Monday, May 30, 2016

BPL Closed May 30 for Memorial Day


All Birmingham Public Library locations will be closed Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Southern History Book of the Month: Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division

Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division
Nimrod T. Frazer

One hundred years ago, America was on the brink of its entry into World War I. Though our country’s involvement was not official until the declaration of war against the German Empire in 1917, there was already a feeling that our participation could not be delayed much longer. In Send the Alabamians, Nimrod Frazer traces the role of the 167th Infantry Alabama Regiment in the 42nd “Rainbow” Division and their exploits during WWI, starting with the Mobilization of the Alabama National Guard in 1916 in case troops were needed for fighting in Mexico. As Frazer points out, many young men saw enlistment as a valuable opportunity:
The Guard . . . suddenly offered young men to walk away from the simple lives that many had never been able to escape. Now they might travel to unknown places, eat healthy food, wear good clothes, and earn income for doing work that upright citizens respected and valued. Many young men without money, education, or training relished this new kind of work. It promised a better was to make a living than jobs that usually required long hours, often combined with sweaty, dirty, sometimes dangerous labor for little pay. Few Alabama men could rise above that kind of work, but some were intelligent enough and adventurous enough to take advantage of the opportunity to do so.
And take advantage of it they did, though it would lead to work more dirty and dangerous than any labor they had previously faced. Frazer follows the development of the regiment from its early days as the 4th Alabama until the War Department’s order in 1917 that changed it into the 167th United States Infantry:
On the day after the name-changing order, the Montgomery Advertiser announced that the 167th United States Infantry Regiment would become part of a new full-strength US Army Division, the 42nd, to be called the Rainbow Division . . . Major Douglas McArthur, who worked as the War Department’s press censor . . . described the unnumbered division as stretching like a rainbow across the United States. Building on this comment, a reporter called it the Rainbow Division, and the name stuck.
By early 1918, the Rainbow Division was in the trenches in France. Conditions were beyond hideous—as one recruit noted, “There is no mud like that of Lorraine”—but mud was the least of the horrors when compared to bad rations, lice, disease, and poison gas attacks. With little prior exposure to such adverse conditions, the Alabamians of the Division still performed with courage:
Most of the men in the 167th had been together for a long time, and they had been tested—and unified—by the epic march a month after their arrival in France. A bond of mutual confidence and understanding existed between officers and the men and from the men to each other. The 167th also exhibited a substantial amount of satisfaction in its identity as a volunteer unit belonging to the first National Guard division to see combat in the war.
Of course, all was not always peace and harmony—at one point, frustrated by the belligerent energy and brawling of some of the new recruits, General Edward H. Plummer was said to have exclaimed, “In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get, but in time of peace, for Lord’s sake, send them to somebody else!”

After this beginning that might tactfully be termed “inauspicious,” the Alabamians in World War I left behind a record of distinguished wartime service. The upcoming Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to read Frazer’s excellent history of the Alabamians of the Rainbow Division and pause a moment to pay our respects to those who gave their lives in war.

Do you have an Alabama ancestor in World War I?

For more information:
Nimrod Frazer: author interview
History and Bibliography of the “Rainbow”
The Rainbow in World War I
“The Legendary Fourth Alabama”
167th Alabama Infantry Regiment
Researching your Military Ancestor

Mary Anne Ellis
Southern History Department
Central Library

Library Board Awards First “Innovative” Award to Pratt City Library

(l-r) Antonio Sullivan, Jordan Washington, Deborah Drake Blackmon,
and Khaleb McDonald (Omari Stephens is absent from photo)

A new program at the Pratt City Branch Library that provides career survival tips for teenagers is the first recipient of the Birmingham Public Library Board of Directors’ new "Innovative” grant.

The Pratt City Branch Library Career Survival Kit program was the first recipient, and presented four teenagers from the surrounding community a gift pack during an event held on May 18.

During the program, speakers shared tips on such topics as:

  • Proper preparation for the job search
  • Proper introductions and tips on “The Importance of the Handshake”
  • Tips on first impressions and how attitude and body language can impact a job interview (both good and bad)
  • Appropriate conversations to have on the job
  • Appropriate dress in the workplace
  • The importance of showing integrity at all times and going the extra mile
  • How to lead by being a team player
  • How to give a good interview

The four participants who attended the initial program were all South Hampton School eighth-graders: Khaleb McDonald, Omari Stephens, Antonio Sullivan, and Jordan Washington. The teen boys said they very impressed with the program, adding that it provided knowledge that will pay off as they begin seeking summer jobs.

Each of the boys received a Career Survival Kit that included the following: a bow tie, wallet, belt, personal e-mail address, a resume, business card, a 4 by 6 inch card with questions they can ask interviewers, and a see-through folder.

Deborah Drake Blackmon, branch manager at the Pratt City Library, said she was honored to be the first recipient of the Innovative grant. She said Pratt City Library also plans to present a Career Survival Kit program for teen girls from the community.

At its March 2016 board meeting, the group adopted a recommendation from the Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee to establish an award program for staff designed to encourage them to develop “innovative and cool” public programs to better serve the communities that surround its 19 locations. The award will provide up to two $50 stipends to the 18 branches and the Central Library. The board anticipates the award will help staff improve an existing program or develop a new program for library visitors.

In order to qualify, staff should must submit a brief paragraph or two explaining to the board how they will use the funds. The funds should assist staff in bringing new ideas to the library or provide extra support to existing programs. Submissions are due by the 15th of each month.

The idea for the award was brought to the Advocacy Committee by committee member Gwendolyn Amamoo. A committee reviews the selections and forward their recommendations to the full board for approval. The board anticipates awarding up to $1,900 in new programs between now and December 31, 2016.

Book Review: The Sound of All Things

The Sound of All Things
Myron Uhlberg; illustrated by Ted Pamoulas

A young teen is frustrated because his father is always asking him what things sound like. He doesn’t have the words and when he tries it isn’t good enough. His dad is deaf and so is his mom. He sometimes wishes he had normal parents. Myron Uhlberg and Ted Pamoulas’s The Sound of All Things takes place in the vibrant Brooklyn of the nineteen-thirties, mostly on Coney Island on a sunny day when the beach and the amusement park are swarming with people. The illustrations are like a colorized movie from that era, lush and full of detail. Every corner of the illustrations has its own sound. We know the sounds, but, just like the deaf father, we can’t hear the sounds. The illustrations are as silent for us as Brooklyn is for the deaf parents. How to describe the sounds?

The underlying story of The Sound of All Things is the boy’s everyday struggle for empathy with his parents. He gains a whole new way to communicate with his parents when he goes to the library and the librarian introduces him to poetry. Poetic words describe how things sound and so much more.

This picture book is good for all ages. Check it out. Ponder the themes and enjoy.

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Inglenook Library’s Summer Reading Kickoff Party

Fun and games at Inglenook Library's 2015 summer reading finale




















On Tuesday, May 31, at 3:30 p.m., the Inglenook Branch Library will have its summer reading kickoff party! There will be light refreshments, games, summer reading registration, an opportunity for folks to sign up for library cards, and a live performance by the Springville Road’s Children’s Department. Carolyn Cauthen, president of the Inglenook Neighborhood Association, will also assist us in getting the community excited about reading and participating in the summer reading program.

If you need some motivation and would like to know what the Inglenook Library has in store this summer, come out on May 31 and party with us!

Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Branch Library

Registration for 2016 Birmingham Public Library Summer Reading Programs Under Way





















The 2016 summer reading schedule has over 500 programs and activities for youth, teens and adults at 19 library locations across Birmingham.

Last summer, 18,418 BPL patrons attended 558 programs at 19 library locations and read more than 52,000 books.

Registration is under way now, with forms available in any of the 19 BPL locations. If you don’t have time to visit a BPL location, click on the link below to register online, log your books, and view the event calendar:
http://www.bplonline.org/summerreading.aspx#Kids_Summer_Reading

Have a teenager who loves to play video games? Ever wondered what goes into designing them? Then register your teen for Get in the Game with Virtual Reality, a workshop in which UAB’s ETLab (Enabling Technologies Laboratory) will provide an awesome interactive presentation and discussion for teens regarding virtual reality complete with giant screens

Want to have fun exploring chemical reactions, such as mixing diet Coke with Mentos candy? Then your teen would love Get in the Chemistry Game, a workshop where they explore activities that show  how chemistry can be cool.

Does your child like animals? They would love Scales, Tails, and More!, a workshop in which Alabama 4-H will introduce them to kid-friendly critters. Other activities will allow library patrons to see sports artifacts from Birmingham’s new Negro Southern League Baseball museum, and to attend exercise classes.

Even adults can get into the fun with a summer full of activities including Coloring for Adults, poetry workshops, knitting lessons, learning the basics of Japanese paper folding, and tips from an artist on how to paint your own masterpiece.

Read the full listing of Summer Reading programs and activities broken down by children, teens and adults at the blog links below:

BPL Children Summer Reading programs 

BPL Teen Summer Reading programs 

BPL Adult Summer reading programs 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Miss Iwate, BPL's Japanese Friendship Doll, Gets Visit from the Japan External Trade Organization

(l-r): Motoi Hotta, director of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO);
Angela Fisher Hall, director of the Birmingham Public Library;
Mary Beth Newbill, head of the Southern History Department/Central Library;
and Norikazu Mori, chief executive director of JETRO

Miss Iwate, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)'s Japanese Friendship Doll, received a visit on May 19, 2016, from representatives of her home country. Motoi Hotta, director of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and Norikazu Mori, chief executive director of JETRO, got an up close and personal view of Miss Iwate inside the Linn-Henley Building at the Central Library.

Miss Iwate, who originally came to BPL in July 1928 as part of a Japan-United States goodwill doll exchange, returned to Japan in September 2015 for a “makeover” carried out by the Yoshitoku Doll Company. When her restoration was completed, Miss Iwate was on display from December 24, 2015, to March 6, 2016, at the Iwate Prefectural Museum in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. She returned to Birmingham in mid-March 2016 ready to continue her role as ambassador of peace and friendship with renewed enthusiasm. A “welcome home” celebration was held for her at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival sponsored by the Japan American Society of Alabama at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The Birmingham Public Library is very proud of its role as the caretaker of Miss Iwate, said Angela Fisher Hall, director of the 19-branch system.

“We often share the story of Miss Iwate with visitors to the library who have an interest in our special collections, and many visitors ask for her by name,” Hall said. “Before our city had its wonderful Birmingham Museum of Art, our library was the hub for culture and learning. It’s good to have Miss Iwate here at the library to serve as a goodwill ambassador.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poetry In You Contest, Summer Poetry Seminars to Be Held at Birmingham Public Library



Roderick Woods has been hosting free Poetry In You workshops at various Birmingham Public Library (BPL) locations and city schools for 14 years.

This summer, the Birmingham native is taking his passion for teaching young people the benefits of honing their poetry and spoken word skills to the next level in partnership with BPL and the Bessemer Public Library. In addition to several free poetry workshops being offered at three area libraries, on July 23, Woods will be hosting the first Poetry In You Contest at the North Birmingham Regional Branch Library. The winners will receive $1,000 in cash, gifts, and prizes.

The poetry contest in two divisions—ages 7 to 12 and 13 to 16—will be open to the first 80 entries, Woods said. The theme “Global Warming, My Future” is designed to get young people to learn research skills about an important topic that affects everyone, Woods said. Participants can sign up on the Poetry In You Facebook page or contact Woods for details at 205-260-0326.

“Our goal is to unearth the love of poetry in our young people, help them learn to articulate through the spoken word, and build self-esteem,” Woods said. “The contest is open to the general public, but if you want to learn tips on writing, you need to sign up for one of our workshops.”

The Poetry In You Summer Poetry Seminars will be as follows in June and July and are free to 20 participants per session:

North Birmingham Library – Starting June 1, Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Snacks provided and two field trips.

Smithfield Branch Library – Starting June 3, Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Bessemer Public Library – Starting June 3, Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00-11:00 a.m.

The Poetry In You Contest and Summer Poetry Seminars are being sponsored by the following: Superspandious Poetry Inc., Col. Paul Cajun Seasonings, DNT, Tri Fab Steel, Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Co. United, Wingout Express, Highway 11 Recycling, Pride Line (STS), North Birmingham Regional Library, Bessemer Public Library, Smithfield Library, and Sweet Tea Restaurant. If you would like to help sponsor this program, call Woods at 205-260-0326 or e-mail him at rod-woods@hotmail.com.

Book Review: Chess for Dummies

Chess for Dummies
James Eade

Who doesn’t enjoy a good game of chess? With elements of art, science, arithmetic, and sport, chess is not merely a game to me, but rather an intellectual matching of the minds between two individuals trying to reach the inevitable goal of checkmate! I’ve been playing chess for years, and the more I play, the more I am fascinated by this intriguing game. Whether you’re a beginner trying to learn the ropes, or an experienced player trying to improve your game, Chess for Dummies is a wonderful book.

Chess for Dummies covers a brief history of chess, the basic rules of the game, and how to best play the game. With clear and easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations, anyone can pick up this book and be ready to play a legitimate game of chess within a couple of hours. For anyone interested in learning how to play or improve on his/her chess game without all of the in-depth theory, dogma, and rhetoric that other chess books offer, this book is for you.

“Check” it out at any one of the Public Libraries in Jefferson County locations where it's available and you’ll be saying “checkmate” to all your unlucky opponents.

Note: The West End Branch Library offers classes on chess for children throughout the year. There are classes scheduled for every Thursday in June.

Andrei Jones
Five Points West Regional Branch Library

Summer Reading 2016 Programs for Adults


The Birmingham Public Library has a summer of fun planned with activities, programs, and prizes for children, teens, and adults. Register for Summer Reading 2016 at your favorite branch, or visit BPL's summer reading page to register online, log your books, view the event calendar, and more.

Below is a list of system-wide summer reading programs for adults, but check the event calendar for a complete list of programs happening at all BPL locations this summer.

Coloring for Adults – Summer is the perfect time to discover something new, have fun, and relax. Join us to explore your creative side and discover the benefits of coloring. We supply the coloring sheets, color pencils, and crayons. Come by for a fun and creative experience. We hope you will join us.

North Birmingham – June 20, 10:00 a.m.
Woodlawn – July 18, 2:00 p.m.

Device Training – Downloadables – Summer is the ideal time to explore an interesting subject or learn something new. Would you like to learn how to download and read e-books or listen to audiobooks for free on your device? Library staff can teach you how. Bring your own device or you can use the various devices we will bring. We hope you will join us to see what the library has to offer. Note: we will only be using devices that have Internet capabilities and do not need to be hooked up to a computer.

Powderly – June 21, 2:00 p.m.
East Lake – June 24, 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham – June 27, 11:00 a.m.
West End – June 28, 12:00 p.m.
Central – July 12, 2:15 p.m.

Every House Has a History: Researching Birmingham Area Houses, Buildings and Churches – Jefferson County enjoys a rich architectural heritage. This talk will introduce you to sources available at the Birmingham Public Library Archives to help you locate vintage photos of your house, building, or church, determine the age of the structure, and learn who has lived or worked there.

North Birmingham – June 8, 11:00 a.m.
Titusville – July 7, 2:00 p.m.
Central – July, 18, 10:30 a.m.

Explore the Past with the Birmingham Public Library’s African-American History Online –
Our database, African-American History Online, covers a multitude of topics associated with the African American experience. This fascinating resource uses primary documents, slideshows and videos, maps, and biographies to paint a complete picture of African Americans yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Topics covered include the African diaspora, slavery and emancipation, civil rights, sports, politics, science, commerce, religion, and much more.

West End – June 14, 2:00 p.m.
Central – June 22, 2016 2:00 p.m.
Woodlawn – July 19, 2:00 p.m.

Get in the Game...Paint – Local artist Cherie Hunt will provide step-by-step instructions for participants to complete their very own canvas masterpiece. Limited space; registration required. Youth Department/Story Castle.

Central – June 21, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Gifts of a Wordsmith Location – Free adult poetry workshop. East Building/First Floor Conference Room.

Central – June 7, 6:00-7:45 p.m.
Central – July 5, 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Handle with Care: Preserving Your Family Papers and Photographs  – There are many basic and inexpensive things you can do to ensure that your family letters, scrapbooks, and photographs are preserved for the future. This talk introduces the fundamentals of home archiving.

Springville Road – June 7, 6:30 p.m.
Titusville – June 9, 2:00 p.m.
Central – June 14, 10:30 a.m.
Southside – July 6, 10:00 a.m.
Powderly – July 12, 1:30 p.m.

It's So Easy to Exercise! – Join us for a sample of a low impact/chair exercise program designed for cardiovascular activity, strength training, and flexibility techniques. Certified fitness instructor Russell Lee will also include a brief talk on general exercise safety. Participants will need to furnish their own exercise mat and a towel. Proper and suitable attire and athletic shoes for exercise is recommended. Come join the fun! Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium.

Central – June 11, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Knitting Basics for Adults – Learn the basics of knitting. From a simple cast-on to knitting and purling. Knitting needles and yarn will be provided (note: supplies must be returned at the end of class). Attendees may bring their own supplies if desired.

Southside – June 15, 10:00 a.m.
East Lake – June 22, 10:00  a.m.
Central – June 28, 2:00 p.m.
Powderly – June 29, 2:00 p.m.

Let's Talk About It: Oral History (Beyond the Basics of Genealogy) – Relatives and family friends are important sources of information. Whom do you want to talk with (everyone) and what do you want to ask (everything). Join us in this introduction to oral history. Learn how to gather information from those who have difficulty remembering or are troubled by the past and reluctant to share it. Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department at 205-226-3665 or askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us. Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium.

Central – July 16, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Life in 1916  –  What was life like in Birmingham 100 years ago in 1916? Get a glimpse into the past as the Southern History Department takes you on a journey through the news, stories, and advertisements gleaned from Birmingham newspapers for the year 1916.

Springville Road – June 6, 2:00 p.m.
West End – June 20, 2:00 p.m.
Southside – July 11, 2:15 p.m.
Central – July 13, 2:00 p.m.
North Avondale – July 18, 2:00 p.m.

Origami 101 Class – Learn the basics of the Japanese art of paper folding. All supplies will be provided. Class size is limited to 10 people.

Central – June 18, 2:00 p.m.
North Avondale – July 7, 10:00 a.m.

Urban Fiction – Urban fiction has become one of the most popular genres for our library patrons. Birmingham Public Library staff will provide an overview of the genre, discuss urban fiction publishers, authors, and series, and reveal ways to discover new authors you may like.

North Avondale – June 9, 11:00 a.m.
Springville Road – June 10, 1:00 p.m.
North Birmingham – July 7, 11:00 a.m.

Summer Reading 2016 Programs for Children


The Birmingham Public Library has a summer of fun planned with activities, programs, and prizes for children, teens, and adults. Register for Summer Reading 2016 at your favorite branch, or visit BPL's summer reading page to register online, log your books, view the event calendar, and more.

Below is a list of system-wide summer reading programs for children, but check the event calendar for a complete list of programs happening at all BPL locations this summer.

On Your Mark, Get Set…Dance!  – Come down to the library to learn the latest dance moves with M.A.D Skillz Dance Company. Dance is a great way to exercise and lots of fun at the same time. Learn to move and groove and have lots of fun.

North Birmingham – June 9, 10:30 a.m.
Springville Road – June 10, 4:00 p.m.
Central – June 14, 10:00 a.m.
Woodlawn – June 16, 10:00 a.m.
Powderly – June 20, 10:00 a.m.
East Ensley – June 21, 10:00 a.m.
Pratt City – June 22, 10:00 a.m.
Avondale – June 22, 2:00 p.m.
East Lake – June 23, 10:00 a.m.
Wylam – June 28, 10:00 a.m.
Smithfield – June 29, 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West – June 30, 10:00 a.m.
Ensley – July 19, 10:00 a.m.
Inglenook – July 22, 3:30 p.m.

Play Ball! – The Negro Southern League Museum (NSLM) and the Birmingham Public Library are excited to share the newest museum to be added to the Birmingham community. Toby Richards, curator for the NSLM, will be sharing artifacts from the rare and priceless collection of Dr. Layton Revel beyond the walls of the museum and into the community for a hands-on experience for youth, teens, and, adults to enjoy. Join us for a look into Birmingham's past with America's game: baseball!

Five Points West – June 7, 10:00 a.m.
Wylam – June 14, 10:00 a.m.
Powderly – June 27, 10:00 a.m.
Central – June 28, 10:00 a.m.
Inglenook – July 11, 3:30 p.m.

Ready, Set...Science! – The science of sports is all about motion and Newton knew sports. This engaging, fun, and educational show from Dynamic Education Adventures will explain Sir Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion and how it applies to sports. An object at rest remains at rest unless The Science Lady is in the house.

Powderly – June 6, 10:00 a.m.
Wylam – June 7, 10:00 a.m.
East Lake – June 9, 10:00 a.m.
Southside – June 10, 9:30 a.m.
Woodlawn – June 13, 10:00 a.m.
Titusville – June 14, 10:30 a.m.
North Avondale – June 14, 1:00 p.m.
North Birmingham – June 15, 10:30 a.m.
Avondale – June 15, 2:00 p.m.
Eastwood – June 16, 10:45 a.m.
Inglenook – June 17, 10:00 a.m.
Central – June 27, 10:00 a.m.
East Ensley – June 27, 10:00 a.m.
West End – June 30, 11:00 a.m.
Pratt City – July 5, 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road – July 6, 10:00 a.m.
Ensley – July 12, 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West – July 21, 10:00 a.m.

Scales, Tails, and More! – Did you know that animals are natural born athletes that come outfitted with their own sports equipment and protection gear? Join Alabama 4-H and their cast of kid-friendly critters as they present some super jocks from the world of scales, tails, and more.

East Ensley – June 7, 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road – June 8, 10:00 a.m.
West End – June 9, 11:00 a.m.
Inglenook – June 10, 9:30 a.m.
Powderly – June 13, 10:00 a.m.
Pratt City – June 14, 10:00 a.m.
Avondale – June 14, 6:30 p.m.
Smithfield – June 15, 10:00 a.m.
East Lake – June 16, 10:00 a.m.
Central – June 20, 10:00 a.m.
Woodlawn – June 21, 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham – June 23, 10:30 a.m.
Ensley – June 28, 10:00 a.m.
Eastwood – June 30, 10:45 a.m.
Five Points West – July 5, 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale – July 7, 1:00 p.m.
Southside – July 8, 9:30 a.m.
Titusville – July 12, 10:30 a.m.
Wylam – July 19, 10:00 a.m.

Summer Reading 2016 Programs for Teens


The Birmingham Public Library has a summer of fun planned with activities, programs, and prizes for children, teens, and adults. Register for Summer Reading 2016 at your favorite branch, or visit BPL's summer reading page to register online, log your books, view the event calendar, and more.

Below is a list of system-wide summer reading programs for teens, but check the event calendar for a complete list of programs happening at all BPL locations this summer.

Get in the Chemistry Game – Have some fun with chemical reactions and see that chemistry is cool. We'll be exploring states of matter by making elephant toothpaste, mixing Diet Coke with Mentos, and much more. Don't miss this explosively good time.

Pratt City – June 1, at 2:00 p.m.
Ensley – June 2, at 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham – June 7, at 2:00 p.m.
Wylam – June 16, at 1:00 p.m.
Powderly – June 30, at 1:00 p.m.
Five Points West – July 6, at 2:00 p.m.
East Ensley – July 7, at 2:00 p.m.
Smithfield – July 19, at 10:00 a.m.

Get in the Game…Paint! – Local artist, Cherie Hunt will provide step-by-step instructions for participants to complete their very own canvas masterpiece. Limited space. Registration required.

East Ensley – June 13, at 2:00 p.m.
North Birmingham – June 14, at 2:00 p.m.
East Lake – June 15, at 3:30 p.m.
North Avondale – June 16, at 10:30 a.m.
Avondale – June 16, at 2:00 p.m.
Smithfield – June 21, at 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West – June 22, at 2:00 p.m.
Ensley – June 23, at 10:00 a.m.
Wylam – June 23, at 2:00 p.m.
Southside – July 7, at 10:30 a.m.
Pratt City – July 7, at 2:00 p.m.
Woodlawn – July 12, at 4:00 p.m.
West End – July 13, at 2:00 p.m.
Inglenook – July 15, at 3:00 p.m.
Powderly – July 21, at 1:30 p.m.

Get in the Game with Virtual Reality – Love to play video games? Ever thought about designing them? UAB’s ET (Enabling Technologies Laboratory) will provide an awesome interactive presentation and discussion for teens regarding virtual reality complete with giant screens, Oculus Rift headsets to test out, and more! We’ll talk about virtual reality in technology, why it’s important, and what role it will play in the future.

Ensley – June 16, at 2:00 p.m.
Central – June 21, at 4:00 p.m.
East Ensley – June 23, at 2:00 p.m.
Five Points West – June 29, at 2:00 p.m.
Southside – July 11, at 10:30 a.m.

Hit a Home Run with the Negro Southern League Museum – The Negro Southern League Museum (NSLM) and the Birmingham Public Library are excited to share the newest museum to be added to the Birmingham community. Toby Richards, curator for the NSLM, will be sharing artifacts from the rare and priceless collection of Dr. Layton Revel beyond the walls of the museum and into the community for a hands-on experience for youth, teens, and, adults to enjoy. Join us for a look into Birmingham's past with America's game: baseball!

Southside – June 21, at 10:30 a.m.
Smithfield – July 5, at 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road – July 6, at 10:00 a.m.

It’s So Easy to Exercise! – Join us for a sample of a low impact/chair exercise program designed for cardiovascular activity, strength training, and flexibility techniques. Certified fitness instructor Russell Lee will also include a brief talk on general exercise safety. Please bring your own exercise mat and towel. Wear suitable attire and tennis shoes.

Southside – June 14, at 10:30 a.m.
Smithfield – June 28, at 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road – June 29, at 10:00 a.m.
Wylam – June 30, at 2:00 p.m.
East Lake – July 6, at 10:00 a.m.
West End – July 6, at 2:00 p.m.
Five Points West – July 13, at 2:00 p.m.
Powderly – July 14, at 1:30 p.m.

On Your Mark, Get Set…Dance! – Come down to the library to learn the latest dance moves with M.A.D Skillz Dance Company. Dance is a great way to exercise and lots of fun at the same time. Learn to move and groove and have lots of fun.

Smithfield – June 7, at 10:00 a.m.
East Lake – June 8, at 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West – June 8, at 2:00 p.m.
East Ensley – June 9, at 2:00 p.m.
Central – June 14, at 4:00 p.m.
Springville Road – June 15, at 10:00 a.m.
West End – June 15, at 2:00 p.m.
Powderly – June 16, at 1:30 p.m.
North Birmingham – June 21, at 2:00 p.m.
Titusville – June 23, at 2:30 p.m.
Pratt City – June 29, at 2:00 p.m.
Ensley – July 7, at 10:00 a.m.
Avondale – July 7, at 2:00 p.m.
Wylam – July 14, at 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Registration Open For June 2016 Classes

Registration is now open for staff and the public for the June 2016 Computer Class Schedule.  During this month, we include our popular computer classes, such as Basic PC and Keyboarding, as well as job search classes.  All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.

Please note that registration does not necessarily guarantee you a spot in the class. You will receive an email confirming your registration for classes.  You may also call to confirm your registration.

To register for any class, please email us at cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or call 205-226-3681.   You may also download and print a pdf copy of June 2016 Computer Class Schedule to bring to a Computer Commons staff member on your next library visit. Please note that the June 2016 Computer Class Schedule pdf can be sent to us as an email attachment.


LGBT Rights: A Historical Perspective

With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots coming up in the next few years, I felt a need to write down a few resources I found helpful to put these issues into perspective. With this in mind, the 38th annual Central Alabama Pridefest will be taking place June 4-12. On Saturday, June 11, the Pride Parade will be taking place. Its route will be on the Southside around Five Points South. Jordin Sparks will be the headliner on Sunday, June 12, at Sloss Furnances. For more information about Central Alabama Pride, see their website at http://www.centralalabamapride.org/.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum
An easy read. The book is 120 pages long, so a fast read as well. Full of illustrations and clear, action-oriented prose. Written in a way that a teenager would understand it. A great introduction to the subject.



American Experience: Stonewall Uprising (DVD)
At 90 minutes long, a great documentary telling about the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969. The film has interviews from participants of the riots from the police and the rioters. It gives a great introduction to the years leading up to the riots and the overall aftermath of the event. Especially moving for me were the experiences of the participants of the first Pride marches: their anxiety and fear, their pride and exhilaration, their joy and tears. Quite emotional and personal.


After Stonewall (DVD)
Narrated by Melissa Etheridge and filled with famous gay and lesbian activists and celebrities from pre-2000s, this film chronicles the gay rights movement post Stonewall. The moments that touched me the most were the AIDS years and the extreme loss of life.






The Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (DVD)
Over 2 hours long, this documentary, released to the theaters and shown on PBS in 1978, shows interviews with 26 people who share their experiences of being gay men and lesbians. The participants stretch the gamut of age, race, and socio-economic status. Highlights: Ex-military lesbian talking about her experiences in the military (humorous), the older gay couple talking about their relationship and how they met (sentimental), the lesbian and gay man talking about their interaction with the mental health community, especially the electro-shock therapy (emotional and harrowing). I was especially interested in one of the special features where they talked to some of the participants 30 years afterwards. It touched me to see how many of the individuals had died and how their involvement in the film had changed their lives.

Samuel Charles Rumore
Springville Road Regional Branch Library

Career Survival Kit Program to Take Place May 17 at Pratt City Library

The Birmingham Public Library system’s board of directors and the Pratt City Branch Library will present Career Survival Kit for young adults on Tuesday, May 17, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., at the Pratt City Library.

The program is open to the public and is part of a continuing effort by the library to provide services to uplift the community, said Deborah Drake Blackmon, branch manager of the Pratt City Library.

Refreshments will be served. For more details, call 205-791-4997.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Summer Reading Signup Begins May 16!


Register online or in person at your favorite Birmingham Public Library location for Summer Reading 2016. BPL has a summer of fun planned with activities, programs, and prizes for children, teens, and adults. Check with your library for more information about Summer Reading, and visit our online calendar for a list of BPL summer reading events. (Check back throughout May as the list is updated with additional programs.)