Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Friends Bookstore is Listed Among Birmingham's Bests for 2011

Image
The Friends of BPL have worked diligently to renovate and renew its Bookstore over the past six months and it is paying handsome dividends. The people have noticed. They have voted it a runner-up among Birmingham's Best Bookstores for 2011 (squeezed in among local giants Barnes & Noble, Little Professor, and The Alabama Booksmith).

If you have not had an opportunity, please do come see the Friends Bookstore and shop for books, media, and retail merchandise, all of which benefits the Birmingham Public Library.

You may also donate books, media, and gently used gift items at any Birmingham Public Library location. For more information, contact the Friends Bookstore at 226-3676.

Bards & Brews Makes Its Return

Image
Set your alarm for Friday, January 6, at 6:30 p.m. It marks the time when the library’s phenomenal program Bards & Brews makes its return. Since its inception in October 2010, Bards & Brews has brought a diverse audience of more than 900 attendees to the Central Library. Returning in 2012 is our host Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins, who has emceed poetry slams throughout the city. Live music is performed from 6:30 p.m. until the slam begins at 7:00 p.m. The monthly poetry slam and beer tasting is held on the first Friday of each month and is free to the public. Attendees must be at least 18 years old to enter, and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.

Poetry slams have grown in popularity in recent years and are a natural fit for the library. Bards & Brews is one of the ways the Birmingham Public Library is reaching out to a younger audience/demographic. The craft beer movement in which beer is elevated to the level of fine wine as something to be savored …

Don't Miss the Noontime Performance by The Pillars at the Central Library, Decmeber 28

Image
Vivid memories of work in mines and pipe shops around Birmingham resurfaced when Norman Wooding Jr. and Henry Burton viewed the exhibition, The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork From the 1930s and 1940s at the Central Library. On Wednesday, December 28, the two will join fellow members of The Pillars for a midday performance of Negro Spirituals and other hard gospel, fast moving harmony pieces, all in a cappella. Their midday performance in the Atrium of the Central Library will be in conjunction with the exhibition which depicts Birmingham daily life in landscapes, industrial locations, rural and urban settings, and African-American life. The program will include a gallery talk on the exhibition by Marjorie White, Director of the Birmingham Historical Society. This performance is one of many offered at libraries throughout the Birmingham Public Library System over the holiday season. Visit the library’s website at www.bplonline.org for programs the entire family can enjoy.

Th…

One more chance to donate in 2011

Image
As we close out 2011 at the Birmingham Public Library, we want to take this time to thank you for your support and offer you one last chance to donate before the tax year ends. Your donations help the Birmingham Public Library serve a diverse and energetic population.



Your contributions help us purchase books and materials for students throughout the city,
And serve all ages of patrons, from senior adults...


...to very young children who are just learning to read.


Your contributions also can provide unique programming in locations across the system...


...and help provide updated and current technology to many generations.



Therefore, if you have not had an opportunity to donate, please consider investing in us. All contributions are tax deductible.

Your gifts help us serve two million visitors each year. By making a donation to the library, you are helping to ensure our future and our mission, which is “to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life long learning, …

Our Spirit Will Not Be Broken January Workshop

Image
Many of us were deeply affected by the tornadoes that hit Central Alabama in April. The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) and Real Life Poets, Inc. are joining together to offer those who wish to do so an opportunity to share their experiences through writing. This project is open to all ages.

You may submit your work at any JCLC library between October 1, 2011, and January 31, 2012. You may also make submissions electronically to Haruyo Miyagawa (hm@bham.lib.al.us), Birmingham Public Library, Central- Arts, Literature, and Sports Department. The work can be in the written form of your choice: poem, short story, essay, etc.

In addition, Real Life Poets will offer free workshops to inspire and guide participants in effectively using the power of words to express their storm experiences. The January workshop is scheduled for the following date (prior reservations are recommended):

Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Vestavia Hills Public Library

John Paul Tayl…

Unusual Object Being Tracked By NORAD

Image
We have now reached the time of year in which NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) will utilize high-tech satellite and radar systems to track and monitor an unusual object in the airspace above North America - a sleigh driven by a jolly old elf and pulled through the sky by eight tiny reindeer.

NORAD has been conducting the NORAD Tracks Santa program since 1955 and, according to the book Guarding What You Value Most: North American Aerospace Defense Command, the idea for the program began with a typo in a Sears & Roebuck newspaper advertisement. On December 24, 1955, dozens of young boys and girls in the Colorado Springs area called the number featured in that advertisement in order to speak with Santa Claus and reached the command center’s "red phone" hot line instead. Flustered at first, the operations officer in charge that evening eventually gathered himself and instructed his staff to provide callers with the kind of information that only a sophisticated…

BPL Librarian Receives National and Local Recognition

Image
Saundra Ross-Forrest, one of ten winners of the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York/ New York Times I Love My Librarian Award, shares what winning the award means to her. She works at the North Avondale Branch Library of the Birmingham Public Library System in Birmingham, Alabama.













Saundra Ross-Forrest is recognized by Mayor William Bell and the Birmingham City Council.

Read the nomination of Ross-Forrest by Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch and learn more about the award.


Using Music to Tell The Story: Pillars Connect Exhibition Images to Life In Birmingham Through Music

Image
Vivid memories of work in mines and pipe shops around Birmingham resurfaced when Norman Wooding Jr. and Henry Burton viewed the exhibition, The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork From the 1930s and 1940s at the Central Library. On Wednesday, December 28, the two will join fellow members of The Pillars for a midday performance of Negro Spirituals and other hard gospel, fast moving harmony pieces, all in a cappella. Their midday performance in the Atrium of the Central Library will be in conjunction with the exhibition which depicts Birmingham daily life in landscapes, industrial locations, rural and urban settings, and African-American life. The program will include a gallery talk on the exhibition by Marjorie White, Director of the Birmingham Historical Society. This performance is one of many offered at libraries throughout the Birmingham Public Library System over the holiday season. Visit the library’s website at www.bplonline.org for programs the entire family can enjoy.

Th…

Alabama Humanities Foundation Gifts Pratt City Library with New Books

Image
Bob Stewart, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and Pratt City Library Director Deborah Drake Blackmon, sort through boxes of books that the AHF donated for the Pratt City Library. (The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)

Several months ago Birmingham Public Library Director Renee Blalock and Associate Director Angela Fisher Hall met with Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) team members about the AHF Project Turn the Page effort to provide free books for damaged public libraries and schools. This week, AHF Executive Director Bob Stewart delivered 200 new books to BPL Director Rene Blalock and Deborah Drake Blackmon.

The books include titles related to Alabama history and other books aimed at young readers in the fourth to sixth grades. Among the books donated, you’ll find A.G. Gaston: Visionary Businessman and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Last Straw. Director Deborah Drake Blackmon says, “This is a big, big Christmas. All of these books are very much needed.” Thoug…

Everything You Wanted to Know About E-Books But Didn't Know How to Ask

Image
There has been an explosion in the popularity of e-books, driven by the boom of e-readers as gifts. They’re one of the top electronic devices purchased during Christmas season. As patrons receive e-readers as gifts the e-book becomes an essential part of the experience.

Most e-readers can hold 1,000 to 3,500 books; e-books cost less than new hardcover versions and many classic titles that are out of copyright are available free of charge. The text size of e-readers can easily be adjusted making the e-book more user-friendly to older readers.

Checkout
E-books are checked out with rules similar to those of traditional library books. They do have time limits and, in most cases, they are checked out one book at a time. Patrons may reserve titles that are currently checked out.

To check out an e-book simply:
Go the library downloadable website (http://downloadable.jclc.org)Log in using your library card numberSelect the e-bookCheck it out Download the title to your e-reader or simple reserve …

Book Review: Come Closer

Image
Great literary horror is few and far between, so when my friends at Goodreads* started raving about a book called Come Closer, I had to read it.

Sara Gran has written more than a dark fiction about demon possession, she wrote a book about the female psyche, about the impulse of civilized people to do harm to those we love and those we don't know, and she gave her story a shot of the old "turn of the screw" by having a pretty, confident architect inadvertently invite the spirit Naamah from Jewish lore to take over her mind and whittle the world away until there is nothing left but these two.

Amanda lives in Manhattan with her husband, Edward, and theirs is a solid marriage. Trendy restaurants and flea-market weekends make up their complacent existence. But the tapping in the walls of their small apartment follow them to their dream loft, and one day Amanda receives a book she didn't order on how to tell if you're possessed by a demon—complete with quizzes—and she st…

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: A Pianistic Holiday with a Touch of Class

Image
The library Brown Bag Lunch Series will feature Dr. Anthony Pattin in a midday mini-concert next Wednesday, December 14, at 12:00 p.m. “A Pianistic Holiday With a Touch of Class,” is open to the public, free of charge, in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library downtown. The program will include both seasonal favorites and classical selections. Pattin’s talent is well known throughout the Birmingham community. He has performed on Alabama Public Television’s “Pianist at Work” series, and has toured throughout the United States, including several performances in Carnegie Hall.

Recently retired as at the Professor of Music from the University of Montevallo, Pattin has received numerous accolades including Montevallo’s Distinguished Teacher Award and the University Scholar Award; he is also the recipient of the New Millennium Award for outstanding achievement from the University of Alabama.

Pattin is the director of music at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, and on the music …

It's Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas

Image
A song from Annie Lennox's celebrated 2010 album, A Christmas Cornucopia. Lennox chose to record these carols she grew up singing for the human message they impart. She wisely decided to have the African Children's Choir sing backup on seven of the twelve tracks, adding a universal flavor and an innocence to the songs. Learn more about the making of A Christmas Cornucopia, and about the amazing African Children's Choir.

If you're tired of being at the mercy of those radio stations that rotate the same, tired Christmas songs 24/7, then take a trip to the Arts, Literature and Sports Department at the Central Library and pick out your own music. There is a variety of jazz, blues, rock, pop, and classical holiday albums to choose from. The holiday music is shelved separately and alphabetically for quick browsing.

We're pretty sure you've been nice and naughty this year, but these are still on their way from the North Pole:

Annie Lennox, A Christmas Cornucopia
Katheri…

North Avondale Branch Manager Receives I Love My Librarian Award

Image
In her own terms, she was “born to be a librarian.” A love for reading, travel and service guided the steps of Saundra Ross-Forrest and led her to Birmingham and the Birmingham Public Library, North Avondale Branch. During her nine years as manager of the neighborhood library, she has worked tirelessly to make the branch an integral component of the North Avondale community. Today, that commitment has placed her in a prestigious position with nine other librarians from across the country. During a ceremony in New York, Ross-Forrest was named one of ten librarians to receive the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times, I Love My Librarian Award for community service.

Ross-Forrest was recognized for going beyond the call of duty to develop outreach programs, foster innovative ideas for service and provide a friendly library setting that keeps regulars and newcomers walking through the doors. "While many people look at the North Avondale community as a place where children…

Congratulation to the JCPLA Library Champions of 2011

Congratulation to the Jefferson County Public Library Association (JCPLA) Library Champions of 2011 including the Cotchery Foundation and Jerricho Cotchery.

The Library Champion Award is presented annually by the Jefferson County Public Library Association. The award recognizes an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution(s) to libraries and/or librarianship in Jefferson County, Alabama.

The Cotchery Foundation and Jerricho Cotchery were nominated for the Library Champion award for their steadfast support of teen reading. Since partnering with the Cotchery Foundation, the Birmingham Public Library has experienced a significant increase in the number of teens participating in our summer reading program.

Thanks to Homewood Public Library for sharing the photographs of the Library Champion Award ceremony presented at the JCPLA Holiday Luncheon on December 7, 2011.

Don't Miss Your Chance to See the Birmingham Scene Exhibition at Central Library

Image
If you haven't visited the Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery to see the beautiful artwork by local artists depicting daily life in Birmingham from the Great Depression through World War II, The Birmingham Scene: Seldom Seen Artwork from the 1930s and 1940s will be on display through Friday, December 30, 2011. The artists included in the exhibition are: Birmingham's Frank Hartley Anderson, Richard Coe, Della Dryer, Hannah Elliott, Mamie Fogerty, Martha Henderson Goings, Sarah Greer, Ernest Henderson, Carrie Hill, Roderick MacKenzie, Rosalie Pettus Price, Arthur Stewart, and Walter Swettman.

Details
The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork from the 1930s and 1940s exhibition
Through Friday, December 30, 2011
Central Library, East Building, Fourth Floor Gallery

C-SPAN visited the Birmingham Public Library and taped the Brown Bag Lunch program, Industrial Voices: The Great Depression, for C-SPAN3's series American History TV. The presentation is by Karen Utz, curator a…

Brown Bag Lunch Program: A Pianistic Holiday with a Touch of Class

Image
The library Brown Bag Lunch Series will feature Dr. Anthony Pattin in a midday mini-concert next Wednesday, December 14, at 12:00 p.m. “A Pianistic Holiday With a Touch of Class,” is open to the public, free of charge, in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library downtown. The program will include both seasonal favorites and classical selections. Pattin’s talent is well known throughout the Birmingham community. He has performed on Alabama Public Television’s “Pianist at Work” series, and has toured throughout the United States, including several performances in Carnegie Hall.

Recently retired as at the Professor of Music from the University of Montevallo, Pattin has received numerous accolades including Montevallo’s Distinguished Teacher Award and the University Scholar Award; he is also the recipient of the New Millennium Award for outstanding achievement from the University of Alabama.

Pattin is the director of music at Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, and on the music …

In Remembrance of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Image
Today is the seventieth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in which over 2,300 American servicemen and civilians were killed. The United States' declaration of war against Japan on the following day marked our country's entry into World War II.

There are few events in American history that have received more scrutiny than the attack on Pearl Harbor. Countless books, articles, essays, documentaries, and films are available that provide a variety of interpretations of the events surrounding that day. Many of these items are available to be checked out through the Birmingham Public Library.

In addition to the materials described above, the Birmingham Public Library’s status as a Federal Depository Library provides patrons with access to several items that can serve to shed a unique light on the attack. Many of these items, which include official government reports and Congressional hearings, are available to view electronically through our catalog and database subscriptions.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: Remembering Pearl Harbor at the Movies

Image
Dick Segreto specializes in bringing the Golden Age of Hollywood to life, with stories of the studios, celebrities, and films of that era. One of his favorite films of all time is From Here to Eternity, an Oscar winner for Best Picture that depicts the lives of U.S. servicemen stationed in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The presentation includes background information about the film’s production, plot lines, characters, actors, and awards. Wednesday, December 7, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Government Documents Department to Close on Weekends

Image
Visitors to the downtown location of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will no longer have access to the Government Documents Department on weekends beginning December 3, 2011. Staff normally assigned to work in that area on weekends will instead work in the Microforms Room where library patrons have access to microfilm and microfiche copies of newspapers and other documents. Staff will also be available to assist the public in going online and locating services that are offered by federal, state, and local government agencies.

“Closing this area allows for reorganization and the opportunity to use staff in other departments and library locations throughout the City,” says library Director Irene S. Blalock. The move to reorganize comes as the consortium of public libraries in Jefferson County experienced a loss of funding from the Jefferson County Commission. The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) is the name for the consortium and its mission is to encourage and coordinate …

A Mystery for Christmas

Image
Many of us are busy getting ready for Christmas. I have seen countless SUVs with fresh Christmas trees on top. Stores are crowded with holiday shoppers, and grocery stores are fully stocked with supplies for holiday baking. We always associate decorating, shopping and baking with Christmas. Did you know that Christmas is also a popular theme for mystery novels? Many authors use Christmas as a backdrop for murder and mayhem. Take a break from the holiday rush to sample some of these holiday goodies.


Ten days before Christmas, Henry Rathbone volunteers to search for a friend's son who has been lured into London's drug scene. He asks for help from two companions: Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor.


Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant investigates the death of a high-school cheerleader in a mysterious car crash. Then two brothers are gunned down in their trailer and he must determine if the deaths are connected.



These seventeen short storie…

BPL Schedules an Encore Performance of Dolores Hydock's One-Woman Show, "A Christmas Memory"

Image
D0lores Hydock returns to the Central Library on Thursday, December 8, for an encore performance of Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory." This poignant one-woman show about a 7-year-old boy named "Buddy," his 60-something cousin he calls "my friend," and their adventures during fruitcake weather has become a BPL tradition during the holiday season.

Details
"A Christmas Memory" performed by Dolores Hydock
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Building
Thursday, December 8
6:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Visit Dolores Hydock's website to learn more about her life and work.

Shop & Learn at the Local Authors Expo

Image
The Sixth Annual Local Authors Expo is an extraordinary event showcasing Alabama authors and their books, including independent press and self-published titles. Shoppers will be able to meet each writer, purchase books, and obtain personalized autographed copies. The expo is Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Central Library. The goal of the expo is to increase awareness of self-published authors in the state and provide a forum for them to connect with community members and library patrons.

In addition to the expo, the library is hosting a program for aspiring authors titled “Every Writer Needs an Editor.” This program, presented by freelance editor Liz Reed, will outline steps in the process of getting your book into print. This program will focus on self-publishing, including steps to self-publishing in a print-on-demand world, book and page design for print, and e-publishing for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other e-environments. “Every Writer Needs an Editor” t…

Brown Bag Lunch: Remembering Pearl Harbor at the Movies

Image
Dick Segreto specializes in bringing the Golden Age of Hollywood to life, with stories of the studios, celebrities, and films of that era. One of his favorite films of all time is From Here to Eternity, an Oscar winner for Best Picture that depicts the lives of U.S. servicemen stationed in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The presentation includes background information about the film’s production, plot lines, characters, actors, and awards. Wednesday, December 7, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

'Tis the Season at BPL

Image
‘Tis the season and like so many of our patrons, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is decking our halls for the holidays. The BPL Central family has decorated around the building and trimmed our tree in the Southern History Department. Ben Peterson, Head of the Southern History Department notes that “Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday in 1836.”

If you’d like to learn more about seasonal holiday traditions, rely on the collection at the BPL. For the origins of Southern holiday traditions, visit the Southern History area of the Linn-Henley Research Library. If you need ideas for holiday decorations, these items can be found in call number 745.5941. The Arts, Literature and Sports Department has festive music and artwork for check out. Stumped for kid-friendly books, seasonal craft, or holiday things to do? Check out the Youth Department for both resources and on-site activities.

Our collection also includes a generous sampling of holiday film fav…

What Advice Would You Give Your Sixteen-Year-Old Self?

Image
What a neat concept for a book. In Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self, Joseph Galliano has enlisted seventy-five celebrities to write letters full of advice, warnings, and encouragement to their sixteen-year-old selves. With a group that includes writers, singers, actors, and musicians, old and young, you won't be surprised that the letters range from the humorous to the serious to the touching.

Some of my favorite advice:

Dear Angie, Treasure your abilities: you won't always have them.

"I can see. I can pee. I can hear.
I can bend. I can steer.
I can kneel. I can crawl.

I can run backwards.
I can chew.
I can do it all.
I can fall."

So, dear one, dance and ride your bike, but don't forget that, one day, you won't be able to get back on.

Angie Dickinson

***

...oh, one more thing, your "across the street" neighbor is going to ask you to learn guitar with him...I suggest you take him up on it.

Garth Brooks

***

Dear Gillian, You are completely and utterly se…

Today's Brown Bag Lunch: Dolores Hydock Performs Capote's "A Christmas Memory"

Image
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 brought to vivid life in this wonderful holiday performance. Wednesday, November 30, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Children's and Teen Book Sale at Central Library December 5-18

Image
The Friends Bookstore Children's and Teen Book Sale begins Monday, December 5. All children's and teen hardback books will be on sale for $1.00 each. A large stock of picture books, readers, board books, juvenile fiction, teen, and holiday books will be on display from December 5-18, 2011.

The bookstore is holding a raffle on a beautiful 26" doll which was anonymously donated to the Friends. It is dressed in a 19th century costume of petticoat, stockings, and underpants, and has its own little angel doll as well. Purchase tickets for $1.00 each and get a chance to win a great Christmas present for someone special in your life. The drawing will be held on December 18. You do not have to be present to win.

Enjoy coffee and baked goods in the bookstore while you shop. Friends members will be supplying fresh bakery goods twice a week at reasonable prices during the sale.

And please note that the Friends of BPL are sponsors of the Local Author's Expo, being held Saturday, Dec…

Hitting the Books

Image
Go out, do an outrageous stunt for typically one year, write it up, make the bestseller lists. A few years ago it was all the rage. Whether or not these were trivial pursuits, the books claimed a big audience. Norah Vincent lived as a man, another female author gave up buying products made in China, and still another woman gave up all shopping. A man “lived biblically” (that’s A. J. Jacobs, too, by the way), and Barbara Kingsolver lived locavore with her family.

Norah Vincent’s account was a fascinating portal into gender and inspired me to write a blog. It also inspired me to read another stunt lit book. This time I wanted one that would be lighter and more fun. The Know-It-All seemed to qualify at first and did actually end up filling the bill. In a way, Jacobs got a jump on all the other stunters. The idea for reading the Encyclopedia Britannica (the reason for the “smartest person” in the subtitle) started with Jacobs’ dad decades ago. But dad never got past the B volume. A.J. take…

BPL and City of Birmingham Featured on C-SPAN

Image
Birmingham will be featured on C-SPAN's Book TV (C-SPAN2) and American History TV (C-SPAN3) this weekend. Hosted by Birmingham Bright House Network, C-SPAN's Local Content Vehicle visited numerous locations to showcase the history and literary culture of Birmingham.

On American History Television, C-SPAN3 will delve into the history of one of the cities that is central in telling the story of the Civil Rights movement in America.

On Book TV, C-SPAN2 will visit the literary scene to learn about the city's past and present by meeting and discussing with some of those authors who have chronicled the people, events, and places that have impacted Birmingham and the surrounding area.


Featured on AHTV:

"Industrial Voices: The Great Depression in Birmingham" (Filmed at Birmingham Public Library)

Nov. 26, 10 am
Nov. 27, 5 pm
Nov. 28, 6 am


Also on AHTV

Hear:

* The story of Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

* About Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth - a famous…

BPL Closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Image
The Birmingham Public Library will be closed November 24-27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

RIP Anne McCaffrey

Image
News from ICv2
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/21582.html

'Pern' Creator Dead at 85

Groundbreaking fantasy author Anne McCaffrey has passed away of a stroke on Monday, November 21, 2011 at her home in Ireland. McCaffrey is best known for the Dragonriders of Pern universe. She authored or co-authored nearly 100 books, with a lot of firsts as a writer:

First woman to win a Hugo Award (1968, for “Weyr Search”)

First woman to win a Nebula Award (1969, for “Dragonrider”)

First with a science fiction title on the New York Times Bestseller List (1978, The White Dragon)

McCaffrey was recognized as one of the best ever for her impressive career:

Named Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America (2005)

Joined Science Fiction Hall of Fame (June 2006)

Read the rest of ICv2's article.

Board Approves Winter Hours for Neighborhood Libraries

Image
At its regularly scheduled November meeting, the Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees approved a winter operating schedule for its six neighborhood libraries. Beginning Monday, November 21, neighborhood libraries in Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn and Wylam will maintain a temporary schedule through Friday, March 2, 2012. The hours of operation will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. On Wednesdays, the libraries operate from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. All other BPL locations maintain their regular schedules. In future years, the winter hours for the neighborhood libraries will begin the first Monday in November and end the first Monday in March.

The neighborhood libraries will continue to close each day from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. for lunch. All are closed on Wednesday mornings in order for staff to get behind the scenes work done, perform community outreach activities, and participate in training as well as system-wi…

Decades-Old City Federal Scrapbooks Donated to Archives Department

Image
John Akin, Jim Baggett, and BPL Director Renee Blalock examine one of six City Federal Savings & Loan scrapbooks found in the City Federal Building. Akin is vice president of Atlanta developer Carter, which owns the building. Baggett is the head of Archives at the Birmingham Public Library. Photo courtesy of The Birmingham News.

Birmingham Public Library was the recipient of several scrapbooks donated by Ingram & Associates. An employee of the real estate firm recently discovered six large scrapbooks in a closet of the City Federal Building, which is being turned into condos. The scrapbooks are filled with photos, documents, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia that reveal the history of the landmark 1913 building, and a peek at some of the events that took place there through the decades.

An executive with the company that owns the City Federal Building and agents with Ingram & Associates recently visited the Archives and Manuscripts Department at the Birmingham Public Libr…

Brown Bag Lunch: Dolores Hydock Performs Capote's "A Christmas Memory"

Image
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 brought to vivid life in this wonderful holiday performance. Wednesday, November 30, 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Read 'Em and Eat—Rely on BPL Collection for Holiday Menu Ideas

Image
The Birmingham Public Library owns more than 1,000 cookbooks. If you’re looking for classic recipes that are tried and true or you need fresh ideas to update your holiday menu, check out our cookbook collection.

Cookbooks have been written in almost every literate society. Amelia Simmons is credited with publishing the first American cookbook in Connecticut in 1796. The book was an American original and the first listed ingredient was cornmeal. More cookbooks followed in the 19th century, including the Virginia Housewife. However, these cookbooks were very different from the ones we use today. They did not give sizes of the dishes used in baking, the number of servings, temperatures, or the amount of flour to add. Cooks during this era added as much flour as needed until it felt correct.

With the advent of gas ranges and the first all-electric kitchen at the 1893 World’s Fair, cookbooks became more precise, evolving into the books we are familiar with today. The books we rely on are …