Connect with Birmingham’s public libraries during National Library Week, April 8-14

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Judith Wright, Teen Librarian at the Homewood Public Library. Photo via Judith Wright.

Do you know what’s happening at Birmingham’s many public libraries? Now is the time to discover what they have to offer during National Library Week, April 8-14, 2018.

When you first think of the library, you probably picture rows upon rows of shelves lined with dusty old books. In a time where everyone is technology obsessed, you have to wonder, does anyone even go to the library anymore?

According to Judith Wright, Teen Librarian at the Homewood Public Library, the answer is yes!

“Reading will never go out of style and I love seeing how many people still use their library to access books,” said Judith. “Neil Gaiman has a quote that I love and feel is completely accurate: ‘Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”

Nowadays, libraries are more than just a place to look for a book or skim a magazine. They have evolved into a community or cultural center, offering many services that provide resources needed by the community.

What kind of resources?
  • Databases
  • Computer training
  • Free training courses
  • Free tutoring for students
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Free tutoring session at the Homewood Public Library. Photo via Homewood Public Library’s Facebook page.

The Homewood Public Library alone offers over 75 programs a month! Some include:

  • Arts and crafts events
  • Book clubs
  • Computer and programming classes for adults and teens
  • Free yoga classes
  • Recipe clubs
  • Story times for toddlers and young children
  • Trivia nights

“We have no plans of slowing down,” said Judith. “We have something for everyone, from trivia nights to yoga classes, and it’s free!”

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Painting class at the Homewood Public Library. Photo via Homewood Public Library’s Facebook page.

Free! That brings up another reason why the library is so great.

“There are 40 libraries within Jefferson County and a library card is priceless,” said Judith. “In a time where everything has a price tag, it is a lovely thought that you can walk into a library and borrow anything we have. And if we don’t have it, we will get it for you, all for free.”

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Tech class at Birmingham Public Library. Photo via Birmingham Public Library’s Facebook page.

What’s also cool about the Homewood Public Library according to Judith, is that it is a “yes” library, which means they are open to any idea, no matter how unique.

“I mentioned wanting to start a telescope lending program, where our community could check out a telescope just like a book. It was met with such enthusiasm!”

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Judith Wright with telescope at the Homewood Public Library. Photo via Judith Wright.

The idea came after the Homewood Public Library became one of 75 libraries in the United States to receive a NASA grant. The goal of the grant: to promote NASA, science and other discoveries within the community.

Since we are talking all about libraries, I, of course, had to ask Judith if she had any book recommendations. Her most recent favorite reads are:

As you can see, without these champions of the dewey decimal system, whom have mastered the art of saying “shhh” and always know exactly where to find the items you need, the world would be a far less knowledgeable place. So go ahead and stop by one of the many libraries in the greater Birmingham area and say thank you to them during National Library Week.

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Staff at the Hoover Public Library show excitement. Photo via Hoover Public Library.

For National Library Week, all libraries located within Jefferson County will be giving guests a $5 off coupon to be used towards late fines. So if you have a late fee hanging over your head, this is a great way to help pay it off.