Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Prescription Discount Card Available

Birmingham City Councilor Roderick Royal held a press conference Thursday morning, April 30, at the downtown Birmingham Public Library to announce the City of Birmingham’s participation in the National League of Cities (NLC) Prescription Discount Card Program.

The discount card program, available starting Monday, May 4, 2009, will save Birmingham residents an average of 20 percent off the retail price of prescription medications. Cards can be picked up at any of the Birmingham Public Library’s locations or downloaded from

Benefits of the program:

*Average savings of 20%
*9 out of 10 pharmacies nationwide participate
*No enrollment fees
*No limit on how many times the card can be used
*No age requirements
*No income requirements
*All family members are covered
*Pet medications that are also used to treat a human condition are covered

To get more program information, locate a pharmacy, look up a drug price, or access health resources, visit or call toll-free 1-888-620-1749.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Children's Book Review: Llama Llama Misses Mama (ages 4-8)

book cover
Anna Dewdney’s new book Llama Llama Misses Mama is here just in time to comfort children attending school for the first time.

It’s the first time for Llama Llama too, and he is awakened earlier than usual to get ready for his day. They hop into their little pink car and drive to school, where Llama Llama is introduced to his teacher and other new faces:
Drive to school and park the car.
Tell the teacher who you are.

Meet new faces.
Hear new names.
See new places.
Watch new games.
Llama Llama is fine as long as Mama is by his side, but soon he must say goodbye and that’s when he starts feeling shy and alone. Suddenly he’s not liking it at his new school.
Strange new teacher
Strange new toys.
Lots of kids
And lots of noise!

What would Llama like to do?
Llama Llama feels so new…
The teacher and students try to engage Llama Llama in their fun activities, but he’s having none of it.
It’s too much for little Llama…
Llama Llama misses mama!
It isn’t until his teacher explains how this school thing works that Llama Llama relaxes and gets coaxed into eating, drawing, and running around on the playground.
Don’t be sad, new little Llama!
It’s OK to miss your mama.
But don’t forget—
when day is through,
she will come right back to you.
By the end of the school day Llama Llama can’t wait to tell Mama about his adventures, and realizes that he can love Mama and school.

I'm a fan of rhyming children's books and Dewdney's Llama Llama series is always a treat to read aloud.

Other books in the Llama Llama series:

Brown Bag Program: A Powerful Presence: The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the History of Birmingham

book cover
From the city’s early industrial development through its civil rights struggles, and on to today, Birmingham’s Chamber of Commerce has played a major role in the community. Join us to hear Birmingham author Mark Kelly discuss and sign copies of his new book, A Powerful Presence. Wednesday, May 6, noon.

brown bag imageFeed 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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BPL@Night to Host After Class, an Instrumental Celtic Trio

After ClassThe Library is proud to host After Class, a Birmingham trio who play instrumental music. The group performs many of the songs written by blind Irish harpist, Turlough O'Carolan (1638-1730). After Class offers a modern interpretation of some of these tunes which include “Si Beag Si Mor,” “Planxty George Brabazon,” and “Lord Inchiquin,” as well as complete sets of Civil War, Celtic, and other melodies which made their way from Wales and Ireland to Appalachia.

The band has recorded six albums. Homespun Holidays features classic holiday songs with an old-time feel. A Celtic Collection features old Irish tunes and ballads. Faith Of Our Fathers includes After Class’s version of some of the most beloved hymns, including “Amazing Grace,” “Blessed Assurance,” and “Rock of Ages.”

The band’s album Hues Of Blues & Greys offers a variety of songs from the Civil War era. The self-titled album, After Class, includes several of the band’s favorite songs. Their latest album Johnny Has Gone, includes such favorites as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Listen to the Mockingbird.”

The band members include Rob Angus, who plays the hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar and other stringed instruments. Brant Beene and his classical guitar make up the bass and rhythm section of After Class. Brant plays mandolin and also contributes original music for the group's performances. Mark Weldon has toured professionally as a violin and fiddle player with several groups including Three On A String and as a band member for country star Mel Tillis. Mark's outstanding musical ability is not limited to the violin. He also plays the mandolin, guitar, and cello, writes original music, and is responsible for most of the group’s arrangements.

This special performance will be free of charge. The Library will provide light refreshments.

Event: BPL@Night hosting instrumental group, After Hours
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Central Library’s Atrium
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.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Help Improve Computer and Internet Access in Libraries

Birmingham Public Library is participating in a nationwide Internet survey to find out how people use the free computers and Internet connections in public libraries. The U.S. IMPACT web survey is being conducted by the University of Washington Information School with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Until now, there has been no nationwide research about how library computing services fit into peoples’ lives. Some believe that library computers are used mostly for entertainment, but librarians report that people use them to find jobs, stay connected with family and friends, or to get health information. The goal of the U.S. IMPACT studies is to collect evidence about the ways computers in public libraries help people and their communities across the United States. This information will be used to improve these services and to inform policy makers about how best to fund and support them. In these hard economic times, this information will be invaluable.

The survey is completely anonymous and takes 10 to 15 minutes to fill out. The researchers at the University of Washington encourage you to take a few minutes to help improve public library computing services across the United States. For more information visit the IMPACT studies web site at

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Movie Review: Doubt (2008)

streep and hoffmanFather Brendan Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is right: Gossip is like feathers pushed by the wind. They are impossible to gather up and take back, flung far and wide, settling into corners, whispering into ears, inflicting their damage.

Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) believes she knows the nature of priests, and is ever vigilant about any impropriety between a priest and a child. She tells her nuns to report anything suspicious, and the guileless Sister James (Amy Adams) does so in a moment of guilt-riddled suspicion, relaying to the Sister Donald Miller's trip to the rectory in the middle of class, and a whiff of alcohol on the frightened student when he returns. This is all the proof that Sister Aloysius needs to start the campaign to oust Father Flynn, a priest with long fingernails who is on his third parish and is bucking the strict nature of her principalship.

When Aloysius calls Donald Miller's mother (Viola Davis) to the school for a meeting, she is stunned by the mother's reaction to the news of her son's alleged molestation. A revelation about Donald's home life adds another layer of doubt to the situation.

Viola Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Mrs. Miller, even though she is in only two short scenes. She is more than deserving of this Best Supporting Actress nod. I have never before seen her act, but Davis holds her own with Streep and that can't be an easy thing to do. (Hoffman, Streep, and Adams were also nominated for Academy Awards.)

Depending on whom you choose to believe, the evidence either mounts as Doubt progresses or remains scant as ever. I waffled on Flynn's guilt throughout the movie, watching the reactions not only of the the first black student at the school—Donald Miller, the boy at the heart of the accusations—but of two other boys whose behavior around Flynn might raise a flag of caution. How much are we supposed to read into a flinch, a pulling away, and a wry smile?

Pulitzer Prize Has Birmingham Public Library Connection

Birmingham Public Library Archives Department's Reading Room

Each year, thousands of researchers from throughout the U.S. and the world use the collections of the Birmingham Public Library Archives. Many of these researchers produce books, articles and documentaries. One of these books researched in the Archives, Doug Blackmon's Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. A groundbreaking study of the convict lease system, Blackmon's book has won wide spread praise and he drew a packed house when he spoke and read from his book at BPL last fall.

The previous Pulitzer Prize winning books researched at BPL are:

In addition to prize winning books, films and documentaries researched in the Archives have received the Academy Award, the Emmy and the Peabody.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

How often have you been told that you’re missing the forest for the trees? In 1962, the midst of what many historians consider the most politically tumultuous period of the 20th. century, an American Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, saw the forest for the trees. Nelson realized that if we didn’t educate ourselves about the dangers facing our environment, the political issues facing the nation and the world would become moot. From this realization was born Earth Day.

In an era of Civil Rights, the Cold War and the Viet Nam war, Senator Nelson was disturbed that our political system, and indeed, most Americans, were ignorant and unconcerned about the state of the environment. He convinced President Kennedy to “take a five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September of 1963” to discuss the environment with the American people. Later, he co-opted the teach-in methods of the anti-war movement to further educate the American electorate about environmental concerns. Nelson’s first, tentative steps grew into a movement. Today, in the words of the Earth Day Network, “more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.”

Join this world wide day of environmental education by logging on to the Earth Day Network, checking out a book about the environment from your local library, or clicking on one of our numerous environmental databases. And remember, it’s sometimes helpful to step back from all the individual problems and notice the forest.

Brown Bag Program: Musical Memories

uso logo
Join us at the Birmingham Public Library for an insightful look at the World War II USO Camp Shows with Barb Sparks. At 17 she toured playing jazz for the troops at home and abroad. Ms. Sparks will take us on a musical and pictorial journey through the life and times at the USO Camp Shows. Wednesday, April 29, noon.

brown bag imageFeed 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Alabama Encyclopedia Named Top Free Resource

Congratulations to the Encyclopedia of Alabama ( for being listed by Library Journal as one of the top 12 free reference resources available online.

According to Library Journal, The Encylopedia of Alabama is "an excellent example of a well-designed site on the history, culture, and geography of a U.S. state. Developed by the Alabama Humanities Foundation and Auburn University, it includes enhanced multimedia content. Use the site to search for the “Selma to Montgomery March” of 1965, or look for information on To Kill a Mockingbird, set in fictional Maycomb between 1932 and 1935." Information taken from the Birmingham Public Library Archives Department is also included as a part of the Encylopedia.

The other eleven free reference sites are:

Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project: Lincoln/Net
The Alfred Russel Wallace Page
The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online
Documenting the American South
Earth Portal
Economic Indicators; Money and Politics: Illuminating the Connection
MRQE: Movie Review Query Engine
Poetry Foundation

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brown Bag Program: The Life and Legacy of Adam Clayton Powell

adam clayton powell
Before Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, or Barack Obama, there was Adam Clayton Powell Jr. An extremely charismatic, complex, and controversial preacher, playboy, and politician. He forever changed the politico-cultural landscape of the United States. Presentation by J.D. Jackson. Wednesday, April 22, noon.

brown bag imageFeed 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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Attention Veterans! Project SALUTE Has Answers

project salute logo
Entitled to federal benefits? Applying for federal benefits? Fighting for increased benefits? Project SALUTE has answers!

FREE Benefits Information Session
FREE Individual Legal Consultations about your disability and pension matters

North Birmingham Public Library
2501 31st Avenue North
Birmingham, AL, 35207

Saturday, April 18
10:00 a.m. - 4: p.m.

Please bring your DD Form 214, recent ratings decisions, and any other documents which will help us understand and evaluate your federal veteran benefit situation.

Veterans, tell your story! If you wold like to take part in promoting Project SALUTE in your area, please call the Special Projects Producer, Dick Jefferson, at 1-888-836-5294, University of Detroit Mercy.

$5 Off Your Fines During National Library Week, April 12-18

In celebration of National Library Week, April 12-18, the Birmingham Public Library is offering coupons for up to $5 off overdue fines. The coupon may not be used for lost or damaged items. Limit one coupon per cardholder for a one-time use only. Coupons can be found in The Reader at all Jefferson County Public Libraries and online at

This is our way of saying thank you for making our libraries successful.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

National Library Week: "Worlds Connect @ Your Library"

National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries—school, public, academic, and special—participate. National Library Week 2009 will be celebrated with the theme, "Worlds connect @ your library."

New York Times best selling author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis is the Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2009.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Brown Bag Program: The New Science of Sustainability

book cover
Come learn about the new sustainability movement. Bob Dyck, Professor Emeritus of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, will discuss his recently published book, The New Science of Sustainability: Building a Foundation for Great Change. Wednesday, April 15, noon.

brown bag imageFeed 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.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

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

cleve eaton
BPL@Night invites you to Five Points West Library to hear legendary jazz performer, composer, and producer Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All-Stars. Join us for an evening of great classic jazz.

Event: BPL@Night performance by Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All-Stars
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Five Points West Regional Library
Cost: Free

Light refreshments will be served.

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.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April 2009: National Poetry Month

April is the perfect time for National Poetry Month. Springtime brings thoughts of romance, beauty and love of life. Celebrate this month by reading a poem, writing poetry or reading a biography of your favorite poet. Whatever you choose to do, celebrate life by doing the things you love: feel the wind in your face, take a walk in the rain, walk barefoot in the grass, look closely at the small things in nature that often go unnoticed, breathe in the scent of a flower. The poetry will flow beautifully, rhythmically and naturally. You'll be surprised at what you'll discover through poetry! You may be inspired to try your hand at writing some poetry of your own.

Take a look at the following library resources for more ideas:

Poetry Books

Children's Poetry Materials

Adult Poetry Materials

Try some of the following ideas to help celebrate:

Please take the challenge this month and write a poem. Take a poem along with you to read.

Sign up for the poem-a-day e-mails. During National Poetry Month, will send one new poem to your inbox each day.

Take a look at 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month (Ideas from

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by downloading and printing one of the following poems to share with others on April 30, 2009 (pdf format)

These poems are courtesy of (Poems for Your Pocket Page)

El Dorado

I'm Nobody, Who Are You?

From You Have I Been Absent In The Spring

The Lockless Door

Websites to visit:

We look forward to see you! Send us your poetry and ideas. Now, what are you waiting for?

Children's Book Review: Listen To The Wind (Ages 4-8)

Listen To The Wind Book Jacket
Listen To The Wind , by Greg Mortenson , is a beautiful true story of a doctor who lost his way in the mountains of Pakistan, but was then guided by "voices on the wind" to help the children of Korphe live a better life. Mortenson first told his moving story in the New York Times bestselling adult book, Three Cups of Tea (2006). The same story is now a picture book for children which combines text with collage. The collages are unique works of art created by piecing together scraps of paper, colorful fabrics and other scraps added to base papers. Susan L. Roth, the illustrator of the book, was inspired to create these pieces of art after studying actual artifacts from Baltistan, which is a region in Pakistan. Her work offers a tactile dimension to the book that draws children into the story. These collages connect the writer, artist and readers to faraway cultures and people we would like to meet.

Dr. Greg Mortenson traveled from the United States to climb the mountains of Pakistan. He came upon the small village of Korphe after losing his way. The people of Korphe helped this stranger by giving him tea, food and a bed by the fire. Dr. Mortenson felt that he must help them in return. The wise man of the village told him that he must “listen to the wind” for the answers as to how he might help. Dr. Mortenson then knew what he must do.

Share this inspirational story with a young child. The book's themes of love, kindness and peace should inspire everyone to be of service. Each collage is bright, colorful and filled with dimension. The reader can almost feel the colorful, soft scarves worn by the Korphe children seen in the illustrations. However, the illustrations are more than pieces of art, they are more importantly a connection between people and cultures. Sometimes answers float on the wind, bringing miracles to those in need.

Please visit the website to learn more about Greg Mortenson.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Seasoned Performers in "Grimm and Bear It"

Something's gone terribly wrong in the world of fairy tales. All of your favorite villains are getting pink slips when the Front Office decides that they are too scary for children.

Join the Seasoned Performers as they help the bad guys remind audiences of the importance of familiar stories and the value of wisdom that comes with age.

Come see "Grimm and Bear It!" at Five Points West Library on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Please register in advance by calling the Five Points West Information Department at 226-4015. A light lunch will be served along with the play.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Brown Bag Program: The Orchestra Rocks

aso logo
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra shares their musical life and work. Wednesday, April 8, noon.

brown bag imageFeed 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.

Popular Posts