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OUR MISSION

​To maintain and improve the quality of life for all citizens of our community by providing resources that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment,  lifelong learning and enjoyment in the most efficient manner possible. The library also strives to guide young people toward a love of books and other library materials as a means of satisfying their needs and interests.

OUR VISION

The Bessemer Public Library Staff, Board, and community envision a future in which: Everyone can enjoy an intellectual and culturally rich life. Our community celebrates and appreciates diversity. Our staff finds value in their contribution to the mission. Our facilities will be welcoming and comfortable spaces.

OUR VALUES

  • Intellectual freedom and confidentiality of patrons use of the library

  • Well-trained, knowledgeable, courteous and professional staff

  • Vital, relevant and effective library services

  • Responsible stewardship of the public funds

  • Diversity and the different perspectives that strengthen our community

  • Partnerships that contribute to library goals

  • New methods of information delivery

  • Outreach to customers beyond the walls of our physical facilities

OUR RULES

  1. Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Any verbal abuse, sexual or general harassment, excessive noise (including loud personal or cellular conversation) or threatening gestures toward staff or library patrons is prohibited.

  2. Patrons are required to dress appropriately while in the library.

  3. Touching, kissing, cuddling, etc., of sexually intimate nature, is not permitted anywhere on the Library premises.

  4. Children under 12 years of age may not be left at the library unattended by a responsible adult under any circumstances.

  5. Patrons 17 years of age and under currently attending school may not be on the library premises without a parent/guardian during school hours. The appropriate authorities will be notified if this rule is violated.

  6. The Library reserves the right to ask for I.D. from patron(s) presenting themselves as 17 years old and under in the Youth department area.

  7. The Library assumes no responsibility for the safety of any child who is left in the library. Likewise, the library assumes no responsibility for the safety of a child if the child leaves the Library.

  8. The authorities will be notified if a child under age 16 is not picked up by closing time.

  9. Under no condition will the library provide transportation for a child of any age.

  10. Food and drink is not allowed in the Library.

  11. Tobacco, alcohol and drugs are prohibited in the library.

  12. Service animals are the only animals allowed in the library.

  13. All library materials must be checked out before leaving the building.

  14. Returning checked out materials to the shelves is not permitted.

  15. Non-public areas are restricted to library staff only.

  16. To ensure library safety and security, library officials may inspect all bags, briefcases and similar items.

  17. Patrons may not use library materials or facilities in any manner that would likely cause the materials or the facilities to be damaged.

  18. Any person who steals or vandalizes library property will be subject to prosecution.

  19. Sleeping in the library is not permitted.

  20. Bringing bed rolls or blankets into the Library is not permitted.

  21. Posting notices, distributing circulars, canvassing, selling, soliciting, or engaging in any other commercial activity is prohibited unless authorized by the library administration.

  22. Library materials may not be taken into the rest rooms.

  23. Misuse of the rest rooms is not permitted.

  24. Items that are abandoned or left unattended are in no way the responsibility of the Library.      

WHERE WE STARTED

The formation of a free public library was first organized in December 1905 by a group of women who secured the donation of the site from the Bessemer Coal and Land Company. They then lobbied for assistance from the city in seeking a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. It was established by a resolution of the Bessemer City Council as Bessemer Carnegie Library and opened its doors in September 1907 at 321 North 18th Street, a small brick structure at the corner of 18th Street and 4th Avenue.


The City of Bessemer was given the Old Post Office building at 400 North 19th Street to use for the public library in 1965. After remodeling it in 1967, the library was renamed the Bessemer Public Library and moved to that location. The previous library in Bessemer charged a fee for removing materials. The pay library donated its 500 volumes to the new public library when it opened.


In April 2000, the residents of the City of Bessemer passed an ad valor tax referendum to fund the building of a new library. In order to renovate and expand the library building, the library underwent a $4.5 million expansion from 15,600 to 43,200 square feet. Bessemer Public Library moved to a temporary site at 701 9th Avenue North in August 2001. It was only in August 2008 that the library was able to return to its new state of the art, three-tier facility.


A board of five trustees governs the Library. The Bessemer City Council appoints the trustees for four-terms. The terms should overlap so that at least one trustee is appointed or re-appointed each year. The regular meeting date for the Board is the third Thursday of each month. The Board conducts at least 6 meetings a year with a quorum of 3 or more trustees present. All meetings are open to the public.

BESSEMER PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

VENEDIA WALLACE
LIBRARY DIRECTOR
CAROLYN COLEMAN
PRESIDENT
CLEOPHUS KING
VICE PRESIDENT
LULA WALTER
TRUSTEE
NANCY WRIGHT
TRUSTEE

BESSEMER PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION BOARD

VENEDIA WALLACE
DIRECTOR
DOROTHY DAVIDSON
PRESIDENT
GLORIA BEVERLY
VICE PRESIDENT
BERTHA THOMAS
SECRETARY
TERRY DAWSON
TREASURER
BARBARA ROBERTS
ASST. TREASURER
JUDGE AARON KILLINGS, JR.
CHESTER PORTER
SARAH BEASLEY
CHARLES KING
MARCUS MASON
DORIS LEWIS
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© 2020 Bessemer Public Library

WHEN WE'RE OPEN

Monday           9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.​

Tuesday          9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.​
Wednesday    9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.​

Thursday​        9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Friday              9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sat​urday       10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday           Closed

WHERE TO VISIT US

400 19th Street North
Bessemer, AL 35020

CONTACT US

Telephone 205-428-7882
FAX 205-428-5479

Email bessemerlibrary@gmail.com