Showing posts from October, 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 y…

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 busi…

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…

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 cl…

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.

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 sup…

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 Five Points Star singer/songwriter contest will be an online and day-of-the-festival competition with the various Birmi…

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.

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…

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

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 P…

#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 polic…

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?

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…

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

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 seri…

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 so…

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!

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.

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 …

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 fiancé.

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 h…

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, K…

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.

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 s…

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 st…

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, 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

Starting and operating a smal…

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 f…

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.

October Equals Sports

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.  I…

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; a…

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 …

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

The Southern History Department has also subscribed to the popular Library Edition – Southeast database. This collection contains digital images of microfilmed newspaper…