Friday, September 29, 2006

Free framed art available at Central

Art prints ready to be checked-outThe Arts/Literature/Sports Department has many framed art prints that can be checked out. The prints cover a wide variety of subjects and periods. These include reproductions of works by well-known artists, a variety of landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and photographs, as well as some children's art.

These art prints are a great way to enhance your home d├ęcor at no cost. The check out period is for 60 days and a maximum of two prints may be checked out per library card.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Birmingham Children's Theater @ Springville Road

Birmingham Children's Theater's The Gingerbread Boy The Gingerbread Boy will be presented by the Birmingham Children's Theater tomorrow, September 28th at the Springville Road Regional Branch. The play begins at 4 p.m. Call June Lacanski (205) 226-4085 for additional information.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Banned Books Week

Catcher in the Rye . . . Harry Potter . . . Captain Underpants . . .
Every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from schools and libraries. Celebrate YOUR freedom to read and right to choose your book during Banned Books Week, September 23rd to the 30th.

Censorship causes blindness eye chart
Banned Books Week "celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met." (American Library Association)

10 most challenged books in 2005
100 most frequently challenged books of 1990-2000
American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression's banned and challenged book list
Google's explore banned books

Join the banned books virtual panel discussion this Monday at 9 a.m.
with frequently banned authors, Chris Crutcher and Sonya Sones, and American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Expert, Kent Oliver.

Vote for your favorite banned book

Birmingham obituary index online

Local Databases page
BPL's newest database, Obituary Index: Birmingham Area Newspapers, is now available online. The index includes the name of the deceased and the newspaper, page number and date of the published obituary. Obituaries from three Birmingham area newspapers are included (The Birmingham News, Birmingham World, and the Methodist Christian Advocate)

This is an ongoing project of the Government Documents Department and the years covered (as of 9/21/06) are December 1960 - December 1976. There are already almost 100,000 entries in the database.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Local real estate database at Central


The Business, Science & Technology Department at Central subscribes to the property information database RealQuest. With this database you can locate current Jefferson County real estate information such as the names of property owners, street addresses, parcel numbers, sales and financing data, property descriptions, maps, taxes, etc. So, if you find yourself in need of such information, drop by the Central Library and we will be happy to assist you.

Friday, September 15, 2006

BPL's new Web homepage launched today

BPL Web site design
BPL's new Web homepage design was lauched this morning with several new features. The new features include an online calendar of events, database spotlights, and a drop down menu with links to new books and DVDs, jobs at the library, FAQs, genealogy, and meeting rooms. Check it out and let us know what you think: http://www.bplonline.org

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Credit Smart Workshop

House sold sign
Is trying to buy a home getting you down? Attend West End's Credit Smart Workshop tomorrow (September 14) at 5:30 p.m. to learn how to improve your credit rating in preparation for home ownership. The workshop will be taught by Sarita J Womack, Director of Housing for the Birmingham Urban League. Snacks will be provided. Call Denise Allen at (205) 226-4089 for additional information.

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 11 Project and Resources

September 11 project graphic BPL is joining over 430 libraries worldwide as a part of the September Project. Central and Pratt City libraries will feature window displays remembering the events of September 11, 2001. Avondale, East Lake, Eastwood, Inglenook, North Avondale, North Birmingham, Southside, Springville Road, and Titusville libraries will remember the day with book displays.

"The September Project is a grassroots effort to get people together on September 11th to talk about issues that matter. September Project events take place in libraries, where all people are welcomed, and where the exchange of information and ideas flourish. The September Project encourages individual communities — neighbors — to make sense of the world together."

For general information, photographs, first-person accounts, terrorism, and timelines concerning September 11, 2001 and beyond use the Web sites recommended by the Librarians' Internet Index . Books and videos are also available at BPL.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day
September 8 is International Literacy Day, established to celebrate literacy and put a focus on improving literacy throughout the world.

Approximately 860 million of the world’s adults, nearly two-thirds of whom are women, do not know how to read or write, according to the International Reading Association.

In Birmingham, AL, an estimated 38% of adults are functionally illiterate. This means they are unable to read and write well enough to fill out a job application.

The Birmingham Public Library partners with the Literacy Council to provide the community with adult literacy services. Adults interested in learning to read, improving their reading skills, and learning English as a second language may contact the Literacy Council at 205-326-1925 or 1-888-448-7323. Tutors and students are encouraged to meet in the public library in order to utilize the many services and resources available.

Facts about Illiteracy

  • The high school dropout rate in Alabama is 37%, 10 points higher than the national rate of 27%.
  • 75% of unemployed adults have reading or writing difficulties.
  • 60% of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have problems reading.
  • 13% of all 17-year-olds are functionally illiterate. Among minority youth the figure is 44%.
  • It is estimated that fifteen million adults holding jobs today are functionally illiterate.
  • Almost 1 million adults in Alabama are not high school graduates.
  • Youngsters whose parents are functionally illiterate are twice as likely as their peers to be functionally illiterate.
  • The estimated cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.
  • Over half of Alabama’s prisoners never completed the eighth grade. Over 90% of Alabama’s prisoners do not have a high school education.
  • In Birmingham 24.5% of Birmingham's citizens age 25 and older did not graduate from high school (2000 Census).

To read more about literacy check out one of our books.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

USS Birmingham in World War II

USS Birmingham
Join Birmingham historian Jim Noles September 13 at noon in Central's Arrington Auditorium to learn about the ship called Birmingham. Known as one of the Second World War's unluckiest ships, the cruiser Birmingham fought gallantly in the Pacific while surviving a torpedo attack, a direct hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane in which 51 crew members were killed, and an explosion that took the lives of 237 men. "A Ship Called Birmingham: The USS Birmingham in World War II" program is a part of BPL's Brown Bag Lunch Series.

3rd Annual Great Garage Sale

Garage Sale
Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Great Garage Sale September 15th at the Central Library and come on down! We have something for everyone - baby gear, toys, kitchenware, decorative items, paintings, jewelry, electronics, gardening equipment, CDs, videos, music cassettes, stuffed animals, silent auction items and much more. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 4:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium. Popcorn, cookies and soft drinks will also be available for sale. All proceeds benefit our annual Staff Day.