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Showing posts from February, 2013

Chris Davis to Host March's Bards & Brews at Five Points West Library

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On Friday, March 1, Bards & Brews travels to the Five Points West Regional Library for this open mic event. The Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) popular poetry performance/beer tasting series begins at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances start at 7:00.

Performer/comedian/all around artist Chris Davis will host the event in place of usual emcee Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins. Chris is probably best known as a performer in and host of Fresh Ground Comics, a monthly showcase of stand-up comics at The Red Cat coffee shop in Pepper Place. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Craft beer will be available for sampling courtesy of Highland Brewing Company, 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. The April 5 session will be held at the beautiful Bi…

Gifts of a Wordsmith Workshop Scheduled for March 5 at Central Library

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Award-winning poet and community activist John Paul Taylor will lead free adult poetry workshops on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Gifts of a Wordsmith will take place on the library's second floor in the Story Castle. The next workshop is scheduled for March 5.

The class will cover how to get your thoughts down on paper, overcoming writer's block, copyright issues, self-publishing, how to perform, and more. The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library will fund the workshops.

Taylor is one of the founders of Real Life Poets, a nonprofit creative writing program based in Birmingham. This summer he presented two workshops as part of BPL's adult summer reading program. Participants enjoyed the adult classes so much that they wanted to see them continue.

"We offered it this summer and the people wanted it back. That's why I wanted to do it,'' Taylor said. "We know it works. But it's cool when your community says, 'This is v…

Neighborhood Libraries Return to Regular Hours Starting March 4

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Beginning Monday, March 4, the neighborhood libraries in Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn, and Wylam that have been operating under a winter schedule will return to regular operating hours.

The neighborhood libraries will continue to close each day from 12:00-1:00 p.m. for lunch. All are closed on weekends and on Wednesday mornings in order for staff to get behind-the-scenes work done, perform community outreach activities, and participate in training as well as system-wide meetings.

Brown Bag Lunch Program Features the G.W. Carver High School Choir

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Under the direction of Bobby Stringer, the G.W. Carver High School Choir will sing spirituals and traditional songs from the civil rights movement. The school's drama department will perform excerpts from the play, The Ballad of Birmingham. Wednesday, February 27, noon.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

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.

BPL Teens on Facebook

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Are you a teen with nothing to do? Have no worries, BPL has plenty to offer you! If you are looking for a way to express your voice, you can participate in our Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshops, which are held the first Saturday of every month from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Central Library. If you want to hang out with some unusual animals, you can find them at several of our locations. Need help with a school assignment? Come visit us and we will get you on the right track. Want to just hang out with your friends? We have a place for that too. Like football? This summer you can hang out with Jerricho Cotchery from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

To stay up to date with all your local library has to offer, click on the badge below and like us on Facebook.


Submitted by Katie Williams
Youth Department
Central Library

Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshop, March 2

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Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshop for grades 6-12 is held the first Saturday of every month, 2:00-4:00 p.m., in the Youth Department Story Castle at Central Library. March's workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 2.
John Paul Taylor of Real Life Poets, Inc. is the coordinator. For more information, call Taylor at 585-8271 or email him at johnpaul@reallifepoets.org.

"Healthy Living, Healthy Eating" Events at Five Points West and Central Libraries, February 27 and 28

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On February 27 and 28, the Birmingham Public Library will partner with Cities For Life and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation to present "Healthy Living, Healthy Eating.'' The purpose of these events will be to spread the word about a new website, www.mydiabetesconnect.com, and show people how to use it. The website was designed to help promote healthy lifestyles, reduce the risk of diabetes, and encourage diabetes management in Birmingham.

A doctor and a nutritionist will speak at these events. There will also be a 20-minute YMCA exercise class, free T-shirts and pedometers, healthy snacks, and more. Both events are free.

The first event will be held on Wednesday, February 27, at 10:30 a.m. at Five Points West Library, 4812 Avenue W. Another one will be held at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place, on Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Cities for Life is a diabetes management program in Birmingham that is led by the American Academy of Famil…

Celebrating Read Across America, March 1

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On Friday, March 1, libraries and schools will be participating in the 16th Annual Read Across America. This program focuses on building a nation of readers. There are programs throughout the country to motivate children and teens to pick up a book and read! Read Across America is held every year on the weekday closest to Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2.

For more information, check out the following websites:

NEA's Read Across America

Seussville

Submitted by Vincent Solfronk
Youth Department
Central Library

Changes in 2014 for the GED

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An article posted Saturday, February 23, on AL.com details the changes in store for the GED (General Equivalency Development) test in 2014. The cost will rise from $50 to $120 to $150.  The test will no longer be administered solely by the non-profit American Council on Education. Instead the Council will partner with Pearson Education, a for-profit testing company. The new company will be called the GED Testing Service. The new test will be administered online. Educators are urging students who have begun the process to finish in 2013 because all previous work will be voided in 2014.

The Birmingham Public Library has several resources to help students prepare for the GED. The most useful is the database Learning Express. Learning Express offers practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, eBooks, and information needed to get ready for the GED test. Many other practice tests such as the ACT, TOEFL, Cosmetology, etc are part of the database. Learning Express also offers skill…

Book Review: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

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The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
Jeanne Theoharis

On February 4, 2013, our nation paid tribute to Rosa Parks on the centennial of her birth. Just over seven years prior, we collectively mourned her passing with much public attention including large turnouts in Montgomery, Washington, D.C., and Detroit. Parks was the first woman to lie in state under the U.S. Capitol’s rotunda and the second African American to do so. A statue of her is slated to be placed in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall just off of the rotunda in the upcoming days. Clearly Rosa Parks is a heroine of mythical proportions. Perhaps much of her legacy has been entrapped in that same mythology as well. Most Americans know that she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus in December of 1955. What is often overlooked is her decades of activism both before and after the famous incident that sparked the 381 day Bus Boycott. Parks is often painted as a meek and mild seamstress who just happened…

Brown Bag Lunch Program - "The Ballad of Birmingham"

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Under the direction of Bobby Stringer, the G.W. Carver High School choir will sing spirituals and traditional songs from the civil rights movement. The school's drama department will perform excerpts from the play, The Ballad of Birmingham. Wednesday, February 27, noon.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

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.

Children's Book Review: Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery

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Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery
Judith and Dennis Fradin

In January, 1856, an Ohio community in a collective act of protest and heroism successfully defied the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. At this time the Fugitive Slave Act remained fully enforced in every state of the union, but a slave, John Price, took a courageous gamble for freedom by crossing the frozen Ohio River from Kentucky into Ohio. This book tells a little-known, true story about how hundreds of townspeople in Oberlin, Ohio, came together and stood up for their fellow man based on the belief that all people deserved to be free. Price started a new life in the town until two years later when a crew of slave-catchers arrived and captured him. Even though Ohio was a free state, it still was under the Federal Act that made it illegal to shelter a runaway slave. Residents of Oberlin heard of Price's capture and surrounded the hotel where he was being held to demand his release. A heroic showdown followed wi…

Come Meet Miss Iwate Tonight at Central Library

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“Our dearest Miss Suzuko, we are delighted to send you to America in the far distance as the messenger of peace. We hope you will make good friends with the American people.” These were the words spoken to 1,300 school children of Iwate Prefecture in Japan, commemorating the departure of Miss Suzuko Iwate, one of 58 Friendship Dolls leaving in 1927 as gifts and ambassadors to the people of the United States. These two sentences represented the hopes of many in Japan and the United State as relations between the two countries had deteriorated to the point where the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1924, which prevented any Japanese from entering the country.
In 1927, an American missionary to Japan, Dr. Sidney Lewis Gulick, responded to these events by organizing an effort to collect and send dolls to the children of Japan. Since relations between the two governments were declining, Gulick wanted to show goodwill directly to the people of Japan. His efforts were very succes…

Book Review: The Dechronization of Sam Magruder

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The Dechronization of Sam Magruder
George Gaylord Simpson

A bunch of intellectuals in the 22nd Century are sitting around talking about what it’d be like to be a person separated forever from the rest of humanity. One gets a chance to do just that—only he didn’t intend to. After radically slowing down his perception of time in an experiment, this happens to Sam Magruder:

…the deceleration was so great as nearly to stop time, and that this hit where I was between time quanta, where there was no present for me to be in. That shoved me wholly into…the time-dimension universe. I bounced right out, but not at the same place.
Sam’s thrown back 80 million years into the Cretaceous Era. Now, instead of lab routines, he’s trying to fend off dinos and find workable food, clothing and shelter. Here’s a bit from his encounter with a Tyrannosaur:

It was a carnivore, and it saw meat….Its teeth were six-inch daggers and gleamed white as it swung its ponderous head to face me….I was literally rooted to …

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program Features the Lawson State Community College Choir

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Under the direction of Bessie H. Shelton, the Lawson State Community College Choir will perform traditional and contemporary gospel songs. They'll also perform spiritual and choral arrangements by famous African American composers. Wednesday, February 20, noon.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

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.

BPL & UAB to Focus on Diabetes Prevention on February 27 and 28

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On February 27 and 28, the Birmingham Public Library will partner with Cities For Life and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation to present "Healthy Living, Healthy Eating.'' The purpose of these events will be to spread the word about a new website, www.mydiabetesconnect.com, and show people how to use it. The website was designed to help promote healthy lifestyles, reduce the risk of diabetes, and encourage diabetes management in Birmingham.

A doctor and a nutritionist will speak at these events. There will also be a 20-minute YMCA exercise class, free T-shirts and pedometers, healthy snacks, and more. Both events are free.

The first event will be held on Wednesday, February 27, at 10:30 a.m. at Five Points West Library, 4812 Avenue W. Another one will be held at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place, on Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Cities for Life is a diabetes management program in Birmingham that is led by the American Academy of Famil…

Teen Book Review: Fever, 1793

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Fever, 1793
Laurie Halse Anderson

This book gives you a glimpse into the life of Mattie Cook living in post-Revolutionary Philadelphia. Much like teenagers these days she spends her days avoiding chores and daydreaming about running her family’s business. A balmy and extended summer season brings unprecedented misfortune to the city of Philadelphia in the form of a yellow fever epidemic. No one escapes unaffected and Mattie is no exception. When her mother falls ill with the dreaded malady, she is forced to flee the city with her grandfather where the pair is beset with misfortune. Mattie is forced to pit her wits and courage against unspeakable odds to protect herself, her family, her city, and their future from destruction. Mattie eventually returns to the city and joins forces with a freed slave and the African Free Society as they work to visit and assist the sick and save lives.

This is a wonderfully researched and executed historical fiction for teen readers. The yellow fever e…

March Computer Class Schedule Now Available

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The Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) March computer class schedule is now available, and registration is open to the public for the free courses. Please note that class times have been changed to 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.

In addition to the basic core course (which consists of Keyboarding, Basic PC, and Basic Internet), we are offering classes teaching email, introduction to social media software, and Apache OpenOffice.orgprograms. Apache OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source freeware office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. It can rival the older versions of Microsoft Office and can be downloaded and used for any purpose completely free of charge. The RLCC is offering OpenOffice.org classes every other month, alternating with Microsoft Office 2010 classes. (Microsoft Office 2010classes will be offered in April).

Here are brief descriptions of all classes offered for March 2013:

Keyboarding: This beginner class is designed for people who hav…

1, 2, 3 Play with Me Returns to Birmingham Public Library

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Our popular program, 1, 2, 3 Play with Me, is back! 
Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but it is also a great educational experience for your child. Several branches of the Birmingham Public Library are currently providing a special time and place for you to spend some one-on-one time with your child. The five week program is intended for children between birth and 3 years of age and their parents and/or caregivers. BPL has partnered with Family Place Libraries and Junior League of Birmingham in order to bring this event to our community.
We will have toys, books, and art activities just for you and your child. We have also invited special guests from the community to join us each week to answer your questions about parenting and your child’s health. Remember: you are your child’s first teacher. 1, 2, 3 Play with Me is an opportunity for you and your child to play and learn TOGETHER.
Want more information? Please contact one of the hosting libraries to find out m…

Money Smart Series for Adults in February and March

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In collaboration with the Urban Development Group, Inc. and Alabama financial institutions and agencies, the Birmingham Public Library is offering free programs to enhance your financial skills and banking knowledge. BPL's Money Smart series is available at the following libraries in February and March:

Protecting Yourself from Financial Fraud and Identity Theft
Monday, February 18
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Avondale Library

Money Matters
Tuesday, February 19 & 26
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Southside Library

Money Matters
Tuesday, February 19 & 26
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Eastwood Library

Protecting Yourself from Financial Fraud and Identity Theft
Wednesday, February 27
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Titusville Library

Smart Shopping Tips
Tuesday, March 26
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Southside Library

Smart Shopping Tips
Tuesday, March 26
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Eastwood Library

Brown Bag Lunch Program - Lawson State Community College Choir Concert

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Under the direction of Bessie H. Shelton, the Lawson State Community College Choir will perform traditional and contemporary gospel songs. They'll also perform spiritual and choral arrangements by famous African American composers. Wednesday, February 20, noon.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

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.

Gloria Davy, First African American to Sing Aida at the Met, Dies at Age 81

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She was the daughter of parents who had come to the United States from St. Vincent, in the Windward Islands. Gloria Davy was born on March 29, 1931. She graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, and in 1951 and 1952 received the Marian Anderson Award. The prize, for young singers, was established in 1943 by Anderson, the first black singer to appear at the Met.

Davy's voice was that of a lirico-spinto (a high voice that is darker and more forceful than a lyric soprano’s). In particular, she was an interpreter of 20th-century music, including the works of Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten, and Paul Hindemith. She was praised by critics for the beauty of her voice, the sensitivity of her musicianship, and the perfection of her pianissimos—the elusive art of attaining maximum audibility at minimum volume. Davy sang with the Met 15 times over four seasons.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1953 from the Julliard School, where she studied with Belle Julie Sou…

Jefferson County Public Libraries to Deliver Valentines to Children's Hospital

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Since 1983 the public libraries of Jefferson County have made valentines for patients at Children's Hospital. Valentines are made by children and adults who visit our member libraries during January and early February. Many libraries develop special craft programs so patrons have time to create these special cards. This year over 3,000 items were gathered for the project.

The Bham Home and Garden Show is Here and We Are There

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The Birmingham Public Library has this GREAT booth at the BJCC'sBirmingham Home and Garden Show (February 14th-17th, 2013)!

We're having a "Tech Petting Zoo," where we'll be showing visitors how to download e-books, audiobooks, and music onto your digital devices (as in the pic below). 

On Thursday at 1:45 pm and Friday at 11:00 am, BPL storytellers will be performing on the Garden Stage in the BJCC's South Hall! Bring the kids and enjoy it with us!

If you order your tickets online, make certain to use the promotional code "LIBRARY" for $4 off the regular cost.

The show has some great highlights, including celebrity chef Chris Crary (Bravo TV’s Top Chef ), Lifestyle Guru and Master Designer, Chris H. Olsen , the voice of the Crimson Tide Eli Gold and Auburn Tigers announcer Rod Bramblett , as well as Carmen Johnston, garden lifestyle expert for the Southern Living Plant Collection.Here are the show's celebrity bios.

Check out some of these gorg…

Birmingham City Schools Offer Annual Parent Camp

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The Birmingham City Schools' Division of Education and Student Support Services Family Involvement Program is hosting its 11th Annual Parent Camp on March 14, 2013 at Lincoln Professional Development Center (901-9th Avenue, North); 8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. The theme of the camp this year is healthy lifestyles. Workshop topics are: developing a healthy relationship between you and your child through art; developing healthy eating habits and developing healthy finances. All workshops will be very interactive. The guest speaker will continue the theme as he talks about having healthy safe homes and communities. Attendees will walk away with techniques and tips they can use with their children at home to assist with developing healthy lifestyles. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. For additional information contact Mechelle Rice-Fields, Family Involvement office at 231.7976.

Today's Brown Bag Lunch Program Features The Alabama Movement @ Five Points West Library!!!

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Enjoy an excerpt from Sixth Avenue Baptist Church's Annual Black History Concert, directed by Denna Wilkins. Wednesday, February 13, noon. This Brown Bag Lunch Program is hosted by the Five Points West Regional Library.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. For more information call 226-3604 or visit www.bplonline.org.

Discuss The Color Purple on February 26 at Avondale's Adaptations Program

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Avondale Library will host a discussion of Alice Walker's The Color Purple on Tuesday, February 26, at 6:30 p.m., as part of the branch's monthly Adaptations program. The program puts a cinematic twist to books.

On a Sunday afternoon, library patrons watch the film version of a book as part of a screening party. A few weeks later on a Tuesday night, the audience discusses the book and film versions of the book. The latter discussion is called "The AfterParty.'' The screening party for The Color Purple was held on Sunday, February 10.

"People clapped at the end. Some people were crying. It's a very emotional film,'' said Ellen Shade, circulation manager at Avondale. "When I thanked them for coming, they said, 'No, thank you.' "

The February 26 event is sure to have a similar audience response.

"We have some patrons who come for just the movies, we have some who come for both and we have others who come for just the discussio…

Birmingham Public Library a Family Place Library presents 1-2-3 Play with Me at the Central Library Youth Department

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Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but is also an educational experience for your child. We are providing a special time and place for you to come to the library and spend one-on-one time playing with your child. 1-2-3 Play with Me, a five-week program, is for children birth through age 3 and their parents/caregivers. We will have toys, books, and art activities just for you and your child. Also, we have invited special guests from the community to join us each week to answer your questions about parenting.

Join the Central Library Youth Department every Tuesday, February 12-March 12, 2013, from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Registration is encouraged. Call 226-3655 for more information.

Visit Birmingham365 for the 1-2-3 Play with Me schedule for these BPL branches: Springville Road, Avondale, Five Points West, and North Birmingham.




Submitted by Katie Williams
Youth Department
Central Library

Black History Month Provides an Opportunity to Remember the Dreams of Those Who Came Before Us

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Black History Month 2013 recognizes two important anniversaries in the evolution of civil rights in the United States. The theme this year is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

Issued on January 1, 1863, Lincoln’s renowned proclamation reads in part:

That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), a proclamation is “a formal order issued by a …

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. This month's program is scheduled for Saturday, February 16.

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.

Going To The Dogs!

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Next week marks the 137th anniversary of the Westminster Kennel Club's Annual All-Breed Dog Show. This year's show will air on television on Monday and Tuesday, February 11th-12th. For more information on the show and the television schedule, check the Club's website:

Westminster Kennel Club

Tune in and root for the pooch of your choice!

And for more information on dogs, don't forget to visit your local public library. If you're thinking of adopting a dog or choosing any other kind of pet, the library has numerous books and videos that can assist you. Let us help you pick the right pet for you!

Mary Anne Ellis
Southern History
Central Library

Thanks to everyone who came to the 2013 Local Authors Expo

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An all-around fantastic time was had last Saturday at BPL's Local Authors Expo. Many thanks go to the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library for once again sponsoring this event, and to all of the authors who attended. Several participants have blogged about the day's events, including Amy Leigh Strickland and Steve Gierhart at Ardent Writer Press. Many photos of the Expo can be found on the BPL Flickr page. We're already looking forward to making next year's Expo even bigger and better than this one!


Brown Bag Lunch Program - The Alabama Movement @ Five Points West Library

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Enjoy an excerpt from Sixth Avenue Baptist Church's Annual Black History Concert, directed by Denna Wilkins. Wednesday, February 13, noon. This Brown Bag Lunch Program is hosted by the Five Points West Regional Library. [Note: The title of the article in the BPL newsletter erroneously shows this event taking place at Springville Road Library. The concert will be performed at Five Points West Library. Sorry for the mistake.]

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's civil rights struggle, the Birmingham Public Library is sponsoring the Year of Birmingham, a 12-month series of lectures, documentary films, performances and panel discussions.

Feed your body and mind at BPL's Brown Bag Lunch programs. You bring the lunch and we'll bring the drinks. For more information call 226-3604 or visit www.bplonline.org.

BPL and the Birmingham Doll Club Present “An Evening With Miss Iwate and Alan Pate”

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“Our dearest Miss Suzuko, we are delighted to send you to America in the far distance as the messenger of peace. We hope you will make good friends with the American people.” These were the words spoken to 1,300 school children of Iwate Prefecture in Japan, commemorating the departure of Miss Suzuko Iwate, one of 58 Friendship Dolls leaving in 1927 as gifts and ambassadors to the people of the United States. These two sentences represented the hopes of many in Japan and the United State as relations between the two countries had deteriorated to the point where the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1924, which prevented any Japanese from entering the country.
In 1927, an American missionary to Japan, Dr. Sidney Lewis Gulick, responded to these events by organizing an effort to collect and send dolls to the children of Japan. Since relations between the two governments were declining, Gulick wanted to show goodwill directly to the people of Japan. His efforts were very succes…