A Cooperative Service Provided by the Public Libraries In Jefferson County, Alabama

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

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) 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. JCLC 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 JCLC, 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, access to free databases like Heritage Quest for genealogy and business resource Reference USA.

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 JCLC 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.

Testimonials

"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."

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