Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BPL Will Host Several Family-Friendly Halloween Events in October

Find Wendy Witch or guess how many Tootsie Rolls are in Fred's belly and they could go home with you.

The Birmingham Public Library is ready to scare up some Halloween fun this month with decorated pumpkins, costume contests, and more.

Back for another year will be the Ghouls' Ball, which will be held on Thursday, October 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Central Library. The event, which is for ages 13 to 18, will include music, dancing, food, treats, balloon sculptures, animals, a photo booth, free books, and Wii tournaments. The event is free. However, tickets are required for admittance and must be picked up in advance at the downtown library and branches. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Other free events include:

What's Up With Wendy the Witch and Fred Frankenstein?, throughout October, Eastwood Library. Wendy the Witch stays on the go so much, that librarians need help in finding her. Those who find Wendy at this branch will be entered into an October 31 drawing. One winner will receive Wendy, restaurant coupons, and candy. Library employees are also dealing with Fred Frankenstein, who has a sweet tooth. The person who correctly guesses the number of Tootsie Rolls in Fred's belly could win him and restaurant coupons. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 30. Contests are for children up to 18 years old. Contests will be held during regular library hours. For more information, call 591-4944.

Monster Mash Movie Madness Series, every Sunday in October at 2:30 p.m., Avondale Library. Catch The Thing on Sunday, October 14, The Mummy on Sunday, October 21 and The Creature from the Black Lagoon on Sunday, October 28. On Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m., there will be a book discussion on John Campbell Jr.'s Who Goes There?, which was the basis for the movie The Thing. Call 226-4000 for more information.

Halloween-themed movies, every Friday in October at 10 a.m., Springville Road Library meeting room. Upcoming movies will include Scared Stiff, Haunted Honeymoon, and Love at First Bite. Popcorn and lemonade will be served. Call 226-4083 for more info. Zumba classes will be held after the movie.

Decorate a Jack-O-Lantern and a Scarecrow, Wednesday, October10 through Wednesday, October 31, Central Library Youth Department, regular library hours. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Family Halloween Movies, Saturday, October 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Central Library Youth Department. Enjoy a hot bag of popcorn and a spooky kids' movie with the family. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Paint a Pumpkin, Wednesday, October 24, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Central Library Youth Department. Join the Youth Department in celebrating Halloween by decorating a pumpkin and enjoying Halloween treats. Pumpkins will be provided by the Library. Ages 6-15.

Let's Go Batty, Thursday, October 25, 9:30 a.m, Avondale Library. Pre-school storytime with Ms. Katie.

Hallo-Read 2012 Celebration, Thursday, October 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m., North Avondale Library. Enjoy group storytime, crafts, face painting, glow-in-the-dark nail painting, dancing, pizza, treats, and punch. Free event is for children, 6 to 10 years old. Children and adults are encouraged to wear costumes. Pre-registration is required. Call 592-2082 for more info.

Nighttime Walking Tour of Notorious Downtown Birmingham Sites, Friday, October 26 and Sunday, October 28, meet at 5:45 p.m. in the Central Library atrium. Wear comfortable shoes. This 90-minute tour will cover several downtown blocks. Reservations are required and spaces are limited. Call library archivist Jim Baggett at 226-3631 or email him at

Happy Halloween Tot Time with Mrs. Eve, Monday, October 29 at 9:30 and 11 a.m., Avondale Library. Event is for children, 2 to 4 years old, accompanied by a caregiver. Event is free, but pre-registration is required. Children may wear Halloween costumes. No masks. Stories, songs, and crafts will be offered. Call 226-4000 for more information.

Spooky Stories with Vincent, Monday, October 29, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Central Library Youth Department. Hold onto your hats as Vincent tells spooky stories that will thrill and chill. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Fang-tastic Halloween, Tuesday, October 30, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., West End Library. Candy and prizes. All ages. Call 226-4089 for more information.

Spooktacular for Teens, Tuesday, October 30 at 4 p.m., Springville Road Library. Teenager event will feature crafts, scary stories, a movie, and a prize for best costume. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Halloween Eve Madness with Magician Larry Moore, Tuesday, October 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Avondale Library. Get ready to laugh during this humorous magic show. Event is free and perfect for families, but registration is required. Costumes are encouraged. No masks. Call 226-4003 for more information.

Halloween Spooktacular, Tuesday, October 30 at 6 p.m., Springville Road Library. Event is for fifth graders and younger. Games, crafts, stories, and a costume contest. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Trick or Treat at the Library, Wednesday, October 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., all BPL branches.Call 226-3655 for more information.

The Treats are on Us, Wednesday, October 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Central Library Youth Department, 2100 Park Place. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Southern Ghosts, Wednesday, October 31, 12 p.m., Central Library, Arrington Auditorium. Alabama author Jessica Penot, author of Haunted Chattanooga and Haunted North Alabama, will be the featured storyteller for this Brown Bag Lunch program. Bring your lunch and beverages will be provided. Her books will be available for sale and signing. Call 226-3631 for more information.

Fall Festival, Wednesday, October 31, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Smithfield Library. Candy bags, storytellers, music, and arts and crafts. All ages. Children may wear costumes. Call 324-8428 for more information.

Spooooky Stuff, Wednesday, October 31, 4 p.m., North Birmingham Library. Scary tales, crafts, and goodies. Children may wear costumes. All ages. Call 226-4026 for more information.

Get Served a Heapin' Helpin' of Southern Horror at Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program, Central Library, Noon

Join Alabama author Jessica Penot, author of the books Haunted Chattanooga and Haunted North Alabama, for creepy lunchtime ghost stories from the American South. Books will be available for purchase and signing.Wednesday, October 31, 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. For more information call 226-3604 or visit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Fringe-ology: How I Tried To Explain Away The Unexplainable—And Couldn’t

Fringe-ology: How I Tried To Explain Away The Unexplainable—And Couldn't
Steve Volk

For years, I used to read a lot about the paranormal but eventually got frustrated because I wanted there to be proof and there never seemed to be, even though some leading universities researched the topic. As for the non-university world: forget it. Enter this book. Whether or not it provides proof is debatable. Steve Volk isn’t so concerned with handing proof over as assembling accounts that strongly suggest such proof. A lot of this debate about proof depends on what we call paranormal in the first place, and how open our minds are to the possibility of it. The two main barriers are, per Volk, religious narrow-mindedness and over-zealous scientific materialism. Both camps are especially tied into the fact that we are predisposed to “emerge from every conversation with our belief system intact.”

Topics covered included life after death, telepathy, consciousness outside the brain, and the research backing meditation, prayer and lucid dreaming. Scientists with PhDs at universities have been studying these topics and more for years, even decades. They carry out experiments under strictly controlled conditions, employ double-blind studies and live very cautious academic lives, never using the word “paranormal” (or God forbid, “religious” or “supernatural”) to describe their work. They are extra-sober because of the prejudice establishment scientists have toward anything hinting at the paranormal. Their studies are so cautious, apparently, that some scientists (not affiliated with their sphere) say their methodology is actual stricter than the norm, and that they are held up to overly-stringent standards not expected of more mainstream scientists. More worrisome, Volk documents how some leading skeptic groups, in their attacks on these nouvelle scientists, distort and ignore data. Reading this, I thought: We need to be more skeptical of skeptics. As well as, of course, being more skeptical in general. Later on in the book, Volk says just that.

Will these new studies cause a rewrite of the laws of physics? Will they confirm evidence of the supernatural? Will they lower scientific standards? The scientists here say, “No.” But that doesn’t mean their science is routine. Among the many fascinating revelations in Fringe-ology are: that there is no longer a wall between the micro quantum world and the macro Newtonian one; that microtubules in human cells may be the seat of consciousness; that consciousness after death may be possible because of the workings of quantum entanglement; that supposed poltergeist activity is accompanied by sound waves that appear nowhere else and haven’t been replicated; that most astronauts experienced, while in space, mystical states in which they felt at one with the universe (I wonder what, if anything, the cosmonauts felt); that “the brain isn’t built to give us a true and accurate perception of reality”; that our brains “literally rewire themselves, down to the genetic level.”

[By the way, two scientists profiled in Fringe-ology, Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, were recently featured on the TV show Through the Wormhole.]

In the book, Volk references the influential classic The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, which shows how, through history, science doesn’t always welcome game-changing new discoveries, but how it does, in time, adapt to new paradigms. Fringe-ology may well show such structures of scientific revolutions, ones that might begin to bridge the cultural gap between science and religion. It’s enormous fun to read, and you may come away from it feeling smarter, or at least feeling that your belief system is a bit less intact. These two are not unrelated.

Richard Grooms
Fiction Department
Central Library

Meet the Newest Members of the Central Youth Department, Bonnie and Clyde, a Pair of Emperor Scorpions

Scorpion outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde

Emperor scorpions are some of the largest scorpions in the world, averaging around 7-8 inches in length. They are popular here in the United States as pets and can live to around 5 to 8 years in captivity. Emperor scorpions are a West African jungle species, as opposed to scorpions found in desert areas. In the world. Like all scorpions, the Emperor scorpion’s tail ends in a venomous stinger but the sting is no more dangerous than a bee sting. They mainly used their large pincers to capture prey and defend themselves.


While Bonnie and Clyde are male and female, we don’t expect any offspring. When scorpions mate, they have to perform a “scorpion dance” which requires a large open space, which is not available inside their library home. In case they have offspring, which are born live and live on top of their mother, I am sure that we will be offering them to the Friends of the Library!

On the October 28th program of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel, Kari Byron was covered in Emperor Scorpions for their Halloween special.

Many thanks to the Pet Supplies Plus for our pets and supplies!

Here are materials in the library about scorpions:

For more information about Emperor Scorpions on the Internet:

Vincent Solfronk
Youth Department
Central Library

Gifts of a Wordsmith November Workshop

John Paul TaylorAward-winning poet and community activist John Paul Taylor will lead a free adult poetry workshop on Tuesday, November 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Central Library. Gifts of a Wordsmith will take place on the library's second floor in the Story Castle. The topic for the November 6 session will be “How to Organize Your Writing Life," focusing on a book called Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money by Kelly James-Enger. The workshop will also deal with how to find work as a freelance writer.

These poetry workshops are held every first Tuesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham Public Library and is funded by the Friends of BPL.

Taylor is one of the founders of Real Life Poets, a nonprofit creative writing program based in Birmingham.

For more information on the adult poetry class, contact Taylor at or 205-585-8271. The Real Life Poets website is The BPL contact is Haruyo Miyagawa, 205-226-3670. Her email address is

Workshop: "How to Organize Your Writing Life"
Presenter: John Paul Taylor
Place: Central Library
Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Registration: Not required

Monday, October 29, 2012

National Novel Writing Month: November 1-30, 2012

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing challenge / literary marathon in which participants pledge to write a 50,000 word short novel in thirty days (which works out to 1,667 words of original fiction, or 4-5 single-space typed pages, per day). The premise is based on the idea that, in NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s words, “The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It’s the lack of the deadline.” NaNoWriMo provides that deadline and connects aspiring authors with a worldwide community of fellow writers sharing the same dream.

NaNoWriMo began in 1999 with a mere nineteen participants in the San Francisco area. By last year, it had grown to over 250,000 authors worldwide, with even more expected to enter this year. In 2011, the Birmingham area alone had 376 registered participants, producing over 140 winning novels and writing over 7,000,000 words of fiction. While the vast majority of NaNo novels never see publication, there are many well-known and bestselling authors who participate, such as Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants), Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), and Birmingham’s own Lou Anders (editorial director of Pyr Books).

How it works: Go to the website and set up an author account. There are a plethora of online forums for authors to connect with others working in the same genres, doing research, or seeking advice on how to squeeze in all that writing time. On November 1, start writing. Each day authors are invited to update the word count total on their profile so that other writers can compare it to their own. At the end of the month, the official NaNoWriMo word counters check each writer's work for length – nothing else – and those who have crossed the 50,000 word finish line are awarded the status of “Winner!”

NaNoWriMo is not like traditional writing contests. Entries are not judged by any merit other than length, authors do not compete against each other, and the final prize is not publication. Instead, at the end of the month, NaNoWriMo winners have achieved that which is most difficult for any author to create – a finished first draft and the pride of accomplishment. Many people dream about “one day” writing a book. NaNoWriMo participants are living that dream now.

Bards & Brews Returns to the Avondale Regional Library in November

WHO: Birmingham Public Library (BPL)
WHAT: Bards & Brews: BPL’s Poetry Performance Series
WHEN: Friday, November 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Live Music and Sign Up at 6:30 p.m.
Call Time at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Avondale Regional Library, 509 40th Street South

The Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series is hitting the road in November. Usually held the first Friday of each month, the November 2nd edition of Bards & Brews will travel to the Avondale Regional Library at 509 40th Street South. The program, which will be OPEN MIC, 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.

Craft beer will be available for sampling and light refreshments will be served. Attendees must be 18 years or older to be admitted, and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.

Bards & Brews is usually held on the first Friday of the month at various locations around town. However, there will not be a Bards & Brews in December. We’ll be back on January 4 at the downtown Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place. 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.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Learning To Use Computers

Public Computer Services
Computers can be intimidating, especially to those who didn’t “grow up” needing to be technologically savvy. The Regional Library Computer Center offers quality computer classes with beginner courses designed for those who don’t even know how to turn on that darn thing. After you get started familiarizing yourself with the computer and the software available, you will find that you have some knowledge of what a CPU is, surfing the Web, and typing with more than two fingers.

We will offer the Core Courses (Keyboarding, Basic PC, and Basic Internet) in January. However, you don’t have to wait until next year to learn how to work on the computer. Here are a few things you can do:

Learn how to type on the keyboard and how to handle the mouse.
Learning to type will take a lot of self-discipline and patience. It is also important that you establish the foundation of having the correct technique rather than speed. Speed and accuracy are results of establishing a good technique. You can try these tutorials:

Learn the basic parts of the computer.
  • Computer: The computer unit is known as a CPU (Central Processing Unit). This is the “brain” of the system.
  • Monitor: The monitor is the visual display unit of your computer. The screen or the “eyes” of the computer allow you to see the programs in your system.
  • Mouse: The mouse is your input device. It allows you to go on the screen where you want to go. It has a left button and a right button. Most of the time you will click the left mouse button.
  • Keyboard: A keyboard is the set of typewriter-like keys that enables you to enter data into a computer. The standard keyboard is known as QWERTY.

Learn to surf the Web.
Finally, let's check out the Internet.
  • You will need to make sure you have a plan with an Internet Service Provider like AT&T, Verizon, or Charter, to name a few. This will allow you to access the Internet.
  • Your computer will need to have an Internet browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome. This allows you to peruse websites.
  • If you want to search for something in particular, there are search engines you can use like Bing, Yahoo! or Google.

These basics will hopefully alleviate some trepidation about learning to use computers. You are always welcome to come by the Public Computer Services areas, the Computer Commons in the East building and the Regional Library Computer Center in the Linn-Henley Building, to ask staff for clarification or assistance as you begin your journey into the digital era. Keep checking our blog or Birmingham 365 for information about our classes and when they are offered.

Farah A. Ferguson
Public Computer Services
Central Library

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Southern Ghosts

Join Alabama author Jessica Penot, author of the books Haunted Chattanooga and Haunted North Alabama, for creepy lunchtime ghost stories from the American South. Books will be available for purchase and signing.Wednesday, October 31, 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. For more information call 226-3604 or visit

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Members-Only Sale Starts today for BPL Friends (and you can join at the door)!!!

Because it's National Friends of Libraries Week, we're having a members-only sale in the Bookstore (located on the 2nd floor of the Central Library). All items in the main area of the store (books and media) are on sale for $6 a bag! Also, Friends' members will have a great discount on merchandise in the gift shop both Thursday and Friday (Oct 25-26).

Next door in the Storycastle, Friends members can bid on some really excellent items at the "best-offer" sale, including vintage maps, rare books, and even select furniture and unique odds and ends!

Refreshments will be served for Friends members as well. We're look forwarding to seeing you this Thursday and Friday during the Bookstore's normal operating hours (9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ).

Check out this neat vintage map up for bid at the Sale:

If you're not YET a Friend of BPL, you can join online here or in the Bookstore!

Smithfield Library Closed October 27 for Magic City Classic

Magic City Classic logoThe Smithfield Branch Library will be closed Saturday, October 27, for the Magic City Classic. All other Birmingham Public Libraries with scheduled Saturday hours will be open.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trunk or Treat at Powderly Library

Join us on October 30, 2012, from 4:30 until 7:30 p.m. as we celebrate our third annual “Trunk or Treat and Haunted House.” In the parking lot of Wiggins Recreation and Library Center there will be neighboring sponsors with trunks filled with treats for the children. After your bags are filled with treats, venture into our Haunted House where you will be SPOOKED with FRIGHT.

Our varied sponsors for this event include: Councilman Jay Roberson, Commissioner Sandra Little-Brown, South West Neighborhoods, Faith Temple Church, Wiggins Recreation Center, and Birmingham Public Library.

For more information, call the library for details at 925-6178.

Loretta Bitten
Powderly Library

Lemony Snicket Writes New Series, All the Wrong Questions

From the author of A Series of Unfortunate Event comes a new series, All the Wrong Questions. In a declining town, far from anyone Lemony Snicket knew or trusted, young Snicket begins his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He starts by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume. Watch the movie trailer to get a peek into Lemony Snicket's new book, Who Could That Be at This Hour?

The street date for Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions) is October 23. Reserve your copy today.

For more information on the book, visit

Barbara Hutto
Youth Department
Central Library

Dreams Start at the Library! Make a Wish!!

Dreams Start at the Library! Make a Wish!

A dream can start with a book, a literacy class, a lecture or access to a computer. Often it starts with asking a librarian a question . . .

"Where would I find . . . and could you help me?"

Our staff is fortunate to have the opportunity to help people in the Birmingham community pursue their dreams every day. Our dream is to make your library an even better place for you, your children and grandchildren.

We've created a new online Library WishList. Browse through colorful pages filled with books, volunteer opportunities, and items we need at your library.

Choose an item you'd like to see at the library, make a contribution towards the purchase (no amount is too small), or sponsor an item in memory of a loved one. When the "wish" is completed we'll let you know, and the next time you're in the library you can see the Wish you helped make come true.

As many of you know, it's National Friends of Libraries Week! In the BPL Friends' ever-increasing desire to support the library, we have funded the Library WishList for BPL. This program will give library supporters, donors, and patrons a chance to purchase much-needed items for library locations throughout the city.

BPL's branch and department heads have submitted wishes which you may view here.

If you have any questions, please contact 205-226-3761. Thank you for helping to grant our wishes.

Your support inspires us to dream big and we would not be the institution we are without you!

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program Features Political Analyst Natalie Davis Discussing Media and Money in the 2012 Election

Birmingham-Southern College political science professor and political analyst Natalie Davis will discuss the impact "media, messages, and money" have had on this year's presidential election.Wednesday, October 24, 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. For more information call 226-3604 or visit

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

World Series Fever

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back . . .

[ by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer]

Baseball fans and others are riveted to the 2012 World Series.

The Detroit Tigers knocked the New York Yankees off the playing field winning four straight games in the American League playoff. The National League playoff was tense requiring all seven games to be played in order to determine a champion. Now the stage is set for the elimination defying San Francisco Giants to face off with the Tigers during the coming days. Even the most casual baseball fan is now glued to the television set, if not lucky or rich enough to cheer their team live at a stadium.

Here at the Birmingham Public Library the bases are loaded.

Come see for yourself as we run the bases back fifty years to the 1962 World Series. Check out the window case display at the Central Library that features vintage baseball memorabilia from the face off between the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants.

What a memorable Series with two of baseball’s winningest teams! The Giants had just moved from New York to San Francisco five years earlier. Legendary names appeared on each roster. The New York Yankees boasted the great Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and more. The Giants fielded Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, and brothers Felipe Alou and Matty Alou. Don Larsen had been traded just one year prior to the 1962 World Series from the Yankees to the Giants and got his revenge winning the fourth game in the Series for the Giants. When all was said and done, however, the Yankees prevailed in the seventh game.

The large window case at the Central Library is chock full of eye-catching baseball items from the personal collections of Lamar Smith and Clarence Watkins, both members of the Friends of Rickwood and the Triple Play Baseball Club. Bats, balls, catchers’ mitts, uniforms, and pennants are shown alongside photographs and autographs. At least a dozen programs and books are present that are relevant to one or the other of the teams and of the Series. Mr. Smith and Mr. Watkins have artfully arranged these items to capture the lingering gaze of our many visitors. Come join the spectators.

And when visiting, go the second floor to check out the winning sports collection of our Arts, Literature and Sports Department. At the library the bases are loaded. It’s up to you. Hit a homerun.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game. 

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

What is a Friend of the Library?

A friend of the library is a person who wants to support a library through advocacy and fundraising.

Currently, the Friends of BPL has two primary ways to raise money: the Friends Bookstore and membership dues.

You may join the Friends of BPL at the following levels:

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

The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library make it possible for the Library to improve the quality and scope of its services.

The Friends of BPL is a structured nonprofit association of individuals which provides for various special needs of the Birmingham Public Library through community-based efforts. We volunteer our time and energy, promote the library, and secure financial support.

And we'd like you to join us! Mayor William Bell has proclaimed this week as "Friends of Libraries Week" in Birmingham!

The Friends of BPL is growing! We've doubled in the past two years and we're looking to accelerate that growth. Soon, we would like to boast thousands of members.

Your membership dues alone will go miles to help us continue our mission of support. This year alone we have given three Beyond the Budget Awards to staff members (which fund library projects outside the scope of the library budget), sponsored the Eat Drink Read Write Festival and Staff Day, and given thousands of dollars to BPL's book budget.

We're hosting a members-only sale in the Bookstore on Thursday and Friday, so right now is an EXCELLENT time for you to join!

If you have any questions, please contact the Friends at 205-226-3761.

Thank you and Happy Friends Week!

Birmingham Public Library Attacked by Giant Lizard

 An entertaining video created for our annual staff day. Enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Teen Book Review: Hatchet

Gary Paulsen

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson's mother and father are divorced. His mom lives in the United States while his father lives in Canada. He is the only passenger on a small plane flying to visit his father for summer vacation in the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack and dies.

All that can be seen in every direction is the endless green of the forest. The plane nosedives into a lake where Brian is able to swim free to the shore. Once on the sandy shore, he realizes that all he possesses is his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.

More than a survival story, Hatchet is a tale of tough decisions. When all Brain has is the barest essentials, he discovers some stark and simple truths: Self-pity doesn't work. Despair doesn't work. And if Brian is to survive physically as well as mentally, he must find courage.

Barbara Hutto
Youth Department
Central Library

Join Inglenook Library's Quilting Group

Interested in learning to quilt? Inglenook Library's quilting group meets every Tuesday morning from 9:00 a.m-noon. This group includes new and experienced quilters. For more information call 849-8739.

Marti Ball
Inglenook Library

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Birmingham Education Foundation Hosts Family Poetry Night at Five Points West and Powderly Libraries

WHAT: Birmingham City School parents and families are invited to participate in Family Poetry Night as part of the Birmingham Parent University program. Birmingham Education Foundation will partner with Real Life Poets, Inc. and feature a special program called Real Life Poets for its signature Birmingham Parent University program.

WHEN & WHERE: This series of free poetry workshops for Birmingham City School parents and families starts on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, at the Five Points West Library and then on Thursday, November 1, 2012, at the Powderly Library. Both events start at 6:00 p.m. A light dinner will be served to participants.

HOW: Space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Register online at or Register in person or by phone: Five Points West Library, 4812 Avenue W, 205-226-4013; Powderly Library, 3301 Jefferson Avenue S.W., 205-925-6178.

ABOUT: The mission of the Birmingham Education Foundation is to bring the voice of the community to Birmingham City Schools’ leadership and to work with that leadership to provide a range of support to allow the system to fulfill its mission and vision. We do this with a vision that the children of Birmingham will be fully prepared for success in the work and life. We believe unequivocally that current circumstances should not be a barrier to future success.

Springville Road Library's Book Club for Men

The phenomenon of Oprah’s book club has led to a resurgence in books clubs around the country and librarians as well as other literary types have been taking full advantage of this increase in interest in book clubs.

The above statement is not likely breaking news for any readers of a library blog; however, the fact that there has been a small (but growing) surge in book clubs for men may be news to some of the readers of this blog.

Of course book clubs for men are not a new phenomenon, but they have seen a major decline in their numbers since the heydays of 17th century salons in Europe and the upper crust gentlemen’s clubs of the 19th century. Book clubs populated by women (or populated by mostly women) make up the vast majority of the book clubs that currently exist across America.

Some of these new book clubs for men have given themselves tough, biker gang style names like the Scorpions and some of these book clubs require their members to bring a covered dish to each meeting. I am certain that most the book clubs for men exist on a scale somewhere between the two examples listed above.

The Springville Road Branch of the Birmingham Public Library has created its own book club for men. We are calling it the Book Club for Men. Our inaugural meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Springville Road Library. The first book selection is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein and the selection for November is Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods.

Although our first book was written by a woman, we do intend to read much more manly books in the future. Including works by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, and Jack London.

For questions about the Springville Road Library’s Book Club for Men, please contact Brandon Smith at 205-226-4081.

Brandon Smith
Springville Road Library

Breast Cancer Subject Resource Page Compiled by BST Department

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. was established to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,510 breast cancer deaths in 2012. Birmingham Public Library would like to be among the huge number of organizations and individuals all working together to promote awareness and understanding of the disease. We have put together a Breast Cancer Subject Resource page to assist you in learning more about the disease, its prevention, and treatment.

Business, Science & Technology Department
Central Library

Friday, October 19, 2012

BPL in Linn Park October 20 to Support the Race for the Cure

The Birmingham Public Library will be on hand Saturday, October 20, to show support for the Komen North Central Alabama Race for the Cure. Staff volunteers will hand out free freeze pops to Race for the Cure participants from a tent outside the Linn-Henley Research Library entrance in Linn Park. Everyone is invited to stop by to sign up for BPL's eNewsletter—BPLinks—and be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire.

The Survivor Parade will start at 8:30 a.m., the Race for the Cure will start at 9:00 a.m., and the Fun Run will start at 10:00 a.m.

Teen Book Review: Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust
Trent Reedy

Thirteen-year-old Zulaikha lives a hard life in rural Afghanistan. She has a cleft palate—a split lip that disfigures her face, making it difficult to eat or talk. Her beautiful sister Zeynab is her best friend and strongest ally. Her overwhelmed and grouchy pregnant stepmother prays for a son, and her much-adored father is scornful of his houseful of girls. By chance, Zulaikha runs into an American soldier who offers to pull in some favors and get her surgery, for free. Zulaikha is on an emotional roller-coaster as she copes with her sister's upcoming wedding as fourth wife to an uncaring older man, and her hopes and dreams are dashed when there's a problem with the helicopter flight that is supposed to take her to the doctor.

Reedy does a great job of portraying the complexities of her father—a powerless yet very, very proud man who wishes the best for Zulaikha, but can't or won't understand something as simple as a weather delay, taking it as a personal affront. This is a man that Zulaikha looks up to and adores, who is regarded as a liberal and kind man, but also doesn't hold back from brutally punching his pregnant wife in a fit of pique.

Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West

Library Exhibit on Birmingham Civil Rights Attorney Arthur Shores Will Open on November 4

From left: Autherine Lucy, Thurgood Marshall, and Arthur Shores exit the federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, in February 1956, following Lucy's reinstatement as the first black person to be admitted to the University of Alabama.
 Photo courtesy of The Birmingham News

The Birmingham Historical Society and the Birmingham Public Library are showcasing the life and times of Birmingham civil rights attorney Arthur Shores in a special exhibit, November 4-December 28 at the Central Library. The exhibit features a scrapbook of newspaper reports and printed materials, which Shores collected throughout his legal and political career.

The Birmingham Historical Society has copied numerous pages of the scrapbook, which is larger than the size of a newspaper, in order to display them in Central Library's 4th Floor Gallery. Shores, who was born in 1904, was a high school principal at Dunbar High School in Bessemer, Alabama, when he became a lawyer in 1937. Although Shores died in 1996 at the age of 92, the scrapbook and exhibit look at his career from 1939 to 1975.

Some of the exhibit highlights include:

  • How Shores and Thurgood Marshall successfully fought to get Autherine Lucy enrolled as the first black student at the University of Alabama in 1956
  • How Shores became the first black person to sit on the Birmingham City Council in 1968
  • How Shores fought to strike down a Birmingham zoning law, which determined which side of Center Street black people could live. (Black people could not live on the west side of the street. The zoning law was struck down in 1946. Once people started moving to the west side of the street, their homes were bombed. Shores moved his family to an east corner of Center Street in 1953.)
  • How Shores' Birmingham home, which was located in an area that was known as "Dynamite Hill'' because of so many racist bombings, was bombed twice in 1963 because racists thought he was involved in an effort to integrate Birmingham schools that year
  • Ads, telegrams, and memorabilia from Shores' career

"This is real history. These are real documents,'' says Marjorie White, director of the Birmingham Historical Society, of the exhibit and scrapbook. "It's like you were there.''

"The exhibit will be fascinating. There's a lot to read, which library visitors will enjoy.''

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on November 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Remarks will be made at 3:30 p.m. A gallery guide and timeline are available at the exhibit and at .

Shores' daughters, Helen Shores Lee and Barbara Sylvia Shores, have written a book about their father. During the November 4 opening reception, they will sign copies of The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill: The Untold Story of Arthur D. Shores and His Family's Fight for Civil Rights. They wrote the book with Denise George. Helen Shores Lee is a Jefferson County circuit judge and Barbara Sylvia Shores is director of the Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizens Services. Both say they are humbled that an exhibit features their father, who fought for voting rights, housing issues, educational opportunities and more.

"I'm sure if he were here, he'd be very pleased that there is a recognition of his work,'' says Helen Shores Lee.

During his career, Shores kept newspaper articles about his career in a small scrapbook and suitcase. One day while home from graduate school at the University of Illinois in 1968, Barbara Sylvia Shores took her father's collection and put everything in a huge scrapbook. She had the pages laminated. Today, the scrapbook has 256 pages and includes 170 photographs.

She says she did it so she'd have something to share with her children and their children. "It's a little history book,'' says Barbara Sylvia Shores.

The official name of the exhibit is Attorney Shores' Scrapbook: The Life and Times of Birmingham's Civil Rights Lawyer and Civic Leader, 1939-1975.

To read more about Shores, his career and his daughters' book, go to

Chanda Temple
Director of Public Relations for the Birmingham Public Library

Last Week of the Watercolor Society Members' Showcase

Whirling Dervishes by Diane Shepherd

The Watercolor Society of Alabama Members' Showcase will be open through October 26 in the gallery on the fourth floor of the Central Library, 2100 Park Place. The free exhibit features 61 entries. It is open during regular library hours. Several pieces are for sale. If you are interested in buying one, call 205-423-0922 or 256-238-2172.

Read more about the showcase at Birmingham365.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic at the YMCA Youth Center

Teens, get your poetry on at the Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic every 3rd Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 the YMCA Youth Center, 2400 7th Avenue North (near Phillips Academy). Admission is free. The sessions are for high school students only. To sign up to perform or for more information, e-mail

The program kicks off on Saturday, October 20.

Flow Tactics is sponsored by The Real Life Poets, the Mayor's Office Division of Youth Services, YMCA Youth Center, and the WORD UP! Student Poetry Slam Committee of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. WORD UP! is an annual poetry slam for Jefferson County high school students hosted by the Birmingham Public Library.

Join the Friends of BPL and Reap the Benefits! (National Friends of Libraries Week Begins Oct. 21)

Did you know that the great Eat Drink Read Write Festival was sponsored by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library? In fact, did you know that the BPL Friends have donated nearly $50,000 to the Library in the last year? And in the last two years, the Friends have donated $25,000 solely for the purchase of BPL e-books.

Isn't that incredible?

Beginning this Sunday, October 21st, we'll celebrate the National Friends of Libraries Week. The Friends of BPL is an active group of library supporters who promote and advocate for the library, volunteer at various locations and events, as well as donate money to BPL. In the past year and a half, we have doubled our numbers. We're currently boasting 350 members and our goal is to reach 1000 by the end of 2013.

You can help. You can encourage your friends and coworkers and relatives to join our ranks. Also, you can purchase gift memberships for your family and friends.

As part of the National Friends of Libraries Week, on Thursday and Friday (Oct 25-26), we will have a members-only sale in the Bookstore. All items in the main area of the store (books and media) will be on sale for $6 a bag. In the gift shop, Friends' members will have a discount on our merchandise.

Also, Friends members can enjoy a "Best Offer" Sale: you can bid on some really excellent items, including restaurant gift certificates, vintage maps from Southern History, rare books, as well as pieces of furniture and unique odds and ends. Refreshments will be served.

At the Birmingham City Council Meeting on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, Birmingham Mayor William Bell issued a proclamation to the BPL Friends for the week of October 21-27.
Join the BPL Friends and celebrate with us during National Friends of Libraries Week! Thank you!

Brown Bag Lunch Program: The 2012 Race for the White House: Like Nothing We've Seen Before

Birmingham-Southern College political science professor and political analyst Natalie Davis will discuss the impact "media, messages, and money" have had on this year's presidential election.Wednesday, October 24, 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. For more information call 226-3604 or visit

Free Legal Clinics To Be Offered During National Pro Bono Week

In recognition of National Pro Bono Week, the Birmingham legal community is sponsoring free legal clinics at several different sites in Jefferson County. The first two clinics are devoted to providing advice to seniors about issues related to wills and estate planning. The dates, locations, and times for the clinics are:

Tuesday, October 23: Senior Citizen Wills Clinic at the Gardendale Senior Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 24: Senior Citizen Wills Clinic at the Fairfield Senior Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pre-registration is required for these sessions. To pre-register, and to obtain further information about the sessions, please contact the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University at 726-4342.

The focus of the third clinic is broader in scope. It will give the public the opportunity to ask questions about any kind of legal matter that concerns them. The date, location, and time are:

Thursday, October 25: General Legal Clinic at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This clinic is sponsored by the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Group (BVLP). Attendees may pre-register, but walk-ins are welcome. Please call the BVLP at 250-5198 for more information and to pre-register.

Pro Bono Publico is a Latin phrase that translates into English as “for the public good.” In the legal world the phrase is shortened to pro bono and is used to describe services that are provided by an attorney, at no cost, to individuals or organizations that could not otherwise afford to pay for such assistance. Pro Bono services have long been a common practice in the legal community, but only in recent years have they been promoted by the designation of a special week devoted to making the general public more aware of their availability. This year, National Pro Bono Week will be held during the week of October 21-27.

The Birmingham Volunteers Lawyers Program was created in 1995 by the Birmingham Bar Association and Legal Services Alabama to provide local attorneys with a more effective means of designing and delivering pro bono services. More information about the activities of the BVLP can be found on their website.

For those wishing to research legal questions and concerns on their own, the Birmingham Public Library is a good place to start. Although library staff cannot offer legal advice, they can help you locate information on a variety of legal issues. The library’s Legal Self Help Subject Guide provides a useful compilation of resources with which to begin your research.

Jim Murray
Business, Science and Technology/Social Sciences Department
Central Library

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hone Your Keyboarding Skills with Personalized Typing Tutorial

Need help building your typing/keyboarding skills? Ever wonder if your mental skills need to be strengthened? Go to and and click on the link to Databases. Click inside the Database Quick Links box, scroll down to Typing Tutorials, Tests and Games, and click the Go button. Explore the options and practice your typing, build your speed, and follow the menu selections to build a personalized training program. Go back in daily to increase your mental clarity and have some fun! The tutorial is remote access available and is appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Kelly Laney
Springville Road Library

Tim Hollis Will Speak at Tomorrow's Brown Bag Lunch Program, Central Library, Noon

Birmingham historian Tim Hollis will discuss his latest books, Loveman's: Meet Me Under the Clock and Part of a Complete Breakfast: Cereal Characters of the Baby Boom Era. Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments (cereal and milk, what else?) will be provided by Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.Wednesday, October 17, 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.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teen Book Review: Shine

Lauren Myracle

"Cat" is a 15-year-old girl, coming of age in a small Southern town where the small group of local teens peacefully co-exists, including their gay friend, 18-year-old Patrick. One morning, Patrick is found near-death, having been beaten with a baseball bat and tied to a gas pump in front of the convenience store where he worked the previous evening. Mindful of the powerful people in the area who keep him
employed, the sheriff only does a half-hearted investigation into the attack, concluding that it was likely done by "college boys" who don't live in the area. Cat isn't so sure, and takes it upon herself to follow up on what everyone had seen and heard in the days before and after the attack, and find out who may have had issues with the gregarious young man. As she gets closer to the truth, she receives threats and is urged to drop the matter, but she feels she owes it to Patrick for not being a better friend to him at times.

This is a well-written story that will obviously remind some of the murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard (Some of the proceeds of the book are donated to his memorial foundation.) Best appreciated by teens or young adults, but a worthwhile read for all.

Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West Library

Fun Fall Family Activities

Perhaps one of the loveliest times of year is the fall season.  The leaves are changing, the air is cooler, and those golden-orange pumpkin patches are making their appearance.  Cool green hues of summer give way to fall's brilliant reds, plums and golds.  There's a smokiness evident in the air from the wood burning stoves, cozy warm fires and spicy hot cider.  We may rise early to cool, damp mornings which warm later as just a wash of sunshine creates a glorious crisp fall day.  Just think of the many wonderful sights, smells and sounds of fall.  From hot apple cider, warm pumpkin bread, delicious caramel apples to crackling fall leaves, cozy warm fires and soft warm sweaters, there's so much to love about the fantastic fall season.  Just grab your best comfy sweater, relax with a cup of hot chocolate and start planning some fun activities and delicious food for the fall season.

Are you looking for fun activities that you and your family can do together?  Well, look no further.  I've organized a few activities and fall themed books you and your family will surely love.  Of course, be sure to check out the family-friendly Halloween events hosted by Birmingham Public Library.  BPL free events include the Ghouls' Ball, decorated pumpkins, movies, spooky stories and so much more.  Join BPL for a spooktacular time!

Let us know about your favorite fall family activities by sharing your ideas in the comments below.

Library Materials:

Autumn Juvenile Literature 

Autumn Juvenile Fiction 


Halloween Cooking

Halloween Decorations


53 Fantastic Ways To Celebrate Fall

Fall Crafts For Kids

Fall Games

Fall Getaways

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Children's Book Review: Scary School

Welcome to Scary School, where human children intermingle with monster kids, the school librarian is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a giant squid lurks in the school moat, and gargoyles carry off students who loiter on the playground after recess. You may notice that the mortality rate is a little higher here than most elementary schools. That’s because children are in constant danger of being eaten by the teachers, or accidentally killed in one of Mr. Acidbath’s science experiments, or purposefully maimed by their classmates, or falling prey to Principal Headcrusher’s bone-shattering grip… But that doesn’t mean they have to stay dead. They can always come back to life as a vampire or zombie.

So, why put children in such a hazardous environment? According to Principal Headcrusher, “the more scared children are, the better they learn” (69). Honestly, who wouldn’t be able to improve their test scores if their lives depended on it? Okay, so some teachers may be a little too eager to punish student transgressions (Dr. Dragonbreath, the dragon history teacher, was put on probation last year for eating his entire fifth grade class) but some of the teachers are very kind to students. Take Ms. Fang, for instance. According to the student body, she’s by far the “nicest, sweetest teacher at Scary School” and “only ate twelve kids last year” (13, 15).

Need I say more? Scary School is a clever, kooky, irreverent children’s book that will be enjoyed by anyone who adores Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School, or Mike Thaler’s Teacher from the Black Lagoon. Recommended for Ages 9-12, but grown-ups may get a kick out of it, too.

Central Library

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review: Enough: Finding More by Living with Less

Enough: Finding More by Living with Less
Will Davis Jr.

I once saw a bumper sticker that said “Live simply, so that others may simply live."“Is there ever a point where you get that next thing and you’re really are satisfied? Is there a point really called enough? And if so, how do you get there …”

Well, if you’re like me, it’s time to read Enough: Finding More by Living with Less by Will Davis Jr. More is not always desirable despite everything our culture tells us. Enough is a guide to making the most out of what we have out of our life, and using Christian faith to find the meaning out of it all.

Did you know that if you live in America and are considered middle-class, you are probably one of the richest people in the world? That’s right. Consider the following statistics: 
  • If you have an annual income of $20,000, you are in the top 11% of richest people in the world.
  • If you have an annual income of $30,000, you are in the top .09 % of the richest people in the world
  •  If you have an annual income of $100,000, you are in the top 0.06% of the richest people in the world 
Davis challenges us to view our possessions, time, money, and talents—and gently leads us to consider living with less in order to do more for others. It includes discussion questions and would make a great book club selection.

Lorraine Walker
Five Points West Library

Register to Vote at the Birmingham Public Library

The Birmingham Public Library has joined community groups to encourage citizens to register to vote. The 2012 presidential election will be on Tuesday, November 6.

The Birmingham chapter of The Links, Incorporated will have a voter registration on Tuesday, October 16 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Smithfield Library. Interested parties should bring a driver's license. Call 324-8428 for more information.

On Wednesday, October 24 at 12 p.m., Birmingham-Southern College political professor and political analyst Natalie Davis will discuss the impact "media, messages and money'' have had on this year's presidential race. Davis' lecture is part of the library's Brown Bag series, which is held in the Arrington Auditorium of the Linn-Henley Research Library. Call 226-3604 for more information.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham has distributed voter registration reminder flyers to BPL branches, where people can register to vote at the circulation desk. People can return their completed voter registration form to the circulation desk by October 24 or mail the form to the Jefferson County registrar by October 26. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is November 1, and November 5 is the last day to hand-deliver or postmark an absentee ballot.

Citizens interested in checking their voting status or polling place, can go to For more information, go to

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Scar Behind the Smile: A Domestic Violence Workshop at Avondale Library

In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Changing Faces Productions presents Cassandra Frieson in a one-woman spoken word presentation, Mary on Death Row. A Family Violence Center counselor will be on site to lead an open discussion on domestic violence. For more information call Marguerite Scott at 529-3408 or e-mail

The workshop is free but attendees are asked to support the Family Violence Center by bringing one personal hygiene product to the event to donate to the Center. 

Event:  The Scar Behind the Smile: A Domestic Violence Workshop
Presenter: Cassandra Frieson and Family Violence Center
Place: Avondale Library
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Registration: Not required

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RLCC Presents a Free Social Media Class, October 4

Does Twitter intimidate you? Do you want to know more about Facebook? Find answers to these questions and more on Thursday, October 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. during a free social media class in the Regional Library Computer Center, located on the fourth floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. The class is for beginners. To register call 226-3680.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

BPL Will Host Anti-Bullying Forums in October and November

October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, and several Birmingham Public Library branches will host forums on how to prevent bullying. The David Mathews Center for Civic Life, which is based in Montevallo, will present the forums.

The forums are designed for students in eighth grade and older. Anti-bullying forums for younger children will be held in spring 2013. Bullying issues are not just limited to youth. Adults can be affected, too. Bullies can come in the form of teachers, co-workers, parents, etc.

The goal of the forums is to give communities an opportunity to delve into what causes bullying and to find solutions. Facts and figures on bullying will be distributed at each event.

The forums are free, but people should call 226-3742 in advance to help organizers prepare for attendance.

Dates for the forums are:

North Avondale Library, Tuesday, October 23, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Five Points West Library, Tuesday, October 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

North Birmingham Library, Monday, October 29, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Springville Road Library, Thursday, November 8, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

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