Showing posts from November, 2007

The Harry Potter Series- An Alternative Approach

creative commons photo courtesy of Alberto Alvarez-Perea 1997 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 1999 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2000 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2003 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2005 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Author - J. K. Rowling My wife and I planned a trip recently where we would spend between 25 and 30 hours driving in our car. We both enjoy listening to audio books but our tastes and interests are different. I enjoy books on politics, biographies, military history, true crime, and legal thrillers. She is more likely to enjoy suspense and mystery novels, books on metaphysics spirituality, and romance. What were we to do? We asked the advice of our son, Samuel, who works at the Springville Road Branch of the Birmingham Public Library and he suggested Harry Potter audio books. We were skeptical but he checked out the first three

TELL ME MORE® Replaces Rosetta Stone

With Rosetta Stone's business decision to no longer allow public libraries to subscribe to their online products, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative has found another product for online language learning. TELL ME MORE® Online is the name of the new product and we're thrilled about it. TELL ME MORE is also called Auralog. Currently, TELL ME MORE offers German, American English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Spanish (Latin America). Here are a few of the many features that TELL ME MORE Online has: • Up to 2,000 lesson hours per language • Up to 10,000 exercises • Grammar explanations classified by level and category • An audio-glossary including up to 10,000 words classified by level and category • Advanced speech recognition technology that recognizes and analyzes pronunciation. • Placement test to determine your language level • Progress Test • Language Achievement Test at the end of the language learning program to rank the patron in comparison to the major standardiz

Learn Bargainomics

This time of year we spend! According to a recent Gallup Poll , Americans expect to spend an average of $866 on gifts this holiday season. Why not learn some tricks to save a few bucks? Join us as local author Judy Bates, the " Bargainomics " lady, shows us how to make every dollar count. Five Points West Library Monday December 10, 2007 5:00-6:00 PM "$20,000" Image courtesy of Johnny Vulkan

Relive Radio's Golden Age Dec. 5 at Central

Wednesday, December 5, Dave Cisco, Dee Haynes and members of the Alabama Historic Radio Society share tales of how radio came to be as well as the historic equipment and programs Society members have collected and restored. The program is a part of Central's Brown Bag Lunch Series and will be held in the Arrington Auditorium at 12 p.m. It is offered in association with Turning On Alabama , an exhibition of photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Society and Alabama Power Company on display at Central's Library Gallery, November 4 to December 30.

North Birmingham Library Closes For Renovation

North Birmingham Library will be closed for approximately three weeks beginning at the close of business on Wed., Nov. 21, 2007, for a renovation project. We apologize for any inconvenience but we trust that you will be pleased with the improvement.

East Ensley Closes for Repairs

The East Ensley Branch of the Birmingham Public Library will close November 16 for repairs to the roof. Please visit one of our other locations for your information and entertainment needs.

BPL@Night Presents the Get Rhythm Experience

For the December edition of BPL@Night , the Birmingham Public Library presents the Get Rhythm Experience , presented by seasoned performer John Scalici. Mr. Scalici was born to drum. He helped found two nationally touring bands, Gravy and junkyardmen. Blues Revue and Blues Access Magazine called junkyardmen one of the best live blues bands in the country. For the Get Rhythm Experience at BPL@Night, John Scalici will be accompanied by Daniel Long, Christopher Johnson, Jay Burnham, Justin Wallace, and Sans Pointe Dance Company. The Get Rhythm Experience is a collaboration of drummers, percussionists and dancers. The group was created by Scalici, who is a drum circle facilitator, musician, clinician, and teaching artist. The group will perform original compositions which blend urban voices and sounds with world-beat influenced rhythms from West Africa, the Middle East, and Brazil. In 1999, Scalici started the Get Rhythm programs as a way to share his passion for drumming and rhythm in co

Two Great American Novelists Die

Norman Mailer died of acute renal failure on November 10 at the age of 84. Mailer was the author of more than 30 books and the co-founder of the alternative New York newspaper The Village Voice . Mailer was a regular column writer for the paper. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead (1948), was based on his experiences as a rifleman with a reconnaissance platoon during the invasion of Luzon in the Philippines. After the success of this novel, he ditched his previous plans of becoming an aeronautical engineer to attend the Sorbonne in Paris. At several points in his career, Mailer turned his style of writing to non-fiction narrative—a novel based on real events. An example of this style is his Executioner’s Song (1979) , which tells the story of real-life killer Gary Gilmore, the first person to be executed in the United States after the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. In addition to fiction and non-fiction books, Mailer also wrote, directed, and acted in his own films.

Book Signing at Avondale Library

Catherine Greene Browne, author of The History of Forest Park , will be at the Avondale Library to sell and sign copies of her new book, A History of Avondale . Details: Where : Avondale Library When : Saturday, November 17 Time : 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information call 226-4000.

Turning On Alabama Exhibit

The Birmingham Public Library is currently showcasing the “Turning On Alabama” exhibit on the main floor and in the fourth floor gallery of the Central Library . Sponsored by the Birmingham Historical Society and Birmingham Public Library, this unique exhibition features 1920-1945 photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Alabama Power Company and the Alabama Historical Radio Society. Historic artifacts and more than 60 notable photographs from Alabama Power’s archives highlight the company's growth and how electricity has radically transformed the lives of all Alabamians. More than a dozen vintage radios from the Radio Society will be on display. This exhibition will last until until December 30, 2007. Links: Webwire News Alabama Power Press Release

BPL@Night Welcomes Birmingham Bluegrass Group, Shades Mountain Air

The Birmingham Public Library’s popular BPL@Night presents Homewood-based bluegrass group, Shades Mountain Air, on Thursday, November 15. This dynamic bluegrass group has been playing that high, lonesome sound for nearly a decade collectively. Composed of five members, the group was formed in 1998 and played their first banquet a year later. According to their members, Shades Mountain Air is a self-proclaimed “family band” and they take their name from the Birmingham mountain that surrounds their homes. Gary Furr helped found the group and he contributes vocals, guitar, and lyrics. He and husband and wife team, Nancy and Greg Womble, started the group when they discovered they enjoyed playing bluegrass together. Nancy plays the stand-up bass and sings lead, while Greg plays the five-string banjo, guitar, and sings. Don Wendorf plays the mandolin, hammered dulcimer, and banjo, and his son Paul rounds out the band with some fiery fiddle playing, while both father and son help sing. Pau

Harper Lee Receives Medal of Freedom

On November 5, 2007, Alabama author Harper Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. She received this honor for her contribution to American literature. Celebrate her award by participating in The Big Read , Jefferson County, Alabama's One County - One Book program. You are invited to read her Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird , join in a book group discussion, and attend The Big Read programs. The Big Read will take place April 2008.

Book Review: Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

“Look me in the eyes, young man!” “Nobody trusts a man who won’t look them in the eye.” “You look like a criminal.” “I’ve read about people like you. They have no expression because they have no feeling. Some of the worst murderers in history were sociopaths.” These are just some of the things John Elder Robison heard as a young boy, decades before a friend handed him a book about Asperger’s Syndrome and told him, "This book describes you exactly." Hearing these predictions made Robison withdraw even further as a child as he waited for these awful things to come true. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he realized he wasn’t going to become a serial killer. By that time he had met enough shifty people who had no trouble looking him in the eye to realize that these people had no idea what they were talking about. Learning that he was not defective and that he was not alone brought great peace to the adult John Elder Robison. Although Robison was raised by a violent, alcoh

Annual Friends of the Library Meeting

The annual Friends of the Library meeting will be held on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium. There will be a reception beginning at 5:30. On the agenda is a 2006 year in review and the announcement of the Beyond the Budget winner. If you are not a member, please consider joining and helping promote our libraries. Visit our Friends page for information on dues and the services our Friends provide. Jim Baggett, BPL’s archivist, will be the guest speaker. The topic will be “When the Blast Occurred: Remembering the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing.”