Tag: Birmingham Public Library

Birmingham Public Library Executive Director Resigns After Three Controversial Years

Floyd Council, executive director of the Birmingham Public Library, announced his resignation Tuesday morning after three embattled years on the job.
“After much prayer and consideration, I wanted you all to be the first to know that I will be announcing my resignation this week from my position as Executive Director of the Birmingham Public Library with plans to start the new year with other blessings and use of my gifts and talents to the Glory of God,” Council wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday morning. “Health, wellness and peace all come from God, not jobs, big salaries, and people.”

Council did not give any motive for his resignation. He had spent parts of October and November suspended without pay by the BPL board of trustees for undisclosed reasons, but had returned to the job last month. The board had been scheduled to evaluate Council’s performance during a personnel committee meeting on Dec. 17.
Read more.

Birmingham Bringing Back Up to 132 of Its Furloughed Employees

The Birmingham City Council has approved a plan to bring up to 132 furloughed city employees — mostly from the Birmingham Public Library and the city parks department — back to work.

The workers were furloughed in September due to budget cuts necessitated by COVID-19’s impact on city revenue.

The plan, described as a compromise between mayor and council, will be funded by $4.85 million borrowed from the city’s general fund reserve. That’s far less than the $7 million requested in Woodfin’s initial plan, which would also have restored two paid holidays for city employees and reversed some salary reductions to appointed staff. Read more.

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.
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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.