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Showing posts from January, 2014

Local Authors Expo, February 1

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Nearly 100 authors are scheduled to showcase their written works during the Local Authors Expo and Book Fair on February 1, 9:00  a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Central Library. The event is free and open to the public.

The event provides an outlet for authors, many of them self-published, to sell their books and to network. But it also gives library patrons an opportunity to discover new talent and talk to authors about their writing style and writing journey. Book topics include Birmingham and Alabama history, civil rights, poetry, memoirs, devotionals, relationships, inspiration and motivation, self-help, children’s fiction, Christian fiction, teen fiction, fantasy, romance, thrillers, science fiction, and historical fiction.

The Expo will have two writing sessions in the Arrington Auditorium. The sessions are free and don’t require advance registration.

The Local Authors Expo is presented by the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, a nonprofit association that supports Birmingham P…

Participate in the City's Comprehensive Plan

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Birmingham is in the process of creating a comprehensive plan for the city and is asking for citizen input. Framework plans focusing on issues, growth, and development specific to neighborhoods within each community are needed. Make your voice heard for the future of your community by participating.

Communities:

North Birmingham
Location: Trinity CME Church
Date: Thursday, February 6
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.




















Titusville
Location: Sixth Avenue Baptist Church
Date: Monday, February 10
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.




















Western Area
Location: Five Points West Library
Date: Saturday, February 1
Time: 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.



Twitter Haiku Contest! (#bplhaiku)

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Hosting haiku comp Open to AL residents Poems in the spring.

edit: 3/4/14: Haiku may now be submitted by e-mail as well (bplhaiku@gmail.com)
From February 23rd through March 15th, BPL will be sponsoring a Twitter Haiku Contest!

In conjuntion with the Japan America Society of Alabama (JASA) and the Southeast Chapter of the Haiku Society of America (HSA) the contest will be part of the annual Sakura Festival, the primary event of which will take place at the Japanese Gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition. For more information, see http://www.hsa-haiku.org/archives/HSA_Definitions_2004.html Eligibility Must be an Alabama resident.Contestants must submit a registration form.To enter the adult competition, must be over 18.To enter the youth competition, must be 13-17 (13 by the registration date).Library st…

Immunity against Alabama’s Changing Weather

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Alabama’s weather can be very unpredictable and easy to get sick in. One day the weather can be so beautiful that it would almost be a sin to sit inside and do nothing. On another day, many times the very next day, the weather can be so frightful that you wouldn’t even want to look outside. Weather changes can play a role in lowering our immune systems’ ability to fight against germs and diseases. So how can we protect ourselves from this crazy Alabama weather? Below, in article titled 6 Immune System Busters & Boosters, WebMD explains how our lifestyles can negatively affect our immune system and how changes can be made to improve it. Following the article are pertinent books that you can find in the Birmingham Public Library. Hopefully, after reading this information we’ll be better prepared for whatever Alabama’s weather throws our way.

6 Immune System Busters & Boosters
1. You're short on sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. …

Children's Book Review: Mr. Wuffles!

Mr. Wuffles!
David Wiesner

After reading this book, no cat's toy will ever look the same.

Among Mr. Wuffles' toys, there is a new one, different from all the rest. It's similar to a spinning top, and there appears to be a small creature (about the size of an ant) peering through a slit. These aliens are here to peacefully explore earth, but unfortunately, their first contact is Mr. Wuffl‏es.

Wiesner's artwork reveals even more layers of the story each time one views a page making this a book even adult will want to return to. Mr.Wiesner is only the second person to win the Caldecott Medal three times.

Barbara Hutto
Youth Department
Central Library

New Birmingham Public Library Exhibit Features Discarded Trash Turned Into Treasured Works of Art

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The Birmingham Public Library has a new exhibit that highlights the work of Fayette, Alabama, artist Lois Wilson, who took discarded pieces of trash and turned them into treasures. Ladies, Gentlemen and Bazards: The Art of Lois Wilson will be on display through February 21, 2014, in the Fourth Floor Gallery of the Central Library. The exhibit is free.

The exhibit focuses on Wilson’s “found art,” which includes pieces made of wood that Wilson scavenged from demolition sites, parts of furniture she disassembled, old brushes, ironing boards, and toilet seats. She used left over food for coloring. The art illustrates the issues that were important to Wilson: environmentalism and conservation, racism, spiritualism, the needs of the aged and homeless, and the emptiness of modern American materialism. Wilson died in 1980. The pieces are on loan from the Fayette Art Museum in Fayette.

“Bazard,”pronounced buh-zard, is a made-up word that conveys how Wilson saw herself, which is as “a bizarre …

Eunice Elliott to Give Three More Motivational Lectures in Living the Dream 2014 Series

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Get motivated in the new year with inspiring words from Birmingham motivational speaker Eunice Elliott and her lecture series, Living the Dream 2014, at various Birmingham Public Library locations in January and February. The interactive empowerment series will focus on how people can identify and activate individual goals and ambitions. All sessions are free and open to the public.

The Bessemer native graduated from the University of Alabama in 1997 and moved to Connecticut a week later to pursue her dream job at ESPN, working in public relations and later as a production assistant at ESPN Sports Center. After more than 10 years working in sports public relations, including stints at the Tennessee Titans, the FedEx Orange Bowl Committee, and with several high-profile professional athletes, Elliott changed course and started performing stand-up comedy and acting.

In 2011, she moved to Atlanta to pursue her new passion of comedy and acting. In 2013, she returned to Birmingham to joi…

Birmingham Public Library Wants Community Input for Major Makeover

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Want to redesign the downtown Birmingham Public Library? Here’s your chance.

Now through February 21, people can suggest how to improve the East Building and the Linn-Henley Research Library, which are both part of the Central Library at 2100 Park Place. A café, a roof-top garden, a children’s theater, and a larger auditorium are just some of the ideas. Library leaders welcome more.

“A great city has a great library. Help us make ours even better,‘’ says Renee Blalock, Birmingham Public Library Director.

The downtown library includes the East Building, which is more than 30 years old, and the Linn-Henley Research Library, which was built in 1927 and was last updated in 1985. Major renovations are planned to equip buildings with cutting-edge technology, expanded meeting spaces, and improved areas for the Archives and Southern History Departments. Renovations will also address improved services and library materials for teenagers, children, adults, seniors, and patrons with disabiliti…

Alabama Waterfalls

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Although this is the time of year when it is cold outside and the skies are often a dark and dreary shade of gray,  we have also reached the peak time of year for viewing waterfalls in the state of Alabama. Alabama is blessed with thousands of impressive waterfalls from the mighty High Falls (pictured above) located at an easily accessible county park in DeKalb County to the Kings Shower hidden within the miles of underground passage inside the Tumbling Rock Cave near Scottsboro. The library has several books that can help you get started in discovering waterfalls in Alabama. Several guides to hiking in Alabama mention the locations of waterfalls, including titles such as Alabama: An Atlas of Alabama’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Birmingham, 50 Hikes in Alabama, and - especially - Waterfall Walks and Drives in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.
Many of the most photographed waterfalls in Alabama reside within the borders of the Sipsey Wilderness Area, a rugged…

Birmingham Public Library’s Local Authors Expo and Book Fair To Feature Writing Workshops and 100 Authors on Saturday, February 1, 2014

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Nearly 100 authors are scheduled to showcase their written works during the Local Authors Expo and Book Fair on February 1, 9:00  a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Central Library. The event is free and open to the public.

The event provides an outlet for authors, many of them self-published, to sell their books and to network. But it also gives library patrons an opportunity to discover new talent and talk to authors about their writing style and writing journey. Book topics include Birmingham and Alabama history, civil rights, poetry, memoirs, devotionals, relationships, inspiration and motivation, self-help, children’s fiction, Christian fiction, teen fiction, fantasy, romance, thrillers, science fiction, and historical fiction.

“One of the main missions of the library is to connect authors and readers,’’ says Expo coordinator Jared Millett. “The Local Authors Expo lets us shine a spotlight on Birmingham’s own writing community, and it gives the authors an opportunity to promote their wor…

MakingCents Class for Kids on Saving Money at Avondale Library, January 23

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The Birmingham Public Library will kick off the new year with three money management classes in January. All classes are free and open to the public.


January 23
3:30 p.m.
Avondale Library
Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this children’s program. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’’ McEntee will teach children about the importance of saving money.

For more information, call Jim Murray at 205-226-3690 or visit www.making-cents.org.

The Birmingham Public Library and 14 other libraries in Jefferson and Shelby counties offer the series. The programs will end in May 2014. Other BPL locations include Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road.

The classes are part of a national grant program known as MakingCents: Resources to Help Your Money Grow and Smart investing@your library®, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Teen Audio Book Review: Vanish

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Vanish
Sophie Jordan
Narrated by Therese Plummer

Jacinda, her twin, Tamra, and their mother must flee back to their "pride" when Jacinda shows her true self to the boy she loves: Will. Will is a menber of a family who hunts her people. The draki decides Jacinda, a fire breather, must marry the pride's heir apparent, Cassian, whom Tamra wants. The draki have the ability to morph from human to dragon form which is not revealed until the third CD, although Jacinda morphs several times. The angst Jacinda suffers over the duty to her pride and her love for Will ends the story with a cliffhanger.

Therese Plummer does a good job narrating this angst-filled story. Her character voices are distinct and easy to follow. Her pacing fits the narrative and the characters. When the character narrative says her voice breaks, the character's dialog reflects the break.

Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture - Human Trafficking 101, January 17

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As part of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each January the Birmingham Public Library’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts sponsors Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture. Now in its eleventh year, the King Lecture has featured civil rights activists, scholars, children’s book authors, and community leaders talking on civil rights history and contemporary civil rights issues.

The 2014 lecture will feature Patricia A. McCay, Chair of the Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force. Her talk, Human Trafficking 101, will discuss the victims of modern day slavery, explore the ways that traffickers entrap and control their victims, and look at cases of trafficking in Alabama.

The program will be held January 17, 2014, at noon in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium at the downtown Birmingham Public Library.

To learn more about Patricia McCay and human trafficking in Alabama visit http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/08/human_traffic…

February 2014 RLCC Class Schedule Available

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Registration is now open for staff and the public for the February 2014 Regional Library Computer Center classes. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES. To register for classes, you may:
Visit the Computer Commons department at the Central Library and obtain a copy of the class schedule. Fill it out and return to a Computer Commons staff.Register online through the RLCC website. Please allow 2 to 4 business days for registration confirmation. Space is limited for each class, and registration does not guarantee you a space. If you register for a class, please make all efforts to attend. Repeated "no shows" could affect your registration eligibility for future classes.If you register for a class and cannot attend, call Public Computer Services at (205) 226-3680 or 226-3681 as soon as possible. Please pay close attention to the class times. No one will be admitted after 5 m…

Impact Alabama To Offer Free Tax Prep Assistance at Selected BPL Locations Plus Tax Forms and More

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As a service to the community, the Birmingham Public Library provides copies of current Federal and Alabama tax forms, instructions, and publications. Basic forms are available at most library locations; a more extensive collection of forms is available in the Government Documents Department in the Linn-Henley Research Library. Please contact your library to ensure that any forms you need are available.

Check back for updated information in the coming months.

Tax forms and instructions may also be downloaded from the Internet.

Federal Forms
IRS forms and publications
Request IRS forms by mail

State Forms
Alabama Department of Revenue

General Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - This governmental site has United States federal income tax forms, information, and tips. Includes warnings about tax frauds and scams, information about filling online, and the ability to track the status of your refund.

Yahoo! Finance: Tax Center - Tax forms, estimators, calculators, preparation, guides, tips,…

Birmingham Motivational Speaker Eunice Elliott and the Birmingham Public Library Kick Off New Empowerment Lecture Series to Help People Realize their Dreams in 2014

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Get motivated in the new year with inspiring words from Birmingham motivational speaker Eunice Elliott and her lecture series, Living the Dream 2014, at various Birmingham Public Library locations in January and February. The interactive empowerment series will focus on how people can identify and activate individual goals and ambitions. All sessions are free and open to the public.

The first session will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 10:30 a.m., at Five Points West Library. The topic will be “Dreaming 101: Identifying Your Heart’s Desires.’’ “I feel that my calling in life is to inspire people to pursue their dreams,’’ says Elliott. “Stop trying to put limits on your dreams. It’s a dream. Anything can happen.’’

The Bessemer native graduated from the University of Alabama in 1997 and moved to Connecticut a week later to pursue her dream job at ESPN, working in public relations and later as a production assistant at ESPN Sports Center. After more than 10 years working in sports …

Book Review: The Cleaner of Chartres

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The Cleaner of Chartres
Salley Vickers

We often know the traits of Dickens’s characters as we read their names. In Salley Vickers’s The Cleaner of Chartres names don’t give away the game, but Vickers gives us insight into characters even as she introduces them. This Dickensian tale set in modern France even has its own Madame DeFarge and Madame Beck in this story and is also full of malice. (Fortunately Madame Beck does not knit). Helpfully, Vickers tells us the meaning of our cleaner’s name, Agnès Morel. Morel is for the mushroom, beloved by the old farmer who found her abandoned, in a basket, in his fields. Agnès means “lamb of God”, in this case a very Dickensian name. Agnès is indeed the lamb of God. She is forty when we meet her, humbly washing the floors of the great cathedral, which is the other great character of this book.

And there are many characters. The author introduces her characters early on and almost all at once in a natural, offhand way, the narrative passing effor…

This Year I Will Exercise More

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It’s a new year and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions.One resolution on many lists is to get more exercise.I don’t know about you, but I can’t find the discipline to exercise consistently.I go through periods when I can’t wait to go exercise and others when I’d rather do anything but exercise.Usually when I’m exercising on a regular basis, something happens to throw me off track (injury, illness, etc.). Sometimes I get disgruntled with my health club membership and decide to go it alone to save money.I admit I’ve bought a couple of things I’ve seen on television, but I didn’t stick with them for the long haul.

A coworker told me about BodyRock.tv.This website features a number of high-intensity workouts that work your entire body with just a short time commitment.I decided to give it a try.In the interest of full disclosure, I did start my BodyRock journey with a workout entitled, “It Will Rain Sweat.”To use one of Judge Judy’s famous phrases, “BIG MISTAKE!!!”As I gasped for…

Book Review: The Liars' Club

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The Liars’ Club
Mary Karr

Over the last few years I’ve read several of the big memoir phenoms that are part of a memoir revival that’s been going on in America for the last twenty or so years. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr’s story of growing up in brutal East Texas and Antelope, Colorado, in the fifties and sixties, is often seen as the first book of this revival.

The metatheme for most memoirs is Overcoming Adversity, or at least Surviving Adversity. The Liars’ Club is much more of the latter. Both of Karr’s parents were alcoholics. Leechfield, Texas, where most of the action takes place, won national awards as one of the ugliest and most unhealthy towns in the U.S. It’s a town where ”…the only thing a woman might dream for…was a deep-freeze filled with deer meat she’d cleaned and dressed herself.” All women, that is, but Karr’s mother. She rages at how she’s sunk socially so much that she has to actually live in such a place as Leechfield, drowning her anger in drink. Dad works at th…

Begin the Day: The Eleventh Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture

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As part of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each January the Birmingham Public Library’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts sponsors Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture. Now in its eleventh year, the King Lecture has featured civil rights activists, scholars, children’s book authors, and community leaders talking on civil rights history and contemporary civil rights issues.

The 2014 lecture will feature Patricia A. McCay, Chair of the Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force. Her talk, Human Trafficking 101, will discuss the victims of modern day slavery, explore the ways that traffickers entrap and control their victims, and look at cases of trafficking in Alabama.

The program will be held January 17, 2014, at noon in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium at the downtown Birmingham Public Library.

To learn more about Patricia McCay and human trafficking in Alabama visit http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/08/human_traffic…

Performances, Cooking Classes, and More Are Part of Black History Month 2014 at BPL

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Several Birmingham Public Library locations will celebrate Black History Month in February with cooking classes, art projects, lectures, and theatrical presentations. All events are free. Click on the poster image for a list of the programs.

Addendum:
"Our Musical Journey Through Faith"
Thursday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. at the West End Branch (1348 Tuscaloosa Ave. SW.)
Come see the Birmingham Metropolitan Youth Choir perform songs from the civil rights movement on Thursday, 2/20/14, at the West End.
Three foot soldiers will talk about their experiences. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Choir director: Emmanuel Reese Musician: Samuel Robinson.
Target age group: Children and teenagers
Registration is not required.
Phone: 205-226-4089

Free Computer Classes at Springville Road Library

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Do any of your New Year's resolutions include conquering the Internet or PC? If so, then call 226-4083 to make a reservation to attend one or both of these free computer classes offered at the Springville Road Library.

Beginning Internet Saturday, January 11, 2014 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Beginning PC Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Early BPL Closings on Tuesday, January 7

The cold temperatures outside have made the conditions in many of our library buildings very uncomfortable. Due to these conditions, we are closing some of our buildings early today.

Some buildings have very little heat. The libraries include West End, Titusville, Southside and North Birmingham. These locations will close at 4:00 p.m. today.

The Central Library will close at 5:00.

Community and the other regional libraries will close at 6:00 p.m.

From Page to Stage: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – A Reader’s Theater Workshop for Children

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

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, BPL will be hosting free workshops at several 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 Adventures of Tom Sawyer production on February 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.

Tom’s adventures begin with a whitewashed fence, a sweet girl named Becky, Huck Finn, and tales of pirating and treasure hunting. After a surprise funeral and a murder trial where the truth is uncovered, the audienc…

Libraries Change Lives

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The Pew Research Center released a report December 11 titled "How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities."  The Summary of Findings states, "Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life.  Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services."

Wylam Library has first hand knowledge of a young man whose life has been changed because he visited the library. For the past year, Jamerrius Roseman has come to the library regularly so he could use the public PCs to search for a job. The library staff got to know him and introduced him to the JOB Corps website.

A month ago, Jamerrius stopped coming to the library. The staff were concerned, but didn't have a way to get in touch with him. They were happily surprised last week …

MakingCents Money Management Classes at Wylam and Five Points West Libraries, January 8

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The Birmingham Public Library will kick off the new year with three money management classes in January. All classes are free and open to the public.

January 8
10:00 a.m.
Wylam Library
Learn about saving and investing with Andreas Rauterkus, associate professor of accounting and finance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Attendees will learn how to understand various financial markets, evaluate different saving and investment options, develop ways to make better investment decisions, and more.

10:30 a.m.
Five Points West Library
Take control of your finances in a workshop led by UAB professor Dale Callahan. He will discuss ways to increase income, save more, and how to eliminate personal debt will be addressed. (Check out Callahan’s website: www.dalecallahan.com.)

January 23
3:30 p.m.
Avondale Library
Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this children’s program. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’…

Discover Middle-Earth

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In September of 1937 an Oxford professor by the name of John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien published a short novel based upon stories originally written for his children: The Hobbit or There and Back Again. This book became the prequel to the later-written Lord of the Rings trilogy and the posthumously published Silmarillion (1977) and sparked a phenomenon that has been loved by generations.


 Film adaptations of The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1954, Film 2001), The Two Towers (Book 1954, Film 2002), and Return of the King (Book 1955, Film 2003) were blockbuster hits, leading to the current three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit - the second of which, The Desolation of Smaug is currently in theaters (the third movie, There and Back Again is due out in late 2014). 

Learn more about The Hobbit, Middle-Earth, and Tolkien at the Birmingham Public Library.

Read: The Hobbit

Watch: In 1977 The Hobbit was made into an animated motion picture.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is also now availab…