Showing posts from September, 2019

Central Library Monumental Stairs Project: Escalator Dismantling Has Begun

Contractors with Taylor & Miree passed a milestone moment today, September 27, at the conclusion of week two of the Central Library Monumental Stairs Project: the first piece of the escalator was cut up and removed.

All public services and Central Library East employees formerly in the East Building have relocated to the adjacent Linn-Henley Research Library until the stairs are completed in early February 2020. The stairs project was designed by Birmingham architect Creig Hoskins.

The BPL Friends Bookstore remains open to the public throughout the construction process.

The Central Library Circulation Desk is now on the first floor of the Linn-Henley Building. The computer services area, passports, notary services such as for marriage applications, faxing and copier use have moved to the third floor of the Linn-Henley Research Building.

Springville Road Library to Host “Real Men, Real Issues” Panel Discussion Monday, September 30

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting a panel discussion Monday, September 30, focusing on how men can step up and be a part of solutions to issues plaguing the city.

BPL Real MENtors Talk Presents “Real Men, Real Issues” will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Springville Road Regional Branch Library.

BPL hosted a similar panel discussion September 16 at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library. 

 Panelists Monday, September 30 will be:

 • Richard Cade, founder of The Man Project in Birmingham

Clinton Woods, Birmingham City Councilman for District 1

Sherman Collins, former District 1 Birmingham School Board member and a candidate for Woods’ Council seat.

 • District 1 resident Chris Cummings, an employment specialist with Independent Advantage of Alabama

Birmingham Municipal Judge Charles “Chuck” Price II

Jefferson County Commissioner District 1 Lashunda Scales, who previously served as Birmingham city councilor for District 1, will give greetings and encouraging…

4 BPL Programs Nominated for 2019 ULC Innovations Awards

Four Birmingham Public Library programs have been nominated for the 2019 Urban Libraries Council 2019 Innovations Awards.

   The nominees are:

 * Teen Engineers BHM  (Education Birth -Teen Category)
 * BPL - A Citizen’s Experience (ACE), a partnership with City of Birmingham (Civic & Community Engagement)
 *Grow with Google Digital Skills Program (Work Force Development)
 *Bards & Brews (Education-Adults)

BPL's four nominees are among 260 of the  best public library programs in North America accepted as nominees in 10 categories for the 2019 Urban Libraries Council Innovations Awards out of thousands of entries across the country. The winners will be revealed during the Innovations Celebration at the Urban Libraries Council forum October 16-18, 2019 in Salt Lake City, said Urban Library Council spokesman Curtis Rogers.

BPL and the other nominees are all featured on the Urban Libraries Council website and will be published in print for distribution to 150 ULC Libraries.


Registration Open for Central Library CODE 205 Class for Girls Beginning October 31

What: CODE 205 Where: 3:00-6:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays: October 31, November 7, November 14, November 21
Details: CODE 205 is a code-based after school program offering young girls a new set of digital and technological skills. Register by clicking here . All forms and waivers MUST be signed in order for participants to receive up to $40 in gift cards.

Registration is now open for CODE 205, a new girls coding program for young girls being offered at the Central Library downtown.

The program is being led by Zena Banker, a senior biomedical engineering student at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). CODE 205 is a code-based afterschool program offering young girls a new set of digital and technological skills.

Participants will gain confidence in basic coding skills, learning how to apply the knowledge to create their own simple and unique playable games. Banker will also teach the class how to code robots to perform different tasks. Participants will be made aware of di…

Cut The Cable: Try Netflix and Chill

By Alisha Johnson, Ensley Branch Library

Are you tired of those outrageous cable bills and every time the wind blows you lose a signal? Many cable and satellite packages are costly and can put a major dent in your wallet and budget. Now is the time to cut the cable/satellite cord and consider some very popular alternatives. Over the last two years through streaming and technological advances, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon TV, Sling TV, and antennas have gained popularity. As a result, they are quickly taking over through simple and relatively inexpensive processes. By purchasing Amazon Fire TV, Mi Box, Roku Devices, and having a good internet connection, it is easy as ever to enjoy your favorite programs without breaking the bank.

Check out these resources at your local library:

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Streaming Videoby Michael Burgan
Netflix: How Reed Hastings Changed the Way We Watch Movies & TVby Aurelia Jackson
Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballsby Gina Keating

And …

ALA Celebrates Banned Books Week September 22-28, 2019

The American Library Association is celebrating 2019 Banned Books Week, Sunday, September 22 through Saturday, September 28.

Banned Books Week is held every year to celebrate the freedom to read. Libraries, schools, and book stores across the United States host events annually. The theme of this year’s event is “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On!”

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association.

Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information. ALA releases a list of the top challenged books every year. See the most challenged books of 2018 released by the ALA in April 2019 by clicking here. 
Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journ…

Pro Bono Patent Assistance

By Mary Beth Newbill, Southern History Department, Central Library

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

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

Learn more by attending our event on October 10, 2019, where you can meet representatives from the USPTO in Washington, D.C., and learn about other resources for inventors that…

Football Is Back!!!


Central Library Hosting Passport Fair on Saturday, October 5

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

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

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

No appointments are necessary; walk-ins are welcome. A passport photo service will …

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

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

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

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

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

The Bards & Brews poetry slam is free to attendees …

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

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

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

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

Two members of the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham, Chapter President Ronnie Rice and Mentoring Chair Eddie Bradford of Bradford Mentoring, will be among the speakers sharing advice for fathers at the West End Library program Thursday, October 3. Both Rice and Bradford were featured in the Birmingham Times recently as mentors who are leading by example in Birm…

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

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

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

If you would like to learn…

BPL 2019 Family History Month Programs Begin October 1

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

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

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

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

Registration Open for October Computer Classes at Central Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pace added, "Come in on a Saturday, mention this statement and receive 10% off your purchase. Come in and…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smithfield: September 12, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (Arduino)
Southside: September 19, 4:00–5:00 p.m. (Arduino)
East Lake: October 3, 3:15–5:00 p.m. (Robotics)
Avondale: October 8, 3:30–5:00 p.m. (R…

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

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

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

BPL Spotlight: Inglenook Branch Library

Inglenook Branch Library is hosting several new programs during the month of September, including an afterschool tutoring next week, a teen engineers event, and a return of its popular appreciation program for women in the Inglenook community.

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

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

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

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

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

 *Expression for Women in the Inglen…

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

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

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

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

No other exhibits will be featured in the Cent…