Saturday, August 31, 2013

Avondale Library Hosts Special Screening of Miss Fancy Documentary

Read articles about Miss Fancy in the BPL Digital Collections
 
The short documentary Mr. Todd's Fancy had its premiere at this year's Sidewalk Film Festival. Avondale Library has been given permission to host a special screening of  the11-minute film at the Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association community meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 6:30 p.m. The film will be first up on the agenda. Popcorn will be served.

For those not familiar with Miss Fancy the alcohol-loving elephant, she was the star attraction at the Avondale Zoo from 1913-1943. She formed a special bond with her handler, John Todd, and was kept busy entertaining local children—who would save their pennies to buy her treats—by giving them rides.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Series of Programs on Personal Finance Begin at Central Library on September 10

Dr. Andreas Rauterkus

If you are interested in getting your financial life in order this fall, then the Central Library is the place to be! Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at UAB, will be leading a series of programs that will focus on a variety of issues related to personal finance and investing. The series begins on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at noon in the Arrington Auditorium and will continue at the same time and place on the second Tuesday of the month, October thru December.

The individual programs are:

Budgeting and Beyond
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
This program will cover setting financial goals, tracking daily spending, creating a personal spending plan, and estimating monthly income and expenses. An emphasis will be placed on identifying ways to increase income and decrease spending.

Banking and Credit
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
Information will be provided in this session to help you determine your banking needs, manage a personal checking account, obtain and interpret your credit score, and make wise choices about credit cards.

Saving and Investing
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
This session will help you understand the various financial markets, evaluate different saving and investment options, find and utilize investment information, and develop ways to make better investment decisions.

Paying for College
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
A college education is a good investment, but is also a very expensive one. In this program, Dr. Rauterkus will discuss ways to make this process more manageable. Among the topics to be covered are evaluating college affordability, utilizing personal savings, and assessing the different forms of financial aid.

These programs are part of the MakingCents: Resources to make your money grow and Smart investing@your library® series, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Gifts of a Wordsmith Workshop in September

Gifts of a Wordsmith is a free adult poetry workshop held on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Story Castle on the second floor of Central Library. The next workshop is scheduled for September 3.

The class will cover how to get your thoughts down on paper, overcoming writer's block, copyright issues, self-publishing, how to perform, and more. The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library funds the workshops.

The workshops will be led by Atiya Robertson, a local writer, poet, and agent of change from Birmingham Alabama. She is also the founder of It Doesn’t Have 2 Be This Way, a local nonprofit program dealing with suicide prevention and abuse counseling debuting Spring of 2014. “I believe that we each have the power to create change in our world, and when we use that power to empower others, we change the world.” For more information on Robertson, visit her website www.AtiyaRobertsonWriter.com and blog www.SavingSomeForYourself.blogspot.com.

The workshop is coordinated by Real Life Poets. For more information on the adult poetry class, contact Taylor at johnpaul@reallifepoets.org or 205-585-8271. The Real Life Poets website is www.reallifepoets.org. The BPL contact is Haruyo Miyagawa, 205-226-3670. Her email address is hm@bham.lib.al.us.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Inglenook Library Staff Welcomes Renovation

Inglenook Library's temporary location at the Inglenook Recreation Center

As many know, the Inglenook Library is housed in the Inglenook Recreation Center until the renovation is completed. Though the renovation may seem like an inconvenience, it has given the Inglenook Library staff an opportunity to build lasting relationships that will hopefully continue when the Inglenook Library re-opens.

As the people of the Inglenook community become more acquainted with the library’s existence in the Inglenook Recreation Center, they will discover services that they weren’t aware of and provide the Inglenook Library staff the opportunity to promote these services. Sandra Womack, the Director of the Inglenook Recreation Center, has been wonderful in welcoming the Inglenook Library staff and directing existing and prospective patrons our way.

The staff is excited to about the renovation and though the Inglenook Library’s services are limited, the staff’s zeal to serve the community and build lasting relationships is limitless!

Submitted by Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Library

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Here, Kitty Kitty

Erwin Schrödinger, 1887-1961
Earlier in the month, August 12 to be exact, Google honored Erwin Schrödinger with a "doodle." I have to confess I’ve never been much of a physics enthusiast. When I read the name Schrödinger, I only think of one thing: a dead cat in a box. Or is it two dead cats? No, wait. One cat is dead, but the other is alive. No, it’s definitely one cat but it’s both…Well, at this point I’m just confused.

Erwin Schrödinger was born August 12, 1887, in Vienna. In modern parlance, he was home schooled until the age of 12 at which point his parents hired tutors. Although he excelled in mathematics and the sciences, he also showed a keen interest in poetry and the humanities. Perhaps this latter interest explains the …quirkier aspects of his most famous thought experiment. In the course of his career he worked on a variety of physics problems including general relativity and radiation theory, but he is considered the father of Wave Mechanics. Just as Einstein had his annus mirabilis, Schrödinger experienced a two miraculous months, December and January 1925-1926, in which he wrote the first of four earth-shaking papers on wave equations and mechanics. But Schrödinger didn’t imprison a cat, until 1935.

An existing theory proposed by a group called the Copenhagen School stated that a radioactive sample could be in a superpositional state, that is, both decayed and not decayed at the same time. Schrödinger found this implausible, if not ridiculous, and set out to create a thought experiment to disprove the Copenhagen School. In December of 1935 he wrote a paper with the following gedankenexperiment, or thought experiment. He imagined a box in which a scientist places a cat, a sealed vessel of cyanide gas, a radioactive isotope, and a radiation monitor with a hammer attached. There is a fifty percent chance the isotope will decay in one hour. If the monitor detects decay, the hammer will drop onto the vessel of cyanide, breaking it, releasing the gas, and killing the cat. If the isotope does not decay, the cat lives. If the superpositional theory was correct, until the box was opened the cat was both dead and alive.

According to some physicist, after considering his own thought experiment, he began to question his earlier conclusion. Perhaps the cat could be both alive and dead! After all, he reasoned, there is no way to objectively know without opening the box, but once you open the box there are no longer two possibilities. Thus was born the paradox, or wave function, known as Schrödinger’s cat.
In science circles, this thought experiment was like a modern Internet video that goes viral. The paradox spread and other scientists modified it, trying to break it mathematically or logically. Eugene Wigner even suggested placing a human in the box, but others pointed out that although the human might recognize his or her state there would be no empirical evidence for observers outside the box. The wave function would remain intact until you opened the box; the human could be both alive and dead. (Remember, this was just a thought experiment.)

Schrödinger’s cat has remained a standard of quantum mechanics since 1935 with physicists arguing both for and against. Subsequent quantum experiments in our own time seem to have provided proof that atoms at the quantum level are, in fact, unpredictable enough to be spinning both counter clockwise and clockwise. The wave continues to wash over us.

For a more scientific explanation of the cat in the box paradox try the following video:


For a more detailed, academic discussion watch this video:


And by the way, it was only a thought experiment. No cat, or cats, were harmed in the filming of these videos.

Submitted by David Ryan
Business, Science & Technology Department
Central Library

Friday, August 23, 2013

Oh, My Aching Back!

Many of us have had back aches, either because we overestimated what we could lift or we just moved the wrong way and then the pain started. This past week, at lunch time, I was stopped at a red light and was rear ended by an inattentive driver. I had myself checked out at an urgent care center because my back was hurting and was given muscle relaxants and pain pills. After almost two days off work, I felt fine because the medicine did its job. But, what if it hadn’t? These resources are for those who may still be saying, “Oh, my aching back!”

Books
The 7-Minute Back Pain Solution : 7 Simple Exercises to Heal Your Back in Just Minutes a Day
The Back Bible
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Back Pain b
End Back Pain Forever : A Groundbreaking Approach to Eliminate Your Suffering

Essential Back Care
End Back & Neck Pain 
Foundation : Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence
Yoga for Back Pain

Websites
Back Pain: MedlinePlus
Spine-health.com
MayoClinic - Back Pain

Submitted by Maya Jones
West End Library

Read and Romp Birmingham at Railroad Park


There’s a great event on September 7 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Railroad Park called Read and Romp-Birmingham. It’s an exciting, innovative, and FREE family literacy event for children 3-5 years old and their families.

At Read and Romp-Birmingham kids will be engaged in fun, learning-based activities themed around children's books. They will leave the event with goodies that they have created from an activity at each station, along with a stamped passport, and some FREE books! By associating fun-filled activities with reading, parents will learn about how to engage with their child on the life-long journey of learning at an early age, which will help increase their children's success in school.

While centered around books, each station will be staffed by organizations and businesses that are child-focused, providing families an opportunity to learn about activities that will enhance the development of their young children. This year, we have 12 organizations that are manning the 10 stations. Among those are the Birmingham Zoo, The McWane Center, Birmingham Museum of Art, and of course, the Birmingham Public Library! Also, there will be representatives from Children’s of Alabama and Cory, Watson, Crowder & DeGaris who will be providing and fitting FREE bicycle helmets for children, and FREE storm preparedness kits, while supplies last.

The main sponsoring organizations this year are Reach Out and Read-Alabama, United Way Success By 6, Alabama Public Television, Infinity Insurance Company and Books-A-Million. Come and join us for a morning of family fun!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Marian McPartland, Grand Dame of Jazz Piano, Passes Away at Age 95

Marian Turner was born in Windsor, England, on March 20, 1918. She played piano by ear from an early age, but at her mother’s demand unwillingly studied violin for five years until she was 14. About this time she discovered jazz via recordings and attempted to copy pianists whose playing she admired. She left the Guildhall School of Music, London, to join a four-piano vaudeville act, and later performed for British and American troops during World War II. She married American jazz cornetist, Jimmy McPartland in 1944 and the couple moved to the USA in April of 1946, but she never gave up her English citizenship.

Gradually overcoming the resistance of American jazz musicians to her nationality and sex, she established her own trio, which first played in New York at the Embers Club (1950) and later in lengthy residencies at Hickory House (1952-1960).

In the 1950s she contributed witty and perspective essays on jazz musicians to the Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, and Down Beat, and reports on the American scene to the English periodical Melody Maker. Much later a collection of all her writings, All in Good Time, was published in 1987 and reissued in 2003.

In 1969 she established her own record company, Halcycon, and issued recordings into the late 1970s under her own leadership and in collaborations. In 1978 McPartland initiated what became a longstanding affiliation with Concord Records.

Jimmy McPartland and Marian were later divorced but they continued to work together occasionally. Marian took care of Jimmy in his years of terminal illness, and they remarried in 1991 shortly before his death.

She became internationally famous as host and producer of a syndicated NPR series, Piano Jazz, which began taping in October of 1978 and broadcasting in 1979 on NPR and featured Mary Lou Williams as the first guest. In this setting McPartland played in duos, or alternated unaccompanied solos with and interviewed, many of the leading pianists, singers and other instrumentalists and composers. This was one of the most popular jazz shows ever heard on radio for more than 30 years.

The bare bones accompaniment of bass and drums was always Ms. McPartland’s preferred format, bust she also appeared in concert with symphony orchestras, and in 1966 she recorded an album of her own compositions, Silent Pool, on which she was accompanied by a string orchestra.

In her last years, Ms. McPartland received several honors. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2000, given a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2004, inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame 2007, and named a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010.

She never stopped being creative and innovative in her playing style. Her playing grew denser and more complex with time , and even late in life she was experimenting with new harmonic ideas. “I’ve become a bit more reckless, maybe,"  she said in 1998. “I’m getting to the point where I can smash down a chord and not know what it’s going to be, and make it work.”

She left us a great recorded legacy. Among her best known compositions are, "In the Days of Our Love," "Twilight World," "So Many Things," "With You In Mind," and "Ambiance."

Ms. McPartland continued playing almost until the very end of her life, August 20, 2013. The song has ended but the melody lingers on.

A biography was published in 2012 titled Shall We Play That one together: the life and art of jazz piano legend Marian McPartland, written by Paul de Barros.

Please visit your local library to check out recordings and to learn more about this consummate jazz pianist and humanitarian who gave so much to the world of music, especially “Piano Jazz.”




Submitted by Russell Lee
Arts, Literature, & Sports
Central Library

Book Review: The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds: A Novel
Kevin Powers


What it Was Like

Like the narrator of his first novel, Kevin Powers fought in Iraq as a very young man. In an interview with the newspaper The Guardian he explains, “One of the reasons I wrote this book was the idea that people kept saying ‘What was it like over there?’ It seemed that it was not an information-based problem. There was lots of information around. But what people really wanted was to know what it felt like, physically, emotionally and psychologically. So that’s why I wrote it.”

“Perhaps that’s how it was: a field full of hyacinth. It was not like that when we stormed the building, not like that four days after Malik died. The green grasses that waved in the breeze were burned by fire and the summer sun. The festival of people on the market street with their long white shifts and loud voices were gone. Some of them were lying dead in the courtyards of the city or in its lace of alleys. The rest walked or rode in sluggish caravans, on foot or in orange and white jalopies, in mule drawn carts or in huddled groups of twos or threes, women and men, the old and the young, the whole and the wounded. All the life of Al Tafar left in a drab parade out of the city.”

A finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, The Yellow Birds, was honored with The Guardian’s First Book Award in 2012 and named as one of The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani’s ten favorite books of that year. In The Observer, writer Dave Eggers said “Powers is a poet first, so the book is spare, incredibly precise, unimprovable. And it’s easily the saddest book I’ve read in many years. But sad in an important way.”

“I have stopped worrying about those inches to the left and right of my head, the three miles an hour difference that would have put us directly over an IED. It never happened. I didn’t die. Murph did. And, though I wasn’t there when it happened, I believe unswervingly that when Murph died, the dirty knives that stabbed him were addressed ‘To whom it may concern.’ Nothing made us special. Not living. Not dying. Not even being ordinary. Still, I like to think there was a ghost of compassion in me then, and that if I had a chance to see those hyacinths, I would have noticed.”

Sad indeed. Early on we know that the first person narrator, Private Bartles, is shattered and tortured by the war, that he does terrible things, that his buddy Murph is killed and that he made a terrible promise he could not keep. And we know that it will get worse.

Admirers of Tim O'Brien’s Vietnam piece, The Things They Carried, will want to read The Yellow Birds.

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

Woodlawn Neighborhood Fun Day


The Woodlawn Neighborhood Association will be hosting their annual neighborhood Fun Day on Saturday, August 24, 12:00-4:00 p.m., at Willow Wood Park Recreation Center (5312 Georgia Road, Birmingham, AL 35212). The Woodlawn neighborhood invites people from their area to come out and get to know others in the community. Several representatives from various community organizations, including the Birmingham Public Library, will have tables set up in order to distribute information to those in attendance. There will also be fun activities for all ages. Refreshment s will be provided to the public.

Submitted by Pamela Jessie
Woodlawn Library

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Birmingham Public Library Looks at George Wallace and the Birmingham Freedom Struggle

The Birmingham Public Library Archives will host a panel discussion by three eminent historians examining Governor George Wallace’s role in Birmingham’s civil rights struggle and Wallace’s continuing influence on American politics and race relations today.

Titled In Birmingham They Love the Gov’nor: George Wallace, Birmingham and Beyond, the program will be held in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library, Monday, September 9, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. Generous financial support for this program is provided by the Rita C. Kimerling Family Fund. The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact 205-226-3631 or e-mail Jim Baggett at jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us.

The panelists:


Dr. Dan T. Carter has served as a professor and visiting scholar at Emory University, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin, London's Westminster University, Cambridge University, the University of Genoa and the University of South Carolina. His book Scottsboro: a Tragedy of the American South won the Bancroft Prize and the Lillian Smith Award. He is the author of the highly regarded biography The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics.


Dr. Glenn T. Eskew is professor of history at Georgia State University. He is author of the book But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, which received the Francis Butler Simkins Prize of the Southern Historical Association, and the forthcoming book Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World.





Dr. Angela K. Lewis is professor of political science in the Department of Government at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is author of the new book Conservatism in the Black Community: To the Right and Misunderstood.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

E-Books Workshop Offered in September RLCC Class Schedule

Registration for the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) September 2013 computer classes is now open to the public with an E-Books workshop added to the list.
An E-Book is basically a digital version of a book. In this workshop, you will learn how to download E-Books and audiobooks from the JCLC digital library. Many readers find them more convenient and portable. You can choose to check them out for 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days. Once the loan term has expired, the books are returned automatically. This system avoids fines from being accrued. In this workshop, you will learn how to use the Kindle, Nook and iPad (which are provided during the training) If you have a tablet or an E-Reader, you are welcome to bring your personal device. This class is considered an intermediate class, and previous tablet experience is recommended.
Please note that the Basic PC and Keyboarding classes have been merged and a new progression chart is published. This chart suggests the sequential steps of courses patrons should take, in accordance with their computer knowledge and experience.

  • September 9 – Basic PC-Keyboarding (Beginner): Introduces people to the computer: basic PC terms, components, hardware, peripherals, desktop features, etc. Participants also learn the basics of working with the computer keyboard and the mouse. Patrons need not have any previous computer experience to take this course.
  • September 10 – E-Books (Intermediate): Introduces you to the digital library and how to download E-books and audiobooks onto your device.
  • September 11 – Basic Internet (Beginner): Introduces people to the history of the Internet, how to access and surf the Web, what web browsers are, what search engines are available, and basic search methods. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
  • September 16 – Microsoft Word 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to Word 2010, a word processing application that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is recommended that participants to take all three parts. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
  • September 23 – Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to PowerPoint 2010 presentation software. It is recommended that participants take Microsoft Word 2010 prior to taking this course.  It is also recommended that participants take both parts of the course. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
  • September 25 – Microsoft Excel 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to Microsoft Excel 2010, the spreadsheet software in the Microsoft 2010 Office Suite. It is recommended that participants take Microsoft Word 2010 prior to taking this course.  It is also recommended that participants take both parts of the course. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Money Talks! Stories about Cold, Hard Cash, August 19

Dolores Hydock

If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the Avondale Library on Monday, August 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Famed storyteller Dolores Hydock will present a collection of funny, sweet, and surprising stories about first jobs, spending sprees, and the unexpected value of a penny.

This program is part of the MakingCents: Resources to make your money grow and Smart investing@your library® series, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What I Read This Summer


Coup d'EtatThe Last Refuge

Even though I work at BPL, I don’t read nearly as much as my coworkers which they hold over my head as a source of shame.  Despite my aversion to bow to peer pressure, I decided to pick out some books to read this summer.   One coworker commented, “how dare you start reading?”  Another coworker asked one day if I knew about a particular book.  When I told him I had read it, he thought I meant I read a review of it.  “No, I read the book.”  His face awakened in shock at the very thought of it.  I feel pretty good about myself, so I thought I would share a little information about the books that helped me overcome my reading slump.

My favorite new author is Ben Coes.  His books feature an ex-Army Ranger Special Forces Delta soldier named Dewey Andreas.  I wrote a review of his first book, Power Down, last spring.  I finished reading his second and third books, Coup d’Etat  and The Last Refuge, this summer.   If you decide to read the series, be sure to start with Power Down.  These books need to be read in order because each new title closely follows the action of the last title.

In Coup d’Etat, Dewey has been targeted for assassination by a powerful Islamic terrorist due to his actions in Power Down.  He is living on a ranch in Australia and has no idea that kill teams are searching the globe to find him.  Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are at war and any escalation has serious repercussions for both the United States and the rest of the world.  Dewey is notified by the National Security Advisor that terrorists have discovered his location in Australia.  He is later asked to lead a black ops team into Pakistan to try to prevent the conflict from getting further out of control.

The Last Refuge  finds Dewey safely back home in the United States.  I guess that makes it obvious that terrorists didn’t take him out in the last book.  Dewey is trying to settle back into civilian life and interviews with a hedge fund manager to head his security division.  No chance of that with the dangerous world we live in, right?  Before long, Dewey learns that an Israeli soldier who helped save his life in Coup d’Etat  has been kidnapped in the United States and put on trial for murder in Iran.  Furthermore, Dewey discovers that Iran has a nuclear bomb which they plan to detonate in Israel.  Despite admonitions from his friends in Washington, Dewey refuses to sit on the sidelines with the soldier's life and the State of Israel at risk.

I read two other good books also, but those will have to wait for another blog post.  I tend not to write book reviews because my prose is more utilitarian than literary. I'm more likely to refer to "the Earth" versus saying "the azure orb danced in the heavens illuminated by a brilliant sun which fluted a melody in perfect rhythm for the dance."  That is to say, if this "review" didn't meet your expectations, there are better ones coming.  Smile and enjoy the rest of the summer.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Children's Book Review: Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy
Rebecca Stead

This is the story of George (the “s” is silent). Like many middle grade protagonists he is a seventh grader trying to navigate through the dark, murky waters of middle school. He’s struggling to deal with the bullies, P.E., the lunchroom, making friends, fitting in….. and on top of all the standard problems, he also has to deal with his father losing his job. Now his mom has to take on double shifts at the hospital and his family has to move from their beloved New York apartment to an unfamiliar place just a few blocks away. Poor Georges is friendless and out of sorts when he stumbles across a Spy Club sign in the basement of his new apartment building. He becomes an apprentice spy under the tutelage of Safer, a twelve year old, self-proclaimed professional spy. Together, the two try and unravel the mystery of a sinister, all-black wearing, mystery man dubbed Mr. X.

The story is packed full of humorous, mysterious, and surprising twists and turns as the two friends investigate the sinister stranger. It’s a great read for boys and the ending where Georges figures out the mystery was a genuine surprise. Kids and adults can appreciate Georges’s point of view throughout the story. I couldn’t help but sympathize with the guy as he tried to make sense out of everything. I was impressed at Georges’s clever solution to help his misfit classmates band together to deal with bullies.

Submitted by Mollie Harrison
Springville Road Library

Inglenook Staff Move Into Rec Center

The Inglenook Library
As contractors begin their work inside the 1927 structure just a few blocks away, staff from the Inglenook Public Library is preparing to open for business at the Inglenook Recreation Center on Monday, August 19. Limited library service will be provided Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. (Winter hours, beginning November 4, will be 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.) The Inglenook Recreation Center is located at 4016 37th Avenue North and library staff can be reached by dialing (205) 841-3035.

The structure currently housing the Inglenook Branch of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) began its early history as Birmingham’s Fire Station #23. Built in 1927, the station served the Inglenook community until 1978 when the community, with a brand new fire station, asked to have a library in the neighborhood. The “new” library was established in 1979. Work is currently underway to make it “new” again. The renovation is estimated to take 5 months to complete.

Alabama Women Get The Blues


Our America's Music series continues with The Blues!
                                                                                    
Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
America’s Music celebrates Alabama Blues Women: Debbie Bond, SharBaby, and Elnora Spencer
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203
Hear three greats come together to celebrate the blues!

Blues singer, guitar player, Shar Baby settled in Alabama in 2006 after performing at the Freedom Creek Blues Festival, connecting with the late great Willie King and the rich blues culture of Alabama where she finally felt at home. Often compared to Jessie Mae Hemphill, she cites Hubert Sumlin and Howlin' wolf as early influences. SharBaby's music has received international critical acclaim for its mix of good-time soulful traditional blues with contemporary originality.

Singer, guitar player, songwriter, Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years. She is a blues activist and founded the Alabama Blues Project,  to promote and preserve the states great blues heritage. One of her projects is the Exhibition "Red Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women," which celebrated past Alabama Blues women. Her musical story includes years of performing with older, traditional Alabama blues musicians, in clubs, festival stages, and schools including Johnny Shines, Eddie Kirkland, Willie King and more.  Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues rock and even country influences. This unique musical synthesis can be heard on her latest album, Hearts Are Wild.

Adamsville born Elnora Spencer came from a musical family and has now been singing the blues for over 40 years. Famous for her big voice and outstanding vocal range, over the years she has opened and played with many blues greats, including B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Percy Sledge, Johnny Taylor and more. Voted Birmingham’s best vocalist multiple times, she brings her own powerful version of classic blues to modern times.


August 12 – September 6, 2013 Exhibit available during regular library hours
Red, Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203


In 2005 the Alabama Blues Project launched a traveling exhibition on Alabama blues women called Red, Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women. The exhibition includes beautiful text panels featuring Dinah Washington, Big Mama Thornton, Lucille Bogan, Coot Grant, Odetta, Lil Greenwood, and Vera Hall.  The Alabama Blues Project’s mission is to preserve and promote Alabama blues.

For more info on the entire series, visit BPL's website on America's Music.

Click the logo for the list of discussions and performances scheduled at BPL
 Celebrate America’s music! America's Music is a series of public programs created by the Tribeca Film Institute™ in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music. The programs feature documentary screenings and scholar-led discussions of 20th century American popular music. The sessions will focus on uniquely American musical genres: blues andgospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock 'n' roll, and mambo and hip hop.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Traditional Folk Music Duo Kim and Reggie Harris to Perform at Selected Branches


September 9
Central Library - 10:30 a.m.
Ensley Branch- 3:30 p.m.
Five Points West Branch - 6:30 p.m.

September 10
Wylam Branch - 9:00 a.m.
West End Branch - 3:30 p.m.
Avondale Branch - 6:30 p.m.

September 11
Springville Road Branch - 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch - 1:30 p.m.
East Ensley Branch - 4:00 p.m.

September 12
Powderly Branch - 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham Branch - 4:00 p.m.

September 13
Smithfield Branch - 10:00 a.m.
Woodlawn Branch - 4:00 p.m.

For information on Kim and Reggie, visit http://www.artistsofnote.com/kr.html.

America's Music Series, August 10-October 19


Click the logo for the list of discussions and performances scheduled at BPL

Celebrate America’s music! America's Music is a series of public programs created by the Tribeca Film Institute™ in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music. The programs feature documentary screenings and scholar-led discussions of 20th century American popular music. The sessions will focus on uniquely American musical genres: blues andgospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock 'n' roll, and mambo and hip hop.

August Schedule:


August 10, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
The Blues and Gospel Music
Southside Library, 1814 11th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205


Explore the birth of the blues from its African roots to its eventual prominence in places like Memphis, Chicago, New York and beyond. Two films will be featured: Martin Scorsese's The Blues: Feel Like Going Home and Say Amen, Somebody.


August 13, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
Gospel and Blues 
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL  35203

Dr. Anthony Pattin, Professor Emeritus, University of Montevallo, will guide us through asurvey of American musical styles that preceded and brought on the advent of American Gospel Music.  Theses styles include ragtime, cakewalk, Negro Spirituals, blues and jazz.  The presentation will also discuss the influence of these styles on American and European Classical composers.  Various style of gospel music will be performed and explored.

August 22, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
America’s Music celebrates Alabama Blues Women: Debbie Bond, SharBaby, and Elnora Spencer
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL  35203
Hear three greats come together to celebrate the blues!

Blues singer, guitar player, SharBaby settled in Alabama in 2006 after performing at the Freedom Creek Blues Festival, connecting with the late great Willie King and the rich blues culture of Alabama where she finally felt at home. Often compared to Jessie Mae Hemphill, she cites Hubert Sumlin and Howlin' wolf as early influences. SharBaby's music has received international critical acclaim for its mix of good-time soulful traditional blues with contemporary originality.

Singer, guitar player, songwriter, Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years. She is a blues activist and founded the Alabama Blues Project,  to promote and preserve the states great blues heritage. One of her projects is the Exhibition "Red Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women," which celebrated past Alabama Blues women. Her musical story includes years of performing with older, traditional Alabama blues musicians, in clubs, festival stages, and schools including Johnny Shines, Eddie Kirkland, Willie King and more.  Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul, blues rock and even country influences. This unique musical synthesis can be heard on her latest album, Hearts Are Wild.
Adamsville born Elnora Spencer came from a musical family and has now been singing the blues for over 40 years. Famous for her big voice and outstanding vocal range, over the years she has opened and played with many blues greats, including B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Percy Sledge, Johnny Taylor and more. Voted Birmingham’s best vocalist multiple times, she brings her own powerful version of classic blues to modern times.

August 24, 2013, 2-4 p.m.
Broadway and Tin Pan Alley
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL  35203
Dr. Steven Roberts, discussion facilitator

Broadway in the 1920s was a showcase for the sweeping changes transforming American culture in the early 20th century, including new roles for women, the mixing of social classes in new settings like Prohibition-era speakeasies and creative innovation by African Americans in jazz clubs and music halls. New word and music smiths writing for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway’s musical revues created their syncopated rhythms borrowed from the jazz craze and their lyrics helped create a vibrant, witty new American argot.   Join us for a look at what this music added to the all American landscape.


August 12 – September 6, 2013 Exhibit available during regular library hours
Red, Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL  35203
In 2005 the Alabama Blues Project launched a traveling exhibition on Alabama blues women called Red, Hot and Blue: A Spotlight on Alabama Blues Women. The exhibition includes beautiful text panels featuring Dinah Washington, Big Mama Thornton, Lucille Bogan, Coot Grant, Odetta, Lil Greenwood, and Vera Hall.  The Alabama Blues Project’s mission is to preserve and promote Alabama blues.

For more info on the entire series, visit BPL's website on America's Music.