Early in 1969 a group of dedicated citizens, soon to become the Friends-of-the-Library, surveyed the community and found a strong desire for its citizens to have their own library. The first Library Board was soon formed, with Dr. Leonard Robinson as its chairman; the other members being Dr. Joe Volker, Jack Echols, Buell Warren, and Sara Wuska. In April of 1969 the Library opened on the site of the Vestavia Hills Civic Center, with slightly more than 7,000 books.
With the continuing support of the Mayor and City Council, much growth has taken place since that time. In 1995 the Library moved to 1112 Montgomery Highway. This location housed over 100,000 items, including books, books on cassette and CD, music CDs, videos and DVDs, and over 150 magazines and newspapers. In 2002, the Vestavia Hills Mayor and City Council developed a long range strategic plan in advance of our community’s projected population growth which included a bold $4 million challenge grant to match private gifts dollar-for-dollar for the building of a new library.
A cabinet of advisors and investors comprised of dedicated corporate citizens, volunteers, and the library’s family of boards worked diligently to see the vision to fruition. Those organizations included the Library Board of Trustees, the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, PALS (People Affecting Library Success) and ROCK (Reading Opportunities Challenging Kids, now disbanded).
The new 35,000 square foot library is located on nine wooded, rolling acres of the Wald Estate, at the intersection of Round Hill Road and Highway 31. This beautiful setting runs adjacent to the Boulder Creek Nature Trail and affords unique outdoor learning experiences for visitors of all ages. Our Library in the Forest is the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified facility.
In the years to come, visitors to Vestavia Hills will encounter patrons, young and old alike, walking along a forest trail beside an attractive building which blends into the surrounding natural environment. Inside, they will see young entrepreneurs sitting at computer banks planning new businesses; children in a Treehouse Reading Room listening to a master storyteller. Visitors will sense that what they are seeing is not an impressive structure alone, but tangible evidence of the vision, faith, and high aspiration of an entire city.
*The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System® is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
Welcome to the Library in the Forest
Conveniently located on Highway 31, in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, our Library in the Forest, the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified library utilizes wood from trees cleared from the site for our ceiling and some of our furnishings, as well as other recycled materials and energy saving designs in its construction. Come visit us today at Library in the Forest!
Adopted and Approved by the Board of Trustees, August 2006
It is the mission of The Vestavia Hills Public Library to be a leader in the community’s cultural, intellectual, economic, and environmental stewardship by offering access for all ages to a diverse and relevant collection of materials, provided in an environmentally and architecturally sensitive “green” space. The Library will achieve its mission by being both a provider and a partner in the Vestavia Hills Community:
As a provider, the Library will:
- Circulate collections of current high-demand, high-interest materials in a variety of formats for all ages.
- Maintain collections in a variety of formats representing a broad spectrum of knowledge on a variety of subjects.
- Offer reference services providing timely and accurate information in a variety of formats with access from diverse sources.
- Plan and implement programs and services for all ages that encourage reading, learning, and cultural enrichment.
- Create environmental educational opportunities as the first “green” library in the state.
As a partner, the Library will:
- Coordinate the development of reference and informational collections, current reading lists, and other materials for the school system of Vestavia Hills.
- Facilitate connections with local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.
- Work with other agencies and organizations in providing pertinent community information.
- Foster the development of programs and services offered by local groups such as The Vestavia Hills Historical Society, Vestavia Hills Art Association, and other similar groups.
- Work with Keep Vestavia Green and other local, state, and national environmental agencies and organizations as a “green” facility.
- Always listen and respond to the best of its ability to the library needs of the citizens of Vestavia Hills.
Board of Trustees
A Member of the JCLC Cooperative
As part of the Jefferson County Library system, The Vestavia Hills library has become a part of every Jefferson County library, linked by library computers. There are also computers for public use, both for adults and children, and a wealth of information thus becomes available to all library patrons.