Posts

Showing posts from March, 2017

Making Your Sweet Home among Maps: How to Read and Interpret Maps of the Southeastern United States

Image
Do old maps enchant or intimidate you? Do the symbols intrigue or confuse you? Make plans to attend Making Your Sweet Home among Maps: How to Read and Interpret Maps of the Southeastern United States on Saturday, April 8th at 10 am in the Arrington Auditorium.  This workshop is perfect for any map lover or if you are researching your ancestors who lived in the Southeast.

Dr. Melinda Kashuba will be your guide to the symbols and mapping conventions used on 19th and early 20th century maps and will use original maps from Birmingham Public Library’s cartography collection. You will learn how to interpret and analyze information contained on old maps as well as look for hidden meaning behind what was mapped and what was left off the map. Dr. Kashuba holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a popular lecturer and author of Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography plus numerous articles in genealogical magazi…

Readers Are Leaders Book Club—What’s in a Name?

Image
by Karnecia Williams, Inglenook Branch Library


The significance of names is beyond mere names. Names connect us to our families, give us identity and meaning, and though they are chosen before our characters are determined, names verify our existence in the world. With that in mind, the name of the Readers Are Leaders Book Club was chosen to provide an umbrella of purpose for children to constantly connect to and empower themselves with. Through books containing stories and characters that mirror aspects of their lives, the name of the book club also encourages children to positively take responsibility and become leaders in their own lives. What’s in name? Everything.

The Readers Are Leaders Book Club meets the third Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. at the Inglenook Library. Contact us at 205-849-8739 for details. Visit the BPL event calendar for upcoming Inglenook programs and check out the Inglenook Library on Flickr.

Southern History Book of the Month: Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography 1839-1941 and a List of Photographers

Image
by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography 1839-1941 and a List of Photographers
Frances Osborn Robb

From the moment I first saw this book in the University of Alabama Press catalog—months in advance of its publication—I practically itched to hold it in my hands. The dancers on the cover look more like a still from a glamorous silent film starring Rudolph Valentino and not what I would expect from a book about photography in Alabama. Starting with the era of the daguerreotype in the late 1830s, Frances Robb chronicles the history of photographs and photography in Alabama, illustrated with images ranging from nineteenth century ambrotypes to newspaper shots to family portrait photography—remember the Olan Mills studios? How many of us had our pictures taken there when we were children?

We take for granted how easy it is for us to get our hands on a camera now; if you want to take pictures, you can spend as much or as little…

Book Review: The Murderous History of Bible Translations

Image
by David Ryan, Business, Science and Technology Department, Central Library

The Murderous History of Bible Translations
by Harry Freedman

Dr. Freedman has a Ph.D. in Aramaic, but that doesn’t mean that his work is a dry, pedantic tome. In The Murderous History of Bible Translations, Freedman illustrates the history of Bible translations with lively tales of translators, martyrs, wars, and mystics. His loose chronology begins in the second or third century BCE with a mythical description of the Torah being translated from Hebrew to Greek, and ends in 2012 with the publication of a "gender neutral" Bible in English. This is not, by any means, a comprehensive history of Bible translations, but rather an eccentric and sometimes bloody collection of vignettes.

The task of translating the Bible is naturally plagued by a host of difficulties, and tracing precisely the history of the Bible’s first translation is practically impossible. We have no idea who those first translators were…

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for April 3 at Central Library

Image
What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: Monday, April 3, 2017
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

Upcoming Dates:
Monday May 1, 2017
Monday June 5, 2017

The Birmingham Public Library, in conjunction with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development, will once again be hosting the popular seminar Steps to Starting Your Business in 2017. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the first Monday of each month from February to June, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library.

Each seminar will cover the same topics, but those who are interested are welcome to attend more than one day. Topics covered will include crafting a vision statement, identifying sources of funding, determining the legal structure of your business, devising a business plan, and investigating sources of…

Registration Open For April 2017 Classes

Image
Registration is now open for staff and the public for the April 2017 classes. During this month, we include classes on a variety of topics including computer skills, career guidance, and genealogy. 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 cenrtc@bham.lib.al.us or call 205-226-3681. You may also download and print a April 2017 class flyer to bring to a Computer Commons staff member on your next library visit. Please note that the  April 2017 class schedule can be sent to us as an email attachment.

Great Tournament So Far

Image

Spring Reading Challenge

Image
The Spring Reading Challenge for children/teens in grades K-12 begins March 15 and runs through April 5, 2017. Register online to get reading suggestions, log your books, and win virtual badges and awards. Visit any Birmingham Public Library location to check out books, or download them from Overdrive and Hoopla. All participants who read at least one book are entered into a drawing for a prize gift pack, but read more books for a better chance of winning. Prizes will be awarded at each of Birmingham Public Library's 19 locations.

Book Review: In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way

Image
by David Blake, Fiction Department, Central Library

In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way
Marcel Proust
Translated by Lydia Davis

When first considering Marcel Proust’s masterpiece, the reader must choose from among several well-regarded translations. The English translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff in the 1920s, with its famous title Remembrance of Things Past, is still widely admired, and has been updated by several respectful translators since. But this reader chose the recent, wholly new translation called In Search of Lost Time, with different translators for each of the seven volumes of this monumental novel. The translation of Swann’s Way, the first volume, by Lydia Davis, simple and clean, is in no way disappointing.

In Search of Lost Time is a mythical Mount Everest for the serious reader, a daunting challenge that promises pride of accomplishment and wide new aesthetic vistas. Nonetheless, it is seven books, each with a finite number of pages. The challenge for the reader is how…

Trivia Night @ BPL Scheduled for March 20 at Central Library

Image
What: Trivia Night @ BPL 
When: Monday, March 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Where: Central Library, Fiction Department, 1st Floor 
Details: $2/person upon entry. Attendees must be 16 years of age and up. For more information, contact Shea Robinson at (205) 226-3689 or mrobinson@bham.lib.al.us

Birmingham Public Library Student Mock Trial to Take Place March 16 at Jefferson County Courthouse

Image
For eight weeks, about two dozen teenagers have been learning the criminal justice system, playing the roles of lawyers, judges, and witnesses as part of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s inaugural Spring 2017 Student Mock Trial Program. On Thursday, March 16, the students will put their knowledge to work, presenting their mock trial inside the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.

BPL has been partnering with the Birmingham Bar Foundation and the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Alabama to put on the program, with lawyers volunteering their time to meet with the students on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Central Library. The students have taken their roles seriously and are excited about the mock trial, said Lance Simpson, BPL system teen librarian.


The program introduced students from grades six through twelve to the critical thinking, technology, and advocacy skills utilized in trial practice, Simpson said. During the moc…

North Avondale Library’s A.W.E.S.O.M.E. on Purpose Program Boosts Girls' Self-Esteem

Image
For over an hour every Tuesday morning, mentors from the A.W.E.S.O.M.E. on Purpose program meet at the North Avondale Branch Library with teens girls from adjacent Hayes K-8 School, discussing topics designed to boost their self-esteem and self-image. A.W.E.S.O.M.E stands for Advocate Worship Educate Service Outreach Mentor Experience, and is a nonprofit made up of adult women of various ages who give of their time to help nurture young girls.

During the February 28 meeting, A.W.E.S.O.M.E mentors and the 7th and 8th grade girls talked about goal setting. One seventh-grader said she wants to be a fashion designer, another desires to be a lawyer. Both girls talked of the importance of discipline, focusing on education, and preparing to be successful in their future careers. The mentors gave them positive feedback and shared some of their own personal experiences.

A.W.E.SO.M.E. On Purpose Founder Sequoia Benjamin said they are excited about the partnership with North Avondale Library a…

Inglenook Library's PRIME TIME Family Reading Time Program Kicked Off March 9

Image
As a parent, Inglenook Library Branch Manager Karnecia Williams knows how reading to your kids while they’re young improves their ability to do well in school. On March 9 the Inglenook Library kicked off a program designed to assist parents in emphasizing the importance of reading.

PRIME TIME Family Reading Time is a special six-week program consisting of storytelling, reading, and discussion for parents and children ages 6-10. PRIME TIME not only helps improve reading skills, but also helps families learn how to talk about books in ways that will help children in school and even life, Williams said.

“As a parent, I know how important reading to your kids at a young age is when it comes to their educational development,” Williams said. “Our hope is that parents who attend this program will take advantage of the free resources and books available not only at Inglenook Library but throughout the Birmingham Public Library system.”

The program is free but registration is required. Regist…

Springville Road Library Craft Fair Proceeds to Benefit Adult Programming

Image
by Kelly Laney, Springville Road Regional Branch Library


What: Craft Fair
When: Sunday, April 2, 2:00-5:30 p.m.
Where:Springville Road Regional Branch Library

Just about every year, participants in the Coffee, Conversation and Crafts (CCC) program and other adult programs at the Springville Road Library work together to raise money to offset programming costs. This year they are repeating the popular Craft Fair. On April 2 local crafters will offer handmade crafts, homemade treats, and items donated for the library sale table. Donations will be accepted for a chance to win a beautiful framed Native American cross-stitched picture.

CCC program attendees will have first opportunity to have a space, but if extra space is available, other crafters are welcome to apply. The cost of each space is $25 or 10% of what is sold, whichever is less. Kelly Laney, adult librarian at the Springville Road Library, says the fair serves several purposes: “It gives the crafters a chance to s…

From Page to Stage: James and the Giant Peach – A Reader’s Theater Workshop for Children

Image
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: James and the Giant Peach – A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of James and the Giant Peach, 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 James and the Giant Peach production in April 2017.

A magical peach! An imprisoned boy! Insect friends! An incredible journey! This amazing adventure of James Henry Trotter will fulfill the fantasy of anyone who has ever dreamed of escape. Roald Dahl's story comes hilariously to life in this delightful …

Book Review: The River’s Tale: A Year On The Mekong

Image
by Richard Grooms, Fiction Department, Central Library

The River’s Tale: A Year On The Mekong
Edward Gargan

Almost twenty years ago Edward Gargan, a New York Times Asia correspondent, decided to leave his job and see Asia in a way he never could when he had to churn out piece after piece. You’ve heard of slow food? This is slow travel. Gargan journeyed down the Mekong River from its source in Tibet to its end in southern Vietnam. It took him a year to follow the river that is officially 1,824 miles long but is really 3,050 miles. It was a major challenge. “There are no boat schedules, no bus routes; indeed, sometimes no roads,” states Gargan in the intro.

The Mekong goes by many names. It flows through many countries, cultures, language areas. The book gets going in Tibet. Here it’s called the Dzachu. Gargan meets locals who employ much more silence in a conversation than talk. It reflects the way of life here high on the Tibetan plateau, far from towns or cities. In here and elsewher…

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for March 6 at Central Library

Image
What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: Monday, March 6, 2017
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

Upcoming Dates:
Monday April 3, 2017
Monday May 1, 2017
Monday June 5, 2017

The Birmingham Public Library, in conjunction with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development, will once again be hosting the popular seminar Steps to Starting Your Business in 2017. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the first Monday of each month from February to June, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library.

Each seminar will cover the same topics, but those who are interested are welcome to attend more than one day. Topics covered will include crafting a vision statement, identifying sources of funding, determining the legal structure of your business, devising a business plan, and i…

Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees Names Three Finalists for Director Position

The Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees has selected three finalists in its national search for a new city library director. The candidates are Aaron Bluitt, managing librarian of the Austin (Texas) Public Library; Sandra (Sandi) Vick Lee, interim director of the Birmingham Public Library; and Lambert C. Shell, director of Roosevelt Public Library in Roosevelt, N.Y.

The board will interview the three finalists at the Central Library on Tuesday, March 14. A meet-and-greet reception introducing the public and city officials to the three finalists will take place on Monday, March 13, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Atrium of the Central Library.

Aaron Bluitt has a wealth of experience providing excellent leadership and customer service in the management and administration of library services, programs, personnel, and facilities. He has held positions at Duke University, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, San Antonio Community College, Dallas Public Library, Austin Public Librar…

Birmingham Bound: Author Talk and Book Signing with Sydney Nathans

Image
What: Author talk and book signing for A Mind to Stay: White Plantation, Black Homeland
by Sydney Nathans
When: March 13, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Details: Free and open to the public. Book will be available for purchase. This program is cosponsored by the Birmingham Public Library Archives and the Birmingham African American Genealogy Study Group.

In A Mind to Stay historian Sydney Nathans tells the rare story of African Americans who moved from being enslaved to becoming owners of the very land they had worked in bondage, and who have held on to that land from emancipation through the civil rights era.

The story began in 1844, when North Carolina planter Paul Cameron bought 1,600 acres near Greensboro, Alabama, and sent out 114 enslaved people to cultivate cotton and enlarge his fortune. In the 1870s, he sold the plantation to emancipated black families who worked there. Drawing on thousands of letters from the planter and on interviews with descenda…

Birmingham Bound: Author Talk and Book Signing with Michael W. Fitzgerald

Image
What: Author talk and book signing for Reconstruction in Alabama: From Civil War to Redemption in the Cotton South by Michael W. Fitzgerald
When: March 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Details: Free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

Join us to hear historian Michael W. Fitzgerald discuss his new book, Reconstruction in Alabama. The first new study of this critical period in our state’s history to be published in decades, Reconstruction in Alabama explores the impact of Reconstruction and its aftermath from the Civil War to the civil rights movement.

Fitzgerald, author of three books including The Union League Movement in the Deep South: Politics and Agricultural Change during Reconstruction and Urban Emancipation: Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860-1890, earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a professor of history at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

The Birmingham Bound author series r…

Birmingham Public Library Celebrating Read Across America Day on March 2

Image
If you drop by one of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s 19 locations on Thursday, March 2, there is a good chance you will encounter a staff member dressed in Dr. Seuss gear. BPL is joining thousands of libraries, schools, and community centers across the country participating in Read Across America Day, a nationwide celebration that takes place annually on March 2—the birthday of the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

Read more about Read Across America Day at the following link: http://www.readacrossamerica.org/.

BPL staffers such as storytellers Candice Hardy of the Five Points West Regional Branch Library and Myra Gentry of the North Birmingham Regional Branch Library have already gotten into the spirit, dressing up as famous Dr. Seuss’ characters while entertaining young library patrons by reading such classics as The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.

Below is a listing some of BPL’s Read Across America and Dr. Seuss events taking place on Thursday through Friday, …