Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Birmingham Public Library Board Names Innovative and Cool Award Winners for November

Birmingham Public Library Board and Innovative and Cool Award winners

Students participating in afterschool programs at the Inglenook Branch Library will soon get to play classic 1980s-era video games as the library is purchasing the new retro Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Console.

On December 7, the East Ensley Branch Library will hold an afterschool craft session in which students will make Christmas ornaments and decorations for hospice patients at a Birmingham nursing home. At the Five Points West Regional Branch Library, new programs are being added to Active Living, a senior citizens group who gather on Wednesdays to participate in exercise classes, cooking demonstrations, and assorted craft workshops.

And the Wylam Branch Library is adding two new programs: wreath making and holiday decorations for adults, and purchasing new board games for youth who attend afterschool programs there on weekdays.

Those four libraries are the latest recipients of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Innovative and Cool Award, presented during the November 7, 2016, BPL Board of Trustees meeting. The award was established in April to encourage library staff to come up with unique ideas to serve the Birmingham community.
The Birmingham Public Library Innovative and Cool grant recipients for November 2016 are as follows:

Inglenook Branch Library – purchase of Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Console
The Nissan slogan “Innovation that excites” is being used by the Inglenook Library as staff implements new ideas to better serve the community. With November being National Gaming Month, the Inglenook Library will use this award to purchase the retro Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Console being released November 11. This system has 30 classic games from the 1980s. The funds will be used to purchase the gaming console and allow children to experience retro games from the 1980s and hold a BPL Tecmo Bowl tournament,” said Michael Fagin of the Inglenook Library, who wrote the grant application.

East Ensley Branch Library – afterschool Christmas ornaments and decorations program for hospice patients in Birmingham
This grant will be used to purchase craft supplies to make holiday decorations and Christmas ornaments that will be donated to hospice patients at St. Martin’s in the Pines. Hospice representative Katrina Pigler will help make the crafts on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, and speak to the youth about the importance of giving. “Hopefully, the ornaments made by the children will show the families of the patients that others are thinking of them during the holiday season,” said Cynthia Phillips, a library assistant III who wrote the grant application.

Five Points West Regional Branch Library – Active Living senior adults program
For six years, the Five Points West Library has offered senior adults a program called Active Living that meets every Wednesday (except the first Wednesday). This grant will help offer more activities, which include exercise classes, cooking demonstrations, crafts, movies, gardening, games, and guest speakers. About 25 women participate in the program each session.

“When I ask for suggestions of what they would like to do, they simply tell me that anything I choose they will enjoy because coming to Five Points West Library is the highlight of their week,” said Monica Cottrell, a library assistant II who wrote the grant application. “This award will be used to continue to provide the ladies with entertaining, informative programs they look forward to having each Wednesday.

Wylam Branch Library – two grants: adult wreath and decoration program, and purchase board games for afterschool children's program
The Wylam Library has offered an adult program on the second Wednesday monthly for several years, and will use the money to buy wreaths and holiday decorations. Past programs have included genealogy, jewelry making, candle making, a painting class by Cherie Hunt, and downloadable media. “Each participant could express their creativity and take home the wreath to enhance their home decor,” said Connie Tolbert, library assistant III at the Wylam Library.

The second grant will be used to buy games such as Jenga, Uno, Trouble, and Connect 4 for students involved in Wylam Library’s afterschool programs “It is good to know that these simple pleasures we enjoyed as children are still entertaining in spite of all the technology,” Tolbert said.

For a complete list of BPL events, programs, and classes, visit

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