Saturday, February 13, 2016

Black Heritage Expo to Be Held at Central Library, February 13

expo flyer

On Saturday, February 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group (BAAGG) will host its Black Heritage Expo at the Central Library.

At the expo, you can experience black history displays, African dance and music, and workshops on genealogy and how to research your African American ancestry. Various vendors will display their wares. The expo will be in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail info@baagginc.org or check out the group’s website, www.baagginc.org.

BAAGG, founded in 1999, is the oldest African American genealogy organization in Alabama, said John Lanier, parliamentarian and one of its instructors. The group’s purpose is to educate African Americans about their ancestry. He said with assistance, many African Americans can trace their family history back to 1870, when former black slaves and their ancestors were for the first time included in the U.S. Census.

Lanier said BAAGG has been a strong partner with the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) for years, taking advantage of its vast genealogy collection to research African American family history.

A number of readily available sources from 1860 to 1870 may enable you to find and to follow your slave and slaveholder ancestors within that critical period of transition. Knowing the best way to build a bridge to that era and how to utilize and assess its records will greatly increase your chances for success in this research.

“Genealogy, the study of family history, is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States,” said Mary Beth Newbill, head of the Southern History and Government Documents Departments at BPL.

“The Birmingham Public Library has one of the best genealogy collections in the country,” Newbill said. “We love being able to offer classes and resources to patrons from all over the world who visit us and want to explore their family history.”

On February 6, BPL hosted a workshop at the Central Library designed to help African Americans connect to their Alabama slave ancestry as part of its Black History Month activities. The Ties That Bind: Connecting to your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestors was a part of the Central Library's Beyond the Basics of Genealogy series, which holds several events a year. 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.

Throughout the month of February, nearly 70 Black History Month programs and activities are being held at many of BPL’s 19 library locations. See a listing online at http://www.bplonline.org/calendar/.

Friday, February 12, 2016

To Boldly Go…

collage of some African American science fiction/fantasy writers mentioned in the blog article
l-r: Charles Chesnutt, Nalo Hopkinson, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due,
David Durham, L.A. Banks, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler

I have always read science fiction, fantasy, and graphic novels. By the time I entered junior high school, I was an avid science fiction and fantasy reader. It was the excitement and possibilities of other worlds and civilizations that grabbed and held my attention. As the title of this article suggests, I didn’t just restrict myself to reading science fiction and fantasy, I watched it as well. I always wondered why there weren’t many black science fiction and fantasy writers and it always made me sad when I would think about it.

Fast forward thirty years...there are now several black science fiction and fantasy authors who have made a name for themselves in these genres. Because it’s Black History Month, I thought this would be a timely topic. Please remember, if we don’t have some of these author’s works in our collection at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL), we would be happy to do an Interlibrary Loan and acquire the book for you. Also, please note that these authors are not all African American authors, some are African, African Canadian, African Caribbean, or multiracial.

L.A. Banks (Leslie Esdaile Banks, 1959-2011) authored the popular Vampire Hunters series with heroine Damali Richards. She also wrote the Crimson Moon series featuring werewolf Sasha Trudeau, the Dark Avengers series with vampire Odette, and the Dark and Light series with half-angel/half-human Celeste Jackson. Be sure to read her last novel Shadow Walker, the continuation of the Vampire Hunters series.

Steven Barnes is the author of the Insha’Allah series where Islamic Africans are the masters and Europeans are the slaves. Barnes co-authored the Dream Park series with Larry Niven and the Heorot series with Jerry Pournelle. He has written several standalone science fiction novels. His most current work is not science fiction but is one of the Tennyson Hardwick novels co-authored with his wife, Tananarive Due, and actor Blair Underwood.

Jennifer Marie Brissett is the author of Elysium (2013), which was nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

Maurice Broaddus wrote the Knights of Breton Court series, an urban retelling of King Arthur.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) won the Nebula Award for her novel Parable of the Talents (1999) and short story “Speech Sounds" (1984). She won both Hugo and Nebula Awards for her short story “Bloodchild” (1984 & 1985). She is known for her Patternist series, Xenogenesis series, and Parable series. Her most famous book, Kindred (1979), features Dana, an African American woman, who is transported from 1976 to a time before the Civil War.

Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932) is considered by some to have written fantasy when he wrote The Conjure Woman, and Other Conjure Tales. His Uncle Julius, similar to Uncle Remus, told fantastic tales that included magic and conjuring.

Samuel R. Delany is a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for his short story/novelette “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones” (1970). He won Nebula Awards for novels Babel-17 (1966), The Einstein Intersection (1967), and short story “Aye, and Gomorrah” (1968). He published the novel Dhalgren in 1975 to much acclaim and criticism. At more than 800 pages, it was considered a groundbreaking work in science fiction. Delany has also written a series of “sword and sorcery” short story anthologies titled Return to Nevèrÿon, Flight from Nevèrÿon, Tales of Nevèrÿon, and Neveryóna. Nevèrÿon is a civilization populated by people of brown or black skin who are more advanced than the slaves they own who are light skinned with yellow hair.

W.E.B. Dubois (1868-1963) wrote the science fiction short story “The Comet” in 1920. A comet destroys life on earth and seemingly only two people survive: a black man and white woman. Dubois also wrote a short story “Jesus Christ in Texas” where Jesus comes back to a modern-day Waco, Texas, and reminds everyone about his teachings and only the black man seems to understand the reminder.

David Anthony Durham is known for writing historical fiction: Gabriel's Story (2001), Walk Through Darkness (2002), and Pride of Carthage (2005). His recent novels, the Acacia Trilogy: Acacia: The War with the Mein (2007), Acacia: The Other Lands (2009), and Acacia: The Sacred Band (2011), take place in the fantasy land of Acacia where the king has been assassinated and now his children must rule.

Tananarive Due has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award for The Between (1995) and My Soul to Keep (1997). Her African Immortals series, which is about vampires, includes: My Soul to Keep, The Living Blood, Blood Colony, and My Soul to Take. Check out her “zombie” series which includes Devil’s Wake and Domino Falls.

Seressia Glass is author of the urban fantasy Shadowchasers series: Shadow Blade, Shadow Chase, Shadow Fall.

Andrea Hairston won the 2011 James Tiptree, Jr. Award for her novel Redwood and Wildfire.

Nalo Hopkinson is known for her science fiction that takes place in Jamaica and the Caribbean. She has been nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr., Hugo, and Nebula Awards for her novels.

N.K. Jemisin is author of the Inheritance trilogy, Dreamblood series, and Broken Earth trilogy. Her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010) was nominated for the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

Karen Lord has written three science fiction novels: The Best of All Possible Worlds, The Galaxy Game, and Indigo.

Brandon Massey usually writes horror or thrillers but some of his work can include elements of science fiction and fantasy.

Walter Mosley is most known for his Easy Rawlins series but he is also a wonderful science fiction and speculative fiction writer. Check out the following books: Blue Light (1998), Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World (2001), The Wave (2005), 47 (2005), and Inside a Silver Box (2016). Also read his short novels in the Crosstown to Oblivion series.

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American author who writes science fiction that takes place in Africa. She has written three books for teens: The Shadow Speaker, Zahrah the Windspeaker, and Akata Witch. She is also the author of several science fiction books for adults: Binti, Lagoon, The Book of Phoenix, and Who Fears Death.

Phyllis Alesia Perry’s novel Stigmata (1998) explores the life of Lizzie who inherits a family quilt that allows her to experience the past lives of her enslaved ancestors. Her second novel, A Sunday in June (2003), is a prequel to Stigmata and takes place in Alabama.

George Samuel Schuyler (1895-1977) was a journalist and author best known for the science fiction novel Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science in the Land of the Free, A.D. 1933-1940 (1931) where a procedure is invented that will turn black people white.

Nisi Shawl is a short story writer and has contributed to various science fiction publications. She won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 2008 for her short story anthology Filter House.

I hope this list of authors and their works will interest you in trying a new genre.

Maya Jones
West End Branch Library

Thursday, February 11, 2016

BPL Young Professional Board Member Profile: Latasha Watters


What is your full name, age, and occupation?

Latasha Denise Watters, 30, Customer Service Coordinator at Zyp Bikeshare

Why did you get involved with the Birmingham Public Library Young Professional Board?
I have a background in scholarly publishing and a masters degree in library and information services. I love the library and the smell of books, so I figured why not participate in something that gives me joy.

Which is your favorite (or most frequented) library branch of the Birmingham Public Library system?
It would have to be fifty-fifty between the Central Branch and the North Birmingham Branch. I get books from downtown and movies from North Birmingham.

Would you rather read on an e-reader or a book?
I prefer the smell of books and the feel of them. I do have books on my iPad but they are kinda just sitting there at the moment.

What is your favorite website or form of social media.
I use Facebook. A lot.

What is your favorite place to eat in Birmingham?
I've only been back in Birmingham (lived in Tuscaloosa for more than ten years) for a year now.  I don't have a favorite.

What book would you want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
A Wrinkle in Time by M. L'engle (geez, this is tough...honestly, I'd have a ton of books on an e-reader).

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Scotland

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jasper Fforde, J. K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alan Bradley...I could go on and on.

What is your wish for the city of Birmingham?
Fix these rough streets. I fear for my car every time I drive it.

Online Databases Great for That Last-Minute Project Your Kid Just Told You About

Help! It’s 10:00 on Sunday night and my child has a report due in the morning!

Parents, don’t despair. Although we certainly don’t advocate waiting until the last minute, with a library card and an Internet connection, your child can actually make that deadline.

We’re seeing a lot of folks doing Black History reports this month, but the databases are great sources for all kinds of reference work—including financial, business, automotive repair, genealogy, legal, medical, and social. The Internet is a powerful tool, but there are no laws or rules regulating the content. You might get lucky with a Google search and get to some accurate and current information, but why gamble with your grade? Using the library’s free resources you are guaranteed the information you need will be current, accurate, and (critically important for school papers) citable.

Search databases by subject, audience, name, and accessibility. You’ll be amazed at the types of information available through your virtual library: legal forms, practice tests for school and job certification, biographies, newspaper backfiles, genealogy resources, business plans, encyclopedias, and language instruction, just to name a few.

TIP: If you need images or information for Black History projects, use the African-American Studies Center or African-American History Online. If you need biographical information, you can use Biography in Context. All of these resources are available through the public computers at your libraries, too, if you don’t have Internet access; but if you’re outside a library, you’ll need your library card to log in. As always, if you have questions, please ask our staff for help in accessing the correct information (that is what we do, after all).

The only downside is that your child probably won’t get the recommended daily allowance of sleep that night. Maybe next time they could tell you on Sunday afternoon!

Kelly Laney
Springville Road Regional Branch Library

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Postcards from Miss Iwate #7


前略

My “Welcome Home” party at Senmaya Elementary School in Iwate. The school’s “blue-eyed dolls” are with me. Aren’t the kids adorable?

草々
Suzuko Iwate

Andrew Glaze (April 21, 1920 – February 7, 2016)

Alabama poet, playwright, and novelist Andrew Glaze died on Sunday February 7th at the age of 95. The 7th Poet Laureate of Alabama, Glaze was inducted as part of the first class of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, which included Harper Lee and Zora Neale Hurston.
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston

A Birmingham resident, Glaze was the focus of an exhibit, Daze of Glaze, that at the Central Library from November 6th through the end of last year. His work was also featured at the November 2016 Bards, Brews & Haiku.

Survived by his wife and children and a full and diverse body of work, a full posting about Glaze, his work, and decades long career was published last October.

An obituary by the Associated Press is available on al.com.

Allie Graham
Central Library
Arts, Literature, Sports

Monday, February 08, 2016

Birmingham Public Library Inviting Students to Participate in WORD UP! Spoken Word Competition

photo of three WORD UP! 2015 winners
The 2015 WORD UP! winners left to right:
 Trinity Packer, Shades Valley High School (3rd place)
Whitney McWilliams, Alabama School of Fine Arts (2nd place)

Miaya Webster, Alabama School of Fine Arts (1st place)

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is inviting young poets in Jefferson County to participate in WORD UP!, a poetry slam for students enrolled in high schools—or homeschooled—in Jefferson County.

The ninth annual event will be held on Sunday, April 10, at 3:00 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium at the Central Library. The slam is sponsored by BPL and Real Life Poets, a non-profit creative writing organization based in Birmingham. Students in grades 9 through 12 write and perform an original work of poetry inspired by a theme selected by the WORD UP! planning committee. The theme for WORD UP! 2016 is “Speak Out!”

Visit the WORD UP! webpage for details at http://www.jclc.org/wordup.aspx.

Each participating high school holds a preliminary contest, and the winners from each school compete in the WORD UP! competition. The deadline for schools to sign on to participate is February 19. For more information, call 205-226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us. Each school should designate a staff person, usually a teacher or school librarian, to be the WORD UP! liaison.

The contestants are judged on content and performance by a panel of three judges and compete for cash prizes. The first place winner receives $300, second place $200, and third place $150.

“These young poets put an incredible amount of work into this slam and learn invaluable lessons about public speaking—how to engage an audience, use body language effectively, and stay composed under pressure,” said Haruyo Miyagawa, WORD UP! coordinator and head of the Arts, Literature and Sports Department at the Birmingham Public Library. “These skills will really benefit them in future academic and career pursuits.”

Teen poets can up their game by attending free workshops leading up to the slam. The January 30 session will be led by Tina Mozelle Braziel, and the February 27 session will be led by John Paul Taylor. Both sessions will take place from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Story Castle on the second floor of the Central Library. Registration is recommended. For more information, call 205-226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us.

For those students determined to go even further, BPL and Real Life Poets will help sponsor a spoken-word team to compete in next year’s Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Competition, a worldwide standard in spoken word poetry competitions for teens since 1998. Brave New Voices 2013 was held in Chicago, and for the first time in the history of the festival, a small but dedicated group of Birmingham-area teens who called themselves Team #KnowDisclaimer competed and did well enough to go on to the semi-finals, a feat almost unheard of by first time teams.

Students from Birmingham City Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Mountain Brook High, Hewitt-Trussville, Tarrant, and independent schools such as Alabama School of Fine Arts and Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, are among school systems throughout Jefferson County that have been represented in past WORD UP! slams.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Birmingham Public Library Kicks Off New Sessions of 1-2-3 Play with Me on February 9

event poster

Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but is also an educational experience for your child.

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is providing a special time and place for parents to visit the public library and spend one-on-one time playing with their babies or toddlers. This five-week program involves children birth through age 3 and their parents or caregivers. The library will have age-appropriate toys, books, and art activities just for you and your child. Also, BPL will invite special guests from the community to join parents/caregivers each week to answer questions about parenting.

1-2-3 Play with Me emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children, facilitates early intervention, and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy. 1-2-3 Play with Me is the signature event for Family Place Libraries and is a community project grant recipient of the Junior League of Birmingham, said Janine Langston, western region coordinator for the Birmingham Public Library.

“So often we see children playing in the library, but Family Place, and especially 1-2-3 Play with Me, makes it okay for parents to play too,” Langston said. “Thanks to interactive and self-selected play, the library is a destination place for many families. It is a place where parents and children feel at ease and can bond and learn together through play. Library programs like 1-2-3 Play with Me provide a positive early learning experience designed to strengthen families and prepare children for school.”

Here are the following BPL locations and dates offering 1-2-3 Play with Me:

Central Library – February 9-March 8 –  every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
Avondale Branch Library – February 10 – March 9 – every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road Branch Library – February 11-March 10 – every Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West Branch Library – March 22-April 19 – every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
North Birmingham Branch Library – March 23-April 20 – every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Bards & Brews Open Mic Poetry Event to Be Held Friday, February 5, at Central Library

event poster

WHO: Birmingham Public Library
WHAT: Bards & Brews Poetry Performance/Beer Tasting
WHEN: Friday, February 5, 2016, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Central Library, 2100 Park Place
TIME: Music starts at 6:30 p.m. and poetry performances begin at 7:00 p.m.

 Birmingham Public Library's (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series will host an open mic event Friday, February 5, at the Central Library.

Usually held the first Friday of each month, the event will feature free craft beer provided by Sweet Water Brewing Company. The J. Clyde will handle the pouring. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with live music from Susan Lawrence, beer tasting, and light refreshments. The poetry begins to flow at 7:00 p.m. with Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins serving as host.

The event is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Admission is free and open to the public; however, attendees must be at least 18 to enter and 21 to participate—ID is required.

“Bards & Brews open mics are a great way to unwind at the end of the week with good drinks and good poetry,” said Allie Graham, a librarian in the Arts, Literature and Sports Department at the Central Library. “The poetry can be a bit lower-key than at the slams with more diversity in styles and performers. From young first-timers to seasoned professionals, it’s a great way to start the weekend.”

Poets wanting to participate need to sign up beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday or e-mail agraham@bham.lib.al.us. The next event in the series (Bards, Brews & Haiku) will be Friday, March 4, at the Central Library. For more information, call 205-226-3670, e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us, visit the Bards & Brews Facebook page, or go online to www.bplonline.org/bardsbrews.

Downton Abbey Celebration Tea Party

You are invited to attend an elegantly English tea at Central Library in the Arrington Auditorium on Saturday, March 12 @ 2:00 to celebrate all seasons of Downton Abbey.

 We will have tea, enjoy delicious treats, discuss our favorite episodes, talk about our favorite characters and answer trivia questions based on seasons 1-6. Costume is encouraged but not required. Please bring your favorite tea cup and saucer.  Prizes will be awarded to the trivia winners, best costume and most unique tea cup.
We hope to see you there dressed in your Downton best!



Please send an email to cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us with the subject line “Downton Abbey Tea ” to register for this event.

For more information, please contact Leslie Deason @ 205-226-3680 or at ldeason@bham.lib.al.us

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Birmingham Public Library Locations Hosting Variety of Black History Month Programs and Activities

Our Quilts, Our Souls, Our Heritage is one of the many special events
scheduled during Black History Month at the Birmingham Public Library

There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about African American history at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) during Black History Month in February.

At the West End Branch Library on February 24, Lawson State Community College Adjunct History Professor Gregory Wilson will present The Harton Family: A Photographic Journey, a program highlighting how a student discovered her ancestral family through a Birmingham Public Library exhibit curated by Andrew Nelson in 2012.

The Central Library's Beyond the Basics of Genealogy program on February 6 will present The Ties That Bind: Connecting to your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestors. On February 19, the Powderly Branch Library will host Healthy Soul Food Cooking with Chef E.

Also on February 19, the Springville Road Regional Branch Library will present Common Threads: Our Quilts, Our Souls, Our Heritage, a 10 a.m. discussion by Phyllis Lawson of her book, Quilt of Souls, followed by a lunch and free heirloom quilt workshop by Gees Bend quilter Marlene Bennett Jones.

Below see a listing by date a variety of black history month programs taking place at several BPL locations throughout February (for other activities not on this list go to www.bplonline.org):

Tuesday, February 2
10:30 a.m. – Celebration of African American History and Culture, Powderly Branch Library. Feature story: A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

3:30 p.m. – MLK Dream Catchers program, Smithfield Branch Library. Objective: Helping children find the inner MLK in them by each child adding a hand to a large dream catcher.

Wednesday, February 3 
10:00 a.m. –  Celebration of African American History and Culture, Smithfield Branch Library. Feature story: A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

4:00 p.m. – Black History Month Art Project, Springville Road Regional Branch Library. Kids and teens are invited to work together to create an awesome photo mosaic in honor of Black History Month. The finished project will be displayed all month in the Children's Department.

Friday, February 5
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American History and Culture, Wylam Branch Library. Feature story: A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Saturday, February 6
10:00 a.m. – The Ties That Bind: Connecting to Your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestors, Central Library. A number of readily available sources from 1860 to 1870 may enable you to find and to follow your slave and slaveholder ancestors within that critical period of transition. Knowing the best way to build a bridge to that era and how to utilize and assess its records will greatly increase your chances for success in this research.

Beyond the 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.

2:00 p.m. – Movie and popcorn, Five Points West Branch Library. Feature film on African American family about the power of prayer.

Monday, February 8
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, West End Branch Library. Feature story: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

4:30-5:30 p.m. – Black History Research Computer Class, Five Points West Regional Branch Library, grades 5-12 only. Registration required at 205-226-4013

4:30 p.m. – African American Poetry Read, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library. All Ages (adults, teens, tweens). Come read original or published African American pieces. Light refreshments.

6:30-7:30 p.m. – African American genealogy program, Avondale Regional Branch Library

Tuesday, February 9
10:30 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Powderly Branch Library. Feature story: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

3:30 p.m. – MLK Dream Catchers program, Smithfield Branch Library. Objective: Helping children find the inner MLK in them by each child adding a hand to a large dream catcher.

6:00 p.m. – Family Night Celebration of African American Heritage, Five Points West Regional Branch Library. Embrace African American culture through story, song, dance, and play. “Fanga, Alafia, Ashe Ashe.” Registration is required by calling 205-226-4013

Wednesday, February 10
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Smithfield Branch Library. Feature story: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

10:00 a.m. – Join Wylam Branch Library for a game of Black History Jeopardy. Light refreshments will be served.

3:15 p.m. – I was a Civil Rights Kid: An Oral History about Birmingham, Alabama. With Winfield and Elinor Burks, Ensley Branch Library.

3:30 p.m. – Game Day Friday, Black History Trivia, Inglenook Branch Library.

Thursday, February 11
10:30 a.m. – Cinema in Black, Titusville Branch Library. 1963: The Year That Changed Everything: As Told by the People Who Were There. Hosted by Leo Taylor. Snacks will be served.

3 p.m. – Screening of a Black History movie, title to be determined, Woodlawn Branch Library.

Friday, February 12
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Wylam Branch Library. Feature story: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson.

Saturday, February 13
10:00 a.m. – African American sports movie, Southside Branch Library. This movie shows an aspect of local and national black history which the Birmingham and baseball community will appreciate.

10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Birmingham African American Genealogy Group (BAAGG) Black Heritage Expo, Central Library. At the expo, you can experience black history displays, African dance, music, youth in genealogy, and various vendors. The expo will be in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley building. For more information, contact Birmingham African American Genealogy Group at baagginc@gmail.com.

Monday, February 15
3:30 p.m. – African American Reading Circle, Titusville Branch Library. Celebrate African American literature by reading aloud your favorite books, poems, and stories. Refreshments will be served.

5:45 p.m. – Monday Night African American Movie Night for Adults. Light refreshments. North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

Tuesday, February 16
10:30 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Powderly Branch Library. Feature story: Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

3:30 p.m. – MLK Dream Catchers program, Smithfield Branch Library. Objective: Helping children find the inner MLK in them by each child adding a hand to a large dream catcher.

3:30 p.m. – Young Leadership Tuesday – Feature on Black History-themed book, Inglenook Branch Library.

Wednesday, February 17
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Smithfield Branch Library. Feature story: Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

10:30 a.m.-noon – Active Living @ Your Library, Five Points West Regional Branch Library. Participants will test their knowledge in a game of Black History Jeopardy

11:00 a.m. – Wylam Book Group discussion of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. Through the story of 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd, Mathis tells of the struggles of African Americans who chose to move from the rural South to the industrial North looking for better lives. This period of American history is called The Great Migration. The book is an Oprah 2.0 Book Club selection, a New York Times Notable Book, an NPR Best Book of the Year, and a Buzzfeed Best Book of the Year. Light lunch will be served. Call the library if you would like a copy of the book reserved for you.

4:00 p.m. – Art Attack for Kids - A lesson in Pointillism, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library. Patrons create art exposing important people and places in African American history.

4:00 p.m. – Let Freedom Ring storytime, feature stories about the heroes of African American history, Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

4:00 p.m. – African American Inventors - hands-on learning tool allowing students to experiment with notable inventions by African Americans, Springville Road Regional Branch Library. Children in elementary schools are invited to learn about and make crafts based on contributions made by African American inventors.

Friday, February 19
10:00 a.m. – Healthy Soul Food Cooking with Chef E, Powderly Branch Library. Registration required: Call 205-925-6178.

10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Our Quilts, Our Souls, Our Heritage, an heirloom quilt workshop by Marlene Bennett Jones, Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Wylam Branch Library. Feature story: Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson.

1:30 p.m. – The Day George Crum Invented Potato Chips, North Avondale Branch Library. Learn about George Crum’s 1853 invention while he was head chef at the Cary Moon’s Lake House in Lake Saratoga, N.Y. This biographical, fun, fact-filled discussion is for school-age children.

3:30 p.m. – Black History movie showing of historical African American film, Inglenook Branch Library.

Saturday, February 20
2:00-4:00 p.m. – Join Five Points West Regional Branch Library for a live concert featuring S.M.I.T.H. Entertainment playing some of the great hits by African American recording artists.

Sunday, February 21
3:00 p.m. – Sunday Matinee with popcorn at Five Points West Regional Branch Library featuring the 2015 live adaption of the 1975 Broadway musical featuring Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man.

Monday, February 22
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, West End Branch Library. Featuring African American folk and fairy tales.

3:30 p.m. – African American Teen Trivia Challenge, Titusville Branch Library.

3:30 p.m. – Guess Who Invented These Great Inventions? Scavenger Hunt, North Avondale Branch Library. Lonnie Johnson is best known for inventing the Super Soaker toy water gun. Have fun learning about great inventors and their inventions while participating in this scavenger hunt. All ages.

6:00 p.m. – Got to Dance African Jazz!, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library. Patrons of all ages are invited to dance and learn a new African jazz routine.

Tuesday, February 23
10:30 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Powderly Branch Library. Featuring African American folk and fairy tales.

3:30 p.m. – Young Leadership Tuesday, featuring Black History-themed book, Inglenook Branch Library.

Wednesday, February 24
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American History and Culture, Smithfield Library. African American folk and fairy tales.

10:30 a.m. – Active Living @ Your Library, Five Points West Regional Branch Library. Participants enjoy popcorn and a 2015 American thriller film starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, and Morris Chestnut.

3:15 p.m. – Movie and Popcorn, Woodlawn Branch Library. Feature film about the historical events in Selma, Alabama.

3:15 p.m. – Movie and Popcorn, Powderly Branch Library. Feature film about the historical events in Selma, Alabama.

3:30 p.m. – Harton Family: A Photographic Journey, West End Branch Library. This presentation by Gregory Wilson, adjunct history instructor at Lawson State Community College, highlights a former student of his Afro-History class, Sherriell Poole. Poole discovered her ancestral family in a photograph that was part of a Birmingham Public Library exhibit curated by Andrew Nelson in 2012. Titled Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1910-1935), the collection of photographs represented more than 850 glass plate negatives that offered a visual record of everyday life in rural Alabama preserved in the BPL Archives. The Shackelford photographs offer a rarely seen depiction of an African American family taken around 1910 or earlier.

Thursday, February 25
1:30 p.m.  – African American Storytelling: “Goin' Someplace Special,” North Avondale Branch Library. Travel back in time to a southern town during the 1950s to learn about a young girl’s struggle to visit a place where all are welcome. For young school-aged children.

Friday, February 26
10:00 a.m. – Celebration of African American history and culture through literature, song, dance, and play, Wylam Branch Library. Featuring African American folk and fairy tales.

Monday, February 29
4:00 p.m. – Wenonah High School Choir Presents Negro Spirituals, Powderly Branch Library.

6:00 p.m. – Reception and program recognizing Black History, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library.

All Month Long Activities
Black History Month Trivia – During the month of February, test your knowledge of Black History by answering the weekly questions on the activity board in the Five Points West Regional Branch Library Youth Department. Participants may enter their name into a weekly drawing for prizes.

Children will create characters calling for unity of all people worldwide for the North Birmingham Regional Branch Library’s children's bulletin board that will be displayed throughout the month of February.

Black History puzzle sheets for North Birmingham Regional Branch Library’s Teen Brain-Tease Trivia contest all month long. Children are invited to work on a special Black History word sheet for prizes.

Martin Luther King Jr. Scavenger Hunt, available for participants in the Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

A Black History Month Scavenger Hunt at East Lake Branch Library.

Visit http://www.bplonline.org/locations/ for information on Birmingham Public Library locations.

Coloring for Adults Workshops to Be Held at Springville Road Regional Branch Library on February 5, Central Library on February 23

program poster

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Coloring for Adults workshop dates have been set for February.

The workshop will take place on Friday, February 5, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library, and will be held at the Central Library from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on February 23. Free colored pencils, coloring sheets, crayons, and light refreshments will be provided at both workshops.

Coloring For Adults offers a relaxing activity that has proven popular since its debut in early November, said Leslie Deason, a librarian at the Central Library who came up with the idea.

“We are very excited about our adult coloring program,” Deason said. “Coloring is very beneficial with people. It helps with stress, relaxation and cognitive function as well. People can return to their childhood and see something wonderful in the things they color. We’ve enjoyed having patrons at the library and setting up this program.”

Deason said she came up with the idea a year ago when adult coloring became popular among patrons, with coloring books for adults becoming best sellers on sites like Amazon.com.

“I thought what a wonderful thing to do for our patrons,” Deason said. “It serves the mission of our library to serve the public. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our patrons to come in, relax and do something creative. It’s been very successful so far. We will continue having additional programs as long as the interest lasts.”

The program comes as industry leader Crayola has launched Crayola Color Escapes, a line of adult coloring kits featuring 11 by 17-inch black and white illustrations by artist Claudia Nice, plus a collection of colored pencils and colored markers. The Crayola line also features 8 by 10-inch coloring books for $10 featuring themed illustrations (Folk Art Escapes, Whimsical Escapes, Patterned Escapes, and Elegant Escapes).

Save the Date - 2016 Local Authors Expo and Book Fair

book fair poster

Join the fun as 100 authors market their books at the 10th annual Local Authors Expo and Book Fair at the Central Library on February 20, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Some of the authors will be signing and selling even more than one book making the treasure hunt over the top.

Genres and subjects range from A to Z.

Fiction offerings include general fiction, inspirational, poetry, historic novels, and thrillers.

Nonfiction covers biographies, memoirs, art instruction, dogs, food, health, aging, medicine, nursing, law, and sports just to name a few. There is something for everyone.

The throng of visitors will include avid readers, book lovers, writers, and aspiring writers. This event offers the perfect venue for all writers, people interested in writing, and people interested in books to mingle, share ideas, and network. Many shoppers will be returning from previous years to purchase personalized, autographed books which make perfect gifts—for themselves or for their hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives.

Serious writers who wish to sharpen their craft and learn more about publishing and marketing will want to attend our two free presentations open to the general public. These will be held in the Richard Arrington Auditorium in our Linn-Henley Research Library conveniently adjacent to our author book fair. These include:

10:30 a.m.
So You Want to Write a Children’s Book

Panel Discussion
Irene Latham, Moderator
Kerry Madden
Jo S. Kittinger
(All are members of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.)

1:00 p.m.
The Art of Marketing Your Book

Greta King
(PDMI Publishing)

Come to shop and learn—above all, come. You will not be disappointed.

Please visit http://www.bplonline.org/programs/LocalAuthors/ for up-to-date information on the Local Authors Expo and Book Fair.

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library