Showing posts from September, 2014

September Brought the Joy of Giving for Our Library Patrons

As September comes to an end, it has really been an exciting month. We call it benevolent month for library patrons. Patrons had the privilege of receiving replacement cards for free. Who doesn’t like something for free? The most common phrase we heard was “I am glad I came to the library this month in order to get this free replacement card." This matter of goodwill goes a long way with our patrons. Thank you Public Libraries of Jefferson County for September National Library Card Sign-up (and replacement!) Month.

This month also represents Food for Fines month. This is an annual event where you can assist in helping people in need by giving up to ten non-perishable items in place of money (or fines) for local food banks. Of course the holidays are around the corner and there are a lot of people in need in the Greater Birmingham area.

We had a very unique situation at Pratt City library where one of our most dedicated patrons, Tracey Stitt, decided to implement a food dri…

Pepper Place Market for Eat Drink Read Write Fest: Saturday, Oct. 4

Pepper Place Market Saturday, October 4
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Pepper Place Market
2817 Second Avenue South

Bring the kids to BPL’s crafts table at Pepper Place Market for food-related art projects. Admission is free and fun times are certain.

On Twitter, join the Birmingham Public Library and Erin Bass from Deep South Magazine for a live chat about food in Southern literature. Follow the hashtags #EDRW and #SouthernLit to join in the conversation. @BPL and @DeepSouthMag will be leading the chat.

We're thrilled to have Erin Bass from Deep South Magazine as part of our festival!

The Eat Drink Read Write Fest is made possible by gracious contributions from Wind Creek Hospitality and the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, as well as these following partners and sponsors:

Food, Music, Writers, and Creativity @ Avondale Park and Library, October 5th

Sunday in the Park with Food Trucks, Crafts, Vendors & Sweet Sweet Music
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Avondale Park
4101 Fifth Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222

Enjoy music and spoken word poetry during the food truck and craft fair at Avondale Park. Vendors will be selling hand-crafted items with a literary twist.

Several popular Birmingham food trucks and local companies will be selling food (Nola Ice, Copper Pot Kitchen, Continental Bakery, Cantina, Saw's Street Kitchen, Dreamcakes and more. Admission is free.

Food Writers Fair in Avondale Library
Sunday, October 5
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Avondale Library
509 40th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35222

Chef Clayton Sherrod of the Lawson State Community College’s Culinary Arts Program and chefs Adam Elliott and Deborah Harris will do a cooking demo of Sherrod’s Bananas Foster. Sherrod will also sell and sign copies of his cookbook Truly Southern.

Erin Bass from Deep South Magazine will discuss food writing and Southe…

Soul Food Bards & Brews EDRW Kick-Off Poetry Slam, October 3

Join us for Eat Drink Read Write Festival’s kick-off party on Friday, October 3, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Central Library, with poetry, beer, coffee and soul food. Back Forty Beer Co. and The J. Clyde will provide beer samples.

The area’s best poets will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights. Admission is free but it’s $5 to compete. All contestants must perform at least one food-related poem. First place winner will receive $300 and second place will receive $200.

Enjoy Full Moon Bar-B-Que sandwiches and food from Todd English P.U.B. and Earth Fare.

Sample BPL’s new coffee blend from Higher Ground Roasters:

Soft drinks by Coca-Cola. Music by Clutch Band. Must be at least 18 to enter and at least 21 to be served.

This program is made possible by contributions from Wind Creek Hospitality and the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library, as well as these following partners and sponsors:

Bank on Birmingham Financial Program to Be Held at Community Education South, September 30

A sound understanding of banks and banking plays an important part in assuring one’s personal financial health. Acquiring such an understanding, however, takes some time and effort. In the world of banking, there exist different kinds of institutions offering a variety of accounts, products, and investment opportunities. But it is not a matter of one size fits all; which banking services are suitable for you depends upon your particular circumstances, needs, and goals. Therefore, in order to make good decisions about banks, you should try to get good, solid information about what is available so that you can compare their offerings with your priorities.

Bank on Birmingham (BoB) is a local non-profit organization that was created to provide information to the public about banking products and services. The membership of Bank on Birmingham, which consists of both local financial institutions and community organizations, is particularly interested in reaching low and moderate income …

Not Your Grandparents' Catalog

Today I was helping a customer find something to read, using our library catalog. The image that springs into your mind may be the old wooden card catalog with drawers filled with typed cards holding a brief description of the book and its call number. Today’s catalog offers much more.

The Online Public Access Catalog, or OPAC, features all the standard options for searching: keyword, title, author, and subject. The OPAC can be accessed from anywhere that you have access to the Internet. JCLC offers three flavors of library catalog, Classic, Encore, and Kids Catalog. All three offer the familiar searching tools, but Encore is flashier and features many of the online shopping tools used by, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

The Kid’s catalog provides guides for searching with images and general topics. Also available on kids on line are helpful links to Award Winning books, and Back to School links to Live Homework Help, and databases such as Britannica…

Young Adult Novelist Stephanie Perry Moore Brings Book Tour to the Birmingham Public Library, September 22-25

Go ahead and ask because Stephanie Perry Moore has heard the question too many times to count.

Yes, people have told her she looks like Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer of The Help fame. And yes, Moore knows Spencer.

The two were high school classmates at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama, where they were both in drama class.

While Spencer has a large following for her acting, Moore has one for her writing.

Moore, who’s written more than 60 books full of heart, sass, and grit, will be in Birmingham on September 22-25 for a fall book tour and talk at several Birmingham Public Library locations. She’ll kick off her tour at 10:00 a.m. at the Central Library. (See the complete tour schedule at the end of this release.)

The young adult novelist will target youth in her Birmingham message. She’ll discuss the importance of following dreams, writing books, and how she’s still on a journey of trying to get her books made for television and movies. Her goal is to inspir…

Tailgating Time

If you were raised in the south, Friday night lights and SEC games are the norm. Of course, you have to decide if you are an Alabama or Auburn fan at birth. Yes, crazy as it seems, this state has some pretty diehard fans.

College football rules the south on Saturdays. We can’t forget our Friday night high school games. But, it can’t compete with college football and tailgating. Tailgating involves sharing deep fried fish, ribs, hamburgers, and hot dogs with old friends and making new ones.

Since all things have a beginning, it is believed that the first tailgating was held in 1861 at the Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War. Of course, they weren’t playing football, but in fact cheering for soilders in blue or gray.

Charles Goodnight in 1866 after the Battle of Bull Run is credited with taking a U.S. Army wagon and transforming it into a portable feed wagon. Since cowboys were always on a range, Goodnight created the chuck wagon. It was named after a cheaper cut of beef.…

New from the Southern History Department: Book of the Month

This is the beginning of a new series from the Southern History Department: “Book of the Month.” Read on to discover things that you didn’t know existed—or if you did know, you didn’t expect to find them in our collection. Without further ado, our first item is . . .

Texar’s Revenge or North Against South
By Jules Verne

When most people hear the name Jules Verne they think of books like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or A Journey to the Center of the Earth. But did you know Verne wrote a novel about the American Civil War? Originally published as Nord Contre Sud (North Against South) in French, the novel has various titles in English translations. The straightforward North Against South became a subtitle in the first American edition, with Texar’s Vengeance as the title, which was then changed to Texar’s Revenge. One can only speculate about the motives of the translators and publishers who made the changes; the revenge element seems more immediate and gripping than the general “north …

Reading List Titles on World Book eBooks


Legal Services Alabama to Offer Will Preparation Assistance at North Birmingham Library, September 25

Legal Services Alabama, a nonprofit law firm in Birmingham, will prepare wills at selected Birmingham Public Libraries through October.

To qualify for a free will, a person must be a Birmingham resident and must fall into one of the required income areas: under $34,200 for a single person; $39,050 or less for a family of two; $43,950 or less for a family of three; or $48,800 or less for a family of four. For those unable to meet the income requirements but are over 60 years old, the law firm may still be able to help.

North Birmingham Library
Thursday, September 25, 2014
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

East Lake Library
Thursday, October 23, 2014
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

"Basically, we think everybody should have a will. If you have parents or kids, you should have a will,'' said Dru Clark, an attorney with Legal Services Alabama. Those also in need of a will should be anyone: owning a home, with a bank account, with elderly parents, with dependents with special needs, or without …

Sanspointe Dance Company to Perform "Creative Catalog" at Central Library, September 24

Sanspointe Dance Company will present "Creative Catalog," dances inspired by library experiences, on Wednesday, September 24, 5:00 p.m., in the atrium of the Central Library. Admission is free.

From dances that embrace everything from research and the Dewey Decimal system to the energy, imagination and fun found in children's books, the show will celebrate what libraries do for the community and for the imagination. The company’s 30-minute performance will be comprised of four dances with seven dancers and narration. Sanspointe has performed at the Birmingham Public Library and other libraries in the past.

New this year will be a free Master Class for teenagers from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on September 24. It will be held in the library's second-floor Story Castle. The introductory, contemporary dance class will blend children's favorite library books with works of dance art. It is ideal for ages 12 to 17. Class space is limited to 15 participants. Advance registrat…

Sixty Works to be Featured in the Watercolor Society of Alabama’s Annual Showcase at the Central Library, September 21–October 31

Nearly 60 aqua media works from across the state will be on display September 21–October 31 during the 2014 Watercolor Society of Alabama Annual Members' Showcase at the Central Library. The free exhibit will be in the library’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

An award ceremony and opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 21, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., in the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

E. Gordon West of San Antonio, Texas, is the selection juror. West has received numerous awards in national exhibitions and has works in the permanent collections of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas A&M University, and the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville and studied at the Chicago Art Institute.

Steve Rogers of Ormond Beach, Florida is the awards juror. His artwork has won international awards. He was the Purchase Award Winner of the 2006 National Watercolor Society “Best of Show.” His paintings have won four awards in …

Football Season

I love football season for three reasons: food, family, and football. I love the food that accompanies the football game experience; whether you’re sitting at home watching the game on TV or tailgating at the game, food makes the experience exciting. I really enjoy spending time with my extended family and watching a football game is a great excuse to see everyone. I’m not the most avid football fan, but I do enjoy myself. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the 2012 Alabama vs. LSU game so much that when Alabama won, I jumped up and ruptured my Achilles tendon and spent the next 6-8 months recovering from surgery.

Oh well, I hope these resources on football season food, fun family activities, and the game itself enable you to enjoy “Football Season” to the max this year!

Books - Food
The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up: Grilling, Tailgating, Picnicking, and More
Fanfare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home
Fox Sports Tailgating Handbook: The Gear, the Food, th…

Book Review: The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch, published last year, is a long piece of literary fiction. Widely read, it is believed by many to be the worthy successor to the author’s debut novel, The Secret History (1992). Much has been written about the book; there are a jaw-dropping 14,000 reviews of The Goldfinch on Amazon alone. A rich work, it is open to many interpretations, but, plainly said, it is story of two boys from different worlds who become instant close friends, perhaps because of the horrific trauma and loss that afflicted their young lives.

Theo, our narrator, is an upper West Side, private school kid, who loses his mother, a single mom, in a terrorist bombing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ultimately Theo is taken away from his home to live with his drug dependent gambler-father in a vacant, desolate post-economic-disaster suburban development in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Very soon he meets Boris, a Russian-Ukrainian, who lives with his abusive, alcoholic fath…

Discover Your Inner Artist

Pallet Party

Wylam Library, 4300 7th Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35224

Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00 am

Light refreshments will be served

RSVP 785-0349

You're invited to paint your masterpiece at Wylam Branch Library. Artist Cherie Hunt will help you paint a picture you can frame and hang or give away as a gift. If you would like further instruction, Birmingham Public Library has many resources you can check out. Here is a sampling.

The complete artist's manual : the definitive guide to painting and drawing / by Simon Jennings

Design dynamic paintings [videorecording] : how fundamental design and composition principles can improve your paintings / by Ed Labadie

Just paint it!/ Sam Piyasena and Beverly Philp

Drawing for painters/ text, Gabriel Martín Roig ; translated from the Spanish by Michael Brunelle

Welcome Back, Pratt City Library

The September/October 2014 issue of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association, features interesting innovative architectural designs. Pratt City Library is featured as a newly renovated library under Disaster Recovery. The library re-opened February 10, 2014.

The tornado that spread through the Pratt City community three years ago presented an opportunity to rebuild a shiny new light of hope in its new library. The library retained its history and restored faith to the community. The newly rebuilt library is a feeling of "coming home." Patrons are enlightened with what they see and happy to return to a revolving door that is uniquely theirs.

From the BPL Blog archives:
A Look Inside Pratt City Library after the Tornado

Alabama Humanities Foundation Gifts Pratt City Library with New Books

Pratt City Remembers: Special Tornado Anniversary to Be Held Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pratt City Library's Reopening Scheduled for February 10

Deborah Drake

Read It Forward 2014 - The Giver by Lois Lowry

You're invited to join Birmingham Public Library's 2014 Read It Forward program. This year's book is Lois Lowry's The Giver.  Here's how to participate:
Visit any BPL location and pick up a free copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry (while supplies last).Read the book.Go to the library's Read It Forward page, enter the book's tracking identification number, and leave a comment.Pass the book forward for someone else to read.Log onto the library's website often to track your book as it travels from reader to reader. See what others have to say about this book.

September is National Hispanic Heritage Month

Although September officially starts the football season, there are lots of other important events that are coming upon us this fall. National Hispanic Heritage Month is also celebrated in September.

According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website: “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.”

Also from the website: “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

There are many little known Hispanic citizens who have made significant c…

Women’s Suffrage Victory—165 Years Later

The women’s suffrage movement was founded in the mid-19th century by women who had become politically active through their work in the abolitionist and temperance movements. In recognition of Women’s Equality Day, the event is observed annually on August 26. Some of the early organizers included Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. As early as 1837, Susan B. Anthony, a young teacher dissatisfied with her wages, asked for equal pay for women teachers; Sojourner Truth in 1851, defended women’s rights and “Negroes rights” at a convention in Akron, Ohio. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony campaigned to encourage women to register to vote using the 14th Amendment as justification.

On January 10, 1878, The “Anthony Amendment” was introduced for the first time in the United States Congress. If approved it would extend the right to vote to women. The amendment stated “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any States on …