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Showing posts from 2008

Fiction Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, a delightful novel of letters beginning with writer Juliet Ashton,who in January 1946,writes to her publisher to say that she is tired of covering the “light-hearted” side of the war. Later, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a Guernsey Island farmer, who has discovered her name in the front cover of a Charles Lamb novel. He would like to order more of Charles Lamb's writings by post. Dawsey tells her of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a unique book club created by a few individuals during the German occupation as a way to protect its members from arrest.

Juliet Ashton becomes more absorbed in Guernsey and its inhabitants. She learns of their struggles, their hopes, their fears, and the lives of these individuals are soon intertwined. They share common interests and new friendships develop. Book club members write letters to Juliet describing how reading has made a differe…

Now Read the Book

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Been to the multiplex lately?

Despite the harsh economy, many of us are flocking to the cinema's latest offerings including those movies based on books like Twilightor short stories like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

It is hard not to compare the book and the film adaptation.

Reading the book is almost always better. When watching a movie, you typically miss out on details. Many details are cut due to time or excluded due to the "director’s vision”. It is not unusual for entire characters to be cut out of a film.

Also, reading the book allows your imagination to run. As you read, you get to delve into characters’ thoughts allowing you to feel as though you are on the journey with them.

Go ahead see the movie, but also consider reading the book.

Book Trailer: Contagious by Scott Sigler

Contagious, a new Scott Sigler horror novel, is the bloody sequel to Sigler's masterful thriller Infected.

Booklist calls Contagious, "A definite must-read, whether you’ve read Infected or not."

Contagious will be released on December 30.

Click here to reserve a copy today.

WORD UP! Deadline Extended Until Jan. 9

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You get another chance to join in on WORD UP!, the county-wide spoken word contest for high school students. The deadline has been extended until Friday, January 9. High school teachers or principals please call us at 226-3670 or email us at hm@bham.lib.al.us to let us know your school would like to participate.

Details about the contest may be found here.


Photo of 2008 WORD UP! winner Erika Wade

Holiday Schedule

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed December 24-December 26 and January 1-January 2.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. You can always visit BPL's online library which is open 24/7 at www.bplonline.org.

Rick Bragg Named 2009 Harper Lee Award Recipient

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Calhoun County native Rick Bragg has been named the 2009 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year, the Alabama Writers’ Forum announced recently. Bragg will receive the award at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville on May 1 at the annual luncheon. The conference will meet April 30-May 2.

“I was honored to hear I had been chosen to receive the Harper Lee Award, named for a writer whose book, and its message, have spanned decades,” said Bragg. “I am also honored to join a list of people I have admired and respected all my writing life, people who have helped establish this state as a place where good writers just seem to come out of the dirt.”

Bragg is the best selling and critically acclaimed author of Southern non-fiction, including a trio of books on his Calhoun County family that have become anthems of working-class Americans—All Over but the Shoutin’, Ava's Man, and The Prince of Frogtown. The books, award winners in both litera…

Birmingham Public Library Presents the National Traveling Exhibit "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World"

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“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World,” a traveling exhibition opening at the Birmingham Public Library on January 5, 2009, tells the remarkable story of the man who began his life as a poor printer’s apprentice and ended it as a revered elder statesman known throughout the world for his wisdom, wit, and resourcefulness. Benjamin Franklin’s achievements in diplomacy, science, philanthropy and other fields profoundly influenced the path of a new nation and continue to inspire us more than three hundred years after his birth.

Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments were the result of a lifelong dedication to improving the world around him. “I would rather have it said, ‘He lived usefully,’ than ‘He died rich,” he once wrote to his mother. Franklin also placed great value on self-improvement and believed that integrity and moral responsibility were the foundations for a successful life and a strong community.

“Franklin has a particular resonance in twenty-first century America,” biog…

Library Confessions: Pay Fines Online

Paying late charges online is convenient, fast and easy!

Access your account.
Click on any unpaid fines and bills.
Click pay online.

Click here for more information.

Brown Bag Program ~ A Touch of Piano

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Dr. Anthony Pattin, Professor of Music at the University of Montevallo and Director of Music at Chapel In The Pines Presbyterian Church, will present a diverse program of music performed on the piano. This program will feature the music of Bach, Liszt, Brahms, and Ravel, as well as hymn tunes, popular standards, and some holiday favorites. Come and enjoy the artistry of this talented and gifted pianist. Wednesday, December 17, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Birmingham Native Odetta Dies at 77

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Odetta, a singer whose voice resonated throughout the Civil Rights Movement, died on December 2nd in Manhattan at the age of 77. According to her manager, she had been hoping to perform at the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. With a career that spanned decades, Odetta has influenced a generation of musicians. In fact, her solo debut album, Sings Ballads and Blues (1956), is cited by Bob Dylan as one of the reasons he switched to acoustic guitar.

Odetta was born December 31, 1930 in Birmingham, AL. In 1937, her family moved to Los Angeles and she began taking music lessons at the age of 13. Although she performed in musical theater after high school, her introduction to the West Coast folk music scene changed the direction of her career. She made quite a name for herself performing in clubs on the West Coast and in 1953, traveled to New York to perform at the famous Blue Angel folk club. In 1954, she recorded her first album, The Tin Angel, with Larry Mohr. During he…

Birmingham African-American Genealogy Study Group Meeting

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The Bennett Family of Gee's Bend, 1971-1980
Photo courtesy of BPL Digital Collections
The staff of the Southern History Department will be on hand to assist African Americans in family research. Sunday, December 14, 3:00-5:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. For more information call 226-3665.

BPL @ Night presents An Evening with Foxxy Fatts

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With his trademark toothpick hanging from his lips, Foxxy Fatts guides his band.

An Alabama Music Hall of Fame and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Fatts began drumming around 8 years of age. Among his many credits are playing with Percy Sledge on "When a Man Loves a Woman" and Larry Graham's platinum single "Your One in a Million."
The unique blend of rock, R & B, fussion jazz, swing and Motown played by this multi-dimensional performer is not to be missed.
Music Sample 1 from seattractions.com Music Sample 2 from seattractions.com
Event Details
What: An Evening with Foxxy Fatts When: Tuesday, December 16 Where: Five Points West Regional Library Time: 6:00 p.m. Cost: Free
BPL thanks Compass Bank for its generous support of BPL@Night. BPL@Night is also made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Birmingham Public Library Board Elects New Board Officers

At its annual meeting in November, the Birmingham Public Library Board elected two new officers: Mrs. Gwendolyn Bowen Welch as President and Mrs. Nell Allen as Vice-President. Both Mrs. Welch and Mrs. Allen have served on the BPL Board for seven and six years respectively.

In keeping with Birmingham Library Board procedure, President Welch appointed Shanta Craig Owens, Esq to Parliamentarian, the position in which Mrs. Owens has previously served. Also, Rev. Anthony A. Johnson was appointed to the Library Board to complete the term of the late Mrs. Emily Norton.

Former Library Board President, Mrs. Lillie M. H. Fincher, stepped down from her post as President this year. She served for three years in this position. She continues to serve as Past President and board member.

The Library Board is BPL's governing board, and it consists of eleven members who serve in non-salaried positions. The Library Board faithfully promotes BPL’s mission, which is “to provide the highest quality lib…

Brown Bag Program ~ A Christmas Memory Starring Dolores Hydock

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Join us for our annual tradition with Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents A Christmas Memory. Truman Capote's poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama is brought to vivid life in this wonderful holiday performance. Wednesday, December 10, noon.

Learn more about Dolores Hydock's stellar career at Storypower.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Scott Sigler Alert

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I hope my fellow horror fans are as excited as I am about the sequel to Scott Sigler's book Infected(read my review of this book). Infected is one of those great stories that I had to read and listen to on CD. The fact that Sigler himself narrated his story made it that much more affective.

Contagious continues the story of Perry Dawsey, the tough ex-linebacker who survived his infection by cutting the triangles out of his body; Margaret Montoyo, the epidemiologist who was called on to track the infection when it first broke; and Dew Phillips, the tough CIA agent who dealt with the trail of bodies left by the psychopathic attacks of the infected. They stopped an alien invasion the first time around, and now these three must work together to somehow save humanity the second time around.

More about Contagious from Scott Sigler's Web site:
Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human…

BPL@Night Presents Alabama Actor Thom Gossom in Voices of Spirits

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The diverse voices of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., politician Robert Kennedy, poet Maya Angelou, playwrights Athol Fugard and August Wilson, singers and songwriters Harry Chapin, Elton John and Marvin Gaye, and others are dramatized in an evening of American prose and literature interpretation. While many of the featured voices and spirits are well known, others are less known, but nevertheless brilliant. From these voices came the power to vote, to change laws, to love, to unite, and to enlighten the masses. The voices in these spirits altered the prism through which we view life.

Accompanied by a biting soundtrack, Voices of Spirits is inspirational, motivational, fun, and stirring. Through his unique oratorical style, dramatic flair and audience participation, Gossom presents Voices of Spirits as a dramatic, motivational lecture interspersed with speeches, sermons, poetry, hip-hop, and his own writings.

An accomplished actor, Gossom has appeared on television in th…

Brown Bag Program ~ Alabama School of Fine Arts Presents

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Join us for a wonderful opportunity to hear the Alabama School of Fine Arts Music Department present a musical delight. The department is under the direction of Kim Scott. Wednesday, December 3, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Free Geneaology Classes at Central

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The staff of the Southern History Department will discuss how to begin genealogical research. The Southern History Department is located on the 1st floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. For more information call 226-3665.

Schedule of Classes for November thru January
Sunday
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
January 11

Tuesday
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
November 25
January 27

Life After the Bugger War

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It's been 23 years since readers were introduced to Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a 12-year-old tapped to save the human race from an insect-like alien race called Formics, or "Buggers." Orson Scott Card's Ender in Exile is a direct sequel to Ender's Game, and it explores the lost years of Ender's life between the ages 0f 12 and 35.

After extensive training at Battle School—beginning when he was just 6-years-old—and winning the third war against the Formics, Ender must leave school and find his place in the world. But what does the Savior of Earth do for an encore?

With every nation vying to own a piece of Ender, it is decided that Ender will not return to earth but will travel to one of the worlds won in the war. He is joined by his sister, Violet, who begins writing a history of the Bugger War.

Later when Ender is searching for a new site for future colonists, he discovers a "note" from the Formics in the form of a game he played in Battle School.…

The Story Behind Schindler's List

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Searching for Schindler, Thomas Keneally's latest nonfiction book, is about a chance encounter in 1980 with a Polish Jew named Poldek Pfefferberg while shopping for a briefcase, and where that encounter led.

Pfefferberg, number 173 on Oskar Schindler's famous list, convinced Keneally that the story of Schindler is one that begs to be told: "I was a Jew imprisoned with Jews. So a Nazi saves me and, more important, saves Misia, my young wife... Not that he was a saint. He was all-drinking, all-black-marketeering, all-screwing, okay? But he got Misia out of Auschwitz, so to me he is God."

Pfefferberg had tried selling the story to the screenwriters and filmmakers who came into his Beverly Hills luggage shop, but no one was interested. In 1963 Metro-Goldwym-Mayer bought the story rights from Oskar Schindler, who was living in Frankfurt at the time, but the movie was shelved.

An intrigued Keneally sifted through Pfefferberg's extensive Schindler files and saw the potenti…

Book Trailer: Running Hot

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz will be released on December 30.
Click here to reserve a copy today.
By the way, if you enjoy books by Jayne Ann Krentz you might consider joining our immensely popular Best Sellers Club, so that we can put advanced holds on all of her new releases for you.

The Bestsellers Club is provides quick access to new releases from many best-selling authors. Select from a list of authors and have the books delivered to your preferred Birmingham Public Library location. You will be notified when your copy is available.

Click here to join the club or visit any Birmingham Public Library for more information.

3rd Annual Local Authors Expo

Birmingham Public Library is excited and happy to present the 3rd Annual Local Authors Expo.

We even created two videos for the event:

one excited, in the fashion of a monster truck announcer



and one happy



Join us
Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 2008.
11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
at the Central Library

Meet local authors who will sell and autograph their books including:

Mychal Smith - Author of "Choosy Lovers a Radical Romance"
Jeanenne Bell - Author of "How to be a Jewelry Detective"
Jessie Crawford - Author of " The Christmas Prayer"
(Click on the authors name to watch an interview)
The Expo is sponsored by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.

BPL@Night Presents Flying Jenny, Old-time String Band

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The Birmingham Public Library is excited to host the old-time string band, Flying Jenny, of Birmingham, Alabama. They play the music of the American settlers from the British Isles, which is a forerunner of bluegrass and country music. It consists of lively fiddle tunes meant for dancing as well as old songs sung on front porches and in front of fireplaces when families and friends got together after the day’s work was done. Flying Jenny (named after an old-fashioned mule-powered carnival ride) plays breakdowns on fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass, and sings old songs, often comical, in three-part harmony.

In addition to the music, a performance by Flying Jenny includes stories about the tunes and the fiddlers who first played them. They have done a number of thematic performances on such topics as Alabama history, folk art, early radio music, Christmas folk music, romance in old-time music, etc., and have collaborated with storyteller Dolores Hydock in Footprint on the Sky: Memories of a…

Brown Bag Program ~ It's Perfectly True

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It's Perfectly True evolved from a suggestion by Martha Harrbauer, director of The Seasoned Performers, to develop a play based on a fable. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fable, the hens become human and the tale takes a decidedly human turn.

Don't forget to make your appointment at the Curl Up & Dye where the Seasoned Performers catch up on all the latest gossip...the things that you hear at this beauty shop will make your hair curl! It's Perfectly True! Wednesday, November 19, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tech Tuesdays ~ We See Dead People...Online

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Comic by Jonathan Brown
Genealogical resources are a mouse click away with BPL’s databases. Join us as we explore census, church, cemetery, obituary, mine fatality, and inventor records. Tuesday, November 18, 6:30 p.m. Live @ Central Library's Arrington Auditorium and simulcast at Five Points West Library.

IM, del.icio.us, MySpace, Facebook, RSS, Mashups, Photobucket, Pixer, Second Life, Wiki, blogging. What are these things and will they hurt me? Join us at Tech Tuesdays for a look at the technologies sweeping the Internet and see if you need to join the crowd!

Brown Bag Program ~ Sharing Native American Culture

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A storyteller from The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama, Vickie King—Spirit Eyes, will be telling informative stories of Indian culture, tradition, beliefs, and lifestyles. Her original oil paintings, gathered herbs, musical instruments, tanned skins, and baskets will be on display to accompany the stories. Join us for a fun and informative look into the work of the Native American Indian. Wednesday, November 12, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Children's Book Review: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

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Laura Numeroff, author of the wonderful If You Give series, has a new book out titled If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Parents, who know all to well that the moment they sit down their children will ask for something, which will lead to something else, and then to something else, will enjoy the tables being turned on some frazzled children trying to appease some needy animals.

In her latest book, a kind young girl offers a cat a cupcake. Not satisfied, the cat wants some sprinkles to go with it. When he spills them on the floor and has to sweep them up, he gets hot and is put into a bathing suit and taken to the beach. Before she knows it, the girl has taken him to the gym, a karate class, rock climbing, boat rowing, on a merry-go-round ride, the science museum, and finally back home. The sand emptied from his shoes reminds him of sprinkles, and, of course, he's going to need a cupcake to go with them!

The animals take center stage in this fun series as the girls and boys tire themselve…

BPL@Night Presents Alabama Actor Thom Gossom in Voices of Spirits

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The diverse voices of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., politician Robert Kennedy, poet Maya Angelou, playwrights Athol Fugard and August Wilson, singers and songwriters Harry Chapin, Elton John and Marvin Gaye, and others are dramatized in an evening of American prose and literature interpretation. While many of the featured voices and spirits are well known, others are less known, but nevertheless brilliant. From these voices came the power to vote, to change laws, to love, to unite, and to enlighten the masses. The voices in these spirits altered the prism through which we view life.

Accompanied by a biting soundtrack, Voices of Spirits is inspirational, motivational, fun, and stirring. Through his unique oratorical style, dramatic flair and audience participation, Gossom presents Voices of Spirits as a dramatic, motivational lecture interspersed with speeches, sermons, poetry, hip-hop, and his own writings.

An accomplished actor, Gossom has appeared on television in th…

Michael Crichton Dies at Age 66

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U.S. bestselling author and filmmaker, Michael Crichton, died Tuesday, November 4th after a battle with cancer. He was 66. Crichton was the author of scientific thrillers including Andromeda Strainand Jurassic Park. Next, his most recent novel, was published in December 2006. The scientific thriller focused on genetic engineering. He was also the creator of the television medical drama, ER. Crichton won an Emmy, Peabody and a Writer's Guild of America Award for the show.

Through his writing, Crichton made many of the scientific mysteries of the world exciting and easy to understand. Andromeda Strain is a classic biological thriller portraying the threat of a worldwide epidemic from microscopic organisms. Jurassic Park involves the cloning of 15 species of dinosaurs and the construction of a park so that tourists may view these creatures. Prey explores the dangers of nanotechnology and the hazards of robots created at the molecular level. Next, published in December 2006, is an inte…

Battle of the Bands Gaming Tournament @ Springville Road Library

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Music Gaming Tournament Details
(featuring Guitar Hero 2, 3: Legends of Rock and Rock Band 2 for Xbox 360)
What: Players will form bands comprised of four members. These bands will work together to obtain the highest score obtainable with the boundaries of the rules.
Who: Produced and hosted by Greg "Mastermind" Kennedy
Where:Springville Road Library
When: Saturday, November 15
Time: Registration begins at 11:00 a.m.

3 Rounds Of Gameplay:
Round One: Solo
Round Two: Doubles
Round Three: Full Band

Round One Rules:
Each band will elect one member to represent their team in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. They will get to choose and play one song from that game and their scores will be recorded. The band with the highest score will get to choose the order of which players play in the second round.

Round Two Rules:
Each band will elect a team of two players to play together a set of two songs in Guitar Hero 2. These songs and their scores will be added together and this will decide who qualifi…

Rick Bragg Featured at Annual Friends Meeting

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The annual meeting for the Friends of the Library will host special guest Rick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author from Alabama. Mr. Bragg’s new book, The Prince of Frogtown, is the third in his family trilogy. The first two books, All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man, established Bragg as a first-rate storyteller and a national voice.

The Prince of Frogtown chronicles the life of his father, a man whose difficult behavior, bad choices and alcoholism separated him from his family. The impetus for this book came from two sources. Rick Bragg decided to find something good about his father, a man who had left his mother with three young children. Secondly, Bragg “inherited” a stepson when he married “a tall red headed woman ... who was a little bit slinky.” This stepson had every advantage that Bragg didn’t have and brought Mr. Bragg full circle, to confront the issue of fatherhood.

The Prince of Frogtown intersperses the stories of Bragg’s father and the stories of his stepson. A…

It's Fall—Time to Watch Hannah and Her Sisters Again

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"And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we're gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I'll have to sit through the Ice Capades again." ~ Mickey Sachs

Every fall when there's a chill and a whiff of wood smoke in the air, I watch Woody Allen's 1986 movie Hannah and Her Sisters. I don't know why it beckons me at summer's end. There's just something about the dark wood interiors of the New York apartments, and the fact that the meat of the story is sandwiched between three Thanksgivings. The first Thanksgiving introduces the characters; the second shows their crumbling lives; and the third shows them at peace with the choices they made over the span of two years.

Now stay with me—this gets complicated. Hannah at one time was married to Mickey Sachs (Woody Allen), but the marriage crumbled when Hannah wanted children and it was discovered that Mickey was reproductively challen…

Subject Resources Available on BPL's Virtual Library

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To Read or Not to Read. That is the Question. Check out the Subject Resource Guides on BPL's Virtual Library. They contain a wealth of information and resources on a wide variety of topics. For example, the Literature Subject Guide points to lots of information on Shakespeare, including some really neat websites.Have a Happy Halloween!!

The Birmingham Historical Society's Architecture as Art Exhibit at Central Library

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Before computers there was art—true art—in architecture. Architects painstakingly drew designs by hand, mapping out minute details of buildings that brought glory to cities—and to style itself.

One such Birmingham treasure was D. O. Whilldin, whose career extended from 1904 to 1962. Still-standing structures include Legion Field, the Florentine Building, Phillips High School, Tuscaloosa High School, the Dr. Pepper Building, and a large number of civic structures, theaters, and fine residences.

The Birmingham Historical Society (BHS) displays 70 of the foremost drawings—from the small details for brass, copper or terra cotta embellishments to entire plans for Beaux-Arts buildings—in the exhibit "Architecture as Art."

"The drawings had been privately held for a number of years, seldom seen," explains Marjorie White, BHS director. "People will be utterly amazed. This is a fraction of the architect's prolific work. They were never intended for exhibition—most are…

Brown Bag Program ~ Cherokee Removal and The Trail of Tears

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Painting by Robert Lindneux, Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

The forced removal of the Cherokee Indians began on May 23, 1838, when General Winfield Scott issued the order to the military to begin forcing the Cherokee into encampments in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Up until that date, the Cherokees were enticed to remove themselves voluntarily.

This presentation will be an overview of how things were handled by the military in each state and how Alabama differed from the other states in implementing the removal orders. Wednesday, November 5, noon.

Search our catalog for information on The Trail of Tears:
DVDs
Nonfiction, adult and juvenile fiction.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Hinley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tech Tuesdays ~ Parlez-vous Français?

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Michelangelo’s David and Fats Waller. What do these people have in common? You can find them in a database. Join us as we explore the great resources for viewing your favorite art work, checking out your favorite music, or learning a new foreign language. Tuesday, November 4, noon. Live @ Central Library and simulcast at Five Points West and Springville Road libraries.

IM, del.icio.us, MySpace, Facebook, RSS, Mashups, Photobucket, Pixer, Second Life, Wiki, blogging. What are these things and will they hurt me? Join us at Tech Tuesdays for a look at the technologies sweeping the Internet and see if you need to join the crowd!

Toni Morrison Alert

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Toni Morrison's new novel, A Mercy, is set to be released on November 11. A Mercy is Toni Morrison's first novel since 2003's Love. It is already being heaped with praise from reviewers, who are calling it "brilliant," "riveting," and "poetic." Publisher's Weekly writes that "it takes hold of the reader and doesn’t let go until the wrenching final-page crescendo.”

A Mercy is set in the 1680s when the slave trade in America was in its infancy. A mother makes a decision to give up her daughter, Florens, to a kinder slave owner in what she believes to be an act of mercy.

Florens grows up believing that she was abandoned by her mother in favor of her baby brother, but the truth lies much deeper.

Check Toni Morrison's official Web site for more information on her new book.

Reserve your copy in advance.

Tony Hillerman Dies at Age 83

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Tony Hillerman was known to readers for having written detective stories with the unusual plot setting of North American lands in the southwestern United States. The setting only enhances the twists and turns of the plotline. Hillerman used two detectives, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, to offer more insight into the issue of Native Americans who lived in a modern Anglo-American world, while valuing Native American culture and values. In the stories, Navajo Indians are tribal policemen who guide readers through police procedure.

Tony Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma in 1925. He spent his childhood surrounded by Native Americans and their culture, which later impacted the focus of his work. While in New Mexico, he worked as a journalist until age 40. Hillerman though, had a desire to write fiction.

Hillerman’s first novel, The Blessing Way, was published in 1970. Tony Hillerman’s later titles all reflect Native American cultural traditions. Dance Hall of the Deadwas published in …

Food for Fines Was a Success!

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The 39 Public Libraries of Jefferson County collected approximately 11 tons of food during the month of September.

The September Library Food for Fines drive was held the month of September in conjunction with the annual National Library Card Sign-up Month. Fines were waived for each item of food donated up to $10.00 per patron. Canned goods and other non-perishable food items were collected and donated to local food banks such as United Way, Magic City Harvest, and Greater Birmingham Ministries. Many libraries donated to a local church or food bank in their neighborhood.

Spokesperson Pat Ryan, executive director of Jefferson County Library Cooperative said, “We had not held an amnesty campaign since 1997. Therefore, we felt this was a good time to give back to the community and the Food for Fines program helped us do that.” The public libraries hope to make this an annual September event.

Brown Bag Program ~ Tales of Terror

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Jim Reed, owner of Reed Books, will join us for a wonderful hour of stories to prepare us for the ghostly Halloween season. Wednesday, October 29, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Hinley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.


Digital Bookmobile Comes To Birmingham on October 30

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Millions of people are already downloading audiobooks, eBooks, and more for free from their public libraries, and you can too. Find out more when Birmingham Public Library hosts the Digital Bookmobile, October 30! With instructional videos and interactive computer stations, readers of all ages will experience new ways to enjoy digital books and more from the public library.

If you don't have time to visit the digital bookmobile, you can read more about it at http://www.digitalbookmobile.com/ or visit the library's Web site to view currently held titles at http://downloadable.jclc.org/

Details
Event: Digital Bookmobile Visit
Who: Jefferson County Library Cooperative
Where: Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place (21st St. N. & Park Pl.)
Date: Friday, October 30
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!


A sneek peek inside the Digital Bookmobile.