Sunday, December 27, 2009

Resource Spotlight: LearningExpress Library



In the tutorial above, viewers are introduced to LearningExpress Library.

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial courses designed to help users improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math, as well as prepare for tests such as the GED, ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, ASVAB, CLEP and others.

LearningExpress Library includes self-paced interactive study, instant scoring, and diagnostic feedback, and can be accessed from any computer with Internet access. Users will need to create an account using the barcode from your JCLC library card as your Username and making up your own Password.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Map Collection Highlighted

Detail of 1544 map The Birmingham News published an article in today's paper about the library's historical map collection. You can read reporter Hannah K. Wolfson's article online at www.al.com. To view over 900 of the maps in the collection check out BPL's digital collection.




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Biography Resource Center




In the tutorial above, viewers are guided in accessing and using Biography Resource Center.

Want to easily locate an authoritative biography on a particular person?

Want to find lists of famous people by era, ethnicity, gender, or occupation?

Biography Resource Center includes concise and in-depth biographical information on more than a million notable individuals.

Try it today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt

A young boy participates in the MLK scavenger hunt
I will be the first one to finish because I know the most about MLK."

Children of all ages are invited to visit any Birmingham Public Library January 4-15 to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt. Preschoolers are encouraged to locate each of the ten hidden game pieces while older children are encouraged to locate the hidden game piece and complete the fill-in-the-blank activity. Each game piece includes a photo of Dr. King along with an interesting fact. Did you know that Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964?

Participants who successfully complete the scavenger hunt may enter their names into a drawing for a free book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each Birmingham Public Library will draw three winners. One of the give-away books is the biography, Free at Last: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Angela Bull.

Storyteller Swap

Miss Eve Parker from Avondale shares her version of Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt during the Storyteller Swap Workshop at Springville Road Library on Monday. Birmingham Public Library storytellers traded ideas for the upcoming summer reading program. The theme for the 2010 Summer Reading Program for the children's departments is "Make a Splash at Your Library - READ."


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Polar Pajama Party

Yummy warm cocoa and sugar cookies fill bellies while watching "The Polar Express" Saturday at Springville Road.


- Posted using BlogPress from Farah's iPhone

"The Polar Express" Saturday

It's pajama time at Springville Road to watch "The Polar Express."


- Posted using BlogPress from Farah's iPhone

Friday, December 18, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Electronic Magazine Holdings


The tutorial above guides viewers in finding and accessing our online magazine holdings.

If you are looking for articles in a specific newspaper, magazine, or journal, use the BPL Electronic Magazine Holdings listing to find out which magazine databases provide coverage.

Simply type in the name of the newspaper, magazine, or journal you're looking for in the search box, and Electronic Magazine Holdings will display links to our databases containing the full text of the title and tell you the date ranges of full-text coverage.

You can then click onto one of the databases in the list to access the articles.

Expanded Academic ASAP, a database featuring magazine and journal articles, is also shown as an example within this tutorial.

Expanded Academic ASAP allows users to find articles by topic, relevance, or keyword. Other features of this database include the ability to narrow subjects by subdivision, limit results by date or to a specific publication, broaden the search to expanded subdivisions, or select only articles having full text.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Archives Department Closed to Public Thru December 21

Sorry we are closed signDue to construction the Archives & Manuscripts Department at Central Library will be closed to the public until December 21. Because unforeseen problems may occur, patrons are encouraged to visit the BPL Website for updated information before visiting Archives.

Work on Inventory Day

Tonya Clarke, Judy Dick, and Leonette Jackson sort through the endless piles of props at Springville Road during inventory day.

The Jefferson County Public Library Association recognizes Library Champions

The Jefferson County Public Library Association Library (JCPLA) Champion Awards were presented at the JCPLA Holiday Luncheon on December 8, 2009.

The Library Champion Award is presented annually by the Jefferson County Public Library Association. The Award recognizes an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution(s) to libraries and/or librarianship in Jefferson County, Alabama.

The 2009 recipients of the Library Champion Awards are:


Linda Wilson Holt
Nominated by: Bessemer Public Library

Ms. Holt started a Friends of the Library group for Bessemer Public Library and organized and opened a Friends of the Library book store. The book store has been so successful that it has already outgrown it’s original space and had to expand to another room.

Ms. Holt’s contribution of time and talent shows true friendship and support of the Bessemer Public Library. Although new to the area, she has been steadfast in the face of adversity and has shown determination in reaching her goals. She is creative and smart and a real champion, and an awesome Friend who furthers the mission and vision of the Bessemer Public Library.


Bamachex, Mike Zaveri
Nominated by: Birmingham Public Library

The word partnership as defined by The American Heritage Dictionary is “a close relationship in which each member helps or cooperates with the other.” Such is the relationship between the Birmingham Public Library System and Bamachex Incorporated. For the past four years Rally’s, a division of Bamachex, has been a key sponsor in the library summer reading program. This year, Rally’s honored over 3,500 “Rally on to the end - KEEP READING!” coupons presented to BPL’s summer readers.

As with any partnership, it is imperative to have a contact person - a person who says, “Just let me know what you need,” and then makes it happen; a person who comes by just to make sure everything is running smoothly and to see if you need anything else. Area Director Mike Zaveri is truly that kind of person. The close ties Rally’s and he have established with the Birmingham Public Library, and even more specifically, Avondale Regional Library, makes Rally’s BPL’s Library Champion.


Roderick V. Royal, Birmingham City Council
Nominated by: Birmingham Public Library

As a member of the Birmingham City Council and chair of the Council’s Education Committee, Councilor Royal has been a strong advocate for the Birmingham Public Library. In addition to bringing the Library’s needs before the Council and the people of Birmingham, he has helped secure needed funding for improvements to the Pratt City and Wylam branch libraries, as well as the Birmingham Public Library Archives. Birmingham Public Library’s nineteen branches serve as the hearts of their communities, and Councilor Royal has helped to improve the services and physical condition of two branches.

Councilor Royal has served all of Jefferson County through his financial support and advocacy for the Birmingham Public Library Archives. The Archives’ collections document the history of all of Jefferson County and are used daily by the general public, students and business people throughout the region. Because of Councilor Royal’s efforts and support, the Archives has the opportunity to grow and better serve the people of Jefferson County.


Kevin O’Kelley and Kathy Conrad, Pet Supplies Plus
Nominated by: Birmingham Public Library

Springville Road Regional Branch of the Birmingham Public Library currently has a menagerie of two bearded dragons, two ferrets, a hedgehog, a leopard gecko, a guinea pig and a red-eared slider (turtle). Each week the Library has a “Grubdown” featuring all of its animals. This event is regularly attended by anywhere from twenty to fifty patrons of varying ages.

Pet Supplies Plus has made it easy to maintain this small zoo by providing food, bedding, treats, toys, cages, cage accessories, pet vitamins and other pet care needs. Additionally, Mr. O’Kelley and Ms. Conrad are always available with advice on any pet question. Thanks to these Library Champions, the menagerie at the Springville Road Regional Library is healthy, happy, and well-maintained.


Homewood Cycle and Fitness
Nominated by: Homewood Public Library

Homewood Public Library’s Children’s Department relies heavily on local businesses for support during the Summer Reading program. For the past four years Homewood Cycle and Fitness has gone above and beyond by donating a new bicycle as a reading incentive. Each week children who check out and read at least five books are allowed to register for the grand prize of the summer - the bicycle. This bicycle has been a strong motivation to draw children and their parents into the Library, where they then discover all of the books, materials, and programs available for the entire family.

Thanks to the support of Homewood Cycle and Fitness, Homewood Public Library’s Summer Reading registration has exceeded 900 children each year, and more families are aware of the services offered by the Library.


Tamea Barnes, Educator/Paine Primary School
Nominated by: Trussville Public Library

Mrs. Barnes is an indispensable part of Trussville Public Library’s American Girls Club. She donates her time and talent as an educator to provide participants an enlightening history lesson pertaining to each month’s American Girl. She injects such energy and enthusiasm into her lesson time that everyone becomes caught up in the historical time period.

Mrs. Barnes aids library staff in formulating craft projects so that the participants gain historical insight into the time period of each American Girl. It would be very difficult to replicate her role in Trussville Public Library’s American Girls Club. In the eyes of the Trussville Public Library, Mrs. Tamea Barnes is a Library Champion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Auto Repair


In the tutorial above, viewers are guided in accessing and using Auto Repair Reference Center online.

Auto Repair Reference Center gives you online access to repair information, service bulletins, and wiring diagrams for most major domestic and imported vehicles from 1954 to the present.

Whether you are replacing brakes or just changing your oil, Auto Repair Reference Center provides clear instructions and step-by-step illustrations to help you do the job.

Not mechanically inclined?

With features like maintenance schedules, labor estimator, and recall information, this database is useful for all car owners even if you are not going to do it yourself.

Best of all, Auto Repair Reference Center is constantly updated, so you can be sure that the information you find will be current.

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the Horizon - New Books in January


Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert
The author of Eat, Pray, Love tries to untie the complicated knots of love and marriage as she delves into her relationship with a man she swore never to marry.

Deeper Than the Dead – Tami Hoag
The popular suspense writer returns in this novel about an FBI detective following a case that begins when three children stumble upon the victim of a new serial killer.


Noah’s Compass – Anne Tyler
After a 61-year-old teacher is forced to retire and is attacked in his home, he tries to come to terms with his life through a relationship with a woman half his age.

The First Rule – Robert Crais
Well-loved characters Joe Pike and Elvis Cole investigate the murder of the family of an old friend of Pike's and find themselves drawn into the world of the Russian Mob.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Resource Spotlight: EBSCO Masterfile



In the tutorial above, viewers are guided in accessing and using EBSCO Masterfile.

Did you know that through EBSCO MasterFILE Premier you can easily search, view, email or print millions of full-text articles from more than 1,700 of the best known magazines, journals and newspapers?

Masterfile also includes full text reference books, biographies, primary source documents, and an image collection of over 200,000 photos and maps.

Big Read Art Contest for High School Students

Big Read Mark Twain Logo
The Birmingham Museum of Art and the Birmingham Public Library are proud to sponsor an exhibition highlighting the artistic achievement of students living in the Birmingham metro area. This competition is open to high school students who attend school in Jefferson County. Art works must be made in response to Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Entries will be judged. Finalists will be displayed at the Birmingham Museum of Art. A reception will be held honoring the students.

Click here for contest details.

Santa Scheduled To Visit Three Branch Libraries

Jolly Santa and his work book
It's true that Santa is a busy man, what with making that humongous list and checking it twice, but he still has time to visit good little boys and girls at their local library. Come visit him at these three remaining locations. There will be gifts, toys, and free pictures with Santa.

Locations
North Birmingham Branch Library
Saturday, December 12 from 2:00-5:00

Five Points West Branch Library
Sunday, December 13 from 2:00-5:00

Avondale Branch Library
Sunday, December 20 from 2:00-5:00

Bring on the Blessings: A Season's Readings Review



The 2009 edition of Season's Readings contains a selection of books which have been read and enjoyed by staff members of the Birmingham Public Library system. Pick up a print copy at any Birmingham Public Library location.

In addition to the beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews on video.

In the video above,Felita Hawkins reviews,"Bring on the Blessings" by Beverly Jenkins.

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Musical Magic

Dr. Anthony Pattin
Dr. Anthony Pattin, Professor of Music at the University of Montevallo and Director of Music at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, will present a diverse program of music performed on the piano. Come and enjoy the artistry of this talented and gifted pianist. Wednesday, December 16, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Award-Winning Film Precious Based on Award-Winning Book Push by Sapphire



"I big. I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see... I don't exist. Don't nobody want me. Don't nobody need me. I know who I am... I know who they say I am—vampire sucking the system's blood."

Precious, now playing in select theaters, is based on Sapphire's 1996 novel Push about obese, illiterate 16-year-old Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) from Harlem who is physically and mentally abused by her mother (Mo'Nique) and sexually abused by her father. When she becomes pregnant with her father's second child at age 16, the school pushes her to drop out and attend an "Each One Teach One" GED program. With the help of her social worker (Mariah Carey) and teacher (Paula Patton), she learns how to read and write, building the confidence she needs to create a better life for herself and her children.

Gabourey Sidibe was chosen out of 500 girls director Lee Daniels interviewed. This is her first acting gig and the word around Hollywood is that her Academy Award nomination is in the bag. Daniels says that when you meet the real Gabourey—giggly and full-of-life—you'll see just how amazing her acting in Precious is. True story: When a blonde model showed up to film a dream sequence with Sidibe, the crew pushed Sidibe aside and showered attention on the model. Daniels told them, "If you don't know that Precious is the real star of this movie, you should not be working on it." The he fired them. I think I'm in love with my new favorite director!

I would never have predicted that the words "award winning movie" and "Mariah Carey" would be used in the same sentence, but here it is: Mariah Carey plays a social worker in the award-winning movie Precious. An unrecognizable high school counselor, to be sure; a tired, overworked character with a "little mustache" drawn on with mascara that Carey said she dealt with because she believed in the director's vision.

Precious has racked up sixteen nominations and nine awards, including Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic for director Lee Daniels and Special Jury Prize for Mo'Nique.


SapphireWho is Sapphire?

Sapphire was born Ramona Lofton in 1950 into a middle-class military family. After high school she joined the black power movement and changed her name to Sapphire because she "read somewhere that the rays emitted by sapphires can change the molecular structure of other gemstones—and that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life."

The 1980s were a turbulent time for her. After reuniting with her alcoholic mother in the late 1970s, her mother died in 1986. The same year her homeless, schizophrenic brother was murdered in a Los Angeles park. Around this time she started uncovering memories of molestation by her father, which he denied when confronted. But her sister confirmed the abuse.

Her first claim to fame was a 1989 poem called "Wild Thing," which told the story of the Central Park jogger attack from the sympathetic view of one of the young attackers, whom she imagined grew up as an abused child. Her poem outraged many, and was used by Jesse Helms to attack the National Endowment for the Arts, which funded the poem.

Her first book was a well-received collection of poems and prose dealing with childhood abuse and stereotypical images of blacks and Africans in popular culture.

But it was her novel Push that earned her a bigger audience. Sapphire admits that part of her agenda with Push was to talk about the welfare system, but also to "tell a really pure, unadulterated story about a girl."

Sources:
Biography Resource Center (requires a JCLC card and residence in Birmingham, AL)

"The Surprise Diamond of Hollywood"

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fun Day Sunday


The Springville Road Branch Library opened its doors Sunday for its annual "Fun Day Sunday" Open House, kicking off the holiday season programming. Greeted with warm cocoa and cookies, patrons gathered all around the departments to do crafts, eat refreshments, mingle and spread a little holiday cheer. In the adult department, patrons wrote their holiday greetings for our troops serving abroad. In the youth department, families participated in crafts: build a marshmallow snowman and make a candycane ornament. There was facepainting and, of course, pictures with Santa Claus. Children younger than 12 were given toys or books after they said "Cheers" for the camera. The event brought in many members of the community. If you missed it this year, there's always next. In the meantime, join us for our family movie day on Saturday, December 19 at 2 pm for our "Polar Express" Pajama Party. Contact 226-4085 for more information. Click here for a slideshow of the day.

Springville Road Receives Gift


Sam's Club Trussville Representatives Wanda Adams, left, and Deena Oliver, right, present Rochelle Sides-Renda, Birmingham Public Library East Regional Coordinator, with a check for $1000 for the BPL Springville Road Branch. Mrs. Sides-Renda thanked Sam's Club for its generous donation and said the amount will be used toward library programs. Ms. Adams and Ms. Oliver were given a brief tour of the Youth Department after the check presentation.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ecological Intelligence: A Season's Readings Review



The 2009 edition of Season's Readings is here. In this year's publication, Birmingham Public Library staff members have reviewed a variety of books, from children's titles to adult and teen books, including both fiction and nonfiction. Pick up a print copy at any Birmingham Public Library location.

In addition to this beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews as videos.

In the video above, Chris Hare reviews, "Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything" by Daniel Goleman.

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Resource Spotlight: Oxford Art Online





In the tutorial above, viewers are guided in accessing and using Oxford Art Online.

Oxford Art Online is an innovative gateway offering users the ability to access and search the vast content of Grove Art Online and Oxford art reference in one location. This full text, easily searchable database includes precise search and browse capabilities allow users to refine their results by source and subject categories.

Users can also choose to view biographies, subject entries, or images when searching or browsing. This functionality allows users greater access to the more than 23,000 subject entries, 21,000 biographies, 500,000 bibliographic citations, 40,000 image links and 5,000 images.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Visit the Local Authors Expo Friday & Saturday



Join us for all the fun at the 4th Annual Local Authors Expo!

Meet over 140 authors, buy copies of their books, and have books autographed.

It's the perfect opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for family and friends.

Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5, 2009.
11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
at the Central Library

The Expo is sponsored by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! : A Season's Readings Review



The 2009 edition of Season's Readings is here. In this year's publication, Birmingham Public Library staff members have reviewed a variety of books, from children's titles to adult and teen books, including both fiction and nonfiction. Look for a print copy at any Birmingham Public Library location.

In addition to this beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews as videos.

In the video above, June Lacanski reviews, "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!" by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow.

Resource Spotlight: ReferenceUSA



In the tutorial above, viewers are guided in accessing and using ReferenceUSA. ReferenceUSA is useful for finding both people and businesses by name, address, city, state, phone number.

Who uses Reference USA?
  • Movers who want to find schools, places of worship, childcare, doctors, and other services.
  • Job Seekers who want to locate and research businesses they want to work for.
  • Small Business Owners who want to conduct market research.
  • Students who want to research businesses.

This and all library databases are available in every branch of the Birmingham Public Library and most can be accessed via the web using your library card .

The House at The End of The Road: A Season's Readings Review



The 2009 edition of Season's Readings is here. In this year's publication, Birmingham Public Library staff members have reviewed a variety of books, from children's titles to adult and teen books, including both fiction and nonfiction. Look for a print copy at any Birmingham Public Library location.

In addition to the beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews on video.

In the video above, Pamela Lyons reviews, "The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South" by W. Ralph Eubanks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Brown Bag Lunch Program: A Christmas Memory Featuring Dolores Hydock

Dolores Hydock
The holiday season does not begin until you see Dolores Hydock present Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. Join us for our annual holiday treat and get the season into full swing! Wednesday, December 9, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Local Authors Expo Coming This Weekend

Local Authors Expo 2008
This Friday and Saturday over 140 authors will be gathered at the Central Library to sell and autograph their books. It will be a perfect opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for family and friends. Check out the list of authors to see if your favorite is listed.

Details
Local Authors Expo
Central Library
December 4th & 5th, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library