Showing posts from September, 2018

BPL Spinners Club Hosting “Spooky Music” Spotlight on October 16

The BPL Spinners Club is getting in a “spooky mood” in preparation for Halloween 2018. On Tuesday, October 16, 6:00–7:00 p.m., in the Central Library Create205 Learning Lab, the club will celebrate “Spooky Music.” Treats will be provided.

BPL Spinners Club, founded by Russell Lee of the Arts, Literature and Sports Department, is a music-based program in which attendees listen to preselected music recordings and then open the floor for brief discussions about them. The club debuted in February and explores a different genre of music monthly.

“October’s BPL Spinners Club is truly going to be a ghoulish and macabre listening experience," Lee said. "I promised Vampira (played by Cyndi Barnett of the Catalog Department) I would include Thriller on the playlist."

Lee, an accomplished pianist, said it has been a joy meeting in the library’s laid back, relaxed atmosphere with BPL patrons who have a passion for music. This summer Lee took the BPL Spinners Club on a tour of libr…

Central Library’s Money Matters Workshops for 2018/2019 to Focus on Retirement Issues

What: Money Matters Retirement Planning workshop series
When: Second Wednesday of the month, October 2018–May 2019
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, 4th floor

Retirement is something that most of us look forward to. It is indeed an appealing notion to think that one day you will not have to get up every day and go to work. But retirement can also be a troubling notion as well, especially if you are worried about your financial situation. Concerns about money and finances are the primary reason that people do not enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.

Perhaps these concerns can never be totally alleviated, but thoughtful financial planning can certainly help to lessen the stress that we feel when we contemplate our post-work years.

Planning for retirement is the focus of the Birmingham Public Library’s 2018/2019 edition of Money Matters. Once again, this series of workshops is made possible through a partnership between BPL and the Regio…

The Dannon Project, BPL Partner to Provide Social Services for Library Patrons

The Dannon Project and the Birmingham Public Library System have partnered to create opportunities for Birmingham citizens looking for a second chance at life.

Between early October through mid-December 2018, library patrons can schedule one-on-one sessions with a Dannon Project social worker to address personal barriers to success. Dannon Project staff then connect them to various service providers to assist with housing, employment, and healthcare, including mental health.

The Dannon Project began providing assistance for BPL patrons desiring social services at the Central Library in May of this year. During August and September, the Dannon Project and BPL partnered to provide one-on-one sessions with a social worker at five libraries across the city: Five Points West Regional Branch Library, Avondale Regional Branch Library, Southside Branch Library,East Lake Branch Library, and West End Branch Library.

Central Library manager Ka’ryn Davis-West has worked for BPL for years and seen…

Bards & Brews Poetry Slam at Central Library October 5

Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library's popular spoken-word poetry/craft beer program, is hosting its first poetry slam of 2018 at the Central Library Grand Reading Room on Friday, October 5, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

A slam is a competition using elimination rounds for the performance of poetry, judged by a panel chosen from the audience. The poetry slam is open to members of the public who pay a $5 fee to enter the competition. Voice Porter will emcee the event.

The Bards & Brews slam is free to attendees 18 and older; you must be at least 21 to drink the free craft beer samples. The first place winner of the poetry slam will receive $250; the second place winner will receive $150; and the third place winner will receive $50.

BPL hosts Bards & Brews monthly except December, usually on the first Friday evening. For more information and upcoming dates, visit Bards & Brews on Facebook or the BPL events calendar.

Prizes are made possible by a generous donation from t…

Storytime at the Birmingham Public Library Popular with Young Patrons

What child does not like being read a good book? If you have children in Birmingham, the Birmingham Public Library has plenty of locations across the city offering storytime for kids in day cares, schools, and youth groups looking for activities that entertain and educate young minds at the same time.

Every Friday, patrons at Southside Branch Library receive a visit from BPL storytellers reading books that make them laugh or carry them on adventures worldwide via the written word.

On Thursday, September 20, Wylam Branch Library hosted a popular program, Storytime with Ms. Fontaine. Storyteller Fontaine Alison of Five Points West Regional Branch Library leads the youth in weekly stories, songs, movement, and more that encourage development of early literacy skills in  children.

Also September 20, the Eastwood Branch Library hosted its weekly storytime program while the Avondale Regional Branch Library hosted a similar program, It's Time for Tales, an action-packed preschool storyti…

Birmingham Public Library Hosting Events to Celebrate Family History Month in October

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting 13 different free programs
throughout October to celebrate Family History Month.

Since being passed by Congress in 2001, Family History Month has been observed annually in the United States during the month of October to promote the importance of family and researching your family tree.

If you have been thinking of researching your family tree, getting a DNA test done, or desire to learn more about how to preserve important family photos and documents, BPL has several services and resources available to assist you.

Make plans now to attend these free workshops throughout October, all taking place at the Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library.

Using Government Documents for Genealogy
Monday, October 1, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC), 4th Floor
Many government agencies offer resources for genealogical research. Learn how to look beyond census records and find genea…

North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club Reads The Hate U Give

Banned Books Week, an annual national event celebrating the freedom to read, kicks off this Sunday, September 23, and concludes on Saturday, September 29, 2018. 

One of the top ten challenged books of 2017, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, was the August book of the month by North Avondale Chapter Chatters Book Club. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, Thomas' debut novel addresses the issues of racism and police violence with heart and honesty when 16-year-old Starr Carter witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer. 
North Avondale Library branch manager Saundra Ross said the club had a fascinating discussion about the book, which deals with the controversial subject of race and police shootings of blacks in America.The next meeting is September 26 at 10:30 a.m.

A movie version of The Hate U Give will be released on a limited basis October 4 and nationwide on October 19, 2018. View the movie trailer
Read an interview with the author, Angie Tho…

Chess Instructor at East Lake Library Teaching Kids Thinking Skills

David Harris became fascinated by the game of chess as an 18-year-old Army private stationed in Hawaii while watching fellow soldiers play. Four decades later, he is now a nationally certified chess instructor who volunteers his time every Monday to teach young patrons at the East Lake Branch Library how to play chess.

“Chess is a fascinating game that teaches young people skills that help them in life—patience, how to make wise decisions, and how to overcome mistakes,” Harris said during a break from teaching a couple of sixth-grade Birmingham students after school at the East Lake Library.

Every Monday at 3:00 p.m., Harris leads the Say Yes to Chess club, free lessons for Birmingham students visiting the library after school. He even teaches chess to adults who desire to learn the game. Several years ago, Harris formed a chess club at nearby Woodlawn High School that in its heyday had 40 members.

William Darby, branch manager at East Lake Library, said Harris' chess lessons hav…

Smithfield Library Hosting Traveling Postcard Exhibit of Iconic Scenes across Alabama

A traveling exhibit from Troy University Libraries is making a stop at the Smithfield Branch Library.

Wade Hall Postcards: Historical Scenes of Alabama will officially open at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018, and run through October 11, 2018. The exhibit features postcards ranging from the early 1900s to the 1960s from the Wade Hall Collection housed at the Troy University Archives in Troy, Alabama. Hall, a native of Bullock County, was an avid postcard collector, owning about 25,000 vintage postcards from his worldwide travels.

An author, folklorist, and professor, Hall donated his extensive collection to the Troy University Archives and the University of Alabama (UA) Libraries. Hall, who died in 2015, was an alumnus of Troy State Teachers College and obtained a master’s degree from UA before becoming a professor at universities across the country.

The exhibit originally opened on the Troy University campus in 2016 and is traveling the state. About 400 of Hall’s postcards…

Roblox: Is It Safe?

by Alisha Johnson, Ensley Branch Library

Over the last year Roblox, which is an online game for kids where they can create and build their own games and play other games in a multiplayer environment, has created quite a stir and has given rise to the question of whether or not the game is safe for our children. Roblox does not require a minimum age to create an account and begin playing, but it does offers in-app currency that allows the user to purchase clothes, games, weapons, avatars, and other objects.

Some would say that the game is safe but that parents should definitely be alert of its hidden dangers. There are opportunities for predators and those with less-than-good intentions to communicate with our children and exchange inappropriate messages through chat. There are a number of ways to safeguard our children while allowing them to take part in the online gaming world and they include: enabling privacy settings, reporting bad behaviors, and blocking those users who present …

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

by Jenn Seiler-Patrick, Five Points West Regional Branch Library

Three Dark Crowns
Kendare Blake

This young-adult fantasy book begins with the cryptic poem:

Three dark queens
are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.

Three dark sisters
all fair to be seen,
two to devour
and one to be Queen.

And from there, I knew this book is meant for me—as someone who is a fan of true crime and has often been accused of having a dark sense of “humor”—I was all in. Throw in magical powers, and I’m in heaven. The three dark queens of our story each wield a remarkable power. Or at least they should. From birth, Katherine should be able to eat poison and not sicken. Arsinoe should be able to make plants grow and control animals. But the only sister who is able to use her magic is Mirabella, the strongest queen in many years, an elemental who can control lightening and shake the earth. So it seems that we know who the last queen standing will be…or do we?

This was one of my favorite fanta…

Steps to Starting a Franchise Business Seminars Offered at Noon, Evening on September 24 at Central Library

What: Steps to Starting a Franchise Business seminar
Dates and Times: Monday, September 24, 2018 (12:00-1:00 p.m. or 6:00-7:00 p.m.)
Monday, October 22, 2018 (12:00-1:00 p.m.)
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor
Cost: Free but registration is required

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) and Birmingham SCORE will be offering Steps to Starting a Franchise Business, a monthly how-to seminar on franchising at the Central Library. The seminar will explore how franchising can take the risk out of starting your own business and becoming self-employed. Greg Foss, a career transition coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source® and SCORE mentor, will facilitate the seminar.

Topics to be covered in the seminar include: common myths and truths about franchising, the importance of knowing your personal goals before taking the plunge, non-standard ownership options, how to finance your business, how to research and select the right franchise, and resources …

Teens Engineer BHM Is Coming to a Birmingham Public Library Near You This Fall

What: Teens Engineer BHM
Details: Teens Engineer BHM is a partnership between Birmingham Public Library (BPL) and The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering that teaches teens interested in math and science careers engineering skills, robotics, and computer coding.

For information about Teens Engineer BHM, call Bessie Miller of BPL’s Central Library at 205-226-3655. Click on this link to find out more:

Middle and high school students with a passion for engineering will learn how to program robots, how to solder and gain computer coding skills this fall at Birmingham Public Library locations across the city. Teens Engineer BHM kicked off its fall after-school schedule this week.

Between September and late November, the popular program will be held at 12 of BPL’s 19 locations: Central Library, Avondale Regional Branch Library, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library, Five Point…

Gaming Days Returns to Woodlawn Branch Library

Now that school is back in session, the Woodlawn Branch Library has brought back one of its more popular after-school activities—Gaming Days at Woodlawn Library.

On Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., youth of all ages are invited to participate in friendly competition—both in video games such as X-Box One, Retro NES, Wii, and classic board games such as chess and checkers.

On September 12 two teens who had just finished playing checkers engaged in a spirited card game. "Uno!" one yelled, slapping his cards down on the table. Across the room, two other teenagers were competing in a game of Wii tennis.

Woodlawn Library branch manager Pamela Jessie said that the library began Gaming Days in the early spring and it was an instant hit. They took a break to focus on 2018 Summer Learning activities, and decided to resume Gaming Days after students from nearby Woodlawn High School returned to school.

“It gives the kids something fun to do after school,” Jessie said. “Gami…

Powderly Library Hosting Diabetes Prevention Workshop Series

What: Everyone with Diabetes Counts workshops
Where:Powderly Branch Library
When: Remaining classes are September 27, October 4, 11, and 25, all at 10:00 a.m.
Who: Medicare recipients with diabetes or pre-diabetes, their family members or caregivers; any remaining slots are open to the public.
Details: Pre-registration requested. Register online through the BPL events calendar or call the library at 205-925-6178.

A diabetes educator is conducting a series of workshops at Powderly Library designed to help community residents prevent diabetes and prevent health problems due to uncontrolled blood sugars.

Maxine Starks, a performance improvement adviser at Birmingham’s Alabama Quality Assurance Foundation (AQAF), began conducting the free workshop series Everyone with Diabetes Counts on September 6 at Powderly Library. The remaining dates are September 27 and October 4, 11, and 25.

The classes will focus on these topics:

Diabetes and its health risksHealthy eating and exerciseTalking with you…

Book Review: Summer Hours in the Robbers Library

by Jonathan Newman, Avondale Regional Branch Library

Summer Hours in the Robbers Library
Sue Halpern

Kit (formerly Katherine) has changed her name and moved far away after being caught up in a wrongful death case involving her former husband. She works as the head librarian in the fading industrial town of Seldom Falls, PA. As the narrative unfolds, it changes from the viewpoint of Kit to those of a newly unemployed Wall Street whiz kid named Rusty to a 15-year-old girl, a member of a “Rainbow Family,” named Sunny. Sunny is sentenced to community service for stealing a dictionary from the mall bookstore and will serve it through the summer in the Riverton Public Library.

Sunny (full name: Solstice Arkinsky) lives with her parents, Willow and Steve, and relates various stages of their nomadic life traveling cross country to sell handmade crafts at various fairs and malls. Sunny is 15 and opinionated and questioning—not what Kit really needs. Several years into her self-imposed ex…

Hispanic Heritage Month

by Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library

The contributions and accomplishments of Hispanic Americans are celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15. This time is officially designated as National Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration first began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 at the request of Congress and was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The week-long celebration was extended to a month on August 17, 1988, by President Ronald Reagan.

The influence of Hispanic cultures is deeply felt throughout the southeastern United States. Mobile, Florida, and Louisiana have all been under Spanish rule at various points in time. The effects of Spain’s early explorations to North America can still be observed in place names, architecture, religion, and many other ways. The oldest European settlement in the United States is St. Augustine, FL, settled by the Spanish in 1565 (that’s 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims l…

Q&A with Eve Parker, AKA Popular Avondale Library Storyteller Ms. Eve

Eve Parker was in a zone, leading about two dozen kids in a dance to the Pharrell Williams hit song “Happy,” then stopping the music and coaxing the children to hug their neighbor.

It was a fitting scene as a few minutes earlier Parker had been reading a book called Hug, and used the story to teach the children how to spell the word "hug."  The storytime program held September 7 at Southside Branch Library is among many led throughout the year by Parker aka Ms. Eve, Avondale Regional Branch Library’s popular storyteller.

Though Parker has only been a full-time storyteller for BPL for four years, she has been involved at Avondale Library since she was first hired as a part-time storyteller 20 years ago. Ironically, she first became acquainted with Avondale Library while bringing her kids to storytime. “I brought my children to storytime at the Avondale Library on a regular basis for 11 years—from the time they were born until my youngest started kindergarten,” Ms. Eve said.

"The Price of Incivility: Lack of Respect Hurts Morale and the Bottom Line"

by Kelly Laney, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

"The Price of Incivility: Lack of Respect Hurts Morale and the Bottom Line" by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson from Everyday Emotional Intelligence: Big Idea 

Did you know that being nice to folks doesn’t just make work more pleasant, it actually promotes your business or organization? Christine Porath and Christine Pearson, writing in an essay for the book Everyday Emotional Intelligence: Big Ideas and Practical Advice on How to Be Human at Work, state that incivility at work hurts morale and the bottom line. Customers who view an employee treating another employee with disrespect can form a negative image of the business and avoid returning. A disrespectful working environment affects employees’ creativity, performance, and commitment.

Incivility can take many forms, and are sometimes the result of thoughtlessness instead of malice. Gross incivility would include publicly correcting, criticizing, …

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar Scheduled for September 18 at Central Library

What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: Tuesday, September 18 (3rd Tuesday of each month, July-October 2018)
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where:Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

The Birmingham Public Library, in conjunction with Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and the City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, will be hosting the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business from July to October 2018. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the following Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library: September 18, October 16.

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 source…

Public Can Obtain Passports at Five Birmingham Public Library Locations

Do you need to get a US passport? It is now easier than ever in Birmingham. You can now obtain US passports or have questions answered at five Birmingham Public Library locations across the city.

The Central Library downtown and four regional libraries—Avondale, Five Points WestNorth Birmingham, and Springville Road—will serve as official Passport Acceptance Facilities. The service will be available during the following times byappointment only: Saturdays, 9:00 a.m–12:00 p.m.; Mondays and Tuesdays, 5:00–7:00 p.m. You must supply your own photo.

BPL employees at all five facilities have undergone months of Passport Acceptance Agent Training from the New Orleans Passport Center of the US. Department of State.

For more information on what’s needed to obtain your passport and charges involved, please see the following information:

In Memory of September 11, 2001

by Leigh Wilson, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 & the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back
Jere Longman

Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 & the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back is the moving account of the extraordinary passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93, which was the fourth plane hijacked on September 11, 2001. New York Times reporter Jere Longman details the remarkable lives of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93, set against the backdrop of the terrible events that unfolded during the airplane’s hijacking. Many of the passengers phoned their families after the hijacking occurred and learned of the other hijackings, which had used commercial airplanes as suicide missions to attack the World Trade Center. This is the story of the heroic efforts of these passengers and crew to fight back against the terrorists, ultimately saving perhaps hundreds or thousands of lives. You will weep but also cheer with the hero…

From Page to Stage: And in This Corner: Cassius Clay – 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: And in This Corner: Cassius Clay – A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of School House Rock Live!, 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 And in This Corner: Cassius Clay production on October 6 or 7, 2018.

Ding! Ding! Ding! A young Cassius Clay Jr. takes his first steps into the ring and on the path to becoming boxing legend Muhammad Ali. This historical drama takes our audiences back to Jim Crow Louisville where, despite a culture of …

1-2-3 Play with Me Program for Parents and Young Kids Kicks Off Fall Season September 6

The Birmingham Public Library is kicking off new sessions of 1-2-3 Play with Me at four library locations.

Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding, but is also an educational experience for your child. We are providing a special time and place for you to come to the public library and spend one-on-one time playing with your child. This five-week program involves children birth through age 3 and their parents or caregivers. The library will have age appropriate toys, books, and art activities just for you and your child. Also, we have invited special guests from the community to join us each week to answer your questions about parenting.

1-2-3 Play with Me emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children, facilitates early intervention and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy. 1-2-3 Play with Me is the signature event for Family Place Libraries and is a community project grant recipient of the Junior League of Birm…

Wylam Library, Faith Chapel Christian Center Partner on Summer Push, Vittles for Vitality Programs

For nearly a decade Faith Chapel Christian Centerhas been a strong community partner with the nearby Wylam Branch Library.
Leadership at Faith Chapel, which began in Wylam in April 1981 in the home of founder Pastor Michael D. Moore, feel it is a part of their “responsibility as a church to be an active partner and supporter of community initiatives at Wylam Library,” said Debra Blaylock, community liaison with Faith Chapel.

“We feel that helping to build our community and families is something that requires collaboration and support from everyone in the community,” Blaylock said. “When everyone does their part, then success is much easier to accomplish and it’s not a burden on any one agency, church, or business.”

Since 2009 Faith Chapel has provided monthly financial support to Wylam Library. Wylam Library branch manager Selina Johnson said Faith Chapel’s assistance plays a vital role in helping the library provide valuable services for their patrons, from after-school snacks to a summ…