Showing posts from August, 2013

Avondale Library Hosts Special Screening of Miss Fancy Documentary

Read articles about Miss Fancy in the BPL Digital Collections   The short documentary Mr. Todd's Fancy had its premiere at this year's Sidewalk Film Festival . Avondale Library has been given permission to host a special screening of  the11-minute film at the Forest Park/South Avondale Neighborhood Association community meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 6:30 p.m. The film will be first up on the agenda. Popcorn will be served. For those not familiar with Miss Fancy the alcohol-loving elephant, she was the star attraction at the Avondale Zoo from 1913-1943. She formed a special bond with her handler, John Todd, and was kept busy entertaining local children—who would save their pennies to buy her treats—by giving them rides.

Series of Programs on Personal Finance Begin at Central Library on September 10

Dr. Andreas Rauterkus If you are interested in getting your financial life in order this fall, then the Central Library is the place to be! Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at UAB, will be leading a series of programs that will focus on a variety of issues related to personal finance and investing. The series begins on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at noon in the Arrington Auditorium and will continue at the same time and place on the second Tuesday of the month, October thru December. The individual programs are: Budgeting and Beyond Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:00 p.m. Arrington Auditorium This program will cover setting financial goals, tracking daily spending, creating a personal spending plan, and estimating monthly income and expenses. An emphasis will be placed on identifying ways to increase income and decrease spending. Banking and Credit Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:00 p.m. Arrington Auditorium Information will be prov

Gifts of a Wordsmith Workshop in September

Gifts of a Wordsmith is a free adult poetry workshop held on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Story Castle on the second floor of Central Library . The next workshop is scheduled for September 3 . 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 funds the workshops. The workshops will be led by Atiya Robertson, a local writer, poet, and agent of change from Birmingham Alabama. She is also the founder of It Doesn’t Have 2 Be This Way, a local nonprofit program dealing with suicide prevention and abuse counseling debuting Spring of 2014. “I believe that we each have the power to create change in our world, and when we use that power to empower others, we change the world.” For more information on Robertson, visit her website and blog

Inglenook Library Staff Welcomes Renovation

Inglenook Library's temporary location at the Inglenook Recreation Center As many know, the Inglenook Library is housed in the Inglenook Recreation Center until the renovation is completed. Though the renovation may seem like an inconvenience, it has given the Inglenook Library staff an opportunity to build lasting relationships that will hopefully continue when the Inglenook Library re-opens. As the people of the Inglenook community become more acquainted with the library’s existence in the Inglenook Recreation Center, they will discover services that they weren’t aware of and provide the Inglenook Library staff the opportunity to promote these services. Sandra Womack, the Director of the Inglenook Recreation Center, has been wonderful in welcoming the Inglenook Library staff and directing existing and prospective patrons our way. The staff is excited to about the renovation and though the Inglenook Library’s services are limited, the staff’s zeal to serve the community

Here, Kitty Kitty

Erwin Schrödinger, 1887-1961 Earlier in the month, August 12 to be exact, Google honored Erwin Schrödinger with a "doodle." I have to confess I’ve never been much of a physics enthusiast. When I read the name Schrödinger, I only think of one thing: a dead cat in a box. Or is it two dead cats? No, wait. One cat is dead, but the other is alive. No, it’s definitely one cat but it’s both…Well, at this point I’m just confused. Erwin Schrödinger was born August 12, 1887, in Vienna. In modern parlance, he was home schooled until the age of 12 at which point his parents hired tutors. Although he excelled in mathematics and the sciences, he also showed a keen interest in poetry and the humanities. Perhaps this latter interest explains the …quirkier aspects of his most famous thought experiment. In the course of his career he worked on a variety of physics problems including general relativity and radiation theory, but he is considered the father of Wave Mechanics. Just as Ei

Oh, My Aching Back!

Many of us have had back aches, either because we overestimated what we could lift or we just moved the wrong way and then the pain started. This past week, at lunch time, I was stopped at a red light and was rear ended by an inattentive driver. I had myself checked out at an urgent care center because my back was hurting and was given muscle relaxants and pain pills. After almost two days off work, I felt fine because the medicine did its job. But, what if it hadn’t? These resources are for those who may still be saying, “Oh, my aching back!” Books The 7-Minute Back Pain Solution : 7 Simple Exercises to Heal Your Back in Just Minutes a Day The Back Bible The Complete Idiot's Guide to Back Pain b End Back Pain Forever : A Groundbreaking Approach to Eliminate Your Suffering Essential Back Care End Back & Neck Pain  Foundation : Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence Yoga for Back Pain Websites Back Pain: MedlinePlus Spine-health.

Read and Romp Birmingham at Railroad Park

There’s a great event on September 7 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Railroad Park called Read and Romp-Birmingham. It’s an exciting, innovative, and FREE family literacy event for children 3-5 years old and their families. At Read and Romp-Birmingham kids will be engaged in fun, learning-based activities themed around children's books. They will leave the event with goodies that they have created from an activity at each station, along with a stamped passport, and some FREE books! By associating fun-filled activities with reading, parents will learn about how to engage with their child on the life-long journey of learning at an early age, which will help increase their children's success in school. While centered around books, each station will be staffed by organizations and businesses that are child-focused, providing families an opportunity to learn about activities that will enhance the development of their young children. This year, we have 12 organizations that

Marian McPartland, Grand Dame of Jazz Piano, Passes Away at Age 95

Marian Turner was born in Windsor, England, on March 20, 1918. She played piano by ear from an early age, but at her mother’s demand unwillingly studied violin for five years until she was 14. About this time she discovered jazz via recordings and attempted to copy pianists whose playing she admired. She left the Guildhall School of Music, London, to join a four-piano vaudeville act, and later performed for British and American troops during World War II. She married American jazz cornetist, Jimmy McPartland in 1944 and the couple moved to the USA in April of 1946, but she never gave up her English citizenship. Gradually overcoming the resistance of American jazz musicians to her nationality and sex, she established her own trio, which first played in New York at the Embers Club (1950) and later in lengthy residencies at Hickory House (1952-1960). In the 1950s she contributed witty and perspective essays on jazz musicians to the Boston Globe , Detroit Free Press , and Down Beat ,

Book Review: The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds: A Novel Kevin Powers What it Was Like Like the narrator of his first novel, Kevin Powers fought in Iraq as a very young man. In an interview with the newspaper The Guardian he explains, “One of the reasons I wrote this book was the idea that people kept saying ‘What was it like over there?’ It seemed that it was not an information-based problem. There was lots of information around. But what people really wanted was to know what it felt like, physically, emotionally and psychologically. So that’s why I wrote it.” “Perhaps that’s how it was: a field full of hyacinth. It was not like that when we stormed the building, not like that four days after Malik died. The green grasses that waved in the breeze were burned by fire and the summer sun. The festival of people on the market street with their long white shifts and loud voices were gone. Some of them were lying dead in the courtyards of the city or in its lace of alleys. The rest walked or rode in sluggish

Woodlawn Neighborhood Fun Day

The Woodlawn Neighborhood Association will be hosting their annual neighborhood Fun Day on Saturday, August 24, 12:00-4:00 p.m., at Willow Wood Park Recreation Center (5312 Georgia Road, Birmingham, AL 35212) . The Woodlawn neighborhood invites people from their area to come out and get to know others in the community. Several representatives from various community organizations, including the Birmingham Public Library, will have tables set up in order to distribute information to those in attendance. There will also be fun activities for all ages. Refreshment s will be provided to the public. Submitted by Pamela Jessie Woodlawn Library

Birmingham Public Library Looks at George Wallace and the Birmingham Freedom Struggle

The Birmingham Public Library Archives will host a panel discussion by three eminent historians examining Governor George Wallace’s role in Birmingham’s civil rights struggle and Wallace’s continuing influence on American politics and race relations today. Titled In Birmingham They Love the Gov’nor: George Wallace, Birmingham and Beyond , the program will be held in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library , Monday, September 9, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. Generous financial support for this program is provided by the Rita C. Kimerling Family Fund. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 205-226-3631 or e-mail Jim Baggett at The panelists: Dr. Dan T. Carter has served as a professor and visiting scholar at Emory University, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin, London's Westminster University, Cambridge University, the University of Genoa and the University of South Carolina. His book Scottsboro:

E-Books Workshop Offered in September RLCC Class Schedule

Registration for the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC)  September 2013 computer classes  is now open to the public with an E-Books workshop added to the list. An E-Book is basically a digital version of a book. In this workshop, you will learn how to download E-Books and audiobooks from the  JCLC digital library . Many readers find them more convenient and portable. You can choose to check them out for 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days. Once the loan term has expired, the books are returned automatically. This system avoids fines from being accrued. In this workshop, you will learn how to use the Kindle, Nook and iPad (which are provided during the training) If you have a tablet or an E-Reader, you are welcome to bring your personal device. This class is considered an intermediate class, and previous tablet experience is recommended. Please note that the Basic PC and Keyboarding classes have been merged and a  new progression chart  is published. This chart suggests the sequential

Money Talks! Stories about Cold, Hard Cash, August 19

Dolores Hydock If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the Avondale Library on Monday, August 19, 6:30-7:30 p.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 .

What I Read This Summer

Even though I work at BPL, I don’t read nearly as much as my coworkers which they hold over my head as a source of shame.   Despite my aversion to bow to peer pressure, I decided to pick out some books to read this summer.     One coworker commented, “how dare you start reading?”   Another coworker asked one day if I knew about a particular book.   When I told him I had read it, he thought I meant I read a review of it.   “No, I read the book.”   His face awakened in shock at the very thought of it.    I feel pretty good about myself, so I thought I would share a little information about the books that helped me overcome my reading slump. My favorite new author is Ben Coes .   His books feature an ex-Army Ranger Special Forces Delta soldier named Dewey Andreas.   I wrote a review of his first book, Power Down , last spring.  I finished reading his second and third books, Coup d’Etat   and The Last Refuge , this summer.    If you decide to read the series, be sure to start

Children's Book Review: Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy Rebecca Stead This is the story of George (the “s” is silent). Like many middle grade protagonists he is a seventh grader trying to navigate through the dark, murky waters of middle school. He’s struggling to deal with the bullies, P.E., the lunchroom, making friends, fitting in….. and on top of all the standard problems, he also has to deal with his father losing his job. Now his mom has to take on double shifts at the hospital and his family has to move from their beloved New York apartment to an unfamiliar place just a few blocks away. Poor Georges is friendless and out of sorts when he stumbles across a Spy Club sign in the basement of his new apartment building. He becomes an apprentice spy under the tutelage of Safer, a twelve year old, self-proclaimed professional spy. Together, the two try and unravel the mystery of a sinister, all-black wearing, mystery man dubbed Mr. X. The story is packed full of humorous, mysterious, and surprising twists and turns as

Inglenook Staff Move Into Rec Center

The Inglenook Library As contractors begin their work inside the 1927 structure just a few blocks away, staff from the Inglenook Public Library is preparing to open for business at the Inglenook Recreation Center on Monday, August 19. Limited library service will be provided Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. (Winter hours, beginning November 4, will be 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.) The Inglenook Recreation Center is located at 4016 37th Avenue North and library staff can be reached by dialing (205) 841-3035. 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. Work is currently underway to make it “new” again. The renovation is estimated to take 5 months to

Alabama Women Get The Blues

Our America's Music series continues with The Blues!                                                                                      Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6:30 p.m. America’s Music celebrates Alabama Blues Women: Debbie Bond, SharBaby, and Elnora Spencer Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL   35203 Hear three greats come together to celebrate the blues! Blues singer, guitar player, Shar Baby settled in Alabama in 2006 after performing at the Freedom Creek Blues Festival, connecting with the late great Willie King and the rich blues culture of Alabama where she finally felt at home. Often compared to Jessie Mae Hemphill, she cites Hubert Sumlin and Howlin' wolf as early influences. SharBaby's music has received international critical acclaim for its mix of good-time soulful traditional blues with contemporary originality. Singer, guitar player, songwriter, Debbie Bond has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 y