Friday, May 18, 2018

BPL 2018 Summer Learning: Teen Programs Include Spoken Word Poetry Camp, Engineering Robotics Camp


What: 2018 Birmingham Public Library Summer Learning, over 400 free activities for kids, teens, and adults being held at 19 locations across the City of Birmingham in June and July 2018.
Details: Summer Learning puts an emphasis on learning through reading to prevent the dreaded "summer slide," a term referring to learning loss that occurs when students are on summer break.

Make plans to attend the 2018 BPL Summer Learning Kickoff Celebration at the Central Library on Friday, June 1, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

The theme for the 2018 BPL Summer Learning program is "Libraries ROCK.” You can register and print out a downloadable calendar for kids, teens, and adults at this link: http://www.bplonline.org/summerreading.aspx.

Are you a teenager desiring to learn how to program robots or how to create cool objects using a 3D printer? Do you have a child with a gift for poetry who desires to write a spoken word poem about the civil rights movement that’ll be archived for future generations to hear?

Then make plans to participate in the 2018 Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Summer Learning programs for teens. As a new member of the Urban Libraries Council, BPL is joining others in transitioning programs from the traditional Summer Reading program to a Summer Learning program. Summer Learning puts an emphasis on learning through reading to prevent the dreaded "summer slide," a term referring to learning loss that occurs when students are on summer break.

Here is a listing of select teen summer learning programs taking place in June and July:

Teens Engineer BHM Robotics Camp, Monday-Friday, June 4-8, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily, Central Library/Create205 Learning Lab/2nd Floor. Registration required.
Teens Engineer BHM is a partnership between BPL and the UAB School of Engineering. UAB student mentors will teach participants how computer coding, how to program robots and more. Students must bring their own lunch. Registration is open to the first 20 students in grades 6-12. Teens Engineer BHM is also offering several free two-hour engineering programs at libraries across Birmingham in June and July. Teens Engineer BHM is sponsored by grants from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the UAB Benevolent Fund.

Spoken Word Poetry Camp: Civil Rights Through the Eyes of a Young Poet, Monday-Friday, July 9-13, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Central Library/Create205 Learning Lab/2nd Floor. Registration required.
In a partnership between BPL’s Archives Department and John Paul Taylor of Real Life Poets, this camp will talk about Birmingham’s role in the 1960s civil rights movement and compare it to civil rights today. Participants will complete a spoken word poem by the end of the week and perform it as it is recorded into BPL’s digital archives to share with the world. Registration is open now with a 25 student limit. Students must be in grades 9-12.

Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead: How to Make a Tissue Box Guitar, June 11, 3:00 p.m., Inglenook Library 
Teens will make their own guitars out of tissue boxes and discuss how different size strings (rubber bands) vibrate to make sounds. Materials provided.

M.A.D. (Music and Dance) Skillz Dance Co., June 28, 10:00 a.m., East Ensley Branch Library
Winston Strickland, artistic director at M.A.D. Skillz, will teach teens the latest hip-hop dance moves. No experience is necessary.

Rock "N" the Rhythm of the Drums, June 26, 10:00 a.m., East Lake Library
Lavondia Bryant—Square, director of Nathifa’s Dance Co., will teach teens how to move and groove to traditional African drum beats. This program is also being offered at several other BPL locations this summer.

Smithfield Computer Science Club, Thursdays during July (July 5, July 12, July 19 and July 26), 10:00 a.m., Smithfield Branch Library
Teens will code with Scratch and use Google CS First’s Music and Sound to create music videos. Learn what it’s like to be a computer programmer.

Are You a Rock Star? June 21, 2:00 p.m., Pratt City Branch Library. Registration required. 
Hey teens, think you have what it takes to be a rock star? Come show your skills at Pratt City Library’s Karaoke Competition. Prizes will be rewarded. Register in advance by calling 205-791-4997.

Visit the BPL events calendar for a full listing of summer learning events and programs for all ages. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Top Albums by Genre at Freegal

Rap & R&B
"Joyride" – Tinashe
"KOLORBLIND" – DJ ESCO
"First Weapon Drawn" – Czarface
"Pain & Pleasure" (EP) – Tink
"Total Xanarchy" – Lil Xan




Country
"The Tree of Forgiveness" – John Prine
"Sometimes Just the Sky" – Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Liberty" – Lindi Ortega
"Volunteer" – Old Crow Medicine Show
Dancehall Dreamin': a Tribute to Pat Green – Pat Green




Alternative
"Virtue" – The Voidz
"When My Heart Felt Volcanic" – The Aces
"A Moment of Silence" – The Funeral Portrait
"Clean" – Soccer Mommy
"Treadmill at the Finish Line" – The Second After






Rock
"Both Sides of the Sky" – Jimi Hendrix
"FIREPOWER" – Judas Priest
"Boarding House Reach" – Jack White
Elvis Presley: The Searcher (The Original Soundtrack) – Elvis Presley
"The Stories We Tell Ourselves" – Nothing More





Soundtracks
Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 3 – Empire Cast
Red Sparrow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – James Newton Howard
God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) – Bear McCreary
Lost in Space (Original Series Soundtrack) – Christopher Lennertz
Love, Simon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists




Blues
"Don't Let the Devil Ride" – Paul Thorn
"They Call Me Mud" – Mud Morganfield
"Out in the Open" – Steep Canyon Rangers
"Trouble" – Ray LaMontagne
"Legacy" – B. B. King






Pop
"No Excuses" – Meghan Trainor
PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I – Pentatonix
"Don't Tell Me" (Deluxe Edition) – Ruel
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert – Original Television Cast
"Us" – Jennifer Lopez

Popular Digital Magazines for Summer Reading


Library retrieval trends show that digital magazines are very popular during summer months because they can be read from any location, whether it be from the beach, park, airport, or backyard. If you've ever found yourself wanting to take home armfuls of those magazines in the grocery store checkout lane, but didn't because you don't want to pay all that money for them, consider reading them through Flipster!

The Birmingham Public Library offers access to the most current and popular magazines through Flipster. The New Yorker, Cooking Light, Prevention, and Ranger Rick were the most downloaded magazines from May to August of last year. The easy-to-use Flipster app makes it convenient to search, shelve, and read on any device.

Free to Birmingham Public Library patrons with a JCLC card. Full text and remote access available.

A Volunteer Goes to Class

by Pat Rumore, president of the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library

Computer Commons department head and instructor Maurice Harley teaches a class on
PowerPoint 2010 to adult participants

Today I spent two hours at the Central Library downtown relearning the basic Word 10 word-processing program. I enjoy classes at the library. There are so many and almost always they're both helpful and free.

While waiting for the class to start I talked to other class members. There were various reasons people were attending. One said she needed to create a resume online that she could upload or email to potential employers and job search sites. Another said she needed computer skills to fulfill actual job requirements. I'm taking classes because I'm back to writing things like this blog post and minutes, thank you letters, etc., as a volunteer for the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library. It's great to show up and learn, and then to use what you learned to benefit yourself or an organization you love.

Although I used word processing throughout my work life, the last few years since I retired I haven't had to write many documents. In the meantime, the Word program has been upgraded and I'm out of practice using it. I picked up a flyer at the library about available computer classes and I found two basic classes this week and will attend two advanced classes next week. These classes are held regularly.

Ramsay High School seniors in AP Literature learn about education databases 
from instructor Jim Murray, department head of the Business, Science, and
Technology Department at the Central Library. These resources will help them with
their final term paper of the year.

Today's classes were relatively small, probably 10 students, with an instructor and an assistant who helped students at their computers. Both were friendly, knowledgeable, and well organized. Plus, the handout is very helpful and can be used as a manual when you're actually working on a document on your own.

I learned a lot. I'm planning to attend more Microsoft Office Suite classes at the library, including Excel 2010 basic and advanced classes and PowerPoint 2010.

I really appreciate the library staff members who give classes because they will refer you to other online resources that you can use to learn more and to help you with questions.

Remember one reason the library can give free programs is that people like you and me donate to the Friends Foundation to supplement the library's budget.

For a list of upcoming classes, visit the BPL events calendar or the Regional Library Computer Center blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Paint Party @ Central Library


We're having a paint party! Please join us for what promises to be a fun and creative evening. Have you always wanted to transform a blank canvas into a work of art? Do you love to be creative and have fun with paint? Well, we have a class for you!

Local artist Cherie Hunt will provide step-by-step instructions for participants to complete their very own canvas masterpiece. Limited to 20 participants. This is an adult program. Please call 205-226-3677 to register.

Libraries Rock!!
Registration Required.
Thursday, June 14-- 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Birmingham Public Library-- Central
2nd Floor, Youth Department Story Castle.

Steps to Starting a Franchise Business Seminar Scheduled for May 21 at Central Library


What: Steps to Starting a Franchise Business seminar
Dates:
Monday, May 21, 2018
Monday, June 25, 2018
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
Cost: Free but registration is required

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) and Birmingham SCORE will begin offering Steps to Starting a Franchise Business, a monthly how-to seminar on franchising, beginning Monday, April 23, 12:00 p.m., at the Central Library. The seminar will explore how franchising can take the risk out of starting your own business and becoming self-employed. Greg Foss, a career transition coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source® and SCORE mentor, will facilitate the seminar.

Topics to be covered in the seminar include: common myths and truths about franchising, the importance of knowing your personal goals before taking the plunge, non-standard ownership options, how to finance your business, how to research and select the right franchise, and resources that are available to help you with your research.

The seminar will be offered at 12:00 p.m. on April 23, May 21, June 25, and July 24. The seminar is free, but registration is required. Register online through the BPL events calendar or call Greg Foss at 336-501-5695.

For more information about the seminar and other resources for small business development available at BPL, please contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by calling 205-226-3691.

Monday, May 14, 2018

2018 NBA Conference Finals


NBA Conference Finals
ESPN Illustration

The 2018 NBA Conference Finals are almost a repeat of last year’s conference finals.  In the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be taking on the Boston Celtics again in an effort to reach the NBA Finals.  Cleveland faced a much tougher road this year on their path to the conference finals.  As a #4 seed they faced the #5 seed Indiana Pacers in the first round.  It took seven games and a valiant effort on the part of LeBron James to secure the victory to move to the second round.  Shockingly, the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to sweep the second round series against the #1 seed Toronto Raptors.  That victory gave them a little more time to rest and get ready for a rematch against the Boston Celtics.  The Cavaliers are seeking an opportunity to play in their fourth consecutive NBA Finals. 

Despite acquiring all-star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, the Celtics have been unable to take advantage of his talent and scoring ability due to injury during the playoffs. They faced a first-round challenge identical to the Cavaliers needing seven games to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks.  The second round was also similar to the Cavaliers as the Boston Celtics only lost one game against the Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).  The similar path to the Eastern Conference Finals and the familiarity from playing one another last year set the stage for a great, competitive matchup to reach the NBA Finals.

In the Western Conference, the #1 seed Houston Rockets have played like the top seed throughout the playoffs.  They only dropped one game to both their first round (Minnesota Timberwolves) and second round (Utah Jazz) opponents.  Houston lost in the second round last year to the San Antonio Spurs (4-2) so they were hungry to make their way into the Western Conference Finals.  Also, as the #1 seed, they have home-court advantage against the #2 seed Golden State Warriors, a position the Warriors haven't found themselves in over the last three seasons when they led the Western Conference in wins.

For the Golden State Warriors, it’s Groundhog Day, been there, done that.  They will face a tough challenge against the high scoring duo of James Harden (28.5) and Chris Paul (21.8) who average a combined 50 points per game.  The bright side for Golden State is the return of 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry who missed the first round due to a knee injury.  He came off the bench during Game 2 of the second round and managed to finish the game with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.  Like Houston, the Golden State Warriors only lost one game in the first (San Antonio Spurs) and second round (New Orleans Pelicans).  As in the Eastern Conference, the similar path to the Western Conference Finals should find these teams playing their best with Golden State trying to reach the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year and Houston trying to get there for the first time in over 20 years.

The elephant in the room is a potential fourth consecutive NBA Finals featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.  The Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets will do everything they can to prevent that from happening.  No matter who emerges, we will have some exciting basketball games to watch this week.  Enjoy the games.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Summer Learning 2018 Sign-Up Begins May 11, Kickoff June 1


The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is excited to present Summer Learning 2018 at all 19 locations. BPL’s commitment to outstanding summer reading experiences for children, teens, and adults is reflected in the many and varied offerings for all ages and interests. The theme for the Birmingham Public Library’s Summer Learning program is “Libraries ROCK!” Participants of all ages will have the opportunity to sign up beginning May 11, 2018. This year as a new member of the Urban Libraries Council, BPL is joining others in transitioning our programs from the traditional Summer Reading program to a Summer Learning program.

During June and July the Birmingham Public Library will present more than 400 FREE programs to deepen reading enjoyment, spark STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) passions, and the opportunity for students to learn through active exploration. In addition to learning activities for children and teens, the Birmingham Public Library will host a variety of programs for adults including computer classes, exercise and dance, arts and crafts, guest lecturers, movies, and book clubs. For a list of summer learning events and programs, visit the BPL events calendar.

The Birmingham Public Library will host its second annual Summer Learning Kickoff Celebration on June 1, 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Central Library. This will be a fun event with refreshments, games, music, and activities for the whole family. FREE tickets for the event are available at all 19 BPL locations.

Got a Minute! READ! Birmingham Public Library is changing the way we record summer learning participation for the 2018 program. Rather than counting the number of books read, BPL will now record time read. Counting time spent reading, or being read to, rather than the number of books read or heard puts the emphasis on the act of reading. It equalizes the amount of effort required by participants with varying reading abilities. By counting time, all readers are rewarded equally for their efforts.
Beanstack Tracker app

Participants in the Birmingham Public Library Summer Learning program will have the opportunity to record their reading accomplishments using the online app, Beanstack, or by using the traditional paper reading log. The more participants read and log their reading time, the more opportunities they have to win prizes. We encourage everyone to be an “Eager Reader” this summer.

In addition to logging reading time, Birmingham Public Library is offering a variety of learning track activities for participants to complete. Activities include attending a library program, using one of the library’s free online resources, reading outside, and telling your librarian a joke!

The goal of the Birmingham Public Library’s Summer Learning program is to curb the problem of summer learning loss (summer slide) and to spark children’s interest in reading for pleasure. Our desire is for the library to be a place where everyone will find inspiration by pursuing their interests and learn for fun or just because the spark of curiosity has taken hold of them.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Developing a Business Plan Seminar Scheduled for May 22 at Central Library


What: Developing a Business Plan seminar
Date: Tuesday May 22, 2018
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
Cost: Free but registration is required

Crafting an effective business plan is a critical component for ensuring entrepreneurial success. A business plan is not only necessary for securing much needed financing, but it also serves as a vital tool in providing direction and purpose for all your business activities.

To help you learn how to craft an effective plan, the Birmingham Public Library is partnering with SCORE and BBVA Compass bank to offer a seminar, Developing a Business Plan, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Central Library. The seminar will be taught by local small business specialists from BBVA Compass. The seminar is suitable for both those who are thinking of starting a business and those who want to grow their existing business. Seminar topics will include the following:

  • My Business Priorities
  • How Lenders and Investors Use Business Plans
  • Writing My Executive Summary
  • Writing My Company Description
  • Defining My Management and Organization
  • Understanding the Market
  • Performing a Competitive Analysis
  • Describing My Product or Service Line
  • Building My Marketing and Sales Strategy
  • Developing Financial Projections
  • Building my Business Plan

Register online through the events calendar or email Jim Murray in the Business, Science and Technology Department at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us.

Genealogy Classes in May at Central Library


Three genealogy classes are scheduled for May at the Central Library. Introduction to Genealogy and Ancestry.com Library Edition are free and open to the public. The Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop “Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier”: Military Records in Family History Research is free of charge, but registration is requested. Additional workshops will be announced this summer.

Saturday, May 12, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Central Library, Southern History Department, 1st floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Introduction to Genealogy – Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey. The staff in the Southern History Department covers such topics as vital records, courthouse and church records, and the Federal Census. Free and open to the public.

Sunday, May 20, 2:30-4:00 p.m., Central Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Beyond the Basics of Genealogy – “Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier”: Military Records in Family History Research –Did one of your ancestors go to war? Explore the major repositories and databases for military records and discover how they can contribute vital information for your family history research. Free but registration requested. Register online or call 205-226-3655.

Monday, May 21, 2:15-3:15 p.m., Central Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library

Ancestry.com Library Edition – Participants will be introduced to the Ancestry.com Library Edition database in which you can research your family history. Learn the tips and tricks about how to search this database like a librarian. Free and open to the public.

Central Library to Host Celebration Tea in Honor of the Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


What: I Sip My Tea with Royalty
When: May 20, 2018
Time: 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Youth Department/Story Castle/ 2nd floor
Details: Free and open to all ages, but registration is required.

On May 20 the Central Library will host a tea in celebration of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who will marry on May 19, 2018, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England.

Participants will enjoy tea and light refreshments as we view highlights from the royal wedding, as well as selections from British documentaries. Please remember to bring your favorite tea cup and saucer.

This will be a fun and festive event in which participants can also test their knowledge of royal trivia.

All ages are welcome. Attendance is free but registration is required. Register online through the Birmingham Public Library events calendar or call 205-226-3670.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Local Author Workshops – "Setting the Scene" with Speaker Jim Baggett Will Be Held at Avondale Library May 19


Jim Baggett, archivist at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL), will hold a free workshop on May 19 at the Avondale Regional Branch Library. "Setting the Scene" is part of BPL's free Local Author Workshops series aimed at helping local authors learn how to write and market their books.

In July editor Liz Reed will help writers with the steps to take to get their book published and promoted.

Schedule of workshops:

May 19, 2018, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Avondale Regional Branch Library, “Setting the Scene” with speaker Jim Baggett
Join BPL archivist Jim Baggett to learn about historic photos, maps, and documents available in the BPL Archives and Manuscripts Department that can help writers create rich, authentic, and accurate historical settings so that readers feel like they are living inside the pages of your book.

July 21, 2018, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Central Library, Arrington Auditorium, “Every Writer Needs an Editor: The Editor's Role in Honing a Manuscript” with speaker Liz Reed
Book and magazine editor Liz Reed will discuss the ways a good editor can help an author improve and promote their book. Topics will include content editing; decisions about paper, design, and binding choices; maximizing your time by creating a production schedule; marketing; and much more.

Final Money Matters Workshop Scheduled for May 16 at Central Library


Update: The previous start time of 12:00 p.m. has been changed to 11:00 a.m. for the May 16 workshop.

The Birmingham Public Library is partnering again this year with UAB’s Regions Institute for Financial Education to offer a series of Money Matters workshops to be held each month at our Central location. Each of the workshops covers a different topic, but all are designed to help you gain a better understanding of your personal finances and begin making a plan for the future.

The final Money Matters workshop, Your Credit Report, is scheduled for May 16, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., and will be held in the Youth Department’s Story Castle, which is located on 2nd floor of the Central Library. Representatives from the Regions Institute for Financial Education in UAB’s Collat School of Business will serve as instructors for each of the workshops.

What: Money Matters workshop series
When: Third Wednesday of the month, October 2017 thru May 2018
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library, Youth Department, 2nd floor, Story Castle

To learn more about the workshop series as well as other personal finance resources available at BPL, contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by calling 205-226-3691.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Book Review: My Venice and Other Essays

by David Blake, Fiction Department, Central Library

My Venice and Other Essays
Donna Leon

Fans of Donna Leon are accustomed to walking the calli (streets) of Venice with Commissario Guido Brunetti, the star of Donna Leon’s popular detective novels, set in Venice, of course. It’s interesting, by the way, that Leon does not allow her books to be translated into Italian. She doesn’t want her neighbors to read them. Leon has been a resident of Venice for decades, and this book begins with a series of essays about her life there. Her tongue, and her sense of humor, are far sharper than her fictional character, Brunetti’s.

This is an eclectic collection. Italian men and their mothers, war crimes, and noisy neighbors are all subjects for her humor. Leon’s stories about Venetian dog poop and garbage are table slappers. Leon is an opera lover and her exploits to hear Maria Callas sing are harrowing. Like Brunetti, Leon is good company, but, unlike him, she isn’t mellow. Her stories about her pre-Venice job, teaching in Saudi Arabia and the treatment of women there, are bursting with anger.

Leon’s writing about Venice differs from most accounts in that she has lived there a long time. She knows how everything that happens in the city is known by its residents through webs of pedestrians running into one another and gossiping. My Venice gives us a glimpse into the hidden interior life of a mysterious city, and of Leon as well.

For those who have not yet read Leon’s novels (the Brunetti series), there are plenty of options to engage you. She has just released number 27 in that series, The Temptation of Forgiveness. Other popular options include Death at La Fenice and Acqua Alta. The series order of these titles are not so important. Both Leon’s nonfiction and her fiction will satisfy the general reader and those who enjoy travel, be it on-site or from an armchair. There is plenty to enjoy here.

Check it out.

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for May 15 at Central Library


What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: 3rd Tuesday of each month, February-June 2018
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

The Birmingham Public Library, in conjunction with SCORE and the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development, will again be hosting the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business, in 2018. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the following Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library: May 15, June 19.

Each seminar will cover the same topics, but those who are interested are welcome to attend more than one day. Topics covered will include crafting a vision statement, identifying sources of funding, determining the legal structure of your business, devising a business plan, and investigating sources of business and economic information. Please register for the seminars by contacting Valencia Fisher in the Economic Development Office at Valencia.Fisher@birminghamal.gov or 205-254-2799.

Seminar presenters will be veteran mentors from the local chapter of SCORE. SCORE is a national nonprofit association consisting of volunteers with business skills and experience who want to share their knowledge with prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners. For over 50 years, SCORE mentors have helped millions of Americans start and grow their own businesses.

For further information about the seminars or about resources available at the Birmingham Public Library relating to small business development, please contact Jim Murray in the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by phoning 205-226-3691.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Jewish American Heritage Month

by Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library


May is Jewish American Heritage Month and the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and several other government agencies are joining together to honor and celebrate Jewish Americans. First proclaimed by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006, each successive president has declared the month of May to be a time when we reflect on the accomplishments and contributions of Jewish Americans. President Donald Trump issued the 2018 proclamation on April 30.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) will be streaming interviews with three Holocaust survivors this month. The first interview took place on May 3 and the other two will be on May 9 and May 10. Viewers can watch them live or stream them later at their convenience on the USHMM website.

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department has plenty of resources for those researching their Jewish ancestry. In addition to books on genealogy, we also have many titles relating to the Jewish experience in the South, histories of Jewish congregations in Alabama, and fun titles like Shalam Y’all and Matzoh Ball Gumbo. Check out our newest subject guide on Jewish Heritage for links to these titles and many others.

The popular genealogy database, Ancestry.com has a special section on Jewish genealogy. Their Jewish Family History Collection contains numerous databases that are available for free. For those that require a subscription, the library edition of Ancestry.com is available at all of Alabama’s public libraries.

Follow the links below for more information on Jewish genealogy and history:

American Jewish Archives
Birmingham Holocaust Education Center
Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center
Israel Genealogy Research Association
JewishGen

Friday, May 04, 2018

May 4 Bards & Brews Joins 40th JCLC Birthday Bash at Homewood Public Library


What: Bards & Brews/JCLC 40th Birthday Bash
When: Friday, May 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Homewood Public Library
Details: Free and open to the public. Free beer samples will be available to those 21 and above; you must be 18 to enter.

Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library's (BPL) popular spoken word poetry/craft beer event, will travel to the Homewood Public Library to join in on the celebration of 40 years of the Jefferson Country Library Cooperative (JCLC). In 1978 the JCLC was established to link all locally-funded city libraries in the county. Today, 22 member libraries—with 40 locations—offer countywide sharing of countless services and resources with the "One County, One Card" system.

The 40th Birthday Bash kickoff event will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Bring the entire family for fun on the bounce house, food trucks, face painting, and more! Read more about the cooperative at https://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2018/04/jefferson-county-library-cooperative-to.html.

Bards & Brews kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with musical guest Sol Musica; poetry begins to flow at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments provided by Hero Doughnuts, Hop City, and Red Hills Brewing Company.

For more information on Bards & Brews, visit www.bplonline.org/bardsbrews. To make donations to BPL for Bards & Brews or our many other programs, visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/supportbhampubliclibrary.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

The Annual Great Give Campaign Benefiting All Jefferson County Public Libraries, May 8-9


The Great Give is an online fundraising campaign that will kick off Tuesday, May 8, and run through May 9, benefiting the Public Libraries In Jefferson County as the library cooperative celebrates its 40th anniversary.

All funds raised through The Great Give will help to further the significant work of the 40 municipal libraries in the Jefferson County area.

To promote the campaign on social media sites, the 40 Public Libraries in Jefferson County will be utilizing the hashtag #TheGreatGive.

“We encourage Jefferson County residents to give $40 this year as we celebrate 40 years of cooperation with what is now the 40 libraries in our cooperative,” said Pat Ryan, executive director, Jefferson County Library Cooperative. “The Library Cooperative works behind the scenes to coordinate the services that link 40 libraries with one card for everyone in the county.

The core services made available to all county residents through the library cooperative are as follows:

  • Delivery service—the items residents want where they want to pick them up
  • Nearly 2 million items in 40 libraries countywide
  • In person or online holds on items at any library in the county, text messaging reminders
  • 24/7 catalog, downloadable audio & ebooks
  • Information databases
  • Internet access plus free WiFi available in 40 libraries
  • Books-By-Mail for the homebound
  • IT support for member libraries

The Great Give fundraising campaign will assist the library cooperative as it works to continue linking the 40 libraries with Jefferson County residents. All donations will be tax-deductible as the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

How to donate:


About Jefferson County Library Cooperative
The mission of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative is to connect all citizens by providing resources and community-building opportunities that inspire life-long learning. The Public Libraries In Jefferson County have been cooperating since 1978 with 22 member libraries (40 locations). To learn more, visit www.PublicLibrariesInJC.org.

40 Libraries. 1 County. 1 Card.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Improve Your Job Search Skills at the Birmingham Public Library with Employment Readiness Bootcamp


What: Employment Readiness Bootcamp
When: Monday, May 7, 2018, and Monday, May 21, 2018
Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: There will be two workshops: (1) Personal & Career Strength Test/Resume Rehabilitation and (2) New Age Online Application Drill/Interview Performance Training. Free and open to the public; no registration necessary.

Choosing a career is not any easy undertaking. Likewise, once you’ve chosen a career, finding a job can be a pretty difficult task as well. When you consider that throughout your lifetime you spend more hours at your job than you do anywhere else, you really need to put the time and effort into making good decisions in regards to career selection and job searching. This is not only true for young people who are entering the job market for the first time, but also for adults who are either reentering the job market after an absence, looking for a new job, or are contemplating a career change. If you fall into any of these categories, then you should plan to attend the Birmingham Public Library’s Employment Readiness Bootcamp.

Two Employment Readiness Bootcamps will be held at the Central Library in May 2018. Each of the workshops will cover different parts of the job searching process, but participants are encouraged to attend both because the second workshop builds on the content presented in the first. Here are the descriptions of the workshops:

Monday May 7, 2018 – Personal & Career Strength Test/Resume Rehabilitation

  • Personal & Career Strength Test provides an individual assessment of personal and professional goals, aspirations, and skills to help determine your best job fit.
  • Resume Rehabilitation is designed to assist individuals with creating an effective resume that will function as a powerful tool in achieving gainful employment.

Monday May 21, 2018 – New Age Online Application Drill/Interview Performance Training

  • New Age Online Application Drill offers tips and suggestions to guide all job seekers in successfully completing online employment applications.
  • Interview Performance Training provides techniques to help you emphasize your skills, overcome objections, and build rapport with your job interviewer.

The bootcamp presenter is Tina Thornton. Tina is a professional counselor and founder of Gem Kreations, a nonprofit organization committed to assisting those who have experienced adverse circumstances realize their full personal and professional potential.

For more information about the bootcamps, please contact Tina Thornton at 205-586-8693.

Paper Beads—Your New Favorite Craft

by Ellen Griffin Shade, Avondale Regional Branch Library


Making paper beads has become one of our favorite crafts at the Avondale Library. It’s simple, inexpensive, and endlessly versatile, and the resulting jewelry is gorgeous. If this sounds like your idea of fun, you’re in luck! Avondale Library has paper bead rollers available for check out from the Avondale Crafting Collection.


The bead rollers come with instructions, and you supply your own paper, glue, and sealant -- Clear nail polish works great! You can use almost any kind of paper, and it’s a great way to recycle old magazines, gift wrap, even junk mail. Different kinds of paper create different results, and it’s interesting to experiment with different sizes, textures, and shapes. Bead rollers must be picked up and returned at the Avondale Library Circulation Desk. Call 226-4000 or drop by the circulation desk for more information.


And if you’re interested in a hands-on tutorial, we’ll be hosting a Paper Beads Workshop on Wednesday, May 16, at 2:00 p.m. The program is free, but space is limited, so please register to save your spot. Call the Avondale Library to register, or enjoy the convenience of registering online through the BPL events calendar.

Think before Hitting SEND: Helpful E-Mail Etiquette Reminders

by Alisha Johnson, Ensley Branch Library


In an effort to interact less face to face, we are often tempted to take short cuts with the way we communicate with one another. Taking this approach can lead to some very undesirable results and could possibly be the end of a friendship, business partnership, or even employment. One of the ways that we have grown very accustomed to communicating is via email. We use this tool in our personal lives as well as our professional lives. It is very important, that while taking advantage of this resource, we consider our audiences and how we present ourselves to them at any given moment. Like many things, there are rules that one should follow when putting thoughts on paper to convey a message.

One should make sure that the reason for writing is very clear in the subject line of the email. Some people make a determination on whether to open an email or not based off of the subject line. Also, depending on your audience, you want to ensure that you use a professional email address, rely on your own eyes as a spell check, consider that some things may not convey the same message on paper as it would in a face-to-face interaction, and make sure that you understand that emails are a written record of things that you communicate.

Using a professional email address will help those reading to take you more seriously, especially if you are in a business setting. One knows that spell check can be a very helpful tool with catching some of the pesky grammatical and spelling errors, but we also must be confident in our own abilities to pinpoint errors. Even though your intentions may be good, when writing an email different people have different views of the world and will interpret written words as their experience permits. Be careful with how you say what you say. Lastly, never put things in an email that could get you into trouble if read by the wrong person. We should all be mindful of these nifty etiquette rules and heavily consider our online presence just as we do our physical presence.

Check out these helpful resources at your local library:

E-mail and Business Letter Writing by Lynn Brittney
E-mail Etiquette: Do’s, Don’ts, and Disaster Tales from People Magazine's Internet Manners Expert by Samantha Miller
Undeliver@ble: E-mail Etiquette for Today's Workplace (DVD)

More e-mail etiquette materials

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Kanopy Adds Children's Content to Catalog with Kanopy Kids

The new streaming offering features educational, enriching, and entertaining content with age-based ratings from Common Sense Media.


The popular on-demand video streaming service Kanopy, available to Birmingham residents with a JCLC library card for free, now includes Kanopy Kids: thoughtful entertainment for children aged preschool and up. Parents can trust in a curated selection of educational and enriching videos on Kanopy Kids with developmentally appropriate, age-based ratings from Common Sense Media, as well as additional parental controls to keep kids safe.

Kanopy Kids highlights films and TV series that inspire and inform, helping children develop empathy, mindfulness, and self-esteem through entertaining and educational videos. Kanopy Kids features approximately 500 children’s titles at launch, with more than 100 to be added each month. Both Kanopy and Kanopy Kids are available on any computer, television, or mobile device, with apps for Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Tablet, iOS, and Android.

How to Access Kanopy Kids
To access Kanopy Kids, first login to your Kanopy platform then click on the "KIDS" button in the top right of the page:

Parental Controls Keep Kids Safe
In addition to Common Sense Media's developmentally appropriate, age-based ratings, Kanopy Kids features parental controls to help keep kids safe. Our main catalog is inaccessible in Kanopy Kids—viewers will need to exit Kanopy Kids to watch any videos meant for viewers aged 12+. As an optional layer of protection, parents can create a 4-digit PIN to ensure that kids only have access to age-appropriate videos.

Kanopy Kids categories include:
  • TV Series
  • Learning Languages
  • Animated Storybooks
  • Anime Favorites
  • Classic Films and Movies for the Whole Family

Key titles include:
  • Arthur
  • Babar 
  • Bino & Fino 
  • Franklin & Friends 
  • Maya The Bee,
  • Wild Kratts 
  • Between the Lions 
  • Little Pim 

The collection also highlights classic films from Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton,  and Oscar- nominated titles including A Cat in Paris and The Secret of Kells, plus family-friendly documentaries such as Girls Rock and The Endless Summer.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Celebrate Children's Book Week at BPL with Fun Programs and Voting


The Birmingham Public Library is proud to be hosting a variety of programs in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Programs include storytimes, drop-in arts & crafts programs, and family night events. Check out the BPL events calendar at http://www.bplonline.org/calendar/ for a complete listing of activities.


And children and teens: Voice your choice! Voting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is open through May 11, 12:00 a.m. EST, at everychildareader.net/vote. Winners will be announced live on May 30 in New York City at BookExpo 2018.

Photo Exhibit – Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950

Four Couples

What: Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950 photography exhibit
When: May 23-August 31, 2018, during library hours
Where: Central Library, Fourth Floor Gallery
Cost: Free and open to the public
Contact: Jim Baggett at jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us or 205-226-3631

Boys on Bicycle
One of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Archives’ most popular exhibits, Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950, will again be on display in the Central Library’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

Including almost 300 images from the Archives’ collections and private collections, the exhibit highlights the simple snapshot photos that preserve a moment, tell a story, and record life’s milestones. Snapshots illustrate the common bonds of people creating their own visual biographies—mothers chronicling their children’s growth, young men and women proudly leaning against automobiles, families playing in snow, friends being goofy. And for Birmingham, a place often remembered for its divisions, snapshots show the common interests, affections, and aspirations of people—black and white, wealthy and not—who shared far more than even they realized.

Originally displayed at BPL in 2002, Common Bonds traveled to Samford University in 2003, the Reykjavik (Iceland) Museum of Photography in 2003-2004, and Vulcan Park and Museum in 2006.

Common Bonds was funded by a generous grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Jefferson County Library Cooperative to Celebrate 40 Years with Birthday Bash, The Great Give


In 1978 the Jefferson County Library Cooperative was established to link all locally-funded city libraries in the county. Today, 22 member libraries—with 40 locations—offer countywide sharing of countless services and resources with the "One County, One Card" system.

A 40th Birthday Bash kickoff event will be held on Friday, May 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at the Homewood Public Library. Bring the entire family for fun on the bounce house, food trucks, face painting, and more!

The Great Give is an online fundraising campaign that will kick off Tuesday, May 8, and run through May 9, benefiting the Public Libraries In Jefferson County as the library cooperative celebrates its 40th anniversary.

All funds raised through The Great Give will help to further the significant work of the 40 municipal libraries in the Jefferson County area.

To promote the campaign on social media sites, the 40 Public Libraries in Jefferson County will be utilizing the hashtag #TheGreatGive.

“We encourage Jefferson County residents to give $40 this year as we celebrate 40 years of cooperation with what is now the 40 libraries in our cooperative,” said Pat Ryan, executive director, Jefferson County Library Cooperative. “The Library Cooperative works behind the scenes to coordinate the services that link 40 libraries with one card for everyone in the county.

The core services made available to all county residents through the library cooperative are as follows:

  • Delivery service—the items residents want where they want to pick them up
  • Nearly 2 million items in 40 libraries countywide
  • In person or online holds on items at any library in the county, text messaging reminders
  • 24/7 catalog, downloadable audio & ebooks
  • Information databases
  • Internet access plus free WiFi available in 40 libraries
  • Books-By-Mail for the homebound
  • IT support for member libraries

The Great Give fundraising campaign will assist the library cooperative as it works to continue linking the 40 libraries with Jefferson County residents. All donations will be tax-deductible as the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

To donate, visit https://www.mightycause.com/story/Great-Give-2018 or mail your donation to Jefferson County Library Cooperative, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203, or drop off a donation at any local library.

About Jefferson County Library Cooperative
The mission of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative is to connect all citizens by providing resources and community-building opportunities that inspire life-long learning. The Public Libraries In Jefferson County have been cooperating since 1978 with 22 member libraries (40 locations). To learn more, visit www.PublicLibrariesInJC.org.
40 Libraries. 1 County. 1 Card.

All-New Freegal Music Service Launched in April Includes New Apps and Weekly Playlists


Earlier in April an all-new Freegal Music Service was launched, the by-product of 18 months of work which has also included the feedback of patrons. Patrons will be able to use their existing credentials, and all their playlists and stored music will be preserved. Patrons will receive their customary notification from the stores that an update is ready, and those that allow automatic updates will have a seamless experience. New FAQs and a video tutorial will guide the end users through the site.

The highlights of the new service include:

  • A completely new set of mobile apps that take advantage of new technology to allow the same robust website experience in the palm of the patron’s hand. This is what the future of our service looks like—everything on the phone. Great discovery, great functionality, and an intuitive and clean interface.
  • An emphasis on curated music. We know that of our almost 3 million users, 50% of them come to the site looking to discover music rather than finding something specific. To that end, we now have over 100 playlists to meet every mood or whim. New lists will be published weekly, and they are pleasingly displayed on the site and the apps.
  • A new functionality that will allow libraries to show off their music curation abilities and help create a community of music lovers in their service area. Patrons will be able to create playlists and share them with the library. Libraries can edit and publish them on their own Freegal Music site and also create their own playlists from scratch.
  • A simple, clean, and modern new interface to help the patrons quickly explore the breadth and depth of our content base, which is now 15 million tracks and includes music videos and audiobooks.

The all new Freegal will still include:

New content every day. Our worldwide catalog contains 15 million songs from more than 30,000 music labels that originate in over 100 countries.

Book Review: The Tender Bar: A Memoir

by Richard Grooms, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

The Tender Bar: A Memoir
J. R. Moehringer

I have no interest in bars. I don’t drink and I can’t stand cigarette smoke. I was not the ideal reader for The Tender Bar. Not in theory anyway. In reality, I’m a fan of memoirs and, after reading the review blurbs in the front of the book, I gave it a try. I was captivated early on and I somehow knew I’d have a very good reading experience ahead of me. Turned out I was right. Dickens is the name of the bar at the center of Manhasset, Long Island, and J.R. Moehringer’s early life. It was where the “Little League, softball league, bowling league and Junior League” all met. It gives you the best overview, nine yards and cross section you could get of Manhasset, and therefore sort of sums up America, or at least small town life.

Moehringer’s dysfunctional (this is a memoir) family meant an absent father, a grandfather so patriarchal he made sure all the women in the household never went to college, and a general sense of failure. He didn’t have good male role models at home, but the bar, where Uncle Charlie worked, did provide men who helped steer J.R. through rites of passage. They functioned as tribal elders, or at least would-be tribal elders. There’s the obscenely-named employee who lived in a car in back of the bar, did his laundry in the bar’s dishwasher and hung the clothes out to dry in the trees out back. And there’s Colt, who talked like Yogi Bear. Both men mumbled everything and J.R. was one of the few who could make some sense out of them. His phonetic transcriptions of their language are reliably hilarious. These guys and others functioned not too well, but they weren’t too very dysfunctional either. Still, despite all, says Moehringer, “They taught me the importance of confidence…that was enough. That, I later realized, was everything.”

Back at Dysfunctional Ranch. J.R.’s mom eventually gets fed up with going nowhere and moves herself and son to Arizona. Something extraordinary happens there. While place making (but not working) at a mall bookstore, J.R. is given permission by the two eccentric owners to read all he likes. There’s plenty of time as there are no customers to speak of. Bill and Bud, the managers so to speak, hide in the back and read all day. They see potential in J.R. and complete his high school training, giving him a literary education. They set high standards for J.R. and, miracle of miracles, he gets into Yale, barely. He struggles through college and gets a job at the New York Times as a reporter. J.R. is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and he does have many setbacks along the way, including getting fired from the Times. His move up the class ladder is meticulously told in accounts that are sensitive, painful to read at times, and sometimes heartbreaking.

Wherever he ends up, J.R. always comes back to Manhasset, family, and Dickens. The section on Dickens closing made me really sad. This is a bar I wish I could have visited. Moehringer has come up with a small American classic, one to savor and learn from.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Get Caught Up on the Marvel Universe before Seeing Avengers: Infinity War


Planning on seeing Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War this weekend? Before watching the war to end all wars, borrow the must-read graphic novels on hoopla and get caught up on everything in the Marvel Universe that’s led to this moment!

Southern History Book of the Month: History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Established in 1818

by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Established in 1818

Celebrations of the Alabama Bicentennial are now well under way, but this month’s selection is about a church that began when the area was still The Alabama Territory and statehood was yet to come. Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Hueytown, Alabama, is a pre-statehood church, established in 1818 in what was then called Rutledge Springs. It’s part of my earliest memories since it was my mother’s home church and many generations of her side of the family had worshipped and preached and married and been buried there. With a busy interstate highway running by it, Bethlehem as it was in its founding year seems far away and hard to imagine, but the History gives us some vivid pictures of those times, as in this passage about Bethlehem’s cemetery:
And alas, babies. Back then, many of them lived only one or two days, joining older children from around here who never reached their teens. They number over 300! All lie among the 130 aging grave stones of young Bethlehem offspring, the wood markers of the other children long gone. Before antibiotics, an awful child mortality rate meant countless young deaths, striking nearly every family. The Browns and the Snows were our families that suffered worst, burying here 13 children each.
Bethlehem Cemetery
Genealogical researchers should definitely take a look at the History since one of its entries is about the descendants of Bethlehem’s early founders and members, followed by a long list of the families with graves in the cemetery. “Know anyone with these names? Tell them! Bethlehem may be where long-lost ancestors of the South deserve a visit.”

The founder of Bethlehem Church was a young veteran of the War of 1812 named Ebenezer Hearn. As a minister in the Tennessee Methodist Conference, he was entrusted in April of 1818—at age 22—with the task of establishing new churches. In fact, his orders were simply to “organize and build as many churches as you can in the area that lies south of Tennessee”:
This young dynamo set out that rainy month, and he ended up creating dozens of churches. Two centuries later, some hardy survivors are alive still. These faithful monuments to Christ live on in Ashville, Blountsville, Gandy’s Cove, Montevallo, Tuscaloosa, and here at Rutledge Springs.
That April, young Brother Hearn preached his first Alabama sermon at an outpost called Bear-Meat’s Cabin (after an Indian named Bear-Meat, that abandoned cabin had once been his log home). It was located near the primitive frontier village of Blountsville. Then, the preacher headed further south, eventually arriving at our Rutledge Springs Methodist camp meeting grounds. Here in the last half of 1818, he founded our church.
Within a short time after Hearn’s arrival, the actual church building was constructed. Visitors can view some of the 19th century architecture that is part of the present structure, such as the exposed beams visible in the Fellowship Hall downstairs. One of the building’s claims to fame is that it is “still located at its original site, never burned down or moved.”
Exposed beam inside the church
Bethlehem will celebrate its 200th year in just a few weeks at the Homecoming service on Sunday, May 20. The gathering will begin at 10:00 a.m. and service will be followed by that wonderful Southern tradition of “dinner on the grounds.” If you’ve ever driven by and wondered, What does that pretty little white church look like inside?, then this is your chance to find out—and to be present at a very special event in Alabama history. Stop by and help celebrate the Bethlehem Bicentennial!

For further information:
Bethlehem at Bhamwiki
Bethlehem history and photos at Hueytown Historical Society
Bethlehem Cemetery on Find A Grave
“Historical marker to be dedicated at cemetery”
Bethlehem entry at North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church
Transcript of the autobiography of Ebenezer Hearn

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