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Showing posts from November, 2013

Navigating the Holidays with Ease

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The holiday season has come fast and has caught many of us off guard, but we need not fret because it’s still early enough to shop and plan without getting entangled with the chaos that seems synonymous with the holidays. Below, Real Simple provides seven tips to reduce holiday stress and save money. Following the tips are books provided by the Birmingham Public Library that will also help us navigate the holidays with class and ease so that we can celebrate and embrace them for what they mean to us without the distractions of stress.

Tips
1. Make a List
Write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend.

2. Start Early
Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start buying holiday gifts. Keep your eyes open all year round for items friends and family would like.

3. Do Online Research
If you’re unsure of which specific item to buy, search for reputable online…

BPL Hits Tumblr!

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"What is Tumblr?


"Before there was social networking, there were blogs. And in an effort to muddle things, at one point in time the concept of blogging without trying too hard became known as microblogging. Tumblr is part microblogging, part social networking."

"If you want to write a several-thousand-word opus about something, Tumblr isn’t the place to do it. If you want to share a moving picture of a little kid acting like a detective as quickly and easily as possible, Tumblr is a good place to do it. That’s the microblogging aspect to Tumblr. Then, other Tumblr users who like moving pictures of little kids acting like detectives can follow you on Tumblr so they’re sure to see every moving little-kid-acting-like-a-detective picture you post. That’s the social networking aspect to Tumblr."
From time.com
So, where can you find Tumblr?
Learn more about what's going on at BPL, find book reviews, funny memes, and most importantly, FOLLOW US at http://www.tum…

Limited Edition Photo Print By Local Artist Available For BPL Donors

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Donors to BPL's Annual Campaign May Receive a Limited Edition Photo Print by Local Artist John DeMotte

The first 25 donors of $1,000 and up to BPL's annual campaign will receive a beautiful limited edition photo print by local artist John DeMotte (www.johndemotte.com). The photo is in an edition of 25, donated to BPL by the artist. It captures the Central Library's glass windows, which rise from the first floor atrium to above the fourth floor, looking across the intersection of Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard and Park Place toward the Tutwiler Hotel. The Central Library's "East Building" was constructed in 1984, is a modern counterpart to the 1927 Linn Henley Library. Its pyramid-like glass atrium has made it a recognizable downtown Birmingham landmark.

The BPL Foundation hopes to raise $50,000 before January 1, 2014 to supplement and expand the library's collection. One hundred percent campaign donations will be used to acquire library materials for BPL…

BPL Closed November 28 to December 1 for Thanksgiving Holiday

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All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will be closed November 28 to December 1 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Books for Native American Children Educate about Diabetes

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Book Review: Top Down

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Top Down: a Novel of the Kennedy Assassination
Jim Lehrer

“Where were you . . .?”

“Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was shot?”

For people of a certain age, this question and its attendant discussions have been popping up for 50 years. November 22, 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Younger generations have their own “Where were you . . .?” questions and answers for the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion that occurred on January 28, 1986, and for the terrorist attacks from al-Qaeda upon New York City and the Washington D. C. metropolitan area on September 11, 2001. These three powerful events force us to reflect on our own mortality and stir our concerns for a sense of safety in our current and sometimes crazy world.

With this anniversary of JFK’s assassination, one can expect many books, articles, commemorations and television specials to come out and take place this year. Much is already out there including straightforward histories…

Birmingham’s First Black Police Officer to Explore the Past During November 25 Book Signing at Central Library

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On Monday, November 25, at the Birmingham Public Library, Leroy Stover will share stories about what it was like to become the first black police officer for a Birmingham police force that was known in the 1960s for harassing and intimidating peaceful black marchers during the civil rights movement. Stover’s stories are in the new book Leroy Stover, Birmingham Alabama’s First Black Policeman: An Inspirational Story. He will sign copies of the book from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the library’s Arrington Auditorium, 2100 Park Place. The books are $14.28. The Metro Birmingham Branch NAACP will host the event.

A Korean War paratrooper, Stover integrated the police department in 1966. He retired as a deputy chief in 1998. As Birmingham commemorates the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, the 80-year-old Stover said that 2013 is an ideal time to release the book.

“They didn’t spit on me or push me (on the first day.) But they did call me racist names and suggested I wouldn’t last the fi…

Squirrels Just Want to Have Fun!

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Today while shelving books at Avondale Library, I happened to look out the window and see two squirrels playing in the park. They were tumbling and chasing their tails and seemed to be having a great time. This joyous scene brought to mind a book I recently read written by Kate DiCamillo, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Goodreads gave a wonderful review of the book: "Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry—and that …

“I couldn’t imagine my life without the library…”

BPL Young Professional Rikesha Foster talks about how important the library has been in her life.


Rikesha said it best: "The library means so much to so many people." We appreciate everyone who supports and utilizes the services and resources offered at the Birmingham Public Library.

Our BPL Foundation would like to expand the library's collection. The Foundation seeks to raise $50,000 before January 1, 2014. Your donations will be used solely for the purpose of acquiring library materials. Specifically, your gift will allow BPL to do the following:
Purchase current and sought-after books and ebooks in all genres 
Purchase magazines, journals, and newspapers for both research and enjoyment
Purchase databases like Ancestry.com, Reference USA and Morningstar 
Your generosity will touch 1.7 million visitors per  year who visit 19 library locations spanning the city. BPL serves more  people than any other cultural institution in Birmingham.

Your gift  puts books and other r…

Children's Author Jan Brett Is Coming to BPL November 19

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New York Times best-selling author Jan Brett will sign copies of her new book Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella at the Central Library on Tuesday, November 19, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Books-A-Million will have books for sale.

Brett’s children’s books include highly-detailed art work of loveable hedgehogs, chickens, and other animals. Special chickens and hedgehogs will be on display during this event. Brett will also discuss her art work. The event is free.

Brett is touring the nation on a decorated bus, which will be parked outside of the library for fan pictures. Autographed posters will go to the first 100 in line.

With more than 38 million books in print, Brett is one of America’s most popular children’s book artists/authors. Her latest book takes the classic fairy tale of Cinderella and casts chickens as the characters. It tells the story of Cinders, the most-picked-on hen in the flock, becoming the belle of a prince chicken’s ball. Inspiration for the book came from Brett’s own flock …

BPL Again Featured on C-SPAN

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For the third time in 2013, the Birmingham Public Library is featured on C-SPAN. The most recent program, which began airing this week, is titled In Birmingham They Love the Gov’nor: George Wallace, Birmingham and Beyond. The program was held in the Richard Arrington Auditorium of the downtown library on September 9, 2013. The panelists, Dr. Dan T. Carter of the University of South Carolina, Dr. Glenn T. Eskew of Georgia State University, and Dr. Angela K. Lewis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discussed George Wallace’s role in Birmingham’s civil rights struggle and Wallace’s continuing influence on American politics and race relations today.

Generous financial support for this program was provided by the Rita C. Kimerling Family Fund.

The program can be viewed on the C-SPAN website at http://c-spanvideo.org/program/Segrega.

Submitted by Jim Baggett
Archives Department
Central Library

November 22, 1963

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Fifty years after President Kennedy decided to make his fateful trip to Dallas; questions surrounding his assassination continue to multiply. Like cracks growing from a single rock thrown into a stain glass window, questions surrounding his assassination still branch out and multiply. Historians, conspiracy theorists and political pundits have queried every aspect of the President’s murder. Was there a single shooter, or several? If there was a single shooter was it really Oswald? If Oswald was the actual shooter, did he act alone or was he merely a patsy for an individual or a shadowy cabal? If there was a conspiracy, was it the CIA, the Mob, or a foreign power? Why did the President even visit a city that was so demonstratively hostile to him and his presidency? Each question produces another possibility which in turn creates more questions. The cracks emanate outward from the hole and each crack branches out to dozens of splits and fissures until the stain glass is covered in shar…

Book Reviews: Endless Night and Murder at Hazelmoor

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Endless Night
Murder at Hazelmoor

Agatha Christie

Having immersed myself in the works of Agatha Christie for the last few months, I was very happy to discover two gems of hers that could easily be overlooked. Endless Night and Murder at Hazelmoor are not your typical Agatha Christie works. Neither book features her most well-known characters, Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Each book is very character driven and, while murders certainly do occur, the unraveling of the mystery isn’t really the most interesting part of the story. It’s easy to forget that, in addition to crafting clever puzzles and surprise endings, Christie was just a really good writer who drew the reader into her world with ease and deft.

Endless Night is one of the later Christies having been published in the U.S. in 1968. Its modern tone is a little jarring at first (Should the phrase “sex personified” really appear in an Agatha Christie book?). It is, I think, one of her darker works. Christie seems to …

Winter Crafting

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Learning a new craft is wonderful any time of year, but especially in fall and winter when many find themselves sequestered inside from the elements. The amazing thing is, It seems the lost arts of quilting, sewing, woodworking, and the like aren’t so “lost” anymore. Things once associated with grandparents are now relevant as a way of spending free time or even making money by selling on websites like Etsy or at a local farmer’s market. People everywhere are more willing to buy something made by someone from their neighborhood rather than ordering it online or buying it at an anonymous big box store. And it’s original!
There are many layers to the question of why crafting has seen such resurgence in the past decade. Part may stem from genuine economic need. Dealing with the past economic downturn, people were looking for a way to make their own household products or clothes, or perhaps they were hoping to sell these handmade objects for a little extra cash. This has definitely been…

"Winner, Winner, Books and Dinner": #GivingTuesday and the Gifts that Keep on Giving

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#GivingTuesday™ (#GT) is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The second annual GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2013.(BPL participated last year with thrilling results.)

At BPL, we will celebrate #GivingTuesday by directing all gifts to the BPL Foundation Annual Campaign, a campaign where 100% of the gifts will allow the Birmingham Public Library to do the following:
Purchase current and sought-after books and ebooks in all genres Purchase magazines, journals, and newspapers for both research and enjoyment Purchase databases like Ancestry.com, Reference USA and Morningstar   "Winner, Winner, Books and Dinner"

If you make a donation any time between now and the end of December 3, we will enter you into a drawing for "Winner, Winner, Books and Dinner." This prize includes dinner for two at Birmingham's deliciousEl Barrio as well as a s…

Book Review: The Stones of Florence

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The Stones of Florence
Mary McCarthy

Original Sin

Mary McCarthy’s gossipy The Stones of Florence, first published in 1959, should be read before one’s first visit to this famous city. She strips away the veil of prettiness that prevents us from seeing it truly. Venice is pretty, but no one would say that of the stone canyons of New York City, so similar to wealthy Florence with its densely packed stone fortresses built over the grid of an ancient Roman military camp.

“The discontented shade of Cataline, dressed in consular toga, haunts Florentine history. It is not hard to imagine some of his cohorts surviving…. Fathering children from whose seed would spring the fierce factions of medieval Tuscany.”

Seen from the hills across the Arno River, the skyline of Florence is nearly flat, but 800 years ago giant defensive towers rose above these very buildings.

“The first towers were built in the eleventh century. By the twelfth there were over a hundred. ‘Gent’ e avara, invidiosa, e supe…

“The library… was filled with all kinds of books that took me on trips and adventures all around the world and I’ll never forget that experience.”

BPL Associate Director Angela Fisher Hall talks about how important the library was to her as a child and how important it is to her as an adult.


Like Angela, many of us at BPL have had wonderful library experiences. Because of these memories, the BPL Foundation would like to stengthen the library's collection. The Foundation seeks to raise $50,000 before January 1, 2014. Your donations will be used solely for the purpose of acquiring library materials. Specifically, your gift will allow BPL to do the following:
Purchase current and sought-after books and ebooks in all genres 
Purchase magazines, journals, and newspapers for both research and enjoyment
Purchase databases like Ancestry.com, Reference USA and Morningstar 
Your generosity will touch 1.7 million visitors per  year who visit 19 library locations spanning the city. BPL serves more  people than any other cultural institution in Birmingham.

Your gift  puts books and other reading materials into the hands of the citizens  o…

No Computer Classes Until January 2014

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Please note that the Regional Library Computer Center will not offer computer classes to the public from Thanksgiving Week until the end of December, 2013. Classes will resume the beginning of the following year. Registration and the class schedule for January, 2014, will be available Monday, December 16, 2013. For more information, contact (205) 226-3680 or email cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us.

You can get ANY book about animals or flying things

BPL is fortunate to have some of the cutest kids on the planet who love and use the library. Hear what one of our youngest patrons, Grey, says about the library (and notice him proudly holding that library card).


Because the Library is important to so many kids like Grey, the BPL Foundation has a goal of raising $50,000 before January 1, 2014. Your donations will be used solely for the purpose of acquiring library materials. Specifically, your gift will allow BPL to do the following:

Purchase current and sought-after books and ebooks in all genres Purchase magazines, journals, and newspapers for both research and enjoyment Purchase databases like Ancestry.com, Reference USA and Morningstar 
Your generosity will touch 1.7 million visitors per year who visit 19 library locations spanning the city. BPL serves more people than any other cultural institution in Birmingham.

Your gift puts books and other reading materials into the hands of the citizens of Birmingham—whether they walk in o…

From Page to Stage: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – A Readers' Theater Workshop for Children

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL), in partnership with the Birmingham Children’s Theater (BCT) and Junior League of Birmingham (JLB), would like to invite you to attend From Page to Stage: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever — A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, BPL will be hosting free workshops at some of its area libraries. Children, aged 7 to 12, will learn how storybook characters come alive through the magic of theater. JLB members will coach the children and introduce them to similar literature located in their local library. Each child will receive two free tickets (one child and one adult ticket) to the BCT The Best Christmas Pageant Ever production on December 7 at 2:00 p.m.

A new, better-than-ever production! This is a hilarious holiday story that will delight all ages. No one wants to be in the annual Christmas play at the local church except six irascible siblings who have never hea…

Opening Reception for the Birmingham 2013 Exhibit, November 9

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A special exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement in Birmingham will be shown in the Fourth Floor Gallery of the Central Library, Wednesday, November 6 to Friday, December 27, 2013. A reception will be held on Saturday, November 9, 3:00-5:00 p.m. The gallery and reception are free and open to the public.

Other artists in the exhibit can be found at www.bplonline.org/exhibits/colvinexhibitbrochure.pdf.

O.V. Hunt Exhibit at Five Points West Library Through January 15

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A collection of photographer O.V. Hunt's works documenting the early history of Birmingham are on display at the Five Points West Library through January 15, 2014. These images, archived at BPL, document the life and work of the Magic City during the early 1900s.

To view Hunt's photographs in the Birmingham Public Library's Digital Collections, visit
http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/search/collection/p4017coll6/searchterm/hunt%2C%20oscar!o.v.%20hunt!o.v.%20hunt/field/creato!all!all/mode/all!all!all/conn/and!and!and/order/nosort/ad/asc.

November MakingCents Program Explains the Importance of Saving and Investing

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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 programs take place at noon in the Arrington Auditorium and will continue at the same time and place on the second Tuesday of the month thru December.

The individual programs are:

Saving and Investing
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
This session will help you understand the various financial markets, evaluate different saving and investment options, find and utilize investment information, and develop ways to make better investment decisions.

Paying for College
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
12:00 p.m.
Arrington Auditorium
A college education is a good investment, but is also a very expensive one. In this program, Dr. Rauterkus will discuss way…