Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2020 Black Heritage Fair is Saturday, February 1 at Central Library

What: 2020 Black Heritage Fair Theme: African Americans and the Vote
Where: Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 2100 Park Place
When: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, February 1, 2020
Details: The 2020 Black Heritage Fair will have several genealogy displays, singers, vendors, children dancers, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) information table, and guest speaker from the Walker County NAACP.

On Saturday, February 1, the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, Inc. (BAAGG) will host its annual Black Heritage Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Central Library's Arrington Auditorium, Linn Henley Building downtown.

This year’s Fair theme “African Americans and the Vote” is intended to educate the general public with an interest in African American genealogy and culture. This event is free and open to families and patrons of all ages.

The 2020 Black Heritage Fair will have several genealogy displays, singers, vendors, children dancers, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) information table, and guest speaker Shirley Mitchell of the Walker County NAACP. Besides kicking off a monthlong celebration of Black History Month, the fair aims to remind African-Americans of their unique culture, the importance of registering to vote, and stir up others in the community to vote.

Festivities will kick off with registration at 10 a.m.. Booths sharing information about various participating organizations will be available. The League of Women Voters will also provide voter registration assistance. Door prizes will be drawn.

The Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization founded in 1999 as the Birmingham African American Genealogy Study Group with an emphasis on African American genealogy, history and culture. For more information on BAAGG, click here https://baagginc.blogspot.com/

Registration Open for February Computer Classes at Central Library

Registration is now open for the February 2020 computer classes at the Central Library. Topics include computer skills, career guidance, GED prep, and genealogy. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center. See the complete list of February classes.

Pre-registration is required for all classes. Register online through the BPL events calendar. You will receive an automated confirmation confirming your registration.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Public Libraries In Jefferson County Will Offer Fine Amnesty in February 2020

It’s time to pull out that long overdue library book because February is Fine Amnesty Month for The Public Libraries In Jefferson County. During this month patrons can have their overdue fines removed from their account and begin using their library card again.

Regardless of how overdue an item is, all Public Libraries In Jefferson County will waive all overdue fees, clearing the account for checkout of new materials. Fine forgiveness does not apply to fees charged for lost materials, however.

The goal of this amnesty program is to get patrons back into the library and using it again. We want library materials back and we want patrons to be able to use the library.

For more information visit the The Public Libraries In Jefferson County Fine Amnesty FAQ.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Save the Money and Do-It-Yourself

by Alisha Johnson, Pratt City Branch Library 

So last year my daughter requested a room makeover as a birthday gift and I immediately thought to myself, Wow this is going to be overwhelming and very time consuming. I also thought, Maybe I should just pay someone to do this and save myself the hassle. My daughter says, “It’ll be fun, let’s do it ourselves.” Surprisingly so, this project turned out to be one of the best Do-It-Yourself projects we’ve completed, thus far, as a family.

We took this project, broke it down into phases, and tackled each phase a day at a time. I checked out all of the books I could on how to paint, hide wires, and assemble furniture as I accumulated all the necessary accessories we would need to be successful. After three full days of hammering, screwing, and measuring we had accomplished a beautiful room that was unique to her 11-year-old personality and style.

We saved money, and in the process, took advantage of family time and togetherness. She loves the new, improved room, so I think we will take a vacation with all the extra cash we saved. Happy Hammering!

Check out these resources from your local library:

Sweet and Dreamy Room: DIY Projects for a Cozy Bedroom by Heather Wutschke
DIY Bedroom Decor: 50 Awesome Ideas for Your Room by Tana Smith
Painting for Dummies by Katharine Kaye McMillan and Patricia Hart McMillan

Passport Fair at Central Library January 25

What: Passport Fair
When: Saturday, January 25, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Government Documents Department/3rd floor
Details: Free and open to the public

If you are thinking about traveling abroad in the near future and need a passport, then plan on being at the Birmingham Public Library’s Passport Fair on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The passport fair provides passport service so you can get the process underway without an appointment.

Walk-ins are welcome, and passport photo service will be available.

Please bring the following with you:
  • Completed Form DS-11 if you are applying for the first time, or are under age 16
  • Evidence of U.S Citizenship, such as:
U.S. Birth Certificate (original or certified copies only)
Certificate of Naturalization
Certificate of Citizenship
  • Personal identification with a recent photo, such as:
U.S. Driver’s License
Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
Government Employee ID
U.S. Military or U.S Military Dependent ID
  • Photocopy of personal identification (front and back)
  • Passport photograph (2x2 color photograph) – photos available at the fair for $15
  • Payment
$110 application fee, payable to the U.S. Department of
State (check or money order)
$35 execution fee, payable to the Birmingham Public Library
(cash, check, or credit/debit)

Download and complete a passport application beforehand. All applicants must appear in person (including minors). Minors under the age of 16 must appear with both parents.

The U.S. Department of State provides detailed guidelines for preparing passport applications and supporting documents.

Please be aware that, on average, it takes six to eight weeks to receive your passport in the mail after completing your application. You can request expedited service for an added fee.

For more information send an email to Lynn.Hutchins@cobpl.org or call 205-226-3600.

BPL, Birmingham Police Department Partner for Conversation/Reading With a Cop

The Birmingham Public Library's Real Mentors Talk program and Birmingham Police Department are partnering to host several programs in which police officers will talk and read to school-age children at six libraries.

Real Mentors Talk program was created last fall to allow BPL to partner with organizations and groups desiring to invest in the lives of young children.

"Real Mentors Talk: Conversation with a Cop" is designed to allow Birmingham police officers to speak with older school-age children in select BPL locations about their roles in protecting citizens. The officers will also answer questions from the students.

"Real Mentors Talk: Reading with a Cop" is a program in which Birmingham police officers will read books to younger school-age children in select BPL locations.

The program dates will be as follows:

Conversation with a Cop

* Tuesday, February 11, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Smithfield Branch Library, 1 8th Ave. West

* Thursday, February 13, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Central Library, 2100 Park Place

* Tuesday, February 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Avondale Regional Branch Library, 509 40th St. South
Reading with a Cop

* Tuesday, February 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m.,  East Lake Branch Library, 5 Oporto Madrid Blvd.

* Thursday, February 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m.,  Inglenook Branch Library, 4100 40th Terrace North

* Tuesday, March 3, 3:30-4:30 p.m.,  North Avondale Branch Library, 501 43rd St. North

For more information about these and other BPL programs, click on the BPL calendar at www.cobpl.org.  

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers Program at Central Library February 6

What: Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers
When: First Thursday of each month
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/4th floor/Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC)
Details: Free and open to the public

If you have questions about Medicare, you are not alone. As a health insurance program administered by the federal government, Medicare is laden with many policies, procedures, and guidelines that can be very confusing for the average American consumer. Who is eligible for Medicare? What kind of coverage does it provide? Is there more than one plan available? How much does it cost? When should I enroll? These are just some of the important questions that everyone needs answered in order to help them make good, informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. Not getting accurate and up-to-date answers to these questions can mean missing out on valuable benefits that you and your loved ones are entitled to claim.

If you would like to learn more about your options and eligibility for Medicare, please join us at the Central Library on the first Thursday of each month for the program Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers. The program is held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC), which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. The program presenter is local licensed insurance agent Albert McWilliams, Sr. McWilliams has been working as an insurance agent in Birmingham since 2001. He has been a licensed Medicare agent since 2001 and a licensed ACA (Affordable Care Act) Agent since 2013.

For more information about the Let's Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers program, please contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at jim.murray@cobpl.org or by calling 205-226-3691.

Visit the BPL events calendar to save the date.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Central Library Now Offering Free Weekly GED Classes

The Birmingham Public Library is now offering free GED classes weekly at the Central Library downtown in a partnership with Jefferson State Community College.

The classes began January 13, 2020, and are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thurdays from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the  Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC), 4th Floor, inside the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place. The GED classes are taught by instructors from Jefferson State Community College.

GED is an acronym for General Educational Development. The GED exam is a series of four tests a person can take in the areas of math, reading/writing, science and social studies to access their high school academic knowledge.  

GED classes help folks prepare to take the GED test, led by instructors who can identify weaknesses and help strengthen their comprehension.

For more information at BPL, contact BPL Training Coordinator Maurice Harley at 205-226-3625 or via email at Maurice.Harley@cobpl.org. For information from Jefferson State, contact Jackie Geralds at 205-856-7945 or jgeralds@jeffersonstate.edu.

You can also get more information by download the JSCC Adult Education App and stay connected with Jefferson State's adult  education and GED classes by clicking here 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Bards & Brews Open Mic at Birmingham Improv Theatre February 7

Bards & Brews Open Mic poetry event
Where: Birmingham Improv Theatre
When: Friday, February 7, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Details: Free and open to the public

The Birmingham Improv Theatre is hosting the February Bards & Brews open mic night, 6:00–9:00 p.m. Voice Porter will serve as emcee and host. Music by G.I. Magus. Beer samples provided by Interstellar Ginger Beer and Exploration Co. of Alabaster.

For more information visit Bards & Brews on Facebook.

Bards & Brews is made possible by a generous donation from the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Birmingham Public Library Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 20

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Credit: Phillip Scott Andrews/New York Times

All Birmingham Public Library locations will be closed Monday, January 20, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Program to Help People with Chronic Diseases Starts at Inglenook Library January 27

by Karnecia Williams, Inglenook Branch Library

Inglenook Branch Library is hosting a free six-week course designed to help Birmingham residents and caregivers cope with chronic diseases. The workshops are led by Living Well Alabama, an organization that teaches people who live with, know, or care for people suffering from chronic diseases how to cope with the condition and improve the quality of their lives.

This series of workshops will kick off beginning Monday, January 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Inglenook Library. The courses will take place every Monday from January 27 through March 9 (excluding President's Day, February 17). Upon completion, a certificate along with a $25 gift card will be provided to everyone who attends all six classes.

Take control of your health or become educated on helping someone take control of theirs by contacting the Inglenook Library at 205-849-8739 to register or register online through the BPL events calendar. Seats are limited and only 25 people are permitted to enroll.

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every six adults in the United States have a chronic illness. Four out of every 10 adults are fighting two or more chronic diseases. Chronic illnesses are considered both the leading causes of death and disability, and leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs. 

Chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, diabetes, and depression are conditions that can be managed, but not cured. Preventive care—measures used to prevent illnesses or diseases—is the key to lessen the likelihood of illnesses or diseases such as these from progressing or even occurring at all.

Join Inglenook Library and Living Well Alabama and take control of your life back.

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