Birmingham Public Library Closed for Independence Day July 3

All Birmingham Public Library locations will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. Curbside pickup and Ask a Librarian/telephone service will resume Monday, July 6.

All BPL buildings are closed to the public indefinitely. If you have questions or need help, our librarians are available to assist you via our Ask a Librarian online forms and by telephone Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

For information and resources, please check our website as well as BPL's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Avondale Library Pride Month Activities Draw to a Close on Tuesday, June 30

Avondale Regional Branch Library’s celebration of Gay Pride Month draws to a close on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

In honor of Pride, Avondale Library’s Adult Department is hosting the last of a five-week online interview series that will be posted at 11:00 a.m. today, Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30, on the Avondale Regional Library’s Facebook page.  Today’s interview was with Jay Wall of the Magic City Wellness Center.

Hosted by Librarian Joan Inman, the series highlights LGBTQ individuals who are working within Birmingham non-profit sectors such as Magic City Acceptance Center and AIDS Alabama, and includes their personal takes on the importance of celebrating Pride, preserving history, and the integral role that libraries continue to play through their community partnerships by providing access to information for all.

The final interview, to be posted at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, will have Avondale Librarians Joan Inman and Sydney Leach discussing their own nonprofit work at the…

Book Review: Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

By Mary Beth Newbill | Southern History Department, Central Library

Mild-mannered bookseller Malcolm Kershaw’s life is about to take an interesting turn. Years ago when he was a new employee at the Old Devil’s Bookstore in Boston, he wrote the inaugural post for the store’s new blog. The post, titled “Eight Perfect Murders,” was Malcolm’s homage to the best, most clever murders in all of crime fiction. Fast forward to the present and Malcolm, now a co-owner of the Old Devil’s, is being asked to assist the FBI in a rather unusual investigation. It seems that several recently committed (and unsolved) murders bear a striking resemblance to those on Malcolm’s list. Is the list serving as a blueprint for the ultimate copycat killer? Can Malcolm, with his encyclopedic knowledge of crime fiction, help the FBI connect the dots?

Of course, poor Malcolm can’t help but wonder if the FBI actually suspects him of the crimes. Although he has several air-tight alibis, Malcolm is no innocent. As is s…

BPL Hosting Pride ConversationsQ&A with Josh Coleman, LGBTQ Liaison for City of Birmingham

As national Gay Pride Month draws to a close, the Birmingham Public Library is preparing to host “Pride Conversations,” a virtual Question & Answer Session with Josh Coleman, LGBTQ Liaison for the City of Birmingham.

The Q&A between BPL Outreach Librarian Candice Hardy and Coleman will take place via the video platform Zoom on Monday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. on the Birmingham Public Library Facebook page ( The public is invited to tune in for this timely conversation.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin hired Coleman as the city’s first LGBTQ liaison in June 2018.  As LGBTQ liaison, Coleman focuses on the public safety of Birmingham’s LGBTQ communities, and builds relationships through provision of fair and professional policies and services. For more information on the LGBTQ Affairs and social justice office at the City of Birmingham, click here .

BPL Presents “Read-In for Justice” on Saturday, June 27

What: "Read-in For Justice"
When: Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Where: Online on Birmingham Public Library Facebook Page 
Description: Join us virtually and enjoy the voices of local storytellers. This event will feature children's authors Kioka Tuck and DeCorey Hale as well as Theater Arts Instructor Shronda Major of Bush Hills Steam Academy. Check out for your connection to books written by persons of color.

Birmingham, Ala. - This Saturday, June 27, at 10 a.m., the Birmingham Public Library is hosting a virtual “Read-In for Justice.” Storytellers participating include Kioka Tuck, author of "Dream Sweet Baby"DeCorey Hale, author of  "Ebeneezer the Sneezer," and  Theater Arts Instructor Shronda Major of Bush Hills Steam Academy.

This event was derived as conversations of racial and social injustices have spiked across the United States. Patrons are encouraged to tune in via the Birmingham Public Library Facebook page https:…

Book Review: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

He thinks we’re what we look like on the outside: nice Southern ladies. Let me tell you something…there’s nothing nice about Southern ladies.”
– Grady Hendrix, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires surprised me with how much it has to offer, which shouldn't have even been a surprise because I read Grady Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism("which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it's set in the Eighties")last year and felt the same way about that book too. Both could have just ridden a satisfying long, campy wave till the end, but both books dip deeper than mere camp, with Book Club touching upon the topics of patriarchy, classism, feminism, marriage, motherhood, sisterhood, victimhood, and race. Phew.

In Book Club, middle-aged housewife and mother of two Patricia is bored with the book club's choices of stale classics that don’t resonate with her life at all, what with all the c…

BPL Virtual Resources Spotlight: Self-Improvement, Career Development Package

 By Caleb West, BPL Collection Management

BACKGROUND: Today is Part II of the BPL Virtual Resources Spotlight, a new blog highlighting the Birmingham Public Library’s vast free online resources available to serve the public. This week, we spotlight BPL’s Self-Improvement and Career Development Package. 
For more about BPL’s virtual resources, click here 
The Birmingham Public Library is ALWAYS open 24/7 through our FREE online digital resources.

The value of our virtual resources has been elevated the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic. BPL has continued to serve the public through our free online resources and by creating new virtual programming.

This week we spotlight our BPL Self-Improvement, Career Development package, which provides for career, educational, and self-betterment. All resources below are also available on the Birmingham Public Library website page ( and on our Digital Library page…