Showing posts from April, 2011

List of Libraries Closed Thursday, April 28

East Lake, Ensley, North Birmingham, Pratt City, Smithfield, and Wylam libraries are closed today.

Researching Your Family’s Roots: Family History Resources on the Internet

Frazine Taylor at Alabama Bound, 2009 The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is hosting a workshop presented by Frazine Taylor on how to use the Internet to find family history resources. Taylor is the retired Head of Reference for the Alabama Department of Archives and History with over twenty years of experience as a librarian, archivist, lecturer, and writer. She is the author of Researching Your African American Ancestor: A Resource Guide . One among Taylor’s many honors is working on Tom Joyner’s and Linda Johnson Rice’s segments in the PBS series, African American Lives 2 . This workshop focuses on the Internet as a tool or research technique that could save any researcher time, or prevent wasted efforts when searching the World Wide Web. The workshop will cover: • Introduction to several search engines with uses for family history • How to use search operators to fine tune search results • How to use social media for family history • Other aspects of online sources for family rese

BPL@Night Presents Casual Causality

The Birmingham Public Library is pleased to host members of Birmingham Art Music Alliance (BAMA) for its May BPL@Night event. BAMA is a nonprofit organization comprised of local composers, professional performers, students, and enthusiasts whose mission is to promote music by Alabama composers in an experimental way, and preserve the tradition of music as a living form. Members of BAMA will perform at the Central Library on Thursday, May 19, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. This diverse program will feature five casual pieces for violin and viola, a jazzy number for four clarinets, a meditation for flute and congas, a solo trumpet work, and an opus for flute and clarinet based on correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams . BPL@Night Presents Casual Causality Central Library Atrium Thursday, May 19, 2011 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public For more information about BAMA, visit . For more information on this BPL@Night event, contact Sandi Lee at (205) 2

Pratt City Library Closed

The Pratt City Library received extensive damage during yesterday's tornado and will be closed until further notice. After library staff have had an opportunity to inspect the damage we will be able to provide additional information. The Birmingham News photographer Frank Couch captured a photograph of the damage.

Score Big with You Are Here & The Cotchery Foundation

This young man obviously enjoyed “Score Big” with the Cotchery Foundation . I'm sure he will be glad to learn the Birmingham Public Library will once again host “Score Big” with the Cotchery Foundation as part of it's "You Are Here" summer reading initiative. Jerricho Cotchery of the New York Jets wants all students ages 11-18 to READ by participating in the Birmingham Public Library "You Are Here" reading program. Qualified "You Are Here" participants will have the opportunity to: Attend the 2011 Skills and Drills Football Clinic with Jerricho Cotchery and other NFL players on June 18, 2011 at Legion Field FREE of charge. Attend the FREE "Club 89" Teen Tailgate Party at Birmingham Public Library on June 17. 2011. Registration for “Score Big” with the Cotchery Foundation begins May 1, 2011. Visit any Birmingham Public Library location for details.

Etsy: Buy, Sell, and Live Homemade

I love to scour antique shops and thrift stores for unique things, whether they're hard-to-find items from bygone eras, or items carved, stitched, or painted with love. I also love to shop online, and occasionally have found some unique pieces on eBay. But when I stumbled onto Etsy, I was thrilled about combining the two. And unlike the craziness that eBay can be at times, Etsy just seems so...tranquil. Etsy is a global marketplace where craftspeople go to sell their products to non-crafty people such as me, which happens to be Etsy's mission statement: to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. At Etsy one can buy homemade jewelry, clothing, and purses; home accessories; paintings; and really whatever inspires the imaginations of Etsy sellers. Etsy sellers number in the hundreds of thousands, with buyers and sellers in more than 150 countries. If you're a crafty person and Etsy sounds like the place you'd like to unload your

Like Father, Like Son

Reading is not only a form of entertainment, but an essential life skill. Create good reading habits in your children: Spend reading time with your children. Visit the library often. Take time to set a good example—read on your own. Thanks to our friends at the Finnish Library Association for the video.

It's Earth Day! Find out how you can save the planet. . .

April 22 is Earth Day! What are you doing to help preserve our planet? Need some suggestions? Visit our Earth Day 2011 display in the Business, Science, and Technology department to find out how you can do your part to save the earth. We also have a brochure that gives you everyday examples of how you can go green. Stop by today, or call us at 205-226-3690!

Brown Bag Lunch—Ashley Bryan: An Introduction

Maryann Manning, Special Service Professor Emerita, School of Education, UAB, has known the remarkable Ashley Bryan for many years and is familiar with much of his vast body of work. Bryan, with his many interests and accolades, is above all an artist and humanitarian…believing if you put art into the world, you get nothing but beauty in return. Bryan has appeared in Birmingham at a number of conferences sponsored by UAB and the Alabama Young Authors. Manning will bring Bryan to life as she recounts precious memories collected over the years and shares excerpts from a video recording made at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Learn about charming Little Cranberry Island, Maine, where Bryan paints in his garden, sings spirituals in his cozy living room, and makes his famous toasted cheese sandwiches in his kitchen. Contact Sandi Lee at 205-226-3742 or for more information. Wednesday, April 27, noon. An exhibit of Ashley Bryan's art will be on

Congratulations to WORD UP! 2011 Winners

WORD UP! 2011, a poetry slam composed of high school students in Jefferson County, was a wonderful event. This year's contestants drew inspiration from the poem “Daybreak in Alabama” by Langston Hughes. The winners of WORD UP! 2011 are: 1st place: Derrick Spencer - Ramsay 2nd place: Illyshia Parker - Woodlawn 3rd place: Tamunotonte Korubo - Shades Valley Other competing poets performing at WORD UP! 2011: Audrey Powell - Jackson-Olin Joy Walls - Shades Valley Sharay Brooks - Woodlawn Seneithia Parker - Parker Darius Dubose - Huffman Taylor Duncan - Tarrant Yoseline Martinez - Tarrant Joshua Everett - Leeds Jessica Lockett - Ramsay Eric Marable - Pinson Valley Maria Tinker - Huffman Paige Reynolds - Homewood Randi Smith - Oak Grove Aaliyah Smith - Clay-Chalkville To view individual performances click on the names above. The poetry slam in it's entirety can be seen in two parts: Part 1 & Part 2. Congratulations to all the young poets who took part in WORD UP! 2011.

Who is the British Royal Family?

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is in the news constantly as their wedding approaches on April 29, 2011. But, do you really know the British Royal Family? Which royal was called "Fishface" in public by their spouse? Which Princess had an imaginary friend called Pinkle Pockle? Which Queen chose to be buried with her wedding veil? Which King's death resulted in the "throne" becoming a slang nickname for the toilet seat? Which Queen has triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13)? Visit the Social Sciences department display and find out everything you wanted to know about the British royal family and more! Contact us at 205-226-3640. Answers: 1. Prince Charles by Princess Diana 2. Princess Margaret 3. Queen Victoria 4. George II who died of a heart attack while on the "throne" 5. Queen Elizabeth II *These questions are taken from The Royal Family Quiz and Fact Book .

Garage Sale Benefiting Avondale Library

The Avondale community is having a garage sale this Saturday to raise money for Avondale Library's Youth Department. Money raised will be used for children's programing, books, and materials. Take a look at the photos. It is going to be huge! Come early so you won't miss out on some fabulous treasures. Details: What: Avondale Community Garage Sale Why: To Benefit the Avondale Library Youth Department When: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 7:00 a.m.-12 p.m. Where: Avondale United Methodist Church Gymnasium, 500 South 40th Street

Brown Bag Lunch—Early Literacy: Why and How It Helps

Join us for a panel discussion by the United Way 's Success By 6 Early Literacy Outreach Department. Our community is becoming more and more focused on the importance of school readiness and the impact that has on everyone’s future. United Way Success By 6 is committed to providing pre-schoolers and educators in central Alabama the skills needed for children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive. Contact Sandi Lee at 205-226-3742 or for more information. Wednesday, April 20, 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.

Where in this Video is Birmingham Public Library?

The American Library Association produced a video celebrating libraries for National Library Week 2011. Can you tell which segments of this video was recorded at Birmingham Public Library (BPL)? Which BPL location ?

John Grisham Speaks

Acclaimed author and Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2011 John Grisham on the value of libraries.

Deciphering the Numbers: Library Workshops Focus on Putting 2010 Census Numbers To Use

The U.S. Census Bureau is partnering with the Birmingham Public Library to host a series of workshops titled "Deciphering the Numbers." These workshops are free and will be offered to the general public. They are designed to explore the many areas of 2010 Census data to assist traditional and non-traditional data users in easily accessing data to fit their individual needs. Both workshops will be held downtown in Birmingham Public Library ’s Arrington Auditorium located at 2100 Park Place. April 26, 2011 Census Data Basics 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Topics covered include: • Exploring the Census Web Site • American Fact Finder Overview • Dissecting Summary Files • Redistricting Overview • Simple Data Searches • Census Surveys • Preview of the New American Fact Finder May 10, 2011 Census Data and Proposal Writing for Not-For Profit Organizations 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Topics covered include: • Accessing Data for Specific Populations • Accessing Data for Community and Neighborhoo

Annual Report 2010

Want to know what keeps the Birmingham Public Library staff busy and patrons coming back for more? Take a look at the Birmingham Public Library Annual Report for 2010 .

Tweets meet Haikus for National Library Week

"Love your library/Write us a twaiku today/You could win fifty." That's an example of the twaiku honoring National Library Week. The American Library Association launched the contest in honor of National Library Week. Participants are encouraged to submit their twaiku about their love and appreciaton of libraries. The winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Amazon. So, what's a twaiku? It's the offspring of a haiku and Twitter, simply put. In the haiku tradition, it still consists of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables, respectively. But the tweet structure only allows 140 characters or 130 with the #nlwtwaiku tag. The contest ends this Wednesday, April 13. All submissions must be tagged #nlwtwaiku. The winner will be announced after Saturday, April 16. Good luck!

Sunday @ Springville Road

Working on a school project. Just another Sunday @ Springville Road Branch Library. Flashing a beautiful smile! Just another Sunday @ Springville Road Branch Library. "Look, Mommy!" Watching those crazy critters. Just another Sunday @ Springville Road Branch Library.

National Library Week Coupon

Have late fees? National library week, April 10-16 , is a good time to visit your library and get $5 off late fees with this coupon .

Will's Lemonade Stand

Click here to Donate This is Will's story. He is a 4 year old in Birmingham, Alabama . He learned about the library's drastic budget cuts and he decided to do something about it. He set up a lemonade stand. It was a huge success. He brought in almost $40. He could have used the money for himself, but instead he presented it to Renee Blalock, the Director of the Birmingham Public Library. With his donation, he requested that the librarian order books and a DVD. After purchasing these materials, the librarian told Will he could be the first to check out the books and DVD. This thrilled him. Will's story was an inspiration to us. We hope that you will be inspired as well. Please visit us at to give today. The BPL Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity and as such, all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by the law.

Your Phone Just Got Smarter: Homework Help on the Go!

It seems that we can do just about everything using phones these days. But, until now you couldn’t work with a live tutor to finish a homework assignment or polish up a resume. Now you can! Live Homework Help is now meeting students where they live – on their phone using To Go™ for iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch, a free mobile companion for To Go™ can connect you to a live tutor for one-to-one assistance, review past tutoring sessions, store documents or images in your Locker, or browse the resources in’s SkillsCenter™ Resource Library. For those not familiar with Live Homework Help, it is a free online after-school tutoring site for all residents of Alabama powered by Tutors are online Sunday through Thursday, 3:00-10:00 p.m for all residents of Alabama. Users are connected in real-time to a live tutor to work one-to-one through problems with homework, test prep, or whatever one needs help with. Help is literally secon

William and Kate: All the Details and More

Wedding bells are ringing for Prince William and Kate Middleton this month as they get married in Westminster Abbey. Keep up with the latest wedding plans and all the news! In celebration of this occasion, the Social Sciences department has a display of books, audio books, and DVDs on the royal couple and other members of the British royal family. Visit us on the third floor of Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library or contact us at 205-226-3640!

Go Green This Month!

Earth Day is April 22, 2011, and the Business, Science, and Technology department has a display of books, DVDs, and audio books to help you go green in your everyday life. Here are some practical tips to begin your "green" journey: Use rechargeable batteries. Use cotton towels instead of paper towels to clean up in the kitchen. Bring your own reusable carry bag when buying groceries. Carry a refillable mug We also have a "Go Green" brochure giving you even more tips on how to recycle, reduce, and reduce to minimize your enivonmental footprint. The Birmingham Public Library is your first step in going green. Check out the "Go Green" blog posts on how your library is doing its part. Stop by Business, Science, and Techonlogy department today, or call 205-226-3690 for assistance!

Brown Bag Lunch—Ingredients for a Healthy Heart

Do you know what your health numbers ought to be when it comes to your cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index? Learn techniques for keeping your body, mind, and spirit as healthy as they should be. Join us as Jordan Fenton, Registered Dietitian and Health Promotion Specialist from St. Vincent’s Health Systems, leads us in this timely discussion. Contact Michelle Andrews at 205-226-3620 for additional information. Wednesday, April 13, 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.


You've heard of the Microforms Department at the Central location of the Birmingham Public Library, however you may have wondered, "What are Microforms and why would anyone need them?" Basically, they consist of Documents of many kinds which are filmed, well, this says it better than I can.

BPL@Night Presents "Music in the Stacks with Logan"

The Birmingham Public Library will host vocalist Logan on Thursday, April 28, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. at the Titusville Branch Library. Logan has opened for the artists Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers; Regina Belle; Glenn Jones; The O’Jays; Frankie Beverly and Maze; Earth, Wind, & Fire; Peabo Bryson; Dennis Edwards and the Temptation Revue; Lyfe Jennings; Anthony David; Robin Thicke; and Heather Headley. He has appeared as the featured act at several Birmingham Heritage Festivals and nightspots throughout Alabama. He has also appeared on several TV shows including BET’s The Way We Do It with Rickey Siley, Fox 6’s Good Day Alabama , and ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama and Original Artist , where he and his band 5th Element won the R&B competition. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend April’s BPL@Night event and experience Logan performing songs from his current album— Move —produced by Alvin “Cornbread” Garret of Jiffee Mixed Music, along with his hit songs “No Never,” “I Like Watch