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Showing posts from December, 2010

2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt Begins January 3

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Library visitors of all ages are invited to visit any Birmingham Public Library January 3-14 to participate in the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt. Preschoolers are encouraged to locate each of the ten hidden game pieces while older visitors are encouraged to locate the hidden game piece and complete the fill-in-the-blank activity. This year Eileen Spinelli's poem, "Martin Luther King Jr." is featured. When the hunt is completed, each seeker will have a copy of the poem to keep.

Participants who successfully complete the scavenger hunt may enter their names into a drawing for a free book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each Birmingham Public Librarywill draw three winners. The give-way books are Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier, Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson and Bryan Collier and Martin Luther King, Jr. : A Dream of Hope by Alice Fleming.

Staff Pick: Out

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Out by Natsuo Kirino is a brilliant Japanese murder mystery that’s not much of a mystery at all, at least not a mystery in the sense that we don’t know whodunit. Whodunit is a pretty, young wife and mother of two named Yayoi who is fed up with her husband Kenji’s philandering ways, and decides to strangle him one night in an uncharacteristic moment of rage. Assured that her children heard nothing of the struggle, she calls a friend who works the night shift with her at a boxed lunch factory. As she suspects, the pragmatic Masako Katori is not too surprised by the late call, and immediately sets the wheels in motion about how to make the body disappear and maybe make a little money off the insurance payout.

Masako enlists the help of the trusted fifty-something Yoshie, whom she knows is in desperate need of money from caring for her bedridden mother-in-law. But while the two are butchering their first ever dead body in Masako’s bathroom, the fourth friend in their factory clique gets a …

Last Days To View Depression—Era Murals

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The Birmingham Historical Society captures in a new book and exhibit seldom-seen murals that tell the story of an era, the history of our region, and the mood of a nation in hardship.

Depression-era murals survive and thrive in both book and exhibit form thanks to the Birmingham Historical Society’s newest endeavor: identifying, assembling, presenting, and chronicling artworks which were created and appeared in the Birmingham area. “We just kept looking,” explains Marjorie White, BHS. “We found the murals still intact in some structures, never having been moved in all these years. We found collections tucked in attics, archives, and online. It has been a fascinating scavenger hunt to find this incredible art, created by artists between 1929 and 1939.” The exhibition Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939 is on view through December 30, 2010 (the library is closed December 31) at the Birmingham Public Library in the 4th Floor Gallery.

The book, Digging Out of the Great Depression: Federa…

Catch Bards & Brews on January 7

Take a look at the video above for a sample of Birmingham Public Library’s November 2010 Bards & Brews poetry slam.

The Birmingham Public Library hosts it's next Bards & Brews poetry slam on January 7 at the Central Library.

Live music and sign-up begins at 6:30
Call time is at 7:00

Last Days To View Depression Era Murals

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The Birmingham Historical Society captures in a new book and exhibit seldom-seen murals that tell the story of an era, the history of our region, and the mood of a nation in hardship.

Depression-era murals survive and thrive in both book and exhibit form thanks to the Birmingham Historical Society’s newest endeavor: identifying, assembling, presenting, and chronicling artworks which were created and appeared in the Birmingham area. “We just kept looking,” explains Marjorie White, BHS. “We found the murals still intact in some structures, never having been moved in all these years. We found collections tucked in attics, archives, and online. It has been a fascinating scavenger hunt to find this incredible art, created by artists between 1929 and 1939.” The exhibition Murals, Murals on the Wall 1929-1939 is on view through December 30, 2010 (the library is closed December 31) at the Birmingham Public Library in the 4th Floor Gallery.

The book,Digging Out of the Great Depression: Federal…

Staff Pick—In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash

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"In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."

I can't remember if I ran out and bought In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash after seeing A Christmas Story on cable back in '83, or if I bought it before the movie just because the title caught my eye at some used bookstore, but it’s been a prized possession for decades. If you're like me and thousands of others who love this movie, you'll enjoy this book. The book fleshes out the characters, and it’s fun to learn the reasoning behind some of the throwaway movie scenes like why Ralphie gave the old man a can of Simoniz for Christmas.

The nostalgic vignettes of In God We Trust are grittier than the lighthearted movie. One of the funniest running gags in the movie is the father’s epic (but G-rated) battle with the furnace; in the book, he’s not afraid to let the expletives rip at his wife: “FOR CHRISSAKE, STUPID, I SAID THE G&…

This Is What Happened

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True Grit opens Wednesday, December 22. Read all about the true grits.

Every eight years or so, over the last forty years, I watch the movie True Grit, for which John Wayne won his only Oscar. It still holds up very well and doesn’t fail to entertain. Over the last thirty years or so I’ve harbored a growing guilty feeling that I should read the book it’s based on. Time after time I’ve read pieces about how its author, Charles Portis, is one of the least known great American writers and that True Grit is his best book. It’s regularly referred to as one of the great 20th century American novels that’s not yet accepted as one of the great 20th century American novels. When it came out in the late sixties, it was a best-seller, the movie was huge, and some critics since have felt that critical snobs at the time just couldn’t abide all that popularity. The novel was way out of step with the counterculture, too, and because of that it never attracted a wide younger audience. What’s interesti…

Research "Secret" Revealed

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Did you know that thousands of historians, journalists, novelists and other writers from around the world use the collections of the Birmingham Public Library Archives every year? Using the department’s collection of more than 30 million historical documents, these writers have produced hundreds of books, including five recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.

Listed below are just some of the books researched at Birmingham Public Library and published this year.

Alabama's Civil Rights Trail : an Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom by Frye Gaillard

At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire

Baseball in Birmingham by Clarence Watkins

Birmingham Sunday by Larry Dane Brimner

Condoleezza Rice : a Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me by Condoleezza Rice
Encyclopedia of African American History by Leslie Alexander and Walter Rucker

Extraordinary, Ordinary People : a Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice

Fly Away by Peter Rutkoff and William Scott

From Power to Service : th…

Search our Catalog & Reserve Items on your Mobile Phone

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You can now conveniently access your account, search our catalog, and reserve items using your mobile phone.

Give it a try! On your Internet capable mobile phone, go to our catalog http://vulcan.lib.al.us or http://m.vulcan.bham.lib.al.us/.

Photo by Esther Gibbons

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

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Great news! Santa has found some time to visit a few libraries before he leaves for his big trip on December 24. Bring the kids in for a visit and some treats.

North Birmingham Branch Regional Library
Saturday, December 11, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Avondale Branch Library
Sunday, December 12, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Five Points West Regional Library
Sunday, December 19, 2010
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library January Poetry Slam

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts its third poetry slam on January 7 at the Central Library. BPL’s November slam showcased both veteran slammers and first-timers. More than 70 people enjoyed the show. Held on the first Friday of each month, slams are emceed by poetry slam events director Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins. Each contestant contributes $5 to the pot, and winner takes all. Southern Fried Slam rules will be observed. Beer will be available for sampling. Slam participants must be 18 years or older. IDs will be checked. Live music at 6:30 p.m. Call time is 7:00 p.m. Check out the Bards & Brews page on Facebook for more information. Word up, y’all!

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library Poetry Slam Series
Central Library, 2100 Park Place
1st Friday of every month
6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Live music and sign-up is at 6:30
Call time is at 7:00

Additional information:
Brian Hawkins (AKA Brian Porter) will serve as emcee for the Bards & Brews Poetry Slam. He is a full-time pe…

This is the Storyteller...

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Miss Judy reads "This is the Dreidel" by Abby Levine to Abrianna and Aidan Tucker.
Location:Springville Rd,Birmingham,United States

Oprah Goes Old School for Latest Book Club Picks

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"I'm going old school," said Oprah Winfrey Monday when announcing that Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations were chosen for her 65th book club selection. Oprah's Book Club was launched in 1996, and has included popular and classical literature, and even some autobiographies.

A Tale of Two Cities was published in 1859 and is set in London and Paris prior to and during the French Revolution. The story chronicles the struggle of French peasants under aristocratic rule and parallels their situation with the struggles taking place in London. Great Expectations was published in 1861 and follows an orphan boy named Pip as he pursues unrequited childhood love and friendship, and learns about the nature of fortune.

Oprah's Book Club has had its share of drama over the years. In 2001 Oprah selected Jonathan Franzen's third novel, The Corrections, for her book club. When Franzen expressed concern that his book would be associated with her other…

Need money to pay for college? Tune in Sunday!

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Birmingham Public Library's Jim Murray will be appearing on Alabama's 13 (NBC) this Sunday at 8 a.m. to talk about the Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) database. Made possible by funding from the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, the Tuition Funding Sources database hosts scholarship searches worth an estimated $41 billion dollars with approximately 5,000 scholarships being added each month. Besides offering scholarship searches, TFS offers college admission information, career personality tests, and detailed career guidance.

Want more information on college financial aid and scholarships? Check out the Student Financial Aid subject guide, stop by the Social Sciences department at the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library for a College and Financial Aid brochure, or call us at 226-3640.
Tune in Sunday to Alabama's 13 (NBC) at 8 a.m.!

BPL@Night Presents A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock

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Join us for our annual Christmas reading by Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents A Christmas Memory, Truman Capote’s poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama. Dolores Hydock’s work has been featured at concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the country. She is a touring artist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a speaker with the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and a member of the Southern Order of Storytellers. Her six CDs of original stories have all received awards from Storytelling World Magazine.

Details
A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Thursday, December 9
6:30 p.m.

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 …

BPL@Night @ Springville Road Presents An Evening of Jazz with Keith Williams

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Jazz guitarist Keith “Cashmere” Williams has become one of the most prominent musicians in the Southeast. In addition to touring and recording with Ruben Studdard, Williams has opened for Kirk Whalum, Ramsey Lewis, Boney James, and many more. Williams started playing at the age of five, leading to his acceptance at Berklee College of Music, where he produced and recorded his first album. In 2000, his second album, Set the Mood, received rave reviews and national airplay. Since then, he has founded his own label, Lenoah Records, and released his third album, New Birth.

Details
An Evening of Jazz with Keith Williams
Springville Road Library Regional Library
Thursday, December 9
6:30 p.m.

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 communi…

Springville Road Branch Retirement Party

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(From left) Rochelle Sides-Renda, Marilyn Sessions, Russell Bransby, and Ellen Lawrence bid Springville Road Branch Library and the Birmingham Public Library staff a fond farewell as they are honored during a brunch on Wednesday morning at Springville Road.

(Pictured below) Gwendolyn Welch, BPL Board President, and Irene Blalock, BPL Director, join in wishing them the best.

The Art of Journaling with Phyllis Theroux

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Essayist Phyllis Theroux has long captivated readers with her pitch-perfect rendering of the inner lives of American women. Her latest work, The Journal Keeper: A Memoir, covers six years of her anything but uneventful life and demonstrates how journaling can serve as a cathartic and rewarding avocation. Theroux calls it her daily "light box."

Theroux is hosting a seminar, social hour, and talk and book signing at the Central Library on Sunday, January 23, 2011, in the Arrington Auditorium . Schedule as follows:

2:00-3:00 p.m.—Journaling seminar
3:00-4:00 p.m.—Social hour
4:00-5:00 p.m.—Talk and book signing

The talk and book signing is free and open to all; the seminar is free but registration is required as space is limited. Call 226-3670 or e-mail hm@bham.lib.al.us. No previous journaling experience required.

Visit The Journal Keeper website (http://journal-keeper.com/) for more information about the author and her book.

Brown Bag Lunch—A Christmas Memory with Dolores Hydock

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Join us for our annual tradition with Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents A Christmas Memory. Truman Capote's poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama is bought to vivid life in this wonderful holiday performance. Wednesday, December 8, 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.