Press
Press Release - Detail
Roy L. Williams
Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
Work No.: (205) 226-3746
Cell No. : (205) 568-0067
a: 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203
w: www.bplonline.org
e: roy.williams@cobpl.org

BPL Furloughing 158 Library Employees Due to Financial Impact of COVID-19 

Dear media: the Birmingham Public Library will not be making any other statements about the library furloughs beyond what is on this media release today nor taking any interviews today.

However, our executive director Floyd Council will be available for interviews sometime Monday, Sept. 20. Details on time and place will be released in the morning.

Media requests should be sent to me via work cell 205-568-0067 or email. If not reachable there, call (205) 572-1359

Thanks for your consideration and understanding. 

Synopsis: 
  • 158 BPL full and part-time employees are being furloughed effective Friday, Sept. 25 due to financial constraints to our budget caused by COVID-19.
  • The Central Library will begin offering curbside pickup service for library materials beginning 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21
  • The Central Library will reopen to the public offering in-person library services on Thursday, Oct. 1
  • Curbside services will continue at the four regional libraries - Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham and Springville Road 
Birmingham, Ala. – The Birmingham Public Library has announced the furlough of 158 full and part-time library employees due to a city financial shortfall of $63 million caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made by the BPL Board of Trustees during a special called meeting held Friday, September 18, 2020.   
 
In a statement, BPL Executive Director Floyd Council said this difficult decision was not easy, but was necessary to move to a reduced staffing model and be fiscally responsible to City of Birmingham taxpayers. 
 
"It is with sad disappointment that Library Administration had to recommend to the Library Board of Trustees for the approval to furlough 158 of our valuable employees,” Council said." During these difficult COVID-19 and challenging economic times, public libraries and BPL are more relevant and needed now than ever before.” 
 
Although the BPL Board of Trustees announced last week that Eastwood Branch Library will be permanently closed, the library board has not made a decision about closing any of the remaining 18 library locations. 
 
Council announced that the Central Library downtown will re-open to the public for in-person service starting on October 1, 2020. Regional curbside service will continue, but all other library branch locations will remain closed for now.   
 
BPL Curbside Library Service Expanding to Central, Continuing at 4 Regional Libraries 
 
Since BPL began offering curbside pickup of new library materials in early June 2020, more than 18,400 books, DVDs and other items were checked out by patrons at the four regional libraries – Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham and Springville Road. Starting Monday, September 21, the Central Library will begin offering a drive-up curbside pickup service allowing patrons to pick up new library materials and drop off old items.  
Curbside service will continue at the four regional libraries at the current hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through September 25, 2020. 
 
After September 25, curbside services at the four regional libraries will continue Monday through Fridays based on staffing and “operational abilities,” Council said. 
 
Click here for information on how BPL’s curbside services work https://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2020/09/curbside-pickup-of-library-materials.html 
 
Details are still being worked out regarding how the Central Library will handle in-person service starting October 1. COVID-19 safety protocols will be put in place to ensure the health and well-being of BPL staff and patrons, said BPL Deputy Director Janine Langston. In-person service details including days and hours of operation will be provided to the public soon.  
 
Council said BPL’s commitment to providing valuable, quality services to citizen of Birmingham will remain in place. 
 
“We are now focused on employee furlough aftercare and reopening Central Library to start recovery for future plans of service beyond COVID-19,” Council said. 
 
About the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at www.cobpl.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for over 130 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast. 
Page Last Modified: 10/29/2020 8:40 AM