Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vocational Readiness Workshops Scheduled in November at Central Library

What: Vocational Readiness workshops
When: Monday, November 6 and 20, 2017
Time: 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: The will be two workshops: (1) Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop/Resume Builder and (2) New Age Online Application Process/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 after an absence, looking for a new job, or are contemplating a career change. If you fall into any of these categories, then you should plan to attend the Birmingham Public Library’s Vocational Readiness workshops.

Two Vocational Readiness workshops will be held at the Central Library in November 2017. Each of the workshops will cover different parts of the job searching process, but participants are encouraged to attend both because the second workshop builds on the content presented in the first. Here are the descriptions of the workshops:

Monday, November 6, 2017, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop/Resume Builder

  • Vocational Introduction Readiness Workshop provides an individual assessment of personal and professional goals, aspirations, and skills to help determine your best job fit. 
  • Resume Builder is designed to assist individuals with creating an effective resume that will function as a powerful tool in achieving gainful employment.

Monday, November 20, 2017, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
New Age Online Application Process/Interview Bootcamp

  • New Age Online Application Process offers tips and suggestions to guide all job seekers in successfully completing online employment applications.
  • Interview Bootcamp teaches techniques to help you emphasize your skills, overcome objections, and build rapport with your job interviewer.

The workshops presenter is Tina Thornton. Tina is a professional counselor and founder of Gem Kreations, a nonprofit organization committed to assisting those who have experienced adverse circumstances realize their full personal and professional potential.

For more information about the workshops, please contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by calling 205-226-3691.

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for November/December at Central Library

What: Steps to Starting Your Business seminar
When: Monday, November 6 and December 4, 2017
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
Details: Registration is 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 host the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business in 2017. The last two seminars of 2017 are 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: November 6, December 4. 

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 business and economic information. Please register for the seminars by contacting Andy Mayo in the Economic Development Office at Andy.Mayo@birminghamal.gov or 205-254-2774.

Seminar presenters will be veteran mentors from the local chapter of SCORE. SCORE is a national nonprofit association consisting of volunteers with business skills and experience who want to share their knowledge with prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners. For over 50 years, SCORE mentors have helped millions of Americans start and grow their own businesses.

For further information about the seminars or about resources available at the Birmingham Public Library relating to small business development, please contact Jim Murray in the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by phoning 205-226-3691.

Monday, October 30, 2017

From Page to Stage: Cinderella: An Outrageous Fairytale – A Reader’s Theater Workshop for Children

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: Cinderella: An Outrageous Fairytale – A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of Cinderella: An Outrageous Fairytale, 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 Cinderella: An Outrageous Fairytale production in December 2017.

Hold on to your pumpkins! This is a Cinderella for the holiday season. With contemporary songs, gags, and mayhem, you’ll jeer at the deliciously dysfunctional stepmother and sisters as much as you’ll cheer for Cinderella in her quest to attend the magnificent ball and fulfill her destiny. Put on your glass slippers and enjoy this spectacular and outrageous telling of our unique Cinderella, guaranteed to delight.

Workshop space is limited, so register online through the BPL events calendar or contact your participating library location to register a child for the workshop. Libraries and dates are as follows:

Avondale Regional Branch Library: Sunday, November 5, 2:30 p.m.
East Lake Branch Library: Saturday, November 4, 2:30 p.m.
Five Points West Regional Branch Library: Sunday, November 5, 2:30 p.m.
Pratt City Branch Library: Saturday, November 4, 2:30 p.m.
Southside Branch Library: Saturday, November 18, 2:30 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Branch Library: Sunday, November 19, 2:30 p.m.
West End Branch Library: Saturday, November 18, 2:30 p.m.

Carnivals, Murder Mystery Party, Cemetery Tour: Celebrate Halloween Week at the Birmingham Public Library

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) has plenty of fun activities to get you in the Halloween spirit over the next week. During operational hours on Halloween day, staffers at all 19 BPL locations will pass out candy and other treats to visiting patrons.

Among the Halloween highlights, all free and open to the public:

October 30
At 4:00  p.m. the Smithfield Branch Library will host its annual fall festival, this time Harry Potter wizard-style featuring games, trivia, and a Hogwarts worthy feast!

At 5:00  p.m. the Springville Road Regional Branch Library will host its annual Halloween carnival with free games, stories, and treats for families and patrons of all ages.

October 31
Free showing of Boo!: A Madea Halloween, featuring Tyler Perry's popular no-nonsense matriarch at the Pratt City Branch Library.

November 1
At 11:00 a.m. drop by the Smithfield Library for the Smithfield Adult Book Club Murder Mystery Party, a Mardi Gras-themed murder mystery party and discussion.

November 3
To close out Halloween week, BPL is taking its popular spoken word poetry/craft beer event, Bards & Brews, on the road to Oak Hill Cemetery in downtown Birmingham. Activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with special musical entertainment by the female Gothic band The Murder of Jane Crow. Poetry will begin to flow at 7:00 p.m. Bards & Brews is free and open to the public, but you must be 18 or older to attend and 21 or older to receive beer samples.

Hope to see you soon. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Free Computer Classes in November at Central Library

The November computer class schedule is available. All classes are free but registration is required. For class descriptions and to register online, visit the Birmingham Public Library events calendar or call the Computer Commons Department at 205-226-3681.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bards & Brews Open Mic at Oak Hill Cemetary, November 3

Bards & Brews will hold its final Open Mic event of 2017 at Oak Hill Cemetery in downtown Birmingham under a full moon!

There will be beer and spoken word poetry, as well as a musical performance by The Murder of Jane Crow. The Murder of Jane Crow will begin performing at 6:30 p.m. and the poetry will begin just after 7:00 p.m. SweetWater Brewing Co. from Atlanta has donated beer for samples at the event. The J. Clyde will be serving the beer.

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 may include relationships, politics, social justice, and the availability of burial plots near the new 20/59 flyovers.

Book Review: A Walk in the Woods

by Richard Grooms, Fiction Department, Central Library

A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson

In the mid-1990s Bill Bryson decided on a modest project—he’d walk the Appalachian Trail. Though he didn’t end up doing anything near the whole Trail, he did complete a respectable chunk of it. But first he needed a hiking partner, and of course everybody turned him down, but he did end up with an unlikely candidate, his old Iowa buddy, Stephen Katz, who had major issues and was way overweight and terribly out of shape. Katz would soon become a sort of Sancho Panza to Bryson’s would-be Quixote. The elements of travel and unintentional humor are classic Bryson components and they pay off here in what is probably his best-known book.

Another Bryson essential is facts, the kind you can’t find anywhere else. How else are you going to know that there’s no agreed-upon length for the Appalachian Trail? What is agreed is that it’s the world’s longest footpath and it’s run by the world’s largest volunteer support network.

Katz is the main comic relief of the book:” You know what I look for in a female these days? A heartbeat and a full set of limbs.” Thus Katz breaking the ice with our author. Katz took up Bryson’s hiking offer because he didn’t have any plans, or any real life. But I’ll say this. He put in several hundred miles on the Trail, something that makes a bush league hiker like me refrain.

Bryson admirably shows the importance of wilderness and still mentions that even someone like Henry David Thoreau could be spooked by the Appalachians. A New England portion was suitable for “men nearer of kin to the rocks and wild animals than we.” And Daniel Boone, who, according to Bryson, “not only wrestled bears but tried to date their sisters,” said of the Southern Appalachians that they were “so wild and horrid that it is impossible to behold them without terror.”

Bryson’s background on the Trail might convert even a logging lobbyist. The main thing is that it’s beautiful, of course. As per usual, Bryson’s nature description is welcome reading: “The tunnels of boughed rhododendrons, which often run on for great distances, were exceedingly pretty.” And: “…we were confronted with an arresting prospect—a sudden new world of big, muscular, comparatively craggy mountains, steeped in haze and nudged at the distant margins by moody-looking clouds, at once deeply beckoning and rather awesome.” The combined weight of nature account and argument make a passionate case for the wild.

From the sublime, we move to the squalid. Here’s the author on a less-than satisfactory bed he slept on:” If the mattress stains were anything to go by, a previous user had not so much suffered from incontinence as rejoiced in it.” I count on Bill for that kind of thing.

I was pleased to see that some of the sensations I’ve felt as a walker were echoed and articulated by Bryson. After being in the woods for hours, he sees a car and is stunned by its speed: “Cars shot past very fast—unbelievably fast to us who resided in Foot World.” And there’s the immense, disorienting pleasure you feel when entering a clean, well-lit, air-conditioned store after a hike.

With all these contradictions, you still can see the overall appeal of the Trail. So when Bryson starts to get eco activist, you realize that, if anything, he’s understating it. So “the whole of the Appalachian wilderness below New England could become savanna” is nested in a whole structure of study excerpts. Not mentioned is one that came out after the book which predicts savanna as the future of the entire Southeast by century’s end. All assuming, of course, we don’t change our behavior. It’s sobering and scary, but the beauty of the woods described here can be a great motivator. Bryson isn’t an eco-Puritan, however: “So Gatlinburg is appalling. But that’s OK.” Well, it is appalling to me, but I share with the author, as I said earlier, that pleasure on entering an environment-controlled building after a giant dose of unruly nature. That’s just it: we need them both—wildness and ordered reality.

I hiked small parts of the Appalachian Trail back in the seventies. Bryson makes me want to hike it again. And he makes me want to be an activist for it. Not just any writer can wake me up like that. He’s helped me to understand the deep majesty of these mountains. They’re tied up in our overall American legacy, our Native American heritage, our deep human past and even our pre-human past. They’re unfathomably old and mystery-laden, and this account helps you to get a handle on this.

Southside Storyteller Festival, October 28

by Carla Perkins, Avondale Regional Branch Library

“Once upon a time, in a land far in the heart of Birmingham, stood Five Points Southside.” 

On Saturday, October 28, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Five Points Alliance, The J. Clyde, and Orbit Salon will celebrate 130 years of the Five Points district by hosting the inaugural Southside Storyteller Festival. The festival will be a celebration centered around The Storyteller fountain created by Frank Fleming, with the stage located at the Highlands United Methodist Church.

Spoken word performances and storytelling at the fountain will be performed by local talented groups such as Real Life Poets, Inc., The Sister City Connection Spoken Word Collection, Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for High School Students, University of Alabama at BirminghamGreen Bucket Press, Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, and more.

The Storyteller fountain by Frank Fleming, 1992
Photo: The Encyclopedia of Alabama

The Five Points Star singer/songwriter contest will be an online and day-of-the-festival competition with the various Birmingham contestants performing during the event at open mics throughout Southside's amazing restaurants and bars, and also on stage. The winner will be crowned as the #FivePointsStar. The Storyteller Brew will be served at various venues and you can receive an extra vote in the #FivePointsStar for every purchase of the J. Clyde Southside brew.

The children’s area, located in the patio at the Highlands Methodist Church, will showcase one of the Birmingham Public Library’s own storytellers, Eve Parker. Parker, lovingly known as “Mrs. Eve,” has been a storyteller with the Birmingham Public Library system for almost 20 years. Her love for the oral tradition of storytelling is truly a gift to all who listen. In addition to sharing stories, the library will host an information table and provide a craft activity for the children. Please be sure to drop by our table and say hello; we look forward to seeing you!

 Mrs. Eve is a storyteller for the Birmingham Public Library system, and
 also teaches ukulele classes at the Avondale Library.

Five Points South is one of Birmingham’s first streetcar suburbs. The area was settled and incorporated as the Town of Highland on May 14, 1887. The Elyton Land Company established a streetcar line that connected Highland with downtown. In 1893 the Town of Highland became part of the City of Birmingham. At the Five Points Circle, where streetcar lines from downtown intersected those from Highland Avenue and other Southside residential areas, a neighborhood hub and shopping district grew.

The Five Points Circle, 1910
  Source/Photo: BhamWiki

From the singers, poets, and storytellers, to the crafts, good food, and beautiful architecture, the Five Points South district is the place for all ages to be this Saturday!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

BPL to Celebrate Patrons on Patron Appreciation Day, October 25

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is celebrating 2017 Patron Appreciation Day on Wednesday, October 25. As a show of gratitude to its loyal patrons, all 19 BPL locations across the city of Birmingham will be serving the public free cake between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Google Your Peeps

What do you want to know about your ancestors? Everything. The Internet is a great tool for genealogy, but are you using it to its full potential? Author Neil Gaiman said, "Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one." The Southern History Department specializes in genealogy, and the staff is trained to harness the power of the Internet specifically for finding that elusive ancestor. Make plans to attend Google Your Peeps, our last Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshop for 2017 this Saturday, October 28th.

In this workshop, you learn how to create a research template and look for details that will help you discover more about your ancestors using search engines, genealogy databases, and a few other, perhaps surprising websites.

Google Your Peeps will begin at 10 am and take place in the Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor, Linn-Henley Research Library. To secure your spot, please call the Southern History Department at 205-226-3665 or register online.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Birmingham Public Library Board Hires Floyd Council As New Library Executive Director

Birmingham Public Library Director Floyd Council
The Birmingham Public Library Board, during a special called board meeting on October 16, 2017, voted to hire Floyd Council of Atlanta as the new executive director of the Birmingham Public Library. Council will oversee all operations of BPL’s 19 library locations and manage 285 employees.

Council, who is currently the central library administrator for the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System, will take over the BPL System on Monday, November 13, 2017. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Council has three decades of public service, including 14 years at libraries across the country.

Council has gained a national reputation as a 21st century librarian who actively mentors librarians and managers. He has contributed as a state level and American Library Association conference presenter, served on the Library Leadership and Management Association’s Mentoring Committee, and is currently developing a professional development series for public service library managers.

Besides the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System, Council has worked as regional manager for the Broward County Libraries Division, assistant director of public services at the DC Public Library, and regional manager for the Dr. Julia Davis African American Research Library and Archives of St Louis Public Library System. His additional employers include the University of Chicago, Nashville Public Library, Dallas Public Library, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and the United States Army.

Georgia Blair, president of the BPL Board, said she looks forward to the impact on libraries, the creative ideas and knowledge that Council brings to the 19 locations of the Birmingham Public Library system.

Council said he is honored to serve the citizens of Birmingham as the new library director “during this time of change and transformation” as the city prepares for a new mayor, Randall Woodfin, who takes office in late November 2017.

“The Birmingham Public Library has a strong heritage that dates back to 1886,” Council said. “Under my leadership of the wonderful staff and with support of our governing board of trustees, we will secure the future for 21 century library service, programs, partnerships, and community engagement for the City of Birmingham as we preserve the past and explore the future."

Council is an American Library Association Spectrum Diversity Scholar and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society Inductee. He has been a strong supporter of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the library industry over the past decade, and is currently one of 20 National Cohort Champions selected for the Spectrum Diversity Scholars 20th Anniversary development campaign.

Council holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the Florida State University College of Information, a Bachelor’s in Media Communication from American College, and studied as a Jurist Doctor of Law candidate at the Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School before switching careers into the public library profession.

Council is a native of Shelby, Mississippi, and the eldest son of Evelyn Council and the late Floyd Billings. Council enjoys technology, music, art, design, and genealogy. He is the devoted father of two sons, 10-year-old Floyd Council Jr. and 5-year-old Jonathan Trevor Council.

Friday, October 20, 2017

#1960Now Photography Exhibit at Central Library

What: #1960Now photography exhibit
When: October 20-December 1, 2017
Where: Fourth Floor Gallery, Central Library
Details: Free and open to the public during library hours

A new photography exhibit opening Friday, October 20, 2017, in the Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery compares current civil rights protests by young millennials and groups such as Black Lives Matter to the 1960s civil rights movement.

The Fourth Floor Gallery exhibit, featuring photographer Sheila Pree Bright, is called #1960Now, and is a collection of her works that have appeared in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in Washington D.C. and two venues in Atlanta—High Museum of Art and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

#1960Now examines race, gender, and generational divides to raise awareness of millennial perspectives on civil and human rights. It is a photographic series of emerging young leaders affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Bright documents responses to police shootings in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, and Washington, D.C.

You can read more about this project at https://www.project1960.com/ and read about Sheila Pree Bright at her website, https://www.sheilapreebright.com/.

Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping at Avondale Library's Craft Sale

by Ellen Griffin Shade, Avondale Regional Branch Library

Our creative crafters at the Avondale Library have made a lot of wonderful things this year, and they’re having a sale to raise money to support the library's adult craft programs. Items include bookmarks, T-shirts, candle cups, hats, bookmarks, and lots of jewelry. The sale is October 22 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and cash only.

Handmade items make great gifts, so why not start your holiday shopping at the library this year?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

by Leigh Wilson, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

October 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. This holiday celebrates two of my favorite things: chocolate and cupcakes! What a perfect reason to celebrate the beautiful fall weather, while counting the days to Halloween and even more chocolate goodies, by enjoying a delicious chocolate cupcake.

Perhaps you would like to bake some cupcakes of your own. These cookbooks from the Birmingham Public Library can lead you to create your own cupcake culinary delights or to have a sweet daydream about chocolate confections:

Better Homes and Gardens Cupcakes: More Than 100 Sweet and Simple Recipes for Every Occasion by John Wiley
Fabulous Party Cakes and Cupcakes: Matching Cakes and Cupcakes for Every Occasion by Carol Deacon
Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat by Martha Stewart
Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creators of Fran's Chocolates by Fran Bigelow

Who knows, it may inspire you to compete on Cupcake Wars one day or at least enjoy cheering your favorite team on to victory!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Linn-Henley Building Closing at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 18

Central's Linn-Henley building will close at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 18. The Southern History Department and the Archives Department will reopen Friday, October 20 at 9:00 a.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Book Review: Attitudes Aren’t Free: Thinking Deeply about Diversity in the U.S. Armed Forces

by Barbara Hutto, Government Documents

Att<i></i>itudes Aren't Free
Attitudes Aren't Free
James E. Parco and David A. Levy

Even though the focus of this book appears in a military setting, the suggestions can be used to build teams in any large work environment. Learning to work together effectively minimizes the disadvantages posed by a group’s large size by focusing on collaboration to complete tasks. Civilian organizations benefit equally by reducing waste of materials, energy, and time. To promote these recommendations, it is essential that every team member feel they are a respected, valued part of the team.

People come together from many walks of life to serve our country so the military reflects the demographics of our modern society. Individuals from many different religions, sexual preferences, races, lifestyles, and ethnic groups possess different perspectives. To be successful the military must merge these different individuals into one team to meet the goals set down by U.S. armed forces. In a series of essays, Attitudes Aren’t Free addresses individual differences through practices that forms a cohesive whole to defend our national interests. The authors do not cover all aspects of each issue but explain how their approach promotes the best teams for the military.

These essays focus on using the perspective of the “other” as a way to draw on the strength of diverse views on topics. How can participants open their minds to the possibilities of what each individual offers to form a cohesive whole that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts? This book provides strategies for starting-point discussions that promote an understanding from the perspective of the “other.”

Other topics of interest:

Southern History Book of the Month: Strange But True Alabama: People, Places, and Things

by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

Strange But True Alabama: People, Places, and Things
Lynne L. Hall

October is a month for all things strange, wacky, and weird . . . and you’ll find all of these in Strange but True Alabama. This is an enjoyable little book, suitable for browsing at random or reading straight through, and it is packed from cover to cover with bizarre and chilling events and personalities from the Heart of Dixie, along with some amusing tales to lighten the mood.
Check out some of the folk remedies:
Bacon fat taped to embedded glass with draw it out. Watch out; you don’t want to lose a finger to that pack of hound dogs following you around, though.

For itching, especially from poison ivy, mix oatmeal into bath water and plunge in. Add a little butter and sugar, and you’ve got breakfast.
Let’s not even talk about what goes into Grandpa’s favorite cold remedy, or “weed tea” for various ailments. But if you had been Ann Hodges, you’d need something stronger than a cold cure for your ills. Hodges is the only human on record to have been struck by a meteorite. There she was on the night of November 30, 1954, listening to the radio in her home in Sylacauga and minding her own business, when an 8 ½ pound meteorite smashed through her roof and landed on her hip, leaving her with severe bruises and the story of a lifetime.

And speaking of meteors, there’s the famous “night the stars fell” on November 12, 1833. The Leonid meteor shower was spectacular that year, inspiring both wonder and panic on the part of Alabamians who witnessed it:
Thousands of stars plummeted to Earth, setting the Alabama sky ablaze, awing many and frightening others who believed Judgment Day was nigh. Across the state, folks repented their wicked ways, renouncing all manner of sin from drinking and smoking to dancing and gambling.

But, of course, Judgment Day did not come, and wicked ways have made a remarkable comeback. The meteor shower became known as “the night stars fell on Alabama” and has been memorialized in song and on our car tags.
Naturally, no book about weird happenings in Alabama would be complete without mention of some of the state’s famous hauntings ranging from ghostly Confederate soldiers in a Notasulga graveyard to a student’s ghost at the University of Montevallo. And how about some noteworthy Alabama creatures? There’s an Alabama Animal Hall of Fame in Montgomery, or you can visit the Bluegrass Farms Wildlife Sanctuary/Tigers for Tomorrow in Attala. You can also take your pick of towns with strange names like Bug Tussle, Scratch Ankle, Slapout, and Smut Eye.

So if you like your weird with a side of amusement and a dash of shiver, try out Strange but True Alabama in your October reading list. Entertainment and exclamations of “Only in Alabama!” guaranteed.

For further information:
"Meteor storm muse behind 'Stars Fell on Alabama'"
Alabama Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff
"The True Story of History's Only Known Meteorite Victim"
"The 13 Most Bone-Chilling & Haunted Places in Alabama"
"These 30 Alabama Towns Have Some of the Most Bizarre Names Ever"
Alabama Animal Hall of Fame
Tigers for Tomorrow Wildlife Sanctuary

Monday, October 16, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Amanda Jenkins, Titusville Branch Library

If you've been seeing more pink over the past couple of weeks, it's likely because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Despite the enormous popularity of breast cancer awareness merchandise and the plethora of information that's available, many individuals are unaware of pertinent information about this type of cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, but it also has a relatively high survival rate, especially when detected early. Now is a great time to visit your local library for print resources about breast cancer. You can also learn more through the Birmingham Public Library's online databases. Knowledge is power!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Birmingham Public Library Board to Interview Two Director Finalists October 16

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Board of Trustees will be interviewing two finalists for its opening for BPL director next week. The two candidates will be interviewed at the Central Library on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Both interviews will take place during a special called board meeting in the Arrington Auditorium/Linn-Henley Research Library/4th floor, and are open to the public. The first candidate will be interviewed at 9:00 a.m.; the second candidate will be interviewed at 10:30 a.m. The BPL Board of Trustees began conducting a national search for the BPL director position in July 2017.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blood Divided: The Story of Dr. Charles R. Drew Exhibit at Central Library, October 20-December 1

What: Blood Divided: The Story of Dr. Charles R. Drew Exhibit
When: October 20-December 1, 2017
Where: First Floor Gallery, Central Library
Details: Free and open to the public during library hours

The Birmingham Public Library’s Central branch is hosting an exhibit paying tribute to blood pioneer Dr. Charles Drew beginning Friday, October 20, 2017.

The exhibit, Blood Divided: The Story of Dr. Charles R. Drew, will be open from Friday, October 20, through Friday, December 1, 2017, in the First Floor Gallery of the Central Library. This exhibit highlights the life and accomplishments of Dr. Charles R. Drew, the blood banking pioneer who could not donate blood because he was African American.

Blood Divided is part of One In Our Blood, a comprehensive, city-wide program of events and exhibitions conceived and coordinated by Birmingham curator Paul Barrett, building on the work of Blood Equality. Blood Equality was launched in 2015 in partnership with Gay Men’s Health CrisisFCB Health, and artist Jordan Eagles’ Blood Mirror project to address discrimination against prospective LGBTQ blood donors and allow everyone an equal opportunity to donate blood.

"We're very proud to partner with GMHC and Jordan Eagles as we further our commitment to highlighting issues of blood equality through our work," said Rich Levy, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Health, the New York agency handling the campaign. "True to our Never Finished principle, this creative partnership lends us an important opportunity to challenge the discrimination based on outdated stigmas around blood donation by building equity for donors, influencing long-term behavior and leaving behind a positive impact."

Book Review: Seeking Sarah

by Saundra Ross, North Avondale Branch Library

Seeking Sarah
ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Brooke seems to be a happy woman with the best life ahead of her but in reality she is not. She has so many people who love her. From her loving father and grandmother who raised her to the man she’s currently engaged to, Trent, her fiancĂ©.

All of Brooke’s life she’s been a good girl. One day Brooke realizes that there’s one love she doesn’t have and that’s when the good girl disappears. After a deep family secret is revealed, and against everyone’s wishes and any obstacles, Brooke goes on a mission to find out why she doesn’t have the one love she wants most—her mother Sarah’s love.

How obsessed will Brooke become with her problem? What kind of out-of-character evil deeds will she do? ReShonda Tate Billingsley does a great job of adding some unexpected twists to the story which keeps it interesting. Seeking Sarah is the perfect title for this book because Brooke will always yearn for the love of her mother.

Seeking Sarah is Billingsley’s latest novel that has many surprises and twists. Please visit the library to check out books by this author.

Links of interest:
ReShonda Tate Billingsley Website
ReShonda Tate Billingsley on Facebook
Reshonda Tate Billingsley at Simon & Schuster

Book Review: The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History

by David Ryan, Business, Science and Technology Department

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History 
Don Jordan & Michael Walsh

In history class our teachers taught us about the great men behind great events. These are men represented by marble busts and court portraits in museums and galleries. We learned about Julius Caesar invading Britain, King John at Runnymede, and Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain. Beneath this picture is the word "corrupt" or "moral," beside this statue the word "frivolous" or "serious," and this portrait is labeled "vengeful" or "forgiving." As students, most of us for the sake of simplicity tended to accept these facile labels presented by our professors. However, sometimes a study of the small events following the great reveals a more complex figure. The King’s Revenge by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh is one such study.

On the 30th of January, 1649, King Charles I of England was in the name of revolution decapitated by Puritans and members of Parliament. In time Oliver Cromwell took control and, in the eyes of some, took the throne as well. Many Englishmen and Parliamentarians began to feel they had simply exchanged one tyrant for another. On September, 1658, Cromwell, the man who had overthrown the monarchy “… survived myriad battles, intrigues and assassination plots…was laid low by an insect” and died of malaria. Minus his authoritarian hand, England seemed, at best on the verge of another civil war, and, at worst, slipping into anarchy. So-called Committees of Safety popped up overnight like poisonous mushrooms. Attempted military coups became common. Religious persecution was on the rise. The Rump Parliament stumbled about incapable of grasping the reins of power. Even Oliver Cromwell’s son Richard, the obvious choice for the throne, simply walked out the palace back door without warning. Suddenly, restoring the Monarchy seemed the only path to control, stability, and sanity. On May 8, 1660, Parliament invited Charles II, the son of the monarch they had killed, to return from exile and assume the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Professors usually portray Charles, "the Merry Monarch,” as a bon vivant uninterested in the past,
and living only for the moment. (Particularly if the moment included wine, women, and song.).

Charles II, the Merry Monarch of England
Charles was applauded for the terms of his return. He spoke of restoration of property for victims of the revolution, religious tolerance for all, and critically, a general pardon for all revolutionaries. But there was another darker side to the young monarch not often discussed in the classroom. Before he even sailed from exile back to England he wrote “…we shall therein by all ways and means possible endeavor to pursue and bring to their due punishment those bloody traitors who were either actors or contrivers of that unparalleled and inhuman murder.”

A list, consisting of only seven "exceptions" to the general pardon, was written. The men on the list would be punished for their part in the execution of Charles I. Then five more names were added to the list. Then eight. Then ten. In the blood thirsty atmosphere created by Charles II, it was inevitable that Parliament and those in the new court added even more names to the list. It was equally inevitable that bribes were offered, and accepted, to keep names off the "excepted" list.

There were three types of justice for the regicides. They could be punished with death. In most cases, this entailed partial hanging, followed by disemboweling, and ending with drawing and quartering. A lesser punishment meant they would be bankrupted, their entire wealth seized by the Crown. Or they could receive minor punishments with accompanying minor fines, and live out their lives in comfortable obscurity. Some observers concluded that “the king’s motives…were partly revenge and partly rapine, in other words the royal seizure of the estates of those who were accepted” from the general pardon.

When England was emptied of the regicides spies, kidnappers and assassins were dispatched across the globe to bring the guilty to face the King’s justice. It didn’t matter to Charles II if his father’s murders were hiding under beds in English attics or under straw in a Massachusetts Bay Colony barn. Even a London grave provided neither sanctity nor safety. Oliver Cromwell, long since dead, was disinterred and his head displayed as a warning. The King’s reach extended everywhere—even beyond death.

Jordan and Walsh crack the marble statue of Charles II to reveal a man of many sides: some flippant and bright like a Restoration ball, but others as desperately dark as a Tower cell. They also show that even peace has a price.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Exclusive Interview with Charlotte de Gross, North Birmingham Library's Resident Tarantula

by June Lacanski, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

North Birmingham Zoobrary reporting—October’s Pet of the Month is Charlotte de Gross. She wanted to be interviewed this month because October is a scary month, she said, and some people think she’s scary.

Interviewer: Charlotte, if someone asked you what type of living creature you are, how would you answer?
Charlotte: I would say, “Hey Dufus, do you see my eight legs? I sure ain’t an octopus!”

Interviewer: OK, so you are a spider; what type of a spider are you?
Charlotte: I am a Tarantula.
Charlotte poses as a human hairpiece

Interviewer: Well, what type of a tarantula are you?
Charlotte: I am a Library Tarantula!

Interviewer: Alrighty then. How long have you been at the North Birmingham Library?
Charlotte: I came as a little spider in the autumn of 2008. I don’t have fingers, so it is hard for me to count. From 2008 to 2017—is that like 700 years?

Interviewer: Well, no. Anyway, how did you get the name Charlotte?
Charlotte: There is a book about a spider that can spell things in her web. Her name is Charlotte. I never read the book. But I might get to see the movie one day…

Interviewer: You never know… So, what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at the library?
Charlotte: Well, one day a frisky creature was messing with my cage. I don’t know, but I think they are called Human Beans or something like that. Anyway, there was nobody watching the Zoobrary and this creature opened my cage. Then he ran away. Heck, so did I! I played in the Kid Department all night. But when morning came, somebody discovered that I was out of my cage. They went absolutely C.R.A.Z.Y. Some goofy Scardy-Breetches picked me up in the dustpan and took me back to my shelf. A dust pan! Now that was insulting! But the silly Human Beans were running around and were even talking about closing the library until they found me. I wasn’t even lost, but whatever…

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about living at the North Birmingham Library?
Charlotte: Oh, definitely Grubdown! All ages of Human Beans gather around while this pretty Bean picks me up and tells everyone a lot of important stuff about me. Then she lets all the other Beans touch me and some goofy Beans squeal and run around like crazy things. But, what I think is really neat is when someone touches the bottom of my feet to understand how the sticky stuff on the bottom helps me walk upside down if I want. The Beans seem to appreciate me better after Grubdown is over. Then I get a couple of yummy crickets. If I am hungry, I will grab one and go to work on it.

Interviewer: So you eat crickets? Do you just gobble down the whole thing?
Charlotte: Well, I will eat almost any kind of bug. But, first I stun it with my built-in stun gun; then I kind of put a straw into the bug and shoot in a little spit. Then I suck all the juicy stuff out. Yummers!

Interviewer: Ugh, that sounds gross. How long does that process take?
Charlotte: As long as it needs to. And you Human Beans are the ones who eat the gross stuff! I see little Beans come around with small white sticks coming out of their mouth. And when they talk their tongues are red or blue or green or brown. Now that is what’s gross!

Interviewer: One last question: How would you change the North Birmingham Library if you could?
Charlotte: Well, all the nice Library Human Beans would bring a whole bag of crickets every week and let them go. And they would let me out of my cage and all of my old friends could come. And then we could pull every book off the shelf that we wanted and read and read. And we would play every movie we wanted to watch on the TV—like that Charlotte movie. And we could all play games on the computers and write letters and look for spider date sites and stuff…

Interviewer: Oh yeah, Charlotte, I do need to ask you one more question: What is your favorite book?
Charlotte: Now, that is a dumb last question! You think I’m gonna say that book about the spider who wrote things with her web, don’t you? Nope. My favorite book is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Interviewer: Thank you so much Charlotte. I am sure our readers appreciate your candid responses.

Please join us next month when our interviewer asks, “When did you realize that your dad ate your brother?”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Final Eat Drink Read Write Program Featuring Wenonah High School Culinary Students Scheduled October 10 at Central Library

Don't miss the final program in the Eat Drink Read Write food festival on Tuesday, October 10, 5:30-8:00 p.m., at the Central Library.

During the event students involved in the culinary program will show off their cooking skills by performing a demonstration and food tasting of delectable dishes they have mastered during the school year.

The Wenonah High Culinary Arts team members, all seniors, performing the cooking demo at the Central Library will be: Asia Tatum, Jordan Young, Drusilla Foster, Juahmun Sturgeon, Janiya Wright, Aaron Harris, and Alejandro Guzman. Another member of the team, Tytianna Day, will help serve attendees. The students will demonstrate a fruit salad with honey dressing, cinnamon sweet potatoes, and a chicken vegetable stir-fry. Attendees will get samples and recipes to take home.

On October 2 students in the Wenonah High Culinary Arts Program visited the nearby Powderly Branch Library to research books on food to prepare for the cooking demo. They also stuck around for storytime and prepared healthy snacks for young patrons.

All ages are welcome. Free admission.

Earlier in October Wenonah High School culinary students Alejandro Guzman, Asia Tatum,
and Juahmun Sturgeon were interviewed on Biz Talk with Roy Williams about participating
in the Birmingham Public Library's Eat Drink Read Write food festival.

The award-winning Wenonah High School culinary team will be featured October 10 at 7:20, 7:50, and 8:20 a.m. on JehJeh Live on Good Day Alabama (Fox 6) about the free cooking demo they will be performing for the public at the Central Library.

Last Cyber Security Made Simple Workshop Scheduled for October 12 at Central Library

What: Cyber Security Made Simple
When: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Details: Free but registration is required

The Central Library final Cyber Security Made Simple workshop for small business owners will be on October 12. The program is sponsored by the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development and 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 http://www.sawyersolutionsllc.com/, a local IT services company.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please contact Andy Mayo in the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development by phone at (205) 254-2774 or by email at Andy.Mayo@birminghamal.gov.

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. Frequently, small business owners think that, due to the size of their operations, they will not fall victim to the same kind of data hackers and online intruders that threaten big corporations. A recent survey conducted by Nationwide Insurance Company, however, indicated that nearly 65% of small businesses in the United States have experienced a computer information security breach. Still, many small business owners continue to operate under the assumption that they are not a cyber target and, therefore, do not take the necessary steps to properly secure their IT systems. Unfortunately, the consequences of this oversight can be devastating.

Since forming as an LLC in the Birmingham area in 2011, Sawyer Solutions has provided data security services and consultation to a variety of businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to security concerns, Sawyer Solutions is also engaged in providing its clients with a full range of IT services, including network infrastructure management, hardware and software maintenance, website design, database construction, and data recovery.

Money Matters Workshop Series Returns to Central Library Beginning October 18

The Birmingham Public Library is partnering again this year with UAB’s Regions Institute for Financial Education to offer a series of Money Matters workshops to be held each month at our Central location. Each of the workshops covers a different topic, but all are designed to help you gain a better understanding of your personal finances and begin making a plan for the future.

The first Money Matters workshop, "Wise Use of Credit," is scheduled for Wednesday October 18, 2017, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. All workshops will be held in the Youth Department’s Story Castle, which is located on 2nd floor of the Central Library. Representatives from the Regions Institute for Financial Education in UAB’s Collat School of Business will serve as instructors for each of the workshops.

What: Money Matters workshop series
When: Third Wednesday of the Month, October 2017 thru May 2018
Time: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library, Youth Department, 2nd floor, Story Castle

To learn more about the workshop series as well as other personal finance resources available at BPL, contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by calling 205-226-3691.

Below is a listing of the Money Matters workshop series by month from October 2017 through May 2018. The workshops are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, with the exception of the one scheduled for December 2017, which will be held on the 2nd Wednesday.

10/18/2017 – "Wise Use of Credit"
11/15/2017 – "Saving for Retirement"
12/13/2017 – "Holiday Shopping on a Budget" (held on 2nd Wednesday in December)
1/17/2018 – "Empower Yourself Financially"
2/21/2018 – "Maximize Your Personal Wealth"
3/21/2018 – "Protect Yourself from Identity Theft"
4/18/2018 – "Understanding Taxes"
5/16/2018 – "Your Credit Report"

Free Computer Classes in October at Central Library

The October computer class schedule is available. All classes are free but registration is required. For class descriptions and to register online, visit the Birmingham Public Library events calendar or call the Computer Commons Department at 205-226-3681.

Monday, October 09, 2017

October Equals Sports

Chicago CubsGolden State WarriorsNew England Patriots

The dog days of summer are finally over.  Even though fall officially started in late September, it certainly didn't feel like it.  In Alabama, I crave October because the weather finally starts to cool down, the sky is a brilliant blue with no haze, and you can finally turn off the air conditioner.  At least, you can turn it off on most days.  In addition to the brilliant weather, I enjoy October because of all the sports on television.  It's a great month to be a sports fan.

College and pro football are in full swing. The Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) are the only undefeated team while five other teams have only one loss.  Alabama (6-0) is still ranked number one and the AP Top 25 has twelve other undefeated teams starting Week 7 of the season.  The NBA has started its preseason with the regular season beginning on October 17th.  Several player moves should make for an interesting regular season.  Carmelo Anthony and Paul George have joined Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.  Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose have teamed up with LeBron James in Cleveland.  Chris Paul left the Los Angeles Clippers to play alongside James Harden in Houston. 

Major League Baseball has entered the postseason.  In the National League Division Series, the Chicago Cubs face the Washington Nationals, while the Arizona Diamondbacks compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Chicago and Washington have a game apiece but Los Angeles leads its series 2-0.   In the American League, the New York Yankees take on the Cleveland Indians while the Houston Astros lock horns with the Boston Red Sox.  Houston and Cleveland lead each series 2-1. 

As we march through October, enjoy the nicer weather and all the great sports.  The World Series is right around the corner and college basketball returns in November.  Be sure to stop by the library to check out some of our interesting sports titles.

Eat Drink Read Write Starts October 1 at Central Library

The Birmingham Public Library’s Eat Drink Read Write festival is a culinary and literary experience that highlights Birmingham’s burgeoning food landscape. The 2017 festival brings together food, culinary arts, and literature in a fun and engaging format.

Come and sample amazing dishes from all over the globe and hear the wonderful stories behind them!

Sunday, October 1, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Central Library 
Food Stories: A Cultural & Culinary Journey
How do cultural experiences inform culinary creations? Join chefs from the Pizitz Food Hall as they discuss their culinary journeys and the experiences that shaped their palates and inspired their passions. Sample “off menu” selections created especially for the evening. REV Birmingham’s Dion Gordon moderates the discussion. Chefs participating in the food panel are: Abhi Sainju of MoMo; Amanshiva Takele of Ghion Hall Ethiopian Restaurant; Kimberly McNair Brock of Bitty’s Living Kitchen/REV Reveal Kitchen; and Eli Markshtien of Eli’s Jerusalem Grill.

$20 admission includes: Samples of signature dishes prepared by the four featured chefs from the Pizitz Food Hall, as well as samples from local restaurants, music, and complimentary beer/wine. Purchase tickets online at a discount on Groupon

Monday, October 2, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Arrington Auditorium, Central Library 
Grow It & Eat It! Instant Garden
Yard too small for a garden? No yard at all? You can still have a garden! From corn in a five-gallon bucket to salad in a pot, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) will show you how to grow food in the most unusual spaces. Free admission

Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Arrington Auditorium, Central Library 
WHAT WAS THAT?! Social Media + Food Trends Panel Discussion
From sushi donuts to rolled ice cream, food sharing on social media sparks trends. Join local food bloggers and Joy King, TV host of Dining Out with Comedienne Joy, to discuss the influence of social media on food in Birmingham and the nation. Speakers: Emily Brown, author, Birmingham Food: A Magic City Menu; Russell Hooks, founder, Happenin's in the 'Ham; Tara Massouleh, assistant editor, Birmingham Magazine; Janece Maze, lifestyle blogger, Eat Drink Savor Life; Rocky Prince, executive chef, Itta Bena Wind Creek Montgomery; Julia Sayers, editor-in-chief, Birmingham Magazine; Justin White, co-owner, Cosecha Urban KitchenFree admission

Friday, October 6, 2017, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Central Library 
Bards & Brews Spoken Word Poetry Slam
Spoken word poets from across Alabama compete for cash prizes, while attendees sample SweetWater craft beer and the sounds of hip hop artists Shaheed & DJ Supreme. Performance artist Voice Porter hosts this showcase of homegrown talent. Free admission

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 5:30 p.m., Central Library
Wenonah High School Culinary Arts Program
Teens in the award-winning Wenonah High School Culinary Arts Program will present a cooking demonstration and tasting featuring delectable dishes mastered during the school year. Meet our future chefs and restaurateurs! Free admission

August 30-September 30, 2017, Central Library and online through BPL website, Twitter, and Instagram
Six-Word Food Story Contest
In only six words, tell us your food story using Twitter, Instagram, or email. The judges are storyteller Dolores Hydock and culinary writer Fletcher Harvey. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded on Friday, October 6, at the Bards & Brews event. See BPL website for details and send us your very, very short story. Free submission

Tell us your short, short, short story about food and you may win a prize.  Here’s the link for rules and details: http://www.bplonline.org/programs/EatDrinkFest/2017/Contest

BPL’s 2017 Eat Drink Read Write Festival is made possible by donations from the following: Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library, EvaBank, Maynard Cooper & Gale, SweetWater Brewing, Dining Out With Comedienne Joy, Birmingham City Councilor Jay Roberson, Vi's Pies, Kat's Kreations, Taj India, Taco Morro Loco, Tropcialeo, Black Pearl, and US Foods.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Central Library to Host Bards & Brews Poetry Slam October 6

What: Bards & Brews spoken word poetry slam
When: Friday, October 6, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library
Details: BPL’s popular spoken word poetry and craft beer event returns in a poetry slam format as part of the 2017 Eat Drink Read Write festival. Shaheed & DJ Supreme will be performing live at 6:30 p.m. and poetry will begin to flow just after 7:00 p.m. Must be 18 or older to enter and 21 or older to drink beer.

Join us October 6 at the Central Library for the return of the poetry slam format of Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library’s popular spoken word poetry and craft beer event. The Bards & Brews poetry slam will be a part of BPL’s 2017 Eat Drink Read Write festival.

The slam will include cash prizes of $300 and $200 for the first and second place winners. BPL will be observing Southern Fried Slam rules for this event: poets will be competing over three rounds until only two poets remain for the final round. The judges will be chosen from members of the audience.

Sign up list for the slam will begin at 6:30 pm. The renowned hip-hop group Shaheed & DJ Supreme will be performing live at 6:30 p.m. and poetry will begin to flow just after 7 p.m. Free beer samples will be provided for attendees 21 and up by SweetWater Brewing Co., Babalu, and Wishes & Wonders are providing door prizes.

Bards & Brews is free, but attendees must be 18 and older to enter, and 21 or older to drink beer. IDs will be checked.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Birmingham Public Library Genealogy Workshops Scheduled for October 2017

October is Family History Month, and the Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department has scheduled many classes to assist patrons doing research, including Google Your Peeps, the last Beyond the Basics of Genealogy class for 2017.

Also, there is exciting news for patrons. Since FamilySearch has ceased lending microfilm, the Southern History Department has secured increased digital access to the FamilySearch website. This will add exclusive access to approximately 25 percent of the 1.5 million rolls of microfilm already converted to digital images. FamilySearch's increased digital access is only available at Central Library. If you would like to confirm the availability of BPL’s access to a particular digital image, please send the direct web address/URL to askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us.

The Southern History Department has also subscribed to the popular Newspapers.com Library Edition – Southeast database. This collection contains digital images of microfilmed newspapers from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Don’t expect full runs of all titles; some titles have very few digitized pages.

In addition, the Alabama Department of Archives and History has partnered with Newspapers.com to digitize numerous Alabama newspapers. Newspapers.com Library Edition – Southeast database is available in all BPL locations and is also available remotely to Birmingham residents.

For those who use the BPL Archives Department to do research, Archives is closed through October 9 due to maintenance on the heating and air system. Check the BPL website after October 9 to be sure the work has been completed on schedule.

Schedule of genealogy workshops in October:
Monday, October 9, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Vestavia Hills Library
From Cards to Computers: Planning a Research Visit – Finding the resources you need is one of the most important parts of genealogy research. In this class, you will learn the best methods to locate resources quickly, narrow your search, and maximize your time in a library.

Tuesday, October 10, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Bessemer Public Library
Mind Your Own (Family) Business – Did your ancestors own a pharmacy, furniture shop, or other business? Many genealogists know that their ancestors owned or started a business. This 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.

Tuesday, October 10, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Southern History Department, Central Library
Introduction to Genealogy – Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey.

Tuesday, October 17, 9:15-10:15 a.m., Regional Library Computer Center, Central Library
FindMyPast – This hands-on class will introduce you to Findmypast, our newest genealogy database. Findmypast is an ever-expanding collection of over 2 billion historical records from around the world. We will cover some of the most popular record collections and tips on how to make your database searches more effective.

Sunday, October 22, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Southern History Department, Central Library
Introduction to Genealogy – Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey.

Sunday, October 22, 3:00-4:00 p.m., Hoover Public Library
Introduction to Genealogy – Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey.

Thursday, October 26, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Avondale Regional Branch Library
Introduction to Genealogy – Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey.

Saturday, October 28, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Arrington Auditorium, Central Library
Google Your Peeps – What do you want to know about your ancestors? Everything. The Internet is a great tool for genealogy, but are you using it to its full potential? This workshop will teach you how to create a research template and look for details that will help you discover more about your ancestors using search engines, genealogy databases, and a few other, perhaps surprising websites.

Tuesday, October 31, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Regional Library Computer Center, Central Library
Using FamilySearch.org – Take a detailed look at the features of www.FamilySearch.org, a website that allows you to research your ancestry for free.

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy workshops are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register for workshops held at any Birmingham Public Library location, register online through the BPL events calendar or call the department or branch. To register for an offsite workshop, call the participating library.
For more information, go to http://www.bplonline.org/locations/central/southern/. Like the Southern History Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernHistoryBPL.

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