Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Friends of the BPL: Annual Meeting

Friends of BPL
You are invited to the annual meeting of the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library to be held Thursday, November 9 in Central's Arrington Auditorium. Jackie Wuska with the Literacy Council of Central Alabama will discuss literacy in Birmingham. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting is at 6:00 p.m.

Join the Friends TODAY and come to the annual meeting!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Let's talk turkey at Avondale

Between November 6 and November 22 the Avondale staff wants to talk turkey with you. Visit the Youth Department for your turkey conversational starter and let the fun begin. Who knows, all this talking may win you and your family a frozen turkey and a Thanksgiving tale or two.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tuxedo Junction and the Rise of Birmingham's Jazz Community

Tuxedo Junction historical markerJoin us this Wednesday, November 1 at noon in Central's Arrington Auditorium to hear Birmingham historian Karen Utz discuss Glenn Miller, Ensley and the Big Band hit it inspired: "Tuxedo Junction".

Friday, October 27, 2006

Library to Show Birmingham News Civil Rights Photographs

BIRMINGHAM—Putting flesh on the bones of Birmingham’s civil rights history.

That’s how Marjorie White, Birmingham Historical Society director, describes the new exhibit of 41 never-before-seen photos from the archives of the Birmingham News. Each depicts the turbulent and emotional events sweeping our city during the 1950s and 60s.

The exhibit, entitled “Unseen. . . .Unforgotten/Civil Rights Photographs from The Birmingham News,” runs November 5-December 30 in the Library Gallery of the Birmingham Public Library. The Opening Reception is Sunday, November 5 from 3-5 p.m.

The photos, shot by News photographers yet never published, reveal gripping and telling moments such as:

  • A child bearing a sign reading “Can a Man Love God and Hate His Brother?”
  • Mayor Albert Boutwell following the news of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing
  • A youthful and determined Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth counseling Freedom Riders
  • A pensive, brooding Dr. Martin Luther King
  • Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor directing arrests of marchers
  • The arrest of high school student Mattie Howard, demonstrator in the Children’s Crusade
  • Calming the crowd after a house bombing

“These are extraordinary portraits of real people who lived this Movement,” says White of the collection drawn from the News archive of more than 5,000 unseen civil rights era images. “They are the people, the places, and the action—what you expect from good photo-journalism. Thousands of words fill history books, yet, in these photos, this is the story of the Birmingham Movement.”

A News photo intern named Alexander Cohn discovered the negatives filed by year and photographer during his summer employment with the paper. He digitized 2,000 of the images, and interviewed living photographers and Movement participants for background. A portion of those photos may be viewed online at http://www.al.com/unseen.

“Each photo in the Library exhibit is captioned, placing it in the context of its part of the story,” says White. “Seeing the exhibit shows you the power of the photographs—and you better understand the circumstances of what took place. “All these years later, the history is still painful,” she continues, “but as Reverend Shuttlesworth himself concluded, ‘Let it never be forgotten that the Birmingham Movement provided the vehicle and the shock force that shook the nation’s moral conscience.’” The events in Birmingham directly resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, legislating equal rights for all Americans.’”

The exhibit is open to the public at no charge. For more information, contact Marjorie White, Birmingham Historical Society, One Sloss Quarters, Birmingham, AL 35222, 251-1880, http://post.bham.lib.al.us/webmail/src/compose.php?send_to=mslwhite%40aol.com

Friday, October 20, 2006

John McCutcheon appearing Nov. 13-15

John McCutcheon (photo by Parthy Monagan
John McCutcheon storyteller and folksinger, will perform at BPL Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 15 at the following branches:

Central 10:00 a.m.
Springville Road Branch 6:30 p.m.

Five Points West Branch 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch 1:00 p.m.
Avondale Branch 6:30 p.m.

North Birmingham Branch 10:00 a.m.
Smithfield Branch 1:00 p.m.
Pratt City Branch 3:30 p.m.

One of America's most respected and loved folksingers, John McCutcheon is an award-winning recording artist and storyteller. He is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments including the banjo, guitar, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, and jaw harp. His 26 recordings have garnered multiple awards, including five consecutive Grammy nominations.

Listen to some of McCutheon's songs such as "Dog's Life" and "Mud" at Amazon.com.

This program is made possible, in part, by the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Fund administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.

photograph by Parthy Monagan

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Magic City Confidential

Old Jefferson County Jail 1930
This Wednesday (Oct. 25) at noon, join BPL Archivist Jim Baggett for a pre-Halloween virtual tour of some of our city's notorious historic sites. The virtual tour is part of Central's Brown Bag Program held in Central's Arrington Auditorium.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Library closed Thursday until 1 p.m.

All branches of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed Thursday October 19 until 1 p.m. for staff training.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Looking for a career?

Need career information, knowledge about different professions, or employability skills? Explore the Career Guidance Center.
The Career Guidance Center offers an all-encompassing online database on career information. With over 2,000 jobs and 23,000 resources, this database has all the information to help you choose, plan, and advance your career.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Classic monster movie marathon

This October 21st celebrate Halloween and the beginning of Teen Read Week in Central's Youth Department. Bring your friends and watch classic monster movies with us from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Popcorn, drinks and good frights will be provided. Call (205) 226-3655 for more information.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tony Leonard at North Birmingham's Poetry Night

Poetry Night with Tony LeonardTony Leonard, inspirational poet and author, will be at the North Birmingham Regional Branch October 17th at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

Leonard, who began writing poetry in the mid 1970s, has written some of the most heart warming and motivational poetry of our day. His numerous works include such titles as "Traces," "You Are," "When Mountains Cry," "Through the Eyes of God," "The Aftermath," and "The Rising Sun." In 2001, Tony was nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature for poetry."

Friday, October 06, 2006

New online database for African American studies

The Oxford African American Studies Center database provides information about the lives and events which shaped African American and African history and culture.

There are more than 7,500 articles by top scholars in the field. The core content includes:

a Africana which presents an account of the African and African American experience

a Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 which documents the full range of the African American experience from the arrival of the black explorer, Esteban, who arrived with the Spanish in 1527, to the death of Frederick Douglass

a Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present, offers a treatment of African American history into the twenty-first century

a Black Women in America

a Africanican American National Biography

a Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature

a Over 1,000 images, primary sources with specially written commentaries

a Over 100 maps

a Over 100 charts and tables offer information on everything from demographics to government and politics to business and labor to education and the arts

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Alabama public libraries online survey

Alabama citizens are being asked to share their views on public libraries during an October online statewide survey. Their opinions will help shape the future of the state’s public libraries, said Alabama Public Library Service Director Rebecca Mitchell.

The online survey will be available through October 31. To access the survey online, visit http://webapp.slis.ua.edu/goals07 and follow the directions.

Mitchell urged citizens to take the survey. “We need input from the public to evaluate current services and to ensure libraries remain a vital part of the community in the future,” she said. APLS will use the information to develop a five-year plan for the state’s public libraries for 2008-2012.

The library wish-list of some citizens was heard at eight meetings held in the summer at locations throughout Alabama. The survey will allow anyone who did not attend a meeting to be heard.

The 2002-2007 plan identified priorities for the state’s public libraries, including reading programs for children and young adults, services for the underserved and for people with special needs.

Great Stories CLUB

Great Stories Club Logo

Birmingham Public Library selected to host “Great Stories CLUB” book discussion program for teens.

The Birmingham Public Library in partnership with The Opportunity Academy at Riggins (T.O.A.R.), a Birmingham City School, has been selected to host a three-part reading and discussion series called the “Great Stories CLUB.” The library is one of over 180 libraries nationwide, and the only one in Alabama, selected to receive this grant from The American Library Association (ALA).

The Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to give teens a chance to read and discuss great books that are relevant to the challenges in their lives. The books and resources for the Great Stories CLUB have been provided by a grant from the American Library Association Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Service Association.

Each title selected for the program focuses on a character who struggles with a serious challenge. As a recipient of this grant The Birmingham Public Library will receive programming resources as well as copies of the following books for distribution to the students at T.O.A.R.

Born Blue by Han Nolan
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

The discussions will be facilitated by librarians and are scheduled for September, October, and November at the T.O.A.R. campus. For more information about the Great Stories CLUB hosted by the Birmingham Public Library, contact Janine Langston at 205-322-6371. For information about the Great Stories Club national initiative, visit www.ala.org/greatstories.

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