Showing posts from April, 2018

Celebrate Children's Book Week at BPL with Fun Programs and Voting

The Birmingham Public Library is proud to be hosting a variety of programs in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Programs include storytimes, drop-in arts & crafts programs, and family night events. Check out the BPL events calendar at for a complete listing of activities.

And children and teens: Voice your choice! Voting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is open through May 11, 12:00 a.m. EST, at Winners will be announced live on May 30 in New York City at BookExpo 2018.

Photo Exhibit – Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950

What:Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950 photography exhibit
When: May 23-August 31, 2018, during library hours
Where:Central Library, Fourth Floor Gallery
Cost: Free and open to the public
Contact: Jim Baggett at or 205-226-3631

One of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Archives’ most popular exhibits, Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950, will again be on display in the Central Library’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

Including almost 300 images from the Archives’ collections and private collections, the exhibit highlights the simple snapshot photos that preserve a moment, tell a story, and record life’s milestones. Snapshots illustrate the common bonds of people creating their own visual biographies—mothers chronicling their children’s growth, young men and women proudly leaning against automobiles, families playing in snow, friends being goofy. And for Birmingham, a place often remembered for its divisions, snapshots show the common interests, affecti…

Jefferson County Library Cooperative to Celebrate 40 Years with Birthday Bash, The Great Give

In 1978 the Jefferson County Library Cooperative was established to link all locally-funded city libraries in the county. Today, 22 member libraries—with 40 locations—offer countywide sharing of countless services and resources with the "One County, One Card" system.

A 40th Birthday Bash kickoff event will be held on Friday, May 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at the Homewood Public Library. Bring the entire family for fun on the bounce house, food trucks, face painting, and more!

The Great Give is an online fundraising campaign that will kick off Tuesday, May 8, and run through May 9, benefiting the Public Libraries In Jefferson County as the library cooperative celebrates its 40th anniversary.

All funds raised through The Great Give will help to further the significant work of the 40 municipal libraries in the Jefferson County area.

To promote the campaign on social media sites, the 40 Public Libraries in Jefferson County will be utilizing the hashtag #TheGreatGive.

“We encourage Jeff…

All-New Freegal Music Service Launched in April Includes New Apps and Weekly Playlists

Earlier in April an all-new Freegal Music Service was launched, the by-product of 18 months of work which has also included the feedback of patrons. Patrons will be able to use their existing credentials, and all their playlists and stored music will be preserved. Patrons will receive their customary notification from the stores that an update is ready, and those that allow automatic updates will have a seamless experience. New FAQs and a video tutorial will guide the end users through the site.

The highlights of the new service include:

A completely new set of mobile apps that take advantage of new technology to allow the same robust website experience in the palm of the patron’s hand. This is what the future of our service looks like—everything on the phone. Great discovery, great functionality, and an intuitive and clean interface.An emphasis on curated music. We know that of our almost 3 million users, 50% of them come to the site looking to discover music rather than finding some…

Book Review: The Tender Bar: A Memoir

by Richard Grooms, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

The Tender Bar: A Memoir
J. R. Moehringer

I have no interest in bars. I don’t drink and I can’t stand cigarette smoke. I was not the ideal reader for The Tender Bar. Not in theory anyway. In reality, I’m a fan of memoirs and, after reading the review blurbs in the front of the book, I gave it a try. I was captivated early on and I somehow knew I’d have a very good reading experience ahead of me. Turned out I was right. Dickens is the name of the bar at the center of Manhasset, Long Island, and J.R. Moehringer’s early life. It was where the “Little League, softball league, bowling league and Junior League” all met. It gives you the best overview, nine yards and cross section you could get of Manhasset, and therefore sort of sums up America, or at least small town life.

Moehringer’s dysfunctional (this is a memoir) family meant an absent father, a grandfather so patriarchal he made sure all the women in the household never went …

Get Caught Up on the Marvel Universe before Seeing Avengers: Infinity War

Planning on seeing Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War this weekend? Before watching the war to end all wars, borrow the must-read graphic novels on hoopla and get caught up on everything in the Marvel Universe that’s led to this moment!

Southern History Book of the Month: History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Established in 1818

by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Established in 1818

Celebrations of the Alabama Bicentennial are now well under way, but this month’s selection is about a church that began when the area was still The Alabama Territory and statehood was yet to come. Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Hueytown, Alabama, is a pre-statehood church, established in 1818 in what was then called Rutledge Springs. It’s part of my earliest memories since it was my mother’s home church and many generations of her side of the family had worshipped and preached and married and been buried there. With a busy interstate highway running by it, Bethlehem as it was in its founding year seems far away and hard to imagine, but the History gives us some vivid pictures of those times, as in this passage about Bethlehem’s cemetery:
And alas, babies. Back then, many of them lived only one or two days, joining older children from around here who …

Progressive Taste & Trivia Finale at Sidebar

Last stop at the Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia will be at Sidebar with the winning team receiving a $250 Lakeview Prize Pack! Make sure you visit all participating establishments for trivia clues! More information is available at http://lakeviewtasteandtrivia.eventbrite.com

On the Menu for Lakeview Taste and Trivia, April 26

Show off your knowledge, impress your friends, get free food and drinks, and try to win the $250 Lakeview Prize Pack. The Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia event on April 26 begins at Tin Roof at 6:00 p.m. and ends at an after-party at Sidebar, where the winners will be announced. To purchase tickets and read more about it, visit

Shout out to Bird's Bar and Pizza for their offering of Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza as their
"Taste of Lakeview" free sampling for participants. They will also be featuring Tito's specialty cocktails.

At Moe's Original Bar B Que—six wings and a Tito's Lemonade or Bushwhacker!

Sky Castle is offering up Cajun Barbecue Wings.

Thirsty? Quench it at Innisfree Irish Pub with their special draft offering.

It's always pizza time at Slice. Lakeview Taste and Trivia participants can choose
either a Cheese or Pepperoni Slice if they are doing a round of trivia at this destination.

Resources about HIV/AIDS and Other STDs

by Samuel Rumore, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

On Thursday, April 26, AIDS Alabama is having their 9th annual Dining Out For Life event. This annual event gives the general public the opportunity to contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the local Birmingham community by going to locally participating restaurants with at least 25% of each bill going to AIDS Alabama.

A few of the restaurants participating in this event are also participating in Birmingham Public Library’s Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia event. So by participating in one event, you could be contributing to two great organizations.

Here are some facts and statistics to keep in mind about HIV/AIDS and other STDs in our area:

 “In 2014, there were an estimated 37,600 new HIV infections – down from 45,700 in 2008. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men bear the greatest burden by risk group, representing an estimated 26,200 of these new HIV infections.” (CDC,…

Springville Road Library's Body Changers Helps Participants with Healthy Lifestyle

by Kelly Laney, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

Body Changers is a group of folks who meet every Monday at 1:00 p.m. in the meeting room at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

It was formed by a volunteer, working with a staff member, who wanted to promote healthy dietary choices and offer encouragement to people who are trying to manage their weight. Using the library resources, participants weigh in privately, then enjoy a short presentation on some topic related to cooking, exercise, food plans, shopping, and making healthy choices. Members of the group share success stories and even, occasionally, pitfalls and setbacks. Group members can take turns presenting a program, but it is not necessary to share; everyone is invited to come and listen. Sometimes outside speakers are brought in to focus on specific aspects of weight management. Members set their own goals and choose their own food plans, are encouraged to consult with their doctors before starti…

Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia

So many fun places to go at Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia on 4/26! Some delicious stops include Moe's Bar B Que and Sky Castle. Tickets available at

Stop at Hattie B's during BPL's Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia on April 26

Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia on April 26—so many places to visit—so much free stuff! Get a free Taste of Lakeview at three stops along the way. Hattie B's will be serving up bacon cheese grits and medium heat chicken. Stay tuned for more sampling updates! #lakeviewtasteandtrivia

April 26 Personal Finance Program at Central Library Celebrates Money Smart Week

What: Leaving Room for Margin in Your Finances
When: Thursday April 26, 2018
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Where:Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor
Cost: Free and open to the public
Contact: For more information about this presentation, as well as other resources related to personal finance available at BPL, please contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at or by calling 205-226-3690.

Money and finances are of constant concern to most of us. In fact, money, or lack thereof, is always at, or near, the top of the list in the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey. Although it is pretty much impossible to eliminate all the stress caused by financial concerns, it is certainly possible to manage the stress better. A good place to start with managing your stress is to develop a better understanding of the concept of margin in your persona…

Trivia Winners to be Announced at Sidebar April 26

Lakeview Progressive Taste & Trivia winners will be announced at the after-party at Sidebar on April 26! Earn bragging rights and a $250 Lakeview Prize Pack. Remember: you have to play to be eligible to win!

Make Friends and Win Prizes

Looking for a fun team building experience? Sign up for the Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia event on April 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Preservation Week 2018

by Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library

The American Library Association (ALA) has designated April 22-28, 2018, as Preservation Week. This is the ideal time to focus on the importance of taking care of precious family photos, letters, and scrapbooks. Simple steps like storing your important documents away from direct sunlight or moisture, removing staples or metal paper clips, using archival safe folders, and handling them as little as possible can go a long way towards keeping them safe for generations to come. Of course, documents and photographs aren’t the only items that need special care and handling. The ALA website has webinars and tips for taking care of textiles, toys, and even money.

In celebration of Preservation Week, join us in the Regional Library Computer Center at the Central Library for a live webinar on Tuesday, April 24, at 1:00 p.m. We will be streaming Preserving Family Recipes. This workshop focuses on how to take care of handwritten r…

Vocabby’s World is Introduced at Several Neighborhood Libraries

by Selina Johnson, Wylam Branch Library

Those of us who have been around children or have children of our own can more than likely concur that from birth to around age six, children are like sponges that soak in information from their surroundings. Therefore, these ages are a crucial time for exposing children to vocabulary and language development. Nourishing children’s language and literacy experiences early in life will assist in preventing later difficulties with reading and writing. To this end, a program that will help support the vocabulary building of preschoolers and younger is being introduced at three of Birmingham Public Library (BPL) branches.

UAB's Alys Stephens Center and McWane Science Center have partnered to create Vocabby’s World, an educational vocabulary program. The McWane Center has invited BPL to offer this program at the Ensley, Powderly and Wylam Library branches. The ultimate goal is to develop vocabulary, reading-readiness, and problem-solving skills …

What Compelled Me to Write Murder on Shades Mountain

by Melanie S. Morrison

On August 4, 1931, two sisters and a friend, all from prominent white Birmingham families, went for a ride on Shades Mountain. What began as a pleasant ride on a summer’s afternoon ended in the tragic deaths of Augusta Williams, 22, and Jennie Wood, 26. The sole survivor, Nell Williams, 18, later testified that a black man wielding a gun had jumped on the sideboard of the car and demanded they drive to a secluded wooded area. In the struggle that ensued, Augusta Williams was mortally wounded and Jennie Wood died later in a Birmingham hospital.

Later that night, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Birmingham police deputized 250 white men for what became the largest manhunt in Jefferson County. Dozens of black men were arrested and detained as far away as Chicago. Weeks later, Nell Williams identified Willie Peterson as the assailant. With the exception of being black, Peterson bore little resemblance to the description Nell had given the police. P…

Progressive Taste and Trivia

Make your way through Lakeview for helpful hints to our Progressive Taste and Trivia event. Taking place on April 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. with Brown's Bar, Lou's Pub, and Slice as just a few of the many participating establishments!

Recent Winners of the I Am BPL and Innovative and Cool Awards

I Am BPL Award
Congratulations to Central Library staff Norman Griffin, Kary'n Davis-West, and Melvia Walton (not pictured) for receiving I Am BPL Awards. Griffin and Davis-West were honored for being first responders to Mayor Randall Woodfin's call for volunteers to man the temporary shelters for the homeless at the BJCC and Boutwell Auditorium during extremely cold temperatures last winter. Melvia Walton received an I Am BPL Award for her work in bringing the UniverSoul Circus to the Central Library.

I Am BPL Award is a quarterly stipend awarded to Birmingham Public Library employees who promote the mission of BPL through their work and commitment.

Innovative and Cool Award
East Lake Branch Library employees Patricia Douglas and Christina Zink were nominated by their branch manager, William Darby, for their proposal to form a fiber arts crafting group to elementary- and middle school-aged children. The group will meet bi-weekly with the goal of teaching participants to croche…

Take a Tasting Tour of Lakeview, Play Trivia, and Win Prizes

We are thrilled to have Bird's Bar and Pizza, Hattie B's, and Innisfree Irish Pub as stops along the Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia event on April 26. Make sure you get your tickets!

Birmingham Bound: Author Talk and Book Signing with Melanie S. Morrison on April 24 at Avondale Library

What: Author talk and book signing for Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham by Melanie S. Morrison
When: Tuesday, April 24, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Avondale Regional Branch Library
Cost: Free and open to the public. Copies of the book will available for purchase at the event for $26.95.
Contact: Jim Baggett at or 205-226-3631

On Tuesday, April 24, Birmingham's Melanie S. Morrison will hold a lecture about her book, Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birminghamat the Avondale Regional Branch Library. Her talk is a part of Birmingham Bound, a series of author talks and book signings by writers who researched their books using the Birmingham Public Library Archives and Manuscripts Department.

In Murder on Shades Mountain, Morrison tells the gripping and tragic true story of an alleged interracial attack and its aftermat…

Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia

Fun Fact: Tito's Handmade Vodka partners with more than 6,000 nonprofits, including the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library. Check out their swag and drink specials at the 4/26 Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia event! Visit to purchase tickets and see the list of participating Lakeview establishments.

2018 NBA Playoffs


Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia

Play trivia. Get free stuff. Join us for Lakeview Progressive Taste and Trivia on April 26. Visit for more info!

Celebrate Money Smart Week at the Birmingham Public Library by Learning More About Personal Finance

What: Leaving Room for Margin in Your Finances
When: Thursday April 26, 2018
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Where:Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center, 4th floor

Money and finances are of constant concern to most of us. In fact, money, or lack thereof, is always at, or near, the top of the list in the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey. Although it is pretty much impossible to eliminate all the stress caused by financial concerns, it is certainly possible to manage the stress better. A good place to start with managing your stress is to develop a better understanding of the concept of margin in your personal finances. Simply put, margin is the gap between your income and your expenses, and, generally speaking, the larger the gap is, the more options you have in your financial life. The trick, however, is learning how to create, and maintain, a margin that is suitable for your lifestyle.

To learn more about increasing…