Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brown Bag Lunch—Good Wood: A Fan's History of Rickwood Field

Old photo of Rickwood Field entrance
Ben Cook, sportscaster, journalist, and author of Good Wood: A Fan's History of Rickwood Field, says it best, “My Dad, who took me to the ball park as a little boy, taught me to love not only the game itself, but he also instilled in me a love and reverence for Rickwood Field and its glorious history.” Join us as Mr. Cook shares his experiences about the ballpark and its history! Wednesday, August 4, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives Department

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BPL @ Night with Cool Jazz on a Hot Night tonight at North Birmingham Library

BPL @ Night presents the Birmingham Heritage Band tonight at North Birmingham Library. Please join us for cool jazz on a hot night. All ages are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Where: North Birmingham Regional Library
2501 31st Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35207
When: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
All ages welcome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brown Bag Lunch—Celebrating 100 Years at Rickwood Field

Join us as David Brewer, executive director of Friends of Rickwood Field, shares the storied past of America's oldest professional baseball park. Built in 1910, Rickwood Field is the oldest baseball stadium in the country. More than 57 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame have played at the ballpark. Join us to hear all about it! Wednesday, July 28, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Get Green? – Part 3

Hello. My name is Richard and I’m addicted to audio books. I have confessed to this obsession twice before. Read my prior confessions here and here.

Fortunately, the library allows me to feed my cravings and still be eco-friendly.

Instead of purchasing multiple audio book CDs that I listen to only once, I check them out of the library. Once checked in, someone else can listen to the same disks. Once checked in again, a second someone can listen to the disks. This is reuse at its finest.

To further decrease my environmental impact, the library offers audio books in eco-friendly formats such as MP3 CDs and downloadables.

Audio book MP3 CDs allow me to reduce the number of CDs required to listen to the book. An entire audio book that may take 12 or more standard CDs can be saved to a single MP3 disk.

This translates to an over 90% reduction in these polycarbonate, plastic and aluminum disks that are not biodegradable, are not easily recycled and will release toxic fumes into the air if incinerated.

As a bonus, MP3 CD versions play the entire audio book uninterrupted, cutting out my need to fumble for the next CD while driving down I-65.

Downloadable audio books are even more eco-friendly than the MP3 CD because downloaded audio books do not generate any physical waste. It uses only reusable drive space. I just delete the file to get rid of a downloaded audio and visit the library website to check out another.

In addition, digital audio books downloaded to my computer eliminates the energy required to transport the CDs to the library and then to me. Analysts estimate that downloading digital audio reduces the energy and CO2 emissions of delivering the audio by up to 80 percent relative to the best-case scenario for a CD.

As you can see, checking out audio books from the library is another easy way to live a bit more lightly on the earth.

This “Get Green” series of posts were written with the knowledge that most of us want to do right by the environment. Yet many have not considered utilizing the library as a simple way to Go Green. Take advantage of the ecological rewards of using your library today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heads Up Alabama! Opening Night Gala

The Birmingham Public Library will host the opening night gala for Heads Up Alabama! Psychology Promotes Healthy Living on July 22 in the Central Library Atrium from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Get your ticket now to experience the unveiling of this unique exhibit, meet the artists, and enjoy food, beverages, and entertainment. Tickets ($25 per person) available through Calendar of Events page. Proceeds benefit the Alabama Psychological Association Foundation.

After the Gala event on July 22, the exhibit will be on display in the library July 23 - August 10 free of charge. Click here for more about the Heads Up Alabama events.

Sponsors and partners include the Birmingham Public Library, KBR, Jefferson County Department of Health, ALL Kids Children’s Health Insurance Program (Alabama Department of Health), BCBS of Alabama, the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Forstall Art Supply, Two Men and a Truck, and psychologists across the state.

Follow progress on the exhibition and other events at the Heads Up Alabama! Web site ( or on Facebook at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brown Bag Lunch—Three Strikes and You're Out!

Sherlock Holmes
Hitman With a Heart will set the scene and you will have to solve the mystery. Try some dinner style theater at lunch! Wednesday, July 21, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Big Splash at Springville Road

Grace Slaughter, Children's Department Head, shows her young friends how to do the Duck Race during the Big Splash celebratioin at Springville Road Public Library Wednesday morning. More than 115 people attended the event.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Splash!

Devonteria Salery, 8, shows the grown folks how hop scotch is done during The Big Splash at Woodlawn Public Library.

Anne Frank Graphic Novel To Be Published in July

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic NovelA teenager's diary helped put a face on the Nazi oppression of Europe and the Final Solution, and now a graphic novel detailing Anne Frank's birth, life, and death will reach out to new generations learning about one of the most horrific events of the twentieth century. Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography was recently published in the Netherlands, and is set for a United States release date later in July.

The biography was written by Sid Jacobson and illustrated by Ernie Colon, who also co-created the best-selling graphic novel The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, and collaborated on three more graphic novels.

Anne Frank died of typhus at age 15 after she was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp along with her sister Margot, who died a few days before Anne. Anne's mother, Edith Frank, died of starvation at Auschwitz. Otto Frank survived to share his daughter's diary with the world.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Member Day 2010

Membership Alliance logoAs a way of saying thanks to current members and supporters of arts and culture in the Birmingham region, area organizations have planned a special members-only day of free admission and family-friendly activities. One valid membership card and/or postcard invitation admits two adults and up to four children into absolutely any and every participating venue all day long on Saturday, July 24.

With nineteen wonderfully varied groups of performers, museums and historical landmarks participating in Member Day, it’s one of the best ways to experience the incredible talents and unforgettable experiences offered by our region’s arts and cultural organizations—all in one day!

Participating Organizations

Schedule for Member Day 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Brown Bag Lunch—What Is It About Baseball?

Seasoned Performers logo
The Seasoned Readers hit one out of the park as they remind audiences of the fun of baseball lore and legend. Wednesday, July 14, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Wednesdays at noon in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

BPL@Night Series Features Baseball Legends, American Tribal Belly Dancing, and Down-Home Family Music!

BPL@Night logo
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will host baseball historian Allen Barra, the Devyani Dance Company, and the family music character Farmer Jason in its August BPL@Night programming line-up. Barra will discuss his book, Rickwood Field: A Century in America’s Oldest Ballpark, on Tuesday, August 17 at the Central Library. The Devyani Dance Company will perform American Tribal belly dance on Thursday, August 19 at the Central Library, and Farmer Jason will bring his upbeat country sound to the Avondale Library on Tuesday, August 31. All three events begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

BPL@Night is a series of high quality evening performances offered free-of-charge by Birmingham Public Library in an effort to bring enriching cultural programs to downtown Birmingham and the city’s neighborhoods. BPL@Night highlights local and regional performers that reflect the diversity of our community and draw from a wide range of personal experience. Through programs such as these, the library seeks to provide Birmingham citizens of all ages opportunities for entertainment, ongoing education, and personal growth.

Central Library
August 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Richard Arrington Auditorium
Rickwood Field: A Century in America’s Oldest Ballpark
In chronicling Rickwood Field’s history, noted author and journalist Allen Barra tells of segregated baseball and the legendary Negro Leagues. Though Rickwood Field was once a place where the Ku Klux Klan held rallies, it has now become a symbol of hope and triumph that reflects the evolution of a city where baseball was, for decades, the sole connecting point between blacks and whites.

Central Library
August 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium
American Tribal Belly Dance featuring the Devyani Dance Company
Megha Gavin is the director of the Birmingham-based Devyani Dance Center, a hub of international and ethnic dance styles. Over the last nine years, Devyani Dance Company has performed at countless festivals, weddings, corporate events, and private parties, and has been nominated for multiple cultural and artistic awards. Bring the whole family for a riveting performance of this ancient dance form!

Avondale Library
August 31 at 6:30 p.m.
Farmer Jason
When internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Jason Ringenberg created his family music character Farmer Jason in 2003, he had no idea he was launching the most successful creation of his storied career. What started out as a simple side project has grown into a world-touring bandwagon pulled by a tractor and a singing farmer. Climb aboard and grab a pitchfork – or a guitar!

Visit for additional information

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Worried About Paying for College?

dollarsThe Birmingham Public Library is ready to assist you with making your college education more affordable by guiding you to available resources. We have created the Student Financial Aid subject guide, which provides recommendations of financial aid books and websites.

Would you prefer a financial aid brochure instead? Come by the Social Sciences Department at the Central branch to pick one up today. It also contains important information about selecting a college and filling out the Free Application for Financial Aid Application (FAFSA).

Still have questions or want personalized assistance in locating resources? Call the Social Sciences Department at 205-226-3640 or fill out our Ask a Librarian form.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Birmingham History Center Now Open

Birmingham Museum flyer
The Magic City now has its own museum of local history. The Birmingham History Center features objects, photographs, and documents that trace the history of Birmingham and its people from settlement to the present day. Click on the flyer for more details.

Cotchery Teen Events Were A Great Success

Cotchery with participant
On Friday evening, June 25, Birmingham Public Library partnered with The Cotchery Foundation to host a tailgate party at the Central Library for all teens participating in the library’s summer reading program. New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery was present to talk with teens, pose for pictures, and sign autographs. His wife, Mercedes, led parents through an interactive workshop. More than 350 teenagers and parents attended the party. BPL came to life with teens playing Wii video games, dancing, getting airbrush tattoos, and participating in many othSponsors O'Charleys and Rally'ser fun activities. Teens also enjoyed lots of tailgate food, including chicken tenders, nachos, hot dogs, and popcorn. Special thanks to summer reading partners O’Charley’s for providing rolls and chicken tenders and to Rally’s for providing hot dogs.

Photo by RKO PhotographyOn Saturday, June 26, The Cotchery Foundation held its 4th Annual Skills and Drills Clinic at Legion Field for all teenage boys taking part in BPL’s summer reading program. Approximately 200 young men attended the football clinic. Special thanks to The Cotchery Foundation for continuing to support BPL’s summer reading program and for helping to make these events possible.

Individual photos with Jerricho Cotchery
BPL Flickr Photos
RKO Photography Photos

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