Monday, September 23, 2019

Pro Bono Patent Assistance

By Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library

What: Pro Bono Patent Program
When: Thursday, October 10, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/4th floor/Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC)

Do you have an invention that you’d like to protect with a U.S. patent? You or your small business might be eligible for legal assistance in drafting and filing your application thanks to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Pro Bono Program. This program’s goal is to match underfunded inventors and businesses with volunteer patent professionals (lawyers or patent agents) who can guide you through the application process. The Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program has compiled a short list of requirements and guidelines for the program.

Learn more by attending our event on October 10, 2019, where you can meet representatives from the USPTO in Washington, D.C., and learn about other resources for inventors that are available locally. You’ll also learn how you can get started with your patent search here at the library. The Birmingham Public Library serves as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center and can provide would-be inventors with the tools needed to perform a basic patent search. Since novelty or newness is one of the requirements for a patent, a thorough search of previously issued patents is often the first step for most inventors.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Football Is Back!!!

College football players
NFL football players

September is here and football season has finally started.  We are in week 3 of the NFL season and week 4 of the college football season.  Can anyone say Antonio Brown?  It’s still very early in the NFL season, but some teams have started out strong.  In the AFC, the Patriots, Bills, Ravens, and Chiefs are undefeated.  On the flip side, the Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, Steelers and Broncos have not won a game.  In the NFC, the Cowboys, Packers, Rams, 49ers and Seahawks are undefeated while the Giants, Redskins, Panthers, and Cardinals have no wins.  The Cardinals actually have one loss and one tie.

In college football, the leaders of the AP poll are defending their rankings with undefeated records.  At this point in the season, several teams haven’t played any conference games yet, but they are holding their own against nonconference teams.  The teams who competed in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Clemson and Alabama, are ranked #1 and #2 respectively.  Oklahoma, who competed against Alabama in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff, is ranked #5.  There are a lot of good teams in the top 10 and college football fans know that things can change quickly.

Football season is off to a great start.  We wait all year for fall to arrive so we can head out to the stadium, go to the sports bar, or sit in front of the TV to watch a great game.  I hope all of you are as excited about the return of football as I am.  Whether you love college football, pro football or both, enjoy the season. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Central Library Hosting Passport Fair on Saturday, October 5

What: Birmingham Public Library Passport Fair
When: Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library’s Linn-Henley Research Building, 3rd Floor
Details: The passport fair is open to all citizens planning to travel abroad soon and in need of a passport. No appointments are necssary; walk-ins are welcome. Passport photo service will be available. Local travel agents will be available to help plan your next getaway.

If you are thinking about traveling abroad for the holidays and need a passport, plan on being at the Birmingham Public Library’s passport fair on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

The passport fair will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Central Library’s Linn-Henley Research Building, 3rd Floor.  BPL will have staff available to provide passport service so you can get the process started without an appointment. BPL held another passport fair earlier this year in April. 

No appointments are necessary; walk-ins are welcome. A passport photo service will be available for a $15 charge. Local travel agents will be available to help plan your next getaway.

Click on this link for details on forms and documentation needed. 

To speed up the process, before you go to the fair, download and complete a passport application from the U.S. Department of State passport website: 

All applicants must appear in person. Minors under the age of 16 must appear with both parents.

 Please be aware that, on average, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to receive your passport in the mail after completing your application. You can request expedited service for an added fee.

 For more information about the BPL Passport Fair, call 205-226-3601 or 205-226-3600.

 BPL became an official Passport facility in September 2018 after several employees underwent months of Passport Acceptance Agent Training. The passport service is available at the Central Library downtown and four regional libraries —Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road.

Linn-Henley Research Library to Host Bards & Brews Poetry Slam October 11

Bards & Brews host Voice Porter at recent poetry event. BPL is hosting a poetry slam October 11 at Linn-Henley Research Library. First place will win $300; 2nd place $200; 3rd place $100. For more information, go to

Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library's popular spoken-word poetry/craft beer program, is hosting its first poetry slam of 2019 on Friday, October 11 at the Central Library's Linn-Henley Research Library.

The event will be held in the Arrington Auditorium on the Fourth Floor of the Linn-Henley. Musical entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. featuring G’s Band, led by Garry Thomas, a network administrator for the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, which includes BPL. Poetry will begin to flow at 7:00 p.m.

Voice Porter, who was recently featured in a national spotlight by Starbucks Coffee, will serve as emcee and host.

A poetry slam is a competition using elimination rounds for the performance of spoken word poetry, judged by a panel chosen from the audience. BPL's poetry slam is open to members of the public who pay a $5 fee to enter the competition. The October 11 slam will be limited to nine participants.

The Bards & Brews poetry slam is free to attendees 18 and older; you must be at least 21 to drink the free craft beer samples. The first prize winner of the poetry slam will get $300; the second place winner will receive $200, and the third place winner will receive $100.

Bards & Brews is supported by the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library. Hop City Beer & Wine of Birmingham will handle the beer pouring.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Real MENtors: Fatherhood to Begin October 3 at West End Library

West End Branch Library in October is starting a monthly program designed to highlight the vital role fathers play in a child's life.

"Real MENtors: Fatherhood" will be held the first Thursday of every month, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. beginning Thursday, October 3, 2019, at West End Branch Library, 1348 Tuscaloosa Avenue SW.

Real MENtors: Fatherhood is a monthly program that will discuss the importance of a father's presence in a child's life. Library Assistant Denise Ford, who came up with the idea, said the program aims to encourage young men to be active participants in their children's lives.

Ford said her inspiration for the program came from a famous quote from author Frank Pittman in his 1994 book,  Man Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity  “Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man."

Real MENtors: Fatherhood, will work closely with Real MENtors Talk, a new afterschool male mentoring program facilitated by BPL Public Relations Director Roy L. Williams, who will help recruit men to give encouraging words at the monthly West End Library fatherhood programs.

For more information about the Real MENtors: Fatherhood program, contact Ford at  205-226-4089 or email

Real MENtors Talk hosted a men's panel discussion, "Real Men, Real Issues," on September 16 at Five Points West Regional Library and is hosting another on Monday, September 30 at Springville Road Regional Library.

For information about Real MENtors Talk, contact Roy Williams at 205-226-3746 or email

Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers Program at Central Library October 3

What: Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers
When: First Thursday of each month
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/4th floor/Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC)

If you have questions about Medicare, you are not alone. As a health insurance program administered by the federal government, Medicare is laden with many policies, procedures, and guidelines that can be very confusing for the average American consumer. Who is eligible for Medicare? What kind of coverage does it provide? Is there more than one plan available? How much does it cost? When should I enroll? These are just some of the important questions that everyone needs answered in order to help them make good, informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. Not getting accurate and up-to-date answers to these questions can mean missing out on valuable benefits that you and your loved ones are entitled to claim.

If you would like to learn more about your options and eligibility for Medicare, please join us at the Central Library on the first Thursday of each month for the program Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers. The program is held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC), which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library. The program presenter is local licensed insurance agent Albert McWilliams, Sr. McWilliams has been working as an insurance agent in Birmingham since 2001. He has been a licensed Medicare agent since 2013 and a licensed ACA (Affordable Care Act) Agent since 2017.

For more information about the Let's Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers program, please contact Jim Murray of the Central Library’s Business, Science and Technology Department by email at or by calling 205-226-3691.

Visit the BPL events calendar for specific dates.

BPL 2019 Family History Month Programs Begin October 1

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting 16 free programs throughout October to celebrate Family History Month.

Programs begin Tuesday, October 1, and the highlight will be an all-day Saturday, October 26, event with four workshops presented by nationally-known genealogy expert John Philip Colletta. Colletta, who resides in Washington, D.C., is well known in Birmingham, serving as a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University from 1996 until it relocated to Georgia in 2016.

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 (most of them will be offered in the Linn-Henley Research Library in downtown Birmingham).

The 2019 BPL Family History Month schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, October 1, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library 
The Bases Are Loaded! Databases for Genealogy- New and Revised! Don’t be left sitting in the dugout. Make use of all our resources in your game plan for family history research. Learn how to locate genealogy databases and discover the wealth of genealogical information they have to offer. Let us help you knock one out of the park.

Frazine Taylor
Saturday, October 5, 10:00 a.m. Arrington Auditorium, Linn-Henley Research Library
Frazine Taylor, President of the Alabama Historical Association
Getting the most out of the Census: Finding Ancestry Clues in Census Records: 1790-1940- Participants in this workshop will become acquainted with information reported in the Federal Census, and in state population and non-population census records. This workshop will include how to locate census records on microfilm, digitized and online, and how to identify and find local resources and repositories.

Monday, October 7, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library 
Researching Your House History - This class will introduce participants to sources available at the library and online to help them research the history of a house in Jefferson County. Participants can learn when a house was built, who has lived there over time, and see historic photos of their house.

Tuesday, October 8, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Optimizing Your DNA Genealogy Experience, part 3 - Gain useful information on testing companies’ services and websites, and get answers to your questions about them.

Wednesday, October 9, 3:00 p.m. Southern History Department, 1st Floor, Linn-Henley Research 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. The staff in the Southern History Department covers such topics as vital records, courthouse and church records, and the Federal Census.

Monday, October 14, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Handle with Care: Preserving Your Family Papers and Photographs - There are many basic and inexpensive things you can do to ensure that your family letters, scrapbooks and photographs are preserved for the future. This talk introduces the fundamentals of home archiving.

Tuesday, October 15, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Consumer’s Guide to DNA Testing Services - Explore the offerings of the four major DNA genealogy testing services, and learn how to use their websites.

Monday, October 21, 11:00 a.m. North Birmingham Library
Abandoned African American Cemeteries. Why? - Wanda Looney, of the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, which meets monthly at the Linn-Henley Research Library, presents this program about the history of the area’s missing and abandoned African American cemeteries.

African American Cemeteries are everywhere. Why? Because they lived and died on farms, in mines etc. They could be under your feet! Most of these cemeteries are still around. They only need you to care for them. Your ancestors are calling.

Tuesday, October 22, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library - Learn how to search our newest history/genealogy database to find articles, obituaries, and other tantalizing bits of information available in newspapers large and small throughout the Southeast.

Thursday, October 24, 3:45 p.m. Avondale Library 
Pizza & the Wayback Machine – This completely interactive after school program for kids and teens (11-18) will be all about family history! We’ll start with an introduction to genealogy and have hands on time with the many online resources available at the library and from home. They’ll be plenty of time for questions, stories, and (of course) pizza!

John Philip Colletta
Saturday, October 26 Arrington Auditorium John Philip Colletta guest speaker 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Colletta’s four workshops will be as follows:

Breaking through Brick Walls: Use your HEAD!, 9:30 -10:30 a.m.
When the path of genealogical investigation leads to a brick wall, it’s time to use your head. This lecture offers guidelines and points of methodology for overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, such as: several men of the same name; several towns with the same name; several names for the same town; errors in original sources; families with common surnames; insufficient or contradictory information. Six case studies demonstrate the principles.

Discovering Your Ancestors’ World through Maps and Gazetteers, 10:45-11:45 a.m.
The facts you discover about your ancestors did not occur in outer space. They represent real-life events that took place in a physical place at a particular time. Cartographic collections—maps, atlases and gazetteers—are essential tools for grounding all of your genealogical discoveries in the real world. This lecture describes different kinds of maps, current and historical, U.S. and foreign, and illustrates the broad range of information they provide. It explains how to use Internet sites to locate cartographic collections in libraries, archives, courthouses, historical societies, as well as those available online in digitized format. Specific examples illustrate how maps form an integral part of thorough genealogical investigation.

The County Courthouse: Your ‘Trunk in the Attic’, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Courthouses vary from one county to the next. They may be congenial places to do research or dismal places to do research. They may be modern with records organized for easy access or old and totally chaotic. Some burned down once, some burned down twice. County clerks and their staff members differ dramatically in temperament and expertise, too. In general, though, courthouses are chock full of family information. This lecture examines the full scope of their precious contents and reviews many resources for learning about the records created in your ancestors’ counties. Using courthouses, you will get tired and dirty. But you will reap a rich harvest of information about your ancestors, almost like discovering a trunk in the attic.

Only a Few Bones: Case Studies in Assembling Sources to Reconstruct Real-Life Events, 2:45-4:00 p.m.The biographical facts we discover about our ancestors did not happen in a vacuum. Our ancestors were born, lived and died in specific physical circumstances at specific moments in time. To reconstruct their lives, therefore, the facts we discover about them must be “situated” in the proper historical context. Three 19th-century case studies drawn from Only a Few Bones, a True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath demonstrate how to use multiple sources to assemble vivid accounts of ancestral events and generate biographies that portray individualized ancestors.

Monday, October 28, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library
Degrees of Separation – Not sure how all the branches on your family tree connect? If you’ve always wondered what the difference is between a second cousin and a first cousin once removed, then this class is for you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2:15 p.m. RLCC, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Research Library 
Your Tax Dollars at Work: Using Government Sources for Genealogy Research- New and Revised! Many government agencies offer resources for genealogical research. Learn how to look beyond census records and find genealogical information in some truly surprising places. You can search for patents, land grants, view web tutorials, and much more using free websites from the state and federal government.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Registration Open for October Computer Classes at Central Library

Registration is now open for the October 2019 computer classes at the Central Library. Topics include computer skills, career guidance, and genealogy. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) and the list of classes can be found on the RLCC blog.

Pre-registration is required for all classes. Register online through the BPL events calendar. You will receive an automated confirmation confirming your registration.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

BPL Friends Bookstore to Get New Temporary Hours Beginning Tuesday, September 17

In conjunction with the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project that begins Monday, September 16, 2019, the BPL Friends Bookstore is getting new temporary hours during the construction project.

The Bookstore will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Patrons will still be able to access the bookstore even though the Central Library East Building will be closed to the public and most of its services moved to the Linn-Henley Research Library between September 14 until the project is completed in early February 2020.

"The Central Library's progress has created some clutter too but you will still be able to find what you're looking for, and more," said Thracie Pace, BPL Friends Bookstore manager. " We understand the need to be open on Saturday for those of you who work throughout the week until 5:00 p.m. or so."

Pace added, "Come in on a Saturday, mention this statement and receive 10% off your purchase. Come in and see our latest arrivals and regular treasures. Cool off with cold drinks."

For more information, call (205) 226-3676.  BPL Friends Bookstore helps Friends Grow by "Putting People First." Funded by the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library, proceeds from bookstore sales help the Birmingham Public Library provide services for patrons.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Teens Engineer BHM Offering Robotics and Arduino Classes at Select Branches through November 2019

Teens can get STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) experience with coding and robots after school at select Birmingham Public Library branches. The programs are led by college students with engineering and science backgrounds from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This semester, two programs will be offered: Robotics and Arduino.

The robotics class will include programming robots to sense colors like a traffic light. They will start, slow, or accelerate based off their sensors.

In Arduino students get a crash course in coding and circuitry by programming Morse code messages with an LED light bulb.

The following branches will be offering programs. The classes are free but space is limited; some branches require registration. Click the links below for detailed calendar information.

Smithfield: September 12, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (Arduino)
Southside: September 19, 4:00–5:00 p.m. (Arduino)
East Lake: October 3, 3:15–5:00 p.m. (Robotics)
Avondale: October 8, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (Robotics)
Five Points West: October 10, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (Arduino)
Powderly: November 7, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (Robotics)
North Birmingham: November 14, 4:00–5:00 p.m. (Robotics)

Pardon Our Progress: Department Changes at the Central Library during Stair Construction

The long-awaited construction of the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project is about to begin, and several of our staff members and public services are relocating from the East Building to the Linn-Henley Research Library, beginning Saturday, September 14.

Construction of the stairs replacing the escalators begins on Monday, September 16, 2019, and all public services such as computer usage, passports, notary services such as for marriage applications, faxing and copier use are relocating to Linn-Henley Research Building until the stairs are completed in early February 2020.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

BPL Spotlight: Inglenook Branch Library

Teens Engineer BHM, to be held at Inglenook Library September 19, is a partnership with UAB Engineering School. 
Inglenook Branch Library is hosting several new programs during the month of September, including an afterschool tutoring next week, a teen engineers event, and a return of its popular appreciation program for women in the Inglenook community.

 Here is a listing of programs taking place at Inglenook (for more information, call the library at 205-849-8739):

 * Game Day Friday, September 13, 3:30 p.m. - Come join a friendly competition with your peers.

 * Full STREAM Ahead: Dissect & Repair Smart Devices, Tuesday, September 17, 3:30 p.m.

 * Afterschool Tutoring with Makayla, Wednesday, September 18, 3:30 p.m. - Students in need of help with homework are invited to seek assistance from Miss Makayla.

 * STREAM Activities with Teen Engineers, Thursday, September 19, 3:30 p.m.-Teen Engineers BHM is a partnership between BPL and the UAB School of Engineering, which provides students to mentor students in after school programs at many library locations.

 *Expression for Women in the Inglenook Community, Friday, September 20, 6:30 p.m. - This quarterly program, featuring an event planner this month, is designed to show appreciation for women in the Inglenook community.

 * Readers Are Leaders Book Club, Wednesday, September 25, 3:30 p.m.

 * Prime Time Family Reading Time, Thursday, September 26, 6:00 p.m. and Thursday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m.

 * Banned Books Movie, Friday, September 27, 3:30 p.m. - This movie will culminate the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week, being held Sunday, September 22 through Saturday, September 28, 2019

Charles Drew Art Exhibit Has Closed Early Due to Central Library Construction Project

Charles Drew exhibit closed early due to a Central Library construction project. 
A Central Library Fourth Floor Gallery exhibit featuring the late Birmingham News political cartoonist Charles Brooks has ended early due to pending construction of the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project.

The Less Things Change: Charles Brooks and the Art of Alabama Politics opened August 21 and was originally set to be open to the public through October 4, 2019. But the exhibit was taken down September 12 as the Central Library East Building will be closed to the public beginning Saturday, September 14, due to a construction project. On Monday, September 16, contractor Taylor + Miree begins replacing the broken down escalators with a three-story staircase.

The Less Things Change: Charles Brooks and the Art of Alabama Politics looks at Brooks’ commentary on politics in his home state from the 1950s to the 1980s. The exhibit features some of the 4,000 original drawings Brooks donated to the Birmingham Public Library Archives in 1998.

No other exhibits will be featured in the Central Library Fourth Floor Gallery until the stair project is completed and the East Building reopens by early February 2020.

Library Cards Provide Many Teachable Moments

By Selina Johnson, Wylam Branch Library 

Recently, a school-aged young girl and a woman that I assumed was her mother walked up to the circulation desk. The young girl’s eyes sparkled with anticipation as the woman stated that she wanted to get the young girl a library card. When I asked the woman if she was the young girl’s parent, she replied that she was her aunt. I explained that her niece would need a parent to come and complete the application for her to receive a library card. The face of the young girl who had been patiently waiting and soaking in our conversation with bright eyes of anticipation quickly turned to obvious disappointment.

The aunt immediately used her mobile phone to communicate to the young girl’s mother of the need for the child’s parent to complete the library card application. Within twenty minutes, the young girl’s mother was at the circulation desk to complete the application for her daughter to get a library card. The young girl’s smile widened into a bright grin as I placed her first library card into her hands. It was so uplifting to witness a student anxious to have a library card of their own and a parent that went out of their way to make it happen.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month and it is a perfect time for students like the one aforementioned to begin the quest of lifelong learning with the assistance of a library card. A student’s first library card can be a conduit for many lessons. They learn to be accountable for items that they have checked out; it teaches about the consequences for damaging material and not adhering to due dates; and the student also learns about decision making when selecting resources to check out. Of course, the guidance of responsible parents during these experiences is crucial to the success of the young library card owner and should not be taken lightly.

Do something that your future self will thank you for doing. Sign up for a library card today!

Monday, September 09, 2019

DIY Creation: Creating Homemade Art from Everyday Household Items

Lynn Hutchins, Central Library, Circulation/Fiction Department

Art is for everyone. DIY Creation aims to foster social engagement of individuals through participating in art. Research has shown that remaining socially engaged improves the quality of life and is associated with better health (source:

Join us on one of the following dates to learn how to make moisturizing hand scrubs.

Moisturizing Hand Scrubs
Combining your favorite aromatherapy scents with items from the kitchen cupboards with sugar, spice, and everything nice. This class is hosted by Tangie Fuller and will be held in the Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor. Click the links below to register.

Sunday, October 6, 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 17, 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 29, 6:00 p.m.

Watch and learn for FREE. For those who wish to participate in making their own hand scrubs, there is a $10 materials fee.

Children's Book Review: The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling

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

The Oddmire, Book 1: Changeling
William Ritter

This adventurous book begins with a fairy tale bungle. Traditionally, when a changeling is born in the goblin world, they are switched with a human child, in order to sell the human to the fairies. However, in this case, the goblin performing the switch almost got caught, and both babies were left in the crib! The magic inherent in changelings means that the children look like twins. They grow up together knowing that one is a human and one is not, but both boys are so mischievous that neither they, nor their mother, are ever able to determine who is the real child as they grow up brothers. Then one day, they receive a note saying that the changeling must return to the Wild Wood or it, along with its magic, will die. The boys venture to the wood together, and they find mysterious and dark characters that both help and hinder them along the way.

Changeling is just dark and scary enough to keep you on your toes, without being too intense for your middle-graders to be able to sleep at night. The pacing is superb, and the characters are so relatable, interesting, and multi-dimensional. I am definitely looking forward to learning more about the Wild Wood and its magical creatures in the Oddmire sequel!

If you like Changeling, you may also like...

Thursday, September 05, 2019

“Real Men, Real Issues” Panel Talks September 16, September 30 at Five Points West, Springville Road Regional Libraries

The Birmingham Public Library is launching its Real MENtors Talk program with two  panel discussions focused on issues in the black community and how real men can step up and be a part of the solution.

BPL Real MENtors Talk Presents “Real Men, Real Issues” will take place on Monday, September 16, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Five Points West Regional Library, across from the Birmingham Crossplex. Another Real MENtors Talk  “Real Men, Real Issues” panel discussion will take place at  Springville Road Regional Branch Library, Monday, September 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Panelists will include Richard Cade, founder of The Man Project  Birmingham City Councilman Clinton Woods of District 1 , Chris Cummings, and one of Woods' District 1 opponents, Sherman Collins, former District 1 Birmingham School Board member. 

Both "Real Men, Real Issues” talks will address problems such as how to reduce black-on-black crime and the lack of fathers in the home that causes so many black families to be led by single mothers.

The panel discussions will be led by Roy L. Williams, public relations director of the Birmingham Public Library and a former 25-year newspaper journalist. Williams came up with the idea of Real MENtors Talk, a new male mentoring program launching this fall and targeting youth who attend afterschool programs at BPL locations across the city.

"I am so excited to have black professional men who are willing to invest in the lives of the next generation to help us come up with answers to real problems in our communities,” Williams said.

The September 16 panel discussion at Five Points West will feature a 31-year-old pastor and five representatives of the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham, an organization that is partnering with the Birmingham Public Library in this after school mentoring program.

The panelists will be:

 *Overseer Shaemun Webster, senior pastor of the Tower of Prayer Church in Leeds 

* Jefferson County Judge Charles “Chuck” Price II 

* Christopher Anderson, a retired Birmingham police detective who is now a special investigator for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. Anderson stars on a reality television show. In Investigation Discovery's series "Reasonable Doubt," Anderson and Los Angeles attorney Melisa Lewkowidz partner to reopen closed cases.

 * Eddie Bradford, owner of Bradford Mentoring & Consulting and mentoring chairman of the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham.

 * Jay Johnson, president of College Prep U. in Trussville

 * Renaldo Parker, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

For more information about Real MENtors talk and the panel discussion, contact Roy L. Williams, Birmingham Public Library P.R. Department (205) 226-3746, email

Other Real MENtors Talk programs will take place this fall at other BPL locations.

Real MENtors Talk: Fatherhood, will take place on Thursday, October 3, 2019, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at West End Branch Library. This monthly program will discuss the importance of a father’s presence in a child’s life. For more information, call West End Library at 205-226-4089

For more information about Real MENtors Talk, contact Williams at 205-226-3746 or via email at

Central East Library Staff and Services Relocating to Linn-Henley Research Library during Stair Construction Project

The long-awaited construction of the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project is about to begin, and several of our staff members and public services are relocating from the East Building to the Linn-Henley Research Library.

Construction of the stairs replacing the escalators begins on Monday, September 16, 2019, and the East Building will be closed to the public starting Saturday, September 14, until the project is completed in early February 2020.

The BPL Friends Bookstore will remain open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays on the first floor of the East Building during construction.

Although the Central Library East Building will be closed, these departments are moving temporarily to the adjacent Linn-Henley Research Library:

  • The Circulation Desk and Fiction Department are relocating from the 1st floor of the East Building to the Government Documents Department on the 3rd floor of Linn-Henley Research Library
  • The Computer Commons area has relocated from the 3rd floor of the East Building to the former Microfilm Department on the 3rd floor of the Linn-Henley Library
  • The Arts, Literature and Sports Department has relocated from the 2nd floor of the East Building to the Government Documents Department on the 3rd floor of Linn-Henley Library
  • The Business, Science and Technology Department has relocated from the 3rd floor of the East Building to the Government Documents Department on the 3rd floor of Linn-Henley Library

Thank you for your patience during our construction project. If there are any questions, call 205-226-3600.

British TV Talk & Trivia

Avondale Public Library Conference Room

September 24    2:00 p.m.

Please join us to talk about The Durrells in Corfu. This is a British comedy-drama about the Durrell family's four years on the Greek island of Corfu. This is an excellent series with spectacular cinematography. This should be a fun and interesting discussion. Join us!

BPL Spotlight: Springville Road Library Beginning New Ukulele Class

Springville Road Regional Branch Library is hosting a "Fun with the Ukulele" Family Night and debuting a new Beginning Ukulele class this month.

All families are invited to enjoy tunes at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 16, as Ms. Tami serenades patrons with some of her favorite songs on the ukulele. The Beginning Ukulele class is Tuesday, September 10, at 5:30 p.m., as patrons receive free basic instruction on how to play the ukulele. Call 205-226-4083 for more information about both programs.

Avondale Regional Branch Library has been offering ukuleles for patron checkout since 2015.  Avondale Library also provides free monthly ukulele classes for adults and youth.

These classes are among several free activities for kids, teens, and adults available at Springville Road Library during the month of September. Here's a listing:


Grubdown – September 10, 17, and 24 at 4:00 p.m.
Meet our library pets up close and personal! You'll be able to meet all of our library critters and pet them as you learn a bunch about what they need, where they come from, and how we take care of them.

All Ages Sensory Storytime – September 11, 18, 25 at 10:00
Join the Springville Road Storytellers for singing, dancing, stories, and awesome sensory activities! Each activity will be fun and educational in its own way. All ages are welcome.

1, 2, 3 Play With Me – September 12, 19, 26 at 10:00
Playing with your baby is not only important for bonding but it 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. 1-2-3 Play with Me, a five week program, is for children birth through age 3 and their parents/caregivers. We will have 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

Family Night: Fun with the Ukulele – September 16 at 6:00 p.m.
Ms. Tami will serenade us with some of her favorite songs on the ukulele! Bring the whole family to enjoy some tunes.

Tech Time with Ms. Mollie – September 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Elementary school students will learn about coding through stories and games.

Craft Time with Ms. Chelsea  September 25 at 10:00 a.m.
Create a work of art with Ms. Chelsea! All you need to bring is your creativity!


Bend and Stretch – Every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. and Fridays at 1:00 p.m.
Bend & Stretch is a gentle exercise program  based on the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life program.  Led by volunteers, exercises build strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. No age limit.

Body Changers – Every Monday at 1:00 p.m.
Body Changers is a volunteer–led weight management support group using the informational resources of the library.  No specific diet plan is encouraged over any other. Group members weigh in and receive tips on food choices, exercise, recipes, and healthy lifestyles, as well incentives for meeting goals.

Beginning Ukulele – September 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Beginning Ukulele teaches participants basic instruction on how to play the ukulele. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Coffee, Conversation, and Crafts – Every Monday at 11:00 a.m.
 Coffee, Conversation, and Crafts is a fun fellowship activity.  All craft materials and instructions are provided, but you may also bring your own projects to work on while enjoying the company and light refreshments. if you don't want to work on crafts, just come to visit and chat with new friends.

Brain Jam – September 13 at 11:00 a.m.
Brain Jam is a new program that aims to help seniors avoid memory loss. Brain training research proves playing & singing music grows your brain and fights cognitive decline. Join our “jam session” and have some fun. Simple instruments & instructions provided, or bring your own. Singers welcome, too

Reading Roadies – September 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Reading Roadies is a fiction discussion book group.  The September book of the month is  Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. Call the Adult department  at 226-4083 to reserve a book, or download the audio from Hoopla.

Afterthoughts – September 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Afterthoughts is a non-fiction book discussion group. The September topic that members are discussing is  "Religions, Cults, and Ancient Beliefs." Call 226-4083 for more information. Light refreshments provided.

Musicians Jam – September 17 at 5:00 p.m.
Jam session with instruments. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Basic Sewing – September 20 at 10:00 a.m.
Sewing is an ongoing class which teaches the basics of sewing techniques.  Please call Judy Dick at 226-4083 for more information.

Cane-Fu – September 26 at 12:30 p.m.
Cane-Fu is self-defense for seniors. It will engage older adults in the techniques of martial arts. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Card Games – Every Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Card games are a great way to socialize. We have cards and rules for several popular card games, and people who want to learn how to play or play better. Recently we have played Poker, Contract Rummy, Fan-Tan, and Gin. If you want to play or want to learn a new game, please come join us.  All materials and light refreshments provided.

Belly Dancing with Ms. Nona – September 27 at 2:00 p.m.
Participants will learn the basic moves of Belly Dancing in this class. Call 226-4083 for more information.

Basic computer instruction provided on an individual basis.
Call Barry Crane at 226-4083 to schedule an appointment.

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