The Central Branch of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL), located in downtown Birmingham, is further reducing hours to the public due to air cooling issues. Saturday hours are now 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., previously 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Sundays. The branch is also currently open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A broken HVAC unit is the cause for the heat in the building, and workers anticipate a six-week delay in receiving parts necessary for repairs. Freezing January temperatures caused a rupture of the A/C coil in the main handler.
"Various departments are working with us to expedite getting this problem solved," said Renee Blalock, library director. "We are very grateful to our staff and the public for being so understanding."
Other adjustments have been made to deal with the heat issues:
- To keep down heat within the building, all downtown public computers will be available from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- The East Building’s third floor will close every day at 12 p.m.
- Tinted cellophane has been placed on East windows of the library’s East Building to help reduce the heat.
- The Youth Department will provide free snow cones on Friday afternoons.
- Some employees have been temporarily assigned to other library locations.
This is the first time in 10 years that employees have had to deal with a lack of air conditioning at the Central Branch library.