Showing posts from May, 2019

Springville Road Librarian Kelly Laney Named District 1 Super Citizen of the Month

Birmingham City Councilor Clinton Woods has named Kelly Laney, adult librarian at Springville Road Regional Library, as recipient of the May 2019 Birmingham District 1 Super Citizen Award.

Woods said the award is to recognize Laney for her years of dedicated service and genuine love for helping people. "Birmingham Public Library System, you've got someone truly special in Ms. Laney," Woods said.

Laney is the third recipient of the District 1 Super Citizen Award, which Woods set up to recognize people in the district who go above and beyond in helping the community. In a video he released announcing the award, Wood said Laney in her position as adult librarian makes a difference in the lives of patrons of Springville Road Library.

"She really does a great job here, especially with the seniors here at the library in making sure they have regular programming,"Councilor Woods said. "Something is going on every day other than Wednesday. They give people somethin…

BPL Southern History Department Summer 2019 Genealogy Workshop Schedule Announced

If you desire to gain knowledge about how to research your family tree this summer, the Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting several genealogy workshops throughout Birmingham during June and July.

Workshops are free of charge, but advanced registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or Learn more about the resources the Southern History Department has to help research your family tree by following the Southern History Facebook page 

 The summer 2019 workshop schedule, some of which are a part of BPL's 2019 Summer Learning activities, are as follows:

 • Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 10:30 a.m., Central Library  Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) - Optimize Your DNA Genealogy Experience, Part 2 

Gain useful information on testing companies’ services and websites, and get answers to your questions about them.

 • Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 2:00 p.m…

Birmingham Public Library hosts 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

The Birmingham Public Library held its 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Thursday, May 29, at Five Points West Regional Library.

The annual gathering is BPL's way of publicly thanking the dozens of volunteers who donate hours at our 19 libraries and the BPL Friends Bookstore , located in the Central Library downtown, or share their talents by hosting programs for patrons of our 19 locations across Birmingham. BPL also showed appreciation to the volunteers who serve on the BPL Board of Trustees and the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library. 
Thanks for all that you do to help BPL "put people first" in the City of Birmingham.

2019 Local Author Lectures: Ruby Y. Davis Presents Hearsay

Local Author Lectures: Saturday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. at Five Points West Regional Branch Library

About the Author: Ruby Y. Davis is author of Hearsay and founder of The Davis Law Group

How to reach the author:

About the book:Hearsay is defined as unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge. In a court of law, hearsay is often disregarded and cannot be used when presenting testimony. Ruby Y. Davis, Attorney at Law, knows firsthand how hearsay can affect not only a court case, but life. She has had to work her way up the ladder to become a top attorney in Birmingham while balancing life, being a mother, and starting her own law firm. Her desire in life is to positively influence others that seek to do what she has already done...beat the odds. Through this book, Davis puts the hearsay to rest.

Read more about Davis’ book Hearsay by clicking here.

Since becoming a teenage mother, Birmingham’s Ru…

2019 NBA Finals


North Birmingham Library Family Nights Kicks Off June 3

During the month of June, the North Birmingham Regional Branch Library is hosting a new series of family activities called North Birmingham Family Nights. There will be a light dinner at 6:00 p.m. with information and fun for the hour afterward.

The programs kick off on Monday, June 3, and is among more than 400 free programs for kids, teens, and adults being held from June to early August as part of the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Summer Learning.

North Birmingham Library's programs, all being held on Monday nights between June 3 and June 17 at 6:00 p.m., are designed to help students avoid “summer learning loss," a phrase referring to when students lose knowledge gained during the preceding school year while on summer break.

Registration for the Birmingham Public Library's 2019 Summer Learning programming is now under way. Click here.

Below is a breakdown of the North Birmingham Library Family Night programs, sponsored by the McWane Science Center in downtown Birm…

Nonprofit Management Class Series Returns to Central Library on First Tuesday Evening of the Month Beginning July 2

Nonprofit organizations come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they want to develop, fund, and implement creative programs that serve to fulfill their mission. Most people who work in the nonprofit world have the desire and commitment to make this happen, but they often lack access to learning resources that will help them understand how best to get there. If you feel like this applies to you, whether you are an experienced nonprofit leader or someone brand new to the field, then you will want to attend the Birmingham Public Library’s Nonprofit Management Class Series. The classes will be offered at the library’s Central Location from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the following months: July–October, December 2019. The classes are offered as part of a collaboration between BPL and the Harvard Club of Birmingham.

The series instructor is John Whitman, PhD. A veteran of both the private and nonprofit sectors, Dr. Whitman has also tau…

New Southern Exposure DVDs Donated to All 19 Birmingham Public Library Locations

The Alabama Rivers Alliance and Black Warrior Riverkeeper have partnered to donate to the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) 19 copies of the latest edition of Southern Exposure, a film series educating the public about Alabama’s natural resources.

Each of BPL’s 19 locations will soon have one DVD copy of the 2018 edition of Southern Exposure, a series of documentary shorts on various Alabama environmental topics by independent filmmakers. Read more about the film by clicking here.

DVDs of previous Southern Exposure editions are available at all BPL branches thanks to prior donations.

“Clean water and a viable environment are like unto the free flow and access to information,” said Floyd Council, executive director of BPL. “The Birmingham Public Library is honored to participate in this amazing community engagement effort to inform and call everyday people to empowered action. As a major Urban Libraries Council Public Library in the Southeast, we are excited about making the Southern Ex…

Nonfiction Book Review: Vegan with a Vengeance

by Shea Robinson, Fiction Department, Central Library

Vegan with a Vengeance
Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Instead of diving into a new vegan cookbook this month, I decided to revisit a classic that's been on my kitchen bookshelf over a decade. Isa Chandra Moskowitz guided my initial expedition into vegan cooking with her 2007 release, Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. While Veganomicon offers a comprehensive experience with more elaborate recipes, Vegan with a Vengeance delivers a straightforward approach to simple meals requiring minimal effort.

The layout of the book is clean and uncluttered, with color photos located only in the middle. While the visuals may be limited, the information is abundant. Every recipe is detailed and I’ve found the serving quantities to match correctly with the ingredient amounts. It’s always a plus for me when the two are in sync. There are also additional tidbits of side-notes sprinkled throughout the book to help beginners master tofu, prep veget…

Birmingham Public Library Young Professionals Rojo Taco Tuesday Fundraiser June 4

Dine at Rojo in the Highland Park area of Birmingham on Tuesday, June 4, any time from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, and support the Young Professionals of the Birmingham Public Library at the same time! Tell the cashier and 10% of the food proceeds will go to benefit YPs and BPL.

Podcast Club

Podcast Discussion Club

When? Monday, June 10 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Where? Avondale Public Library Conference Room

Do you love listening to podcasts? Do you wish you could discuss your favorite episodes with a group?

Well, look no further. Our newest group is like a book club but for podcasts. We’ll meet, listen to selected podcast episodes, and have a lively discussion. We welcome new listeners, as well as podcast enthusiasts. You’ll probably leave with some new podcasts to add to your listening list.

This month, we’ll listen to an interview with travel documentarian, Anthony Bourdain, as he discusses the intersection of food & culture. Join us for what promises to be an interesting discussion about food, science and culture.

See you there!

Book Review: Ayesha at Last

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

Ayesha at Last
Uzma Jalaluddin

“Because while it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there's an even greater truth: To his Indian mother, his own inclinations are of secondary importance.”

For the April Birmingham Public Library Diversity Reading Challenge, I picked a few books to read that I thought would be fun—the first one being Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. And while it’s described as a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, the reader won’t be bored with a repeat of the original. There are definitely some unexpected twists and, more importantly, since Ayesha is a person of color with a Muslim heritage living in Canada (like the author herself!), we get a P&P retelling from a different perspective. Ayesha is a poet, teacher, and as her family likes to point out, a spinster, struggling with the expectations she has for herself and the ones that her fam…

Wylam Library Summer Programs Moved to Ensley Library, Faith Chapel Christian Center

While a new Wylam Branch Library is being built by the City of Birmingham, all 2019 BPL Summer Learning programs scheduled for the old building are being relocated.

All of the Wylam Branch Library Summer Learning programs for youth will be held at Faith Chapel Christian Center.

All of the Wylam Library adult summer programs are being rescheduled to Ensley Branch Library.

The old 2,000 square foot Wylam Library was demolished in early May and is being replaced with a new 6,000 square foot building slated to open in January 2020.

Here is a listing of Wylam Library Summer Learning programs and locations

Tuesday, June 4 & 11, 10:00 a.m. - Exploring Stories from Around the World
Location: Faith Chapel Christian Center.
Join Miss Fontaine for storytelling adventures with the audience playing a role in the tale telling.

Tuesday, June 18, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Critters and Constellations
Location: Faith Chapel Christian Center.
Have you ever gazed up at the night sky and wondered what stor…

2019 BPL Summer Learning Spotlight: Youth Rocket Science Program

Kids of all ages who have a fascination with rockets need to take advantage of the Birmingham Public Library's 2019 Summer Learning program Youth Rocket Science, led by Jan Mattingly, aka The Science Lady.

Mattingly’s free program will share information about the basics of flight and Alabama’s history of rockets in a fun way. It is among more than 400 free programs for kids, teens, and adults BPL is hosting between June and early August to help students on break avoid “summer learning loss," a phrase referring to when students lose knowledge gained during the preceding school year.

In addition to her Youth Rocket Science program, Mattingly is hosting a Rocket Engineering Challenge at Pratt City Branch Library at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, in which kids will make paper rockets and try to launch them 50 feet into the air.

Mattingly, whose company is called Dynamic Education Adventures, is a longtime supporter of BPL’s Summer Learning activities.

Below are the dates and libr…

BPL launching "Real Men Talk," an after school male mentoring program

The Birmingham Public Library is launching "Real Men Talk," a new after school male mentoring program debuting in September 2019.

Join us for a kickoff informational session taking place on Saturday, June 15, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in the Central Library East Grand Reading Room in downtown Birmingham. Snacks will be provided. Youth organizations, church groups and men interested in volunteering are invited.

"Real Men Talk" is an after school library male mentoring program series featuring men of various professions talking to BPL teens about their careers, sharing advice about real life issues and answering questions any teen would like to ask an adult male. It is modeled after “Real Men Read,” a program held annually at  Fairfield’s Robinson Elementary. Real Men Read is a product of I See Me Inc., founded by Robinson Elementary teacher Devon Frazier.

Though designed to provide a positive male mentor toward teen boys who do not have a father at home, it will be…

Bards & Brews Open Mic at Birmingham Art Crawl June 6

Bards & Brews will have a change of day and scenery in June with our participation in the Birmingham Art Crawl. The Birmingham Art Crawl is scheduled for Thursday, June 6, 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., in downtown Birmingham, rain or shine; Bards & Brews performances are scheduled from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Voice Porter will serve as host.

Bards & Brews will be open air and open mic across from the Pizitz Food Hall on 19th street. Food and beer will be available for purchase at the Pizitz Food Hall.

As you check out the amazing visual artists of the Magic City, join us for an unforgettable night featuring many of Birmingham's best poets sharing their work against the backdrop of the city's evening lights.

For more information, visit Bards & Brews on Facebook.

Bards & Brews is made possible by a generous donation from the Friends Foundation of the Birmingham Public Library.

Southern History Book of the Month: Lost Attractions of Alabama

by Mary Anne Ellis, Southern History Department, Central Library

Lost Attractions of Alabama
Tim Hollis

This is the time of year to be thinking about summer activities and family vacations. Some of you will remember getting up for an early start to beat the heat, because the car only had a “4-60” air conditioner. (And no seat belts—did you ever ride standing up on the seat?) Before the interstate highway system, businesses counted on unusual displays and attractions to bring in customers who were anxious to break the monotony of a drive that could last for many hours. If you fondly recall those days, you’ll want to take a look at Lost Attractions of Alabama by Tim Hollis. It is a chronicle of the weird and the wonderful, of the “gone but not forgotten.”

In fact, it’s amazing just how long some of these lost attractions continue to make their presence felt. Take, for example, the Giant Nehi Bottle:

One of the state’s earliest roadside attractions was this sixty-four-foot-tall bottle on …

2019 Summer Learning: BPL hosts Science Stories That Changed the World

Winfield and Elinor Burks, who for years have shared their passion for science with young patrons at the Birmingham Public Library, are a new edition to the Birmingham Public Library’s 2019 Summer Learning program lineup.

 The Burks will lead a series of activities called “Science Stories that Changed the World.”

 Join BPL as the Burks lead young patrons in building a game, testing their knowledge of the planets and learning about experiments in space. Through the program, participants will learn about people who made a contribution to the world of science such as:

* Mae Jemison, the Alabama native who was the first black woman in space

Gladys West,  a black mathematician and one of the "Hidden Figures" heroes, who is lesser known for inventing the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS. West was inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame in December 2018. 

* The three black women featured in the movie Hidden Figures, a hit film about t…

2018 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Each year the Horror Writer’s Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. The Bram Stoker Awards were instituted immediately after the organization’s incorporation in 1987. The 2018 Bram Stoker Award winners were announced May 11, 2019, at StokerCon.

And the Bram Stoker goes to...!

Superior Achievement in a Novel: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Superior Achievement in a First Novel: The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult NovelThe Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Superior Achievement in a Graphic NovelVictor LaValle’s Destroyer by Victor LaValle
Superior Achievement in Long FictionThe Devil’s Throat (Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror) by Rena Mason
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction"Mutter” (Fantastic Tales of Terror) by Jess Landry
Superior Achievement in a Fiction CollectionThat Which…

Meet an Astronaut! at Springville Road Library

by Mollie McFarland, Springville Road Regional Branch Library

The whole family is invited to join us at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library for the summer learning program Meet an Astronaut! on Friday,June 7, at 4:00 p.m. We will be hosting Dr. Larry DeLucas, who is a scientist at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and NASA's first civilian scientist-astronaut. He worked aboard the Columbia conducting 720 experiments for two weeks, travelling over 5.7 million miles in 221 orbits. He later served as chief scientist for the International Space Station from 1994-95. Visit us to meet him and learn more about his amazing experiences.