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Showing posts from August, 2008

Death of the Former Director of the Birmingham Public Library

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Jack F. Bulow
1942-2008

The former director of the Birmingham Public Library, Jack F. Bulow, died at his home on Thursday, August 28, 2008. Bulow served as the library director from 1993 to 2002. Before he became the director, he served as the associate director of the branch libraries and associate director of the central library. He started work at the library in 1971 as the assistant bookmobile librarian.

During Bulow’s service to the library, the library system won numerous awards for public service, including two John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company; the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and the Library Administration and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association.

Bulow spearheaded innovative programs including the bookstore model to deliver library service and one of the first books-by-mail programs to provide library materials to the home-bound. As associate director for the branch libraries, Bulow championed th…

Thousands Catch a Bug @ the Library

We are proud to announce that over 6000 kids caught the "reading bug" resulting in 53,336 books being read during this year's summer reading program.

As part of the program, the libraries hosted a variety of events, many of which were "Bug" related. A total of 363 summer reading events were offered at Birmingham Public Library locations during June and July with an attendance of 17,068. Thanks to all who participated in the Birmingham Public Library 2008 Summer Reading Program, “Catch the Reading Bug” and the teen program “Metamorphosis.”
The Birmingham Public Library would like to express a special thanks to our Summer Reading Partners: Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Bright House Networks, Chick-fil-A, City of Birmingham Division of Youth Services, The Junior League of Birmingham, McWane Center, and Rally’s.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

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Summer is coming to an end, but you know what that means. It's time for football! The high school season is already under way. College football "kicks off" this weekend and the NFL season opens on September 4. Here is a short list of college games you may want to catch:Alabama vs. Clemson
Alabama A&M vs. Tennessee State
Alabama State vs. Florida A&M
Auburn vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Birmingham Southern vs. Campbell
Jacksonville State vs. Georgia Tech (8/28)
Miles vs. Stillman (8/31)
Samford vs. West Georgia (8/28)
Troy vs. Middle Tennessee (8/28)
UAB vs. TulsaSEC teams have won the national championship for two straight years with both LSU and Florida beating Ohio State in the national championship game. In the NFL, two SEC quarterbacks have led their teams to victory in the last two Super Bowls. Eli Manning (Ole Miss) led his New York Giants team to victory in Super Bowl XLII and his brother Peyton (Tennessee) led the Indianapolis Colts, coached by Tony Dungy, to victory in S…

1980's Fun Carnival @ North Birmingham Library

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Starring the Preppy Buppie, the Punk, and the Valley/B Girl

Directed by North Birmingham Library

Rated F for fun!

What:1980's Fun Carnival to kick off September Food for Fines and Library Card Sign-up Month

Where:North Birmingham Library

When: Tuesday, September 2

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

ADMITTANCE: Bring your can good(s). Expiration date must be visible.

Wear your favorite 1980's costume. Come prepared for food and fun!

Tasha Simone of 107.7 will be on site!

Food For Fines

During the month of September any Jefferson County library patron may bring in donations for our food drive and have overdue charges waived for participating.

Our food drive benefiting local food banks is open to anyone, even if that someone doesn't have overdue books.

For those with late materials however, this is a golden opportunity to take a bite out of library overdue charges and help someone else at the same time.

One dollar will be waived up to a maximum of $10 per patron for each dated canned or packaged food item the patron donates. These waived fees applies only to fines for overdue materials, not lost materials.

BPL Blood Drive at Central Library

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Give the gift of life—give blood. LifeSouth Blood Bank will be in the Youth Department Story Castle on the second floor of Central Library to take your blood and give you a cookie. What a deal! A valid I.D. is required to donate. Wednesday, August 27, 9:00-3:00 p.m.

Brown Bag Program ~ Teaching Birmingham Women to Cook: From the Magic Meals Cooking Schools to Julia Childs

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Photo courtesy of BPL Digital Collections
Birmingham's rich culinary history was built, in large part, by women who cooked in their homes for their families every day. Learn about how Birmingham women shaped the city's culinary history, economy, and character simply by putting dinner on the table. Wednesday, August 27, 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.

Fiction Book Review: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Do you like books that contain interesting characters, a touch of mystery, and are filled with humor and insight? If you are in the mood for an unusual mystery, read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Timeby Mark Haddon. The story is told through the eyes of a unique and talented youngster, Christopher John Francis Boone. From the beginning, we enter the mind, including the thought processes and emotions of this young autistic boy.

Christopher speaks to us in a simplistic style as he introduces his family and friends. As he describes his interactions with neighbors, friends and family, we develop an insight into his emotional maturity, thoughts and feelings. We experience the joys, frustrations and day-to-day emotions of an autistic individual as he relates his account of the mysterious death of a neighborhood poodle named Wellington. The mystery itself is quite unusual, adding to the wit and eccentric flavor of the book. Through the eyes of this character, we increase our de…

Sister Dearest

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His hand served as an ashtray for her Ricola cough drop. He flew coach while she flew first class. He was cut as a backup dancer and hired to wipe the sweat from his sister’s naked torso between songs and pick up her dirty undies off the floor. Pity poor Christopher Ciccone, a self-described Jeeves and Madonna’s younger brother. Is it any wonder he’s seeking revenge through that time-tested mode of retaliation—the tell-all book?

Regardless of your degree of affinity for Madonna, she is one of the most famous women in the world. She is a ruthless businesswoman and a savvy entertainer who changed like a chameleon every few years to stay fresh for hungry fans who ate up every song note, movie line, and costume change. Considering Mrs. Ritchie is half a century old, you just know this is going to be one worth-it read.

I've reserved my place in line for Life with My Sister Madonna. How about you?

Nonfiction Book Review: The Color of Water

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In the autobiography, The Color of Water, James McBride tells the emotional and inspiring story of growing up in Brooklyn, born to an African-American father and a Jewish mother. During his early youth, James recognized that his mother seemed different. Of course, as any youth would, he began asking questions. James asked his mother about the color of her skin, she remarked that she was simply light-skinned. James also asked what color God was and she said: “God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color.” When James asked if he was black or white, Ruth angrily said to him, “You’re a human being. Educate yourself or you’ll be a nobody!” He experienced racism and prejudice on the Brooklyn streets.

As an adult, James decided to lovingly pay tribute to his mother by revealing her story through a memoir. Ruth McBride’s story slowly unraveled over a period of fourteen years. Alternating with her story are chapters that relate the story of James McBride. As with any family, you will f…

Dennis Lehane Alert

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For Dennis Lehane fans the long two years' wait is over. His new book, The Given Day, will be released September 23. Go ahead and get a jump on the competition and reserve it in advance.

Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane's long-awaited eighth novel unflinchingly captures the political and social unrest of a nation caught at the crossroads between past and future. The Given Day tells the story of two families—one black, one white—swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power.
Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era—Babe Ruth; Eugene O'Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson's ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer …

BPL@Night to Host Act of Congress Concert

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Night music in the atrium of the Birmingham Public Library is a unique experience, and the library has teamed with one of the most exciting bands in the city, Act of Congress, to bring a free concert to the library’s atrium on August 21, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

Act of Congress is relatively new and has released an EP titled Love Remains. Their next release, Declaration, is due out in September 2008. The band is a unique blend of acoustic instrumentation and vocal harmony. Their music has been called a mix of bluegrass, rock, and jazz, sometimes called “newgrass.” They have a diverse sound and appeal to several generations of listeners.

In 2007 Act of Congress worked with Live Nation, opening for artists such as John Mayer, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, and Brooks and Dunn.

AOC has been very active on the Birmingham music scene, appearing at City Stages, Do Dah Day, Alabaster City Fest, Buck Creek Festival, Compound Folk Fest, Workplay, and the B&A Warehouse.

The band consists of Bethany Borg (f…

Brown Bag Program ~ Senior Fitness

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Fitness is for everyone these days, so if you are one of the multitude of active adults—or just feel that way—join us for an hour of fun and information. Jennifer Cordova of ICON Performance will join us for an introduction to great fitness, so come ready to experience. Wednesday, August 20, 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.

Two Great Entertainers

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Two entertainers whose performances were enjoyed by millions died over the weekend. Comedian Bernie Mac died on August 9 and musician Isaac Hayes died on August 10.

Bernie Mac, star of The Bernie Mac Show and one of The Original Kings of Comedy was born October 5, 1958 and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Well-known in Chicago comedy circles, his popularity landed him a spot on Def Comedy Jam hosted by Damon Wayans. Damon was so impressed with his comedy that he offered him a role in the 1992 film Mo’ Money. In 1997, Mac joined Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric the Entertainer on the comedy tour, The Original Kings of Comedy. The tour was so successful that Spike Lee filmed it in 2000 for the big screen. Bernie Mac appeared in numerous films including Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and Ocean’s Eleven. He starred in the Peabody Award-winning television show The Bernie Mac Show from 2001-2006 on the Fox network. He also wrote two memoirs: I Ain’t Scared of You and Maybe You Ne…

Birmingham Museum of Art's Library Catalog is Now Online

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The Birmingham Public Library knows firsthand about the convenience of online services, so we are happy to report that the Birmingham Museum of Art's library collection is now accessible online at http://bma.kohalibrary.com/.

Because of the unique nature of the collection, the items do not check out but may be used on the premises.

The library is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Beginning Genealogy Classes at Central Library

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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
Sunday
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
September 14
October 12

Tuesday
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
August 26
September 30
October 28

Nonfiction Book Review: My Stroke of Insight

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My Stroke of Insightchronicles the personal journey of Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist who experienced a rare stroke involving the left hemisphere of her brain at the age of 37. The journey began on the morning of December 10, 1996. Within only four hours, she was left unable to walk, talk, speak, read, write or recall events in her life. Blood filled the left portion of her brain, causing it to swell. The stroke involved a hemorrhage in the middle to posterior portion of the left hemisphere of her brain- the analytical portion, while the intuitive right hemisphere allowed her to miraculously experience peace during this tragic event. The left portion of the brain allowed Jill to recognize that she was having a stroke and finally enabled her to seek the help she desperately needed. Jill required eight years for complete recovery.

Taylor emphasizes that the brain is a marvelous and miraculous structure. The human brain is wired to allow individuals to perceive the wo…

Don't Stand In Line ... Pay Fines Online

You now have the convenience of paying any library fines and fees online. To get started, simply go to view your record.
Forms of payments accepted:MasterCard VisaAmerican ExpressDiscover CardNo service charges are applied for making online payments.

BPL@Night @ Five Points West Presents Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All-Stars

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BPL@Night invites you to Five Points West Library to hear legendary jazz performer, composer, and producer Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All-Stars. Renown for his style and musical prowess, Eatong is always at the top of his game. Join us for an evening of great classic jazz.

Event Details
Where: Five Points West Library Auditorium
When: Tuesday, August 12
Time: 6:00 p.m.

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.

Brown Bag Program ~ Money, Budgeting, and All That Stuff

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We all know we need to bone up on those financial matters. Join us as Stephanie Layton, H&R Block consultant, shares tips on money matters, budgeting for college, and other financial issues. Wednesday, August 13, 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.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Dead at 89

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a notable Russian writer who first drew worldwide attention in 1962 with One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, his novella recounting the arduous existence of prisoners in the system of concentration camps devised under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. According to Ludmila Koehler, writing in Russian Review, Solzhenitsyn's literary debut "swept into the world like a gust of fresh wind." In the ensuing twelve years Solzhenitsyn continued to produce esteemed works, including an ambitious study, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, and two novels, The First Circle and Cancer Ward. Such writings, while winning acclaim in the west, further aggravated his notoriety in the USSR, and in 1974, four years after receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, Solzhenitsyn was summarily expelled from his homeland.

Soviet authorities, who had previously denied Solzhenitsyn permission to leave the country, decided that he could n…

In the News: Pakistan's K2 Claims More Lives

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Pakistan's K2 is not the highest mountain in the world—that would be Mount Everest. But although K2 is the second highest peak in the world, it is considered a more challenging climb to the mountaineers who have attempted its summit.

Early Saturday morning as seventeen climbers from seven countries were descending K2, an avalanche dislodged the rope they were using and three climbers were killed. Two managed to return to base camp while the others waited for rescue. When rescue didn't come, more climbers died trying to make it back to camp. A total of eleven climbers died in this accident.

To date this is the deadliest accident in the history of K2 mountaineering. AdventureStats.com reports that sixty-six other climbers have died since 1939.
Mountaineering is a popular sport, as is evident by the number of books written by and about climbers. Go here for a general list of books and media on mountaineering.
I'm a die-hard fan of mountaineering memoirs, and my favorites are Touc…

Beijing--Games of the XXIX Olympiad

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What comes to mind when you think about the Olympic Games? Do you remember watching someone set a new world record? Perhaps you visualize Antonio Rebollo igniting the Olympic Flame in Barcelona with an expertly-placed arrow. If you’re like me, music from the Olympics starts playing in your head: “Summon the Heroes” by John Williams, “Reach” by Gloria Estefan, or “One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston. The music brings the Olympics to life for me and builds my excitement for the competition.

I was thrilled to attend the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. I remember what it was like to walk into Olympic Stadium and see the flame burning brightly overhead. Sitting with people from all over the world to watch the athletes compete is something I will remember forever.

Although I didn’t get to see the event in person, my favorite Olympic memory is from the 1996 Games. I watched with pride and admiration as Michael Johnson broke the world record in the 200m sprint, a record that still stan…