Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt Begins January 3

Library visitors of all ages are invited to visit any Birmingham Public Library January 3-14 to participate in the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt. Preschoolers are encouraged to locate each of the ten hidden game pieces while older visitors are encouraged to locate the hidden game piece and complete the fill-in-the-blank activity. This year Eileen Spinelli's poem, "Martin Luther King Jr." is featured. When the hunt is completed, each seeker will have a copy of the poem to keep.

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. The give-way books are Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier, Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson and Bryan Collier and
Martin Luther King, Jr. : A Dream of Hope by Alice Fleming.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Staff Pick: Out

Out by Natsuo Kirino is a brilliant Japanese murder mystery that’s not much of a mystery at all, at least not a mystery in the sense that we don’t know whodunit. Whodunit is a pretty, young wife and mother of two named Yayoi who is fed up with her husband Kenji’s philandering ways, and decides to strangle him one night in an uncharacteristic moment of rage. Assured that her children heard nothing of the struggle, she calls a friend who works the night shift with her at a boxed lunch factory. As she suspects, the pragmatic Masako Katori is not too surprised by the late call, and immediately sets the wheels in motion about how to make the body disappear and maybe make a little money off the insurance payout.

Masako enlists the help of the trusted fifty-something Yoshie, whom she knows is in desperate need of money from caring for her bedridden mother-in-law. But while the two are butchering their first ever dead body in Masako’s bathroom, the fourth friend in their factory clique gets a peek through the window, and Kuniko is enlisted to help with the disposal of the pieces with an offer of money to keep her from blabbing. The body bags have been divided into thirds, and are to be disposed of in different locations all over town. But the sloppy, lazy Kuniko’s bags are easily uncovered and identified, and soon the police show up asking questions. But the police are the least of their worries.

Satake, a calculating nightclub owner and pimp who has his own experience with dead bodies, is arrested for the murder. He is released because of lack of evidence, but he makes finding the killer of this man who stalked one of his girls priority one when he hits the streets. And he has a hunch about where to start looking first: at Kenji’s wife, Yayoi.

Out is one of those delicious domino-effect thrillers in the vein of Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan, where a character’s action leads to an undesirable result, which must be dealt with by an even less sensible and more desperate action, and so on and so on and so on. Out is also a statement about Japan's patriarchal society and the mistreatment of female office and factory workers, and the few options they have for escaping their dreary, tired lives.

Body pieces that won’t stay buried; a wedding band that won't stay thrown away; a hidden key that won't stay submerged; children who know more than should; a loan shark with a tempting but messy business offer; a tenacious detective; and a man and woman who discover after it’s too late that they are more alike than they could ever imagine are the things that make Out the perfect page turner—or button clicker if you own an eReader.

For more reader’s advisory, visit our Bookletters page. Bookletters offers book reviews, author bios and interviews, book group discussion guides, audio clips, and much more. To receive monthly updates on new books, simply sign up for BookLetters' email newsletter service. Reviews of recommended books in your favorite genres will be delivered right to your inbox.

Last Days To View Depression—Era Murals

Depression-era muralThe Birmingham Historical Society captures in a new book and exhibit seldom-seen murals that tell the story of an era, the history of our region, and the mood of a nation in hardship.

Depression-era murals survive and thrive in both book and exhibit form thanks to the Birmingham Historical Society’s newest endeavor: identifying, assembling, presenting, and chronicling artworks which were created and appeared in the Birmingham area. “We just kept looking,” explains Marjorie White, BHS. “We found the murals still intact in some structures, never having been moved in all these years. We found collections tucked in attics, archives, and online. It has been a fascinating scavenger hunt to find this incredible art, created by artists between 1929 and 1939.” The exhibition Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939 is on view through December 30, 2010 (the library is closed December 31) at the Birmingham Public Library in the 4th Floor Gallery.

The book, Digging Out of the Great Depression: Federal Programs at Work In and Around Birmingham, is the ultimate picture book—144 pages with 250 seldom-seen images of our region’s programs in the arts, agriculture, beautification, archaeology, school and infrastructure improvement, health, reforestation, theater and more. Our ancestors can be seen at work improving our community and keeping morale and productivity alive during one of our nation’s most challenging times.

Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939: Our Story Through Art in Public Places contains magnificent Depression-era artwork in person, covering the walls of the Birmingham Public Library’s 4th Floor Gallery. Visitors will see 10 murals, created for the 1939 Alabama State Fair to chart the history of Alabama agriculture. “They were lost and forgotten in an attic of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), but are now rediscovered and being seen for the first time in many years,” says White. The murals are restored and will be loaned to Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at the conclusion of the exhibit. Digital images of other original murals in Birmingham libraries, post offices and courthouses are on display.

To Buy Books: By mail, Birmingham Historical Society, One Sloss Quarters, Birmingham, Al 35223, $35 postpaid; and at the Downtown Library front desk. For additional information, please contact the Library at (205) 226-3746.

Catch Bards & Brews on January 7


Take a look at the video above for a sample of Birmingham Public Library’s November 2010 Bards & Brews poetry slam.

The Birmingham Public Library hosts it's next Bards & Brews poetry slam on January 7 at the Central Library.

Live music and sign-up begins at 6:30
Call time is at 7:00

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Days To View Depression Era Murals

Agricultural MuralThe Birmingham Historical Society captures in a new book and exhibit seldom-seen murals that tell the story of an era, the history of our region, and the mood of a nation in hardship.

Depression-era murals survive and thrive in both book and exhibit form thanks to the Birmingham Historical Society’s newest endeavor: identifying, assembling, presenting, and chronicling artworks which were created and appeared in the Birmingham area. “We just kept looking,” explains Marjorie White, BHS. “We found the murals still intact in some structures, never having been moved in all these years. We found collections tucked in attics, archives, and online. It has been a fascinating scavenger hunt to find this incredible art, created by artists between 1929 and 1939.” The exhibition Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939 is on view through December 30, 2010 (the library is closed December 31) at the Birmingham Public Library in the 4th Floor Gallery.

The book, Digging Out of the Great Depression: Federal Programs at Work In and Around Birmingham, is the ultimate picture book—144 pages with 250 seldom-seen images of our region’s programs in the arts, agriculture, beautification, archaeology, school and infrastructure improvement, health, reforestation, theater and more. Our ancestors can be seen at work improving our community and keeping morale and productivity alive during one of our nation’s most challenging times.

Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939: Our Story Through Art in Public Places contains magnificent Depression-era artwork in person, covering the walls of the Birmingham Public Library’s 4th Floor Gallery. Visitors will see 10 murals, created for the 1939 Alabama State Fair to chart the history of Alabama agriculture. “They were lost and forgotten in an attic of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), but are now rediscovered and being seen for the first time in many years,” says White. The murals are restored and will be loaned to Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at the conclusion of the exhibit. Digital images of other original murals in Birmingham libraries, post offices and courthouses are on display.

To Buy Books: By mail, Birmingham Historical Society, One Sloss Quarters, Birmingham, Al 35223, $35 postpaid; and at the Downtown Library front desk. For additional information, please contact the Library at (205) 226-3746.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Staff Pick—In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash

In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash"In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."

I can't remember if I ran out and bought In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash after seeing A Christmas Story on cable back in '83, or if I bought it before the movie just because the title caught my eye at some used bookstore, but it’s been a prized possession for decades. If you're like me and thousands of others who love this movie, you'll enjoy this book. The book fleshes out the characters, and it’s fun to learn the reasoning behind some of the throwaway movie scenes like why Ralphie gave the old man a can of Simoniz for Christmas.

The nostalgic vignettes of In God We Trust are grittier than the lighthearted movie. One of the funniest running gags in the movie is the father’s epic (but G-rated) battle with the furnace; in the book, he’s not afraid to let the expletives rip at his wife: “FOR CHRISSAKE, STUPID, I SAID THE G&^%$#N DAMPER!”

In God We Trust was written in 1966 and is the story of Jean Shepherd’s life, served up essay style. The stories take place during the Great Depression in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana (really Hammond, Indiana). The adult Ralphie returns to Indiana and visits Flick at the bar Flick inherited from his father, and they reminisce about the old days…

In one of my favorite stories—"The Endless Streetcar Ride into the Night, and the Tinfoil Noose"—the teenage Ralphie reluctantly agrees to go on a blind double date with Schwartz and his girlfriend, Helen. Ralphie expects to spend the evening with a skinny, pimply girl, but still he dresses to impress in his boxy, electric-blue sports coat and tie with the blood-red snail painted on it. He cannot believe his good luck when his blind date turns out to be a knockout who “makes Cleopatra look like a Girl Scout.” On the train ride to the movies, he talks to impress, rolling on and on like “Old Man River.” And then the light bulb blinks on above his head:

I’m suddenly getting fatter, more itchy. My new shoes are like bowling balls with laces; thick, rubber-crepe bowling balls. My great tie that Aunt Glenn gave me is two feet wide, hanging down to the floor like some crinkly tinfoil noose. My beautiful hand-painted snail is seven feet high, sitting up on my shoulder, burping. Great Scot! It is all clear to me in the searing white light of Truth. My friend Schwartz, I can see him saying to Junie Jo: “I got this crummy fat friend who never has a date. Let’s give him a break and…”

I AM THE BLIND DATE!

If you don’t get your fill of The Christmas Story gang this year as the movie plays in a loop on Christmas Eve, just pick up In God We Trust when you can. It's all there, and more: the Bumpus hounds; the leg lamp; the furnace; Little Orphan Annie and the Ovaltine secret decoder; schoolyard bullies; Flick and Schwartz. And don't miss the story "'Nevermore,' Quoth the Assessor, 'Nevermore.'" It is pure gold.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This Is What Happened

True GritTrue Grit opens Wednesday, December 22. Read all about the true grits.

Every eight years or so, over the last forty years, I watch the movie True Grit, for which John Wayne won his only Oscar. It still holds up very well and doesn’t fail to entertain. Over the last thirty years or so I’ve harbored a growing guilty feeling that I should read the book it’s based on. Time after time I’ve read pieces about how its author, Charles Portis, is one of the least known great American writers and that True Grit is his best book. It’s regularly referred to as one of the great 20th century American novels that’s not yet accepted as one of the great 20th century American novels. When it came out in the late sixties, it was a best-seller, the movie was huge, and some critics since have felt that critical snobs at the time just couldn’t abide all that popularity. The novel was way out of step with the counterculture, too, and because of that it never attracted a wide younger audience. What’s interesting here is that, with its immersion in 19th century American desperation and obsolete American slang, it was closely in tune with the spirit of Bob Dylan and The Band’s Basement Tapes. But that album would not get an official release until 1975. It sounds timelessly fresh now, as does True Grit.

As a librarian I felt extra guilt for seeing the movie at least five times and reading the book zero. So, when a fellow librarian recently enthused about it asked me if I’d read it, I said no and vowed to finally take the plunge. Shamed by another librarian! He buttonholed me. The book has long been described as a buttonhole book, one that you press on others, one you evangelize for. One last buttonhole and now I’m a buttonholer. I’m not a full-fledged member of the Portis cult yet, but I know I’ll soon read The Dog of the South, which a California member of the cult begged me to read when I lived in that state. I did buy it but didn’t read it. Now things will be different.

But about the novel. It was tremendously good and exceeded all my expectations, which had become pretty stratospheric. It was one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life. Yes, it’s right up there with the last century’s American greats. And of course it was way better than the movie. It’s a book that succeeds as an adventure story, a Western, a YA novel, a thoroughly 19th century tale written in the 1960s. It’s all of those but none of those because it transcends genre, much as, say, Huckleberry Finn did. That story, too, centered on a young person, was set on the frontier, had adventure, challenged racial preconceptions and literary convention. The opening of the book is plain, austere, gripping:

People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the winter-time to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot and killed my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150.00 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band… Here is what happened.

Here is what happened. So it begins. Mattie is clear and direct, flat, a true Arkansan. She repeats this phrase many times throughout the course of the book. She’s letting us know she’s a reliable narrator. She is not, or not always, a reliable narrator. Discovering when she’s not reliable is on of the many comic pleasures of the novel. Mattie is puritanical. She lectures her accomplice, Marshall Rooster Cogburn, about strong drink. And yet she spends weeks alone with two adult males, Cogburn and another bounty hunter, LaBoeuf (pronounced “LaBeef”) in pursuit of her father’s killer. She’s also enlists the aid of her “colored man” employee Yarnell Poindexter and Captain Boots Finch of the Indian Police. Mattie may be a traditionalist, but she embraces those unlike her because she is finally a pragmatist. She’s terribly class conscious (“There’s trash for you” is a typical Mattie put-down) and yet she ventures forth with the two trackers she doesn’t see as her social equals. But she can’t afford to snub them as she desperately needs them. She’s horribly na├»ve and yet mature beyond her years. She’s big about the virtues of womanhood but her vengeance forces her to escape the society that would protect her. She’s brimming with contradictions, and this makes her sympathetic, tragic, hilarious, fully rounded, human. Mattie sees herself as apart from the dangerous West (and Arkansas was the West in the 1870s when the book takes place) she must throw herself into in order to avenge her father’s death. This is part of the broader theme of the West becoming “civilized” (for “civilized” read “Europeanized”) that runs through the book. Mattie is forever talking the talk of law, teetotalism and moral retribution. She threatens almost everyone with her lawyer Daggett. It’s almost as if she believes her strong talk will kill any sort of immorality on the spot. She carries a bottle of civilization which she sprays in front of her, clearing the way. But it’s men like Cogburn and LaBoeuf who, in shooting and jailing thousands of outlaws, will do far more than the Mattie Rosses to transform the frontier. Mattie has many quirks. She frequently puts quotes around words as if to say, “This Word isn’t standard English and I Know that, but it’s there anyway and I Can’t think of a better one”. Why, for instance, does she use “drummers”, “crawfish”, and “damper” without quotes but uses “riffraff”, “stunt”, and “cockeyed” with them is beyond me, and probably beyond any historian of slang. It’s enough for us to know she’s protecting her place in the social pecking order. But it’s inadvertently funny, and gets funnier as the story unfolds. Mattie has sworn to kill Tom Chaney or see him hanged. She sees no contradiction between this and her professed Christian values. Many of her era wouldn’t have seen this package as contradictory. A Puritan who believes in an eye for an eye is a type of person that I’ve met on a couple of occasions. Mattie can challenge convention partly because she’s a tomboy. This does not necessarily mean that she’s a lesbian. But she is an independent woman, with a tinge of the protofeminist about her. But Mattie is not a pc heroine and this is not a p.c. book- there’s too much vengeance, anger, blood, hate and fear in it for that.

What of Rooster, her protector and foil? Here’s a sheriff describing him as he offers Mattie a quick rundown of available bounty hunters: “The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn. He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork”. Rooster is, like Mattie, one of the most indelible fictional characters of the last half-century. As the quote suggests, he’s overwhelming but comical. He’s also violent yet tender, vulgar yet noble, crude but a natural aristocrat. He’s no less fleshed-out a person than Mattie. Poignant, too, he knows the days of bounty hunters are numbered: “No matter if he has got sand in his craw, others will push him aside, little thin fellows that have won spelling bees back home”. That’s another way the West will become settled.

The last member of the trio is LaBoeuf. Here is Rooster, in front of the bounty hunter, telling Mattie what he thinks of the man: “This jaybird calls himself LaBoeuf. He claims he is a State Ranger in Texas. He come up here to tell us how the cow eat the cabbage”. LaBoeuf, like Cogburn, doesn’t want Mattie to come along, because she’s young, untested and female. He constantly berates her but is attracted to her in spite of himself. It’s up to Mattie to challenge LaBoeuf and Cogburn’s ultra-macho view of her. But Mattie is the picture of stubbornness.

The tale takes place in the 1870s, a world lost to us, as foreign in its own way as the Late Renaissance. It’s a place where ex-Union and ex-Confederate soldiers warily patch things up, of the Choctaw Light Horse constabulary, renegades, cattle thieves, Mexican bandits, grisly first aid, elderly men and women trancing out on codeine and laudanum (even Mattie accidentally partakes of some). Where people sign off letters with “Thine Truly”.

Going on about the book to my coworker prompted her to tell me that another movie will be made based on True Grit. This time it’s the Coen Brothers, who feel that the first movie wasn’t faithful to the book. Granted, it could have been much more faithful, and late-60s censorship norms did dull its edge. I did notice that the actor slated for Mattie is sorta cute. That’s not faithful. Several characters in the novel observe that she’s at best plain, at worst ugly. But, then, Kim Darby in movie one was cute, too. Oh, well: Hollywood. I’ll be open-minded and near first in line this December.

But it’s the book that’s the reason for this piece. Immensely good things need to happen to make life bearable and pleasurable. This is one of them.

Check out these two articles comparing the novel and the movie:
True to 'True Grit' by Carlo Rotella
True Lit by Malcolm Jones



Written by:
Richard Grooms
Central Library
Social Sciences Department

Friday, December 17, 2010

Research "Secret" Revealed

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Did you know that thousands of historians, journalists, novelists and other writers from around the world use the collections of the Birmingham Public Library Archives every year? Using the department’s collection of more than 30 million historical documents, these writers have produced hundreds of books, including five recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.

Listed below are just some of the books researched at Birmingham Public Library and published this year.

Alabama's Civil Rights Trail : an Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom by Frye Gaillard

At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire

Baseball in Birmingham by Clarence Watkins

Birmingham Sunday by Larry Dane Brimner

Condoleezza Rice : a Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me by Condoleezza Rice

Encyclopedia of African American History by Leslie Alexander and Walter Rucker

Extraordinary, Ordinary People : a Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice

Fly Away by Peter Rutkoff and William Scott

From Power to Service : the Story of Lawyers in Alabama by Pat Boyd Rumore

The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris

Historic Photos of Birmingham in the 50s, 60s, and 70s by Jessica L. Barton

A History of Arlington in Birmingham, Alabama by Carolyn Satterfield

In Hock : Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression by Wendy A. Woloson

Inventions by Women by Gordon Coutts

Iron and Steel by James R. Bennett and Karen R. Utz

Landscape of Transformations by Michael W. Fazio

Pizitz by Tim Hollis

Remembering Birmingham by James L. Baggett

Rickwood Field: A Century in America's Oldest Ballpark by Allen Barra

Rising Road : a True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America by Sharon Davies

Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman

Speak Truth to Power : the Story of Charles Patrick, a Civil Rights Pioneer by Mignette Y. Patrick Dorsey

Monday, December 13, 2010

Search our Catalog & Reserve Items on your Mobile Phone

Cell Phone

You can now conveniently access your account, search our catalog, and reserve items using your mobile phone.

Give it a try! On your Internet capable mobile phone, go to our catalog http://vulcan.lib.al.us or http://m.vulcan.bham.lib.al.us/.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Santa Claus
Great news! Santa has found some time to visit a few libraries before he leaves for his big trip on December 24. Bring the kids in for a visit and some treats.

North Birmingham Branch Regional Library
Saturday, December 11, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Avondale Branch Library
Sunday, December 12, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Five Points West Regional Library
Sunday, December 19, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library January Poetry Slam

Bards & Brews logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts its third poetry slam on January 7 at the Central Library. BPL’s November slam showcased both veteran slammers and first-timers. More than 70 people enjoyed the show. Held on the first Friday of each month, slams are emceed by poetry slam events director Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins. Each contestant contributes $5 to the pot, and winner takes all. Southern Fried Slam rules will be observed. Beer will be available for sampling. Slam participants must be 18 years or older. IDs will be checked. Live music at 6:30 p.m. Call time is 7:00 p.m. Check out the Bards & Brews page on Facebook for more information. Word up, y’all!

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library Poetry Slam Series
Central Library, 2100 Park Place
1st Friday of every month
6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Live music and sign-up is at 6:30
Call time is at 7:00

Additional information:
Brian Hawkins (AKA Brian Porter) will serve as emcee for the Bards & Brews Poetry Slam. He is a full-time performance artist and poetry slam events director. Mr. Hawkins has hosted "On Stage at the Carver" at the Carver Theater, the longest running poetry open mic in Birmingham (almost 7 years running). He has hosted numerous additional events of this nature and has also performed his own works many times and across the country.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This is the Storyteller...




Miss Judy reads "This is the Dreidel" by Abby Levine to Abrianna and Aidan Tucker.

Location:Springville Rd,Birmingham,United States

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Oprah Goes Old School for Latest Book Club Picks

A Tale of Two CitiesGreat Expectations

"I'm going old school," said Oprah Winfrey Monday when announcing that Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations were chosen for her 65th book club selection. Oprah's Book Club was launched in 1996, and has included popular and classical literature, and even some autobiographies.

A Tale of Two Cities was published in 1859 and is set in London and Paris prior to and during the French Revolution. The story chronicles the struggle of French peasants under aristocratic rule and parallels their situation with the struggles taking place in London. Great Expectations was published in 1861 and follows an orphan boy named Pip as he pursues unrequited childhood love and friendship, and learns about the nature of fortune.

Oprah's Book Club has had its share of drama over the years. In 2001 Oprah selected Jonathan Franzen's third novel, The Corrections, for her book club. When Franzen expressed concern that his book would be associated with her other "schmaltzy" picks, and that men might be dissuaded from reading his book because of the Oprah logo on the cover, she disinvited him from her show and chose another book to discuss. (The hatchet was finally buried when Oprah chose Franzen's Freedom as an Oprah Book Club selection last September.) In 2005 Oprah picked James Frey's autobiography A Million Little Pieces, the story about his drug and alcohol addictions and the steps to rehabilitation. A year later it was discovered that parts of the book were fabricated, and Oprah invited Frey on a second time to give him a public chastising for duping her and her readers. Also, many readers have complained that the books Oprah chooses are too bleak and depressing.

Regardless of any controversies, Oprah's Book Club did get more people reading. There are over 2 million members in her reading club, and she brought recognition to authors and books that never could have reached such a wide audience. The Oprah Winfrey Show is ending its successful run on September 9, 2011.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Need money to pay for college? Tune in Sunday!



Birmingham Public Library's Jim Murray will be appearing on Alabama's 13 (NBC) this Sunday at 8 a.m. to talk about the Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) database. Made possible by funding from the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, the Tuition Funding Sources database hosts scholarship searches worth an estimated $41 billion dollars with approximately 5,000 scholarships being added each month. Besides offering scholarship searches, TFS offers college admission information, career personality tests, and detailed career guidance.

Want more information on college financial aid and scholarships? Check out the Student Financial Aid subject guide, stop by the Social Sciences department at the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library for a College and Financial Aid brochure, or call us at 226-3640.

Tune in Sunday to Alabama's 13 (NBC) at 8 a.m.!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

BPL@Night Presents A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock

Dolores Hydock
Join us for our annual Christmas reading by Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents A Christmas Memory, Truman Capote’s poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama. Dolores Hydock’s work has been featured at concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the country. She is a touring artist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a speaker with the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and a member of the Southern Order of Storytellers. Her six CDs of original stories have all received awards from Storytelling World Magazine.

Details
A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Thursday, December 9
6:30 p.m.

BPL@Night is a series of high quality evening performances offered free-of-charge by Birmingham Public Library in an effort to bring enriching cultural programs to downtown Birmingham and the city’s neighborhoods. BPL@Night highlights local and regional performers that reflect the diversity of our community and draw from a wide range of personal experience. Through programs such as these, the library seeks to provide Birmingham citizens of all ages opportunities for entertainment, ongoing education, and personal growth.

BPL@Night @ Springville Road Presents An Evening of Jazz with Keith Williams


Jazz guitarist Keith “Cashmere” Williams has become one of the most prominent musicians in the Southeast. In addition to touring and recording with Ruben Studdard, Williams has opened for Kirk Whalum, Ramsey Lewis, Boney James, and many more. Williams started playing at the age of five, leading to his acceptance at Berklee College of Music, where he produced and recorded his first album. In 2000, his second album, Set the Mood, received rave reviews and national airplay. Since then, he has founded his own label, Lenoah Records, and released his third album, New Birth.

Details
An Evening of Jazz with Keith Williams
Springville Road Library Regional Library
Thursday, December 9
6:30 p.m.

BPL@Night is a series of high quality evening performances offered free-of-charge by Birmingham Public Library in an effort to bring enriching cultural programs to downtown Birmingham and the city’s neighborhoods. BPL@Night highlights local and regional performers that reflect the diversity of our community and draw from a wide range of personal experience. Through programs such as these, the library seeks to provide Birmingham citizens of all ages opportunities for entertainment, ongoing education, and personal growth.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Springville Road Branch Retirement Party


(From left) Rochelle Sides-Renda, Marilyn Sessions, Russell Bransby, and Ellen Lawrence bid Springville Road Branch Library and the Birmingham Public Library staff a fond farewell as they are honored during a brunch on Wednesday morning at Springville Road.

(Pictured below) Gwendolyn Welch, BPL Board President, and Irene Blalock, BPL Director, join in wishing them the best.

The Art of Journaling with Phyllis Theroux

Phyllis Theroux
Essayist Phyllis Theroux has long captivated readers with her pitch-perfect rendering of the inner lives of American women. Her latest work, The Journal Keeper: A Memoir, covers six years of her anything but uneventful life and demonstrates how journaling can serve as a cathartic and rewarding avocation. Theroux calls it her daily "light box."

Theroux is hosting a seminar, social hour, and talk and book signing at the Central Library on Sunday, January 23, 2011, in the Arrington Auditorium . Schedule as follows:

2:00-3:00 p.m.—Journaling seminar
3:00-4:00 p.m.—Social hour
4:00-5:00 p.m.—Talk and book signing

The talk and book signing is free and open to all; the seminar is free but registration is required as space is limited. Call 226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us. No previous journaling experience required.

Visit The Journal Keeper website (http://journal-keeper.com/) for more information about the author and her book.

Brown Bag Lunch—A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock


Join us for our annual tradition with Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents A Christmas Memory. Truman Capote's poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama is bought to vivid life in this wonderful holiday performance. Wednesday, December 8, 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 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.