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Showing posts from March, 2016

Bards & Brews Serving Up Shakespearean Tribute at Central Library, April 1

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Birmingham Public Library's popular Bards & Brews poetry performance/beer tasting series returns Friday, April 1, at the Central Library. Music from Suzanne Beaudry starts at 6:30 p.m., poetry performances begin at 7:00 p.m. The event will be an Open Mic night and is sponsored by the law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, LLC.

There will be a very special tribute to the Bard himself in celebration of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. The tribute was the brainchild of Kimberly West, an attorney at the firm who also teaches classes in Shakespeare and trial law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Read more about the event at this link: http://ow.ly/105SUa.

As always, Master of Ceremonies Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verse with topics that can include relationships, politics, social justice, and even the best way to get a ticket to see Hamilton. Beer tasting wi…

Children's Book Review: The War That Saved My Life

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The War That Saved My Life
Bradley Brubaker

Ten-year-old Ada has an untreated clubfoot and an abusive mother. The woman is merciless. She berates her for her disability and forces Ada to crawl on the ground instead of learning to walk. She won’t even allow her outside to attend school. Ada is essentially a prisoner. Her family shares a one bedroom apartment in London at the beginning of World War II. The only good thing in her life is her six-year-old brother, Jamie. Their mother allows him to run unsupervised through the streets, forcing Ada so spend the day lonely and worried about him. When Jamie brings home news that the city’s children are being evacuated to the country, their mother resolves to send only Jamie to safety. Resourceful Ada devises a plan to accompany her brother. She is determined to protect him and escape their miserable living situation and the impending war.

Ada’s escape goes off without a hitch, but when 200 of London’s poorest children show up instead of the…

North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

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Julia Horne, a breast cancer survivor, looks forward to attending the monthly meetings of the North Avondale Branch Library Chapter Chatters Book Club.

On February 23, 2011, the book club held its first meeting chatting about The Help and has continued gathering monthly at the North Avondale Library, discussing African American-themed books recommended by its members or chosen from best-seller lists and talk shows.

Lillie Cole, Kingston Neighborhood Association president and a Chapter Chatters member who at age 79 is the club’s mother figure, says the club is “like family,” celebrating birthdays and expressing condolences when members lose loved ones. “We have members from all over. We are a true melting pot of Birmingham,” she said.

Overall, the members have enjoyed making new friends over the past five years. Through these meetings, friendships have been developed and life experiences have been shared all while discussing a variety of literature by talented, new, and exciting au…

A Historic Map for a Historic Visit

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In honor of President Obama’s recent and historic visit to Cuba (the first by a sitting president since Calvin Coolidge’s 1928 trip), please enjoy this beautiful map of East Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas from the library’s world class collection of maps and atlases.


Dating from 1794, this map was the creation of well-known cartographer, Thomas Jefferys and was produced by the London firm of Laurie and Whittle. Occupying offices on London’s famed Fleet Street, Laurie and Whittle were in the business of publishing maps, engravings, and nautical charts from 1794 until well into the 19th century.

Under Spanish rule at the time, this map depicts Cuba’s coastline in great detail. The diagonal lines placed seemingly at random are called rhumb lines and were used to help sailors chart their course. Given these details, we can assume this map was published as a navigational tool that would have been of great use to sailors or explorers.

This is one of many fascinating maps donated to the libr…

Be a Shakespearean Actor for an evening!

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Drop in to participate in a reading of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing on April 19th
at 5:30pm.

Come when you can, and leave when you must, major parts will be assigned at 5:30, and others at the beginning of each act.

This casual, comedic read-through, in memory of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death, is sure to be a hoot.

Sitting around a table, we will laugh at and with the antics of Benedick and Beatrice, Hero, Claudio, Don Pedro, and all the others in this play in five acts.

Scripts will be provided, as will a brief historical context. We will start reading at 5:45 and finish up at 7:45, followed by a spoiled ending!


Contact Allie Graham for more information.

Remember, You Are Not Alone—Seeking Help from a Certified Housing Counselor

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Most people remember the subprime mortgage crisis that happened from December 2007 through July 2009. Many people lost their homes or ended up with high mortgage payments and did not qualify for refinancing under the stricter loan guidelines. Some may have lost their homes needlessly. There are nonprofit organizations who have certified housing counselors who will work to negotiate a solution with your mortgage holder. This article has two components: introducing you to a certified housing counselor and resources to help you find a counselor.

First, I want to introduce Certified Housing Counselor and Director of the Birmingham Urban League Housing Department, Deborah Spencer. Deborah has 20+ years of experience working as a housing counselor.

Deborah, when should a home owner come to see you?
When they are 30 to 45 days in default of their mortgage.

What are some of the things you can do to help homeowners who are in default on their mortgage or who have had a job loss or layoff?

The Hunt for Scholarships

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Recently, my youngest son has applied and been accepted to attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. My wife and I are so happy for him as we both are proud alumni of the University of Alabama. We, like many other parents around the state, are on a desperate hunt for scholarships. As the cost of college gets increasingly more expensive, the need for scholarships gets increasingly more important.

My wife and I recently found out that students bound for the University of Alabama are eligible to apply for student loans that only cover about 19% of the total college bill for one year. What, only 19% of the total bill? That’s right. Back in the days when I attended the University of Alabama, students were able to apply and get student loans that covered 100% of the total cost. Nowadays, things have changed. It becomes the burden of working parents to either get a Parent Plus Loan, or to seek out as many scholarships and grants as possible.

The Student Financial Aid resources page se…

Southern History Book of the Month: The New Southern Living Garden Book: The Ultimate Guide to Gardening

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The New Southern Living Garden Book: The Ultimate Guide to Gardening
Ed. by Steve Bender

We’re seeing the well-known signs of spring in Alabama: nesting birds, blooming flowers, roadside fruit and vegetable stands . . . well, it’s still early for curb markets, but something about this time of year makes even notorious plant killers like me a little more optimistic about trying to grow something. If warm spring days make you feel like digging in the dirt while visions of fresh produce dance through your head, try The New Southern Living Garden Book.

Edited by Steve Bender, AKA “The Grumpy Gardener,”  this book is packed with beautiful color plates and detailed instructions about how to plant and care for practically anything that will grow in a Southern garden. But you might ask, “What makes a garden Southern?” As Bender explains in his introduction to the book, it’s not necessarily what you would expect:
Except for blueberries, blackberries, muscadines, elderberries, persimmon, and so…

Book Review: 44 Scotland Street

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44 Scotland Street
Alexander McCall Smith

If you’ve been a bit at a loss ever since you finished Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City all those years ago, and can’t forget Mma Precious Ramotswe of McCall Smith’s The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, you are in luck. When Alexander McCall Smith, at a party in Edinburgh, told the editor of The Scotsman that he admired the way Maupin’s Tales first appeared a chapter at a time in the San Francisco paper, the editor offered his paper to McCall Smith. Nearly one thousand chapters and ten books later the characters of the 44 Scotland Street series are still going to Big Lou’s coffee bar in New Town in Edinburgh, and six year old Bertie is still playing the blues on his tenor sax.

Indeed, the many recurring characters are nearly all still there. Not a lot actually happens in 44 Scotland Street, which is, in fact, a real street of beautiful gray stone Georgian townhouses, divided up into flats, where real Edinburghers live. At number 44 a h…

BPL Haiku Contest Winners Announced!

There were nearly 200 entries in total in BPL's 2016 Haiku Contest which ran from late February through early March! Winners from across the state submitted haiku which were judged by members of the Southeast chapter of the Haiku Society of America.

Adult winners received copies of The Best of the Best American Poetry while teen winners received Time You Let Me In along with cash prizes.
A booklet of most of the entries may be read online.



The winners were: Adult EntriesYouth Entries
Broken crayons,
She drew new universes
On empty walls
-Urainah GlidewellAnd there she lies
Flowers as her tombstone
On the unmarked grave
-Katie W.
slowing Niagara
falls down to
a freeze frame
-Michael Virga Lying in the pine
I breathe in the cold, fresh air
It pierces my lips
-Maryn M.
curled up winter
cold wraps around
words on pages
-Ashley BurkettGold gliding softly down
Burning and captivating reds
Bare wood spires
-Luis P.

Holocaust Education Center, Central Library to Host "The Story of Holocaust Survivor Dora Nesselroth" on March 22

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The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center (BHEC), on Tuesday, March 22, will present "The Story of Holocaust Survivor Dora Nesselroth," as told by Esther Levy, to close out its March series of Holocaust remembrance programs at the Birmingham Public Library. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Research Building. The BHEC’s annual Holocaust Speaker Series, featuring local and out-of-town speakers, are free of charge, and began on March 2.

Jim Baggett, head of the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at the Central Library, said the Birmingham Public Library has co-sponsored events with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center each March for more than 10 years, and this month’s programs have been well received.

“We can never allow the Holocaust to slip from memory,” he said. “We're always pleased to play a part in sharing this history and helping our visitors understand the experiences of those who lived th…

Miss Iwate Resumes Her Role as Birmingham Public Library Friendship Ambassador

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Eight-year-old Ashley Hudson and her big sister Allison, 13, were all smiles as they had a private meeting with Miss Iwate, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Japanese Friendship Doll.

“I think she’s very pretty. I love her fan and umbrella,” said Ashley, a second grader at Birmingham’s Phillips Academy, as she squeezed Miss Iwate’s hand.

After a six-month absence in which she went back to Japan to get a makeover, Miss Iwate is ready to resume her mission as an ambassador of friendship with renewed enthusiasm. She originally came to Birmingham in July 1928 as part of a goodwill doll exchange between the children of Japan and the United States.

BPL will hold two big "welcome home" celebrations for her this weekend. The first will be on Saturday, March 19, at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens as part of the Japan America Society of Alabama's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The second will be on Sunday, March 20, at the Central Library.

All events are free; however &quo…

Book Review: Mr. Strangelove: A Biography Of Peter Sellers

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Mr. Strangelove: A Biography Of Peter Sellers
Ed Sikov

Very few actors can send me like Peter Sellers. As a kid, he’d break me up with his most famous creation, the bumbling French Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther movies. Later I discovered lesser-known characters that were sometimes even more rewarding. A life with Sellers made me a ready audience for Ed Sikov’s biography. It was already discarded by a local library soon after publication, thus dating Sellers and me in one fell swoop.

I was a well-watched fan by the time this bio came along (about 21 movies, not much compared the complete filmography at the end of the book). But I knew little about Sellers’ life. So the stories here were almost all new to me, and captivating they were, too. I’ve always liked to do impressions and accents, but there are levels, and the level at which Sellers operated was so extreme it sometimes caused him great risk. He impersonated officers in WW2 and later a film insider in order to get a need…

Free Introduction to Grant Writing Workshop to Be Held at Central Library, March 21

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If you want to learn the ins and outs of getting a grant, you don’t want to miss Introduction to Grant Writing, a free workshop by Kimberly Richardson taking place on Monday, March 21, at the Central Library. The workshop will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium at the Linn-Henley Research Building.

Richardson is the president and owner of Kimberly Richardson Consulting, LLC, specializing in the provision of federal grant writing, management and technical assistance to municipal, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations in Alabama and nationwide. With over 20 years of grants experience gained from working in the nonprofit and public sectors, Kim has successfully secured funding from every segment of the grant-making community, including government agencies, corporate funders, and foundations.

"Most people think there's something magical about grant writing, but there's really a science to the process,” Richardson said. “Anyone who takes the time to…

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, Saturday, March 19

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Hazardous household waste will be collected this Saturday from 9:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. (or until capacity is met) at Legion Field-McLendon Park. For more information visit www.AEConline.org/HHW.  If you have questions, email Recycling@AEConline.org or call (205) 322-3126, ext. 102.
The following materials will be collected: Paint, stains, thinnerMotor oilAppliancesElectronicsBatteriesSmall enginesPrescription drugsAmmunitionVegetable oil and greasePaper for shredding

From Page to Stage: Pinocchio — 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: Pinocchio — A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of Pinocchio, BPL will be hosting free workshops at several of its area libraries. Children, aged 7 to 12, will learn how stories 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 Pinocchio production in April 2016.

Geppetto is a poor, lonely wood carver wanting nothing more than to have a son of his own. Day after day he whittles a new marionette until, one day, his dreams come true and his marionette, Pinocchio, comes to life! Pinocchio is instructed to go to school but gets easily distracted and finds himself in…

Postcards from Miss Iwate #8

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前略


Ahh...Relaxing at a hot springs resort...a favorite past time for the Japanese.



草々
Suzuko Iwate

Springville Road Library to Host Celtic/Folk Music Concert by Four Shillings Short, March 15

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What: Free concert by Four Shillings Short, a Celtic, folk and world music group.
When: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Where:Springville Road Regional Branch Library

The Springville Road Library will be hosting a free concert by the popular Celtic/folk and world music group Four Shillings Short. The group is known for its traditional and original songs and instrumentals from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, as well as Indian Ragas, Medieval and Renaissance compositions, and original works. Their sound has been described as “a compelling and inviting musical journey through time and across the seas that is authentic, traditional, spontaneous and as muti-cultural as a U.N. meeting.”

Four Shillings Short was founded in 1985 in the San Francisco Bay area. The group’s name comes from a popular quote in Dubliners by James Joyce, a famous Irish novelist and poet born in Ireland in 1882. Originally formed in 1985 by Aodh Og O’Tuama of Cork Ireland, and Ernest Kinsolving of Phoenix, A…

Holocaust Education Center to Host "My Father, a Partisan from Vilna" at Central Library, March 14

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The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center (BHEC) is to present "My Father, a Partisan from Vilna" on Monday, March 14, 6:00 p.m., at the Central Library. The presentation by James Sedlis is a part of a series of Holocaust remembrance programs the center is hosting during the month of March in partnership with the Birmingham Public Library (BPL).

The BHEC’s annual Holocaust Speaker Series, featuring local and out-of-town speakers, are free of charge, and began on March 2. The last program in the series, also to be held in the Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Building, will be on Tuesday, March 22, at 6:00 p.m., as Esther Levy presents "The Story of Holocaust Survivor Dora Nesselroth."

"We have co-sponsored events with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center each March for more than 10 years, and the staff of the Center has put together another wonderful series for 2016,” said Jim Baggett, head of the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at the Bi…

Join Us in Celebrating the Return of Miss Iwate, March 19-20

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Miss Iwate, the Birmingham Public Library's Japanese Friendship Doll, is returning home with a public celebration weekend on March 19-20, 2016, after getting a makeover in Japan.

The BPL is inviting the public to help welcome her back to the city she has called home for nearly 90 years. Miss Iwate originally came to Birmingham in July 1928 as part of a goodwill doll exchange between the children of Japan and the United States.

Miss Iwate will return to Birmingham on Monday, March 14, ready to resume her mission as an ambassador of friendship with renewed enthusiasm. BPL will hold two big "welcome home" celebrations for her. The first will be on Saturday, March 19, at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens as part of the Japan America Society of Alabama's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The second will be on Sunday, March 20, at the Central Library.

All events are free; however "An Evening with Alan Pate and Miss Iwate" requires reservations. For more informati…

Downton Abbey Tea Party to be held at the Central Library on Saturday, March 12

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Birmingham area residents will get a chance to pay tribute to the popular PBS television show Downton AbbeySaturday, March 12, at the Central Library. Downton Abbey Celebration Tea Party will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Research Building.

The festive, elegant event will feature English tea and delicious treats, allow library patrons to discuss their favorite episodes and characters, and answer trivia questions based on seasons 1-6, said Leslie Deason, librarian at the Central Library. Downton Abbey is a PBS British historical drama that follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. The show recently concluded a six-year run.

“We will celebrate all seasons of Downton Abbey and say farewell to our favorite British television drama,” Deason said. “Downton Abbey first began in the United States in 2011. The show includes interesting characters, beautiful costumes, and the gorgeous set of Highclere Castle. Ou…

Prime Time Family Reading Time Scheduled for April and May at Five Points West Library

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It is almost time for our spring series of family programs known as Prime Time Family Reading Time. In April and May, the Five Points West Regional Branch Library will run a series of family programs. At 6:00 p.m. we will start with a light dinner for 25 families. After dinner, the group will divide into preschool and elementary school groups for storytime. A storyteller and a scholar present the stories and discuss them with the parents and children. The purpose of this program is to engage parents and children by discussing the stories and encouraging the families to take the example of sharing the stories home with them. This is also a way for the families to bond by reading and learning together. Hopefully, this program will encourage the families to become active library users for years to come by showing them the resources the library has to offer.

Prime Time Family Reading Time schedule at Five Points West Library, 6:00 p.m.:
April
Monday, April 11
Tuesday, April 19
Tuesday, …

SCORE Seminar on Cyber Security for Small Businesses to Be Held at Central Library, March 14

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On Monday, March 14, 2016, the Central Library will host a program for small business owners titled "6 Ways to Secure Your Business Data."  The program will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the library’s Linn-Henley Research Building. The program is sponsored by the local chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a nonprofit organization committed to providing mentoring to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The program presenters will be computer specialists from Sawyer Solutions, a local IT services company.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event;jsessionid=70AB1A818D06C1531B7C600ABFE32CC4?llr=qlarezcab&oeidk=a07ec9zob8i2b6a060f.

Starting and operating a small business has always been a challenging undertaking, but adding to that challenge these days is the 21st century problem of cybersecurity…

Get Rhythm at East Lake!

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From ancient times to present day, drums have played a vital role in every culture. The oldest documented drum comes from 6,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). African tribes used drums as a way to carry complex messages back and forth. “Drum circle” as a term originated in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s as a term for groups of individuals who gather to sit around and play music.
 Drum circles have evolved as a way of therapy, meditation, and fellowship - and even alternative therapy for diseases; as with all instruments, cooperation and learning to play as a cohesive unit are essential to good music. Sharing the magic of drumming with us here at the East Lake Branch Library is John Scalici, a drum circle leader based in Birmingham.
Scalici is an award winning teaching artist, author, internationally recognized facilitator, musician, and a member of the John C. Maxwell Team of certified speakers, coaches, and trainers. Though he empowers himself through drumming, his passion…

Richardson Elected to Lead Library Board for Second Year, City Council Reappoints One and Approves Three New Trustees

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At its February 2016 meeting, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) trustee board elected Kimberly Richardson as its president and Georgia Morgan Blair as its vice president. A member of the board since 2013, Richardson will lead the board for a second year. She appointed Gwendolyn R. Amamoo to serve as the board’s parliamentarian—Amamoo is also the board’s immediate past president. Additionally, the Birmingham City Council reappointed Judge John Scott Vowell to a second five-year term and named three new library trustees—Willie S. Davis III, Eunice Johnson Rogers, and James A. Sullivan.

About the Board President and Vice President

Kimberly Richardson is the president and owner of Kimberly Richardson Consulting, LLC, specializing in the provision of federal grant writing, management, and training to municipal, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations. With over 20 years of grants experience gained from working in the nonprofit and public sectors, Kim has successfully secured funding from…

Remembering the Holocaust - "Remember Their Voices," March 9

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The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center (BHEC) is to present “A Survivor Speaks” at the Central Library on Wednesday, March 9. The noon presentation by Denise Lewis is a part of a series of Holocaust remembrance programs the center is hosting during the month of March in partnership with the Birmingham Public Library (BPL).

The BHEC’s annual Holocaust Speaker Series, featuring local and out-of-town speakers, are free of charge. The upcoming programs, to be held in the Arrington Auditorium in the Linn-Henley Building, are as follows:
Monday, March 14, 6:00 p.m. – Dr. James Sedlis: "My Father, A Partisan from Vilna"Tuesday, March 22, 6:00 p.m. – Esther Levy: "The Story of Holocaust Survivor Dora Nesselroth" "We have co-sponsored events with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center each March for more than 10 years, and the staff of the Center have put together another wonderful series for 2016,” said Jim Baggett, head of the Department of Archives and Manu…

Birmingham Public Library Announces March Dates for Its Popular Coloring for Adults Workshops

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s popular Coloring for Adults workshop dates for March have been set. The Springville Road Regional Branch Library will offer Coloring for Adults on Tuesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. The Five Points West Regional Branch Library will host Coloring For Adults on Wednesday, March 9, at 10:30 a.m. Free colored pencils, coloring sheets, crayons, and light refreshments will be provided at both workshops.

Other dates and times at BPL locations in March are as follows:
Thursday, March 17, 1:00 p.m., Springville Road Library
Tuesday, March 22, 5:30 p.m., Central Library, Story Castle, 2nd Floor
Tuesday, March 22, 6:30 p.m., Springville Road Library

Coloring For Adults offers a relaxing activity that has proven popular since its debut in early November, said Leslie Deason, a librarian at the Central Library. Deason said she came up with the idea a year ago after noticing adult coloring gaining popularity among patrons, with coloring books for adults becoming be…

Neighborhood Libraries Return to Regular Hours Starting March 7

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Seven of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) system’s branch locations will resume their regular spring and summer hours on Monday, March 7, 2016. Neighborhood libraries including East Ensley, Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn, and Wylam will maintain this schedule through the first Monday in November. The hours of operation will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. On Wednesdays, the libraries operate from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. All other BPL locations will maintain their regular schedules.

Fill-A-Bag Book Sale at Central Library, March 6-13

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The Friends Bookstore located on the second floor of the Central Library is moving to the first floor near the Information and Circulation desk and will be closed March 14-28 for the move. Visit the bookstore in its current location March 6-13 and  fill a bag for $10. All gift shop items will be 10% off. What better way to help the bookstore than to clear our shelves and fill yours!

Registration Open For April 2016 Classes

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Registration is now open for staff and the public for the April 2016 classes.  During this month, we include our popular computer classes, as well as a variety of personal development classes.  All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.

Please note that registration does not necessarily guarantee you a spot in the class. You will receive an email confirming your registration for classes.  You may also call to confirm your registration.

To register for any class, please email us at cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or call 205-226-3681.   You may also download and print a pdf copy of the April 2016 class schedule to bring to a Computer Commons staff member on your next library visit. Please note that the April 2016 class schedule can also be sent to us as an attachment.