Showing posts from October, 2007

Financial Planning Podcast Now Available

The library hosted its third and final session of the popular program "Building Blocks For Your Small Business @ Your Library," entitled "Financing Your Business." Bill Ringler of S.C.O.R.E. and Joe Primm of the Small Business Development Center discussed the various aspects of small business accounting, financial reporting, and applying for and obtaining loans. Here is the program's podcast, split into two parts: Click to listen to part one- Bill Ringler of S.C.O.R.E. Click to listen to part two- Joe Primm of the SBDC

The Flu Season Has Arrived

It’s that time of the year. You woke up with a scratchy throat, and over the course of the morning you find yourself coughing more and more. By the afternoon your head is thumping and you feel feverish. Do you have a common cold, or are you experiencing this year’s flu? According to the National Library of Medicine “colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.” Well there’s the bad news, is there any good news? For most people the flu is simply a serious inconvenience lasting one to two weeks. However, the CDC reports that “every year in the United States, on average: 36,000 people die from the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications.” So, the flu is not something to be taken lightly. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for a bout of the flu to lead to sinus infection or even pneumonia. What’s the best way to avoid becoming another statistic? According to the CDC, “The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.” The Alabama Dep

Movie Review: Miss Potter

The movie, Miss Potter , reveals the story of Beatrix Potter , author of the beloved children’s classic, The Tales of Peter Rabbit . The enchanting story of Beatrix Potter was filmed in the beautiful Lake District in the North of England. The lush, dramatic scenery inspired the illustrations and writings of the most successful classic children’s author of all times. Spectacular views of lake scenery, countryside and woodland trails inspired the characters and settings for many of Potter’s books. Watch this movie and be swept away into the world of Beatrix Potter, one of beautiful English countryside, gardens and of course, tiny clever creatures envisioned by this imaginative author. Renee Zellweger portrays the shy yet spirited children’s author. We follow Potter’s struggles to get her first book published and then see her fall in love with her publisher, Norman Warne. As a young female author, Beatrix suffered many of the prejudices that female writers struggled with during this time

Now Playing: Dennis Lehane's Gone, Baby, Gone

I love to discover an older series of books. This means that I can check them all out, set them on my nightstand, and enjoy them all in one reading frenzy. No waiting years for the next one to be published. Six years ago I picked up Dennis Lehane’s incredible Mystic River , and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had an entire crime fiction series for me to devour. And that’s just what I did. For those who have yet to read his Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro detective series set in Boston, please add these books to your reading list. Kenzie and Gennaro are on-again, off-again lovers who work together as private eyes. They have friends on both sides of the law, and they don’t discriminate when it comes to needing help solving a case. And morally, they’re not above using childhood pal Bubba Rogowski’s persuasive service of breaking kneecaps, if that’s what it takes. Gone, Baby, Gone is the most powerful book in the series. Dealing with missing children, guardianship, and pedophilia,

National Friends of Libraries Week

The week of October 21-27 is National Friends of Libraries Week . Just who are these Friends of the Library and why are they being celebrated? This is an association of volunteers and benefactors who recognize how important libraries are to communities and who donate their time and money to help promote the library. Volunteering at our book store, helping out at functions, contacting officials about library funding, and awarding “beyond the budget” prizes to our libraries to fund special projects are just a few of the things the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library do for us. The BPL would like to send a shout-out to all our Friends for their dedication over the years. And just like individuals, libraries always need more friends. If you would like to become a Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, please visit our Friends page for more information.

BPL and the Literacy Council to Participate in Fiesta 2007

The 5th annual Fiesta that celebrates Hispanic culture is happening on Saturday, October 20 from noon to 8:00 p.m. in Linn Park. Festivities will include live music, children’s art activities, dance performances, food, and more. It is free and open to the public. Representatives from the Birmingham Public Library and the Literacy Council of Alabama will be on hand to participate: Nationally known storyteller Antonio Sacre will perform twice More than 500 bilingual books donated by the Literacy Council will be available to win via book walks UAB students will have blankets set out where the winners may sit with a student and listen to and/or read with them The library will have bilingual staff on hand to answer questions about library services Other happenings during Fiesta 2007 is a visit from C-SPAN2’s Book TV Bus . The bus will be parked outside of the Birmingham Public Library from noon to 3:00 p.m. The nationwide tour is promoting C-SPAN’s unique non-fiction book programming. I

John Green's Nerdtastic Home Library

“It occurs to me that on the long list of nerdy things I’ve said in my life, ‘I like almanacs’ is near the top.” Author John Green celebrates Teen Read Week by taking his brother Hank on a video tour of his meticulously shelved home library. Not only is Green a passionate advocate of reading, but he is also a conscientious young man who makes sure to always separate his books on Islam and Christianity with a wicker basket to keep them from fighting. Nerds…gotta love ‘em. Links: The Official Website of John Green

Read It Forward Author James M. Deem Here Nov. 5-6

James M. Deem, author of the Read It Forward book, Bodies From the Ash , will be discussing his book about Pompeii at several branch locations and Woodlawn High School November 5-6, 2007. November 5 Smithfield 10:00 a.m. North Birmingham 1:30 p.m. West End 3:30 p.m. Avondale 6:30 p.m. November 6 Central 10:30 a.m. Woodlawn High School 1:30 p.m. Springville Road 4:00 p.m. Five Points West 6:30 p.m.

Birmingham Noir Nighttime Walking Tour

Birmingham Noir Murders. Mysteries. Fallen Women Just as the afternoon sun slips out of the downtown sky, like a platinum blonde sliding into a black party dress, the night owls will gather at the library. Join Jim Baggett, BPL Archivist, for a nighttime walking tour of notorious downtown historic sites. Tour dates are October 26 and November 2 and begin at 5:45 p.m. in the atrium of the Central Library . The tour lasts approximately one hour and there will be a break for refreshments at Safari Cup . Admission is FREE but reservations are required. Contact Jim Baggett at (205) 226-3631 or . Photo of the old county jail courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives Department

Children's Book Reviews: Llama Llama Mad at Mama and Library Mouse

Anna Dewdney’s new book Llama Llama Mad at Mama is about compromise between a mother and child (or cria in this case). It’s playtime for Llama Llama, who is having fun with his blocks and puzzles. But Mama Llama needs to run some errands and plops Llama Llama into his car seat to head for the Shop-O-Rama. But Llama Llama’s just not in the mood for standing in lines and trying on clothes, so he starts to whine and knock items off the shelves. Flying pasta, spraying juice. Paper towels rolling loose. Coffee, bread, and chips galore. Shoes and sweaters hit the floor. Mama Llama yells “enough!” and reasons with Llama Llama. Please stop fussing, little llama. No more of this llama drama. I think shopping’s boring, too— But at least I’m here with you . It’s a sweet book that teaches empathy, patience, and working as a team. The rhymes are fun to read aloud and the bright illustrations fill up the pages. Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk is a wonderful early introduction to the library. Sam li

Staff Pick: The Mother (2004 DVD)

Hummmm…”’M’ is for the million things she gave me, ‘O’ means only that she’s growing old…,” oh, forget it. That song’s all wrong for this little jewel of a movie. The movie is The Mother , a title that evokes strong feelings of security and love, but there’s not much of either to go around here for this bunch who are a family in name only. Grandma May ( Anne Reid ) and grandpa Toots ( Peter Vaughan ) have come to London to visit their grandchildren and children, Bobby ( Steven Mackintosh ) and Paula ( Cathryn Bradshaw ), but it’s obvious that they’re strangers even though they’re only a tube ride away. Her adolescent grandson has to ask who they are when they walk through the door. When grandpa dies during the visit, the distance between the mother and her children is painfully evident when they pass her back and forth, too wrapped up in their own lives to help her through her grieving. Then we notice Darren ( Daniel Craig ), who is renovating Bobby’s home and having an affair with Pau

Disney on Ice Finding Nemo Read-To-Win Activity

The Birmingham Public Library invites kids under the age of twelve to participate in the Disney on Ice Finding Nemo Read-To-Win Activity . Visit any Birmingham Public Library location today and register to join in the fun. Every child who completes their individual reading goal will receive a $10 discount coupon for the Disney on Ice production Finding Nemo (playing at the BJCC Arena Oct. 31 – Nov. 4, 2007). A grand prize winner from each Birmingham Public Library location will be selected by random drawing on October 30. The winners will receive the opportunity to attend a special program which includes a Meet and Greet with the stars from the show on Thursday, November 1 at 4:00 p.m. in the Birmingham Public Library Central Story Castle.

I Never Knew...

“I never knew the library had that!” boomed the gruff voice from behind me. I turned to see a look of shock followed by delight spread across the man’s face. In an apologetic tone, he stammered that his words probably came out too loudly, but he was just surprised. Discovering that some Birmingham Public Library locations have free wireless Internet access was a revelation to him and there were more surprises to come during this visit. As we spoke, he reminisced about all those seemingly endless shelves of colorful books he remembered from childhood. He recalled the cool chair he sat in to read on hot summer days, the enchanting voice of a favorite storyteller, and how the kindly librarian’s perfume permeated the whole place. Most of all he remembered the joy of being able to take books home to read later. He loved the library of his youth and today the library had amazed him. For instance, he was under the impression that the public library only had music CD’s from classical orches

The Difference Between Baseball and Football

For a sports fan, October is a great month. On the one hand you’ve got the baseball playoffs . Even if your team is out of it, you can still take pleasure in watching a rival team lose, or watch a friend’s favorite team advance to the World Series. Heck, you can just watch the playoffs for the sheer joy of watching the best compete against the best. On the other hand, the action is heating up on both the college and pro gridirons. October is great time to meet with your college buddies and argue the relative merits or disadvantages of the BCS system . And the NFL always offers breath taking plays and some sort of controversy to discuss during halftimes. (Did the Cardinals really think they could go with two starting quarterbacks? Isn’t that an oxymoron?) Regardless of how fun a two sport month can be, it can also be confusing to separate the two disciplines. (Not really, but play with me here.) Working in a library I’m surrounded by works from the greatest minds the world has ever kno

Staff Pick: Touching the Void (2004 DVD)

We climbed 'cause it's fun. And mainly it was fun. That's all we ever did. And we were fairly anarchic and fairly irresponsible, and we didn't give a damn about anyone else or anything else, and we just wanted to climb the world. And it was fun. It was just brilliant fun. And every now and then it went wildly wrong. And then it wasn't. ~ Joe Simpson I must confess: I’m a couch potato. I’m not proud but I’m honest. Regardless, this doesn’t keep me from enjoying watching others push their bodies to the limit. Climbing Mt. Everest? I’m there. Football game in the 100-degree heat? I’m there. Clog dancing? I’m there…right there in front of the TV. For some reason this woman who can’t complete one chin up has always been fascinated with mountaineers and their hubristic attempts to scale impossible heights. My favorite story by far is Simon Yates' and Joe Simpson’s 1985 ascension to the 20,814 foot summit of Siula Grande in Peru. Their story became part of mount

And the Winner Is...

This morning when she read the announcement of who won, BPL's Associate Director, Renee, said, "My favorite author!! Let's blog this. I am so excited." So here it is. Doris Lessing received The Nobel Prize in Literature 2007 . To see Doris Lessing's items in the JCLC Catalog, click here .

Library Elf

Are you stressed from trying to keep track of when your books are due? Are you fretful waiting for an email telling you that the new book you reserved is available? If so, the Library Elf can help! JCLC cardholders may now register with Library Elf, a service designed for you. It allows you to: Avoid overdues with email or text message alerts. Track items you have checked out. Join for free! Library Elf is a private service not affiliated with the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. For more information, go to

Love in the Time of Cholera Chosen for Oprah's Book Club

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is the most recent Oprah’s Book Club pick. "It is so beautifully written that it really takes you to another place in time and will make you ask yourself how long could you or would you wait for love," Oprah Winfrey wrote on her Website. In his 1985 novel El amor en los tiempos del colera (translated as Love in the Time of Cholera , 1988), Garcia Marquez explores various manifestations of love and examines themes relating to aging, death, and decay in a blend of fact and fable based in part on recollections of his parents' marriage. Set in a South American community plagued by recurring civil wars and cholera epidemics from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, the novel begins with the death of Dr. Juvenal Urbino, who leaves behind his wife of fifty years, Fermina Daza. Soon after Urbino's death, however, a man from Fermina's distant past appears on her doorstep. It is Florentino Ariza, a telegraph

Protecting Your Business Podcasts

"Protecting Your Business," the second segment in the "Building Blocks for Your Small Business @ Your Library" series was another great program. The podcast of this program has two parts. In the first part, Terry Price of S.C.O.R.E. discusses legal issues related to small business employment, including what to consider when dealing with issues such as hiring, training, and terminating, among others. Click here to listen to the part one . In part 2, Coffee Colvin of S.C.O.R.E. discusses what to consider when choosing a financial team to help protect your company's products. Mr. Colvin discusses the importance of having legal advisors, certified public accountants, and insurance brokers as the basis for your financial team. Click here to listen to part two .

C-SPAN's Book TV Bus Visits Oct. 20

C-SPAN's Book TV Bus, a 45-foot long mobile television production studio, will travel to Birmingham’s Fiesta 2007 on its nationwide tour promoting Book TV's unique non-fiction book programming. The Book TV Bus is traveling the country, stopping at local libraries, bookstores and book festivals along the way. In partnership with Bright House Networks, the Book TV Bus offers tours of its studio set, participation in an interactive demonstration about Book TV programming, the opportunity to learn how a television show is produced, and a chance to sign up for programming alerts. The bus will be parked outside of the Birmingham Public Library from 12-3 PM during Fiesta 2007. COME VISIT THE BUS! October 20, 2007 12 PM – 3 PM Birmingham Public Library 2100 Park Place About Book TV Every weekend starting Saturday, 9 am to Monday, 9 am CT, Book TV airs 48 hours of non-fiction book programming on a variety of topics including history, biographies, politics, current events, and the medi

Rosetta Stone Online Ends November 30

On December 1, 2006 the public libraries of Jefferson County first offered Rosetta Stone Online to all Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) cardholders. With over 20 different languages to choose from, this has been a very popular product. Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone has made a business decision to no longer allow public libraries to subscribe to their online products. JCLC’s contract with Rosetta Stone will end November 30, 2007. We hope to have a comparable online language product in place by then. To read more about Rosetta Stone's decision, check out today's article in The Birmingham News .

My Reading History

The library doesn’t keep a history of items our patrons check out because of privacy issues. But we do want you to have the option of keeping track of the items you check out. It’s simple to do if you opt in to My Reading History. Just: Go to Your Record on the JCLC catalog Type in your name and card number Click on My Reading History under the search box Click on Opt In at the left of the page Your reading history will be saved from this point on. You may opt out at any time, or delete individual items in your history que. It's a wonderful way to keep track of books you didn't have time to read but would like to one day.

Mayoral Election 2007

The City of Birmingham's mayoral election will be held October 9. To learn more about the candidates, where to vote, and your rights as a voter click on the links below. Mayoral Candidates Profiles and Interviews The Terminal has photographs, profiles, audios, interviews and links to the candidates' official websites. The Birmingham News at includes articles about the mayoral candidates as well as interviews. Birmingham View has videorecordings of interviews with several of the candidates. Where to Vote Voting locations District maps Voting Information Alabama Secretary of State's Election Division website includes information about election procedures, election returns and voter registration League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham has answers to frequently asked questions about elections and voting in the greater Birmingham area. "Vote 2006" Image courtesy of Stephee

Head of Central's Youth Department Interviewed on Good Day Alabama

Vincent Solfronk, head of Central's Youth Department , was interviewed by Rick Journey on Tuesday's Good Day Alabama . Vince explained how a library card is one of the best school supplies a student can have. Watch and learn what your card can do for you these days . Great job, Vince! Check out Melinda's excellent back-to-school list and see what a rich resource the library is for your school needs.

Alabama Author A. Faye Boykin to Appear at Smithfield Library

Smithfield Library will host bestselling Alabama author A. Faye Boykin and Eric A. Calhoun, J.D., co-authors of “HSO/HBO – Help a Sister Out/Help a Brother Out! Can We Possibly Meet in the Middle?” There will be excerpts from their work and a panel discussion on the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and economical aspects of relationships. Boykin was born in Brewton, Alabama, and is an honor graduate from Tuskegee University with a degree in social work. She lived in Dallas, Texas, for twenty years before settling down in Birmingham, Alabama, to take care of her mother. She is the author of one bestseller-- No Testimony Without a Test --and three other books: Been Through the Fire But Didn't Get Burned ; In Due Season--They That Wait--Don't Wait Too Late ; and Gold on Your Fingertips! Stop Sittin' On Your Assetts . However, her success comes from her calling as an inspirational writer and speaker. She received the 2003 Sojourner Truth Award and is a two time recipient o