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Showing posts from October, 2012

BPL Will Host Several Family-Friendly Halloween Events in October

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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. O…

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

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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 www.bplonline.org.

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

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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…

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

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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.


Bonnie
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 Discov…

Gifts of a Wordsmith November Workshop

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Award-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 johnpaul@reallifepoets.org or 205-585-8271. The Real Life Poets website is www.reallifepoets.org. The BPL contact is Haruyo Miy…

National Novel Writing Month: November 1-30, 2012

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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 publicat…

Bards & Brews Returns to the Avondale Regional Library in November

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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 refresh…

Learning To Use Computers

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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. Y…

Brown Bag Lunch Program: Southern Ghosts

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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 www.bplonline.org.

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

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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

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The 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.

Trunk or Treat at Powderly Library

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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

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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 http://lemonysnicketlibrary.com/.

Barbara Hutto
Youth Department
Central Library

Dreams Start at the Library! Make a Wish!!

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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 Libra…

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

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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 www.bplonline.org.

World Series Fever

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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 of…

What is a Friend of the Library?

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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 …

Birmingham Public Library Attacked by Giant Lizard

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

Teen Book Review: Hatchet

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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

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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

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

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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. andfeature 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 www.bhamparentu.com or www.familypoetry.eventbrite.com. 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…

Springville Road Library's Book Club for Men

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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 …

Breast Cancer Subject Resource Page Compiled by BST Department

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. NBCAM.org 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

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

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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

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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…

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

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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…

Last Week of the Watercolor Society Members' Showcase

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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.

Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic at the YMCA Youth Center

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Teens, get your poetry on at the Flow Tactics Teen Open Mic every 3rd Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.at 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 johnpaul@reallifepoets.org.

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)

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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 T…

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

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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 www.bplonline.org.

Free Legal Clinics To Be Offered During National Pro Bono Week

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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 C…

Hone Your Keyboarding Skills with Personalized Typing Tutorial

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Need help building your typing/keyboarding skills? Ever wonder if your mental skills need to be strengthened? Go to bplonline.org 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

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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.

Teen Book Review: Shine

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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…

Fun Fall Family Activities

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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 f…

Children's Book Review: Scary School

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Scary School (Scary School #1) Derek Taylor Kent, alias Derek the Ghost
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…

Book Review: Enough: Finding More by Living with Less

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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 ha…

Register to Vote at the Birmingham Public Library

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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 des…

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

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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 mscott@bham.lib.al.us.

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

RLCC Presents a Free Social Media Class, October 4

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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.

BPL Will Host Anti-Bullying Forums in October and November

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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…