Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tornado Responders Honored

Leadership Jefferson County & Metro-Birmingham Chapter NAACP honored Jefferson County’s first responders to the tornadoes that swept through the county on April 27, 2011 with an awards ceremony and celebration at the downtown library. More than fifty people were recognized during the ceremony.

The honorees included Jonathan Barron, William Bell, William Blackwell, Eric Bradley, Ivor Brooks, David Carrington, Jimmie Crenshaw, Tree Davidson, Rodney Davis, Terry Davis, Phil Doster, Juandalynn Givan, Ann Haden, Mike Hale, Tracy Hipps, Hezekiah Jackson, IV, Joe Knight, Drew Langloh, Chad Logan, Rusty Lowe, Maye Martin, Fred McCallum, Scott McBrayer Charles McCrary, Arturo Menefee, Johnathan Miller, Curtis Mitchell, Vanable H. Moody II, Terry Oden, Staci Owen, Steve Parsons, Dudley Reynolds, Scott Rich, A. Jackie Robinson, Leisa Roby, A.C. Roper, Thomas Ryan, Katherine Snider, John Stamps, Gary Richardson, Kimberly Rafferty, Roderick Royal, Jack Schaeffer, Shaundra Smith, Sherrel Stewart, Haschal Thompson, Shelia Tyson, Scott Vowell, Mike Warren, Lonnie Washington, Andrew Westmoreland, Julius White, Cora Williams, Courtney Williams and Chuck Wingate.

Links:

Ceremony Program (pdf)
ABC 33/40 News Story (video)
Photographs

July Brown Bag Lunches @ the Birmingham Public Library

On July 13, July 20, and July 27, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts its ongoing Brown Bag Lunch series. Each of these Wednesdays at noon, in the Arrington Auditorium of the Linn-Henley Research Library, a program is offered for the lunch-time crowd to enjoy. There is no charge, and the library provides beverages. For more information, call 226-3610.

July 13. Carl Winters, Kalimba King
The kalimba, or African thumb piano, has been featured in unlikely music venues, including the music of Pink Floyd and in the movie soundtrack of ALIENS. The sounds of this ancient instrument are played to perfection by Carl Winters, whose kalimba repertoire includes gospel, jazz, blues, rhythm, and pop music.

July 20. Cutting Coupons Workshop
Couponing is a great way to cut down on the cost of items you need every
day. Learn how to effectively combine weekly sales and coupons to not
only get what you need, but also to save for the things you want! You can save at least 50% on your grocery bill.

July 27. Creek Walking in Birmingham
James Lowery has been walking through the low-rise sections of Shades Creek since 2005, studying the intricate dynamics of its ecosystem. From the vast wildlife dependent upon the creek’s health to the effects of it being located in an urban environment, Lowery has a fascinating story to tell.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library August Poetry Slam Series

Bards & Brews logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts another poetry slam on Friday, August 5, at the Central Library. Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. 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. Craft beer will be available for sampling. You must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. 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. This program is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 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 “Voice” 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 across the country.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Adult Summer Reading Program @ the Birmingham Public Library

Adult Summer Reading 2011 logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 2011 Summer Reading program is in full swing at all 18 BPL locations. Please sign up for the remainder of this summer’s offerings at any branch. BPL’s commitment to outstanding summer reading experiences for children, teens, and adults is reflected in the many and varied offerings for all ages and interests. This summer’s line-up surpasses the highly attended programming offered last year in which more than 6,300 patrons participated, more than 42,700 books were read, and 440 special events were offered with a combined attendance of more than 18,500 children, teens, and adults. Sign up any time at any BPL location to take part in our free and fantastic Summer Reading program.

The Birmingham Public Library is proud to offer the following events for the month of July, designed specifically for our adult patrons. Please check with your local BPL branch or at www.bplonline.org for more information.

An Afternoon with Carl Winters, the Kalimba King
A repertoire of gospel, jazz, blues, and pop songs performed on the African thumb piano.
East Ensley, Monday, July 11, 3:00 p.m.
North Birmingham, Tuesday, July 12, 2:00 p.m.
Springville Road, Tuesday, July 12, 6:30 p.m.
Central, Wednesday, July 13, 12:00 p.m.
Ensley, Thursday, July 14, 1:00 p.m.

Destination Magic with Larry Moore
Magic Man Larry Moore performs tricks.
Smithfield, Thursday, July 28, 10:00 a.m.

Seasoned Performers Present Are We There Yet?
A humorous series of skits and dialogues on travel and tourism.
Powderly, Friday, July 8, 1:30 p.m.
Avondale, Sunday, July 31, 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 Children’s Summer Reading Program @ the Birmingham Public Library

Summer Reading 2001 logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 2011 Summer Reading program is in full swing at all 18 BPL locations. Please sign up for the remainder of this summer’s offerings at any branch. BPL’s commitment to outstanding summer reading experiences for children, teens, and adults is reflected in the many and varied offerings for all ages and interests. This summer’s line-up surpasses the highly attended programming offered last year in which more than 6,300 patrons participated, more than 42,700 books were read, and 440 special events were offered with a combined attendance of more than 18,500 children, teens, and adults. Sign up any time at any BPL location to take part in our free and fantastic Summer Reading program.

The Birmingham Public Library is proud to offer the following events for the month of July, designed specifically for our younger patrons. Please check with your local BPL branch or at www.bplonline.org for more information.

Carl Winters, The Kalimba Man
Winters performs his repertoire of gospel, jazz, and blues songs on the African thumb piano.
Powderly, Monday, July 11, 10:00 a.m.
Smithfield, Wednesday, July 13, 10:00 a.m.

Cinder Who? Heard of Ascheputtle or Lon po po?
West End, July 14, 11 a.m.

Dance World
Umdabu dancers perform.
Avondale, Tuesday, July 5

Dog Gone Fun
BPL@Night presents professional dog trainer Gary Shockley, his canine dare-dogs, will be flying high. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Advance registration.
Avondale
Tuesday, July 12
6:30 p.m.

I've Been Framed: Retelling of The Three Little Pigs with crafts.
West End, July 21, 11:00 a.m.

One World, Lots of Magic
Magic Man Larry Moore performs magic tricks.
Wylam, Tuesday, July 5, 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham, Wednesday, July 6, 10:30 a.m.
Five Points West, Wednesday, July 27, 10:00 a.m.

One World, Many Animals
Raptors and reptiles from the Coosa River Science School and Alabama 4-H Center.
Inglenook, Friday, July 1, 9:30 a.m.
Springville Road, Wednesday, July 6, 10:00 a.m.
West End, Thursday, July 7, 11:00 a.m.
Eastwood, Friday, July 8, 10:45 a.m.
East Lake, Tuesday, July 12, 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West, Wednesday, July 13, 10:00 a.m.
Ensley, Wednesday, July 13, 1:00 p.m.
Five Points West, Thursday, July 14, 10:00 a.m.
Southside, Friday, July 15, 9:30 a.m.
Wylam, Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 a.m.
Smithfield, Wednesday, July 27, 10:00 a.m.

Ronald McDonald is coming to a Library Near You!
Ronald McDonald stops by for a visit.
Smithfield, Wednesday, July 20, 10:00 a.m.

The World of Jazz
Members of the Jazz Hall of Fame perform.
East Lake, Thursday, July 7, 10:30 a.m.
Avondale, Wednesday, July 13, 2:00 p.m.
Woodlawn, Thursday, July 14, 10:00 a.m.
Wylam, Thursday, July 21, 10:00 a.m.

Summer Reading on Good Day Alabama



In case you missed Fox 6's Good Day Alabama this morning, here is the segment where Vincent Solfronk, Head of the Central Library’s Youth Department, discusses the Summer Reading program and the wealth of programs scheduled at all branches for family participation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alabama Passes Controversial Illegal Immigration Law

Alabama State House
On Thursday, June 9, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law Act Number 2011-535, which will institute very strong measures to curb illegal immigration in the state. It is set to go in effect on September 1, 2011. As reported in the Birmingham News, the law includes the following provisions:

• Individuals will be required to show proof of legal residence on the job, at school, and when obtaining state benefits.
• Employers will be required to consult the federal E-Verify system to check applicants' legal resident status.
• Courts must void contracts involving undocumented immigrants.
• Police may arrest anyone on reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally.
• Anyone transporting or providing housing to a known illegal immigrant may be charged with a crime.

Supporters of the law characterize it as a means of making more jobs available for legal residents as well as a way to save the state money by limiting illegal residents’ access to public services. Detractors argue that it will encourage racial profiling in law enforcement and serve as an expensive distraction for already cash strapped police forces. Both sides agree, however, that it constitutes, thus far, the most restrictive state immigration legislation in United States history.

You may have seen this law referred to as HB56. That is because it originated as a bill introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on March 1, 2011. The bill’s sponsor was Representative Micky Hammon of Decatur. A similar bill, SB256, was introduced in the Alabama State Senate by Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale on March 22. The final piece of legislation was approved by a bicameral conference committee on June 2, 2011 and sent to the governor bearing the title, Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act . A complete legislative history of the act is available on ALISON, the Alabama Legislative Information System Online, and on OpenBama.org.

Although the Alabama law has received much national attention, it is not the only piece of state legislation recently introduced regarding illegal immigration. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that, in the first of quarter of this year, over 1500 bills and resolutions covering various topics related to immigration were introduced in legislatures in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico. Click here for the full report.

BPL to Host Jeh Jeh Pruitt's June 15 Good Day Alabama

Jeh Jeh PruittGood Day Alabama's Jeh Jeh Pruitt will be visiting Birmingham Public Library on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 to discuss BPL's Summer Reading Programs and other upcoming events. Turn your channel to Fox 6 beginning at 6:50 a.m. to see the first BPL segment.

BPL@Night Alabama Symphony Orchestra Performance Canceled

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra trio performance scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) West End Branch Library has been canceled. Please check the events calendar at www.bplonline.org for many other events to choose from. BPL apologizes for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Alabama Public Library Service Wants to Meet with You

APLS logo
Seven library town meetings will give you and the citizens of your community a chance to tell Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) what you think about public library services in Alabama, what you value in our libraries, and what services you think our libraries should provide. Your voice will be heard by those who will write the next five-year plan for library development in Alabama. So please make plans to attend the town meeting most convenient for you.

The meetings will be facilitated by Dr. Elizabeth Aversa, Director of the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, and by Dr. Jennifer Campbell-Meier, Dr. Aversa’s colleague at the university. The current five-year plan is available on the APLS website at: statelibrary.alabama.gov/Content/LSTAinfo.aspx.

The meetings will be held at these locations and times:

ENTERPRISE, Enterprise Public Library, (June 9, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
MONTGOMERY, Alabama Public Library Service(June 10, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
BOAZ, Boaz Public Library, (June 20, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
FLORENCE, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, (June 21, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
HOOVER, Hoover Public Library, (July 18, 10 a.m. -12 p.m.)
DEMOPOLIS, Demopolis Public Library, (July 19, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
DAPHNE, Daphne Public Library, (July 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Obituaries: A Lively Resource



In the Microforms Room of the Birmingham Public Library, our most common reference requests focus upon obituaries.

Patrons call, write, or visit from all over the world in order to find copies of their ancestors’ or relatives’ obituaries as part of their genealogical research. Most of these patrons utilize our online
Obituary Index to Birmingham Area Newspapers when preparing a visit or when placing a request for a copy of an obituary.

Although the strictest definition for an obituary is a short, biographical account of a life as written by a newspaper or magazine upon the event of the subject’s death, the generally recognized definition now includes the paid death notices found within the newspaper. These death notices are usually written by the family of the deceased in cooperation with the funeral home.

Over the years, there have been many changes in the development of obituaries in Birmingham area newspapers. Perhaps the most striking change that has occurred within the obituary section of The Birmingham News is that the paper only began accepting paid death notices for African-Americans in the mid 1960’s. A gentleman by the name of E. A. Bradford - the owner of Bradford’s Insurance Company as well as Bradford’s Funeral Home - is the earliest paid death notice for an African-American citizen that the staff in Microforms has encountered. His obituary was published on December 11, 1966.

In the earliest days of The Birmingham News (the 1890’s), obituaries were rarely published for citizens of the Birmingham district. In fact, almost all of the obituaries that appeared in the paper around the turn of the 20th century were for prominent citizens from other cities around the state. It was only during the late 1920’s that the placement of an obituary within the newspaper became a common service provided by funeral homes in the Birmingham area.

The earliest obituaries published in The Birmingham News were placed under the heading of “Necrological” and were usually found alongside the tables listing the market prices for dry goods and groceries on Morris Avenue. The paper began alternating between the headings of “Deaths and Funerals” and “Mortuary” for the obituary section beginning in 1903 and by this time almost all of the entries were for citizens of the Birmingham district. The Birmingham News finally incorporated an expanded obituary section within the classifieds in 1929 and gave it the heading of “Deaths” - a practice that continued with minor stylistic changes until 2005 when the heading changed to “Obituaries.”

The style of writing found within obituaries has also evolved over the years. The swooning Victorian style of the late 19th century has gradually been replaced by the terse prose of a society accustomed to reading in electronic formats. For example, the phrase “passed away” has replaced the once common term “succumbed.” Yet, the length of obituaries has increased dramatically over the past fifty years - earlier obituaries were often no longer than three or four sentences in length. Most contemporary obituaries are at least three or four paragraphs in length and contain a wealth of genealogical information.

For those who might be interested in looking for their relatives’ obituaries in our microfilm collections - our online
Obituary Index to Birmingham Area Newspapers is an excellent starting point. This database currently indexes obituary citations for The Birmingham News (April 1929 - January 1980), The Birmingham World (September 1940 - December 1996), The Birmingham Times (August 1973 - August 1974), Methodist Christian Advocate/Alabama Christian Advocate (January 1925 - December 1979), as well as The Shelby County Reporter (January 1932 - December 1979). This is an ongoing project and coverage will be expanded in the coming years.

Obituaries for individuals who passed away prior to the coverage dates of our online database can occasionally be found by manually scrolling through our microfilm copies of the newspaper within five to seven days of the date of death. We also have microfiche indexes covering the obituaries (and nearly all other published articles) of The Birmingham News as well as The Birmingham Post-Herald from 1979 until 2002.

Also, the
Birmingham News (Backfile) database (a free resource for JCLC card holders) contains full-text versions of all obituaries published in The Birmingham News since April 27,1993.

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit us in the Microforms Room or give us a call at 205-226-3625 or contact us via the
Obit Ask-A-Librarian form.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library July Poetry Slam Series

Bards & Brews logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts another poetry slam on Friday, July 1, at the Central Library. Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. 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. Craft beer will be available for sampling. You must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. 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. This program is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 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 “Voice” 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 across the country.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Capture Summer's Harvest and Cook It Up With Style!


This month, the Business, Science, and Technology department is featuring a display of summer cooking and preserving. We have books on grilling to canning fruits and vegetables. Enjoy the lazy days of summer outdoors with the perfect meal! Stop by Business, Science, and Technology department today on the third floor of the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library or call us at 205-226-3690.

Need a Vacation?


Summer has arrived, and many of you are planning a road trip and vacation this June. The Birmingham Public Library is ready to assist you with our display of books and DVDs located in the Social Sciences department. We have an extensive travel guide section that will give you the in and outs of the best places to see, eat, and stay. Whether you are making your next getaway to Australia, New York City, China or Alabama, we have a book for you! We have even created a Vacations and Road Trips subject guide to help you get ready for your trip.

Maybe you do not have a specific destination in mind, but you know that you want to take a cruise. What are your options for destinations? You can find out this and more by using Vacation and Road Trips subject guide. A cruise is not for you? Our subject guide contains other speciality vacations including Walt Disney World, national parks, honeymoon destinations, and road trips.

Tight on money? Check out our new book, 100 Best Affordable Vacations by Jane Woolridge and Larry Bleiberg. Also, you might consider a regional vacation, and we have travel guides on almost any destination in the Southeastn United States. Come visit us on third floor of the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library or call us at 205-226-3640.

Book Sale Today











We still have tons of books and you still have plenty of time to buy them. In fact, there's a very high chance we'll be here Sunday afternoon, so come on down. 90% of all items are $2 or less. The Book Sale is happening at the Central Library (2100 Park Place- 35205). We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Chinese Acrobat Liang Brings Her One-Woman Show to BPL

Liang
Liang, America's most famous Chinese acrobat, will perform her amazing one-woman show at three Birmingham Public Library branches. She will be joined by MC/comedian Bill Patti. Experience the acrobatics, dance, and music of China with a touch of comedy.

Schedule
Tuesday, June 7
Central Library, Atrium
6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8
West End Branch Library
1:00 p.m.

North Birmingham Branch Library
4:00 p.m.

To learn more about the duo Liang and Bill, visit their website at http://www.acrobatshow.com/index.html.