Thursday, December 20, 2007

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It

Thagg knows reserving, by placing a hold, is the fastest way to get the library material he wants. Using his library card, he can place a hold on almost any book, DVD, music CD or audio book the library has. Even soon to be released titles can be reserved.

You too can place a hold on library materials. Try it. Click here.
No card? Check this out!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Resolve Your Technology Woes

Man and Camera
Do you have a digital camera, but have no idea how to use it?

Does sharing online videos sound interesting?

Curious about Blogs, Wikis, IM, and other Web 2.0 stuff?

Not sure how do you turn a computer on?

Let us help.

Plan now to kick start the New Year with a free technology class at your library. Our new slate of class offerings will answer these and many other common technology questions.

Classes begin on Saturday January 5, 2008

Basic PC @ Springville Road and Central Library - RLCC

Digital Cameras and Online Photo Sharing @ Five Points West

Click here for a full listing of Computer Classes

Space is limited. Please call the location hosting the class to register.

Photo Credit:Dhammza

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas, Kwanzza and New Year's Day Resources

black-eyed peas photograph by Ranjit Bhatnagar
Have you ever wondered how to best capture the beauty of Christmas lights through your camera lens? Are you curious about the seven principles of Kwanzaa? Or, are you interested in finding out about the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day? You can find all the answers to these questions and more through resources compiled by BPL librarians.
New Year's Day

photograph by Ranjit Bhatnagar

Holiday Hours

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed December 24-25 and January 1.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

hot fuzz dvd coverI can’t recommend this British comedy enough. I was comatose from the desperate muggings for laughs by Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, et al. until Hot Fuzz's mixture of humor and shoot-em-up action jumpstarted my comedy-loving heart.

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a by-the-books decorated officer in a London police department who is promoted to sergeant against his will and reassigned to the village of Sandford. The reason for the transfer? His arrest record is 400% higher than any other. He does his job so well that he makes the others look bad.

Sandford's force—which consists of a rotund simpleton, Danny Butterman (Nick Frost); his father, Inspector Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent); two smarmy mustachios named the Andies; a tart; an elderly mumbler; a clueless man; and the head of the Neighborhood Watch Association (Edward Woodward)—is even more inept than Angel thought it would be. Nothing is taken seriously. Like how they all benefit from Danny's blunders because he has to buy them cake and ice cream every time he screws up.

Angel soon becomes bored chasing down Mr. P. I. Staker’s MIA swan and throwing pimply-faced teenagers out of the pub, but life takes an interesting turn when the villagers start meeting with suspicious accidents. There hasn’t been a murder in the village in 20 years, but the accidents are off the charts.

Nick Frost’s Danny Butterman is an ice-cream-slurping teddy bear, and his attempts to make his job as an officer live up to the Hollywood hype of his beloved collection of buddy cop movies is endearing.

As they cruise the beat, he irritates Angel with questions about his adventures patrolling the streets of London: “You ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?” “You ever fired one gun whilst jumping through the air?” “Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled 'aaaaah!'?" Angel’s answer is always an exasperated no, until he finds himself dodging fireballs, pulling out The Twins for a village showdown, and firing two guns whilst jumping through the air, bringing every buddy cop cliché to life.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Movies

year of the rat image
The Birmingham Public Library will show two acclaimed Chinese films in conjunction with the community-wide Chinese New Year Festival celebrations. Get ready to ring in the Year of the Rat with this cinematic immersion in Chinese culture!

chungking dvd cover
Chungking Express
Saturday, January 12
2:00 p.m.

From popular Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai comes this 1994 film about two policemen and their romantic woes.

"As playfully kinetic as it is utterly unclassifiable. Manic, cool and fantastically cosmopolitan..." The Village Voice

in the mood for love dvd coverIn the Mood for Love
Saturday, January 26
2:00 p.m.

This film directed by Wong Kar-Wai is a visually lush, languid tale of unfulfilled longing set in the 1960s Hong Kong. A man and a woman move in to neighboring apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of having extra-marital affairs.

"This may be one of the swooniest movies ever made about love and it luxuriates in its tailspin." The New York Times


Both movies will be shown in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Hinley Research Library, 2100 Park Place. There is no charge for these programs. The library provides refreshments. For additional information call 226-3604.

2007's Season's Readings Is Hot Off the Press!

Book jackets of books reviewed
The 2007 edition of Season's Readings is here. In this year's publication, Birmingham Public Library staff members have reviewed a variety of books covering many of the genres that BPL offers, from children's books to adult and teen books, including both fiction and nonfiction. Look for a copy at your local Birmingham Public Library

In addition to this beautiful print collection, a few of the Season's Readings reviewers recorded their reviews as podcasts which we're offering below. Click on the title of the book to listen to the review. The Birmingham Public Library wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Larry, The King of Rock and Roll by Iris Rainer Dart and Joyce Brotman (reviewed by Lynn Carpenter)

Alabama in the Twentieth Century by Wayne Flynt (reviewed by Yvonne Crumpler)

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (reviewed by Kelly Laney)

The United States of Arugula : how we became a gourmet nation by David Kamp(reviewed by Kelsey Bates)

The Return of Buddy Bush by Sheila P. Moses (reviewed by Barbara Sirmans)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (reviewed by Kelsey Bates)

Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah (reviewed by Felita Yarbrough)

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley (reviewed by Kelly Laney)

Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts (reviewed by Felita Yarbrough)

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson (reviewed by Barbara Sirmans)

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (reviewed by Pam Lyons)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (reviewed by Lynn Carpenter)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Red Mountain Theatre Company to Perform at Springville Road Library

simple gifts logo
Bringing you the best of Red Mountain Theatre's original holiday productions, Simple Gifts pays tribute to past classics, highlights new performances and combines their greatest musical moments into one delightful treat! Enjoy your favorite holiday hits in this cheerful celebration that is sure to spread the humor and heart of the season.

Get wrapped up in the holidays!


Where: Springville Road Library
When: Monday, December 17
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Peter Pan Contest

ASF peter pan image
From the creative team that brought the critically acclaimed blockbuster Disney’s Beauty and The Beast to ASF comes the musical spectacular Peter Pan! Join Peter, Wendy, and Tinker Bell on an enchanted flight to Neverland where they join the Lost Boys and take on the dreaded Captain Hook. This amazing production features classic songs including “I’m Flying,” “Pirate Song,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” “I’ve Got to Crow,” and many more.

Visit any Birmingham Public Library to enter ASF's Peter Pan contest. A drawing will be held for an overnight stay in Montgomery and tickets to a showing of Peter Pan. The contest will run through Friday, December 14.

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