Bessemer Public Library

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The expanded Bessemer Public Library in 2010

The Bessemer Public Library is a public library serving the city of Bessemer. It is located on the corner of 19th Street North and 4th Avenue. Omar Chapman is the library's director.

The old library building in 1999

From September 1907 to 1965 the Bessemer Library occupied a small brick structure built with the help of the Carnegie Foundation on a donated lot on the corner of 18th Street North and 4th Avenue. 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 and lobbied for assistance from the city in seeking the Carnegie grant. A 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 1965 the City of Bessemer donated 15,600 square-foot former Bessemer Post Office building, which had opened in 1909, for use by the library. Renovations took two years.

In 2000 Bessemer imposed a new ad valorum tax by referendum to fund the renovation and expansion the library building. The $4.5 million project nearly tripled the library's floor area to 43,200 square feet. During construction, services were provided from a temporary site at 701 9th Avenue North. The new building opened in August 2008.


The Bessemer City Council appoints five trustees to overlapping 4-year terms to oversee library operations. Their public meetings and held on the third Thursday of each month.



  • Gordon, Robert K. (September 12, 2007) "Bessemer public library toasting its 100th birthday." The Birmingham News

External links