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Showing posts from January, 2011

BPL @ Night Presents M.A.D. Skillz Dance Company at North Birmingham Library

BPL @ Night is proud to present the talented young dancers of the M.A.D Skillz Dance Company under the direction of Mr. Winston Strickland. M.A.D. Skillz Dance Company is a countywide nonprofit organization, which inspires youth to be creative and to explore the fine arts of dance and music. Everyone is invited to attend this exciting dance presentation. Light refreshments will be served.


What: M.A.D. Skillz Dance Company
Where: North Birmingham Regional Library
When: Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m.

BPL @ Night has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. BPL would also like to thank the Alabama Power Foundation and the Daniel Foundation of Alabama for their generous support of BPL @ Night.

The Next STEP in Your Job Hunt?

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Discover Internet job searching techniques, learn how to post resumes at online job sites, and enhance your career skills with Project Next STEP (Skills Training & Employment Preparation).

The Project Next STEP Mobile Computer Lab will visit the following Public libraries in February 2011:
East EnsleyPowderlyPratt CityWest EndWylamAdamsvilleLeedsPleasant GroveWalter J. Hanna Check with the library for workshop dates and times.


Click here for more information about Project Next STEP.

Project Next STEP is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services - Library Services and Technology Act, in partnership with the Alabama Public Library Service and the Jefferson County Library Cooperative.

“Freedom is Never Given. It is Won.” Celebrate Black History Month at the Birmingham Public Library!

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A. H. Randolf’s quotation embodies a philosophy embraced by a multitude of African Americans because they understood that change and progress were possible given unrelenting determination. He is one of many black Americans who made this approach a reality. Please join the Birmingham Public Library for numerous opportunities to learn about, be entertained by, and reflect upon the significant strides made by African Americans. More than 40 programs are scheduled at the Central Library and 18 branches. If dates and times are not given below, please Contact Mia Rutledge at (205)226-3604 for more information as some events will be repeated at different branches.

The “Way Back Machine” Visits History: African Americans and the Civil War
A one-hour, fast-paced event incorporating story telling, props, music, and interactive games to explore the concept of history as it relates to Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. The audience may participate in a game of “Now and Then,” matching peo…

The Year of the Rabbit

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As we say farewell to the ferocious year of the Tiger, we hop into the placid and serene Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.
The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the festival begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends on the 15th day. The last day is called the Lantern Festival. Though not an official holiday in the United States, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with festivals in countries and regions with significant Chinese populations: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Chinatowns elsewhere. It is a time for reconciliation, forgivness, and well wishes for peace and happiness.
According to mythology, the Chinese New Year emerged from a battle against a legendary beast known as Nian or “Year.” It would come on the first day of the new year to ravage crops, livestock, and children. Villagers began to place food in front of their doors at the commencement of each year to appe…

SAG Awards Nominees

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As the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show countdown dwindles down, we will soon learn who takes home the Actor for "Oustanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture." Here are the nominees: Black SwanThe FighterThe Kids are All RightThe King's SpeechThe Social NetworkOther nominees in other categories include:
The Special RelationshipTemple GrandinThe TownThe Winter's BoneYou Don't Know JackYou are welcome to peruse our catalog for copies of DVDs and books nominated for tonight's awards. The SAG Awards airs tonight at 7 pm on TNT and TBS.

Valentine's Day Gifts for Children's Hospital

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(From left) Payten Fomby (9), Krysten Fomby (10), Jayla Brown (8), and Cassondra Fomby (13) create their Valentine cards, bookmarks and door hangers to give to ailing children. The Birmingham Public Library kicked off its campaign this week to make Valentine's Day gifts for patients at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Black Barons of Birmingham: Members of the South’s Greatest Negro League Team and Dr. Larry Powell Recall a Watershed Moment in History

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In honor of Black History Month, members of the Birmingham Black Barons will recount experiences as participants in the standout Negro League baseball team that made Birmingham a proud city in times of racial division and segregation. Dr. Larry Powell will discuss his book, Black Barons of Birmingham: The South's Greatest Negro League Team and Its Players, as it sheds light on both the Negro Leagues in general and how the Black Barons made their mark on history. A fan of baseball as a child, Dr. Powell was riveted by the historic changes taking place in the sport he loved and how it both reflected and furthered groundbreaking changes in American history. Dr. Powell is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Black Barons of Birmingham: Members of the South’s Greatest Negro League Team and Dr. Larry Powell Recall a Watershed Moment in History
Central Library @ 2100 Park Place
Thursday, February 17 at noon
Arrington Auditorium
Free and open to the …

Upcoming Events for February 2011

Our calendar is full of upcoming events.

Check out the details here.

Thanks to Jeh Jeh Pruit and Good Day Alabama for the visit and video.

If You Like It, Buy It!

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Want to own some of the eBook and audiobook titles you borrowed from Overdrive? Overdrive makes shopping for these items easy with LibraryBIN's Buy It Now feature. LibraryBIN is a new service from the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) and Overdrive that lets you purchase downloadable eBooks and audiobooks and support JCLC with one click. Browse by title, subject, price, or featured collections. Popular titles are selling for up to 25% off, and some titles are offered for free. At checkout select Jefferson County Library Cooperative for them to receive funds from your purchase.

Visit Overdrive's Device Resource Center for a list of compatible eBook and audio devices.

Brown Bag Lunch—Spiral: Perspectives on an African American Art Collection

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Romare Bearden, an artist during the early 1960s in New York City, invited a group of his colleagues to meet and discuss their roles as artists engaged in the charged times of the Civil Rights era. On July 5,1963, the group decided to form a collective and call themselves Spiral. The name was inspired by the Archimedean spiral which moves outward, embracing all directions, but constantly upward. Emily G. Hanna, PHD., curator for the Arts of Africa and the Americas will discuss the roles these black artists played during Civil Rights movement. The exhibit is currently on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art until March 6, 2011. Wednesday, February 2, 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.

American Girl Dolls

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How many of you remember your first doll?If you are like me, you can remember her name, her favorite outfit, and all the fun adventures you shared.Recently, I was reminded that every generation of girls has their first doll, but today’s dolls are unique.Some of them are a fabulous way to introduce a young girl to history and reading.

American Girl Dolls represent a different social class, race, or important period in American history; and each doll comes with a book about her own "life".American Girl’s mission is to celebrate girls. They embrace who they are today and look forward to who they will become tomorrow.American Girl has provided inspiring products for each stage of a young girl’s development—from her preschool days of baby dolls and fantasy play through her tween years of self-expression and individuality.
American Girl corporate states:"Our singular goal with these stories is to help girls find their inner star by becoming kind, compassionate, and loving peopl…

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library February Poetry Slam

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts its fourth poetry slam on February 4 at the Central Library. Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. Last month’s attendance exceeded 100. 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. This program is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 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 …

Derek Walcott Wins T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize

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Eighty-one-year-old Derek Walcott beat out nine other poets, including Seamus Heaney, to win the T.S. EliotPrize for Poetry for his 14th collection of poems, White Egrets. Walcott, who was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, published his first poem at 14.

Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries on the volcanic island of Saint Lucia. His experiences from living in the ex-British colony continues to influence his work—he infuses his poetry with the flavors of the African, Asian, and European cultures that are prevalent in the Caribbean lifestyle. His epic poem Omeros uses the spirit of Dante and the characters of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey to tell a love story set on Saint Lucia.

Walcott divides his time between Trinidad and Boston, where he teaches literature and creative writing.

From White Egrets:

"The Sweet Life Cafe"

If I fall into a grizzled stillness
sometimes, over the red-chequered tablecloth
outdoors of the Sweet Life Cafe, when the noise
of Sund…

African-American History Month

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African-American History Month begins on February 1st and many students will be looking for information to write papers and complete assignments. A good place to start is the subject guide for African-American History Month. The guide provides a list of reference books, databases, magazines, newspapers, and websites you can use to find the information you need. For example, if you need information about African-American leaders in Birmingham, a great reference book to use is called Who’s Who in Black Birmingham. A separate list of reference books for younger students is also included in the guide. There are three databases that focus specifically on African Americans: African American Experience, African American Studies Center, and African-American History Online. Need to know which African-American magazines you can find in the library? The guide provides this information as well as links to African-American newspapers and websites about African-American History Month. As you begin …

Alabama Holocaust Survivors Share Stories of Survival

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Darkness into Life: Alabama Holocaust Survivors through Photography and Art
Central Library, 2100 Park Place
4th Floor Gallery during regular business hours
February 23-April 8
Free and open to the public

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Committee and the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) present Darkness into Life: Alabama Holocaust Survivors through Photography and Art. The collection will be on display at BPL beginning February 23 through April 8.

The photography of Becky Seitel and art of Mitzi J. Levin provide intimate glimpses into the memories of twenty Alabama Holocaust survivors. Seitel and Levin spent hours listening to each survivor’s stories, beginning with their lives before occupation and imprisonment, and continuing to their lives in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile, and Opelika. Survivor biographies and maps accompany the paintings and photographs, providing an additional historical dimension to the exhibit. School and special group tours are encouraged to visit.…

Re-scheduled—Alabama Bound Presents: Alabama Author William Cobb Discusses The Last Queen of the Gypsies

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Lester Ray, a fourteen-year-old boy who was deserted by his mother when he was a baby and finally escapes his abusive alcoholic father, and Minnie, a woman who was abandoned by her Gypsy family of migrant fruit pickers when she was eleven, are the primary characters in William Cobb’s new book The Last Queen of the Gypsies. The book peers into the fascinating world of North American Romany Gypsies and simultaneously reveals small town southern life ranging from the Great Depression to the 1960s. Mr. Cobb’s discussion of his latest book is presented as part of Birmingham Public Library’s Alabama Bound Presents series. The program has been re-scheduled for 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27 in the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium located in the Linn Henley Building at 2100 Park Place.

William Cobb, a native of Demopolis Alabama, attended Livingston State College and Vanderbilt University. He has had a long and distinguished career as teacher and writer-in-residence at the Universit…

Tax Forms and Assistance

As a service to the community, the Birmingham Public Library provides copies of current Federal and Alabama tax forms, instructions, and publications. Basic forms are available at most library locations; a more extensive collection of forms is available in the Government Documents Department in the Linn-Henley Building. Please contact your library to ensure that any forms you need are available.

Check back for updated information in the coming months.

Tax forms and instructions may also be downloaded from the Internet.

Federal Forms
IRS forms and publications
Request IRS forms by mail

State Forms
Alabama Department of Revenue
Federal and State Tax Forms A list of state and federal tax forms available on the Internet. Maintained by the librarians at Louisiana State University.

General Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) This governmental site has United States federal income tax forms, information, and tips. Includes warnings about tax frauds and scams, information about filling online, and…

Looking for a Job? Check this out

In the tutorial above, you can learn about preparing for an online job search, discover some popular job sites, and find out where you can get online help in putting together a resume.

Online job resources covered in the video include the Career Resources of Live Homework Help, Alabama JobLink, Al.com's Best Local Jobs, Craig's List.org, Indeed.com and Monster.com.
For additional Job Searching resources visit the library's Job Searching Subject Guide. To learn about Project Next STEP, the library's free skills training and employment planning workshops, click here.

Brown Bag Lunch—A Community Conversation in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King

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Looking at an excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, "The Drum Major Instinct," we will have a conversation on its meaning and its implications for our lives forty-three years after it was delivered. Conversations are centered on a shared text and a set of thought-provoking questions, encouraging participants to reflect on the issues raised by the reading and discuss how they impact our lives and communities. Wednesday, January 26, 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.

Reading with Ringling Bros.

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The circus is coming to town January 26-30. Reading with Ringling Bros. rewards children who read with a voucher for a free ticket to the circus (an adult ticket must be purchased at the time of redemption). Registration and details are available at every branch of the Birmingham Public Library.

Alabama Author Wade Hall Performs Dramatic Interpretation of An Interview with Abraham Lincoln

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In Alabama native Wade Hall’s book An Interview with Abraham Lincoln, journalist and Union soldier Shelby Grider is granted an interview with the sixteenth president three weeks before Lincoln is assassinated. Grider gets Honest Abe to open up about personal subjects ranging from his childhood to marriage, and his desire to unite a divided nation. Hall makes this historical event resonate by using excerpts of Lincoln’s speeches and letters as the basis for Lincoln’s replies.

This particular Alabama Bound Presents is more than a book talk and lecture: Hall will entertain the audience with a dramatic interpretation of his work. Come celebrate Lincoln’s birthday at Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium on Saturday, February 12, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and signing.

A resident of Louisville, Kentucky, since 1962, Wade Hall has since relocated to his hometown of Unions Springs, Alabama. He is the author of more than twenty books and hundreds of ar…

BPL Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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photo credit: Birmingham Public Library Archives ID No. 1125.11.20a2
Martin Luther King Jr. outside Gaston Motel

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed Monday, January 17 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Canceled: The Life You Save: How to Keep a Journal You Won’t Throw Away

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This program has been canceled due to a crisis in the author's family. We hope to reschedule the program at a future date.

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

Free to all, but registration required for the seminar 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…

Check it Out : Downloadable Audiobooks & eBooks

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Check out our newly redesigned downloadble audiobooks and eBooks page! The new page offers improved navigation, enhanced search capabilities, and additional usability features.

Grab your Jefferson County Library card and click here to begin the process of downloading eBooks and audiobooks for Free.

Canceled: Alabama Author William Cobb Discusses The Last Queen of the Gypsies

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The William Cobb program has been canceled due to inclement weather conditions. The program will be rescheduled at a later date.

Lester Ray, a fourteen-year-old boy who was deserted by his mother when he was a baby and finally escapes his abusive alcoholic father, and Minnie, a woman who was abandoned by her Gypsy family of migrant fruit pickers when she was eleven, are the primary characters in William Cobb’s new book The Last Queen of the Gypsies. The book peers into the fascinating world of North American Romany Gypsies and simultaneously reveals small town southern life ranging from the Great Depression to the 1960s. Mr. Cobb’s discussion of his latest book is presented as part of Birmingham Public Library’s Alabama Bound Presents series. William Cobb, a native of Demopolis Alabama, attended Livingston State College and Vanderbilt University. He has had a long and distinguished career as teacher and writer-in-residence at the University of Montevallo.

Details
Alabama Bound Presen…

The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture—Landscape of Transformations: Architecture and Birmingham, Alabama

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Reading the landscape and buildings of Birmingham the way other historians read a written document, Dr. Michael W. Fazio explores the major events of Birmingham’s civil rights struggle by looking for meaning in the buildings, streets, and landscapes where these events took place. He examines the Magic City’s industrial development, the rise of suburbs, and the role of its most important feature, Red Mountain, in both helping create and divide the community. Dr. Fazio will discuss and offer for purchase his new book, Landscape of Transformations: Architecture and Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham native Michael W. Fazio is professor emeritus in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University.

Details
Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture—Landscape of Transformations: Architecture and Birmingham, Alabama
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Wednesday, January 19
Noon
Free and open to the public

Each January since 2004, the Birmingham Public Library Archives has sponsored the Annual Martin L…

The Life You Save: How to Keep a Journal You Won’t Throw Away

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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

Free to all, but registration required for the seminar 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.

Final Poetry Slam Workshop

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Poets, aspiring poets, and poetry clubs in grades 9-12, and teachers are invited to participate in the final free spoken word poetry workshop at the Birmingham Public Central Library (BPL) on Saturday, January 8, 2:00-4:00 p.m. The session will be held at the Central Library in the Arrington Auditorium. If this is your first foray into spoken word poetry, or you’d like to take your skills to the next level, sign up. Planning to participate in the next BPL Word Up! contest? Now is the time to hone your skills. Space is limited. Call 226-3670 or email hm@bham.lib.al.us to reserve your spot. Free of charge!

The Desert Island Supply Company (DISCO), a nonprofit writing program based in Birmingham, and Real Life Poets, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to mentor young adults, encourage good communication, and oratorical skills using spoken word poetry will conduct these free workshops.

Enjoy eBooks

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Yesterday, I finish a book on my e-reader at 6:40 p.m. and in less time than it would have taken me to get up and get into my car; I downloaded a new book from the library’s downloadable collection.

Have an eBook device? Maybe you like many others unwrapped one this past holiday season?

If so, you’re probably looking for ways to make the most of it without breaking the bank by buying eBooks.

Overdrive, the web-based eBook service used by the library, allows eBooks to be downloaded to a variety of devices, including Barnes & Noble Nooks, Sony Readers, Pandigital Novels, Literati Readers, desktop and laptop computers, iPads and iPods.

If you have one or more of the devices listed above, grab your Jefferson County Library card and click here to begin the process of checking out eBooks for Free.

A one-time installation of free Adobe Digital Editions software will be necessary to read eBooks.

Alabama Author William Cobb Discusses The Last Queen of the Gypsies

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Lester Ray, a fourteen-year-old boy who was deserted by his mother when he was a baby and finally escapes his abusive alcoholic father, and Minnie, a woman who was abandoned by her Gypsy family of migrant fruit pickers when she was eleven, are the primary characters in William Cobb’s new book The Last Queen of the Gypsies. The book peers into the fascinating world of North American Romany Gypsies and simultaneously reveals small town southern life ranging from the Great Depression to the 1960s. Mr. Cobb’s discussion of his latest book is presented as part of Birmingham Public Library’s Alabama Bound Presents series. William Cobb, a native of Demopolis Alabama, attended Livingston State College and Vanderbilt University. He has had a long and distinguished career as teacher and writer-in-residence at the University of Montevallo.

Details
Alabama Bound Presents: William Cobb
The Last Queen of the Gypsies
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Wednesday, January 12
Noon

Alabama Bound Presents…

Clowning Around Downtown

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Some clowns in town for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be stopping by the Central Library Atrium on Friday, January 7, at 3:30 p.m. to entertain—or terrify, if you suffer from coulrophobia—our young and young-at-heart patrons. Shiny, red clown noses will be handed out to the children.

As a fun incentive to encourage kids to read, the Birmingham Public Library will be participating in a reading program offering vouchers for free circus tickets.

Who may participate? Children ages 2-12.

How does the voucher work? With the purchase of an adult ticket, a voucher may be exchanged at the box office for a free child's ticket.

What are the reading requirements? Four books must be read by children of school age or read to younger children. Similar to the summer reading program, a reading log will be stamped for every book read.

When is the last day to participate? January 26.

Call the Youth Department at 226-3655 for more information.

The circus will be visiting Birmingh…

The Cat's Meow

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British artist S. Anne Lynche bestowed a gift on the Springville Road Branch Tuesday, January 4, as a token of her appreciation for library services and the staff. The unique cats and other creatures painted on natural river rocks have achieved international appeal with art collectors and animal lovers. "Cat Rocks" have been the subject of several television programs, as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles.
Lynche, who received her training at the Royal Schools of Art, began painting and selling "Cat Rocks" at her former studio in Dallas, Texas. She now has her current studio in Pass Christian on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Birmingham Bound: Writers and Writing from the Birmingham Public Library Archives

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The Birmingham Public Library Archives announces the next program in its series of author talks and book signings. Peter M. Rutkoff will speak about and sign copies of his book Fly Away: The Great African American Cultural Migrations.

The Great Migration -- the mass exodus of blacks from the rural South to the urban north and west in the twentieth century -- shaped American culture and life in ways still evident today. Historian Peter Rutkoff will discuss the motivations that inspired African Americans to abandon the South. As black Southerners moved north and west they took with them the South's rich tradition of religion, language, music, and art, recreating and preserving their Southern identity in the churches, newspapers, jazz clubs, and neighborhoods of America's largest cities. Fly Away explores the development and adaptation of African American culture, from its West African roots to its profound and lasting impact on mainstream America.

Birmingham Bound: Writers and Wri…

Take the Next STEP towards a Job

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Discover Internet job searching techniques, learn how to post resumes at online job sites, and enhance your career skills with Project Next STEP (Skills Training & Employment Preparation).

The Project Next STEP Mobile Computer Lab will visit the following Public libraries in January 2011:
PowderlyPratt CitySmithfieldWoodlawnGardendaleHomewoodCheck with the library for workshop dates and times.

Project Next STEP is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services - Library Services and Technology Act, in partnership with the Alabama Public Library Service and the Jefferson County Library Cooperative.