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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween from BPL!

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BPL wants to wish you a safe and happy Halloween. The Ghoul's Ball was a tremendous success last week!

Pictured here is one of BPL's many wonderful employees, dressed as Jack Skellintgton, the main character from A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Notice the detail of the BPL name badge here.)

If you're looking for treats on All Hallow's Eve, BPL offers thousands upon thousands of items for check-out at any one of its 18 locations.

Be safe and visit soon!

Brown Bag Lunch: Industrial Voices: Reflections on the Birmingham Scene During the Great Depression

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To accompany the Birmingham Historical Society’s new exhibit The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork from the 1930s and 1940s, Sloss Furnaces curator Karen Utz will discuss the "voices" within the paintings—how different Southern classes and cultures dealt with economic and social issues during an era in American history that witnessed everything from the Great Depression to the onset of World War II. Wednesday, November 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.

Birmingham Public Library Celebrates 125 Years of Service with Launch of 2011 Donation Campaign

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The Birmingham Public Library was established in 1886 as an adjunct of the city's public schools. John Herbert Phillips, then superintendent of the public school system, set up a library in a room adjoining his office, and this particular library grew over several decades. Finally, in 1913, a public library board was established, and the City of Birmingham assumed responsibility for funding the institution.

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is celebrating 125 years of service to the community. As the oldest cultural institution in Birmingham, the library has grown from a single small room to the system that now includes the 233,000-square foot Central Complex and 18 branch locations housing more than 900,000 catalogued items. Last year, the library’s budget for materials was cut 48%, or $600,000, and this year, it has been reduced even more. To help offset these cuts to the public library’s budget, the library recently announced the 2011 BPL Campaign.

“Our collection is very sp…

Bards & Brews: Birmingham Public Library November Poetry Slam

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) hosts the last Bards & Brews poetry slam/beer tasting of 2011 on Friday, November 4, at the Central Library. Bards & Brews will not be held in December; the slam will start again in January.

Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. 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. Craft beer will be available for sampling. You must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. 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!

Take a peek at photos and videos from past slams.

Details
Bards &…

The Art of Science November Programs: Nutrition Science

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Color, art, and good food, too;
Looks good, tastes great,
There’s a question for you:
What makes a nutritious plate?

The importance of proper nutrition is illustrated when children design their own food pyramid puzzle, learn how to “eat their colors,” and decorate food.

The Art of Science is a grant-funded after-school program conducted by Elinor and Winfield Burks at six Birmingham Public Library branches: Avondale, East Lake, Five Points West, North Birmingham, Powderly, and Springville Road. The program will run nine months—from September 2011 through December 2012—and will cover the science of nutrition, geometry, sound, plants, optics, recycling, and materials engineering in a hands-on atmosphere. Each program will begin with a science principle and end with a craft or group project. Supplies for the crafts are provided.

At each session, the library will showcase books and videos about the program’s topic, and introduce age-appropriate databases for children to further explore what the…

BPL Archivist Jim Baggett to Participate in BMA Panel Discussion on Fred Shuttlesworth

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Good Friday, 1963. Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. taking part in civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham. The three ministers were arrested, and it was during this incarceration that King wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail." (Birmingham Public Library archives)

Additional photos and newspaper articles of Fred Shuttlesworthmay be found in the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections.

Birmingham Public Library Archivist Jim Baggett will participate in Historians and History Makers Pay Tribute to the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a panel discussion led by Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home. The discussion is a part of a weekend filled with public conversations about the cultural and historical significance of the late civil rights activist, whose recent death sparked reflection and mourning throughout the country.

For a list of panel participants and more information on the event, visit Birmingham Museu…

Brown Bag Lunch: The Martians Are Us! A True Halloween Tale or Two

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Just in time for Halloween, Birmingham author, bookseller, and all-around colorful local character Jim Reed will share true tales about scary places, such as the sand pits at Woking, where the H.G. Wells Martians first landed. Join him if you dare! Wednesday, October 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 Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium.

Citywide Visioning Forum

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You are invited to share your vision for Birmingham's future at the Citywide Visioning Forum. Over the next year, the city of Birmingham will be asking you—and your family, neighbors, and coworkers—to help plan for the city's new comprehensive plan that will serve to guide the physical development of the city based on the community's vision and goals. This will be the city's first full comprehensive plan since 1961, so don't miss this opportunity to make your voice heard. For more information, call the city's planning office at 205-254-2479 or visit the website: www.birminghamcomprehensiveplan.com.

Details
Citywide Visioning Forum
Birmingham CrossPlex (former Alabama State Fair Grounds)
Saturday, October 22
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Continental breakfast and lunch included.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch: Little-Known and Important: The Civil Rights Movement's "Best-Kept" Secrets

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Birmingham teacher and historian J.D. Jackson will discuss little-known but important stories of the Civil Rights Movement, exploring people, places, and events often overlooked or rarely focused on in other studies of this dramatic time in American history. Wednesday, October 19, 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.

5 Horror Movie Scenes I Wish I Could Unsee

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"Come play with us, Danny. Forever...and ever...and ever."

I co-moderate a horror group at Goodreads, and the question that gets batted about often is: "Why do people love horror?" One of the answers that makes the most sense is that we read and watch horror to confront our fear of the unknown and become inured to its potential nasty surprises.

There are different kinds of horror within the genre: classic horror that includes writers such as Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allen Poe, and movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Birds; conventional horror that includes writers such Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and movies such as Friday the 13th and Halloween; splatterpunk horror that includes writers such as Edward Lee and Joe Lansdale, and movies such as I Spit on Your Grave and High Tension.

But no matter how tame or how shocking a book or movie is, often there are scenes that you just can't shake. For movies, I have five such unshakable scenes, and here t…

National Novel Writing Month 2011

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At midnight on November 1, armed only with their wits, the vague outline of a story, and a ridiculous deadline, more than 250,000 people around the world will set out to become novelists.

Why? Because November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing challenge and nonprofit literary crusade. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30. There are no judges, no prizes, and entries are deleted from the server before anyone even reads them.

So what’s the point? “The 50,000-word challenge has a wonderful way of opening up your imagination and unleashing creativity,” says NaNoWriMo Founder and Executive Director Chris Baty. “When you write for quantity instead of quality, you end up getting both. Also, it’s a great excuse for not doing any dishes for a month.”

More than 650 regional volunteers in more than 60 countries will hold write-ins, hosting writers in coffee shops, bookstores, and lib…

Our Spirit Will Not Be Broken: Voices from the April Storms

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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 three free workshops to inspire and guide participants in effectively using the power of words to express their storm experiences. The workshops are scheduled for the following dates and libraries (prior reservations are recommended):

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: North Birmingham Public Libr…

Brown Bag Lunch: Little-Known and Important: The Civil Rights Movement's "Best-Kept" Secrets

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Birmingham teacher and historian J.D. Jackson will discuss little-known but important stories of the Civil Rights Movement, exploring people, places, and events often overlooked or rarely focused on in other studies of this dramatic time in American history. Wednesday, October 19, 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.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch: The Tuskegee Airmen

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The story of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen continues to inspire and teach us about the courage and determination of a group of fighting men who would nto let discrimination keep them from serving their country. Author Daniel Haulman will discuss his new book, The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939-1949. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Wednesday, October 12, 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.

The Old Switcheroo

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Immersion journalism has lifted the veil many times. In Black Like Me, Caucasian John Howard Griffin “became” a black man in the segregated South too see what it was like from the other side of the wall. Many years later, an Israeli Jew passed as a Palestinian in order to appreciate Arab reality in the Occupied Territories. Norah Vincent has tried something less noble, perhaps, but every bit as personal in Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised As a Man. She lived as a man for a year and a half (even the book’s subtitle underplays her role). The book is far more than a mere stunt in any commonly-understood sense. For one, Vincent didn’t do it to gain attention (at least not while she was living as a man). Of course, publicity would have blown her cover. In the sense that what she did was “an unusual or difficult feat requiring great skill or daring (Merriam Webster)”-yes, the book qualifies as a stunt. But that definition is only a sliver of the account here.

Starting out was co…

Join Us for Another Round of Bards & Brews

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The Birmingham Public Library hosts another poetry slam on Friday, October 7, at the Central Library. Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. 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. Craft beer will be available for sampling. You must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. 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.

Take a peek at photos and videos from past slams.

Details:

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-u…

Ghoul's Ball Spooktacular, October 27

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Don't miss out on a real treat and a devilishly good time. Be sure to register for the 3rd Annual Ghoul's Ball. This spooktacular event will take place in Central Library's Atrium on Thursday, October 27, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. We will have treats, games, airbrush tattoos, and a dance contest. Teens ages 11-18 are welcome. Do you dare? Take a look at photos from previous years. The event is free but please register by calling 226-3651.

11th Annual City of Birmingham Recycles Day

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It's that time of year again to start cleaning out the outdated or broken electronic items cluttering your home in preparation for all the nifty new gadgets you're sure to receive in the coming holiday season. On Wednesday, October 26, from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., you may drop off your e-waste and other items for recycling at Linn Park. Click on the flier for more details and the list of acceptable and unacceptable items.

The Annual Meeting for the Friends of BPL is coming 'round the bend!

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Join us at the Friends Annual Meeting, October 16, 2011, @ 1:30 p.m., featuring the GRAND OPENING of the Friends Bookstore

The Bookstore Makeover is complete and we have the best-looking Bookstore in all the Birmingham Public Library, even if it is the only one in the system. It is still a thing of beauty and we want to invite you to its Grand Opening at the Friends Annual Meeting, October 16, 2011.

In fact, if you attend, you will get to see the Retail Room for the first time ever! Over the past few weeks, we have been stocking the Retail Room’s shelves with new gifts (as well as gently-used ones) for you to purchase. We will unveil it all on October 16th.

You must be a member of the Friends to attend the meeting, but you may join for half price from now until the meeting. You may click here to join today.

Membership levels are as follows:

Senior citizen, student, or BPL employee $10
Individual $20
Family $30
Patron $100
Benefactor $500

So, pay half the price and join us at 1:30 p.m. on Sun…

AIA to Assist Storm-Affected Residents

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has assembled a team of national experts to assist storm-affected residents in the development of a long-term recovery strategy from October 7-10, 2011. The public are invited to participate in a Town Hall Kick Off.

Details
Town Hall Kick Off
South Hampton Elementary School
Friday, October 7
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Brown Bag Lunch: The Tuskegee Airmen

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The story of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen continues to inspire and teach us about the courage and determination of a group of fighting men who would nto let discrimination keep them from serving their country. Author Daniel Haulman will discuss his new book, The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939-1949. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Wednesday, October 12, 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.

Birmingham Noir: A Nighttime Walking Tour of Notorious Downtown Sites

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We are sorry, but this year's Birmingham Noir tours are sold out. Contact Jim Baggett at 226-3631 or jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us to be put on a list to receive an e-mail reservation reminder before next October's tours are advertised.

Just as the afternoon sun slips out of the downtown sky, like a platinum blonde sliding into a black party dress, the night owls will gather at the library.

Put on your walking shoes and join Birmingham Public Library archivist Jim Baggett for a visit to some of Birmingham's most infamous historic places. Learn about the Magic City's most famous brothel, spectacular 19th century murders, political intrigues, and the scandal that nearly destroyed Bull Connor's career.

The two tour dates are October 28 and 30. The tours begin at 5:45 p.m. in the Atrium of the Central Library and last approximately 90 minutes.

Admission is free, but reservations are required and spaces are limited. Contact Jim Baggett at 226-3631 or jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us.

Brown Bag Lunch: A Taste of Music Featuring the Alabama School of Fine Arts

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Join us to hear the Music Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts present a program of performances by the ASFA String Orchestra, Ladies Vocal Ensemble and Jazz Combo. Under the direction of Kimberly Scott, Laura Doss, and Robert Janssen, the talented students of ASFA will perform a diverse program of music from the Classical period to modern day. Wednesday, October 5, 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.

Research Controversial Paper Topics with Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context is the premier online resource covering today’s hottest social issues from all perspectives, from offshore drilling to climate change, health care to immigration. Opposing Viewpoints in Context helps students research, analyze, and organize a broad variety of data for conducting research, completing writing assignments, preparing for debates, creating presentations, and more.

Click on the Databases link from the Birmingham Public Library homepageScroll through Database Quick Links to find Opposing ViewpointsUse the Opposing Viewpoints database to read thoughtful essays, both pro and con on any topic in the news (there are also links to newspaper, magazine, and reference articles to help you form your own opinions). You can click on any of the subject specific databases to find even more information.
It’s like a treasure hunt and you’re on the trail of the best and most current information available anywhere. The databases also give you the correct ways to…