Things you didn’t know about the library … but do now

01.23.2008 by André Natta · → 6 Comments

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Birmingham Central Library at dusk. Photo credit: Bob Farley/f8Photo

EXTENDED HOURS Most libraries in the Birmingham Public Library system are now open until 6 p.m. with a few keeping the doors open until 8. Click here to know where to go and when. Click here for a list that includes all Jefferson County locations and hours. Keep reading and you’ll see why extended hours are a good thing.

FREE WI-FI You can use those extra hours to access the Internet free of wires. The hot spots in Birmingham are Central (downtown), Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, Springville Road and West End. Outside the city limits you can head to Bessemer, Mountain Brook, Gardendale, Homewood, Hoover and Trussville. While some coffee shops make you pay for wi-fi and are too noisy for thinking, libraries are free and employ professional shushers.

LOT OF STUFF FOR THE KIDDOS Story time, puppet shows, juggling acts, movie showings — Growing up, all my library offered was a summer reading contest. The metro area libraries go above and beyond when it comes to making the library a fun place for children. With the Event Keeper on the Jefferson County Library Cooperative Web site, you can search specifically for children events.

GREAT OFFERINGS FOR ADULTS TOO Yes, they’ve got brown-bag lunch programs and book clubs but there’s also this great little program called BPL@Night. Music, spoken word, panel discussions targeting the most sought after group in town: Young Professionals . . . and everyone else that likes free concerts. That would be me.

EVEN THE LIBRARY BLOGS It’s a darn fine one too. Staff book reviews, event information and library news in easy to read nuggets. I find it’s the best way to learn about upcoming events.

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