Tuesday, December 31, 2019

BPL to Host Brothers and Bowties MLK Event January 18 at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

What: Brothers and Bow Ties: A Vision Cast
When: Saturday January 18, 2020, 12:00–4:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North
Details: Brothers and Bow Ties is a pilot initiative targeting at-risk young males aged 11 to 18 sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library and the City of Birmingham Mayor's Office Division of Youth Services. The event, open to 50 young males who each will receive bow ties with a personalized message of hope, is a partnership between two male mentoring organizations, Growing Kings and BPL Real MENtors Talk. Author and motivational speaker Timothy Alexander will serve as keynote speaker. Brothers and Bow Ties is free and lunch will be provided, but advanced registration is required through Eventbrite. (Registration is filled.) For more information or to donate bow ties, call BPL Outreach Librarian Candice Hardy at 205-226-3625.

As part of a citywide celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, the Birmingham Public Library will host Brothers and Bow Ties: A Vision Cast on Saturday, January 18, 2020, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the historical Birmingham Civil Rights Institute downtown. Brothers and Bow Ties is a pilot initiative which targets at-risk young males between the ages of 11 and 18.

The benchmark for the event is to monitor/promote positive character, establish long-lasting relationships with positive adult male figures, and develop/cast visions for the future. The keynote speaker for this event is Birmingham native Timothy Alexander, an author and motivational speaker. Alexander is the author of Ever Faithful, Ever Loyal, a memoir about how he overcame a car accident that left him confined to a wheelchair at age 17.

Brothers and Bow Ties is sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library and Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services. A Birmingham-based male mentoring non-profit, Growing Kings, and BPL’s Real MENtors Talk, a new mentoring program launched by BPL  in the fall of 2019, are partnering on this event.

Brothers and Bow Ties is free but only 50 spots are available. Participants will receive donated bow ties with a personalized message of hope on the day of the event. Lunch will be provided. Advanced registration is required. Registration will open at midnight on Monday, December 30, 2019, and will end on Friday, January 17, 2020, at 4:00 pm. Register through Eventbrite.

Bow ties are very significant to a man’s wardrobe. According to Genni Threet, blogger for R. Hanauer, Fine Accessories for Men, “Bow ties represent pure uncaged creativity, a confident willingness to be different, and an uncompromising embrace of style in daily life. While it can be a daunting task to select shirts, pants, and jackets that best represent your personality, accessories are far easier and more attainable tool to express yourself. That’s where your favorite bow tie comes in.” 

As a non-profit organization, much of the library’s success depends on the generosity of others. BPL is asking males across the City of Birmingham to support this effort in two ways:

(1) Join us on Saturday, January 18, to welcome students to the event with smiles, high-fives, and words of encouragement

(2) Donate a bow tie with a personalized/handwritten message of hope to a student. BPL is asking that all bow tie donations be delivered to Outreach Librarian Candice Hardy at the Central location of the Birmingham Public Library.

Free Tax Prep Assistance and Forms at Birmingham Public Library

stock image of tax form

As a service to the community, the Birmingham Public Library provides some paper copies of current federal and Alabama tax forms, instructions, and publications at the Central Library. Update: Federal forms 
1040 and 1040-SR booklets are now available in the Southern History Department; these do not include instructions, which should be shipped soon. Alabama tax booklets 40 and 40-NR. Please check back for updates about which forms are available. 

Federal Forms
IRS forms and publications

State Forms
Alabama Department of Revenue

General Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – This governmental site has United States federal income tax forms, information, and tips. Includes warnings about tax frauds and scams, information about filling online, and the ability to track the status of your refund.

Free File Home: Your Link to Free Online Filing – This IRS site is about Free File, an "online tax preparation and electronic filing through a partnership agreement between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC. In other words, you can e-file...free." This site explains eligibility requirements for this free service, steps to get started, and a list of related FAQs.

Free Tax Return Preparation For You by Volunteers – The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

Free Tax Prep Assistance at the Birmingham Public Library

Did you know that you may not have to pay for tax preparation? SaveFirst, sponsored by The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Samford University, and Birmingham Southern College, offers FREE certified tax preparation and electronic filing services for working families and individuals. Services are provided by IRS-certified Volunteer Tax Preparers from local colleges for households earning up to $56,000 and for individuals earning up to $20,000.

Appointments begin Monday, January 6, 2020To make an appointment call the SaveFirst appointment hotline at 1-888-99-TAX-AL.; appointments are prioritized over walk-ins.

Watch this video to make sure you have all the right paperwork to ensure an accurate return.
Smithfield Branch Library
January 18–April 15, 2020
January 18–29
Saturdays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

February 1–29
Saturdays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

March 3–30
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3

Friday, March 13, 20, 27
Monday, March 16, 23, 30

April 1–15
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday, April 3
Exception: Wednesday, April 6, 2:00–6:00 p.m.

Springville Road Regional Branch Library 
January 21–March 7, 2020
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30–7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Exception: Tuesday, February 18, no appointments taken

Woodlawn Branch Library
January 22–⁠March 7, 2020
Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Book Review: The Wives

by Jennifer Patrick, Five Points West Regional Branch Library 

The Wives
Tarryn Fisher

The wives in Tarryn Fisher’s domestic thriller know that each other exist, but in this polygamous relationship, they have decided to never meet...or, Seth decided that they should never meet.

Our main character, the second wife, gets to spend Thursdays with Seth and tries to convince herself that it is enough. When it was just her and wife number one, it was easier; but now that wife number three has come along, she struggles with jealousy and trying to one-up the others by being the best wife. She’ll be the most low-maintenance, the most caring, the best at homemaking, the most generous lover—all without letting on that she knows it’s a competition. It was enough until she accidentally uncovers the name of the third wife and then goes searching for Hannah. What she learns makes her question her relationship with Seth, the kind of man he is, and the relationship she is in.

Writing a good summary and review of this book without divulging secrets is a complicated affair, so all I can say is to be careful of which character's story you trust—it’s a complicated path that leads to the truth. I also hope you’re able to put this book down and get more sleep than I did! It has definitely been one of my favorite mystery/thrillers of the year.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Birmingham Public Library 2020 MLK Memorial Lecture to Spotlight Emory O. Jackson

What: Birmingham Public Library 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture: Emory O. Jackson, Crusading Editor for Civil Rights
When: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL
Details: The Birmingham Public Library Archives Department is hosting its 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture. This year’s speaker is University of Utah professor Kimberley Mangun, author of Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists is a sponsor of this event. For more information, contact BPL Archives Department Head Jim Baggett at jim.baggett@cobpl.org or by calling 205-226-3631.

The Birmingham Public Library Archives Department's 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture is focusing on legendary civil rights editor Emory O. Jackson. Dr. Kimberley Mangun, a University of Utah professor, will talk about her book, Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975, released in July 2019 by publisher Peter Lang.

Her lecture will take place in the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Drawing from her recent book, the first biography of civil rights pioneer Emory Jackson, Dr. Mangun will explore the life and career of the Birmingham World editor who fought for equal rights for Birmingham's African American community for four decades. Copies of Dr. Mangun's book will be available for purchase.

The MLK Memorial Lecture will be held the day before the MLK national holiday which will be observed on Monday, January 20, 2020. All BPL locations will be closed for the holiday.

Mangun is a University of Utah professor who studies the African American press and representations of women, race, and ethnicity in communication history, subjects she became interested in while in graduate school. She has written two respected civil rights books.

Mangun joined the University of Utah Department of Communication in fall 2006 after earning her PhD from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Before pursuing her graduate degree, Dr. Mangun had a long career as a managing editor for alternative media in San Diego, Santa Cruz, California, and Eugene, Oregon. She also published an outdoor recreation magazine in Oregon. In addition, Dr. Mangun has done public relations and newsletters for major companies such as Plantronics, Inc., and considerable freelance writing for newspapers and magazines.

Her award-winning book, published by Oregon State University Press in 2010, examined the career of Beatrice Morrow Cannady, an editor and publisher who advocated for civil rights in Portland, Oregon, from 1912 until 1936. Dr. Mangun’s book was used as the basis for an Emmy-nominated Oregon Public Broadcasting documentary that has continually aired since its premiere in May 2007. Also as a result of her research, the North Clackamas School District in Oregon (Portland area) voted in fall 2018 to honor Cannady by naming a new elementary school after her. The school, the first in the district to be named after a woman, is slated to open in September 2019.

Dr. Mangun's latest book, Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975, was published by Peter Lang in July 2019. The cultural biography focuses on Jackson's 35 years of civil rights advocacy for blacks. Jackson wrote from a black perspective about topics traditional media ignored during the Jim Crow era, covering the fight for voting rights, education, and other civil rights issues.

In his editorials, Jackson also tacked police brutality against blacks. His semiweekly newspaper was central to his advocacy. . His civil rights activism is still relevant today as states limit access to the ballot and groups like Black Lives Matter protest police violence against black men. Dr. Mangun’s research has been published in American Journalism, Journalism History, Newspaper Research Journal, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, African American National Biography, BlackPast.org, and other print and online publications.

Mangun's biography tells the story of Birmingham World editor Emory O. Jackson. During his 35-year career in Alabama, he waged numerous sustained civil-rights campaigns for the franchise, equal educational opportunities, and justice for the victims of police brutality and bombings. The semiweekly newspaper was central to his advocacy. Jackson wrote editorials and columns that documented injustices against blacks from 1940 through 1975.

New Stairs Replacing Escalators Arrive at the Central Library

Employees with contractor Taylor Miree remove the stairs that will be installed in the Central Library.  

Progress continues on the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project in downtown Birmingham.

On Friday, December 27, an 18-wheeler delivered the stairs that will replace escalators that have been  broken down in the Central Library since 2014. Contractor Taylor & Miree has removed all four stories of the escalators since construction began in mid-September. 

Installation of the stairs will begin in January, with Central Library's  East Building expected to re-open by mid-March 2020. Patrons can still take advantages of services such as checking out materials, using public computers and other services by entering the Linn Park entrance of the Linn-Henley Research Library, known for its famous historic murals.

The BPL Friends Bookstore also remains open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Creig Hoskins of Birmingham was architect on the stairs project.

In August, BPL released images of what the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project replacing the escalators will look like once completed.

Stay tuned to the BPL Facebook page and BPL website for more photos and information over the next few months as the stairs are installed.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

BPL Honors MLK With Over a Dozen Programs in January

The Birmingham Public Library is honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as all 19 locations will be closed for 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Monday, January 20.

Prior to MLK Day, over the first three weeks of January, BPL will pay tribute to the slain civil rights leader by hosting more than a dozen programs and activities at locations across the city.

Here is a listing by location of MLK programs BPL will be hosting in January:

Central Library A Conversation with Nic Stone, author of Clean Getaway and Dear Martin Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 6:00 p.m., Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium

As part of a book tour for her new novel, Clean Getaway, author Nic Stone, best known for her New York Times Bestseller Dear Martin, will talk about writing career and sell/sign of her new books at the Central Library. For information, click below:

Brothers and Bow ties: A Vision Cast, a citywide MLK Event Saturday, January 18, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North

“Brothers and Bow Ties” is a pilot initiative targeting at-risk young males aged 11 to 18 sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library and the City of Birmingham Mayor's Office Division of Youth Services. The event, open to 50 young males who each will receive bow ties with a personalized message of hope, is a partnership between two male mentoring organizations, Growing Kings and BPL Real MENtors Talk. Author and motivational speaker Timothy Alexander will serve as keynote speaker. Brothers & Bow Ties is free and lunch will be provided, but advanced registration is required. Registration will open at midnight Monday, December 30 at this link  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brothers-and-bow-ties-a-vision-cast-tickets-87143635961

Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3 p.m., Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture by Dr. Kimberley Mangun, University of Utah. 
Topic: Emory O. Jackson, Crusading Editor for Civil Rights 

 Drawing from her recent book, the first biography of civil rights pioneer Emory Jackson, Dr. Mangun will explore the life and career of the 'Birmingham World' editor who fought for equal rights for Birmingham's African American community for four decades. Copies of Dr. Mangun's book will be available for purchase.

Avondale Regional Branch Library 

Friday, January 3 through Thursday, January 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Scavenger Hunt

Ten important and interesting facts about Dr. King have been hidden in the Avondale Library’s Youth Department. Use the clues to help answer all 10 questions and be entered into a drawing for a Dr. King Prize Pack.

Live the Dream – Wednesday, January 22, 3:30 p.m.

How did a little boy named Michael King grow up to be the great Martin Luther King, Jr? Join Birmingham Public Library’s archivist Jim Baggett as he leads us on a show-and-tell journey through Martin Luther King, Jr's early life, celebrating his vision of unity and love.

East Ensley Branch Library 

Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 17 Martin Luther King Day Scavenger Hunt Children and teens are invited to participate in a Dr. Martin Luther King scavenger hunt and learn about the amazing life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King life at East Ensley Library during operating hours.

Martin Luther King Mosaic Poster, Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 17 

 Children, teens and adults are invited color a panel of a mosaic on display at East Ensley Library.

East Lake Branch Library 

Martin Luther King Day Scavenger Hunt, Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 17

Children and teens are invited to participate in a Dr. Martin Luther King scavenger hunt and learn about the amazing life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King life at East Lake Branch Library during operating hours.

Martin Luther King and Black History Month – Martin Luther King Coloring Mosaic Poster, Monday, January 6 through Friday, January 17

Children, teens and adults are invited color a panel of a mosaic on display at East Lake Library. Crayons and coloring sheets provided

“What is your dream?” 

Celebrate Martin Luther King’s “I have dream” speech at East Lake Library by sharing your dream. Supplies and cards provided.

Smithfield Branch Library

Smithfield Library's Annual MLK Film Festival 

The Smithfield Library is proud to present its annual film festival honoring the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Movies for MLK Month will be as follows:

Friday, January 10, 3:30 p.m. - Selma 

Friday, January 17, 3:30 p.m. - Rosewood 

Friday, January 24, 3:30 p.m. - Selma, Lord Selma 

Friday, January 31, 3:30 p.m. - Get on the Bus

Southside Branch Library

Tuesday, January 14, 10:30 a.m. Selma, Lord Selma 

In honor of Dr. King, Southside Branch Library will show the movie about his civil rights efforts in Selma, Alabama.

BPL Closed for the Holidays December 24–25

All Birmingham Public Library locations will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, December 24 & 25, for the holidays.

As always, our virtual library is open 24/7 for your convenience.

Monday, December 23, 2019

BPL Friends Bookstore Closed Until January 7, 2020

The BPL Friends Bookstore is closed for the holidays. We will reopen and resume regular operating hours at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and families. Thanks for your support in 2019 and please visit us in 2020. Remember sales at BPL Friends Bookstore support the Birmingham Public Library.

BPL Closing Early Today

All locations of the Birmingham Public Library will close at 3:00 p.m. today and will reopen December 26.

Friday, December 20, 2019

SCORE Steps to Starting Your Business Returns to Central Library January 22

What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: January–June 2020
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: Free but registration is required

The Birmingham Public Library, in collaboration with 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 January to June 2020. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the following days 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: January 22, February 18, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 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 sources of business and economic information. Please register for the seminars by contacting Valencia Fisher in the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity at Valencia.Fisher@birminghamal.gov or 205-254-2799.

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

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

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pratt City Branch Library Group Donates Quilts to Nursing Home

Members of Needles & Thread, which meets weekly at Pratt City Branch Library, donated over 20 quilts like this one as Christmas gifts to residents of Birmingham Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on nearby Dugan Avenue in Pratt City. 
The Birmingham Public Library and our patrons love to give back to our communities.

Members of Needles & Thread, an adult group which meets weekly at the Pratt City Branch Library, is a prime example. Members of Needles & Thread, including Pratt City library assistant Kenyata Rogers, spent the past three months making quilts. On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, the group drove to Birmingham Nursing & Rehabilitation Center  on nearby Dugan Avenue, and donated the quilts to residents there.

 The nursing home staff said the quilts were a welcome surprise and will be greatly appreciated by their residents.

Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers Program at Central Library January 2

BPL Central Set to Host Monthly Informational Sessions on Medicare in 2020

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)
Details: Free and open to the public

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 2001 and a licensed ACA (Affordable Care Act) Agent since 2013.

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 jim.murray@cobpl.org or by calling 205-226-3691.

Visit the BPL events calendar to save the date.

Southern History Book of the Month: Christmas Wishes: A Catalog of Vintage Holiday Treats & Treasures

By Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

Christmas Wishes: A Catalog of Vintage Holiday Treats & Treasures
Tim Hollis

Remember when you were a kid and you’d hear adults saying sometime in November, “Oh, Christmas will be here before you know it!” And you’d think they were crazy, because Christmas was obviously still so far away it might as well be on another planet. This was the time of waiting, seeing decorations start to appear, poring over holiday catalogs from Sears and J.C. Penney, and checking the TV schedule so you wouldn’t miss The Grinch or Rudolph or Charlie Brown.

If you want to recapture that feeling of being a kid again at Christmas, take a look at Christmas Wishes: A Catalog of Vintage Holiday Treats & Treasures. You’ll be smiling and feeling like an excited six-year-old in no time. Birmingham’s own Tim Hollis has lovingly assembled a chronicle of Christmas memories that will resonate with any of us who remember growing up in the sixties. It was the time of Lite Brite and the Easy-Bake Oven, View-Master projectors and reel-to-reel tape recorders (a gift my brother received and I wish he had kept it), and tasty treats that we got to sample only once a year. Hollis devotes whole chapters to these topics, complete with lavish illustrations that will carry you back in time. However, there is usually a touch of refreshing snark in his descriptions so there is no danger of too much sweetness in the nostalgia. He points out that The Story of the Christ Child (Wonder Books, 1953) tries to pad out the text to appeal to children and achieve the necessary page count:
This was obvious from the paragraph that began the first page. “A long time ago, in a town called Nazareth, there lived a beautiful maiden named Mary. Mary was very happy. She loved her garden and spent many sunny days caring for her flowers and feeding the birds and little animals that scampered in her garden.” Only three sentences, and already we have been told more about Mary than can be found in the entire Bible.
It’s also nearly impossible for my generation to imagine a holiday season without Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, but Hollis devotes an entire chapter to “Rudolph and Frosty and What They Begat.” Did you know that Rudolph’s name in the first draft was Rollo? Or that author Robert L. May originally imagined Rudolph’s superpower as huge glowing . . . eyes. That might have been a little frightening, so now it’s his nose that glows. Frosty the Snowman was likewise successful almost from the moment of his creation in the hit song by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins in 1950. We all remember that he eventually got his own television special, but even before that production there were Frosty music boxes, pull toys, banks, night lights, and “for those who had had enough of Frosty, a punching bag with his image emblazoned where one’s fist should go.”

Some of us may remember, like Hollis, certain distinctive decorations from the era, many of which are being re-created (or dug out of the attic) because of the trend for mid-century modern design. Remember the silvery aluminum Christmas tree that would reflect the light of the color wheel? Bubble lights on the tree are also fondly remembered; my grandparents had some on their tree but after accidentally touching one I understood why my mom refused to have them in our house—those little suckers got HOT!

There is much to savor in Christmas Wishes. If you’re feeling rushed and stressed, this is the perfect book to browse through while enjoying a much-needed rest and a cup of hot cocoa. Unwind, relax, and relive the time when the Christmas was all about fun.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

For more information:

Tim Hollis’ Pop Culture Museum
Wish Book Web
Bubble Lights
Aluminum Christmas Trees
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Holiday Happenings @BPL Continue Through January 3

With Christmas Day a week away and New Year's Day in two weeks, several Birmingham Public Library locations continue to host holiday programs to help patrons get in a festive mood.

 Here is a listing of remaining Holiday Happenings activities for patrons young and old, all free:

Today, Wednesday, December 18 

  * 10:30 a.m, Avondale Regional Library Books & Beads – Ugly Sweater Party - Join us for our monthly jewelry-making adventure. Adults of all skill levels are welcome. This month we're crafting easy "ugly sweater" necklaces and ornaments. Free but advanced registration is appreciated.

 * 10:30 a.m., Five Points West Regional Library Active Living for Seniors -- Christmas Crafts and Cookies - Come enjoy holiday crafts and cookies. Registration Required.

* 10:30 a.m., North Avondale Branch Library, Chapter Chatters Book Club Holiday Party -Book club members will celebrate the season with a good book discussion, snacks and music.

* 3:30 p.m., Inglenook Branch Library- Light Up the Holidays: Christmas Around the World! Come help Inglenook Library light up the holidays.

* 12:30-3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. - Holiday Movies, North Birmingham Regional Library – Come enjoy holiday movies & a snack!

 Thursday, December 19 

* 12:00 p.m., Santa’s Workshop, Five Points West Regional Library- Come get your Christmas pictures taken and make some crafts and treats with our elves at the library!

 Friday, December 20 • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Ensley Branch Library - Family Christmas Movie Marathon Re-watch the classics or maybe find a new favorite Christmas movie.

 All day Christmas movie marathons, Five Points West Regional Library 

*3:30 p.m. Christmas movie, Inglenook Branch Library 

 Saturday, December 21

 * 9:30 a.m., Holiday Fun: Ukulele 101!, Avondale Regional Library If you've been dreaming about playing the ukulele, this is the class for you! This 45 minute introduction will be enough to get you strumming. Check out one of Avondale's ukuleles, or bring your own. Registration Required.

 Monday, December 23 

 12:00-1:30 p.m., Bath Bomb Making for Adults, North Birmingham Regional Library

 • All day Christmas movie marathon, Titusville Branch Library 

 • Holiday Board Games, Eastwood Branch Library, During library hours Monday, Dec. 23 through Friday, January 3 -Come enjoy the holidays by playing board games at Eastwood Branch Library, BPL’s only location where you can check out family friendly board games

. For more information, click here

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

BPL Hosts Nic Stone, Author of Best-Seller Dear Martin, on January 8

Nic Stone will talk about her new novel, Clean
, and sell/sign copies of her books at
Central Library January 8

 The Birmingham Public Library Presents New York Times Bestseller Nic Stone
When: Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library’s Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium
Details: The Nic Stone Southern book tour for her new novel, Clean Getaway, comes to Birmingham, one of the cities featured in the book. Stone will talk with fans and sell/sign copies of Clean Getaway, the funny and unforgettable road trip adventure of a 11-year-old black boy and his white grandmother to historical landmarks in the South. They visit places she hoped to visit with his grandfather, but was unable to due to their interracial marriage, segregation, and racial prejudice.

On January 8, 2020, the Birmingham Public Library presents New York Times best-selling author Nic Stone at the Central Library downtown. Stone is stopping by Birmingham during a Southern book tour that will also take her to Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, and Jackson, Mississippi. Stone will speak to students at two Birmingham schools prior to greeting and talking with her fans beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Linn-Henley Research Library's Arrington Auditorium.

Birmingham is among cities featured in Stone’s middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, which will be released January 7, 2020, by publisher Crown Books for Young Readers. Born in 1985 in Atlanta as Andrea Nicole Livingstone, Nic Stone is a New York Times best-selling author of young adult fiction best known for her 2017 debut novel, Dear Martin, a New York Times best-seller.

Dear Martin made Nic Stone a household name with its portrayal of 17-year-old Justyce McAllister, a black male at the top of his class at a private school but struggling to fit in after leaving his rough neighborhood behind. After being unjustly arrested by a white cop, Justyce struggles to understand racism and searches for answers by writing a journal focused on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In her new novel Clean Getaway, Stone explores what would happen if a young black boy took a road trip with his white grandmother and visited sites associated with the civil rights era. Stone invites readers of all ages to hop aboard as she explores race relations both past and present in a poignant, humorous and unforgettable story of an 11-year-old boy’s discovery of a history he is not familiar with and a grandmother he thought he knew.

In Clean Getaway, 11-year-old Scoop is set for the most boring vacation of all time after his spring break trip was canceled and he faced house arrest for some recent school wrongdoings. That changes when his grandmother pulls up in a brand-new Winnebago and offers to take him on an unforgettable road trip. Guided by the Green Book—his grandmother’s most prized possession—the pair embarks on a journey to important historical landmarks in the South. The landmarks are places Scoob’s grandmother hoped to visit with his grandfather, but was unable to due to their interracial marriage, segregation, and racial prejudice.

An Atlanta native and Spelman College graduate, Stone lived in Israel for several years before returning to the United States to write full-time. Her first book, Dear Martin, was a 2017 finalist for the William C. Morris Award, presented since 2009 to debut novels written by first-time authors. Stone has written two other books, Jackpot and Odd One Out.

Read more about Nic Stone and follow her on social media @nicstone.

Stone is currently working on a sequel to Dear Martin, which reportedly will be called Dear Justyce. No release date has been set.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Begin the Day: The Seventeenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture – "Emory O. Jackson, Crusading Editor for Civil Rights"

What: Lecture on Emory O. Jackson, presented by Dr. Kimberley Mangun
When: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: Free and open to the public

Drawing from her recent book, Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975, Dr. Kimberley Mangun will explore the life and career of Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World editor who fought for equal rights for Birmingham's African American community for decades.

Copies of Dr. Mangun's book will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information contact Birmingham Public Library archivist Jim Baggett at Jim.Baggett@cobpl.org 205-226-3631.

The event is co-sponsored by the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists.

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

by Perdeta Long, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

The new classic movie The Most Wonderful Time of The Year with Henry Winkler and the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart give us Christmas stories filled with hope, joy, and love rolled all in one magical package.

In It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. In The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, single mom Jennifer Cullen is having trouble finding joy in the holiday season. Then her Uncle Ralph arrives at her home with the young, handsome Morgan Derby. Morgan's love of Christmas, and life, is contagious. Both movies just make you feel good by the end of the credits.

I find it fascinating that A Christmas Carol was originally published on December 19, 1843—176 years ago—and people are still enjoying a timeless classic that has been reinvented in movie form through the years. Listed are just a few great, but different, movie versions of A Christmas Carol.

Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott, 1984
Scrooged with Bill Murray, 1988
Ms. Scrooge with Cicely Tyson, 1997
A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart, 1999
A Diva’s Christmas Carol with Vanessa Williams, 2000
Every Day is Christmas with Toni Braxton, 2018

A new version of A Christmas Carol with Guy Pearce comes out December 2019.

Here is a list of Christmas movies that I hope will make you believe in love, magic, and good will toward mankind.

Christmas in Canaan, 2009
This Christmas, 2007
Almost Christmas, 2016
Home by Christmas, 2006
The Wishing Tree, 2012
The Nine Lives of Christmas, 2014
Silver Bells, 2005
Christmas for a Dollar, 2013
Crown for Christmas, 2016
A Royal Christmas, 2014
The Spirit of Christmas, 2015
The Christmas Card, 2006

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Christmas Card

by Jim Baggett, Archives Department, Central Library

The custom of sending cards and letters during the Christmas season became popular in the early nineteenth century. In Victorian England children wrote, in their very best handwriting, greetings to their parents. And adults, more and more, were writing Christmas letters to one another.

An Englishman named Sir Henry Cole (founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum) is credited with sending the first printed Christmas cards in 1843. The card depicted a happy family, each holding a glass of wine, and the caption read, “A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU.” Cole had asked an artist to design this special hand colored lithograph card that he could send to friends. The printer who produced Cole’s card ran off extra copies that he sold for one shilling.

Richard H. Pease, a printer from Albany, New York, is believed to have sent the first specially printed American Christmas card in 1851.

The first company to mass-produce and sell Christmas cards was Charles Goodall & Sons of London in 1862. By the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Christmas cards had become a fixture of the holiday season.

And almost as long as Christmas cards have been a source of delight for holiday revelers, they have been the cause of intense labor for those who deliver the cards. As early as 1822 the postmaster of Washington, D.C., complained that he had to employ an additional 16 mailmen during the Christmas season to handle all the greetings that local citizens sent to one another. He asked, in vain, for a law setting a limit on the number of cards any one person could send. “I don’t know what we’ll do,” he wrote, “if this keeps on.” It has kept on. And even in the world of social media Americans still send two billion Christmas cards each year (along with 500 million e-cards).

Several vintage Christmas cards from the late 1800s and early 1900s are preserved in the Birmingham Public Library Archives, including the ones pictured here.

Janine Langston Named New Birmingham Public Library Deputy Director

L-R Karyn Davis-West, Central Library Regional Manager; Floyd Council, BPL Executive Director; Janine Langston, new BPL Deputy Director, Damein Baity, BPL Chief Financial Officer; Yolanda Hardy, BPL Regional Manager East/North.

Janine Langston, a 33-year veteran employee of the Birmingham Public Library, has been named as BPL’s new deputy director. She replaces Sandi Lee, who retired as BPL deputy director in December 2018. Langston's promotion was announced during the BPL Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, December 10. 

Langston, of Pleasant Grove, has a bachelor’s degree in interior furnishings and equipment from Auburn University (1982) and a Master of Library Science from The University of Alabama (1988). She is active in several professional organizations, including the BPL Staff Association, Jefferson County Library Association, Alabama Library Association, American Library Association, Public Library Association, and Association for Library Services to Children.

Langston began her BPL career at Wylam Branch Library in 1986, where she spent six years as a neighborhood librarian. She was then promoted and spent seven years (1992-1999) as children’s librarian and regional department head at Avondale Regional Branch Library. From 1999 to the present (20 years), Langston has served as BPL’s Literacy, Outreach and Youth Services coordinator, developing and overseeing literacy outreach projects and system-wide youth services.

Prior to being appointed as BPL deputy director, Langston served as BPL western regional manager from 2010 to the present and BPL northern regional manager from 2017 to the present.

Floyd Council, executive director of the Birmingham Public Library, said BPL is thankful for the Board of Trustees and Personnel Committee's report on the selection of Langston as deputy director.

"I am personally so grateful and look forward to working with Mrs. Langston as we lead BPL forward," Council said.

A graduate of the Junior League of Birmingham Leadership Institute, Langston has won several awards and recognition, including the Childcare Resources 2007 Children’s Advocate Award, Jefferson County Library 2008 Shining Star Award for Born to Read @ Your Library, and honorable mention in the 2009 American Library Association Outreach and Diversity Fair.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

BPL Receives $10,000 Grant for Alabama 2020 Census Outreach

The Birmingham Public Library has been awarded a $10,000 grant to promote, educate, and encourage participation in the Alabama 2020 Census.

BPL was among 34 government agencies and organizations Governor Kay Ivey announced December 1 will receive a combined $1 million in funds provided by the Legislature to increase Alabama’s self-response rate during the 2020 Census this spring.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of what a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census means for Alabama," Governor Ivey said. "Those numbers have a direct impact on billions of dollars in funding that affect schools, community programs, health care, job opportunities and just about every other aspect of our state. I thank our legislators for allocating funds for these outreach efforts, and I also commend local leaders and organizations for being proactive in these efforts.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funding allocated by the Legislature in the 2019-2020 Education Trust Fund Budget. ADECA acts as the state’s liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau and the lead state agency for 2020 Census outreach and preparation.

Governor Ivey’s Alabama Counts Initiative aims to ensure a maximum count in the 2020 Census, which begins in mid-March 2020 when every Alabama household address will receive an invitation to respond to the census.

BPL’s $10,000 grant will be used to implement programs and outreach initiatives to increase awareness and participation in the census.

Read about each of the grant recipients by clicking here.

Holiday Rhythms Christmas Music Sing-Along at Central Library December 17

What: Holiday Rhythms Christmas Music Sing-Along and Music Forum
When: Tuesday, December 17, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: Free and open to the public

Join us for a night of family fun singing, learning, and performing holiday rhythms together. Rosalind Crawford, music instructor; Marvin Pullom, pianist.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Adults and Peer Pressure: How to Live a Healthy, Balanced Life

Alisha Johnson, Pratt City Branch Library

Often times when we hear the words “peer pressure” we think of teens and others who are still at that stage of impressionability. Rarely do we think that adult peer pressure exists and that it could even be as damaging to one group as that of the aforementioned. However, adult peer pressure is very real and the effects of it could be that of a negative or positive tone.

Surely we have all heard of the idiom “keeping up with the Joneses,” and how this simple yet complex phrase has destroyed many families and lives. It speaks explicitly to the peer pressure that one feels when there is a perceived failure to keep up with one’s neighbor. In most cases it is materialistic. Many adults feel an overwhelming urge to work extra hours, drive a certain car, have the highest paying job, and acquire more in order to avoid emotions of inferiority. All of these things could have negative effects on a person’s mental health as well as physical health.

Allow me to share with you how peer pressure can be seen as a positive. During the spring and summer months, my neighbors sit on their porches and watch as all the beautiful flowers bloom and the green grass begins to grow. They confer with one another about vacation plans and their next home improvement ideas. It is not until that one neighbor, you know the one who really doesn’t talk with the others, pulls out his lawn equipment and begins to mow the lawn. It is in that moment that others follow suit. It is almost like an unspoken rule that when one person cuts their lawn, we all cut our lawn to keep our neighborhood clean and aesthetically pleasing. This type of peer pressure is not as intentional as the peer pressure that teens and children experience. Nevertheless, if adult peer pressure is not acknowledged and cultivated in the right manner, the outcome could negatively affect your physical and mental health. Ultimately, we should all do what is right for us and stay true to ourselves.

Check out these resources from your local library!

The Power of Others: Peer Pressure, Groupthink, and How the People around Us Shape Everything We Do by Michael Bond
The Power of Validation: Arming Your Child against Bullying, Peer Pressure, Addiction, Self-Harm & Out-of-Control Emotions by Karyn D. Hall, Melissa H. Cook
Discover Your True North by Bill George

Friday, December 06, 2019

Tuskegee Archivist to Give Polk Exhibit Lecture December 7 at Springville Road Regional Library

Dana Chandler, Tuskegee University archivist, will present a lecture on the Polk Exhibit at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7. 

The Polk Exhibit, a series of photographs featuring the work of renowned black photographer P.H. Polk, is now on display at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

The exhibit spotlighting Polk, considered one of the most influential black photographers of all time,  provides a visual glimpse of 20th-century life on the Tuskegee University campus and surrounding community.

 A reception and opening lecture by Dana Chandler, an archivist/historian at Tuskegee University, will take place at Springville Road Library at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. The event is free to the public. Call 205-226-4081 for more information.

Chandler, a history expert on Tuskegee University, said much of Polk’s work was centered around what was then known as Tuskegee Institute, and celebrated family life, national and local elite individuals, and specific events occurring on campus. 

The exhibit, available for public viewing through December 30, 2019, is being sponsored by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Southern Literary Trail.

A graduate of Auburn University, Chandler works as the University Archivist/Associate Professor at Tuskegee University. He is co-author of To Raise Up the Man Farthest Down: Tuskegee University’s Advancements in Human Health, 1881-1987 (published in 2018 by University of Alabama Press). Chandler has made over 50 presentations at a variety of venues and teaches history in the Department of History and Political Science.

The Polk Exhibit was originally supposed to be in the downtown Central Library 4th Floor Gallery but was moved due to the East Building being closed for construction of the Monumental Stairs Project replacing broken escalators.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

BPL Closed for Inventory Day December 12

All Birmingham Public Library locations will be closed Thursday, December 12, for Inventory Day.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide high-quality library services, it is important to devote a day to housekeeping projects. Some of the projects include shifting books to create more space on the shelves, discarding books that are too damaged to circulate, and reading the shelves to ensure that the books are in order and can be located. These projects are done to better serve our patrons for the coming year.

As always, our virtual library is open 24/7 for your convenience.

12 Days of Sweet Treats for the Holidays

by Leigh Wilson, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

With the holidays approaching, it is fun to think of baking sweet holiday treats for family and friends to enjoy. The Birmingham Public Library has many wonderful holiday cookbooks with great recipes to inspire you. Imagine yourself in Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, as you bake recipes that are sure to please your friends and family.

Best Holiday Sweets & Treats: Good and Simple Family Favorites to Bake and Share by Daniella Malfitano (2016)
Christmas Candy Book by Lou Seibert Pappas (2002)
Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen by Georgeann Brennan (2009)
Cookies for Christmas edited by Jennifer Dorland Darling (1999)
Creating the Happiest of Holidays by Susan Whit Sullivan (2009)
Healthy Holidays: Total Health Entertaining All Year Round by Marilu Henner (2002)
"Holiday Baking Championship Recipes" at Foodnetwork.com
Ideas for Entertaining from the African-American Kitchen by Angela Shelf Medearis (1997)
The Kids Holiday Baking Book: 150 Favorite Dessert Recipes from Around the World by Rosemary Black (2003)
Out of the Box Holiday Baking: Gingerbread Cupcakes, Peppermint Cheesecake, and More Festive Semi-Homemade Sweets by Hayley Parker (2018)
Taste of Home Christmas (2019)
The 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook: The Ultimate in Effortless Holiday Entertaining compiled by Marla Tipton (2010)

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

JCPLA Presents its 2019 Library Champion Awards

2019 JCPLA Library Champions: L-R Wardine Alexander, Gary Gerlach, Linda Coleman-Madison, Linda Chastain, Adrian Zebot, Joe Perez, and Charles Ghigna. Absent  is Tamisha Parker, who had to leave early.
The Jefferson County Public Library Association (JCPLA) on December 3 hosted its 2019 Library Champion Awards Luncheon honoring eight citizens for their support of public libraries throughout the county.

The Library Champions honored during the luncheon at the Hoover Met were as follows:

* Birmingham District 7 Councilor Wardine Alexander (nominated by Powderly Library Branch Manager Loretta Bitten)

Alexander is a former Birmingham School Board President who spent nearly a year on the Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees before being appointed to the Birmingham City Council's District 7. Immediately after taking office, Alexander made it known she wanted to contribute to Powderly Branch Library in her district. She used part of her discretionary funds to provide paint, chair rails, and blinds for the library's meeting room. Alexander also provided $5,000 to purchase equipment for Powderly Library. ln November 2019, Alexander won a public election to continue serving as District 7 Councilor.

 * Linda Chastain (nominated by Matina Johnson of the Hoover Public Library)

In 1980, Chastain set up a table outside a polling location, asking citizens about the need for a Hoover library and urged the newly elected mayor to build one. When Hoover Public Library opened three years later, Chastain was one of the first volunteers to collect books for the library. More than 35 years later, Chastain remains an active supporter of the Hoover Public Library. A co-founder of the Hoover Arts Alliance, Chastain is a big supporter of the library's mission to be the arts center for the Hoover community. She also assisted in establishing a Library Gallery at City Hall, helping extend cultural service beyond its four walls.
* Linda Coleman-Madison, Alabama State Senator for District 20 (nominated by Inglenook Library Branch Manager Karnecia Williams)

Coleman-Madison, Alabama State Senator of District 20 and ADA Compliance Administrator for the City of Birmingham, has been a passionate supporter of the Birmingham Public Library for years. In 2018 and 2019, Coleman-Madison contributed a combined $19,000 to five BPL loctions in her district - North Birmingham Regional Branch, Springville Road Regional Branch, Pratt City Branch, Ensley Branch, and Iinglenook Branch. Her contributions have helped all five libraries provide even more relevant programming specific to their communities.

 * Gary Gerlach (nominated by BPL Archives Department Head Jim Baggett on behalf of the Central Library)

Gerlach has volunteered in the BPL Archives Department downtown since 2001. Coming in three days a week, he works hundreds of hours annually. In a department that is always understaffed, Gerlach provides help processing collections, creating databases, and monitoring the department's environmental conditions. He helps pack and transport new collections, cleans the department, trains interns, and assists patrons with research questions. 

 * Charles Ghigna (nominated by Deborah Fout of the Homewood Public Library)

 A nationally known poet and author known as Father Goose, Charles Ghigna is a Homewood resident who has provided numerous free programs for the Homewood Public Library for years. He has done poetry readings, taught a session at an annual conference, and even starred in a float one year in the Homewood Christmas Parade. On December 14, the Homewood Public Library will feature Ghigna in a celebration of Alabama's 200th birthday.

An avid library user, Ghigna does much of his book research at the Homewood Public Library. He often debuts his books at the library, hosting programs that draw large crowds of all ages and generate positive publicity for the Homewood Public Library in publications and on social media.

 * Tamisha Parker (nominated by Allison Scanlan of the Pinson Public Library)

Parker was one of the main organizers who urged the creation of the Pinson Public Library and has served on its board of directors since it began in 2011, A recent retiree of Rudd Middle School, students told Parker they wanted Pinson to have its own public library and she helped them organize a campaign to build it. Since joining the library board, Parker has helped library staff form relationships with local schools. Parker is passionate about ESL education and helps the library reach out to Pinson's Latino population.  She is a strong advocate for the library in the community and city.

 * Joe Perez (nominated by April Moon on behalf of the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest)

A longtime supporter of Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest, Perez through his ownership of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop has provided bird seed monthly for the numerous bird feeders located throughout the wooded property. His bird feed attracts a variety of birds and squirrels, giving patrons an up-close view of the beautiful creatures.

Perez gives to the library with little fanfare and no expectation of attention, showing up unannounced with a huge bag of bird seed over his shoulder. Besides supporting the library, Perez volunteeers with the Vestavia Chamber of Commerce and in Leadership Vestavia Hills.

 * Adrian Zebot of the Junior Women Committee of 100 (nominated by Lindsy Gardner of the Emmet O'Neal Public Library)

Zebot is president of the Junior Women's Committee of 100, a group of mothers dedicated to supporting the Children's Department of Emmet O'Neal Library. Since 1970, the JWC has championed library services and donated over $700,000 to support innovation in the Children's Department.

JWC's primary fundraising event is the Summer Reading Kickoff Carnival, a family-friendly event  in its 45th year that includes a fun run and  50 creative carnival games.   About 600 children attended this year and over 300 registered to participate in Summer Reading. Zebot and her fellow JWC members volunteer hundreds of hours supporting the Children's Department every year.

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