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Showing posts from July, 2013

Inglenook Branch Library Prepares for Makeover

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The structure currently housing the Inglenook Branch of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) began its early history as Birmingham’s Fire Station #23. Built in 1927, the station served the Inglenook community until 1978 when the community, with a brand new fire station, asked to have a library in the neighborhood. The “new” library was established in 1979. This year, it will be made “new” again.

Mayor William A. Bell stated, “As we work throughout the City to revitalize areas, decrease blight and provide affordable housing, the renovation of this library is a strong indicator that we are committed to improving life in our neighborhoods.” Mayor Bell will hold a “ground breaking” ceremony on Friday, August 2, at 10:00 a.m. on the grounds of the library located at 4100 40th Terrace North. The public is invited to attend. Staff at the 34-year-old-library will lock the doors later that day at 6:00 p.m. and make way for a major renovation of the facility. Birmingham City Councilor Ma…

Flow Tactics Teen Poetry Workshop, August 3

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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. August's workshop is scheduled for Saturday, August 3.
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.

Remembering a Civil Rights Martyr

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Join us on Wednesday, August 7, at noon in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library to hear Alabama author Marianne Weber discuss the dramatic story of civil rights martyr Jonathan Daniels.

On August 20, 1965, Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Daniels was released from jail in the small Lowndes County, Alabama, town of Fort Deposit. Daniels and 29 other civil rights activists had spent a week behind bars for picketing white-owned businesses. Hoping to buy some cold drinks, Daniels and three other activists walked to a store, but the white store owner, Tom Coleman, appeared in the doorway and ordered them away at gunpoint. Moments later Coleman fired. Daniels pushed his companion, 17-year-old Ruby Sales to the ground, saving her life, and took the full blast from Coleman’s shot gun in his chest. Daniels died instantly, and Coleman fired again, wounding another activist. Coleman was acquitted of murder by an all-white jury, but Daniels’ death inspired many of his fellow Episcopalian…

Railroad Park Event Will Celebrate Birmingham Teens Competing in Chicago Poetry Competition

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On Sunday, August 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., poets and musicians will take to the stage in the lovely outdoor setting of Railroad Park in the “Flow Tactics on the Tracks” event. The line-up includes performers familiar to Birmingham audiences such as musician and spoken word artist Sharrif Simmons, drummer John Scalici, and singer-songwriter Gabriel Tajeu. The program is a sendoff celebration for a team of six Birmingham-area teens who will compete in the Brave New Voices international poetry competition from August 7-11 in Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Several of the team members have proven their mettle by winning in WORD UP!, the annual poetry competition for Jefferson County high school students sponsored by the public libraries of Jefferson County and the non-profit creative writing organization, the Real Life Poets ( RLP); the event is held at the downtown Birmingham Public Library. Eboni Wallace, a student at Tarrant High School, has won first plac…

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

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Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan

Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young are living the American Dream. Both are well-educated college professors that have the world laid out in front of them. Rachel has worked herself up from a single parent household and is very content with her life in academia. Nick is a well-mannered intellectual with a quick wit and a big heart. They’ve been dating for about 2 years when Nick suggests that Rachel spend the summer with him and his family in Singapore. Rachel is delighted to have a chance to learn more about Nick and his background, which he rarely brings up. Little does she know that spending time with Nick and his family means being thrust into a rich lifestyle that will eventually bring her confusion and despair. At the center of the couple’s unhappiness is Nick’s mother Eleanor, who is determined to protect Nick's inheritance even more than her son. See what happens when the world of new and distinguished money collides with ABC (American Born Chin…

Bizarre Foods Comes to Birmingham!

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Hey, all you foodies---check out this evening's episode of Bizarre Foods! Host Andrew Zimmern shows that "There's more to Birmingham, AL, than barbecue and bread pudding."

Check your local listings for The Travel Channel. This episode of Bizarre Foods should air tonight at 8:00 PM Central. For more information:

Bizarre Foods: Birmingham, Alabama

And if this episode inspires you to cook, check your library for cookbooks!

Mary Anne Ellis
Southern History

Jamey Grimes and Charles Clary Sculpture Exhibition Runs Through Friday, August 2

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The sculptural work of Charles Clary and Jamey Grimes will intrigue, fascinate, and challenge viewers. It is an exhibition unlike anything shown at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) before. The artwork may resemble objects seen in nature, yet they are fictional fabrications born of the artists’ imagination. This exhibition titled Fusion: Sculpture by Jamey Grimes and Charles Clary is scheduled to open on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, June 29 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Board Room. The exhibition runs through August 2, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Charles Clary is Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he teaches painting and design. He received his BFA in Painting from Middle Tennessee State University and an MFA in painting from the …

Sanspointe Dance Company Announces Birmingham Public Library Tour

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Sanspointe Dance Company will present “Life on A Shelf,” dances created to connect us all, regardless of age, to the shelves and books in a library. Circulate through the poetry, research, children's, and non-fiction sections and celebrate with us the life and imagination we experience in books. The company will perform a 30-minute show on August 5, 6, and 8 at 6:00 p.m. in local Birmingham Public Libraries and the Fultondale Library. Sanspointe artists Michelle Knutson and Shellie Chambers will be presenting two new works and two repertory works in collaboration with three company dancers.

Knutson, Project Director of the Library Tour, wanted to present a show that directly linked the importance of libraries in our communities. “I first thought of all the kinds of people, regardless of age, that gather to read, explore book shelves, technology, research…the different sections of the library and then narrowed it down to four sections (poetry, research, children’s and non-fi…

12th Annual Summer Math and Science Day at Five Points West, July 27

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Science should always be interactive, interesting and unforgettable. When Elinor and Winfield Burks are in the mix, it usually is. Make plans to join them and others for the 12th Annual Summer Math and Science Day in partnership with the Birmingham Public Library. The event takes place Saturday, July 27, 2013, from 1:00– 5:00 p.m. at the Five Points West Regional Library located at 4812 Avenue W. This event is free and designed for students ages 5 to 105. Parents must accompany all participants.

Book Talk and Signing with Local Author Marian Powell at Springville Road Library

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Visit the Springville Road Library on Sunday, July 28, 2:00 p.m., and meet local author Marian Powell. Copies of the author's book will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be served.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie BPLYP Fundraiser, July 25

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The thicker the book, the better. If this is your philosophy—or not—then make plans to join the Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals (BPLYP) for their first social event of the year on Thursday, July 25, 2013, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at Avondale Brewing Company located at 201 41st Street South. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6677589851/es2/?rank=1 for $20 or at the door for $25. A ticket includes one free Avondale brew (while supplies last), food from Saw’s Soul Kitchen, and the opportunity to win a gift basket filled with books and other goodies for library lovers.

The BPLYPs are Birmingham Public Library’s newest support group, comprised of accomplished young professionals ages 25-40 who live and work in the metro area. The mission of the BPLYPs is to promote the library through cultural events and service projects and support library programs through fundraising events like the social. This is the BPLYPs first fundraiser. All proceeds …

Latest in Urban Fiction

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Hey, Mate, What Do You Think You're Lookin' At?!

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What an incredible site for pictures of Australian wildlife! The Atlas of Living Australia is a community effort from “museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities.” These different institutions and groups have come together to produce a fantastic site that lists “all known” Australian species. The site has six main tabs: Australia’s Species, Species Location, Natural History Collections, Mapping Analysis, Data Sets, and Field Data Software. However, I think most lovers of exotic animals will gravitate toward the first tab, Australia’s Species.

Once you’ve clicked on the first tab, you’ll find that this database does not limit itself to birds, fish, frogs, mammals, or reptiles. The editors have also included invertebrates, conifers, and even fungi. Once you selected your area of interest you’re presented with a short gallery of ‘iconic’ Australian animals, or plants, within that kingdom. Each entry consists not only of pictures, but the p…

Introduction to Finding Funders: Connecting You with Funding Opportunities

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WHO: Birmingham Public Library
WHAT: Introduction to Finding Funders: Connecting You with Funding Opportunities To Make A Real Difference
WHEN: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Central Library—Youth Department Story Castle
HOW: Pre-Register, Space is Limited

ABOUT OUR PROGRAM: This free session provides an introduction to the Foundation Center’s comprehensive online database Foundation Directory Online Professional. Attendees will learn how to create customized searches to develop targeted lists of foundations that will match an organization’s funding needs. They will also be introduced to Power Search which allows searches across nine Foundation Center databases—grant makers, grants, companies, 990s, news, jobs, RFPs, nonprofit literature, and IssueLab reports.

This program will be presented by Joanne Kepics, Regional Training Coordinator at the Foundation Center-Atlanta. The session is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is required. Reg…

Book Review: In-Flight Entertainment: Stories

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In-Flight Entertainment: Stories
Helen Simpson

Please make sure that all of your personal belongings are stored in the overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you.

Make sure that all tray tables are secured in their upright positions.

Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night. –Margo Channing (Bette Davis) in All About Eve

If you plan to read Helen Simpson’s latest short story collection, In-Flight Entertainment, fasten your seatbelt indeed. The title story involves an actual plane flight to Chicago that begins with a four hour delay on the tarmac at Heathrow. The disgruntled main character, Alan, begins to feel better once he is bumped up to first class and can imbibe champagne from a real glass and enjoy legroom. Soon turbulence sets in as he gets into an argument with a fellow passenger (a scientist) over global warming and climate change. Next, another nearby passenger, an octogenarian, starts coughing and spitting and then dies. Tensions ratchet up even tigh…

Teen Summer Reading Finale

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Thursday, July 25th Join us at one of the following events: POOL PARTY 1-3pm Birmingham YMCA Youth Center 2400 7th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203 By the pool, by the sun, we are all getting together to have some fun! Bring your swimsuits, flip flops, and a towel. Ages 11-18 For more information contact 226-3655
FINALE CELEBRATION 2-4pm Snacks, games, and activities 2 Locations:  Springville Road Library (226-4081) and Five Points West Library (226-4017)

Historic House Research Workshop at Central Library, July 20

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Have you ever wondered who may have lived in your house before your family moved in? Could the previous owner have been a prominent politician or civic leader? The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is hosting a workshop on historic house research on Saturday, July 20, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the Central Library’s Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium. This workshop does not require registration and is free to the public.

The workshop is sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Commission and the Birmingham Historical Society. Attendees will learn how to conduct research on historic dwellings in Birmingham and Jefferson County. Linda Nelson, Jefferson County Historical Commission Executive Secretary, will discuss requirements of the Historical Marker Program and other historical designations.

A second component of the workshop will feature BPL Assistant Archivist Catherine Oseas. She will discuss library resources that are useful in researching a historic house. For …

Book Review: The Tiger

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The Tiger
John Vaillant

If you know about tigers you know about the Siberian Tiger. But that’s no longer an accurate name because it’s been wiped out of Siberia. It now lives in the Russian Far East beyond Siberia and it’s more accurately called the Amur Tiger. Tigers are disappearing so fast it’s hard to keep up, with names or anything else. The Russian Far East is an oxymoronic place, easily the most exotic one in that country. Author John Vaillant calls it the Boreal Jungle, or arctic jungle. It’s 40 below for weeks on end in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. Leopards and moose drink from the same river. It’s where an Amur Tiger hunted and killed two men in 1997 before it was itself killed by a group of locals who saw no other option. In the book Vaillant demonstrates how the tiger is nature’s most perfect predator, but by the end you realize that there’s an even more terrifying one roaming the forest.

You can live in the taiga, or forest, and not even see a tiger for ten…

Personal Finance 2013

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What do you think when you hear the term personal finance? Do you think about balancing your check book, paying your household expenditures, or how to save for the future? Most Americans do not understand basic concepts of personal finance. According to dailyfinance.com, “A new survey by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that 75% of U.S. adults say they're pros at managing their finances, but only 14% could ace a five-question quiz on basic financial concepts, and only 25% more managed to score four out of five.”

When considering your personal financial situation, one must look at many aspects: credit worthiness, debt ratio, home ownership, money management, insurance, retirement, estate planning, etc. The Birmingham Public Library is a good place to go for free, unbiased resources on all aspects of personal finance. The resources listed below will get you started on expanding your knowledge of this topic.

Books
The everything personal finance in your 20s and 30s book : …

Money Talks! Stories about Money Lost and Money Found

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If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the North Birmingham Library on Monday, August 5, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. Famed storyteller Dolores Hydock will present a collection of funny, sweet, and surprising stories about first jobs, spending sprees, and the unexpected value of a penny.

This program is part of the MakingCents: Resources to make your money grow and Smart investing@your library® series, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

On the Water

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As we begin to enter the dog days of summer, I am reminded that one of the best ways to cool off  in the Alabama summer heat is by spending a day on the water.

Alabama has an enormous variety of opportunities for aquatic recreation, though I must admit that paddling along our rivers and streams has become my favorite.  Paddling (canoeing or kayaking) is a great way to relax on a scenic river and get a little exercise at the same time.

Over 631 miles of river and stream within our state have been officially designated as part of the Alabama Scenic River Trail system. The array of geography, history, and wildlife that one can encounter along this trail system is quite stunning, including towering hemlocks and sandstone bluffs along Bear Creek, hundreds of sunbathing turtles on Terrapin Creek, the challenging rapids of the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River, remnants of American Indian stone fishing weirs on the Tallapoosa River, as well as the chance of an encounter with alligators…

Birmingham Baseball Alumni

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What do Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, Reggie Jackson, and Michael Jordon all have in common? 

All played baseball in Birmingham.  

While the current team, the Birmingham Barons, is the AA Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, professional baseball has been a part of Birmingham in one form or another since 1885.
Willie Mays, an Alabama native and Baseball Hall of Famer got his start with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948, playing with the team for two years before getting recruited to the New York Giants (1951-1957), San Francisco Giants (1958-1972), and ending his career with the New York Mets in 1973. 

Mays played in 24 All-Star games, and participated in four World Series. Career statistics include 3,283 hits and 660 home runs, National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1951, two MVP Awards, 12 Gold Gloves, played in a record-tying.  (Baseball Hall of Fame).

Read more about Mays: Willie Mays: the Life, the Legend by James S. Hirsch  B Mays 2010 
Willie’s Boys by John Klima 796.357 Kil…

Young Professionals Group Hosts Fundraiser for Birmingham Libraries

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The thicker the book, the better. If this is your philosophy—or not—then make plans to join the Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals (BPLYP) for their first social event of the year on Thursday, July 25, 2013, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Avondale Brewing Company located at 201 41st Street South. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6677589851/es2/?rank=1 for $20 or at the door for $25. A ticket includes one free Avondale brew (while supplies last), food from Saw’s Soul Kitchen, and the opportunity to win a gift basket filled with books and other goodies for library lovers.

The BPLYPs are Birmingham Public Library’s newest support group, comprised of accomplished young professionals ages 25-40 who live and work in the metro area. The mission of the BPLYPs is to promote the library through cultural events and service projects and support library programs through fundraising events like the social. This is the BPLYPs first fundraiser. All proceeds will go to …

Registration Now Open for August Computer Classes

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Registration for the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) August 2013 computer classes is now open to the public with added new and improved choices. In addition to offering regular applications such as those from the Apache OpenOffice.org, RLCC is also extending its training line-up to include Prezi and E-Books.

The major change in the usual classes offered is the merging of the Basic PC and Keyboarding classes. In the past, these popular basic classes were offered individually, once per month, often filling up within the first week. Combining them and providing two days will give more patrons the opportunity to attend this training course.

Because many educational institutions and companies have discovered Prezi, RLCC is providing a tutorial workshop for this online alternative to slide presentations. Rather than a linear approach to presenting, Prezi deals with one canvas and uses "zoom" features for animation. It’s cloud-based, so your presentations are stored online bu…

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, July 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.

12th Annual Math and Science Fun Day Scheduled at Five Points West Library

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Science should always be interactive, interesting and unforgettable. When Elinor and Winfield Burks are in the mix, it usually is. Make plans to join them and others for the 12th Annual Summer Math and Science Day in partnership with the Birmingham Public Library. The event takes place Saturday, July 27, 2013, 1:00–5:00 p.m., at the Five Points West Regional Library located at 4812 Avenue W. This event is free and designed for students ages 5 to 105. Parents must accompany all participants.

“Science is Corny” is this year’s theme and activities will explore methods by which plants become food and other common necessities. Children can roam among the various exhibits and explore hands-on science experiments. This year, attendees will experience such tasks as baking bread from flour ground from wheat, concocting an African black soap-based shampoo, tasting parts of unusual plants, and calculating how many plants can fit in a garden plot.

“Kids today do not know where things come f…