Monday, September 30, 2013

Own Your Own Home Financial Program at Avondale Library, September 30

Have you been thinking about purchasing a home, but feel a little uncertain about the financial consequences involved in such a decision? Well, perhaps the Birmingham Public Library can be the source of some clarification. On Monday, September 30, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., BPL’s Avondale branch will host a program titled, Own Your Own Home. The purpose of the program is to provide information that will help attendees better understand the home buying process. For further details, please contact the Avondale Library at 226-4000.

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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alabama Common Core Standards

Change is inevitable, but is not always easy. The Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (Alabama Common Core Standards), which was adopted by Alabama in 2010, will be fully implemented in 2014 and it’s time to prepare our students for a change that will likely challenge them beyond what they are comfortable with. The Alabama College and Career Ready Standards (CCRS) were designed to prepare students grades K-12 for college, the job market, and the real world. Additionally, the students will be expected to meet a set of standards at the end of each year that will lead to a set of skills that will meet the intended goal. Public librarians need to prepare for the change as well as the relationship between school and public librarians will be crucial in helping students reach theses benchmarks. Let’s begin strengthening or establishing relationships with our school librarians to ensure that our students succeed and benefit from the skills that they’ll be introduced to.

Submitted by Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Library

Opening Reception for Watercolor Society of Alabama Members' Showcase, September 29

Maritima by Judith Aronson of Mobile

The Watercolor Society of Alabama (WSA) will host its annual Members’ Showcase at Birmingham Public’s Central Library in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery beginning September 24 through October 31, 2013. Approximately 50 aqua media paintings executed by watercolorists from across Alabama will be selected for the exhibition. An opening reception and awards presentation will be held on Sunday, September 29,  2:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the Fourth Floor Gallery. The library is located at 2100 Park Place.

Tampa resident Taylor Ikin will be the selection judge for the WSA show. Ikin’s art hangs in many corporate and private collections—even in The Vatican in Rome, Italy. Known as the “Yupo Queen,” Ikin has been painting on the unique surface of Yupo for over 14 years and has shared her discoveries and skills in many workshops. There are numerous articles and publications featuring her work on Yupo in art books and magazines. As an artist and art educator, Ikin belongs to numerous art organizations and societies. Her images weave a positive awareness of our environment while leaving a legacy of respect, enjoyment and pride in our natural spaces. She will be teaching a “Painting on Yupo” class September 25-27 at Forstall Art Center located at 402 Palisades Boulevard in Homewood, Alabama . Contact Tora Johnson at 205-423-0922 for more information about the class.

Charlotte McDavid of Birmingham is the Members’ Showcase Chairperson. Tora Johnson of Birmingham is the current WSA President and William (Bill) Morris of Mobile is the President-Elect.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BPL to Host Book Signing with Author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963


You may have read The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 or seen the book's new movie. Now's your chance to meet the author. Christopher Paul Curtis will have a book signing on Tuesday, October 8, at the Central Library Arrington Auditorium from 3:00-5:00 p.m. He'll answer questions about his award-winning book, which includes a part of Birmingham's rich civil rights past. Books will be available for purchase. For more information call 226-3655. The library is located at 2100 Park Place. This event is made possible by Alabama Public Television.

For a complete list of BPL and City of Birmingham events and activities recognizing The Watsons Go to Birmingham —1963 and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, visit BPL's Press Page at http://www.bplonline.org/about/press/Default.aspx?id=541.

Johnny Appleseed Day


Today we celebrate the birthday of one of America’s greatest legends and folk heroes, Johnny Appleseed. The real Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman in 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. He lived his life by a strict code of morality, honesty and kindness to all creatures. John was a pioneer, probably the country’s first nurseryman, one of its great agriculturists, and without a doubt, a great man.

John’s adventures began in 1792 at the age of eighteen. He headed west following the steady stream of immigrants. Although he lived most of his life alone, he was a stranger to no one. His frequent visits to the settlements were well received. To the men and women he was a news carrier and to the children he was a friend and storyteller. In this way, he was the frontier’s first librarian!

John was very religious and often preached to people along his way; his favorite book was his Bible. While he appeared to be poor, this was not the case. He made money by selling his apple trees and tracts of land. He never used banks and instead chose to bury his money. John often bartered food or clothing for his trees and was known to give the better clothing to people he felt needed it more than he. He rarely wore shoes, even during the coldest days of winter. It is said he could walk over the ice and snow barefooted and that the skin on his feet was so thick that a rattlesnake couldn’t bite through it. Pictures of John often depict him wearing a pot on his head as a hat. While this makes for a great story, this is unlikely since pots at this time were made of heavy copper or iron. He rarely sought shelter in a house, since he preferred to sleep in the open forest with his feet close to a small fire. On March 18, 1845 John died of pneumonia at the age of seventy-one. Legend says it was the only time he was sick in his whole life.

Stories have a way of changing over time and maybe that is why the story of Johnny Appleseed became a mixture of facts and tall tales. However, one part of the story has always stayed the same; people loved Johnny Appleseed.

Hey kids, check out these "apple books” today:
Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale  by Steven Kellogg
The Legend of Johnny Appleseed (Graphic Novel) by Martin Powell
Johnny Appleseed by Jane Yolen
Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum
Apples A to Z by Margaret McNamara
Amelia Bedelia’s Apple Pie by Herman Parrish
An Apple Pie for Dinner retold by Susan VanHecke

Submitted by Carla Perkins
Avondale Library

Gifts of a Wordsmith Workshop in October


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 October 1.

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 John Paul 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, September 25, 2013

Youth Poets from Birmingham to be Honored at Reception Sunday, September 29


A team of six Birmingham-area teens competed in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival held August 7-11, 2013 in Chicago. Until this year, the competition has never had a team from Alabama. The teens decided to call their team “#KnowDisclaimer”.

These young poets will be honored at a reception on Sunday, September 29 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham Public Library located at 2100 Park Place. The program will be held in the Arrington Auditorium. The team members are Chase Essary, recent graduate of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Shades Valley High School; Jacob Bryant of Huffman High School,  Jordan Montgomery, Minor High School, Eboni Wallace of Tarrant High School, Miaya Webster  of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and Justin Wright, a recent graduate of IB.

The project began when Birmingham Public Library Arts Literature and Sports Department Head Haruyo Miyagawa and John Paul Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Real Life Poets, discussed ways to take an annual poetry competition titled WORD UP! to another level and decided to set their sights on Brave New Voices, a competition for youth poets which started in 1998. 

The Birmingham team finished in the top 20 out of a total of 50 teams which is rare for a first time team.

They won the first bout against some heavy hitters such as Chicago, Toronto, and Milauwkee and  finished second in the second bout--they lost to New York. Eboni Wallace, the team vice-president, received three perfect 10’s for one of her performances, which helped the team get to the semi-finals.

The Birmingham team has been invited back to compete at next year’s Brave New Voices which will be held in Phildadelphia.

John Paul Taylor stated, "The 2013 Brave New Voices has been a life changing experience for the youth poets as well as the coaches and mentors.  #KnowDisclaimer represented Birmingham in a very history-making way. They not only won the very first bout but made it to the semi-final round which means #KnowDisclaimer is in the top 20 teams. The bigger picture in all of this is the level of leadership, maturity, and the ability to overcome the odds the team showed. They have laid a brilliant foundation for the youth poetry movement in Birmingham. Six young lives have been transformed due to the Power of Poetry! Many more will find their Voice." Taylor and spoken voice poet Alley Cat served as coaches for the team.

Several of the teens on team #KnowDisclaimer have already proven their mettle by winning in the annual WORD UP! poetry competition for Jefferson County (AL) high school students which is sponsored by the Public Libraries In Jefferson County and Real Life Poets, a non-profit creative writing organization based in Birmingham. Eboni Wallace won first place in WORD UP! the past two years; Miaya Webster placed third in this year’s WORD UP!; and Justin Wright placed third in last year’s competition.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

MakingCents Program on September 26 to Focus on Banking and Credit

Please join the Woodlawn Business Association this week as they host a financial program called MakingCents - Banking and Credit. This event is free to the public and will be held on Thursday, September 26, at 5:30 p.m., at the SocialVenture building (5529 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35212) in Woodlawn. Dr. Andreas Rauterkus will be presenting information in this session that will help you determine your banking needs, manage a personal checking account, obtain and interpret your credit score, and make wise choices about credit cards.

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.

Avondale Library to Host MakingCents Program on Home Ownership

Have you been thinking about purchasing a home, but feel a little uncertain about the financial consequences involved in such a decision? Well, perhaps the Birmingham Public Library can be the source of some clarification. On Monday, September 30, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., BPL’s Avondale branch will host a program titled, Own Your Own Home. The purpose of the program is to provide information that will help attendees better understand the home buying process. For further details, please contact the Avondale Library at 226-4000.

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.

Christmastime Is Here! Say What?

You may not be ready to deck the halls yet, but publishers are ready to get you into the Christmas spirit.  I know getting holiday merchandise into stores takes time, but I'm still amazed to see all the new Christmas releases when we’re barely into fall.  Just in case you have started making your wish list, here are some upcoming titles you can drop hints about to make sure they’re under the tree or in your stocking. Descriptions are from the publisher.


A single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O'Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O'Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake. One of the guests is a newcomer to Willow Lake--Darcy Fitzgerald. Sharp-witted, independent and intent on guarding her heart, she's the last person Logan can see himself falling for. And Darcy is convinced that a relationship is the last thing she needs this Christmas.  Yet between the snowy silence of the winter woods, and toasty moments by a crackling fire, their two lonely hearts collide. The magic of the season brings them each a gift neither ever expected--a love to last a lifetime.


Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker's Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling to make ends meet, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can't afford. But the story's not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tightfisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone's misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. . .
Between her reporting duties at the Pennysaver and nightly rehearsals for the Christmas play, Lucy hardly has time to search for a killer. Can Lucy solve the case and deck the halls before the killer strikes again?


While nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh's Colorado home. But Josh can't resist Lucy's soulful brown eyes, and though he's never had a dog before, he's determined to do the best he can for Lucy--and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies.  Soon in over his head, Josh calls the local animal shelter for help, and meets Kerri, a beautiful woman with a quick wit and a fierce love for animals. As Kerri teaches Josh how to care for Lucy's tiny puppies and gets them ready to be adopted through the shelter's "Dogs of Christmas" program, Josh surprises himself by falling for her. 


Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, and the season's wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.  But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole's chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arm's length--or, better yet, out of the picture altogether--Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole's holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Children's Audiobook Review: Wonder (Ages 8-12)

Wonder 
R.J. Palacio

August, a fifth-grade boy who has a facial anomaly, has to navigate school for the first time. It's a difficult journey to make friends, deal with bullies, and learn just how much he is needed in the world. This was a wonderful audio! Diana Steele and Nick Podehl were top form. I adore Kate Rudd’s voice every time I hear it. Diana Steele voiced the main character, August, in a raspy voice that fit a fifth-grade boy with a facial anomaly. Those around him are the ones with the problems. This might be a wonderful audio for someone on our younger side, who is dealing with bullying.

Submitted by Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West Library

Career Planning Resources At Your Public Library


Even in the best of economic times, searching for a job can be a tedious and anxiety producing experience. The library has a variety of resources to not only simplify your job search, but decrease some of the anxiety.

The first step in any job search is pursuing your passion. The library has several databases, not to mention books, which will help you decide on a rewarding career. I suggest staring with Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center. Having this database at your fingertips is like having your own personal career counselor. This database boasts career assessment tests, job and industry profiles, and information on internships. I’m just scratching the surface of this database. This database also has resume writing tips and much more.

The source of all occupational information in America is the federal Bureau of Labor and their number one source is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Bureau of Labor collects all types of information about jobs and careers. For instance, on this site you’ll find first year salary estimates, job outlook, and requirements for your dream job.

Speaking of requirements... What if your dream job does require a college degree, but you need tuition assistance? We’ve got you covered with Tuition Funding Sources. This database will help you find scholarships, student loans and financial aid information.

Once you’ve decided on your career, you need to begin searching for openings. I suppose you could try circling job ads with a red magic marker in the latest newspaper, but the most efficient search method is to look through multiple websites. We’ve gathered all the major city, state and national job banks on one page.

If you’re new to the job market, please understand that most employers today only communicate via email. Email is even how you send out your resume. In fact, just about everything I’m describing requires Internet access. If you don’t have access to the web at home or at school, come to the library. Your local library has free Internet access, information on connecting to free email services and all the databases I’ve mentioned above.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Watercolor Society Prepares for Showcase at Central Library

Maritima by Judith Aronson of Mobile

The Watercolor Society of Alabama (WSA) will host its annual Members’ Showcase at Birmingham Public’s Central Library in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery beginning September 24 through October 31, 2013. Approximately 50 aqua media paintings executed by watercolorists from across Alabama will be selected for the exhibition. An opening reception and awards presentation will be held on Sunday, September 29, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Gallery. The library is located at 2100 Park Place.

Tampa resident Taylor Ikin will be the selection judge for the WSA show. Ikin’s art hangs in many corporate and private collections—even in The Vatican in Rome, Italy. Known as the “Yupo Queen,” Ikin has been painting on the unique surface of Yupo for over 14 years and has shared her discoveries and skills in many workshops. There are numerous articles and publications featuring her work on Yupo in art books and magazines. As an artist and art educator, Ikin belongs to numerous art organizations and societies. Her images weave a positive awareness of our environment while leaving a legacy of respect, enjoyment and pride in our natural spaces. She will be teaching a “Painting on Yupo” class September 25-27 at Forstall Art Center located at 402 Palisades Boulevard in Homewood, Alabama . Contact Tora Johnson at 205-423-0922 for more information about the class.

Charlotte McDavid of Birmingham is the Members’ Showcase Chairperson. Tora Johnson of Birmingham is the current WSA President and William (Bill) Morris of Mobile is the President-Elect.

Mango Languages Online now at BPL


Learning a new language with Mango Languages is free for all Birmingham Public Library patrons, and offers a fast and convenient solution for our community’s increasing language-learning needs. Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and culture. Users learn actual conversation, breaking down complex linguistic elements within an audio-visual framework that draws important connections and builds on information they have already learned.

Founded in 2007, Mango Languages is recognized as a leading provider of online language learning services to libraries, government agencies, corporations and the general public. Designed by a team of linguists, teachers, software developers, human interface specialists, writers, voice talents and designers, the company’s award-winning language learning system has drawn acclaim from prominent national and international reference groups, educational resources, Web organizations and travel guides. For more information, visit www.mangolanguages.com or follow Mango Languages on Twitter.

Birmingham residents may access Mango through the library website at www.bplonline.org, where the library provides access to courses on Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and English for Spanish Speakers.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: Banksy: the Man Behind the Wall

Banksy: the Man Behind the Wall
Will Ellsworth-Jones

Banksy, Baby!

In 2012 Will Ellsworth-Jones (formerly of the Sunday Times of London) produced the first full account of the street artist/cult icon known as Banksy. This is irresistibly intriguing and welcome given the fact that the wildly famous Banksy proudly conceals his identity and has not given a face-to-face interview since 2003. Time magazine showcased the most influential people of 2010 (including Banksy, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Lady Gaga, among others). Banksy supplied the magazine with a photograph of himself with a paper bag over his head. Given these conditions the author, in order to research this account, had to rely on interviews with gallery owners, street artists and members of the Pest Control. (Banksy created the agency, Pest Control, to authenticate his works and to serve as his representatives in his commercial pursuits while shielding his own identity.) 

Banksy was born in 1974 and spent his early years in Bristol, England before “invading” and “bombing” London. “Bombing” is argot for painting graffiti in public places. Much of his work, especially his early work, involves stencils.

“As soon as I cut my first stencil I could feel the power there. I also liked the political edge. All graffiti is low-level dissent, but stencils have an extra history. They have been used to start revolutions and to stop wars.”

Banksy’s early work consists almost exclusively of stencils applied to gritty walls in public places in locales including London, Vienna, San Francisco, Barcelona, Paris, Detroit, and even Birmingham, Alabama. The image in Birmingham was a stencil of a Klansman that was promptly removed.

Banksy moved on in his career to paint on canvas and his works began to fetch six figure profits around 2006. Some street artists claim that Banksy has “sold out” and refer to him as a “Champagne Socialist.” (Is this true concern or merely jealousy?) Another point of concern to the politically correct is addressed as Ellsworth-Jones offers a discussion on the ethics of vandalizing public property with graffiti versus the exalted reputation of this artist. While opinions may vary, many of his fans or art lovers in general would love to have an example of his work in their neighborhood regardless of the issues of public defacement. His images, often political or otherwise ironic, are always compelling whether or not they are universally admired. Imagine Winston Churchill sporting a Mohawk or Queen Elizabeth II as a chimpanzee. Consider Claude Monet’s Water Lilies reworked to include trash and shopping carts floating among the lilies or the Mona Lisa plastered with smiley faces.

Banksy once said, “Art comes alive in the arguments you have about it.”

Banksy is often compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. If you like any of these artists or street art or naïve art, in general; or (obviously) if you are a fan of Banksy, this book is for you.

Once you finish it, be sure to exit through the gift shop. That is to say, also check out Banksy’s Academy Award nominated documentary film titled Exit Through the Gift Shop.

If you cannot afford an original Banksy, take heart. Both the book and film referred to in this post are absolutely free at the Birmingham Public Library.

Enjoy.

Submitted by David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth—First Big Read in eBook and Audiobook Formats


As part of the Big Library Read program, Jefferson County Libraries will be featuring Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth in both eBook and audiobook formats from September 16–30. During this two-week reading period, Book 1 from the Nancy Clancy series will be available for every patron that wishes to read it—no holds, no wait lists.

By participating in the Big Library Read, you can join a global movement of passionate readers and library patrons who support the availability of eBooks and audiobooks at your local branch.

Sky Shineman Art Talk at Central Library, September 19


Surfacing (Vision)
Oil and spray paint on canvas
Sandpapering, bleaching, pleating… these aren’t typical techniques artists employ in creating paintings. But Sky Shineman uses these and other unusual methods to achieve intriguing effects in her work. She will give insight into her creative process in a public talk on Thursday, September 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham Public Library (BPL) located at 2100 Park Place. The event will be held in the Arrington Auditorium and is co-sponsored by BPL and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. It is free and open to the public. After the talk, Shineman will conduct a tour of the exhibit of her work which is currently on view in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the library. The exhibit, titled Surfacing: The Paintings of Sky Shineman runs through September 19, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.

"In painting I am interested in physical processes and phenomenal imagery,” Shineman says of the work in the “Surfacing” series. “By employing reductive methods such as sanding and bleaching, I attempt to bring awareness to the tactile qualities of the painting object while creating imagery that is connected to its making. Ideally the process and the product overlap and enrich one another providing a multi-sensory experience. The complex relationship between how something looks and how it has come to being is the compelling question behind the Surfacing series.”

Shineman received her MFA in Studio Art from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and BS in English Education from Ohio State. She has shown in various galleries, museums, and art shows around the country including the Alabama State Council on the Arts Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama and the SICA7thAnnual International Exhibition at the Shore Institute of Contemporary Arts in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her many honors include the University of Alabama Research Grants Committee Award for a project titled Personal Modernism: Relating Through Painting (2012) and the Best in Show Purchase Award at the 26th Annual West Alabama Juried Show (2010).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Money Talks! Stories about Cold, Hard Cash, September 18

Dolores Hydock

If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the Five Points West Library on Wednesday, September 18, 10:30-11:30 a.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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Birmingham Public Library to Host Digital Bookmobile National Tour Event



The Digital Bookmobile National Tour will showcase the free e-book download service from Birmingham Public Library’s Central location at 2100 Park Place on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. At this free event, readers of all ages will learn how to download e-books from the library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. A gadget gallery—featuring Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Windows Phone 8, Kindle Fire, Nook HD+, Sony Reader, Creative Zen, iPad Mini, Creative Zen X-Fi, and much more—will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library’s download service.

“When the Digital Bookmobile stopped at our location in 2010, we had hundreds of visitors to walk through and become familiar with downloadable devices,” said Birmingham Public Library Director Renee Blalock. “As a result, we have increased our collection of e-books and other downloadable items. We are committed to keeping pace with changing technology and the needs of our community.”

The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore Birmingham Public’s download service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library’s digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample e-books, audiobooks, music, and video.

Patrons can take advantage of the download service 24/7 when they visit the library’s website. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles, and check out a digital title with a valid library card. Once downloaded, digital titles can be enjoyed on a computer or transferred to supported mobile devices. Many audio titles can also be burned to audio CD. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection. There are never late fees or damaged items.

The Digital Bookmobile is a service of the Birmingham Public Library and is operated by OverDrive, Inc. To check out and download digital books and more, visit http://www.bplonline.org.

Last Week of Sky Shineman's Surfacing Exhibition at Central Library

Lightweight
Dyed canvas and bleach
The exhibition titled Surfacing: The Paintings of Sky Shineman is scheduled to open on August 15, 2013 in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 17 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Board Room. The exhibition runs through September 20, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.


“In painting I am interested in physical processes and phenomenal imagery", Shineman states of the work in the “Surfacing” series. "By employing reductive methods such as sanding and bleaching, I attempt to bring awareness to the tactile qualities of the painting object while creating imagery that is connected to its making. Ideally the process and the product overlap and enrich one another providing a multi-sensory experience. The complex relationship between how something looks and how it has come to being is the compelling question behind the Surfacing series.”

Surfacing (Vision)
Oil and spray paint on canvas
Shineman is Assistant Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She received her MFA in Studio Art from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and BS in English Education from Ohio State. She has shown in various galleries, museums, and art shows around the country including the Alabama State Council on the Arts Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama and the SICA7thAnnual International Exhibition at the Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts in Long Branch, New Jersey.  Her many honors include the University of Alabama Research Grants Committee Award for a project titled Personal Modernism: Relating Through Painting (2012) and the Best in Show Purchase Award at the 26th Annual  West Alabama Juried Show (2010).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Career Boot Camp at BJCC Scheduled for September 14


The City of Birmingham will present a Diversity Fair on Saturday, September 14, in and around the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex as part of Empowerment Week. The free event will include the Second Annual International Street Fair, a health fair, cooking demonstrations, and more. Inside the BJCC’s South Exhibition Hall will be the Career Boot Camp, which will feature free resume critiques, mock job interviews, a Dress for Success fashion show by Belk, and door prizes. Birmingham Public Library representatives will demonstrate how to use online library resources to secure information on careers, jobs, and tuition.

“We’ll be showing people how to find answers to their job search questions via our website, www.bplonline.org, books, and computer classes,’’ said Jim Murray, head of the Business, Science and Technology Department at Central. “Most employers today require you have an email address to even apply for a job. The library can help you set up an email account and put you on the path to a new career.’’

Presented by the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management, the Career Boot Camp will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Doors open at 9:45 a.m. The event is free.

The camp is designed to equip job seekers with the tools they'll need to make themselves more marketable in the workplace. It will also give potential employers a leg up in finding qualified applicants, said Tamika Holmes, vice president of community relations and workforce development for BSHRM.

This is not a job fair, but a platform for various businesses such as the Hilton, the Jefferson County Public Defenders' Office, the Alabama Career Center, the Jefferson County Workforce, and others to talk about potential career opportunities.

Professionals will offer tips on networking, transitioning from high school or college to the real world, how to reenter the workforce after retirement, and more. The Society for Human Resource Management chapter at UAB will take free professional head shots. Tonya Jones of Tonya Jones SalonSpa and BSHRM members will deliver inspirational messages.

The South Exhibition Hall is located on Ninth Avenue North, between Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and 19th Street North. For more info on Empowerment Week, part of the city’s ongoing commemoration of the civil rights movement, visit www.50yearsforward.com/empowerment-week/. For more info on BSHRM, visit www.bshrm.org.

Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic Schedule/Venue Changes



There will be no Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic session in September. Starting Thursday, October 17, the sessions will be held every 3rd Thursday of the month at the Desert Island Supply Co. (aka DISCO) located at 5500 First Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212.

***

Teens, get your poetry on at the Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic 3rd Thursday of the month from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Desert Island Supply Co. Admission is free. The sessions are for high school students only. To sign up to perform or for more information, e-mail johnpaul@reallifepoets.org. 

Flow Tactics is sponsored by The Real Life Poets, the Mayor's Office Division of Youth Services, YMCA Youth Center, and the WORD UP! Student Poetry Slam Committee of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. WORD UP! is an annual poetry slam for Jefferson County high school students hosted by the Birmingham Public Library.

From Page to Stage: The Watsons Go to Birmingham – A Reader’s Theater Workshop for Children



The Birmingham Public Library (BPL), in partnership with the Birmingham Children’s Theater (BCT) and Junior League of Birmingham (JLB), would like to invite you to attend From Page to Stage, a Readers’ Theater workshop for children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, BPL will be hosting free workshops at some of its area libraries. Children, aged 7 to 12, will learn how storybook characters come alive through the magic of theater. JLB members will coach the children and introduce them to similar literature located in their local library. Each child will receive two free tickets (one child and one adult ticket) to the BCT The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 production.

Based upon a deeply moving story in the novel of the same title, the play chronicles a lengthy stay in Birmingham, Alabama, by the Watson family of Flint, Michigan, which coincided with a moment in world history: the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The Christopher Paul Curtis novel was both a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and a New York Times Book Review Best Book.

Workshop space is limited, so contact your participating library location to register a child for the workshop. Libraries and dates are as follows:

Avondale Library: September 22 – 2:30 p.m.
Central Library: September 22 - 2:30 p.m.
East Lake Library: September 21 – 11:00 a.m.
Five Points West Library: September 29 – 2:30 p.m.
Pratt City Library: September 21 – 11:00 a.m.
Southside Library: September 28 – 11:00 a.m.
Springville Road Library: September 29 – 2:30 p.m.
West End Library: Sept. 21 – 2:30 p.m.

Bards & Brews Open Mic Session at Central Library, September 13

Bards & Brews, August 2013

Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series will return to the Central Library on Friday, September 13, 2013. The library is located at 2100 Park Place. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances start at 7:00. The September session will be OPEN MIC. Emcee Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verse with topics that run the gamut from romantic relationships to the local political scene. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Craft beer will be available for sampling courtesy of The J. Clyde and light refreshments will be served. Attendees must be 18 years or older to be admitted and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.

Bards & Brews is usually held on the first Friday of the month at various locations around town. The next session will be held on Friday, October 4, 2013 at the Avondale Brewery located 201 41st Street South. That session will be a SLAM. 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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UA art professor Sky Shineman to give public talk on September 19


Surfacing (Vision)
Oil and spray paint on canvas
Sandpapering, bleaching, pleating… these aren’t typical techniques artists employ in creating paintings. But Sky Shineman uses these and other unusual methods to achieve intriguing effects in her work. She will give insight into her creative process in a public talk on Thursday, September 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham Public Library (BPL) located at 2100 Park Place. The event will be held in the Arrington Auditorium and is co-sponsored by BPL and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. It is free and open to the public. After the talk, Shineman will conduct a tour of the exhibit of her work which is currently on view in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the library. The exhibit, titled “Surfacing : The Paintings of Sky Shineman” runs through September 19, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.

"In painting I am interested in physical processes and phenomenal imagery,” Shineman says of the work in the “Surfacing” series. “By employing reductive methods such as sanding and bleaching, I attempt to bring awareness to the tactile qualities of the painting object while creating imagery that is connected to its making. Ideally the process and the product overlap and enrich one another providing a multi-sensory experience. The complex relationship between how something looks and how it has come to being is the compelling question behind the Surfacing series.”

Shineman received her MFA in Studio Art from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and BS in English Education from Ohio State. She has shown in various galleries, museums, and art shows around the country including the Alabama State Council on the Arts Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama and the SICA7thAnnual International Exhibition at the Shore Institute of Contemporary Arts in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her many honors include the University of Alabama Research Grants Committee Award for a project titled Personal Modernism: Relating Through Painting (2012) and the Best in Show Purchase Award at the 26th Annual West Alabama Juried Show (2010).

Library Programs and Resources to Promote Awareness During Medicare Education Week


In an effort to educate seniors about their Medicare coverage options, North Shelby Library and Emmett O’Neal Library are taking part in National Medicare Education Week. Both libraries are hosting a program designed to bring awareness about recent changes in Medicare. In addition, participants will learn the basics of Medicare parts A, B, C, & D, and how to find coverage that best fit their personal health needs and budgets.

Dates & Times
September 18, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.
Emmett O’Neal Library
50 Oak Street
Mountain Brook, AL 35213

September 19, 2013 @ 9:30 a.m.
North Shelby Library
5521 Cahaba Valley Rd.
Birmingham, AL 35242

If you are not able to attend one of the programs, the Birmingham Public Library Business, Science, & Technology Department created a subject resource page listing helpful Medicare websites as well as databases that provide general information.

Submitted by Business, Science, & Technology Department

Money Talks! Stories about Cold, Hard Cash

Dolores Hydock

If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the Five Points West Library on Wednesday, September 18, 10:30-11:30 a.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.

Carole Robertson Day to be Celebrated at Smithfield Library

Carole Robertson

Jack and Jill of America Inc., Birmingham Chapter, and community members will celebrate Carole Robertson Day on Saturday, September 21, 2013, 10:30 a.m.-12:00p.m., at Smithfield Library. The event will look at the impact the bombing had on the community and the critical role children played in the Birmingham civil rights movement in 1963.

Carole Robertson Day is dedicated in the memory of Carole Robertson, one of four girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963. Robertson lived in the Smithfield community of Birmingham. At the time of her death, 14-year-old Robertson attended Parker High School and was a member of the marching band and science club. She was an avid reader and a straight "A" student.

Robertson was very active in the Birmingham chapter of Jack and Jill. Her mother, Alpha Robertson, served as regional director of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Southeastern Region. The other three girls killed in the blast were Denise McNair, 11, and Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley, both 14. Twenty three people were injured that day.

During the Sept. 21 event, a 20-minute video about the life of Carole will be shown. Jack and Jill will donate a custom-painted reading bench and 250 children’s books to the Smithfield Public Library. Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman, one of Carole's relatives, and others are scheduled to speak.

Following the event, Jack and Jill students will write letters to foot soldiers, thanking them for their commitment to the movement. The letters will be given to the downtown Birmingham Public Library's archives department. Students will also create art projects in honor of Carole.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

If I was a novelist I’d be very jealous of David Mitchell. He shows in Cloud Atlas as much talent as almost any five excellent novelists put together. He can write historical fiction, science fiction, thrillers. He can invent worlds and the languages that go with them, or recreate eras in the historical real world. His characters move you very deeply, depress you, frighten you and finally inhabit you to no reasonable end. Reading Cloud Atlas isn’t a passive reading experience. How can a story set over many centuries and involving dozens of characters cohere so marvelously? How can it keep repeating themes, motifs and hallmarks which are, by the way, magnificently integrated and balanced? How does this symphony work? It works because Mitchell seems to be able to do anything.

There are six interconnected storylines here, each set in a different time period: mid-1800s South Pacific; 1930s Europe; 1970s America; a future Seoul, Korea; a far-future Hawaii; and present-day Britain (or at least it was present-day when the book came out in 2004, making this narrative another historic ingredient). Throughout the centuries the novel proceeds, forwards and backwards, exploring, primarily, the theme of the human struggle for freedom and dignity and the human lust for control and manipulation. Sometimes these opposing forces compete for dominance within one character. The many cached links between the characters suggest either reincarnation, or the Eternal Return, or simply the eternality of the human condition. Absolutely none of this slows down the plot, which is wholly captivating. This is more a novel of story than one of ideas.

Watching the characters progress toward freedom and dignity and regress away from it is analogous to the title, which refers to charting the shifting nature of clouds and how they recycle the same materials, over and over again, throughout the centuries, only to remain clouds. This may be, among others things, a steady-state novel, where nothing truly gets resolved, but at the same time, hope is almost always held out. No matter what the obstacles-and there are phenomenally charged struggles here-many of the principles still struggle against the gloom. This may sound static, but it is somehow comforting in the end. Almost no novel has challenged me, or amazed me, as much as this one. It’s also a great deal of fun, something that novels of ideas are often lacking in.


Richard Grooms
Fiction Department
Central Library

Birmingham Reading Program to Share City's Civil Rights Movement History in the Classroom and Community


The Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham City Schools, and the City of Birmingham are partnering in a fall reading program that's exposing Birmingham fourth graders to the civil rights movement. The school system is working with the city and library to engage students in the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement and to promote literacy in the classroom and community. In August, the school system saw to it that every fourth grade student received a copy of The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963. Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon, and BPL Director Renee Blalock distributed books to fourth grade students at Martha Gaskins Elementary School in late August to help kick off the program. The school was one of 28 Birmingham elementary and K-8 schools to receive the book, which looks at a family’s life in Flint, Michigan and their road trip to Birmingham in 1963. During the week of September 3, the library’s 18 locations provided free copies of the book to patrons as part of the Read It Forward program.

ID numbers are at the back the free books provided at library locations. People can log the number onto the special Read It Forward page on www.bplonline.org and check back to follow the book's travels.Once students have finished reading the books, they will share what they’ve learned and their books with other students. The concept is borrowed from the library’s Read It Forward program, where a person reads a book and instead of keeping it, they pass it on to someone else.

Teachers have planned various educational exercises around the book; volunteers will read a portion of the book to students and generate discussion about the book on Wednesday, September 11 as part of Empowerment Week’s Day of Service; and several teachers, parents, students, and library employees will see the film version of the book when it premieres at the Alabama Theatre on Thursday, September 12. On Sunday, September 15, fourth graders will participate in a children’s march at Railroad Park to mark an important moment in Birmingham’s history.

For a complete list of BPL and City of Birmingham events and activities recognizing The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, visit BPL's Press Page at http://www.bplonline.org/about/press/Default.aspx?id=541.

Making Cents Series Kicks Off September 10 with Budgeting Tips

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.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Library Adds More Acts to America’s Music Program Series


If you missed the first three weeks of popular music performances, lectures, and films, you still have time to join in. The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) System has been awarded a $2,500 grant to host a twelve-week program series featuring documentary film screenings, scholar-led discussions, and performances of twentieth-century American popular music. The America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway series has already enlightened audiences about uniquely American musical genres including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo, and hip hop. With several more weeks of outstanding programming planned, upcoming performers include Cleve Eaton, Act of Congress, Cottonmouth Creek Trio, and Dr. Frank Adams.

America’s Music is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. America’s Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Programming for the series began Saturday, August 10, and runs through September 26, 2013. All programs are free, open to the public and take place at various library locations in the City. For program details or to obtain copies of program materials, please visit http://www.bplonline.org/Americas-Music.aspx or contact Sandi Lee at (205) 226-3742 or by e-mail at slee@bham.lib.al.us. (While the America's Music page is currently being updated, you may view a list of new programs on BPL's Press page.)

Thursday, September 05, 2013

September Bards & Brews Program Returns to the Central Library for Open Mic Session


Bards & Brews, August 2013

Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series will return to the Central Library on Friday, September 13, 2013. The library is located at 2100 Park Place. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances start at 7:00. The September session will be OPEN MIC. Emcee Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verse with topics that run the gamut from romantic relationships to the local political scene. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Craft beer will be available for sampling courtesy of The J. Clyde and light refreshments will be served. Attendees must be 18 years or older to be admitted and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.

Bards & Brews is usually held on the first Friday of the month at various locations around town. The next session will be held on Friday, October 4, 2013 at the Avondale Brewery located 201 41st Street South. That session will be a SLAM. 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.

Diversity Fair and Career Boot Camp Part of City of Birmingham's Empowerment Week


The City of Birmingham will present a Diversity Fair on Saturday, September 14, in and around the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex as part of Empowerment Week. The free event will include the Second Annual International Street Fair, a health fair, cooking demonstrations, and more. Inside the BJCC’s South Exhibition Hall will be the Career Boot Camp, which will feature free resume critiques, mock job interviews, a Dress for Success fashion show by Belk, and door prizes. Birmingham Public Library representatives will demonstrate how to use online library resources to secure information on careers, jobs, and tuition.

“We’ll be showing people how to find answers to their job search questions via our website, www.bplonline.org, books, and computer classes,’’ said Jim Murray, head of the Business, Science and Technology Department at Central. “Most employers today require you have an email address to even apply for a job. The library can help you set up an email account and put you on the path to a new career.’’

Presented by the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management, the Career Boot Camp will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Doors open at 9:45 a.m. The event is free.

The camp is designed to equip job seekers with the tools they'll need to make themselves more marketable in the workplace. It will also give potential employers a leg up in finding qualified applicants, said Tamika Holmes, vice president of community relations and workforce development for BSHRM.

This is not a job fair, but a platform for various businesses such as the Hilton, the Jefferson County Public Defenders' Office, the Alabama Career Center, the Jefferson County Workforce, and others to talk about potential career opportunities.

Professionals will offer tips on networking, transitioning from high school or college to the real world, how to reenter the workforce after retirement, and more. The Society for Human Resource Management chapter at UAB will take free professional head shots. Tonya Jones of Tonya Jones SalonSpa and BSHRM members will deliver inspirational messages.

The South Exhibition Hall is located on Ninth Avenue North, between Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and 19th Street North. For more info on Empowerment Week, part of the city’s ongoing commemoration of the civil rights movement, visit www.50yearsforward.com/empowerment-week/. For more info on BSHRM, visit www.bshrm.org.

Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshop, September 7

Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshop for grades 6-12 is held the first Saturday of every month, 2:00-4:00 p.m., in the Youth Department Story Castle at Central Library. September's workshop is scheduled for Saturday, September 7.

John Paul Taylor of Real Life Poets, Inc. is the coordinator. For more information, call Taylor at 585-8271 or email him at johnpaul@reallifepoets.org.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

College Football: An Early History and Alabama Tradition

August 28th marked the first games of the 2013 college football season.  Although the state of Alabama has a special place in college football, boasting many of the strongest programs in the country, the sport began further north.

The First Game Arnold Friberg, 1969 
The first intercollegiate football game took place on Nov. 6, 1869 between neighboring Rutgers and Princeton Universities on College Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Twenty-five players from each school took the field playing a game resembling a combination of football, rugby, and soccer. Over 100 animated bystanders cheered Rutgers to a 6-4 victory over Princeton. The November 1869 Rutgers Targum, the college newspaper, gave this account: “To sum up, Princeton had the most muscle, but didn't kick very well, and wanted organization. They evidently don't like to kick the ball on the ground. Our men, on the other hand, though comparatively weak, ran well, and kicked well throughout. But their great point was the organization, for which great praise is due to the captain. The right men were always in the right place.” A week later, Princeton challenged Rutgers to a rematch, under slightly different rules, and won 8-0. Although three games were originally scheduled, the third and last game of the 1869 season was never played. The teams ended their rivalry in 1979. A detailed description of that first game can be found here.
By 1875 more schools fielded teams, including Harvard, Yale, and McGill,  but rules and playing styles differed greatly. 1876 introduced the current oblong ball and the crossbar to the goal posts, 1880 the scrimmage line and a quarterback who handled the ball, and by 1884 there were over 12 teams and consistent scoring. The game continued to evolve through the mid-1890s.

1892 was the year the state of Alabama first joined college football with both the University of Alabama and Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn) fielding teams. The sport was brought to Alabama by law student William Little, who had become a fan of the sport while attending prep school in Massachusetts and to Auburn by Dr. George Petrie who had studied at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Both schools joined Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Sewanee, and Vanderbilt to form the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1894, a predecessor of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) which formed in 1932 (Perrin, 1987).

The Crimson Tide Elephants:
“Hugh Roberts, sports editor for the Birmingham Age-Herald, is widely credited as being the first to use “Crimson Tide” to refer to Alabama’s football team. Roberts used the term to describe crimson-and-white-clad Alabama’s surprising performance during a rain-soaked 6-6 tie with heavily favored Auburn in 1907. Henry “Zipp” Newman, who became the sports editor of the Birmingham News at the age of 25, helped popularize the nickname. Sportswriters are also to thank for the elephant that serves as Alabama’s mascot. The elephant reference dates back to the school’s 10-0 season in 1930, when sportswriters began referring to Alabama head coach Wallace Wade’s hulking linemen as the Red Elephants.” (from mentalfloss.com)

The Auburn Tigers  and “War Eagle”
Auburns’s Navy and Orange colors originate at the University of Virginia, the alma mater of George Petrie-  Auburn professor and its first football coach. The colors have continued to travel, as Clemson University borrowed its colors from Auburn. In 1896 when Walter Merritt Riggs established Clemson’s football program, he took the colors of his former school, Auburn, with him.

The Origins of the War Eagle cry and its association with Auburn are steeped in myth.  One legend suggests that a Civil War veteran attending Auburn’s game against Georgia in 1892 brought along the now fully grown eagle that had served in a bloody battle along with the soldier, and after the win, it soared above the playing field. Another possibility is that the eagle and the triumph cry were related to the Cherokee or Creek nations, and using the feathers of golden eagles to fashion war bonnets (Hemphill,2008).  Regardless, by 1930 Auburn had a live eagle on staff - and has had one continuously since 1960.
This has been illustrated in the children’s book The War Eagle Story by Francesca Adler-Baeder.


Auburn and Alabama first faced off in February of 1893 and continued their rivalry until the series was suspended in 1907.

The sport at this time was more violent than we know it today. With little protective covering, intense fighting, and a brutal play style, eighteen college football players died in 1905 alone. There was rampant sports betting and hiring of mercenary players. With calls for the abolishment of college sports, and fans as tough President Theodore Roosevelt calling for reform, the National Collegiate Athletic Association was created in 1910.

 In 1948, with pressure from the state legislature, the rivalry was renewed, and took on its current name of the “Iron Bowl,” coined by Auburn coach Shug Jordan by the late 1970s. Alabama's coach, Bear Bryant, said he preferred calling the game the Brag Bowl, since the winner's fans got to brag all year long. The games were played at Legions Field in Birmingham, until each team’s home stadium became larger than Legions Field, and games were hosted at home. Although typically strong teams, Alabama's dominance really came into play in the late 1950s through 1970's, ranking as one of the winningest teams in the country in all three decades.  The 1980s marked Auburn's appearance on that list. The last five years have marked strong comebacks for both schools, with both Alabama and Auburn bringing home BCS wins.

Alabama and Auburn have since been joined by 16 other college football teams in the state of Alabama and are part of the 120 team strong Division I-A (FBS) NCAA, keeping what began as a northeastern dominated sport here in Alabama.


For Further reading:
Rites of autumn : the story of college football by Richard Whittingham
Football: A College History by Tom Perrin
Alabama-Auburn rivalry football vault  by David Housel and Tommy Ford
The Crimson Tide : the official illustrated history of Alabama football by Winston Groom.
A tiger walk through history : the complete story of Auburn football from 1892 to the Tuberville era by Paul Hemphill.
SEC football : 75 years of pride and passion by Richard Scott.
The last coach : a life of Paul "Bear" Bryant by Allen Barra.

Also available for viewing:
The history of SEC football [videorecording] : celebrating 75 years of SEC football.
Roll Tide/War Eagle [videorecording] / ESPN presents ; written by Wright Thompson, Martin Khodabakhshian
2010 Citi BCS National Championship game [videorecording] : Rose Bowl Stadium
2011 Tostitos BCS national championship [videorecording] : Glendale, Arizona

Submitted by Allie Graham
Arts, Literature, Sports
Central Library

Couple Uses Storytelling and Interactive Music to Bring Historical Figures to Life


Consummate musicians and storytellers Kim and Reggie Harris are a mini festival of diversity. Combining traditional African-American spirituals and freedom songs with original folk, they sing of life, love, the quest for freedom, and care for the environment. In celebration of its Annual Author Visit, and as part of Birmingham’s 50th Commemoration of the civil rights movement, the Birmingham Public Library presents Kim and Reggie Harris and their presentation Dream Alive: A Celebration of African American History. The performers will make thirteen appearances at public library locations throughout Birmingham from September 9-13. All performances are free and open to the public.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Kim and Reggie Harris have been affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program for over two decades, offering multimedia performances for students and community, and in-depth workshops for educators at all grade levels. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a city rich in cultural and musical heritage, Kim and Reggie’s early exposure to the diversity of musical styles and genres was nurtured in the schools and churches of their youth, from gospel and classical, to jazz and pop. Over the years, they have interacted with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Harry Belafonte. The experiences have led them to produce music that entertains and inspires.

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.