
            (205) 836-3341          
Eastwood (BPL)
            4500 Montevallo Rd
Birmingham, AL 35210
            (205) 591-4944          
Emmet O'Neal
      50 Oak St
      Mountain Brook, AL 35213
      (205) 445-1101
Ensley (BPL)
            1201 25th St, Ensley
Birmingham, AL 35218
            (205) 785-2625          
Five Points West (BPL)
      4812 Avenue W
Birmingham, AL  35208
      (205) 226-4013          
      1015 Walker Chapel Rd
      Fultondale, AL 35068
      (205) 849-6335
      995 Mount Olive Rd
      Gardendale, AL 35071
      (205) 631-6639
      315 S Main St
      Graysville, AL 35073
      (205) 674-3040
      1721 Oxmoor Rd
      Homewood, AL 35209
      (205) 332-6600
      200 Municipal Dr
      Hoover, AL 35216
      (205) 444-7800
      1372 Hueytown Rd
      Hueytown, AL 35023
      (205) 491-1443
Inglenook (BPL)
            4100 N 40th Ter
Birmingham, AL 35217
            (205) 849-8739          
      105 20th St S
      Irondale, AL 35210
      (205) 951-1415
      8104 Parkway Dr SE
      Leeds, AL 35094
      (205) 699-5962
          400 Breland Dr
          Midfield, AL 35228
          (205) 923-1027
North Avondale (BPL)
            501 43rd St N
Birmingham, AL 35222
            (205) 592-2082          
North Birmingham (BPL)
            2501 31st Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35207
            (205) 226-4025          
     4410 Main Street
     Pinson AL 35126
     (205) 680-9298
Pleasant Grove
      501 Park Rd
      Pleasant Grove, AL 35127
      (205) 744-1731
Powderly (BPL)
            3301 Jefferson Ave SW
Birmingham, AL 35221
            (205) 925-6178          
Pratt City (BPL)
            Closed Indefinitely
Damaged by the
April 27, 2011 Tornado
Smithfield (BPL)
      #1 8th Ave W
Birmingham, AL 35204
      (205) 324-8428          
Southside (BPL)
            1814 11th Ave S
Birmingham, AL 35205
            (205) 933-7776          
Springville Road (BPL)
      1224 Old Springville Rd
Birmingham, AL 35215
      (205) 226-4081
      1610 Pinson Valley Pkwy
      Tarrant, AL 35217
      (205) 841-0575
Titusville (BPL)
            #2 6th Ave SW
Birmingham, AL 35211
            (205) 322-1140
      201 Parkway Dr
      Trussville, AL 35173
      (205) 655-2022
Vestavia Hills 
      1112 Montgomery Hwy
      Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
      (205) 978-0155
Walter J. Hanna
      4615 Gary Ave
      Fairfield, AL 35064
      (205) 783-6007
      10 1st St E
      Warrior, AL 35180
      (205) 647-3006
West End (BPL)
            1348 Tuscaloosa Ave SW
Birmingham, AL 35211
            (205) 226-4089
Woodlawn (BPL)
            5709 1st Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35212
            (205) 595-2001          
Wylam (BPL)
            4300 7th Ave, Wylam
Birmingham, AL 35224
            (205) 785-0349          
BPL = Birmingham Public Library

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