Joe Stahlkuppe

There are a lot of things in North Jefferson County that could be described as treasures or blessings or super benefits. Of course, not the least of these is this weekly newspaper – The North Jefferson News with editor Rachel Davis and sports editor Erik Harris. (But enough about self-promotion!)

This past year has shown me what a real blessing (treasure, benefit, whatever) the Fultondale and Gardendale Public Libraries are. Sadly, far too few people seem to realize just how great these libraries really are!

The Fultondale Public Library, led by Cristi Farley and the Martha Moore Gardendale Public Library under the leadership of Connie Smith are among the most valuable things in our part of this county.

Libraries are much more than collections of books that can be checked out. Computers (with Wi-Fi), audio-books to listen to, movies to check out and other up-to-second technologies make libraries the top public research and learning entities anywhere.

Maybe you aren’t a big reader, but you like to watch movies at home. If you want to download books, all you need is a Jefferson County Library Card. Maybe you don’t have the most modern computer or access to all sorts of important websites and windows. In either case, these libraries are for you! By the way, these services are FREE!

A Library Card from ANY Jefferson County Library is good at ALL Jefferson County Libraries!

Perhaps you have some small children or grandchildren. These libraries are loaded with many, many books, etc. just for the younger set. Maybe you need to do some sort of report or just want to know something you can’t Google, I bet the Fultondale or Gardendale Public Libraries have just what you need!

The Fultondale Public Library (500 Byrd Lane, near Winn-Dixie and Dollar General) serves the nearly 20,000 local residents with over 40,000 volumes. Their hours are from 8am to 7pm Monday through Thursday with Friday 8am to 5pm. They are closed Saturday and Sunday. Their phone number is (205) 849-6335.

The Martha Moore Gardendale Public Library (named after its founder from 1958 and across from Buffalo Wild Wings has much the same resources and services as Fultondale, but with a 12,642 square foot facility for people of all ages. Gardendale has a 4,985 square foot separate wing dedicated for teen and children’s Services.

Perhaps the most valuable asset of both these libraries is the great care that has been taken to hire and develop some of the finest professionals with the very best attitudes you could imagine! Courteous, knowledgeable and willing to help you makes these staffs the equivalent of the quality services they offer.

On a personal note, for me and lots of veterans, Fultondale and Gardendale have been much more than kind in allowing us to set up our Veterans Information Tables on their respective Thursdays from 9am to 1pm. Hundreds of Veterans and their families have gained immeasurably from these opportunities to talk Vet2Vet and give out important info.

TOMORROW – Thursday, May 9th, Jim Parola and other volunteers will be at the Fultondale Library from 9am-1pm. That will be the last Fultondale session for us until the autumn. We will be at the Gardendale Library on May 16 for the last time this summer.

On May 23, thanks to that other North Jefferson County treasure, Jim Parola, the Veteran Information Tables will move to the Gardendale Farmers Market at the Civic Center, again from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jim is not only a hardworking Veteran, but he is the Main Dude at the Farmers Market (which probably wouldn’t exist without him!)

May God Richly Bless our Librarians, our Veterans (and their families), our Active Duty Military, our Governments, our First Responders (Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMTs, Teachers & Clergypersons) but most of all May God Bless YOU!

Thanks - GIJOE

Gerald “Joe” Stahlkuppe is a combat Army veteran of the Vietnam War. An ordained clergyman, public speaker and author of several books, he lives with his wife in Gardendale.

Questions or veterans issues you would like to see addressed in the column can be directed to Stahlkuppe at P.O. Box 849, Gardendale, AL 35071 or emailed to editor@njeffersonnews.com.

Gerald “Joe” Stahlkuppe is a combat Army veteran of the Vietnam War. An ordained clergyman, public speaker and author of several books, he lives with his wife in Gardendale. 

Questions or veterans issues you would like to see addressed in the column can be directed to Stahlkuppe at P.O. Box 849, Gardendale, AL 35071 or emailed to editor@njeffersonnews.com.

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