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Showing posts from July, 2012

BPL Accepting Board Nominations for Its New Young Professionals Group

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The Birmingham Public Library is accepting nominations for young professionals ages 25-40 for its new BPL Young Professionals group. The BPL Young Professionals will support the literary culture of the Birmingham region and will be committed to making the Library the center of lifelong learning for the city. The group will host lectures, special collection tours, and other social events; volunteer time and skills; and increase public awareness and access to the Library’s resources.

Young Professionals groups are an increasingly popular way to broaden skills and experience in the business world while supporting a worthy organization. Young Professionals groups provide volunteer service opportunities, leadership training, and social networking opportunities and sustain an organization with modest annual financial contributions.

While the Library’s base operating expenses are provided by the City of Birmingham, nearly all of its programming for children and adults is supported by fundraisi…

Rotaract Club of Birmingham School Supplies Giveaway Scheduled August 18

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Saturday, August 18, three of the Birmingham Public Libraries—Avondale, Wylam, Southside—will serve as host sites for the 2012 School Supply Giveaway. The Rotaract Club of Birmingham will distribute school supplies geared toward kindergarten through fifth grade to more than 500 students, starting at 9:00 a.m. while supplies last. “Rotaract is pleased to put on this project, which makes a tremendous impact on our community. With great economic challenges still facing our community, many students do not have the basic supplies they need to help them begin the new school year. This project equips these students with what they need to be ready to learn from day one!”

Before leaving the library, use one of your essential school tools—a Jefferson County Library Card—to check out these books and more.

The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson
I am Too Absolutely Small for Schoolby Lauren Child
Five Little Monkeys Go Shoppin…

Movie Review: Two-Lane Blacktop

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In 1969, the film studios in Hollywood were scrambling to give young filmmakers money in the hopes that they could emulate the success of Easy Rider—a film that cost $375,000 to produce and grossed over $50,000,000 in ticket sales.

Universal Pictures produced a group of highly subversive films in response to Easy Rider – the films were so unusual that the studio had no clear idea of how to sell them and no audience was prepared for their arrival in theaters. The films included Peter Fonda’s The Hired Hand; Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie; Milos Forman’s Taking Off; Frank Perry’s Diary of a Mad Housewife; and Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop (1971). They all ended up as commercial failures.

The go ahead on the production of Two-Lane Blacktop was doubtlessly based on the fact that Hellman had directed four films starring Easy Rider’s breakout performer—Jack Nicholson.

Two-Lane Blacktop follows a pair of drag racing hustlers in a souped up ‘55
Chevy as they travel along the back roads of…

Charlotte's Web Celebrates 60th Anniversary

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Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White'sCharlotte's Web was published. It's gone on to become one of the most beloved children's books of all time. To celebrate this milestone, the renowned Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has written a heartfelt and poignant tribute to the book that is itself a beautiful translation of White's own view of the world—of the joy he took in the change of seasons, in farm life, in the miracles of life and death, and, in short, the wonder of everything. Click here to hear: Kate DiCamillo's Tribute.

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Public Notice Material in the Government Documents Department Related to Soil Contamination in the North Birmingham Community

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The material transferred from the North Birmingham branch of the Birmingham Public Library to the library’s Government Documents Department consists of a series of documents related to Walter Coke, Inc.’s (formerly Sloss Industries) efforts to evaluate and remove potentially contaminated soils in selected properties located in the following neighborhoods: Collegeville, Fairmont, and Harriman Park. The sites of Calloway Head Start School, Riggins Alternative School, the former Carver High School, and the former Hudson School were among the properties evaluated. The company was authorized to undertake this action by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There are currently 15 documents in this collection, ranging in dates from March 2008 to January 2012. The first document, dated March 2008, is the company’s “Residential Sampling Work Plan,” and the second, dated December 2009, is a “Residential Sampling Report.” Most of the subsequent documents relate to the proc…

Bards & Brews Returns to the Avondale Regional Library in August

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The Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series is hitting the road in August. Usually held the first Friday of each month, the August edition of Bards & Brews will travel to the Avondale Regional Library at 509 40th Street South. The program, which will be a SLAM, begins at 6:30 p.m. with live music and poetry performances starting at 7:00. Emcee Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verse with topics that run the gamut from romantic relationships to the local political scene. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Special guest Barry Marks will read from his new book of poetry, Sounding. Marks is the Alabama Poet of the Year for 1999. His first full book of poetry, Possible Crocodiles, was named Alabama’s Book of the Year for 2010 by the Alabama State Poetry Society.

Craft beer will be available for sampling courtesy of the Highland Brewing Company and…

Today at Noon, Both Sides of the Lens Gallery Talk

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Have you ever wondered how the story behind a historical photograph is uncovered? The photographs exhibited in the Library’s Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) are made even more captivating with the account of their discovery. A doctoral student working on his dissertation learned about the collection of 800 glass plate negatives held in the Birmingham Public Library Archives. Upon viewing the rare collection, he became engrossed in finding out who took the photographs a century ago in rural Alabama. That researcher, Andrew Nelson, drove to Fayette County and, through a series of events, met a descendent of the photographers, Annie Shackelford. Their mutual interest in the photographs led the two to become friends as they worked to identify the people, places, and objects that appear in the images. Andrew Nelson conducted this research for his dissertation—an in-depth study of these photographs that will explore how they…

Olympic Gold Medalist Vonetta Flowers Champions BPL

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) and Olympic gold medalist Vonetta Flowers are partnering to increase awareness of the value of the library to the community. Flowers will star in a “Champions for Learning” awareness campaign set to launch July 27 as the 2012 Summer Olympics get underway.

Flowers, a Birmingham native, volunteered her time to record public service announcements during a recent visit to Birmingham. In a thirty second television ad, Flowers speaks of the impact the Birmingham Public Library had on her life as a child and about her unexpected launch into a successful bobsledding career. Other elements of the campaign include posters and print ads, all encouraging area residents to visit their local library. The campaign runs through August.

“The Birmingham Public Library has been in the community for 125 years serving not only as a free resource, but also as a champion for lifelong learning,” said Library Director Irene Blalock. “Because she is also a champion, we co…

Sinfully Delicious Sorbets For Summer

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Sorbet is the French word for sherbet, which Italians call sorbetto.  Sorbets are gaining in appeal because they contain less sugar, have no milk solids or egg yolks and are surprisingly simple and easy to make.  Best of all, they are sinfully delicious.  You will have fun mixing flavors and colors together for an interesting frozen treat.  If you have dietary restrictions, this is a beautiful and delicious alternative to ice cream.  For now, just dream about pineapple banana, strawberry mango, key lime, wild blueberry and spicy mango.  That is, until you design a flavor that is uniquely your own.

Just imagine you've gathered a bowl of beautiful fresh fruit on a warm summer afternoon.  Of course, you would love to turn this fruit into something delectable for your family.  Nothing is more refreshing during the summer than glorious homemade fruit-flavored sorbet.  This dessert is a delicious frozen low-fat treat to help you cool off this summer. 

 There are a variety of frui…

Opening Reception for Both Sides of the Lens Exhibition Tonight at Central Library

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An opening reception for Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) will be held in the Arrington Auditorium followed by a tour of the exhibition on Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. The reception will feature a lecture by Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and will be followed by a heritage food tasting.

Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) features 40 photographs from this collection of early 20th century glass plate negatives. The exhibition opened in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library on Monday, July 23 and runs through Friday, September 14.

The photographs—rich for their visual record of everyday life in rural Alabama—are also remarkable because of the story behind them. Taken by a family of African-American photographers who lived in Covin, Alabama, the images r…

The Making of Both Sides of the Lens—an Archives Researcher Locates a Family of Photographers in Alabama’s Rural Fayette County

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Have you ever wondered how the story behind a historical photograph is uncovered? The photographs exhibited in the Library’s Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) are made even more captivating with the account of their discovery. A doctoral student working on his dissertation learned about the collection of 800 glass plate negatives held in the Birmingham Public Library Archives. Upon viewing the rare collection, he became engrossed in finding out who took the photographs a century ago in rural Alabama. That researcher, Andrew Nelson, drove to Fayette County and, through a series of events, met a descendent of the photographers, Annie Shackelford. Their mutual interest in the photographs led the two to become friends as they worked to identify the people, places, and objects that appear in the images. Andrew Nelson conducted this research for his dissertation—an in-depth study of these photographs that will explore how they…

Olympic Gold Medalist Vonetta Flowers Champions BPL

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Both Sides of the Lens Exhibition Opens Today in Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery

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Members of the Shackelford family on their front porch steps, Covin, Alabama.

Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will present Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1910-1935) featuring 40 photographs from this collection of early 20th century glass plate negatives. The exhibition opens in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library on Monday, July 23 and runs through Friday, September 14. An opening reception will be held in the Arrington Auditorium followed by a tour of the exhibition on Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. The reception will feature a lecture by Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The photographs—rich for their visual record of everyday life in rural Alabama—are also remarkable because of the story behind them. Taken by a family of African-American photographers who lived in Covin, Alabama, the images reveal the lives of the photographers…

BPL Databases Provide Credible Sources

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Students, scholars, and surfers of the Web can access databases at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) to satisfy their research or quench their curiosity. These resources, which run the array from classic reference resources such as the Encyclopedia Britannica to Yearbooks form Jones Valley High School in the Powderly community, have been carefully selected by librarians at the BPL.

Unlike the search engines, blogs, and collaboratively written information on the Internet, the databases offered by BPL are authoritative and credible sources written and compiled by experts in their respective fields and topics. They are unbiased, objective, and thoroughly researched.

The Pew Research Center (PRC) released an 80-page report on June 22 of this year detailing findings of their research on current trends with libraries, patrons, and e-books. PRC, a nonpartisan “fact tank” providing data on current American issues and trends, noted patron use of various library resources, including database…

Member Day 2012 a Fun Event

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Library patrons from all over the Birmingham area were given a taste of an eclectic buffet of the arts and culture scene on Saturday, July 21, for Member Day 2012.

The Birmingham Museum of Art hosted an activity at the Birmingham Public Library Central Branch location. The full-day event aims to thank participating organizations' members for their support and patronage, while hopefully generating interest from those who don't normally experience their venue.

Shontay Wilson said her twin four-year-old girls claimed, "This place is fun!"

Sandi Lee, who acted as BPL's representative with the Membership Alliance, explained that the event is a sort of outreach for the different organizations to share other groups with their members.

"It gives people that are members the opportunity to visit and see what other places have to offer and see if they want to be a member there as well," said Lee.

Mallory Gibson, Membership Director for the Birmingham M…

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program: Step Up to Nutrition and Health

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A registered dietitian provides updated information on healthy numbers for life relating to heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Learn about healthy eating, exercise, and stress reduction to help decrease your risk for these chronic diseases. St. Vincent Hospital’s Leigh Ann Pritchett, R.D., will present this informative program. Wednesday, July 18, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Central Library, Linn Henley Research Building, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor.

“Books That Shaped America” Exhibition is Now on View at the Library of Congress

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In conjunction with its “Celebration of the Book” program, the Library of Congress (LOC) recently opened an exhibition that highlights some of the most influential books ever published in the United States. The exhibition is titled “Books That Shaped America” and it will be on view in the LOC’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, DC, through September 29, 2012. What, you’re not planning to take a trip to DC this summer? That’s OK, because the exhibition can also be viewed online at the Library of Congress website. Even better, when viewing it online, you can participate in a survey that not only allows you to weigh in on the LOC’s selections, but also gives you the opportunity to recommend a title that you think should have been included in the exhibition.

The 88 titles that make up the exhibition span the history of America from the Colonial era up through the first years of the 21st century. The earliest title is Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments and Observations on Electrici…

BPL To Participate in Member Day 2012

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The Birmingham Public Library is excited to be participating in Member Day 2012, happening Saturday, July 21, 2012. Presented by eighteen local cultural organizations and Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, it is our way of saying thanks to current members and supporters of arts and culture in the Birmingham region. Area organizations have planned a special members-only day of free admission and family-friendly activities. One valid membership card and/or postcard invitation admits two adults and up to four children into absolutely any and every participating venue all day long. Plus enjoy special Member Day activities and performances throughout the day.

With eighteen wonderfully varied groups of performers, museums, and historical landmarks participating in Member Day, it’s one of the best ways to experience the incredible talents and unforgettable experiences offered by our region’s arts and cultural organizations—all in one day! The Birmingham Museum of Art will be offering …

Opening Reception for Both Sides of the Lens Exhibition, July 24

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Birmingham Public Library (BPL) will present Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) featuring 40 photographs from this collection of early 20th century glass plate negatives. The exhibition opens in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library on Monday, July 23 and runs through Friday, September 14.

An opening reception will be held in the Arrington Auditorium followed by a tour of the exhibition on Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. The reception will feature a lecture by Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and will be followed by a heritage food tasting. .

The photographs—rich for their visual record of everyday life in rural Alabama—are also remarkable because of the story behind them. Taken by a family of African-American photographers who lived in Covin, Alabama, the images reveal the lives of the photographers as well as those being…

North Birmingham Library's Adult Summer Programs will be held at the Ensley Library

The North Birmingham Library's Adult Summer programs will be held at the Ensley Library, due to the North Birmingham Library being closed for renovation.  The next two weeks will be packed with some great programs for adults!  Adults are encouraged to stop by the Ensley Library to join us for these interesting, educational, and entertaining programs.  Please note that some of the programs require registration, as class size is limited.  Please call the Ensley Library at (205)785-2625 to register.

Location: Ensley Library
1201 25th Street
Ensley
(205)785-2625
Cost: Free


Larry Moore: Believe it or Not! Monday, July 16, 11 a.m.  Come hear stories and see the magic!

Hoop for Fitness Tuesday, July 17, 11 a.m. Call for registration.  The exercise that puts a smile on your face!

IPads, E-books, and Fun! Thursday, July 19, 11 a.m.  Call for registration.  IPads will be available for demonstration and practice.

Seasoned Readers presents: The Canton Culture Club Monday, July 23, 11 a.m. …

London 2012 Olympics

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The Beijing Olympics was one of the most exciting I have ever witnessed.  Michael Phelps made history by winning eight gold medals, the most at a single Olympics.  His fourteen career gold medals make him the most decorated Olympic gold medalist in history.  Usain Bolt simply dominated track and field in Beijing breaking world records in the 100 and 200m races and the 400m relay.  As the London Olympics approaches, expectations are high for both athletes to add to their collection of gold medals.
This year, Phelps and Bolt are expected to face serious challenges from their own teammates.  At Jamaica’s Olympic trials, Yohan Blake defeated Usain Bolt in the 100 and 200m finals.   At the U.S. Olympic swim trials, Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 400m Individual Medley and came in a close second in the 200m IM.  In addition to teammates performing at such a high level, Bolt and Phelps must contend with what the rest of the world has to offer.
Team USA has the opportunity to three-pe…

Last Week to Visit the Eudora Welty—Exposures and Reflections Exhibit at the Central Branch

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Eudora Welty–Exposures and Reflections will be on display in the Fourth Floor Gallery at the Central Branch through Friday, July 20.

About the exhibit:
Eudora Welty has long been recognized as one of the great Southern literary voices of the twentieth century. However, many Americans do not know of her amazing work as a photographer. During her time as a junior publicist for the Works Progress Administration, Welty photographed the effects of the Great Depression on her native South. The exhibit opens in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery at the Central Branch on Tuesday, June 5, and runs through Friday, July 20.

Welty insisted that her writing and her photography were separate art forms, and that neither influenced the other. But Eudora Welty—Exposures and Reflections explores a unique relationship between her written words and photographic images, a relationship that exists despite Welty's assertion to the contrary. Using 40 photographs and excerpts from various Welty short storie…

It’s a Great Time to Eat Healthy

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I think summer is a good time to make changes in your eating practices because of the excellent quality and availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to lose a few pounds and I picked a plan that uses "points.” I’m sure most people can guess what plan this is but I don’t want to give them free advertising. They already pay enough people to do that for them. Anyway, I thought that links to books and websites about cooking and healthy eating would help you fight the battle of the bulge and eat healthier this season.

Don't miss this month's Brown Bag Lunch program on July 18, Step Up to Nutrition and Health.


Books

American Heart Association Low-salt Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Reducing Sodium and Fat in Your Diet

Betty Crocker the 300 Calorie Cookbook: 300 Tasty Meals for Eating Healthy Every Day

The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Quick & Easy Cookbook: More than 200 He…

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Step Up to Nutrition and Health

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A registered dietitian provides updated information on healthy numbers for life relating to heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Learn about healthy eating, exercise, and stress reduction to help decrease your risk for these chronic diseases. St. Vincent Hospital’s Leigh Ann Pritchett, R.D., will present this informative program. Wednesday, July 18, noon.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. Central Library, Linn Henley Research Building, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor.

BPL to Host University of Maryland’s Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson for the Opening of Both Sides of the Lens

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The Birmingham Public Library will host an opening reception for Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1900-1935) on July 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium. Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, who has worked closely with the library to develop the exhibition, will speak about how photographs and other illustrations are used to reveal black history and culture. Her lecture, When Visual Imagery Provides Food for Thought: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera, will be a lively, interactive discussion drawing inspiration from the exhibition. Afterwards, participants will have a chance to view the exhibition and enjoy a “Heritage Food Tasting” with family recipes made by BPL staff members. Members of the Shackelford family were closely involved in developing the exhibition and will be present at the reception on July 24.

Dr. Williams-Forson is a n…

Book Review: The Monster of Florence

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The Monster of Florence
Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi

True crime writing craves a great setting for a great crime. The Zodiac Killer and San Francisco, Boston and its Strangler, and London’s Jack the Ripper are all intertwined in popular imagination. And, while many know the fictional character Hannibal Lector (and some will recall his murderous career in Florence, Italy), few outside of Italy know of the terrible inspiration for Hannibal, Il Mostro, the Monster of Florence.

Douglas Preston is best known for writing over a dozen popular crime novels with Lincoln Child—novels such as Relic and Cemetery Dance. In 2000 he moved to Florence, Italy, to write another crime novel set in Tuscany. He and his family settled into an idyllic villa on a Florentine hillside surrounded by olive groves. Almost immediately he learned that a couple had been brutally murdered merely yards from his doorstep. True to his instincts as a crime writer, he set out to learn more.

When Preston met Mario Spezi he …

Here’s the Scoop: July is National Ice Cream Month

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Its beginning came from an official proclamation issued by President Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5219, National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day, July 9, 1984. He lauded the contribution of ice cream to the American dairy industry, and called it “the perfect dessert and snack food.”

“I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities,” he said. So it has remained traditionally, the month of July and the third Sunday of the month, in celebration of ice cream.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, 9% of the milk produced by American dairy farmers is used to make ice cream. Americans consumed an average of 20 quarts per capita in 2010.

Flavored ice treats have been around for hundreds of years. Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson brought ice cream to America, but the early colonists ate it. He may have introduced vanilla (the most popular flavor) after serving as ambassador to France, where frozen ic…

Central Departments Focus on Homeschooling and Summer Treats This Month

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Homeschool During the Summer Months

Studies have shown that children experience learning losses during the summer when they do not participate in educational activities. The Social Sciences Department has put together a display of homeschooling books for the month of July. Stop by today on the third floor of the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library or call us at 205-226-3640.

Social Sciences Department
Central Library



Stay Cool this Summer with the Help of BPL

As summer continues to heat up, more people are cooling down with refreshing summer treats and drinks. In the month of July, the Business, Science, & Technology department is featuring a display of books on how to prepare frozen desserts and thirst-quenching drinks. We also have fliers with quick and healthy summer recipes. Please visit the third floor of the Central branch to pick up your copy.

Business, Science, & Technology
Central Library

Historic House Research Workshop Tomorrow at Central Library

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A photo from the Board of Equalization files in the BPL Digital Collections.
Did a famous Birmingham leader once live in your “new” house? Is your home the oldest structure on your block? If you have ever wondered about researching this information, a workshop at the Central Library will help you get started. In conjunction with the Jefferson County Historical Commission and the Birmingham Historical Society, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is hosting a workshop on historic house research on Saturday, July 7, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the Richard Arrington Auditorium. The workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Attendees will learn how to conduct research on historic dwellings in Birmingham and Jefferson County including the resources available at BPL and requirements for historical designations and markers. Linda Nelson, Jefferson County Historical Commission Executive Secretary, will discuss requirements of the Historical Marker Program and…