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

Monday, February 01, 2016

Celebrate Black History Month and Discover Your Family Heritage!


February is Black History Month, and the Southern History Department is bringing to you The Ties That Bind: Connecting to Your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestors. This workshop will be held on Saturday, February 6th at 10:00 am in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn- Henley building at the Central branch of The Birmingham Public Library. This is part of our popular topical genealogy workshop series, Beyond the Basics of Genealogy.

Many African Americans become stumped in their genealogical research when they approach slavery and the Civil War. In this workshop, we will go over a number of readily available sources from 1860 to 1870 that can help you to find and to follow your slave ancestor within that critical period of transition. If you had slaveholding ancestors, this workshop will help you discover untapped sources and create a fuller picture of the life of your ancestor. This workshop is free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us.

Another opportunity to celebrate Black History Month is the Black Heritage Expo sponsored by the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group (BAAGG). You can experience Black history displays, African dance, Black music, youth in genealogy, and various vendors. The expo will be held on Saturday, February 13th from 10 am to 3:30 pm in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley building. For more information, contact BAAGG at baagginc@gmail.com. 

Southern History Department
Central Branch 
Birmingham Public Library

Saturday, January 30, 2016

African American History Month


African-American History Month

2016 marks the end of a historic period in African American history as President Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States, concludes his second term in office.  We are a few days away from the beginning of African American History Month and many students will be looking for information to write essays and reports.  A good place to start is the African American History Month subject guide.  This guide provides links to reference books, DVDs, websites, and databases about African American history.

The library subscribes to two databases that focus specifically on African Americans: African-American History Online and Oxford African American Studies Center.  The list of reference books includes titles for both older and younger students (juvenile reference books).  For information about Birmingham, be sure to browse the library's digital collection, The African American Experience in Birmingham.  The collection, which is organized by subject, includes newspaper articles, books, audio recordings, and photographs.  If you are interested in library programs related to African American History Month, take a look at our calendar of events, pick up a copy of the Black History Month 2016 brochure, or contact your local branch.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Information is Out There

Whether you’ve been a fan for years or decades, or if you’re a total newcomer, you’ve probably heard about the new season of The X-Files.  At the very least you've heard the creepy, eerie theme song.  In the new season's two-part premiere Monday and Tuesday, viewers caught a quintessential episode full of pre-established mythology, alien bodies, and intense conversations about the existence of extraterrestrials. Or maybe it’s some kind of government conspiracy -- that’s the question the show has asked for 23 years.

The X-Files is a series about two FBI Special Agents, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, who take on cases of unexplained phenomena and uncover secret plots and conspiracies of their own up to the very top of the FBI. The original series ran from 1993 to 2002, with two films - one in 1998 and the other ten years later in 2008, and the 2016 “revival” is designed for viewers of the original series as well as newcomers. It’s a healthy combination of overarching mythology episodes as well as monster-of-the-week episodes that are fine as standalone watching experiences.

Special Agents Mulder and Scully investigating a possible conspiracy.  The internet is much more sophisticated now than in 1993...


When you inevitably become curious about the different conspiracies covered in the show, you’ll want to visit the Social Sciences department at BPL's Central location. We have plenty of books and DVDs on topics ranging from UFOs to spirits, the paranormal to extraterrestrial life, and even government conspiracies.

Happy watching, and remember: the truth is out there.

Books
The UFO phenomenon : fact, fantasy and disinformation by John Michael Greer (2009)

Signs on the earth : deciphering the message of Virgin Mary apparitions, UFO encounters, and crop circles by Richard Leviton (2005)

Flying saucers are real by Donald Keyhoe (2011)

Contactees : a history of alien-human interaction by Nick Redfern (2010)

UFOs and government : a historical inquiry by Michael Swords et al. (2012)

Tracking the man-beasts : Sasquatch, vampires, zombies, and more by Joe Nickell (2011)

UFOs : myths, conspiracies, and realities by John B. Alexander (2011)

Witness to Roswell : unmasking the government's biggest cover-up by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt (2009)

Paranormal : my life in pursuit of the afterlife by Raymond Moody with Paul Perry (2012)

DVDs
Abducted by aliens : UFO encounters of the 4th kind (2014)
Area 51 [videorecording] : America's most secret base (2002)

Conspiracy? (2009)

Is it real? Supernatural (2006)

Out of the blue (2012)

L. Christina Tidmore
Business, Science & Technology/Social Sciences
Central Library

The Birmingham Public Library is Kicking Off New Sessions of 1-2-3 Play with Me at Five Library Locations

adult and child involved in a craft at the Avondale Library
Participants enjoying 1-2-3 Play with Me
Avondale Regional Branch Library, October 2015
BPL on Flickr

Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but is also an educational experience for your child. We are providing a special time and place for you to come to the public library and spend one-on-one time playing with your child. 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, we have invited special guests from the community to join us each week to answer your 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.

2016
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.