Saturday, January 28, 2012

African-American History Month

Martin Luther King, Jr. National MemorialWe are a few days away from the beginning of African-American History Month. Many students will be looking for books and information to help them complete assignments. A good place to start is the subject guide for African-American History Month. The guide provides a list of reference books, databases, magazines, newspapers, and websites you can use to find the information you need. A separate list of reference books for younger students is also included in the guide.

The library subscribes to two databases that focus specifically on African Americans: Oxford African American Studies Center and African-American History Online. There is also a local database on the Birmingham Black Barons compiled by the Government Documents Department. It provides a keyword index to local newspaper articles written about the Negro League baseball team from 1919 to 1962.

Several new reference sources have been added to the subject guide this year, so be sure to keep these in mind as you begin your research.

Black America: A State-By-State Historical Encyclopedia
Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895
Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present
Who's Who in Black Alabama

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Treasures of African Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art

BBL program logoEmily Hanna, Curator of Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA), will talk about great works of African art from the BMA permanent collection. Wednesday, February 1, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Birmingham Public Library Spotlights the Arts for Black History Month


The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) celebrates Black History Month with a series of programs on the Arts. February’s Brown Bag Lunch topics include visual arts, performing arts, language arts, and theatre arts. This program series promises to be thought-provoking, enlightening, and enjoyable. Mark your calendar and join us on the following dates at noon:

February 1
Treasures of African Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art

Emily G. Hanna, the Curator of Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Birmingham Museum of Art, will discuss great works of African art from the museum’s permanent collection and the re-installation of the African art gallery.

February 8
Alabama School of Fine Arts Presents

The Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) Music Department will present a performance featuring the ASFA Choir, String Orchestra, and Jazz Combo groups performing music by African American composers. Directed by Kimberly Scott, Laura Doss, and Robert Janssen, these ensembles are sure to inspire and entertain. This noon hour program promises to be the break you deserve during the day.

February 15
Women in the Media

Malena Cunningham is President and CEO of Strategic Media Relations, Inc. In this one-hour segment, she shares her experiences as an award-winning journalist. Prior to launching Strategic Media Relations, Cunningham was evening news anchor for NBC13 covering numerous high profile stories including every gubernatorial race in Alabama since 1992 during her 12-year stint at NBC13. Cunningham is author of Savvy Leadership Strategies for Women; the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

February 22
Plays on the Go: A Poetic Glance at Black History

Christi Toyer, Artistic Director of Plays on the Go Touring Company, and members of her company will offer an energetic exploration of poetry, song and dance as they take us on a journey through the experiences of African Americans.

February 29
The Fight Continues in an Unlikely Place: African American Comic Art

Jeffreen M. Hayes is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Birmingham Museum of Art, where she will organize African American art exhibitions. She discusses comic artists Brumsic Brandon, Jr. (b. 1927) and Aaron McGruder (b. 1974), creators of the comic strips Luther and The Boondocks respectively. This talk will examine comic artists’ contributions to fostering dialogue about racism through comics. Her specialty is contemporary African American art and visual culture. Hayes is currently completing her doctoral studies at the College of William and Mary in the American Studies program.

Bards & Brews Travels to Avondale Library in February

Bards & Brew logo
The Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews Poetry Slam is hitting the road in February. Held the first Friday of each month, the February edition of Bards & Brews will travel to the Avondale Regional Library. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with live music. This particular session on February 3, 2012 is open mic rather than a slam. Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins is the emcee. He will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verbal banter ranging from comic to social commentary. The Avondale Regional Library is located at 509 40th Street South.

Bards & Brews is one of the ways the Birmingham Public Library is reaching out to a younger demographic. The craft beer movement in which beer is elevated to the level of fine wine as something to be savored and appreciated has really taken hold especially among the younger generation. The pairing of beer tastings along with poetry slams which have grown in popularity in recent years makes the program a natural fit for the library. This combination has broad appeal. The slams held last year attracted some of the most diverse audiences BPL has had for any programming.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company will provide the brew available for sampling, along with light refreshments. You must be 18 to attend Bards and Brews, and age 21 to sample the beer. This program is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, contact Jon Newman at the Avondale Regional Library by phone at 205-226-4000 or e-mail jnewman@bham.lib.al.us. You may also visit www.bplonline.org.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference Coming to Birmingham

conference logoThe Federation of Genealogical Societies is bringing their 2012 national conference to Birmingham from August 29-September 1, 2012. This year's theme is "Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the 'Old Southwest'" and is hosted by the Alabama Genealogical Society.

VisitFGS Voice for registration information and the FGS Conference News Blog for breaking news about lectures, speakers, vendors, events, and more.

Whether you’re a beginner in genealogy or an advanced researcher, there is sure to be something for you at this year's FGS conference.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: It Could Be Harvard: Managing Your 529 College Investment Account

BBL logoJoin Merrill Lynch financial adviser Ricky Bruni to learn more about 529 college investment accounts and how you can save for your child’s or grandchild’s college education. Wednesday, January 25, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Textile Artist Presents Gallery Talk On Quilts of African American History Makers

Billie Holiday quiltLumumba’s textile art of the late Billie Holiday is one of the quilts on display and available for purchase.

“Stitch your stress away,” is a quote that quilter Aisha Lumumba has taken to heart. Many hours of hard work are visible in the more than 20 quilts depicting noted African Americans currently on display in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery at the Birmingham Public Library. This exhibition includes likenesses of President and Mrs. Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Billie Holiday. Each piece reflects the textile artist’s heritage and interest in history. The African American History Makers Quilt Exhibition opened earlier this month and runs through February 24 at the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place.

Lumumba will present a Gallery Talk on Saturday, January 28, in the 4th Floor Gallery of the downtown library at 2:00 p.m. The artist will focus on the inspirations and stories behind her striking quilts. As a youngster, Lumumba sewed and created art projects with fabric. She learned quilting by watching elders stitch colorful cloth swatches together; she began her first quilt as a teenager. With more than 25 years of experience working with textile arts, Lumumba strives to capture the musical rhythm of the colors, designs, and texture of the pieces she creates. “I want my quilts to tell a story and maybe even sing,” Lumumba states.

Press release for the Aisha Lumumba Gallery Talk

Details
Gallery Talk Presented by Aisha Lumumba
Central Library, 4th Floor Gallery
Saturday, January 28, 2012
2:00 p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch Program: It Could Be Harvard: Managing Your 529 College Investment Account

BBL logoJoin Merrill Lynch financial adviser Ricky Bruni to learn more about 529 college investment accounts and how you can save for your child’s or grandchild’s college education. Wednesday, January 25, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Sale at the Friends Bookstore, January 29-February 5

Friends bookstoreTo make room for new donations, the Friends Bookstore is having a book sale beginning Sunday, January 29, and lasting through February 5. The sale will take place outside the bookstore on the second floor of the Central Library. Only $6 for as many books as you can stuff into a bag. They'll even throw in a Friends cloth book bag in the deal!

The public is invited to a meeting of the Friends of the BPL on January 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the Youth Department Story Castle, which can be entered by a door in the back of the bookstore. Come listen to the projects planned for the bookstore in 2012, and learn about becoming a Friends volunteer.

Recent donations include: nonfiction books on the subjects of history, politics, religion, self-help, and biography; Christian fiction hardbacks; magazines, including foreign language publications; some Russian magazines and books; LP albums and album sets from the '50s, '60s, and '70s; specially-priced Marvel and DC comic books; VHS movies and lots of books on tape.

As always, think of the Friends Bookstore when you have books, media, and lightly used knick-knacks to donate. Remember: One man's clutter is another man's stock.

2012 WORD UP! April Poetry Slam

WORD UP! logo
WHAT: High school students (grades 9-12) in Jefferson County are invited to celebrate their voices through a poetry slam. The students will write and perform an original work, inspired by the theme "Milestones." The participants in WORD UP! will be the winners from each school's contest. WORD UP! is hosted by the Birmingham Public Library.

WHEN: Sunday, April 1, 2012, at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Central Library, Arrington Auditorium

HOW: Tell your teacher or school librarian that you want to participate. Visit the WORD UP! website http://www.jclc.org/wordup.aspx for details. The deadline for schools to participate is Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Call 226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us.

Cash prizes will be awarded: 1st Place: $300; 2nd Place: $200; 3rd Place: $150.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Annual Lecture Program Opens Book On Writing History for Young Readers

Guest authors Larry Brimner, Jo Kittinger, and Evelyn Coleman pose with Birmingham City School Phillips Academy's Readers On the Move Book Club.

Authors Larry Brimner, Evelyn Coleman, and Jo Kittinger shared personal stories that motivated these authors to pen books for young readers at the Birmingham Public Library’s Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture program. The midday program was attended by students from Phillips Academy’s Readers On the Move Book Club, Mrs. Sephira Shuttlesworth, and numerous library patrons.

The panel program began with Brimner, sharing some of his experiences as a young history teacher in the Mexican community. One of the pivotal moments as an educator in the area was the warning he received to limit his social circle to non-Mexicans. This experience along with his family ties to Birmingham set the stage for his award-wining book, Birmingham Sunday.

Birmingham resident Jo Kittinger recounted her inspiration to create the story of Rosa’s Bus, which grew from the outreach by the owner of the actual bus on which Rosa Parks took a stand for civil rights. With the encouragement of her editor and illustrator, Kittinger developed the story that captured the spirit of the era for young readers.

Coleman, author of Freedom Train, shared a more strident perspective, encouraging young people to “Make friends with people who are different from them. By having friends of different cultures, people can more easily understand how someone else feels. This understanding will help make this a better world,” Coleman continued.

Angela Fisher Hall, Sephira Shuttlesworth, and Renee Blalock attend January 18, MLK Memorial Lecture programAngela Fisher Hall, Sephira Shuttlesworth (widow of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth), and Renee Blalock attend January 18, MLK Memorial Lecture program.

In addition to this Brown Bag Lunch program, the Youth Department hosted programs with the authors at several branch libraries throughout the week. This very special program is a sample of the stimulating and thought-provoking programs hosted regularly by the Birmingham Public Library.

Reading with Ringling Bros.

Dream BIG and earn a free circus ticket!


Children ages 2-12 may visit their local library to register for a FREE ticket to the circus!

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be performing at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Arena this year from Wed. Jan. 25th through Sun. Jan. 29th, and participating children who complete four (4) books before then can get a free ticket to see the Greatest Show on Earth! Here's how it works:
  1. Speak with a librarian in the Youth Department at your local public library to register each child (age 2-12).

  2. Each child must complete at least four (4) books to receive his or her redeemable ticket from the library.

  3. The ticket is redeemable ONLY at the BJCC Concert Hall Box Office with the purchase of one (1) Adult ticket at full price.

So, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages... what are you waiting for? Hurry up and use your trapeze, unicycle, or clown car to get to the library!

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is participating in Alabama Gives Day

"Think about a life without them. 'Nuff said," as one of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative's Facebook friend said.
It is hard to think of life without the library cooperative. That is why we are so excited that they are participating in Alabama Gives Day. On February 2, 2012, thousands of area residents are going to show their support for their favorite nonprofit during Alabama Gives Day. On that day, every donation will help to further the important work of JCLC.

We need your help with these three things:

1) Mark February 2, 2012 on your calendar and add this giving link http://algives.razoo.com/story/jclc

2) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and help build the buzz.

3) Spread the word! Tell your family and friends why you believe in JCLC's work, and why they should give on February 2, 2012.

Please be JCLC's champion! We can’t wait to celebrate the difference your generosity will make on February 2, 2012.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

Brown Bag Lunch program logoFor the Birmingham Public Library’s ninth annual Martin Luther King lecture, three prominent children’s book authors will share their experiences and insights researching and writing African American history for young readers. Join us to hear Larry Dane Brimner, author of Birmingham Sunday; Jo Kittinger, author of Rosa’s Bus; and Evelyn Coleman, author of White Socks Only. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Wednesday, January 18, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WORD UP! 2012 Kicks Off January 21 with Spoken Word Poets Showcase

WORD UP! logo
Spoken word poets from around the region will perform their original works to kick off the WORD UP! 2012 Fifth Anniversary celebration. Shaunteka Curry, Will Gillette, Glennwood, Jerri Hardesty, Huggybear Da Poet, Matt Layne, Eric Marabale, and Illyshia Parker are scheduled to perform. There will also be evening programs celebrating the WORD UP! anniversary on Tuesday, March 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 6:30 p.m. (details will be posted closer to the event dates).

A teen poetry workshop led by Real Life Poets will follow the showcase.

Details
WORD UP! Kick Off
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Saturday, January 21, 2012
2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.


***

WORD UP! is a poetry slam for high school students (grades 9-12) in Jefferson County hosted by the Birmingham Public Library. The students will write and perform an original work inspired by the theme "Milestones." The participants in WORD UP! will be the winners from each school's contest. Each school is responsible for holding its own contest.

The 1st place winner will receive $300; 2nd place $200; and 3rd place $150.

The deadline for schools to sign on to participate is January 31, 2012. Tell your teacher or school librarian that you want to participate. The next slam will be Sunday, April 1, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. at the Central Library, Arrington Auditorium.

For more information call 226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us. You may also visit http://www.jclc.org/wordup.aspx for details about the contest.

View past WORD UP! performances on YouTube

This program has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers Lecture Scheduled for Wednesday, January 18


The Birmingham Public Library presents the Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, January 18 at 12:00 p.m. The topic this year focuses on telling stories—telling stories of the Civil Rights Movement to children. The program titled “Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers” will feature award-winning authors of children’s books sharing insights on creating books for young readers that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The program is from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium of the Birmingham Public Library, Central.

The panelists include:

Larry Brimner, author of a wide variety of children’s books, including We Are One: the Story of Bayard Rustin. Rustin was Martin Luther King’s advisor, a Freedom Rider, and the man who planned the 1963 March on Washington.

Evelyn Coleman, author of several highly-acclaimed children’s books about the Civil Rights Movement, including Freedom Train and White Socks Only. Coleman has received numerous awards, including the Cuffie Award from Publisher’s Weekly.

Jo Kittinger, a Birmingham native and author of Rosa’s Bus: the Ride to Civil Rights.

Jim Baggett, Head of the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at the Birmingham Public Library, shared: “The Martin Luther King Jr., Lecture series is designed to encourage new approaches in the study of civil and human rights.” Baggett continued, “Our goal with the 2012 program is to motivate more people to tell the stories of the Civil Rights Movement and encourage writers of all ages to use the resources of the Archives of the Birmingham Public Library.”

In addition to participating on the panel, each author will present a program for youth at the following libraries:

“Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers” Programs
January 17-19, 2012

Central Library
Larry Brimner, Wednesday, January 18 at 9:30 a.m.—Program focuses on the five-step writing process and will touch on mining for ideas, story development, research techniques, and/or any combination of these topics as he takes students through several titles from ideas to publication.

West End Branch Library
Jo Kittinger Thursday, January, 19 at 3:30 p.m—Program focuses on Civil Rights and the Power of Words. Kittenger will discuss the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the importance of speaking up for what is right.

Avondale, Springville Road, Smithfield, and North Avondale Libraries
Evelyn Coleman will appear at each of the listed libraries. Coleman will read and discuss her book, White Socks Only. She will talk about why she wrote the book and how important it is for us to embrace all people and speak up whenever we see something wrong. Her program will also include information on how to get ideas and the process of story development.

Avondale Regional Library, Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Library, Wednesday, January 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Smithfield, Branch Library, Thursday, January, 19 at 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch Library, Thursday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Visiting Authors Discuss Writing African American History for Young Readers, January 17-19

As part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture, three authors will visit various branches of the Birmingham Public Library to share their insights on writing books for young readers that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Central Library
Wednesday, January 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Author: Larry Brimner
Larry Brimner is an author of a wide variety of children’s books, including We Are One: the Story of Bayard Rustin. Rustin was Martin Luther King’s advisor, a Freedom Rider, and the man who planned the 1963 March on Washington. Brimner's program focuses on the five-step writing process and will touch on mining for ideas, story development, research techniques, and/or any combination of these topics as he takes students through several titles from ideas to publication.

West End Branch Library

Thursday, January 19, 3:30 p.m.
Author: Jo Kittinger
Jo Kittinger is a Birmingham native and author of Rosa’s Bus: the Ride to Civil Rights. Kittinger's program focuses on Civil Rights and the Power of Words. Kittinger will discuss the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the importance of speaking up for what is right.

Avondale, Springville Road, Smithfield, North Avondale
January 17-19

Author: Evelyn Coleman
Evelyn Coleman is the author of several highly-acclaimed children’s books about the Civil Rights Movement, including Freedom Train and White Socks Only. Coleman has received numerous awards, including the Cuffie Award from Publisher’s Weekly. Coleman will appear at each of the listed libraries. Coleman will read and discuss her book, White Socks Only. She will talk about why she wrote the book and how important it is for us to embrace all people and speak up whenever we see something wrong. Her program will also include information on how to get ideas and the process of story development.

Avondale Regional Library, Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Library, Wednesday, January 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Smithfield, Branch Library, Thursday, January, 19 at 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch Library, Thursday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Art of Science January Program: Chemistry of Art Supplies

Art of Science logo
When you know the secret,
The process is clear.

Supplies help make it -

ART in the New Year!


January's program, Chemistry of Art Supplies, will focus on making homemade clay and other art supplies from everyday household items.

January Programs
Avondale Regional Branch Library, January 3, 3:30 p.m.
East Lake Branch Library, January 17, 4:00 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Branch Library, January 25, 4:00 p.m.

The Art of Science is a grant-funded after-school program conducted by Elinor and Winfield Burks at six Birmingham Public Library branches: Avondale, East Lake, Five Points West, North Birmingham, Powderly, and Springville Road. The program will run nine months—from September 2011 through December 2012—and will cover the science of nutrition, geometry, sound, plants, optics, recycling, and materials engineering in a hands-on atmosphere. Each program will begin with a science principle and end with a craft or group project. Supplies for the crafts are provided.

At each session, the library will showcase books and videos about the program’s topic, and introduce age-appropriate databases for children to further explore what they learned at each program.

The Art of Science is made possible by the Kresge Arts in Birmingham, a partnership with the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Titusville Library Hosts DaVita Inc. Education Class for People Dealing with Kidney Disease


A dialysis healthcare professional from DaVita Inc. will be on hand at the Titusville Branch Library to instruct people with stage 4 and 5 kidney disease on how to prepare for dialysis, how to make healthy lifestyle choices, insurance instruction, medicines, and options in dealing with kidney disease. The classes are designed to provide information and answer questions so that you are empowered with the knowledge you need to make better decisions about your health. Register online or contact Sara Kennedy at 205-986-7616 or dial 1-888-695-4363.

Details
Making Healthy Choices
Titusville Branch Library
#2 6th Avenue SW, 35211
(205) 322-1140
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
1:00-3:00 p.m.

Shadows in Flight Continues Card's Shadow Saga

book coverRemember in Aliens when Ripley was found drifting in hypersleep for 57 years and didn't age a day, although those she loved on Earth were dead? That blew my mind, but to be fair it's so easily blown. Well, have a calculator handy, because the math for figuring out this whole Ender Saga/Shadows Saga and time passage on Earth and in space can get a little "flustrating," as my dad says.

Ender's Game began as a short story and was published in 1977. Ender's Game the novel was published in 1985. The sequel to Ender's Game is Speaker for the Dead (1986), and belongs to a series that includes Xenocide (1991) and Children of the Mind (1996) and follows Ender as an adult. However, the direct sequel to Ender's Game is Ender in Exile (2008), and takes place 3,000 years before the events in the sequel Speaker for the Dead, right where Ender's Game leaves off.

Ender's Shadow (1999) takes place at the same time as the events in Ender's Game, but is told from the viewpoint of a side character named Bean. Ender's Shadow is the first in a series of books about Bean, and includes Shadow of the Hegemon (2001), Shadow Puppets (2002), and Shadow of the Giant (2005).

So even though Card wrote most of the Ender Series first, the Shadow Series takes place earlier because Speaker for the Dead takes place after Ender has warped some space at serious light speed. Some fans advise reading them by publication date to avoid spoilers, others advise reading them in story chronology. You are now free to go hunt up some Excedrin.

All this was to lead up to the announcement that Orson Scott Card's fifth book in the Shadow Saga—Shadows in Flight—will be published on January 17.

The Shadow Saga is an offshoot of the Ender Series and is the focus of some of Ender's Battle School classmates who trained with him to go to war with the Buggers. The Shadow Saga features Bean, a small, genius of a boy who served as Ender Wiggin's lieutenant at Battle School. Bean's genius comes from an altered gene that is the cause of his small stature as a 6-year-old, and could be the cause of an early death from gigantism if no cure is found.

Shadow of the Giant leaves off with Bean and three of his children who share his condition traveling through space, hoping a cure can be found on Earth. Shadows in Flight picks up as time passes and he is just a footnote in Earth's history. But he and his children are about to make history again when they come across a colony ship belonging to the Buggers. This discovery may save Bean and his children, and Earth, too.

Ender Saga
1. Ender's Game (1984);
2. Speaker for the Dead (1986)
3. Xenocide (1991)
4. Children of the Mind (1996)
5. A War of Gifts (2007 - novella)
6. Ender in Exile (2008)

Shadow Saga
1. Ender's Shadow (1999)
2. Shadow of the Hegemon (2001)
3. Shadow Puppets (2002)
4. Shadow of the Giant (2005)
5. Shadows in Flight (2012)

The official website of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card's OSC Reviews Everything blog - Orson Scott Card is a walking Consumer Reports as he reviews everything from the politics to the potpourri he bought for his house.

If this movie were playing at the Rave right now, I'd be sitting in the theater with a bucket of popcorn on my lap. Card calls this the best Ender's Game fan trailer he's ever seen. A movie is slated for a 2013 release, and check out the cast: Harrison Ford as Hyram Graff, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin, and Asa Butterfield as Ender.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tax Forms and Assistance

photo of tax forms and calculator
As a service to the community, the Birmingham Public Library provides copies of current Federal and Alabama tax forms, instructions, and publications. Basic forms are available at most library locations; a more extensive collection of forms is available in the Government Documents Department in the Linn-Henley Research Library. Please contact your library to ensure that any forms you need are available.

Check back for updated information in the coming months.

Tax forms and instructions may also be downloaded from the Internet.

Federal Forms
IRS forms and publications
Request IRS forms by mail

State Forms
Alabama Department of Revenue

General Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - This governmental site has United States federal income tax forms, information, and tips. Includes warnings about tax frauds and scams, information about filling online, and the ability to track the status of your refund.

Yahoo! Finance: Tax Center - Tax forms, estimators, calculators, preparation, guides, tips, terms, calendars, rates, rules, news, and state tax profiles. Includes a basic "Beginner's Guide" for those new to preparing U.S. taxes.

Free File Home: Your Link to Free Online Filing - This IRS site is about Free File, an "online tax preparation and electronic filing through a partnership agreement between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC. In other words, you can e-file... free." This site explains eligibility requirements for this free service, steps to get started, and a list of related FAQs.

Free Tax Return Preparation For You by Volunteers - Information about the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program, which "offer free tax help if you qualify. ... In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, many sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing)."

Tax Preparation Assistance
AARP Tax Preparation Assistance (Alabama) - Taxpayers must make an appointment with the library; no walk-ins will be assisted. Appointments will be taken starting January 16. All relevant information must be brought to the appointment, including a copy of last year's return, bank information, state-issued ID, etc. Assistance is for 2012 returns only; returns will be filed electronically.

Avondale Regional Library
509 40th St. S.
Birmingham, AL 35222
(205) 226-4000
AARP assistance February 6-April 13
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Call the library well in advance for an appointment.
Library is closed April 6 for Good Friday.


Impact Alabama (IA) - IA provides free tax preparation services for households earning less than $50,000 a year with one or more children or $20,000 year without children. You must call 1-888-99-TAX-AL (1-888-998-2925) for an appointment; no walk-ins will be assisted. IA is sponsored by SaveFirst.

Smithfield Branch Library
1 8th Ave W
Birmingham, AL 35204
(205) 324-8428
January 16-March 3
Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

March 5-April 16
Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00-5:00 p.m.

West End Branch Library
1348 Tuscaloosa Ave SW
Birmingham, AL 35211
(205) 226-4089
January 18-March 3
Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Woodlawn Branch Library
5709 1st Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35212
(205) 595-2001
January 19-March 3
Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


Association for the Improvement of Minorities/Internal Revenue Service/Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (AIM/IRS/VITA) - Provides free tax preparation with no appointment necessary. Other Jefferson County VITA sites.

Five Points West Regional Branch Library
4812 Avenue W
Birmingham, AL 35208
(205) 226-4013
Five Points West Conference Room
January 14-April 15
Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Library Soup Social Feeds Mind & Body

taco soup photoNorth Avondale Branch of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) celebrates January as National Soup Month with a Friday Night Soup Social on January 13. The library staff headed by Saundra Ross-Forrest will visit a local assisted living residence for senior citizens to present an overview of North Avondale Branch Library’s services, resources, and upcoming programs. This community outreach program is just one example of the partnerships BPL shares with communities systemwide.

In addition to ladling up refreshments of hearty taco soup, the evening activities will also include a screening of the feature film The Help. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same title, and one of BPL’s Top 5 books selected by patrons in 2011.

The BPL has copies of the novel by author Kathryn Stockett, in book and e-book formats, as well as DVDs of the film. With a valid library card in good standing, you may reserve books or films at the library or by visiting the library website, www.bplonline.org. To download the titles in e-book format, from our Library Resources page under Find Books and Materials click on Download Audiobooks and eBooks.

Photo courtesy of the Campbell Soup Company

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

Brown Bag Lunch program logoFor the Birmingham Public Library’s ninth annual Martin Luther King lecture, three prominent children’s book authors will share their experiences and insights researching and writing African American history for young readers. Join us to hear Larry Dane Brimner, author of Birmingham Sunday; Jo Kittinger, author of Rosa’s Bus; and Evelyn Coleman, author of White Socks Only. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Wednesday, January 18, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State

Brown Bag Lunch series logoAileen Kilgore Henderson will discuss her new biography of Alabama’s first state geologist, Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State. Beginning in 1873, Smith spent his summers enduring chills, fevers, and verbal abuse as he searched for industrial raw materials that could bring about better lives for destitute Alabamians. Traveling in a mule-drawn wagon, he recorded in his journal detailed observations, botanical and geological discoveries, and mineral analyses. He loaded the wagon with specimens for the University of Alabama museum he dreamed of creating and recorded vivid descriptions of Alabama in transition. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Wednesday, January 11, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Birmingham-Born Emmylou Harris to Be Honored by the Grand Ole Opry


Harris wrote "Boulder to Birmingham" following the death of her friend and sometimes singing partner, Gram Parsons. Parsons died of an overdose at age 26 in a hotel room in Joshua Tree, California.

We don't care how few years Emmylou Harris actually lived in Birmingham, we're claiming the singer with the voice of an angel as our own.

Harris was born at East End Memorial hospital in Birmingham on April 2, 1947. Daughter of a marine, Harris and her family moved often, but she lived in Woodlawn and attended elementary school there until her family packed up and moved to North Carolina when she was six. Harris' mother's family were farmers in Chilton and Elmore counties; her maternal grandparents lived in Birmingham. In interviews and concerts, Harris speaks often of her idyllic childhood in Alabama. Once on stage before singing "Red Dirt Girl"—a song about two friends living in Alabama—she joked that it's illegal in the music business and one risks being fined for having a happy childhood, but in her case it was true. She confesses she has to make up sad stories to justify some of her more melancholy tunes.

Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and has won 12 Grammy awards.

The Grand Ole Opry is honoring Harris for her 20 years as a member. She was inducted into the Opry on January 25, 1992. Shawn Colvin, Ricky Skaggs, and fellow Opry member Vince Gill are scheduled to perform. Visit the Grand Ole Opry's website for more information on the ceremony and concert.

The same year Harris was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, she released a live album called At the Ryman, where she's backed up by her then newly formed acoustic band, The Nash Ramblers. Whatever you do, please treat yourself to a listen. Songs such as "Calling My Children Home," "Get Up John," and "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go" (written by her good friend, Nanci Griffith; Harris sings on Griffith's Other Voices, Other Rooms) are guaranteed to make your spine tingle.

Top Five Faves from the BPL in 2011

Top 5 image
In wrapping up the year, we looked at the number of items circulating from the library in 2011. Our patrons have checked out 1,380,991 titles. When we look closely at what’s checked out, we found our patrons' most popular picks on the following Top Five list of DVDs, Adult Fiction, and Juvenile Books.

DVDs
Diary Of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (totally entertaining for adults and kids, too)
True Grit
The Adjustment Bureau
The Fighter
The Tourist

Adult Fiction Books
10th Anniversary by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (this title was a first novel and breakout success)
I'll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark
The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Juvenile Books
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Junie B., First Grader (At Last!) by Barbara Park
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (a perennial favorite)
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Birmingham Public Library Gallery Hosts African American History Makers Quilt Exhibition

image of quiltFiddler, a quilt depicting Louis Gossett Jr.'s role in the TV miniseries Roots

“Stitch your stress away,” is a quote that quilter Aisha Lumumba has taken to heart. Many hours of hard work are visible in the more than 20 quilts depicting noted African Americans currently on display in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery at the Birmingham Public Library. This exhibition includes likenesses of President and Mrs. Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Billie Holiday. Each piece reflects the textile artist’s heritage and interest in history. The African American History Makers Quilt Exhibition opened January 3 and runs through February 24 at the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place.

As a youngster, Lumumba sewed and created art projects with fabric. She learned quilting by watching elders stitch colorful cloth swatches together; she began her first quilt as a teenager. With more than 25 years of experience working with textile arts, Lumumba strives to capture the musical rhythm of the colors, designs, and texture of the pieces she creates. “I want my quilts to tell a story and maybe even sing,” Lumumba states.

Now residing in Atlanta, Lumumba is a native of McDonough, Georgia. She is a member of The Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild, the Ebony Stitchers Quilt Guild, Black Artists in America, and African Americans for the Arts. Her quilts are in the private collections of President and Mrs. Obama, Ambassador Andrew Young and The Atrium on Sweet Auburn.

The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with eighteen locations and serving the community for 125 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast. For additional information, visit the website at www.bplonline.org.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Lecture Focuses on Writing African American History for Youth


The Birmingham Public Library presents the Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, January 18 at 12:00 p.m. The topic this year focuses on telling stories—telling stories of the Civil Rights Movement to children. The program titled Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers will feature award-winning authors of children’s books sharing insights on creating books for young readers that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The program is from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium of the Birmingham Public Library, Central.

The panelists include:

Larry Brimner, author of a wide variety of children’s books, including We Are One: the Story of Bayard Rustin. Rustin was Martin Luther King’s advisor, a Freedom Rider, and the man who planned the 1963 March on Washington.

Evelyn Coleman, author of several highly-acclaimed children’s books about the Civil Rights Movement, including Freedom Train and White Socks Only. Coleman has received numerous awards, including the Cuffie Award from Publisher’s Weekly.

Jo Kittinger, a Birmingham native and author of Rosa’s Bus: the Ride to Civil Rights.

Jim Baggett, Head of the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at the Birmingham Public Library, shared: “The Martin Luther King Jr., Lecture series is designed to encourage new approaches in the study of civil and human rights.” Baggett continued, “Our goal with the 2012 program is to motivate more people to tell the stories of the Civil Rights Movement and encourage writers of all ages to use the resources of the Archives of the Birmingham Public Library.”

In addition to participating on the panel, each author will present a program for youth at the several libraries.

***

Schedule for Birmingham Public Library activities for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt
January 3-January 13, 2012
All Birmingham Public Libraries

Youth are invited to visit any Birmingham Public Library January 3 through January 13, 2012 to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scavenger Hunt. Each participant who successfully completes the scavenger hunt may enter their names in a drawing for a free book about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each library will draw three winners.

"Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers" Lecture
Wednesday, January 18
12:00 p.m.
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture, “Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers,” features a panel of highly acclaimed authors of children’s books. Authors Larry Brimner, Evelyn Coleman, and Jo Kittinger will share insights on the creative process of writing for young readers.

“Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers” Programs
January 17-19, 2012

Central Library
Larry Brimner, Wednesday, January 18 at 9:30 a.m.—Program focuses on the five-step writing process and will touch on mining for ideas, story development, research techniques, and/or any combination of these topics as he takes students through several titles from ideas to publication.

West End Branch Library
Jo Kittinger Thursday, January, 19 at 3:30 p.m—Program focuses on Civil Rights and the Power of Words. Kittinger will discuss the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the importance of speaking up for what is right.

Avondale, Springville Road, Smithfield, and North Avondale Libraries
Evelyn Coleman will appear at each of the listed libraries. Coleman will read and discuss her book, White Socks Only. She will talk about why she wrote the book and how important it is for us to embrace all people and speak up whenever we see something wrong. Her program will also include information on how to get ideas and the process of story development.

Avondale Regional Library, Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Library, Wednesday, January 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Smithfield, Branch Library, Thursday, January, 19 at 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch Library, Thursday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.

Books for All Seasons 2012: Book Reviews from BPL Librarians

Books for All Seasons coverEach year BPL staff list their favorite books from the previous year in a free guide called Season’s Readings. This year the library has revamped the look and title of the publication, renaming it Books for All Seasons and streamlining the design and content. Now published at the beginning of each year, Books for All Seasons will be available to the public year-round.

Books for All Seasons includes recommendations for adults, teens, and children in both fiction and nonfiction. Each book is chosen by a staff or board member as one that they enjoyed reading in the previous year—not necessarily one that was published in the previous year.

This year’s Books for All Seasons includes fiction titles such as American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Stephen King; The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Nonfiction titles featured are At Home: a Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson; Bossypants by Tina Fey; and Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. For children and teens, staff reviewed titles such as Step to This by Nikki Carter and What’s Special About Me, Mama? by Kristina Evans. These and many other reviews should appeal to readers of all ages and interests.

The Birmingham Public Library staff wants you to find the best books to read for the upcoming year and, with that in mind, has published this free annual guide to take you, our library patrons, directly to great reads. Pick up a copy of Books for All Seasons at your local library.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State

Brown Bag Lunch series logoAileen Kilgore Henderson will discuss her new biography of Alabama’s first state geologist, Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State. Beginning in 1873, Smith spent his summers enduring chills, fevers, and verbal abuse as he searched for industrial raw materials that could bring about better lives for destitute Alabamians. Traveling in a mule-drawn wagon, he recorded in his journal detailed observations, botanical and geological discoveries, and mineral analyses. He loaded the wagon with specimens for the University of Alabama museum he dreamed of creating and recorded vivid descriptions of Alabama in transition. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Wednesday, January 11, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.