Tag: Birmingham Public Library

Birmingham Library Exec Returns to Work After One-Month Suspension

Birmingham Public Library Executive Director Floyd Council was back at work Friday after one month of being suspended without pay.

Council was suspended by the BPL board of trustees last month for undisclosed reasons. As with most details regarding Council’s employment, the board refused to provide details about the decision to the public. The board did not discuss Council during its regular meeting Nov. 10.

Multiple BPL employees confirmed Council’s return to the library Friday, though under condition of anonymity. Read more.

Birmingham Library Executive Director Suspended Without Pay

Birmingham Public Library Executive Director Floyd Council has been suspended without pay for one month by the library system’s board of trustees, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

The decision was made in a library board meeting Tuesday. As with all personnel decisions, the board held the discussion and took the vote to suspend Council during a private executive session. Details of the suspension, including the reasoning behind it, were not immediately made public.

Deputy Director Janine Langston will take over as interim director. Read more.

Protestors Not Allowed Into Birmingham Council Meeting to Speak on Drastic Cuts to the Library Budget

Protestors gathered outside Birmingham City Hall on Tuesday morning, but they weren’t allowed to speak at the City Council meeting going on three stories above them.

The demonstrators held signs that read “Reject Woodfin’s Budget,” “Furlough Woodfin” and “Fund Books Not Brutality.” One neon-yellow sign read: “Dear Randall Woodfin & City Council: Y’all have got to do a better job pretending to care …”

On Friday, the Birmingham Public Library’s board of trustees made the decision to furlough 157 employees, the result of significant cuts in the budget recommended by Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office. Read more.

Woodfin’s Constantly Changing Budget Leaves Library Board, City Council to Wonder: “What the Heck Is Going On?”

The future remains uncertain for the Birmingham Public Library and its 230 employees, thanks to city budget cuts necessitated by COVID-19.

And there have been no clear answers from Mayor Randall Woodfin regarding just how much money the library system will receive from the city, which will determine how many branches will have to close and how many employees have to be furloughed.

Or rather, as members of the BPL Board of Trustees remarked during a library board meeting Tuesday afternoon, there have been several clear answers from Woodfin, all of them dramatically different.
Read more.

Furloughs on Hold, but Maybe Not for Long

Earlier this month, employees of several city-owned entities — including the Birmingham Public Library and the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board, among others — received letters from Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office informing them that they would be furloughed.

Now, they’re being told to ignore that furlough letter — but another one might be coming.

“The letter is now moot,” said Cedric Sparks, Woodfin’s chief of staff, during a teleconference with Birmingham employees on Friday, responding to a question specifically focused on library employees. “The letter that you have received, please disregard that letter. Your next letter will come directly from the library board.”

However, the mayor’s office also announced that it had raised funding for libraries and parks in a revised budget proposal. Read more.

City Notifies Birmingham Library Employees of Furloughs; Library Board President Contests City Authority

Are Birmingham Public Library employees being furloughed? It depends on whom you’re asking.

Most BPL employees have received letters from the city of Birmingham telling them they will be placed on unpaid leave starting Sept. 12.

“You should not report to work after this date until such time further notice is given that normal operations can resume,” reads the letter, signed by Mayor Randall Woodfin and city Human Resources Director Jill Madajczyk and dated Aug. 18.

Multiple BPL employees have confirmed that almost all of the BPL’s 230 staffers have received a furlough letter.

However, in a letter dated two days later, library board of trustees President Eunice Johnson Rogers told employees to disregard the furlough letter and continue going to work because the decision about furloughs is up to the board. She also told the Birmingham City Council Tuesday that no decision has been made to furlough employees. “To date, the BPL Board of Trustees has not closed any branches or furloughed any employees,” she said. Read more.

Budget Blows to Birmingham Schools and Transit Being Cushioned, Other Groups are Not as Lucky

Mayor Randall Woodfin defended some controversial cuts in his proposed FY 2021 budget Tuesday, arguing that, despite a significant drop in city funding, both Birmingham City Schools and the Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority would continue to operate as usual. Much of the money they lost will be made up by funds from elsewhere.

Many other groups, including the library system, zoo and Railroad Park, are facing much bigger consequences. Read more.

Traffic Tie-Ups, New Sports Teams and an Anti-Crime Plan Create Challenges, Opportunities for Birmingham in 2019

Several major changes are headed to Birmingham in 2019, although some will be more apparent than others. They range from the bureaucratic – such as new members on the Birmingham City Council, ongoing personnel shake-ups at the Birmingham Public Library and calls for a comprehensive public safety plan – to the physical – including a major interstate closure and construction of a new open-air stadium at the BJCC.
Read about what the year ahead looks like for the Magic City.

More What to Watch in 2019

Economy Likely to Be the Topic of the Year for Jefferson County Commission


Economic development is likely to be a primary focus for Jefferson County and the County Commission during 2019. The county hit a mother lode, or at least the offshoot of one, during 2018 with Amazon and DC Blox announcing they are establishing operations in Bessemer and North Titusville, respectively. Look for Jefferson County to continue prospecting for more golden nuggets in 2019. Read more.

By Land, Water or Air, Pollution Will Be a Controversial Topic Throughout the Year


Environmental issues have made headlines throughout 2018, and 2019 promises to be no different.
Decisions will be made that affect the cleanliness of the state’s waters, air and land. Issues that will affect recycling, coal mining and solar, nuclear and hydropower generation also are looming on the horizon. Here are a few of the issues to watch in 2019.

Gas Tax Is a Top Priority in 2019 Legislative Session


A gasoline tax increase to fund road improvements is expected to be a major topic of the 2019 Alabama legislative session. Legislators also are expecting several hundred million more dollars to spend in the education budget and will be debating raises, a child literacy program and other education improvements. Other issues include funding improvements in prisons and a possible lottery proposal. Read more.