Monday, November 18, 2019

Monumental Stairs Project: Escalators Removed from All 4 Floors of the Central Library

Contractor Taylor & Miree has removed escalators from all four floors of the Central Library.

Pardon our Progress: The Central Library Monumental Stairs Project, in which a four-story staircase will replace broken down escalators in the East Building, has entered its third month.

Mountain Brook-based contractor Taylor & Miree, which began the project on September 16, hit another milestone last week, removing escalators from all four floors. The stair project, designed by Birmingham architect Creig Hoskins, is expected to be completed by early March 2020. The escalators in the Central Library stopped working in December 2014. 

Contractor Taylor & Miree has removed escalators from all four floors of the Central Library.
Throughout the construction process, the BPL Friends Bookstore remains open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Book Review: The Dead Girls Club

by Jenn S. Patrick, Five Points West Regional Branch Library

The Dead Girls Club
Damien Angelica Walters

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is a twist on the classic story told by an unreliable narrator, and I think the author spun it with great success. From the beginning, I can see that the reader might be inclined to question the judgment of Heather, a psychologist who claims she murdered her best friend, Becca, when they were teenagers. Heather has grown up and hidden her secret past from everyone she loves, until it comes back to haunt her in the form of the necklace Becca was wearing when she died. Who could have sent Heather this necklace? Has her well-guarded secret been discovered?

When the author takes us back to the time surrounding the event, we learn that Becca and Heather were part of a “Dead Girls Club” in which macabre stories of true crime and lore were shared—stories that include the legend of the Red Lady, a witch who began haunting the girls of the club following a ritual in which they called her spirit. Could it be that the Red Lady killed Becca? As I watched Heather grow progressively unstable, I also followed the unexpected twists and turns that led to a satisfying conclusion.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Steps to Starting Your Business Seminar at Central Library December 10


What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

The Birmingham Public Library, in collaboration with SCORE and the City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, will be hosting Steps to Starting Your Business on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. The seminar will be held in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library.

Topics covered in the seminar 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 seminar 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 seminar 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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Celebrating 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday @BPL


Happy Thanksgiving in advance from all of us at the Birmingham Public Library.

Several of our 19 library locations are hosting free events to help patrons give thanks to loved ones and have fun activities to get in the holiday mood. Programs include Family Fun Night at Avondale Regional Library paying tribute to the movie Frozen, Fall Bingo, and a Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt taking place at Ensley Branch Library during operating hours from Monday, November 18 through Monday, November 25.

Here is a list of our upcoming Thanksgiving events, listed by day. Remember all 19 BPL locations will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday from Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1.

For a listing of BPL holiday programs throughout the year, click on the BPL seasonal calendar.


Wednesday, November 13 

Active Living for Seniors: Tablescapes, 10:30 a.m., Five Points West Regional Library – Learn different ways to decorate your holiday table.

Thursday, November 14 

Fall Bingo, 3:30 p.m., Ensley Branch Library – Participants will play Bingo led by library staff.

Monday, November 18 

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt, all day during library hours, Ensley Branch Library, Monday, November 18 through Saturday, November 23  Patrons will search the library for clues needed to answer questions about the observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Tot Time with Mrs. Eve: Celebrating National Button Day!, 9:30 & 11:00 a.m., Avondale Regional Library – Buttons, buttons everywhere! Join us for this very silly morning of button fun! Storytime designed for 2 to 4 year olds, with a parent or caregiver; no groups, please. 24-hour advanced registration required. Call 205-226-4000 to register.

Tuesday, November 19 

Family Fun Night: Fabulously Frozen, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Avondale Regional Library – We're going to let it go and have some fun! Join us for a Frozen family night filled with stories, songs, games, and more. Free but 24-hour advance registration required. Call 205-226-4000.

Thursday, November 21

Fall Bingo, 3:30 p.m., Ensley Branch Library – Participants will play Bingo led by library staff.

Monday, November 25 

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt, all day during library hours, Ensley Branch Library – Patrons will search the library for clues needed to answer questions about the observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Tot Time with Mrs. Eve: Happy Thanksgiving, 9:30 & 11:00 a.m., Avondale Regional Library – Join us for this fun-filled holiday celebration! Storytime designed for 2 to 4 year olds, with a parent or caregiver; no groups, please. 24-hour advanced registration required. Call 205-226-4000 to register.

Coffee, Conversation and Crafts Thanksgiving Potluck Meal, 11:00 a.m–1:00 p.m., Springville Road Regional Branch Library – The CCC group pitches in to offer a holiday meal for people who may not have any family with whom to share the Thanksgiving holiday. A true potluck, participants are encouraged to bring something to share with others. The group usually provides for about 40-50 servings. Paper products or bottled soft drinks may also be donated in lieu of food. Contact Kelley Laney at 205-226-4083 or kslaney@bham.lib.al.us to sign up.

Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway, 12:00 p.m., Smithfield Branch Library – The Smithfield Library will have a drawing for three Thanksgiving baskets which contain food to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. To enter the drawing patrons must check out five books and fill out a slip at the time of checkout; more than one slip can be filled out leading up to the drawing. Names will be drawn at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, November 25. 


Grilled Cheese Challenge, 2:00 p.m., Smithfield Branch Library. – Join us for our first Grilled Cheese Challenge! Learn how to craft an amazing grilled cheese and add what you like to your sandwich.

Wednesday, November 27

Action Moviethon, all day during library hours, Smithfield Branch Library (Note: the Smithfield Library closes for lunch from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.) – Take a break from Thanksgiving plans and join us for an action moviethon! From superheroes to car chases to explosions, we will have it all. Bring a snack and choose from some of your favorites.

Friday, November 08, 2019

North Birmingham Regional Library Hosting Diabetes Education Workshop November 12


Dr. Larrell Wilkinson, a UAB assistant professor, will lead a discussion about diabetes at 10:00 a.m.. November 12

The North Birmingham Regional Branch Library's Tuesday Mornings @ The Library presents " Look at Diabetes" on Tuesday, November 12, 10:15 to 11:00 a.m.

 Coffee and light refreshments will be served at this free program.

The speaker, Dr. Larrell Wilkinson, will lead an in-depth discussion of diabetes, a devastating disease that afflicts millions of Americans. Dr. Wilkinson is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham's Department of Human Studies and the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center.  

Dr. Wilkinson is also co-owner of WELLKM LLC, an agency that supports businesses and organizational efforts to flourish within their communities. In his talk, Dr. Wilkinson will share tips on proper eating habits and exercise that can help lower the risk of diabetes. In his professional capacity, he does research that emphasizes promoting active living, stress management, healthy eating, and getting necessary sleep for good health.

About 84.1 million Americans have pre-diabetes, and 9 out of 10 of them don't even know they have the disease. African-Americans have a high risk for Type 2 diabetes. Over 50 percent of Type 2 diabetes is preventable. The Alabama Public Health Department says Alabama has the third highest prevalence of diabetes in the nation. 

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, non-traumatic limb amputations and blindness in adults. Direct medical costs and lost productivity is estimated to be $327 billion a year, according to a study by the United Health Foundation.   


A certified health education specialist and health coach, Dr. Wilkinson does research at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and outreach efforts to support health improvement among the African-American community. He has worked in various capacities in public health and research, including interning at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the USC Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities.

At UAB, Dr. Wilkinson's primary research interest focuses on the reduction or elimination of health disparities through community engaged research. Dr. Wilkinson and his wife, Khalia, have three children.

Girls Code 205 Debuts at the Central Library

Girls Club 205 is a partnership between BPL & the National center for Women & IT.  

On Thursday, November 7, the Central Library hosted the debut of Girls Code 205, a partnership between the Birmingham Public Library and National Center for Women & IT that won a $15,000 grant from the CSforALL (Computer Science for ALL).

The class consisted of nearly 20 mostly middle-school-aged girls, all of whom soaked in knowledge of how to code computers. The grant will support efforts over the next 12 months by BPL and its community partners to expand computer science opportunities for girls and young ladies in metro Birmingham.


The November 7 class, led by instructor Zena Banker, an engineering student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, was the first of four free workshops.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Smithfield Branch Book Club Hosts Murder Mystery Program

Smithfield Adult Book Club held a murder mystery program, There Might Be No Christmas at Smithfield Branch Library. 


For the third straight year, the Birmingham Public Library has joined the popular “murder mystery” craze.

The Smithfield Branch Library on Wednesday, November 6, hosted a murder mystery program called “There Might Be No Christmas,” The Smithfield Adult Book Club, which meets monthly at the library,   took a break from reading a book to have fun trying to figure out the mystery killer, said Reba Williams, a library assistant at Smithfield Library.

Nationally, many public libraries are turning to murder mystery programs as a fun, creative way to create memorable experiences for patrons.

The Library Journal did a feature in March 2017 called Cozy Murder Mystery Programs That Pop.

While some use murder mystery games as a guide, others like BPL design and customize their own murder mystery programs. Two years ago in November 2017, the Smithfeld Adult Book Club also hosted a similar murder mystery party event with a Mardi Gras-theme.

In October 2018, the Five Points West Regional Library also hosted a Murder Mystery program with a Mardi Gras theme for its Active Living adult patrons.  To keep up with the many free programs BPL offers in its 19 locations, click on the calendar. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Springville Road Library Hosts Talk about Movie Star Chief Thunderbird Tonight

Chief Thunderbird, a movie star from the 1930s and 1940s. 

What: Chief Thunderbird: From Boarding School to the Big Screen
When: Adult program today, Tuesday, November 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Springville Road Regional Library; teen program  Wednesday, November 20, 3:30-4:30 p.m. at West End Branch Library.
Details: Grace Slaughter, a member of the Cheyenne tribe and former children's librarian with the Birmingham Public Library, will present a multimedia program on the life of her grandfather, Chief Thunderbird, a Cheyenne chief who starred in 20 movies between 1934 and 1944.

The granddaughter of Chief Thunderbird will talk about his life as a movie star and legacy as a member of the Cheyenne Indian tribe at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library tonight.

Grace Slaughter, a former children’s librarian with the Birmingham Public Library, will present “Chief Thunderbird: From Boarding School to the Big Screen,” a multimedia program about her famous grandfather. Her program for adult and families will take place tonight, Tuesday, November 5, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Springville Road Library.

Slaughter will tailor the program for teens in another talk at West End Branch Library on Wednesday, November 20, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Though known a Chief Thunderbird while appearing in over 20 films, he was credited only in about a half dozen major films. Chief Thunderbird was born Richard Davis Thunderbird on August 6, 1866, near Tongue River, Montana and attended the Carlisle Indian School.

Chief Thunderbird appeared in the Gene Autry film, The Singing Vagabond 

 A member of the Cheyenne tribe, he attended the Carlisle Indian School before being discovered and starting his acting career while working on the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Show. Thunderbird got his first big role in his next film, Laughing Boy (1934), where he played Laughing Boy's Father.

Read more about Chief Thunderbird’s movie career by clicking here on Wikepedia

Chief Thunderbird appeared in films during a time when Native Americans were often portrayed as evil and violent. His last role, in the feature 'The Falcon Out West' (1944), was uncredited. After his death two years later, the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles received a donation of much of the regalia he wore in films from his widow.

In 2015, the Cheyenne eagle-feather headdress he was often shown wearing, was donated to The Museum of Western Film History. The museum is located in Lone Pine, Calif. During his acting career, Chief Thunderbird also was known by various names on screen, including Richard Davis, Chick Davis, and Thunder Bird.

Central Library Monumental Stairs Project: 2 of 4 Escalators Now Removed

Contractor Taylor & Miree workers have removed the escalators from the 1st two floors of the Central Library.   

Pardon our Progress: Two of the four escalators have been removed as the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project enters its seventh week.

Construction workers with Mountain Brook-based Taylor & Miree began the piece-by-piece process of removing four stories of broken down escalators in the Central Library East Building on September 16, 2019. The City of Birmingham is replacing the escalators with a four-story staircase, designed by Birmingham architect Creig Hoskins.

Escalator pieces removed from the Central Library. 

The entire construction project is expected to be completed by early March 2020.

The BPL Friends Bookstore remains open during the construction project Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Taylor & Miree workers removed the second floor escalator in late October and are slowly removing the third floor escalators this week. Once the escalators are removed, the construction crew will begin prep work for the transition to installing the four-floor staircase.

Holiday Gift Giving and Crafts

by Alisha Johnson, Ensley Branch Library


What: Holiday crafts with the Burks
When: Tuesday, November 12, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Ensley Branch Library
Details: Free and open to the public

Are you looking for a low cost way to give some great gifts this holiday season? Well, join us at the Ensley Branch Library on November 12 to create some amazing folded magazine crafts.

Mr. and Mrs. Winfield Burks, longtime library advocates, will facilitate a program that will provide you with an hour of relaxation, entertainment and creative outlet all while exposing you to some Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, and German culture. These crafts will take some time but are not difficult to make.

For more information, contact us via phone at 205-785-2625 or on social media. We would love to see your face in the place!

Check out these resources at your local library!

Paper Folding Fun by Didier Boursin
Paper-Folding Fun!: 50 Awesome Crafts to Weave, Twist & Curl by Ginger Johnson; illustrations by Betsy Day
Origami & Other Paper Creations by Ghylenn Descamps

Monday, November 04, 2019

BPL Girls Code 205 Wins $15,000 Computer Science for All Grant

Zena Banker, an engineering student from UAB, is teaching a Girls Code 205 workshop at the Central Library.

What: Girls Code 205, a partnership between the Birmingham Public Library and National Center for Women & IT, has won a $15,000 grant from the CSforALL (Computer Science for ALL)
Details: The funding will support local organizing efforts to expand computer science opportunities for girls and women. The Central Library is hosting a four-week Girls 205 workshop that kicks off Thursday, November 7, the first of many taking place over the next 12 months.

CSforALL (Computer Science for ALL), with support from Schmidt Futures, has announced the Birmingham Public Library’s Girls Code 205 program is one of 10 national EcoSystemforCS grant recipients. BPL is the only winner from Alabama.

Over a one year period, the 10 selected communities—including BPL— will receive a catalyst grant of $15,000 with a required 1:1 match. The funding will support local organizing efforts to expand computer science opportunities for girls in grades K-12, and unlock resources, partnerships, and opportunities.

BPL has partnered with the National Center for Women & IT (Internet Technology) to establish the Girls Code 205 program. Girls Code 205 is hosting its first workshop presented by Zena Banker, a UAB Engineering Student, this Thursday, November 7, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Central Library.

“The Birmingham Public Library Youth and Teen Services is excited to partner with NCWIT and ALA (The American Library Association) to help provide computer science programs throughout the city,” said Bessie Miller, department head of the Central Library Youth and Teen Department.

BPL and the other nine awardees from across the United States represent the first national EcoSystemforCS recipients as part of an effort to expand computer science opportunities for girls and women. The National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and BPL program, Girls Code 205, is dedicated to increasing the participation of girls and women in K-12 computing opportunities in the Birmingham area.

Goals of the ecosystem include providing K-12 computing programs for girls/young women, professional development of educators for libraries and school partners, and development of resources for libraries and schools.

In an announcement out of Salt  Lake City, Josh Elder, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Computer Science for ALL, said the competition for the grants was extensive, with 74 applications received from over 30 states.

“We were looking for applications that had a diverse set of partner organizations, and committed to supporting the growth of CS (computer science) education in their community,” Elder said. “We are confident that these ten will strategically utilize their grant in a measurable and impactful way.”

The 10 awardees are:

1. Central Washington CS Alliance (Wenatchee, Washington)
2. Central2CS, (Worthington, OH)
3. CS4ALL Miami powered by Miami EdTech (Miami, FL)
4. CSforCHI (Chicago, Illinois)
5. CSforOK (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
6. CSforRGV (Mission, Texas)
7. CSMN-Southeast (St. Paul, Minnesota)
8. Gateway to Computer Science (Richmond, Virginia)
9. Girls Code 205 in Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama) 
10. New MexiCodes (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Read more about each EcoSysytemforCS winner.

About CSforALL (Computer Science for ALL) CSforAll is the national hub of the computer science for all movement with a mission to make high-quality computer science an integral part of K-12 education in the United States. Follow on Twitter @CSforALL.  

About Schmidt Futures: Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others.

With 19 locations, BPL is one of the largest public library systems in the Southeast. Learn more about our many programs and services for the public by visiting the BPL events calendar.

Steps to Starting Your Business at Central Library November 19


What: Steps to Starting Your Business
When: 3rd Tuesday of each month, July–November 2019
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library, Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th floor

The Birmingham Public Library, in collaboration with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and the City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, will continue hosting the monthly seminar Steps to Starting Your Business from July to September 2019. The seminar is scheduled to be held on the following Tuesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium, which is located on the 4th floor of the Linn-Henley Research Library: November 19.

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 jmurray@bham.lib.al.us or by phoning 205-226-3691.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Meet Author Tammy Nichole at BPL's Local Authors Expo November 2

Tammy Nicole is the author of I Married My Father:Understanding How DNA Plays a Part in Choosing the Right Mate
Tamara Freeman's journey towards self-discovery and loving herself began after she went through a divorce.

Now, using the pen name of Tammy Nicole, the Birmingham-based psychotherapist is using her personal experiences to help other women find the right mate - and discover self-love - through her new book, I Married My Father: Understanding How DNA Plays a Part in Choosing the Right Mate

Come meet Freeman as she is among 14 authors who will sell books and share their stories to attendees of the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo. The event is Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Five Points West Regional Library.

Freeman talks of how  a lot of women's beliefs on dating and marriage are "based on their own relationship with their dad growing up."

 It was a lesson Freeman learned upon going through her own divorce. Freeman was living in California and moved back to her hometown of Birmingham, where she built a successful business and learned to love herself the way she deserved.

A Birmingham psychotherapist, Freeman runs three clinics in Alabama, and has built a reputation as a specialist on mental health issues. Through her first book, Freeman hopes to revolutionize how women look at marriage, their fathers and themselves.

Meet C.L. Threatt at BPL Local Authors Expo Saturday

Author C.L. Threatt has written 18 books. Meet him at BPL's Local Authors Expo on November 2.  
Birmingham's C.L. Threatt is one of the most accomplished self-published authors in Birmingham, with 18 books under his belt.

Threatt will share tips on how to move from an idea to publishing  - and sell/autograph copies of many of his books - as one of 14 authors participating in the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo, on Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library.

You can find a listing of Threatt's books on his website.

Threatt's latest three books are:
 * Sylvester the Investor, which was inspired by his fascination with the world of investing and "my wanting to teach it to kids because it's something I didn't learn when I was in school"

 * Up and Adam the Fitness Tandem - Inspired by Threatt seeing the rise in childhood obesity as a health issue nationally and desiring to educate the public about how to solve it.

 * The Bully Proof Vest - This book follows up on another children's book Threatt wrote about bullying several years ago.

"It was inspired my seeing the problem of so many of our children losing confidence in themselves, some even committing suicide because of something someone said either to or about them," he said.

 As a veteran of self-publishing books, Threatt often gives workshops on the dos and don'ts. he also gives workshops at various companies and for nonprofits. You can find more information on his website.

 "My advice to aspiring authors is to always believe in yourself," Threatt said. "Pay attention to trends that are going on in society and notice other books in your chosen genre (look, feel, size, page count, etc.)."

Threatt said author can find illustrators on a website called www.fiverr.com, or they can draw their own. Printing can be done via Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing site , he said.

Threatt said authors Use as much free marketing as possible through social media sites and "tell everyone about your book. Also, be sure to create your own website."

Meet 14 Writers at Local Authors Expo Saturday at Five Points West Regional Branch Library

What: 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo
When: Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Where: Five Points West Regional Branch Library. 4812 Avenue W, Birmingham, Ala. 35208
Details: Free to the public. Come meet 14 authors from across Alabama who will sell and sign their books and share details on the writing process. For information, call 205-226-4013.

Want to be inspired by some of Alabama's best self-published authors, including hidden gems with fascinating stories to tell?

Then make your way to the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo, this Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library.

The Local Authors Expo is open to the public for free. Fourteen authors will be on hand to discuss their work, sell and autograph books, and talk about their writing process. Click here for details from a Fox 6 interview that aired October 1.

Below is an introduction to the 14 writers participating in the Local Authors Expo:

Joyce E. Brooks, author of Shift Happens
Joyce Brooks, author of Shift Happens

Brooks memoir is about her faith walk after being diagnosed again with breast cancer shortly after she celebrated a decade of being cancer free. The Hoover resident has written five other books: Mr. Brown, Will You Please Open the Door?, Self-Inflicted Overload, Stress Less and Live More: 52 Tips for Living Fully, The Power of Two Words- A Little Motherly Advice and It Ain’t Over.
Read more about Brooks and her books by clicking here. 



Georgia Fitzpatrick, author of  Shorts and Returning to the Homeland

Shorts  is a gathering of snippets from Williams-Fitzpatrick’s childhood growing up in Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s.  Born in 1948 in Birmingham, Fitzpatrick said she intentionally did not focus on the bitter pain of segregation that dominated Alabama at the time, writing instead about positive memories of growing up  in the state.

Returning to the Homeland is Fitzpatrick’s memoir of when she lived in West Alabama for four years, mainly in Ghana and Liberia. “It’s about some of the fun things we did while living in Africa and discovering my homeland,” she said.


Tamara Freeman, author under the pen name of Tammy Nicole of I Married My Father: Understanding How DNA Plays a Part in Choosing the Right Mate 

 This nonfiction book is Freeman’s guide to self-love for women on how to pick the right mate. Freeman talks of how women base their personal beliefs on potential husbands on how they viewed their father.
 A Birmingham psychotherapist, Freeman runs  three clinics in Alabama, and has built a reputation as a specialist on mental health issues. Through her first book, Freeman hopes to revolutionize how women look at marriage, their fathers and themselves.

Ken Gordon Jr., author of Divorced But Still Dad: Faith Principles of Fatherhood for Divorced Men 
Author Ken Gordon, Jr. 

 Gordon, pastor of The House of Light Church in Birmingham, was inspired to write Divorced But Still Dad after struggling through a divorce and searching for a way to stay connected to his children. He wanted to find a way to go through the divorce process that honored his children, his commitment to God and even his commitment to his ex-wife.

When he could not find a resource, Gordon wrote one, sharing faith principles for divorced fathers and placing emphasis on engaged co-parenting. To buy the book, click here

DeCorey Hale, author of Ebenezer The Sneezer
DeCorey Hale, author of Ebenezer The Sneezer

Hale, a Sylacauga native says he created the character, Ebenezer the Sneezer, as a series of bedtime stories he read at bedtime to satisfy his daughter Nylah’s hunger for literature and to make reading more real for her.

 Hale turned those stories into the book, Ebenezer the Sneezer, and has been reading to children across Alabama. 
Order the book by clicking on Hale's website.




Hugh Hardy, author of Maysa Brown: A World in Turmoil 
Author Hugh Hardy, Jr.

In September 2018, Hugh Hardy, Jr. penned his first novel, Maysa Brown: Rise to Power, the story of a young woman's unlikely assent from unknown Alabama college student to become the United States' first female president.

 In Maysa Brown: A World in Turmoil, Maysa Brown and the college professor she loves, Michael Green, continue on their path to try to make the world a better place, with evil always just around the corner.

The novel is full of twists and turns as she encounters an adversary trying to overturn the apple cart in President Nasser of Syria.

 This is the second novel in the Maysa Brown series by Hardy, a library assistant at Powderly Branch Library.




T’Neesha Jackson, author of The Best Is Yet to Come: A Mother of 7 Transparent Journey to Success 

Who would ever think at the age of 26 they would be the mother of 7 children?

Author T'Nesha Jackson shares her heart-wrenching journey of the little girl who was molested by people who were supposed to love her who became the young lady who looked for love in severely abusive relationships.

It is a story of how Jackson has finally become a woman who learned to stand up for herself and for her children.

Jackson says her book is designed to give encouragement to women who have multiple cihldren or are striving to overcome childhood trauma or abusive relationships.

Come meet Jackson at the Local Authors Expo and be inspired by her amazing testimony.

Robert Phillips, author of Pig Tales: Stories of Law Enforcement

Phillips, of Bagley, Ala., has been a member of law enforcement for nearly 32 years, much of it with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. Some would say “he’s seen it all,” but Phillips says there are some things he doesn’t want to see.

In his new book, Pig Tales, the Sipsey native details some of his law enforcement experiences in a fun-read in which you tag along on his journey.

“Reading this book you’ll quickly find out law enforcement is nothing like what you see on TV,” Phillips said.

The book includes Phillips first day on the job at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in April 1968, when an inmate put a knife to his throat in an attempt to escape. The book provides an insider’s view of the law enforcement family, such as what it is like to take part in car chases, get shot at, go to robbery-in-progress calls, and make drug arrests.

Stephanie Smith, aka Samantha Lewis, author of I Want My Darn Skates 

I Want My Darn Skates is a memoir about a woman who grew up poor and experienced family drama.



She leans on faith to overcome many challenges.



  Click here to read more about Smith’s book.



Logan Stoves, author of The Homecoming Racer 

Logan Stoves, author of The Homecoming Racer. 
A Birmingham native and 2017 graduate of Ramsay High School, Stoves is a junior at Troy University. The Homecoming Racer is his debut novel. The book is a fictional story of Jackson, who Stoves describes as your typical high school athlete: laid-back, competitive, and with a clique.

Jackson has everything he wants and more except for two things—Grace Moore, the girl of his dreams, and a championship racing trophy.

 Being a rookie is already tough as it is, but winning a championship is even harder. Scoring a date with his crush is quite the task for this shy guy.

Will Jackson’s plans come to pass? Find out more by ordering Stoves' book.

Order the book by clicking here.

C.L. Threatt, author of 18 books  including The Bully Proof Vest and Up and Adam The Fitness Tandem 

Threatt is one of the most accomplished self-published authors in Birmingham, writing three more over the past year to bring his total to 18 books. His books range from motivational (Laid Off, but Not Laid Out tells the story of how he recovered from being laid off of a job of 19 years with only one-day notice) to The Real Christmas Story, his take on a classic poem, The Night before Christmas.

Click here for more information on Threatt’s books.

Threatt has built most of his following through children’s books. The Bully Zone and his latest, The Bully Proof Vest, deal with childhood bullying. TJ.’s Big Discovery addresses illiteracy by encouraging a boy to learn how to read, and Up and Adam the Fitness Tandem focuses on childhood obesity, health and nutrition.


Kioka Tuck, author of Dream Sweet Baby

 What happens when little ones have a hard time falling asleep? In Tuck's new book, Dream Sweet Baby and his plush alligator have the perfect solution.
They don't count sheep, they use counting and their imaginations to fall asleep at bedtime.

  The book is available on Amazon.




Bianca Walker, author of Wrestling With Love  

Wrestling With Love is about Ivy Brown, a plus-size, single mother living in Atlanta struggling with love while raising her boys alone. She switched colleges, gave up her first love, and was disowned by her parents.

Years later, Ivy is a successful business owner whose world centers on her sons. A chance meeting with the last type of man Ivy would expect to find herself with shakes up Ivy's safe, dull world. The book follows Ivy wrestling with her past and the need for love.

Read more about Walker and her books  by clicking here. 

Carla Youngblood, Author of Cancer Ain’t Funny! Laugh Anyway

An accountant turned stand-up comedienne, Youngblood’s debut novel is her journey about how she survived breast cancer with the joy of laughter. Youngblood said the book is designed to give encouragement to people battling cancer. 

Currently, Youngblood is traveling throughout the United States, giving motivational speeches about “Adversities of Life” and performing her one-woman show “The Truth about Breast Cancer.”

 Read more about Youngblood’s book by clicking here 

BPL Local Authors Expo- Meet Logan Stoves, Author of The Homecoming Racer

Logan Stoves, author of The Homecoming Racer. 
Book: The Homecoming Racer
About the Author: Logan Stoves, 21, is a junior at Troy University, majoring in MultiMedia Journalism. He writes a blog, Spacealiens Sports.
How to reach the author: loganstoves81@gmail.com; on Facebook by clicking her

Logan Stoves wants to to encourage other young men in metro Birmingham to never give up on their dreams.

The 21-year-old Birmingham native found time in his busy schedule attending Troy University to accomplish a longtime goal of releasing his first novel, The Homecoming Racer, earlier this year on January 2.

 Stoves will share his story and sell copies of his book during the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo, on Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library.

A Birmingham native and 2017 graduate of Ramsay High School, Stoves is a junior pursuing a degree in multimedia journalism.

The Homecoming Racer is a fictional novel of Jackson, who Stoves describes as your typical high school athlete: laid-back, competitive, and with a clique. Jackson has everything he wants and more except for two things—Grace Moore, the girl of his dreams, and a championship racing trophy.

 Being a rookie racer is already tough as it is, but winning a championship is even harder. Scoring a date with his crush is quite the task for this shy guy.

 In a Q&A, Stoves talked about his new book and what he hopes young people learn from it.

 Q: What inspired you to write The Homecoming Racer? 

Stoves: I grew up being a NASCAR fan, and it's a sport that's predominately white and uncommon for African Americans, like me, to be race car drivers. Each time I told my parents and friends I wanted to be a driver, they laughed.

When I wrote this book, I thought of the character as myself attempting to make history. The NASCAR championship race is usually around the time of Homecoming in high school, so that's where the title came from.

Q: Do you see a lot of yourself and other teenagers you knew in high school in the main character? 

Stoves: I try to take some of the characteristics of myself and others and put them into my characters. 

Q: I commend you in writing this novel in January 2019 at age 20 – What advice can you offer to other young men who desire to write a book? 

Stoves: One simple rule: Just pick up your pencil and write. Powering through writer's block can be tough, but keep going.

Q: Any tips on self publishing a book? 

 Stoves: Don't rush to get your book published without doing your research on a company, or it could burn you in the long run. Make sure you get editors with proper credentials. With the uptick of graphic design, it was easy to find an illustrator. With Amazon, it was easy to upload everything. I would also recommend getting a proof of the book before making it live for sale.

Trivia Night! Star Wars at Rojo Birmingham November 12


What:
Trivia Night! Star Wars
When: Tuesday, November 12, 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Where: Rojo Birmingham
Details: FREE to participate but registration is required through the BPL events calendar. Seating at 6:00 p.m.; games start at 7:00 p.m.

Join some of the Avondale Regional Branch Library staff at Rojo Birmingham to compete in Star Wars film trivia night and win prizes. This month's trivia event is in honor of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, released in theaters nationwide in December.

For more information about this event contact Joan Inman at cjinman@bham.lib.al.us or 205-226-4000.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

BPL's Seven Neighborhood Libraries to Resume Winter Operating Hours November 4


With the end of daylight saving time, all seven Birmingham Public Library neighborhood libraries are switching from regular operating hours to a 2019-20 winter hours schedule effective Monday, November 4, 2019.

The winter hours are for the following seven neighborhood branch libraries: East Ensley, Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn, and Wylam. The neighborhood libraries will maintain the winter schedule until daylight saving time resumes on March 9, 2020.

Winter hours schedule:

Monday
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Tuesday
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Wednesday
1:00–5:00 p.m.

Thursday
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Friday
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Closed all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Click here for operating hours for all BPL locations. 

International Games Week at BPL


International Games Week is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games. Stop by these Birmingham Public Library locations to see how you measure up in some friendly board and video game competition!

Eastwood Library
November 4–7, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Smithfield Library
November 4–8, 3:30–6:00 p.m.

Avondale Library
November 9. 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Springville Road Regional Library Offers Cane-Fu Self-Defense for Seniors


Stacey Burkes, left, showed off Cane Fu self-defense moves at BPL Staff Day. 

What: Cane-Fu  Self Defense for Seniors
When: Thursday, October 31, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Springville Road Regional Branch Library
Details: Led by veteran karate instructor Stacey Burkes, Cane-Fu is a martial arts class for seniors designed to teach them how to protect themselves. It is also open to other adults who use a cane, with instructions on how to turn it into a self-defense tool. Free to anyone. To register, contact Kelly Laney  of the Springville Road Regional Library at 205-226-4081 or kslaney@bham.lib.al.us.

Are you a senior citizen or adult using a cane to get around?

Then make plans now to be at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library for Cane-Fu - Self Defense for Seniors - a new monthly class led by veteran martial arts instructor Stacey Burkes. The next class will be this Thursday, October 31, 12:30 p.m.
Instructor Stacey Burkes at a Cane-Fu self-defense class at Springville Road Regional Library.  
Burkes' class teaches seniors how to protect themselves from those meaning them harm, using martial arts moves and their cane. A Birmingham native and graduate of Phillips High School, Burkes teaches karate lessons in downtown Ensley and has been a karate instructor for over three decades.

Burkes specializes in several forms of karate, including Shorin ryu, Shobu-kai and Yoshu kai karate.

Burkes has been giving karate lessons for years senior citizens in Center Point and began teaching Cane-Fu at Springville Road Regional Library at the request of Adult Services Librarian Kelly Laney, who felt it would be a got fit for their patrons.

Attendees of a Cane-Fu self-defense class at Springville Road Library.
The class has been well received, Laney said. Burkes gave a karate demonstration for Birmingham Public Library Employees October 24 during its annual Staff Day training.

Burkes said his goal is for Cane-Fu attendees to gain confidence and eliminate their fear when out in public.

"My desire is for class participants to gain independence and to know they no longer have to be frightened anymore just because they use a cane," Burkes said.

Cane-Fu is free to the public. For information and dates of upcoming classes, contact Kelly Laney  of the Springville Road Regional Library at 205-226-4081 or kslaney@bham.lib.al.us.

From Page to Stage: A Year with Frog and Toad – A Readers' Theater Workshop for Children


The Birmingham Public Library (BPL), in partnership with the Birmingham Children’s Theatre (BCT) and Junior League of Birmingham (JLB), invites you to attend From Page to Stage: A Year with Frog and Toad – A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of A Year with Frog and Toad, BPL will be hosting free workshops at several of its area libraries. Children, aged 7 to 12, will learn how stories come alive through the magic of theater. JLB members will coach the children and introduce them to similar literature located in their local library. Each child will receive two free tickets (one child and one adult ticket) to the BCT A Year with Frog and Toad production in December 2019.

Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way. Arnold Lobel's treasured characters hop from page to stage as these two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make-believe...all charm, A Year with Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures throughout every season.

Workshop space is limited, so contact your participating library location to register a child for the workshop. Register through the BPL events calendar by clicking on a library link below.

Avondale: Sunday, November 3, 2:30 p.m.
Titusville: Saturday, November 9, 2:30 p.m.
North Birmingham: Saturday, November 9, 2:30 p.m.
West End: Saturday, November 16, 2:30 p.m.
Five Points West: Sunday, November 17, 2:30 p.m.

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