Showing posts from September, 2016

Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals, LIFE Ministries Donating 15 Chef Terry Event Tickets to West End Youth

The Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals (BPLYP) and LIFE Ministries are donating 15 tickets to the October 1 2016 Eat Drink Read Write festival kickoff event featuring Chef Bryant Terry to youth affiliated with the West End Community Gardens.

The BPLYP will be donating 10 tickets (valued at $200) and LIFE Ministries will donate five tickets (a value of $100) to youth who help grow vegetables and other food at the West End Community Garden. Tickets to An Evening with Chef Bryant Terry, taking place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. October 1 at the Central Library, are available at

Chef Bryant Terry of Oakland, California, has built a national reputation as a vegan chef and food activist. During Saturday’s event, he will share his story and discuss his passion for creating a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. A 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, Terry is Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Fr…

Movie Review: My Dinner with Andre

My Dinner With Andre (1981)
Directed by Louis Malle

This isn’t my regular movie blog article where I talk about the films I see over and over again. A Matter of Life And Death is fairly new to me (although I spent many years tracking it down) and I’ve only seen it once. My Dinner With Andre, however, reverts to type: I’ve seen it at least ten times. I’ve read the screenplay three times and would absolutely like to sink my teeth into the thousand pages or so uncut transcript that Wallace Shawn started with before he whittled it down to the Dinner script. I have a whole manila file of Dinner-related clippings at home. I’ll be seeing this movie again and again for the rest of my life. I gladly own my obsession. Like seemingly everything Andre Gregory is prominently associated with, Dinner divided the critics when it was released. On the rapturous/damning divide, I fit into the former when I first saw it, two years after it came out. Stunned, mesmerized, exultant—it’s safe to say that t…

Birmingham Public Library Recovering the Classics Contest Deadline is September 30

. The deadline to enter the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Recovering the Classics contest Friday, September 30, 2016. BPL has partnered with Books-A-Million to host the contest, which allows Alabama artists of all ages to design a cover for a classic book.

Prizes include your cover design on a classic book created by Books-A-Million’s Espresso Book Machine, Books-A-Million gift cards, and Recovering the Classics posters. To enter the contest, visit The winners will be announced by October 15, 2016 the week of October 17.

The Central Library has been hosting the main exhibit of Recovering the Classics posters on its first floor since September 1, 2016, and the exhibit concludes on September 30, 2016. Several other BPL branches will have smaller exhibits.

Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for classic books in the public domain created by illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes. Its partners includ…

Know Your Rights Workshop Taking Place on September 29 at Springville Road Library

Do you know what your rights are if you were pulled over by the police? Are you aware that certain moves by drivers can make police officers fearful, thus putting your life and others in the car in danger?

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting a free workshop featuring legal experts who will answer questions on how to react and interact with law enforcement. The Know Your Rights workshop will take place on Thursday, September 29, 10:00 a.m., at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library. Jefferson County District Judge Shera Grant and Birmingham lawyer Tommy Spina will be the guest speakers. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The workshop is designed to spark a community conversation designed to provide answers on how to react and interact with law enforcement, said Lutheria Jackson, a library assistant who is coordinating the program.

Jackson said she came up with the idea for Know Your Rights in the wake of hearing of many incidents across the country in which peop…

Money Matters – Family Money Skills Workshop Scheduled for October 5, 2016

It’s never too late to start building a better understanding of your personal finances and begin developing a plan for the future. To assist you in this endeavor, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is partnering with the staff of the Regions Institute for Financial Education at UAB to offer a series of Money Matters workshops at the Central Library on the first Wednesday of each month from July 2016 to May 2017. Please join us on the dates below to take part in discussions about a variety of money management issues and learn ways to achieve your economic goals.

When: First Wednesday of the month
Time: noon-1:00 p.m.
Place: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Building/Richard Arrington Auditorium

10/5/2016 – Family Money Skills
11/2/2016 – What Every Woman Should Know About Money
12/7/2016 – Protecting Yourself Against Targeted Fraud
1/4/2017 – Dealing With Debt
2/1/2017 – Where to Invest Your College Money
3/1/2017 – Your Credit Report
4/5/2017 – Saving Through Tax Re…

Birmingham Public Library Hosts Six-Word Food Story Contest

You know the feeling you get after finishing a book? Sometimes hopeful, mostly empty. What if I told you that you can get that same feeling but only after six words? And this time, the stories are about food, so the empty feeling will be felt in your stomach and not your heart. The Birmingham Public Library is hosting a contest that will do just that.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The iconic story supposedly written by Ernest Hemingway made the six-word story challenge more well-known across the country. Today, there are websites and even Twitter accounts dedicated to sharing the emotion-packed tales.

As part of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s annual Eat Drink Read Write festival, BPL is hosting a six-word story contest on the subject of food. Let out the story of your best (or worst) Thanksgiving dinner, your favorite local dish. Submissions will be judged on creativity and originality.

Here are the rules and eligibility:
You must be an Alabama resident.You must submit a …

Southern History Book of the Month: The Rivals: A Tale of the Times of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton

The Rivals: A Tale of the Times of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton 
Hon. Jeremiah Clemens

With the smashing success of the musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is once again front-page news with fans taking sides and discussing how and when the relationship became a rivalry that led to a deadly duel. However, this is no new phenomenon. In 1859 the Hon. Jeremiah Clemens, an Alabama senator, published a historical novel titled The Rivals: A Tale of the Times of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The very order of the names gives a clue right away about how he regards the two men. The novel is relentlessly pro-Burr and makes no apology for this viewpoint. Early on we have a scene where the young Burr is ill in a field hospital during the American Revolution. Upon hearing the news that Benedict Arnold is preparing an invasion, he intends to join the expedition to prevent it:
The commands, and then the entreaties of his uncle a…

Smithfield Library, Springville Road Library Offering Afterschool Study Help for Birmingham Students

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s 19 locations are a haven for many students across the city who come in after school to wait on their parents. Two city libraries—Smithfield Branch Library and Springville Road Regional Branch Library—have begun new programs designed to help students boost their grades and study skills.

The Smithfield Library is offering free homework tutoring help for elementary- to high school-age students on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. The program, Power Hour: Making Minutes Count, is being offered through November 22 to students who register in advance at the Smithfield Library.

The afterschool tutoring service began last week, said Heather McWilliams, Smithfield Library branch manager. “This is more of a homework help session than a class. It's ongoing and it's every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-4:30,” McWilliams said.

The Springville Road Library has also started a new afterschool program designed to help Birmingham area stude…

Meet Paul Boncella, Map Conservator/Book Mender at the Birmingham Public Library   

If you have an antique book or historic map in need of mending in metro Birmingham, Paul Boncella of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is a guy you need to know.

Since October 2012, the former concert organist has been fixing old maps and books as map conservator and book mender in the Southern History Department in the Linn-Henley Research Building, Central Library. He occasionally does this work as a favor to patrons, but many of them are unaware of the fascinating jobs Boncella did in his previous career that allowed him to showcase his musical talents across the globe.

Prior to joining BPL, Boncella spent 13 years as a concert organist, including performances in the former West Germany, and as a church organist. He also published musicological studies in several publications, presenting his research at conferences in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Spain, and throughout the U.S. Boncella also served as an instructor of music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore whil…

Finding Answers in DNA for African Americans and Native American Genealogical Research

Anyone researching their family tree knows that DNA is the hottest trend in genealogy. Genetic genealogy can often break down brick walls or confirm suspicions that you found in your research. One of the most difficult things to do is African American and Native American genealogical research. DNA does provide clues, but there is no magic in genetic genealogy and no special tests for African American and Native American research. However, you can make choices that will make DNA testing an invaluable tool in your research.

Our final Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop is Genetic Genealogy Strategies for African American and Native American Research. It will be held in the Arrington Auditorium on Saturday, October 1, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or

Registration Open For October 2016 Classes

Registration is now open for staff and the public for the October 2016 class schedule. During this month, we include a variety of classes including Basic PC, Excel 2010 Basic, and Hiring Process for Jefferson County. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) Library. PRE-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 or call 205-226-3681. You may also download and print a pdf copy of the October 2016 class scheduleto bring to a Computer Commons staff member on your next library visit. Please note that the October 2016 class schedule pdf can be sent to us as an email attachment.

Teens Engineer Birmingham Program Expands at Birmingham Public Library This Fall

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Teens Engineer Birmingham (TEB) afterschool program has expanded from the Central Library to two additional branch libraries this fall.

In mid-September, the Woodlawn Branch Library began offering TEB for students from nearby Woodlawn High School on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. On Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m., the Southside Branch Library is now hosting TEB for students from nearby Ramsay High School. The Central Library has added more activities for participants of its TEB afterschool program, held on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. and comprised mostly of students from nearby Phillips Academy.

BPL purchased 3D printers and other engineering equipment to expand the program after being chosen as recipient in February of $50,000 from the UAB Benevolent Fund, a grant program funded by UAB employees. Lance Simpson, system teen librarian for BPL, and Carrie Campbell, now working in the Arts, Literature and Sports Depa…

Great College Football Season Already

I cannot be happier that college football is back. We are in Week 3 and rankings have been moving around like pieces on a chess board. The first week of the season is always very exciting because I can’t wait to see if teams live up to the preseason hype and hang on to their rankings. Good recruiting classes and healthy returning starters are important, but you never know what’s going to happen until the teams take the field.

Several games during Week 1 changed the football landscape. It was no surprise that top-ranked Alabama defeated #20 USC down in Texas, but the score was quite a surprise (52-6). I expected a top-25 team to put up better numbers and so did the Associated Press. USC dropped out of the top 25. Tennessee entered the season at #9 but needed overtime to beat Appalachian State (20-13). They dropped to #17 but their Week 2 win over Virginia Tech (45-24) elevated them to #15. Houston entered the season at #15, but the show they put on at home defeating #3 Oklah…

Celebrate the Grand Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at Avondale Library with the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group

Join the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, Inc., Saturday, September 24, 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Avondale Regional Branch Library to celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum. Watch a live stream of President Barack Obama and other dignitaries dedicating the museum as part of a special ceremony taking place in Washington D.C beginning at 10:15 a.m.

In addition to the stream viewing celebration, a self-guided tour of the 20-piece poster exhibit A Place for All People that was produced jointly by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be on display. A Place for All People will evoke the power of oration and freedom stories, the brilliance of artistic achievement, and the soaring heights of cultural expression, philosophy, sports, and politics. In addition to profiling the long struggle to create t…

Book Review: Moriarty

Anthony Horowitz

Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty have seemingly fallen to their deaths at the Reichenbach Falls. In the aftermath, two avid followers of Dr. Watson’s accounts, American Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase and Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, have come to Switzerland to confirm events and view Moriarty’s corpse. Chase is hoping to find a clue to the identity of secretive criminal mastermind Clarence Devereaux, an American who may have been collaborating with Moriarty to bring vicious New York crime to England. Soon enough Inspector Jones reveals a keen analytical mind, reminding Chase of Holmes himself and the two of them are on their way to London in pursuit of the elusive Devereaux. Chase feels like Watson to Jones’ Holmes.

Moriarty is clearly a book for Holmes aficionados. The places and the characterization evoke the sensibility of Doyle himself. The narrative unfolds with the same inevitability, but something feels wrong. Is Holmes really dead?…

Library Board Picks Innovative Cool Award Winners for September 2016

Storytellers at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library will soon have a huge machine producing lots of bubbles to keep kids entertained while listening to stories. At the Avondale Regional Branch Library in October, four new art programs will expose children to various artistic styles. And at the East Ensley Branch Library, wooden planks called KEVA (Knowledge, Exploration, Visual, Arts) will be used to allow kids to use creative exploration to erect structures such as buildings and bridges.

The three awards, presented during the September 13, 2016, BPL Board Of Trustees meeting, are the latest recipients of the Birmingham Public Library's (BPL) Innovative and Cool Award,aprogram set up earlier this year to encourage library staff to come up with unique ideas to serve their communities.
The BPL Innovative and Cool grant recipients for September 2016 are as follows:

Five Points West Library, Bubbles at Storytime – storytime with a twist: bubbles to keep kids entertai…

Central Library to Host Two Google Workshop Sessions for Small Business Owners on September 28

Did you know that 97% of consumers look for local goods and services online?

And only 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine.

If you are a current business owner and you want to gain control of the information Google displays about your business in Google Search and Google Maps, then this workshop is for you. A Google Trusted Photographer and Trusted Verifier will be present to help your business get online and allow you to choose what people see when they “google” you.

The Birmingham Public Library and the city’s Office of Economic Development are partnering with Google and Zeekee, a local Internet marketing firm, to offer a workshop aimed at helping put every business in Birmingham on the map—including yours—for free. For your convenience, two sessions of the workshop will held on September 28. The same information will be covered in each session, so you only need to attend one.

Event: Google Workshop for Small Business Owners
When: Wed…

Central Library Hosts Exhibit Featuring University of Montevallo Art Faculty and Graduates

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) has begun hosting a free public exhibit of recent work by University of Montevallo (UM) Department of Art faculty and its graduates. The exhibit, Together Again: University of Montevallo Art Faculty and Alumni Show, opened September 12 and will be on view for the public through October 28, 2016, in the Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Art is big at Montevallo and the Department of Art is one of the largest departments in the university. With a dedicated full-time faculty of 13 and over 250 art majors, students experience the challenges and have the resources to achieve the highest artistic level. Many choose to continue their education in graduate programs across the country.

UM offers concentrations in eight different areas, each with its own faculty director. This exhibit features work by each studio faculty member and by invited alumni from each area of c…

Southern History Department Hosting Several Genealogy Workshops in September

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Southern History Department has resumed teaching hands-on computer genealogy classes with this September, and is debuting its Fold3 class. The department also will be making genealogy presentations at libraries in Irondale and Homewood in coming weeks.

See details on Southern History upcoming workshops below. You can also find out more about Birmingham Public Library free workshops and classes by clicking on the calendar listings at

Introduction to Genealogy
Tuesday, September 20, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Two simultaneous locations: the Southern History Department and Homewood Public Library)
Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey. The first location is the first floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library in the Southern History Department and will include a tour of the department. The second location is the Homewood Publ…

Career Countdown Youth Seminar at West End Library Kicks Off Series of September Job Workshops at BPL

Brothers Percy and Mykel Harris listened closely as Cynthia Whittaker of the Jefferson County Extension Office shared career advice on September 7 at the West End Branch Library in Birmingham. (Career Countdown programs will also be held at West End Library on September 14 and 21.)

After hearing 12-year-old Percy's and 10-year-old Mykel’s career goals during the program, Whittaker gave them information on various occupations fitting their interests. In coming weeks, she will advise workshop attendees on real-life situations such as how to budget for bills, groceries, and vacations based on their income.

“Career Countdown is geared towards young people, and my goal is to help guide them on how to determine career interests and develop a plan that will promote readiness for employment possibilities,” said Whittaker, an urban regional extension agent.

If you are looking for a job or desire a better job, mark your calendars for several job seeker workshops and classes taking place at …

Birmingham Public Library Receives Donation of 19 DVDs, Five Books of Cowspiracy, Acclaimed Documentary Promoting Vegan Lifestyle

A Decatur woman has donated to the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 19 copies of an acclaimed documentary DVD and five copies of its companion book that promotes a vegan lifestyle. People who are vegan don’t consume or use any animal products or by-products.

Jennifer “Auntie Jen” Roberts donated copies of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret to each of BPL’s 19 branches. Roberts also donated five copies of the film’s companion book, The Sustainability Secret, to the following BPL locations: Central, Springville Road, North Birmingham, Five Points West, and Avondale.

Roberts acquired copies of Cowspiracy after meeting co-director Keegan Kuhn while attending the NYC Green Festival in April 2016. She had learned of the documentary, which has gained a loyal following in the global vegan community since its June 2014 release, by following actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s Facebook page, which is dedicated to inspiring the public to take action on key environmental issues. DiCaprio is executive pr…

Job Readiness Resume Clinic Will Be Held at Central Library on September 9

Your resume may be the most important single document you have in determining success in your professional life. Although your resume does not insure that you will be hired for a job, the quality of the resume will have a major effect on whether or not you land an interview for a job. A strong resume leads to more interviews, and more interviews will eventually take you to the job that best suits your interests and needs. Conversely, a flawed resume can lead to you being ignored, rejected, and ultimately kept from getting the job of your dreams.

But knowing the importance of a good resume is one thing, actually developing and creating one is quite another. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, a resume does not write itself. If you think you could benefit from having some assistance in getting your resume together, then plan on attending the Job Readiness Resume Clinic being held at the Central Library on Friday, September 9, 2016. This free event is brought to you by the New Ri…

From Page to Stage: African Tales – A Reader’s Theatre Workshop for Children

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

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of African Tales, BPL will be hosting free workshops at several of its area libraries. Children ages 5 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 African Tales production in October 2016.

The fire crackles, the drums pulse, and everyone listens to two tales magically spun under the great African sky. In Rumpelstilskin, a young queen's love for her child thwarts the evil intentions of a crooked little man. In Kalulu, a swaggering and boastful hare suffers the conseque…

Movie Review: A Matter of Life and Death

A Matter Of Life And Death(1946)
Directed by Michael Powell
(Contained in the two-movie set Michael Powell)

A WW2 fighter pilot crashes to his death, but he doesn’t die. It’s not that he’s lucky; the Afterlife personnel messed up. While the pilot (David Niven) wanders unharmed around England, the bureaucrats in the Afterlife find the man who blew it and get him to go down to Earth to straighten things out. But things get complicated when Niven’s character falls in love. Now he doesn’t want to die even if he should. He has to plead his case for staying on Earth in the Great Beyond, which looks like a super sleek forties British government office, all clean-lined Art Moderne. Keyword is look; the functioning is not so efficient, as we’ve seen. This is the only film I’ve seen where Niven doesn’t play a parody of an upper class Englishman, a slot he’d long since occupied when I first saw him in the sixties. It was an agreeable change of pace to see him as a conventional dramatic actor, an…

Libraries Have Changed

Now, more than ever, people need free access to accurate and current information. In order to provide it, libraries have changed the way that information is delivered. Through our website, we provide 24/7 reference, as well as information on classes, events, and programs. The Internet is a fabulous tool, but there are no laws, rules, regulations, or policies to ensure the accuracy, currency, or quality of what's posted. It's possible to find information you can trust, but it can be hit or miss. Your library staff is trained to help you find exactly what you need, when you need it. We've got links to trusted websites and to subscription databases that are free to library card holders. Most of these links are available from any Internet terminal, although a few (such as Ancestry Library Edition) can only be accessed within a library.

If you've ever Googled a broad topic and gotten millions of responses, you may appreciate knowing how to conduct a Deep Web sea…

Storyteller Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr. Will Perform at Several BPL Locations

Reverend Robert B. Jones, Sr. will be bringing his 20+ years of music, humor, and storytelling to selected Birmingham Public Library (BPL) locations.

Jones was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1956, but grew up in a Southern-influenced household: his father was from West Pointe, Mississippi, and his mother from Conecuh County, Alabama. His grandmother's record collection exposed him to all types of music when he was growing up, especially the blues.

Jones's act combines storytelling, vocals, instrumental music, and artwork to explore the earliest known aspects of African American culture to showcase the music and stories that came before the blues.

For more information on Robert B. Jones, visit his website at

Schedule of Appearances
Monday, September 19
Central Library, 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch Library, 1:00 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Branch Library, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 20
Wylam Branch Library, 10:00 a.m.
Powderly Branch Library,…

Meet the New Branch Manager at Smithfield Branch Library, Heather McWilliams

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
College degree: Undergraduate and master’s degrees in library science at the University of Alabama
Favorite book:Dark Towerby Stephen King
Favorite movie:The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite television show:The Walking Dead
Favorite quote that you use as a guide in life: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

The Smithfield Branch Library has a new branch manager. Heather McWilliams, 29, began overseeing the library on August 22, 2016.

Before joining the Birmingham Public Library (BPL), McWilliams served as head librarian the past two years at the Helen Keller Public Library in Tuscumbia, Alabama, the oldest chartered public library in Alabama. A Tuscaloosa native, McWilliams attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Alabama, where she obtained a master of library science degree in 2011.

Upon graduation, McWilliams worked at Bevill State Community College as a libr…

The Birmingham Public Library is Kicking Off New Sessions of 1-2-3 Play with Me at Five Library Locations

Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but it is also an educational experience for your child. We are providing a special time and place for you to come to the public library and spend one-on-one time playing with your child. This five-week program involves children from birth through age three and their parents or caregivers. The library will have age appropriate toys, books, and art activities just for you and your child. Also, we have invited special guests from the community to join us each week to answer your questions about parenting.

1-2-3 Play with Me emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children, facilitates early intervention and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy. 1-2-3 Play with Me is the signature event for Family Place Libraries and is a community project grant recipient of the Junior League of Birmingham.

Schedule of Programs
Avondale Regional Branch Library
September 7-October 5, 2016 – every…

Donate Canned/Boxed Food, Get Fines Waived During September at Jefferson County Public Libraries

If you need a new library card or owe money on overdue books, DVDs, and other items, September is the time to take advantage of two special library promotions available in Birmingham and all of Jefferson County. The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is a member of the Public Libraries in Jefferson County (PLJC), which is hosting its seventh annual Food for Fines and September Library Card Swap.

The Food for Fines program begins Thursday, September 1, 2016, and lasts until September 30, 2016, in conjunction with PLJC's September library card campaign. Patrons who owe fines will have $1 in fines waived for each food item donated, up to a maximum of $10 per patron. The amount waived must apply to fines only (not replacement costs).

The food drive is open to anyone, even if they do not have overdue materials. “Our goal is to encourage users to return overdue materials while also giving back to our communities,” said Patricia Ryan, executive director of the Public Libraries in Jefferso…

Spanish Treasure: Maps from the Age of Exploration

The Birmingham Public Library and the Alys Stephens Center are pleased to present the lecture Spanish Treasure: Maps from the Era of Exploration on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Join us at 6:00 p.m. in the Library’s Arrington Auditorium for a fun and exciting program which will portray Spanish exploration and growth in the New World, as recorded on maps. It will highlight the tremendous effect that Spain had on the development of the region, and the lasting heritage in much of the Western Hemisphere.

Drawing from the library’s world class collection of 16th and 17th century maps, map librarian George Stewart will take attendees back in time by showing them some of the earliest and most significant maps to come out of the Spanish expeditions to the New World. Early maps were not only important navigational tools, but they are also incredibly detailed works of art. Many of the maps are elaborately decorated and include such eye-catching details as se…

Recovering the Classics: A New Look for an Old Book

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is a saying to evaluate something on its content rather than its outward appearance. However, we often judge a book by its cover to determine if it's worth reading, and many of our greatest classics still wear poorly designed or auto-generated covers that fail to capture what makes these books exciting and inspiring. Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for classic books in the public domain created by illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes. Its partners include the Creative Action Network, Harvard Book Store, Plympton's DailyLit, the White House, the New York Public Library, and the Digital Public Library of America. The goal is to bring an exhibit of redesigned cover posters to each of the 50 states, and the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is representing the state of Alabama. The Central Library will have the main exhibit of Recovering the Classics posters, and other B…

Several Job Seeker Workshops to be Held at Birmingham Public Library in September

If you are looking for a job or you desire a better job, mark your calendars for several job seeker workshops and classes taking place at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) during the month of September.

The workshops are as scheduled below:

Job Readiness Resume Clinic
Friday, September 9, 2016, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Central Library, Linn Henley Research Building, 4th floor Regional Library Computer Center

Your resume may be the most important single document you have in determining success in your professional life. Although your resume does not insure that you will be hired for a job, the quality of the resume will have a major effect on whether or not you land an interview for a job. A strong resume leads to more interviews and can land you a job, while a flawed resume can lead to you being ignored and rejected from getting the job of your dreams.

This is free event being coordinated by the New Rising Star Community Support Corporation (NRS), a local nonprofit organization dedicat…