Get Smart at the Hoover Library

Image

To say I was impressed with the Hoover Public Library would be an understatement. Before I moved to Birmingham I had a library card in two counties, both Duval and St. Johns, but I can say I think Hoover has them both beat.

In Duval County (Jacksonville) the main library downtown was huge and beautiful, but not so convenient.  Some of you other Jax transplants may be familiar with it. That is one difference – the convenience. Another is the staff. I was helped by Mary and another employee at the front desk in Hoover. They  were both helpful and friendly. Getting my card was easy (so much easier than getting that driver’s license!) and then Mary gave me a brief overview of where things were located. They graciously called a boss to be sure I had permission to take photos as I explored. Even in my favorite little library near my home in St. Johns County I never was met with such southern hospitality.

Image

The layout of the library makes it super easy to find what you’re looking for. The video and music selection is quite large. Audio books are also available, some of which can even be downloaded.

Image

The large Kidzone was very child friendly and even had a fenced outdoor play area. The Teen Spot was a perfect place for study or hanging out. For those who need a hushed place for study there is a Quiet Study area.

Image

The Friends Bookstore, staffed by Friends of the Hover Library, and Coffe-ol-ogy Café are two places I plan to check out more thoroughly on my next visit.

The library has a full schedule of activities and events for all ages, from storytime for those three and under to the Battle of the Bands for the teens to numerous book groups for adults. There are also author presentations and musical events as well.

Image

Some unique features that wowed me:

  • The “Cone of Silence” – a futuristic-looking booth that patrons can step inside if they need to use their cell phone
  • Book Club Kits- including multiple copies of the book – that can be checked out for six weeks
  • To make checkout easy, there are self-check kiosks scattered around the building.
  • An online “email a librarian” feature
  • Nooks available for checkout
  • Laptops that can be checked out for use within the library
  • Headphones are sold for $2 and Flash Drives for $5 at the service desk
  • The Library Theatre – a venue that hosts World-Class entertainment

Municipal Dr, Hoover, AL 35216
(205) 444-7800

Advertisements

A Day at the Courthouse

Image

When I saw this sign, I wondered if I’d been transported to Birmingham, England. It wasn’t until I uploaded the above picture at home that I saw someone else had noticed and penned a correction!

 

We had been warned – it will take 4-5 hours. So, my husband took the day off for us to get our Alabama driver’s licenses and my car tag/title taken care of. He has to go back to get his tag/title taken care of. He will do that alone. We were there for six hours last Tuesday.

We decided to go the courthouse in Bessemer as it seemed the closest place to us. I came armed with a good book to read and my cell phone. In between chapters I kept my friend back home apprised of the situation via texts. She lived in Birmingham about four years ago and was quite familiar with the scenario.

Where shall I begin? We started the process about 8:40am – we were numbers 18 & 19. At 10:15am they were still on number three. There was an older gentleman who got in line, hopefully for an ID and not a driver’s license. He had a cane but was still pretty unstable. But he had no birth certificate; could be it had been written on a stone tablet somewhere. Thankfully, everyone was very kind to him before he left in search of the elusive birth certificate.

A young upstart was walking around with a shirt that read, “I’m allergic to stupid.” I wondered how he was able to get a number. Soon, everyone was inquiring about each other’s numbers. Kind of like the first day of school but without any bells to let us know when it was time to change classes, which we didn’t need anyway as we weren’t going anywhere.

My friend suggested that I could write about the life and times of two Alabama employees. Here is my introduction: “Once upon a time there were two people who were vying for the title of Least Productive Employee of the Month.”

Another young man was quite humorous. His observation of one of the employees: “She went to the bathroom and on break all in one motion”; upon finding out some people had given up and left, “We’re the last of the Mohicans.” My friends responded that at least they are well read in Bessemer.

After I got my license, I headed downstairs for the tag business. I observed a sign behind the woman who was waiting on me that made me wonder at all the Southern Hospitality I’d been experiencing since we moved. The sign said, “Unless you pay into the coffee funds, you are NOT welcome to any of the coffee supplies.” Hmmm. SOMEbody was disgruntled.

We didn’t pack a lunch and I was afraid to chew gum for fear of a loudly growling stomach, so I survived on a few tic-tacs. I was very happy when we finally got lunch/dinner about 3:30. We ate at La Brisa on John Hawkins Parkway, sitting  outside, enjoying our meal and nice cold drink. That will be for another post.