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Showing posts from November, 2011

Brown Bag Lunch: Remembering Pearl Harbor at the Movies

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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

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‘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?

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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"

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Join us for our annual tradition with Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents "A Christmas Memory." Truman Capote's poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama is 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

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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

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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

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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

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

RIP Anne McCaffrey

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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

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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

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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"

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Join us for our annual tradition with Birmingham storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock as she presents "A Christmas Memory." Truman Capote's poignant reminiscence of his boyhood in rural Alabama is 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

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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 …

Today's Brown Bag Lunch: The Cherokee and American Indian Today

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Valarie McCay of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama will share insight into how Cherokee Culture influences Cherokees and American life today. The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama is one of the nine tribes recognized by the State of Alabama with representation on the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission. Alabama is rich in Cherokee history, including some of the first written Cherokee laws being enacted in Alabama. Several of the earliest Cherokee delegations to Washington D.C. included Alabama Cherokees. Representative McCay is a certified Project Management Professional currently working at UAB. Wednesday, November 16, 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.

Library Programs for Our Youngest Patrons

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Birmingham Public Library youth programs offer something for everyone, from tots to teens and family fun, too. Youth events at BPL include the following:

1-2-3 Play With Me is one of the BPL grant-funded programs for children birth through age 3, and for their parents and/or caregivers. The program teaches parenting skills and is a forum for parenting professionals to share information and answer parenting questions each week. This five-week program has been scheduled at several branches and the Central Library throughout the fall. BPL libraries supply age-appropriate books, toys, and art activities at each location.

Most BPL locations host a weekly program with library storytellers, such as Tot Time with Mrs. Eve at the Avondale Regional Library. Avondale Library is also a Family Place Library, which is the designation for a network of libraries nationwide. Family Place Library sites redesign the library environment/space to be welcoming and right-sized for our youngest patrons.

Fami…

Public Workshops Encourage Participation in Birmingham Comprehensive Plan Project

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The city of Birmingham invites you to be a part of the City of Birmingham Comprehensive Plan Project. Workshops have been scheduled in six locations around the city for the public to attend and share their ideas and visions for the city's future.

For more information, call the city’s planning office at 205-254-2479 or sign up at http//www.birminghamcomprehensiveplan.com. Click on the flyer to enlarge for a list of the workshops.

Local Authors Expo Great Place to Shop for Literary Gifts

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Start your holiday shopping with a visit to the Birmingham Public Library’s Local Authors Expo. 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 60-minute program, presented by freelance editor Liz Reed, will outline steps in the process of getting your book into print. “Every Writer Needs an Editor” takes place from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the Richard Arrington Auditorium. There is no char…

Brown Bag Lunch: The Cherokee and American Indian Today

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Valarie McCay of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama will share insight into how Cherokee Culture influences Cherokees and American life today. The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama is one of the nine tribes recognized by the State of Alabama with representation on the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission. Alabama is rich in Cherokee history, including some of the first written Cherokee laws being enacted in Alabama. Several of the earliest Cherokee delegations to Washington D.C. included Alabama Cherokees. Representative McCay is a certified Project Management Professional currently working at UAB. Wednesday, November 16, 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.

Mr. Putter & Tabby Entertain the Readers

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You may find it surprising that a series of books about two elderly neighbors and their pets would be so appealing to children, but Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter & Tabby series is quite popular among young (and old *raises hand*) readers, popular enough to warrant twenty books—Mr. Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell was published in September. My first grader loves these chapter books so much he chooses one every week from his school library to bring home.

In the first book of the series, Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea, Mr. Putter decides that a cat would make the perfect companion. When he goes to the pet store to buy an older cat, there are none for sale because everyone knows that cute, frisky kittens make the best pets. So Mr. Putter heads to the shelter where he adopts an older, bent-whiskered cat in the twilight of her years, just like Mr. Putter himself. Neither one is cute or frisky, and that’s the way they like it!

Mr. Putter and Tabby live next door to Mrs. Teaberry and he…

Today's Brown Bag Lunch: Cherokee Genealogy Research

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Join us as Valarie McCay of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama discusses genealogy research for people with American Indian ancestry. Representative McCay is a certified Project Management Professional currently working at UAB. Wednesday, November 9, 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.

Security Team Builds Appreciation for Rules

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On a recent visit to the Central Library, patron Agnes Hail* took a few minutes to complete a comment card for the library director. In her comments, she thanked the BPL security staff for reviewing the library rules with her two students. Hail went on to mention how courteous the guards were and that they provided their service with a smile. After reading the card, BPL Director Renee Blalock immediately shared the remarks with appropriate staff. “It’s always important to commend our team members when library visitors offer positive feedback,” stated Blalock. "Ms. Hail’s remarks reinforce one of our main goals: to offer the very best in customer service.”

Members of BPL’s security team are responsible for enforcing all library rules and for providing general security in library facilities. They help ensure the safety of all patrons and staff, as well as protect against theft or misuse of library property. Additionally, team members are expected to render assistance to patrons and …

BPL Extends Thanks to Board Member Owens

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Judge Shantá Craig Owens always had a love for books. Growing up in Birmingham, she spent many days during her youth in the library. That love for libraries led her to many years of volunteer service as a Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Trustee. She was first appointed to the Board in January 2006. Owens served on various Board committees during her tenure and in 2010 chaired the Public Relations Committee. She resigned from the BPL Board recently when her family moved outside of the Birmingham city limits. Owens is a Criminal District Court Judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit and currently presides over the Jefferson County Drug Court Program. Aside from her love of public libraries, she enjoys reading, traveling, and swimming. She is married to Rahman Owens and they have one child. Trustees and staff of BPL extend their greatest appreciation to Judge Owens for her many years of service.

Last Call for Bards & Brews 2011

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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. The slamming will resume in January 2012. Friday’s farewell event will feature Sharrif Simmons—musician, poet, and performer par excellence. Samples of Pinstripe Stout from Blue Pants Brewery—Alabama’s smallest brewery—will be served.

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 …

Brown Bag Lunch: Cherokee Genealogy Research

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Join us as Valarie McCay of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama discusses genealogy research for people with American Indian ancestry. Representative McCay is a certified Project Management Professional currently working at UAB. Wednesday, November 9, 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 Birmingham Scene Exhibition To Open November 6 at Central Library

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From the toughest of times—The Great Depression through World War II—comes astounding and touching artwork by local artists who depicted Birmingham daily life in landscapes, industrial locations, rural and urban settings, and African-American life. For decades, the works have been tucked away in dark corners of the city, protected but rarely displayed.

A collection of 60 pieces appear in the new exhibition, The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork From the 1930s and 1940s. This exhibition is scheduled for November 6 through December 30 in the Fourth Floor Gallery of the Central Library. “We have found watercolor landscapes, and everyday scenes with people doing regular chores,” says Marjorie White, Director, Birmingham Historical Society. “There are also incredible depictions of industry—notably, a glimmering slag dump etched on aluminum—and wonderful moments from African-American life, including an award-winning woodblock cut of a Sunday supper with people passing the biscuits titled…

Today's 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.

What do Lady Liberty and the Birmingham Public Library have in common?

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We’re both celebrating a birthday this year. We were both born in 1886, 125 years ago. We both stand for democracy and for the values inherent in a free society. We both welcome all and everyone.

It is no small coincidence that several of the words from Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” (written for the Statue of Liberty) could be placed at the entrance of all 18 locations of BPL:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

What is more free than the freedom of information that BPL provides?

BPL offers services and resources for people of every socioeconomic background, not to mention every race, religion and creed.

Unfortunately, the library has suffered a major financial setback over the last two years. We are operating on half the materials budget that we once did.

The staff and board at the Birmingham Public Library believe in its mission, which is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enr…

Our Spirit Will Not Be Broken November Workshop

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Springville Road Public Library

John Paul …