Showing posts from October, 2008

Subject Resources Available on BPL's Virtual Library

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

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

Brown Bag Program ~ Cherokee Removal and The Trail of Tears

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?

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,, 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

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

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 Dead was publishe

Food for Fines Was a Success!

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

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

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 or visit the library's Web site to view currently held titles at Details Event: Digital Bookmobile Visit Who: Jefferson County Library Cooperativ e 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.

Laptops Available for Checkout at the Birmingham Public Libraries

You already know that you can use your library card to checkout books, movies, music, downloadables, and art prints. But did you also know that you can use your library card to checkout laptops? All Birmingham Public libraries now offer laptops for one hour in-house checkouts. One laptop is available at each of the Birmingham Public branches , and there are twenty available at the Central Library . To checkout a laptop, you must: Be 18 years or older Have a valid Alabama driver's license Have a full-use library card in good standing So, the next time you're in the library and the computer stations are full, pull out your card, checkout a laptop, and find a table. Wireless Internet access and printing are available from wherever the laptop is checked out.

BPL@Night to Host Richard Arrington Jr.

Former Birmingham mayor Richard Arrington Jr. will visit the library to discuss his book, There's Hope for the World: The Memoir of Birmingham, Alabama's First African-American Mayor . Mayor Arrington served a record-setting five terms as Birmingham’s chief executive. He bridged the gap in a city determined to move forward to a new future. Birmingham flourished under his leadership. When Arrington left office, the city had its lowest unemployment rate in its history, crime had been reduced to its lowest levels in 25 years, and the city had funded a $260 million school construction program. Richard Arrington holds a Ph.D. in zoology and biochemistry and did postdoctoral work in higher education administration at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. During his two decades as Birmingham’s mayor, he served on dozens of community service boards and on the Executive Committee of the Alabama Democratic Party, and was chair of the National Democratic Party’s Platform Com

Levi Stubbs and the Motown Sound

One of the signature voices of the Motown era was lost on Friday. Levi Stubbs, lead singer of The Four Tops , died October 17 at his home in Detroit. Stubbs, age 72, was one of two surviving members of The Four Tops along with Abdul Fakir. Renaldo Benson died in 2005 and Lawrence Payton died in 1997. Stubbs’ famous voice was also heard by many as Audrey the man-eating plant in the film Little Shop of Horrors . The group formed in Detroit in 1953 as The Four Aims. They were the opening act or sang backup for artists such as Count Basie , Della Reese , and Billy Eckstine . In 1956, they changed their name to The Four Tops and recorded their first single. After recording for several labels during the 1950s, they signed with Motown in 1963. Their first Motown hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” was recorded in 1964. They reached the top of the Billboard chart for the next two years with the songs “I Can’t Help Myself” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” With a career spanning several decades, the

Brown Bag Program ~ Grantwriting 101

Development Consultant Barbara C. Traylor, CFRE , will discuss some basics of good grant writing. Get some ideas about where you can find grant opportunities, how to approach a grant proposal, and how to follow up once you've written your proposal. Wednesday, October 22, 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.

Tech Tuesdays ~ Everything You Always Wanted to Know, But Can't Find!

Looking for test help, a newspaper, or just a historical fact? Join us as we check out the great online resources that are at your fingertips—@ home , @ school, @ the office, or @ your library. Tuesday, October 21, 6:30 p.m. Live @ Central Library and simulcast at Five Points West Library . IM,, 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!

Voter Registration

Dropping by your local public library today? Sign up to vote while you are there! Monday, October 20, is the last day to register to vote or fill out a Change of Address card for the November 4 general election. Visit the JCLC Web site for hours and locations of the 39 public libraries in Jefferson County. If you need to register to vote or change your address after October 20, visit the Registrar’s Office in your County Courthouse or the motor vehicle office. Ballots will include U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, state and local judgeships, Public Service Commission President, Board of Education, and some local offices.

BPL@Night Rocks with George and the G-men @ Avondale Library

Originally created as a blues band, the G-Men have brought their eclectic mix of blues, rock, soul, and funk to venues throughout the Southeast, including this year's Stokin' the Fire BBQ Festival at Sloss Furnace and the 2008 Jazz on the Grass Concert and Labor Day Festival at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Gardens. George and the G-Men was formed in 1997 by Birmingham area singer/songwriter George Griffin. The G-Men are known for their high-energy shows containing a mix of original material and creatively modified cover songs. The band has released two CDs, Caught Between The Sun And The Moon in 1998 and 22nd Street Live in 2003. Check out the George and the G-Men myspace page for show dates, music, pictures and performance videos! Performance Details Who: George and the G-men Where: Avondale Library When: Tuesday, October 21 Time: 6:30 p.m. BPL@Night performances are free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. BPL thanks Compass Bank

World Book Online Now Available at Jefferson County Public Libraries

Thanks to the Alabama Public Library Service , all Jefferson County public libraries have access to World Book Online. The link to the online encyclopedia can be found on the Birmingham Public Library's Encyclopedias and Dictionaries databases page. World Book Online Reference Center features: all articles from the 22-volume print set plus over 8,000 more; over 12,000 pictures and maps; 10,000 sounds, including pronunciations; more than 100 videos and animations; 60,000 cross-reference links; more than 7,000 links to editor-approved Web sites. Access requires a library card .

Teen Read Week: Books With Bite@ Your Library (October 12th-18th)

Grab some "Books With Bite @ Your Library!" The library is the place where you can find all the cool stuff you love! We have all the new books , movies , magazines, graphic novels and audiobooks . And guess what? That's right, it's all free!! Remember : "Read For The Fun Of It!" And have a blast!! Let's start with some books about " Dead, Dying & the Undead ." (from YALSA's popular paperbacks for Young Adults Committee). Horror Fiction Lists for Young Adults (from ) Now, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!! You might also take a look at ALA's Best Books for Young Adults 2008 .(announced by Young Adult Library Services Association).

My Top 3 Horror Novel Picks

I teethed on horror. For some reason this genre appealed to me as a child. I treasured my Gus the Ghost books. Even my Colorforms was a haunted house, and I spent many blissful hours moving Dracula around his cobwebbed dwelling. When I was older, I would prowl the Homewood Library’s shelves in search of Kathryn Tucker Windham ’s southern ghost stories. I discovered Stephen King when I was a teen and never looked back. In honor of my favorite holiday, I'd like to share the three horror novels that stay with me long after I finish the last sentence and put them away. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House has the best opening paragraph of any book I have ever read. It immediately sets the mood and gives ominous life to a brick and glass structure: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hi

Brown Bag Program ~ Dancing at Noon

Photo courtesy of BBDA Once again we are offering a repeat performance from the Birmingham Ballroom Dance Association . Dress casual and come learn some basic dances that will keep you on the dance floor at the next social event. We always have a blast and are so proud to bring back this popular event. You do not have to bring a dance partner. Come get your dance on! Wednesday, October 15, 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.

Brown Bag Program ~ Birmingham Museum of Art to Host Discussion on Leonardo da Vinci's Drawings

"The most beautiful drawing in the world"— the preparatory sketch of the angel for Leonardo's Madonna of the Rocks The Birmingham Museum of Art will host one of the most significant groups of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci to be loaned to a U.S. museum by the Biblioteca Reale (Royal Library) in Turin, Italy, from September 28 through November 9, 2008. Organized by the BMA, the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin" encompasses one of Leonardo's most celebrated notebooks—the Codex on the Flight of Birds —and eleven important drawings, including one described by Bernard Berenson as the "most beautiful drawing in the world." The drawings have never before traveled as a group nor in their entirety been made available outside of Italy. Program Details Who: Jeannine O'Grody, Chief Curator, BMA What: Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci Where: Second floor Story Castle at Central Library When: Wednesday, October 15 Time:

Children's Book Review: Gabriella's Song (Ages 4-8)

Set amid the winding canals of Venice , Gabriella's Song , written by Candace Fleming , is the story of a young girl who transforms the lives of others through the beauty of music. Venice is truly the city of music, filled with romantic notes of love, notes of happiness and songs of sadness. It is the birthplace of opera and the air seems to carry arias and other melodic tones throughout the city. Gabriella walks home, listening to the rhythmic sounds of the city. These magical notes blend with the sound of her mother's voice, eventually becoming Gabriella's song. Gabriella's heart song touches others as she meets the baker, a widow and a gondolier. The song winded and danced its way along the wind. Her song was eventually heard throughout Venice. This beautiful story reminds us of the transformative power of music and the beauty in sharing. Bravissimo Gabriella!

Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit

The City of Birmingham is lucky to have one of the best art museums in the Southeast, if not the entire country. The Birmingham Museum of Art proves this time and again with the quality of exhibits it brings to the city. From September 28 thru November 9, the museum is featuring the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Biblioteca Reale in Turin . The Birmingham Museum of Art is the first museum in the United States to exhibit this specific collection of drawings, so please take advantage of the opportunity. Before or after your visit to the museum, be sure to check out the display of books on Leonardo Da Vinci and other Italian Renaissance artists in the Arts, Literature, and Sports Department. We also have a framed print of DaVinci’s The Last Supper available for checkout.

Award-Winning Storyteller Antonio Sacre to Entertain at the Birmingham Public Library

Antonio Sacre brings fables and family to life in stories told in English, Spanish, or an animated interweaving of both. The performances will include his own stories of growing up bi-culturally in a Cuban and Irish-American household. Sacre and his performances have been praised as "remarkable," "powerful," and "genius." Visit his homepage to learn more about Sacre and the accolades his storytelling has garnered him over the years. Performance Details Tuesday, October 14 Central Library * 10:00 a.m. Avondale Library * 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 15 Springville Road Library * 10:30 a.m. North Birmingham Library * 1:00 p.m. East Lake Library * 3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16 Central Library * 6:30 p.m. Benefiting Fiesta Scholarship Friday, October 17 Five Points West Library * 10:00 a.m. Smithfield Library * 1:00 p.m. Enjoy an animated version of Sacre's Barking Mouse. Links of interest: Fiesta: A Celebration of Hispanic Culture, Birmingham, A

Dr. Natalie Davis on the Presidential Race

Dr. Natalie Davis, Professor of Political Science at Birmingham-Southern College , speaking on the 2008 presidential election at Wednesday’s BPL Brown Bag Program . Thanks to the Birmingham Weekly for posting the video of this Brown Bag Program . The video is split into five parts. Part 1 (above) Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Let Your Voice Be Heard at Library Town Hall Meetings

The Birmingham Public Library staff would like to invite residents of Birmingham to participate in the upcoming "Town Hall Meetings @ Your Library". We are seeking input from the community to help plan for the collections and related services in each location. Citizens of Birmingham are encouraged to share their ideas with us and explore the connections between quality public libraries and improved community life. Adults and children may also fill out surveys online or pick up a survey at any Birmingham Public Library location. Town Hall Meetings @ Your Library : Place: Birmingham Public Library locations Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m. Dates: Tuesday, October 7 Central Library Monday, October 13 Five Points West Tuesday, October 14 Avondale Monday, October 20 North Birmingham Tuesday, October 21 Springville Road Surveys: Adult and Children The staff of the Birmingham Public Library is updating its collection management policy. A collection management policy is a tool that guides th

Brown Bag Program ~ Gardening: Its Role in Nature

Sallie Lee of The Jefferson County Extension Service will join us to discuss the important role that gardening can play in nature. Wednesday, October 8, 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.