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Showing posts from July, 2017

Vocational Readiness Workshops in August

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by Jim Murray, Department Head, Business, Science and Technology Department


What: Vocational Readiness workshop series
When: Every Friday in August and September 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: The series consists of four workshops:  (1) Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop, (2) Resume Builder, (3) New Age Online Application Process, and (4) Interview Bootcamp

Choosing a career is not any easy undertaking. Likewise, once you’ve chosen a career, finding a job can be a pretty difficult task as well. When you consider that throughout your lifetime you spend more hours at your job than you do anywhere else, you really need to put the time and effort into making good decisions in regards to career selection and job searching. This is not only true for young people who are entering the job market for the first time, but also for adults who are either reentering the job market aft…

Birmingham Public Library Genealogy Workshops through 2017

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The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department has released a slate of workshops through 2017, many aimed at helping patrons in the metro are learn how to research their family tree.

August marks the return of BPL’s popular Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop series with Mind Your Own (Family) Business on August 12. Did your ancestors own a pharmacy, furniture shop, or other business? Many genealogists know that their ancestors owned or started a business. This Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop will show you how to use city directories, government websites, newspapers, and other sources to learn more about the history of the family business or the company your ancestors worked for.

Workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. Register online through the BPL events calendar, or contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us.

Below is a listing of upcoming workshops Southern…

Do it Yourself Fun

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by Ellen Griffin Shade, Avondale Regional Branch Library



Do you enjoy arts and crafts? We do too! At the Avondale Library, we started offering a jewelry-making workshop for adults once a month last summer, and now we offer arts and crafts programming weekly, with a different program every Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

All programs are free but space is limited, so register online through the BPL events calendar, call 226-4000, or drop by the circulation desk to reserve your spot. We also offer drop-in adult coloring stations that are available anytime, and we have a great selection of craft books to check out.

Upcoming Programs
Wednesday, August 2, 2:00 p.m. Club Create - Come together to create something new! We'll tackle a new craft project each month, with instruction and materials provided. Our project this month is making fruit slice coasters.

Wednesday, August 9, 2:00 p.m. Color Club - Explore coloring for adults. This month we're coloring reusable tote bags.

Wednesday…

Birmingham Public Library Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter

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The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is paying tribute the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter with a film festival, birthday celebration, and showing of some of the most popular movies based on author J.K. Rowling’s teen wizard.

The Central Library will host its annual Harry Potter Film Festival on Saturday, July 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Harry Potter films will air back-to-back in the Youth Department Story Castle, 2nd Floor. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the entire family. Come dressed in your favorite Harry Potter costumes.

The Smithfield Branch Library will host a Harry Potter Birthday Party on Monday, July 31, at 10:00 a.m. Celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved literary characters of all time. Smithfield Library will have a Hogwarts-worthy feast and spellbinding games. Beware of Dementors!

From Tuesday, August 1, through Friday, August 4, Smithfield Library will host a Harry Potter Watch-a-Thon featuring a different Harry Potter movie …

Southern History Book of the Month: Exploring Wild Alabama: A Guide to the State’s Publicly Accessible Natural Areas

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by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

Exploring Wild Alabama: A Guide to the State’s Publicly Accessible Natural Areas
Kenneth M. Wills and L.J. Davenport

It’s the middle of summer and a great time for vacations. But maybe you don’t have an extended trip planned, or don’t care for long trips away from home anyway. Maybe you prefer shorter excursions to augment your “staycation.” If so, Exploring Wild Alabama is an excellent resource for discovering the state’s natural wonders. This guide shows the geographic regions of Alabama and provides GPS coordinates and helpful symbols for the activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, and canoeing that are available to the public at each location.

When I was paging through Exploring Wild Alabama, the description of Sipsey Wilderness resonated with me because the first time I ever walked through it, I was fresh from a recent reading of J.R.R. Tolkien:
The canyons of the Sipsey Wilderness truly contain an “enchanted for…

Central Library to Host Ballard House Project Community Conversations July 27

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What: Ballard House Project Community-Wide Collective Memory Program
Where: Central Library’s Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
When: Thursday, July 27, 2017, 10:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.
Details: The Ballard House Project will be recording community conversations about Birmingham’s historic past. One-hour session topics will include community building, business, law, civil rights, women’s organizations, food/gardening, health, social & service clubs, fellowship, and faith. For more information, call 205-731-2000 or go to www.ballardhouseproject.org.

Did you participate in Birmingham’s civil rights marches of the 1960s as a foot soldier? Have interesting stories to tell about a family business, church, or important dates in the city’s history?

Then make plans to come to the Central Library in downtown Birmingham between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, 2017. The Ballard House Project, Inc. is partnering with the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) as i…

Exercise to Build a Better You

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by Selina Johnson, Wylam Branch Library 

We had a wonderful exercise session at Wylam Library on this past Wednesday. Workout Wednesday with Ms. Myra was not the typical high impact aerobics thrashing and pounding of your joints; instead, low impact chair exercises were introduced. Ms. Myra made the session appealing with calming music, simple instructions, and practical information about exercising and health. Working out has not been a priority for me as of late and I had never thought much about this type of exercise.

How much of a workout can you get from sitting in a chair, right? Well, after participating in this chair exercise session I came to respect it as a significant way to gain health benefits. I noticed an increase in my heart rate at about 10 minutes into the session. Also, many of the exercises worked the core muscles. Who doesn’t think that they need to trim down their midsection? Ms. Myra suggested adding barbells if you want to intensify the workout. So, if yo…

There’s Never Enough Time

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by Maya Jones, West End Branch Library


I found myself thinking “I’m running out of time!” during a particularly hectic day at work. I know it’s a common problem whether you are working at work or home. Last week, I also found myself talking to a church member who happens to be a senior and she said, “When I was growing up we managed to work a job, do house work, and be active in church.” I started to wonder how they did it. I came to a conclusion that they must have had better time management and organizational skills. So, this week, I decided to focus on resources dealing with time management and organizing.

Books
15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires by ,13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs by Kevin Kruse
Getting It Together: How to Organize Your Space, Your Stuff, Your Time—and Your Life by Erin Falligant (Juvenile) American Girls Series
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Ar…

Resumes Made Easy at the Library

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by David Ryan, Computer Commons

Getting a job is filled with so many frustrating steps. You need a resume, you have to fill out the application, and then there’s an interview. With all this work it almost seems like unpaid labor. The Birmingham Public Library can help lighten the load.

The resume may be the most confusing and difficult part of your job search because it generates so many questions. Do I include that high school lifeguard position on my resume? Do I use the functional, entry level, or chronological resume style? We can help you with these and many other questions. It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a summer job at Dairy Queen, or a full-time position at Wachovia Bank, the place to begin building your resume is at your neighborhood library, or our website.

All the Birmingham Public Libraries have public PCs loaded with Microsoft Word. You may not know this, but Word has resume templates. If you’ve never used a template, be prepared for awesome. You are presented …

Jonah, the World’s First Superhero with Down Syndrome

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by Lorraine Walker, Five Points West Regional Branch Library


At the end of March, Sesame Streetintroduced the world to Julia, the first autistic Muppet. Julia’s puppeteer is also mom to a son with autism. She said that it would have been wonderful for her son to have someone in the comic book world to identify with.

The same might be said for Lion Forge Comics’ newest creation, Superb. The comic launches in July and will feature the first superhero with Down syndrome. The National Down Syndrome Society (DNSS) was a full partner in bringing Jonah, the main hero, to life along with Lion Forge, whose slogan is ironically “Comics for Everyone.”

Everyone faces different challenges in life, but these shouldn’t preclude anyone from wanting to be a superhero. Lion Forge president Geoff Gerber said in a statement earlier in the month that Superb is the story of two young people faced with challenges who try to understand one another and what it means to be heroes.

The series is written by Da…

Registration Open for Free Computer Classes in August at Central Library

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The Regional Library Computer Center's (RLCC) August 2017 class schedule is now available and registration is open to the public for the free courses. These classes along with their descriptions can be found on the BPL events calendar, and you may register online through the calendar or by calling the RLCC at 205-226-3680.

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

Gone Girl Read-Alikes

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When a novel is as successful as Gillian Flynn’sGone Girl, particularly when the success results in a film adaptation, publishers take note and continue to provide readers with titles they feel are similar, hoping for the same success.Although Gone Girl was published in 2012 and adapted to film in 2014, publishers are still releasing books marketed as “the next Gone Girl.”If you fell in love with the book and/or the film, you should consider checking out the following titles.Descriptions are from the publisher.


Final Girls  by Riley Sager (7/2017)
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to--a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; a…

Neighborhood Meet and Greet August 3 at Central Library

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Please join us at this "meet and greet" on Thursday, August 3, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Central Library to learn more about the exciting programs and technology services available at the Birmingham Public Library.

There will be food and music too! RSVP to confirm your attendance no later than July 31 by contacting Tiffanie Jeter at 205-226-3747 or tsjeter@bham.lib.al.us.

Book Review: In Search of Lost Time: Sodom and Gomorrah

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by David Blake, Fiction Department Head, Central Library

In Search of Lost Time: Sodom and Gomorrah
Marcel Proust

Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust were near contemporaries. Wilde was about a half generation older than Proust, but the precocious young Proust entered high society and the literary salons as a teen. Their social worlds overlapped and they had friends in common. Both Wilde and Proust made their first literary marks as exponents of John Ruskin. And, by the time Proust began writing In Search of Lost Time, Proust had seen Wilde, at the peak of his dizzying successes in British society, denounced, imprisoned, ruined, exiled and dead—a martyr to vehement homophobia. No wonder when Andre Gide challenged Proust on the circuitous way Proust was depicting homosexuality in his semi-autobiographical masterpiece, Proust replied, “One can write anything as long one does not write I.”

Proust associates Sodom with male homosexuality and Gomorrah with lesbian affairs. Baron Charlus, a wealth…

Free Resume Writing Workshop on July 14 at Central Library

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What: Vocational Readiness workshop series
When: Every Friday in July, August, and September 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: The series consists of four workshops: (1) Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop, (2) Resume Builder, (3) New Age Online Application Process, and (4) Interview Boot camp

Is your resume outdated and failing to make you stand out from other candidates? Whether a new graduate or a worker looking for a new job, make plans to take advantage of free Vocational Readiness workshops taking place every Friday at the Central Library through September. The next workshop is Friday, July 14. Click here for a complete list of dates and workshop descriptions.

Besides the improving your resume workshop, other classes focus on a free individual assessment of professional goals/skills to find best job fit, preparing for the job interview, and how to navigate the online job …

Local Authors Expo and Book Fair Scheduled for August 19 at Central Library

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The annual Local Authors Expo held at the Central Library will showcase Alabama authors, including many from the Birmingham area. This year's free event will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Authors will be on hand to discuss their work, sell and autograph books, and talk about their writing process. Two featured authors, Chandra Sparks Splond (10:30 a.m.) and Nia Mya Reese (1:00 p.m.), will discuss their writing and the publishing process. To learn more about these authors and the expo, visit the Local Authors Expo page.

This event is free and open to the public. Drop by and visit your favorite author, learn more about local authors, and get tips for publishing your work.

Google Insights and Analytics Seminar Scheduled for July 20 at Central Library

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What: Using Google to Grow Your Business seminar series
When: Thursday July 20, 2017 – "Google Insights and Analytics"
Thursday August 17, 2017 – "Getting Started with Social Media and Email Marketing"
Time: 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: Free but registration is required

The Central Library will host a series of seminars for small business owners titled Using Google to Grow Your Business. Each seminar will cover a different topic related to Google applications that can be used by small business owners to improve their online performance. The remaining seminars in the series are "Google Insights and Analytics" and "Getting Started with Social Media and Email Marketing." All sessions will be held from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Central Library's Regional Library Computer Center, located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Building. The seminar ser…

Watercolor with Asian Flair: Caroline Wang Art Exhibit, July 7-August 28, 2017

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What: Watercolor with Asian Flair: Caroline Wang Art Exhibit
When: July 7-August 28 during library hours
Where:Central Library, Fourth Floor Gallery
Details: Opening reception held July 8, 2:00-5:00 p.m., Fourth Floor Gallery. Free and open to the public.

"Caroline Wang is a watercolor artist and a retired NASA engineer and researcher. She grew up in Taiwan, and grew up again (culturally) in the United States. She has passion for art as well as science. Having a love for both disciplines, she studied art at the University of Minnesota and received a Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin."(artist's website)

Watercolor with Asian Flair assembles original watercolors of landscapes that Wang has encountered during her travels in the United States, the Far East, and Europe. Her watercolor paintings employ Asian brush strokes while retaining a Western visual perspective.

Wang has won numerous awards at state and regional art contests. Another colle…

Book Review: Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka

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by Richard Grooms, Librarian, Fiction Department, Central Library

Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka
John Gimlette

It’s a pleasure to read a travel writer who’s firing on all thrusters. Travel is one of my favorite genres. I’ve read close to 200 titles. After a while, you get jaded, lower your expectations. Along comes Gimlette to restore your faith, let you see why you fell in love with the category in the first place. He’s at the top of his field. Part of his strength is his preparation. He spent three months in Sri Lanka but spent two years preparing for it. So by the time he got there he seems like an old hand. But he still retains a newcomer’s sense of awe and adventure.

Sri Lanka is an island nation just below the southern tip of India. About the size of Ireland, it’s been inhabited for over 18,000 years. 2,000 years ago a mysterious people built magnificent structures there, one so large and sophisticated it rivalled some of the great pyramids of Egypt. This was the Ruwanw…

Bards & Brews: Spotlight on Poet Michael Harriot

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Michael Harriot is a poet, a full-time feature writer at The Root, a prolific podcaster, and a YouTube personality.  He regularly performs at Bards & Brews as well as other spoken word poetry events around town - and around the country.

How long have you been performing spoken word poetry?

I first performed spoken word on May 18, 1994, in a clothing store in Auburn, Alabama called Behind the Glass. I had always written poetry but had never performed it until I had the bright idea to host a poetry night during my fraternity's (Omega Psi Phi) week of activities.

I haven't performed continuously since then, because I've moved a million places, lived outside the country and strayed away from performing (never writing) at times.

Since moving to Birmingham in 2008 I have performed regularly.

Who are some of the poets or writers that have had the most impact on you?

My mother was probably my first inspiration. She was a writer, and she homeschooled my sisters and me, so she …

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for July 10 at Central Library

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What: "Steps to Starting Your Business" seminar
When: Monday, July 10, 2017
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
Details: Registration required

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 again be hosting the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business, from June to November 2017. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the following Mondays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library: September 11, October 2, and November 6. No seminar will be held during the month of August.

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 yo…

Art is Life

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by Alisha Johsnon, Manager, Ensley Branch Library


The staff at the Ensley Branch Library is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to bring more life and creativity through our doors, and in an attempt to do just that, we toyed with the question of what can we do today to playfully explore the artist in us all? And after assessing the needs in our building as well as in the community, we decided that an art wall would be a great idea. We enjoyed the ability to be authentic and the freedom to be as creative as we wanted in an effort to create something great!

We strive to interact with our patrons with the intentions of bringing out the artist in them. We want them to use their imaginations and create something great, especially if it is a better “YOU.” Our library would love nothing more than for our patrons to come through our doors, feel welcomed, and let their minds be free; free to create, free to imagine, and free to love. We have been able to bring out beautiful things …

Improve Your Job Hunting Prospects at the Central Library’s Vocational Readiness Workshops Series

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by Jim Murray, Department Head, Business, Science and Technology Department


What: Vocational Readiness workshop series
When: Every Friday in July, August, and September 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: The series consists of four workshops:  (1) Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop, (2) Resume Builder, (3) New Age Online Application Process, and (4) Interview Bootcamp

Choosing a career is not any easy undertaking. Likewise, once you’ve chosen a career, finding a job can be a pretty difficult task as well. When you consider that throughout your lifetime you spend more hours at your job than you do anywhere else, you really need to put the time and effort into making good decisions in regards to career selection and job searching. This is not only true for young people who are entering the job market for the first time, but also for adults who are either reentering the job mar…