Showing posts from May, 2008

Birmingham Public Library Staff Win National Awards

Birmingham Public Library has received three Be Innovative! awards from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. III provides software to public, academic, special and school libraries in the US and 40 countries for managing, ordering, processing, and circulating library materials. This awards program recognizes the creative and outstanding uses of Innovative products. The Birmingham Public Library is the only library, worldwide, to receive this award three times. Jane Keeton, Acquisitions Department head, received the Most Innovative Staff Module award at the 2004 Innovative Users Group Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, for the introduction of the immensely popular Best Sellers Club. This club allows the patrons of the Birmingham Public Library automatic reserves of newly published books of fiction penned by their favorite authors. Currently, 1,980 patrons use this service and more are added daily. Melinda Shelton, webmaster for the library, accepted the award for the Most Innovative Marketi

Brown Bag Program ~ Climate: Concepts and Personal Choices

What personal choices do we make each day that affects our air, water and, climate? You might be surprised! Join us as Dr. Joyce Lanning shares insights into the world in which we live and breathe. Wednesday, June 4, 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.

David Sedaris Alert

Good news for David Sedaris fans! His new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames , is on order. Better go ahead and reserve the book and/or audio before the list gets too long. The publication date is June 3.

Sydney Pollack Dead at 73

There are very few movie goers who haven't been entertained at some point by Sydney Pollack the actor, director, and producer. Pollack died Monday of cancer at the age of 73. Pollack started out as a stage actor in 1954, and then moved behind the scenes to direct television shows in the ‘60s. He eventually moved on to directing and producing some of the most popular and entertaining films of our time, including Jeremiah Johnson , The Way We Were , The Firm , The Fabulous Baker Boys , and Cold Mountain . Robert Redford and Pollack met on the set of War Hunt in 1962, and developed a friendship that led to a successful movie collaboration. Redford starred in seven of Pollack's movies, and their epic Out of Africa went on to win Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. Pollack was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Tootsie . Pollack had a way of shining in every bit part he played. Who can ever forget Pollack as Tootsie’s frustrate

BPL@Night Hosts Author Warren Trest

Former senior historian for the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, Warren Trest has written over fifty stories and articles concerning military history. He has published three books of nonfiction and one novel. In Trest’s new book, Nobody But the People , Trest has written the first authorized biography of Alabama’s youngest governor, John Patterson. The governor led a controversial life, which started in 1954 when his father, then Alabama Attorney General Albert Patterson, was assassinated in Phenix City, AL, in an attempt to clean up the city’s crime and corruption. Gov. Patterson was elected Attorney General after his father’s death and a few years later, in 1958, he defeated George Wallace to become governor. As governor, he stepped in to stop the violence after a mob burned the Freedom Riders bus passing through Anniston. Gov. Patterson led Alabama as our state struggled to come to grips with the civil rights of its citizens. The title Nobody But

EBSCO has Green

Alternative Energy sources, Bio fuel , Sustainability - These are all buzzwords relating to the heightened interest and research on climate change. EBSCO shares that interest, and has added a new, FREE, database to their collection. Want to know more? Visit GreenFILE . With more than 380,000 records and access to more than 4,700 full text records, EBSCO can help you find answers to your questions about agriculture, climate change, polution and policy. I browsed through the publication list and found some dating back to the 1960s. Titles include: Annals of Environmental Science, Bioscience, Naturalist, Recycling Today , and Sierra .

Book Review: Girls Like Us

Even though I’ve been listening to Carole King , Joni Mitchell , and Carly Simon for decades, I had no idea I would enjoy Girls Like Us so much. Sheila Weller is a pop trivia queen and had to have spent hours hunched over microfilm machines, researching the minutiae of these ladies’ lives. The interviewees go all the way back to neighborhood playmates and school chums, and the book is filled with information about the music scene starting in the early sixties, when Carole King started plinking out the melody to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” with her husband, Gerry Goffin, in the Brill Building. Out of the three, it's Joni Mitchell's music I enjoy the most. Her songs are more introspective and her talent can't be matched in the female singer/songwriter genre. Her song "Little Green" off her famous Blue album hinted at the baby she gave up for adoption when she was just a 21-year-old unknown named Joan Anderson, and I was touched at just how it affected her life

Brown Bag Program ~ Would You Like to Be a Jewelry Detective?

Jeanne Bell will share her expertise as an Antiques Roadshow appraiser on various types of costume and other jewelry. Audience members may bring one piece of jewelry per person for an unofficial look. Wednesday, May 28, 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.

Catch The Bug

Summer Reading begins June 1!

Retirement Planning Seminar: Your Good Health—Now and in Retirement

In the ongoing series covering retirement, the Birmingham Public Library is offering its next installment, “Your Good Health–Now and in Retirement.” This session features Danny Mays, who is the Physician’s Assistant at SeniorCare Geriatric Healthcare Services. Mr. Mays will discuss the importance of health in retirement and what those planning to retire may do now to help themselves maintain a fulfilling and healthy retirement. Seminar Details Who: Danny Mays, Physician’s Assistant for SeniorCare What: “Your Good Health” in The Retirement Seminars Series When: Thursday, May 22 Time: 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: Central Library auditorium Cost: Free and open to the public

Brown Bag Program ~ Alabama's Aquatic Diversity and Preservation

Mussel shells by Paul Freeman Alabama is known for its unique aquatic species, but what is being done to preserve them? Join us as Paul Freeman, Aquatic Ecologist from the Alabama chapter of The Nature Conservancy , discusses this aquatic diversity and conservation efforts to preserve Alabama's natural heritage. Wednesday, May 21, 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.

Come Enjoy the Neo Jazz Collective

The Neo Jazz Collective is scheduled to perform both dreamy blues sound and snappy jazz at City Stages this year. However you do not have to wait until then to enjoy the sounds of this talented group of student musicians . Come hear them live Monday evening at the Five Points West Library . The Details Where: Five Points West Library When: Monday, May 19, 2008 Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Metamorphosis @ Birmingham Public Library

Tech Tuesdays ~ Social Networking for Parents: What You Need to Know About What Your Children Are Typing

BPL’s next Tech Tuesday will be an entire session about social networking sites, which are all the new media kids use to communicate, including text messaging, chats, IM’s, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and many more. This session has been designed to inform parents about the specific acronyms that kids are using and how to discover what your kids are saying. Some of the phrases that parents may have seen are PAL (Parents Are Listening), KPC (Keep Parents Clueless), and POS (Parents Over Shoulder), among a host of others. Join us as we discover and teach you the internet shorthand used by children of all ages as they text, chat, and connect themselves to the outside world. Program Details Who: Birmingham Public Library staff What: “Social Networking fort Parents” in the Tech Tuesdays series When: Tuesday, May 20 Time: 6:30 p.m. Where: Live at the Central Library auditorium and simulcast at Springville Road and Five Points West Cost: Free IM,, MySpace, Facebook, RSS, Mashups

Take Charge of your Legal Affairs

Visit us online or in person to access Alabama Legal Forms . This easy-to-use database provides a wide selection of legal forms, a comprehensive directory of Alabama attorneys and a dictionary of legal terms explained in laymen's language. This online database is just one of our many useful online resources .

Staff Pick: Thank You, Mr. Falker (Ages 4-8)

Trisha is the smallest girl in a large, loving family. When Trisha turned the glorious age of five, grandpa drizzled honey on the cover of a small book. Oh, it was such a special day for Trisha! She would finally learn to read. Her family told her that knowledge was sweet like honey, but “knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book!” Trisha loved books and longed to read. She liked to draw and the other kids in her kindergarten class would crowd around to watch her reveal her glorious unique creations. Her brother told her that she would learn to read in the first grade. Excellent! As her first grade teacher smiled, she tried to sound out the letters and words in her first grade reader. However, all Trisha could see was squiggly shapes. None of this made sense! Trisha felt different from the other children. She thought she was dumb. She spent more time drawing and more time with her dear, sweet grandmother. Soon, her family mad

BPL@Night Presents Vulcan Bones

The Vulcan Bones is in residence at Samford University , and was founded back in 2003. The members of Vulcan Bones come from many walks of life: from high school standouts to surgeons, to professional trombonists in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. They love to play a variety of music, from the earliest written trombone music, to modern jazz, popular, and, of course, movie music. The sound of a trombone choir is one of the most homogenous of all instrumental groups. From the early days of its invention for the support of voices, the trombone family has been a model for the most expressive and dynamic of music making. Program Details Where: In the atrium at the Central Library When: Thursday, May 15 Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m. BPL@Night 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 , and by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment fo

What's The Buzz...

Brown Bag Program ~ Page to Stage Presents The White Rose

Join us as we get an inside look at Birmingham Festival Theatre ’s current production, The White Rose . Consisting of five students from the University of Munich, the White Rose distributed leaflets calling for the German people to oppose Nazi oppression. Seen dropping leaflets from a top floor by a custodian at the university, the students were arrested and went to trial on February 22, 1943. All were found guilty of treason and sentenced to death by guillotine. The students would have the last word, however, when their last leaflet was smuggled to Allied forces, who used it as a propaganda leaflet and airdropped millions of copies into Germany. Wednesday, May 14, 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.


CNN is now reporting the death toll from the Myanmar cyclone at “ 22,464 with 41,000 missing. The U.N. is estimating that as many as 1 million could be missing .” What exactly is a tropical cyclone, how is it capable of causing this type of devastation and can it happen here? According to Gale’s Science Resource Center , “ a fully developed tropical cyclone is a circular complex of thunderstorms about 400 mi (645 km) in diameter and more than 7.5 mi (12 km) high. Winds near the core of the cyclone can exceed 110 mph (177 km/h).” The destruction is caused not only by winds reaching 110 miles per hour, but by storm surges that can reach 16 ft. “In 1900 the city of Galveston, Texas, was struck by a storm surge during a hurricane. One eyewitness reported that the sea rose 4 ft (1.2 m) in a matter of seconds.” The Australian Geographic reports that cyclones are not actually unique to the tropics . In fact, "basically, these are all geographical names for the same weather phenomena,&q

BPL@Night Presents Slavery By Another Name with Author Douglas Blackmon

The Wall Street Journal Atlanta bureau chief, Douglas Blackmon, will give a presentation about his groundbreaking book, Slavery By Another Name , a book which delves into the neo-slavery that existed among African Americans well into the 20th Century. After abolition, tens of thousands of African Americans were wrongfully arrested, imprisoned, and charged outrageous “fines” that they had to pay off in work camps, sometimes for many years. The “prisoners” had no way to pay the fines so they were sold as forced laborers in all types of work, from lumberyards and coal mines to brickyards and farm plantations. This practice occurred until the outbreak of WWII. Listen to the author discuss the "re-enslavement" of African Americans after the Civil War on a May 1 broadcast of Tavis Smiley . Mr. Blackmon has been writing about race and politics in the South for over 20 years. He first began writing stories in his native Mississippi, then moved on to local newspapers, and worked for

BPL@Night Presents Chopin's Afterlife: A Documentary Experience

Concert pianist and film maker Ophra Yerushalmi created the film Chopin’s Afterlife , which is a personal essay of Yerushalmi searching for Frederic Chopin. She says, “I am a pianist because of Chopin. He has been a constant presence in my life.” Frederic Chopin, one of the world’s greatest composers and certainly one of the most popular, was born in 1810 in Poland and died in 1849 in Paris. His piano compositions were generally short and he attained legendary status as a performer, although he performed less than 30 times in his entire lifetime. Chopin’s ill health caused him not to perform often or in public. He preferred to compose and teach, but his passionate piano compositions suggest a fiery interior life. Chopin was both a romantic and a revolutionary. In the film Chopin’s Afterlife , Ophra Yerushalmi attempts to bridge the gap between Chopin the romantic and Chopin the revolutionary. She helps the audience understand the power and quality of Chopin’s music and its relevance

Growing Learning Tree Park

What was a desolate field of dirt, rocks, and weedy lumps, is giving way to the foundations of a park. Over the past few months, this field was cleared, a sprinkler system installed, and decorative lighting began to appear beside the Five Points West Library . These lights and the beginnings of a ¼-mile long walking track are part of the much anticipated Learning Tree Park. Eventually, the addition of a large central learning tree, clusters of other trees, exercise stations, and a pavilion will result in a community park to compliment the library and the adjoining municipal center at Five Points West. To see more photos of the ongoing construction of Learning Tree Park click here.

BPL contributes to Civil Rights Digital Library

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing materials from the Birmingham Public Library's Digital Collection are included in the recently launched Civil Rights Digital Library . Birmingham Public Library is the only library or archives from Alabama included in this new online library. Below is the announcement sent out by the Civil Rights Digital Library. Athens, Ga., April 29, 2008 - The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) is the most ambitious and comprehensive initiative to date to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web. The CRDL promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement through its three principal components:1) a digital video archive delivering 30 hours of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement, 2) a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Movement by aggregating metadata from more than 75 libraries and allied organizations from across the natio

Brown Bag Program ~ Rabbi Milton Graffman and Temple Emanu-El's Response to WWII

photo by Julian H. Preisler and Janet Dancer Troy University historian Dan Puckett will discuss the efforts of Birmingham’s Jewish community to reach out and maintain ties with their fighting men and women during the Second World War. Wednesday, May 7, 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.