Showing posts from October, 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:

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

1:00–5:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; 1:00–5:00 p.m.

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.

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

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

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.
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 Ph…

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 …

Birmingham Improv Theatre to Host Bards & Brews for First Time November 1

What: Bards & Brews Open Mic
When: Friday, November 1, 6:30–9:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Improv Theatre, 2208 7th Avenue South
Details: Bards & Brews is the Birmingham Public Library’s spoken word poetry/craft beer event.

The Birmingham Improv Theatre is hosting the Birmingham Public Library’s popular spoken word poetry-craft beer event this Friday for the first time. Bards & Brews Open Mic will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1.

Birmingham Improv Theatre is located at 2208 7th Avenue South on Birmingham’s Southside.

Entertainment by featured artist Suave Da Preacha will begin at 6:30 p.m., and open mic poetry will flow from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Voice Porter will again serve as host and emcee.

Bards & Brews is free to attendees 18 and older, but you must be 21 or older to drink beer samples.

Suave Da Preacha is a Birmingham-based hip-hop artist. Sample his album by clicking here.

Beer samples are being provided by Interstellar Ginger Beer and Explorati…

Registration Open for November Computer Classes at Central Library

Registration is now open for the November 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.

Grow with Google Workshop – "Reach Customers Online with Google" at Central Library October 29

Google is coming to Birmingham, Alabama! Don’t miss this special digital marketing event featuring Google's top experts. Business owners, marketing professionals, and salespeople should make plans to attend. 
What: Grow with Google "Reach Customers Online with Google" workshop
When: Tuesday, October 29, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: Free but registration is required. Make reservations through the BPL events calendar.

Anyone who wants to learn new marketing skills or reach potential customers online will learn Google’s latest best practices for engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, and social media marketing.

The result? You’ll walk away with a strategy, plan, and tools that will get your organization, business, or event in front of your target audience at the right time and with the right message.

Led by Grow with Google speaker and…

Meet Robert Phillips, Author of Pig Tales: Stories of Law Enforcement

Come meet Robert Phillips, author of Pig Tales: Stories of Law Enforcement, this Saturday, November 2, at the 2019 Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo.

This free event showcasing Alabama authors, many from metro Birmingham, will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library. Authors will be on hand to discuss their work, sell and autograph books, and talk about their writing process.
Phillips, of Bagley, Alabama, 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 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 details Phillips' first day on the job at the Jeffers…

Citizen Services – "Women and Shopping: How to Tame This Addictive Love" Seminar at Central Library November 2

By Lynn Hutchins, Citizen Services, Central Library

What: Citizen Services seminar – "Women and Shopping: How to Tame This Addictive Love"
When: Saturday, November 2, 2019, 12:30–2:30 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: FREE but registration is requested

Do you sometimes shop until you drop? Do you buy things on impulse and overspend on your budget? Do you buy things you never use and feel out of control? Is there a room in your home filled with miscellaneous clutter?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then this seminar is for you and will help you tame your shopping addiction and get back on financial track.

Benefits of attending this seminar:

Become familiar with the signs of being a shopaholic and walk away feeling empowered and prepared to get back on track.Learn new strategies for dealing with out-of-control spending.Discover how compulsive shopping affects th…

BPL Hosts Its 2019 Staff Day Training

Birmingham Public Library employees gathered at Boutwell Auditorium October 24 for 2019 BPL Staff Day, an annual gathering of workers from our 19 libraries set aside for training workshops, celebration of accomplishments of the past year, and fellowship.

The day kicked off with a powerful, inspiring speech by Timothy Alexander, author of Ever Faithful, Ever Loyal: The Timothy Alexander Story. Alexander talked about the important role librarians played as he relearned how to read after a 2006 car accident caused brain injury and left him paralyzed. Alexander gave a speech at the Central Library July 20 as part of the BPL Local Author Lecture series.

Stacey Burkes gave a demonstration of Cane-Fu, a self-defense class on how to use a cane to protect yourself that he teaches monthly at Springville Road Regional Branch Library (he will present the class at noon next Thursday, October 31). BPL staffers also attended a wellness workshop led by Dr. Joel Williford Chiropractic & Wellness

BPL Staff Day: Timothy Alexander Delivers Inspiring Message

After a car accident in 2006 left him paralyzed from the neck down, ending his dreams of playing college and professional football, Birmingham’s Timothy Alexander wanted to give up.

At the time, Alexander was a 17-year-old football star at Erwin High School on the path to college football greatness, ranked the #8 player in the state of Alabama and being recruited by top college football programs across the nation. Yet Alexander, inspired by encouraging words from his mother, built a new determination to overcome doubters and has achieved accomplishments even he never imagined.

During a keynote address at the Birmingham Public Library’s 2019 Staff Day on October 24, Alexander told attendees to never underestimate the value of the work they do. He shared his amazing testimony depicted in his new book, Ever Faithful, Ever Loyal: The Timothy Alexander Story. The book is a memoir about how the Birmingham native overcame obstacles after the 2006 car wreck that left him in a wheelchair, an…

Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers Program at Central Library November 7

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…

Celebrate Halloween @ BPL

The Birmingham Public Library is helping our patrons get in the Halloween spirit.

Besides candy giveaways for young patrons at most of our 19 locations across Birmingham during operating hours on Halloween, Thursday, October 31, 2019, there are plenty of free activities for patrons of all ages taking place all week.

For other free activities and programs for patrons not on the list below, click on our BPL calendar:

Creature Feature – Tarantulas (Springville Road Regional Branch Library and East Lake Branch Library)

Saturday, October 26, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Springville Road Regional Branch Library
Meet and learn about Roni the Honduran curly hair tarantula and Rosie the pink toe tarantula. A movie will follow our meet and greet.

Tuesday, October 29, East Lake Branch Library, 3:15 p.m. 
Join us if you dare to meet one of Springville Road Regional Library's Tarantulas. Learn a few fun facts about our hairy eight-legged friends and how to care for them. After the discussion participant…

Lucinda and the Christmas Eve Flowers Opera Performance at Avondale Library November 9

What:Lucinda and the Christmas Eve Flowers opera performance
When: Saturday, November 9, 10:00–11:00 a.m.
Where:Avondale Regional Branch Library
Details: FREE and open to the public. Presented by Opera Birmingham and Samford Opera. Sung in English.

Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena (Lucinda and the Christmas Eve Flowers) is a holiday-inspired children's opera. Based on the popular Mexican folk tale of the first poinsettia, young Lucinda and her mother make a blanket together. They plan to give it as a gift at a Christmas Eve celebration, but Lucinda’s mother grows very sick, and they cannot finish it in time. As Lucinda finds the strength to attend the celebration alone with only wildflowers to share, a holiday miracle teaches her that giving from the heart is more important than the gift itself.

This lively, interactive, and heartwarming story of perseverance, transformation, and a holiday miracle will set your season aglow!

Grow with Google Livestream: "National Veterans Small Business Week" at Central Library November 5

What: Grow with Google Livestream – "National Veterans Small Business Week" workshop
When: Tuesday, November 5, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Arrington Auditorium/4th floor
Details: Free and open to the public

The Birmingham Public Library and Google will celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week with a livestream focused on supporting the growth of veteran-led businesses.

Free tools and resources from Google My Business will be introduced that can help connect veteran-led businesses with local customers, promote special offers, and grow brand awareness.

For more information on this workshop contact Jim Murray of the Central Library's Business, Science and Technology Department at or 205-226-3691.

North Birmingham Library Hosts Workshop on Abandoned Black Cemeteries

As a member of the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, Wanda Looney spends much of her time helping fellow African Americans gather information about their ancestors.

A lot of that history is buried and abandoned in the ground, she says. There are over 100 black forgotten cemeteries in Jefferson County, Looney said while presenting a workshop, Missing and Abandoned African American Cemeteries, at North Birmingham Regional Branch Library on October 21 as part of the Birmingham Public Library’s 2019 Family History Month series.

“These are our ancestors,” Looney said, pointing at photo of a wooded area in Pratt City believed to contain 4,000 hidden black graves—some dating back over 200 years. “They didn’t think their graves would be looking like this. We need to find out where they are, who they are, and bring their names to light because they are somebody’s relative.”

The Birmingham African American Genealogy Group meets monthly at the Central Library, and helps African Amer…

Fill-A-Bag Book Sale at Friends Bookstore

The Birmingham Public Library Friends Bookstore is holding a fill-a-bag sale.

Visit the store during their new hours—Tuesday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.—and fill a plastic Friends bag for $5 with the audiobooks, large print books, and other items displayed on book trucks outside the bookstore entrance.

Come inside and fill a Friends tote bag for $10 with items throughout the bookstore (yellow tag items excluded).

The bookstore remains open to the public via the Central Library parking lot entrance, although the East Building is currently closed to the public with library services moved to the adjacent Linn-Henley Research Library.

BPL Friends Bookstore is currently accepting donations by appointment only. Call bookstore manager Thracie Pace at 205-587-2221.

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

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 Library About the author:Carla Youngblood, author of Cancer Ain’t Funny! Laugh Anyway… is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), comedienne, author and motivational speaker. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College with over 30 years of accounting experience, Youngblood recently received a degree in Communications from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Ever wanted to know how to laugh in the midst of adversity? Come meet Carla Youngblood, author of Cancer Ain’t Funny! Laugh Anyway… at the Birmingham Public Library 2019 Local Authors Expo on Saturday, November 2, at the Five Points West Regional Library The free event, being held between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., will feature several authors selling and autographing books, and talking about their writing process.
Youngblood has been making people laugh from the time she could talk. Being the baby o…

2019 Local Authors Expo: Meet Stephanie Smith

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 Library
About the author: Stephanie Smith, using the pen name Samantha Lewis, is the author of I Want My Darn Skates. The book is a memoir about a woman who grew up poor and experienced family drama. She leans on faith to overcome many challenges.

Stephanie Smith says she is a true living testimony that God can bring you through trials and tribulations. Using the pen name Samantha Lewis, Smith has written her first book, I Want My Darn Skates, a memoir about a woman who overcame family drama, extreme poverty and other trials by leaning on her faith in God.
Come meet Smithand other writers participating in the Birmingham Public Library 2019 Local Authors Expo on Saturday, November 2 at the Five Points West Regional Library The free event, being held between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., will feature several authors selling and autographing books, and talking…

Bards & Brews Open Mic at Birmingham Improv Theatre November 1

What: Bards & Brews Open Mic poetry event
Where:Birmingham Improv Theatre
When: Friday, November 1, 6:30–9:00 p.m.
Details: Free and open to the public. You must be 21+ to drink beer samples.

The Birmingham Improv Theatre is hosting the November 1 Bards & Brews open mic night, 6:30–9:00 p.m. Music by Suave Da Preacha and beer samples provided by Interstellar Ginger Beer and Exploration Co. Voice Porter will serve as emcee and host.

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.

2019 Local Authors Expo: Meet Joyce Brooks, Author of Shift Happens

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
About the author: Joyce E. Brooks of Hoover, Ala., is an author, mother, international speaker, and two-time cancer survivor. She has written six 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
It Ain’t Over

Over the past decade, Joyce E. Brooks of Hoover, Alabama, has used the power of the pen as a coping mechanism and as a means to give words of encouragement to others. A mother, international speaker, and two-time cancer survivor, Brooks has penned six books on topics such as dealing with stress, overcoming the unexpected death of her husband, and battling cancer.

In her latest book, SHIfT HAPPENS, Brooks invites the reader to follow her journey from celebrating 10 years being cancer free to days la…

British TV Talk & Trivia

Avondale Public Library Conference Room
October 29  2:00 p.m.

Please join us to talk about Poldark (Seasons 1-3). Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the Revolutionary War, discovers that his father is dead, his lands are ruined, and his true love is engaged to another. Can Poldark change his destiny, regain his lost fortune, and reclaim his true love?

This is a British historical drama television series filled with romance, drama, beautiful Cornwall countryside and great costumes.

This should be an interesting discussion. Hope to see you there!

Real MENtors Talk to Read to Students at Sun Valley Elementary School on October 17

The Birmingham Public Library's Real MENtors Talk program is partnering with the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham to read to students at Sun Valley Elementary School in Birmingham this Thursday, October 17. The event is being held to observe National Literacy Awareness Month, which recognizes the critical role reading plays in educational development.

Real MENtors Talk facilitator Roy L. Williams, BPL's Public Relations Director, will be joined by members of the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham as they read to children and talk about their careers between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at Sun Valley Elementary, 1010 8th Avenue Northwest in Birmingham.

"I am grateful that the 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham is partnering with BPL to invest in the lives of the next generation," Williams said.

Real MENtors Talk is a mentoring program that BPL began this fall, featuring mentors who participate in panel discussions and share encouraging words for young people in libraries…

Trivia Night: Classic 20th Century Horror at Rojo Birmingham October 22

What: Trivia Night: Classic 20th Century Horror
When: Tuesday, October 22, 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Where:Rojo Birmingham
Details: FREE to participate but registration is required through the BPL events calendar.

In the spirit of Halloween this month, the Avondale Regional Branch Library's trivia theme is dedicated to classic 20th century horror cinema! Join us at Rojo Birmingham and compete for spooky themed prizes as we cover quintessential monsters, '80s evil spirits, and international cult classics.

Seating at 6:00 p.m.; games start at 7:00 p.m.

For more information about this event contact Joan Inman at or 205-226-4000.

State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison Gives $6,000 to 5 BPL Locations

Alabama State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, Senate District 20, has given $6,000 in community service grants to five Birmingham Public Library (BPL) locations in her district.

Coleman-Madison, ADA Compliance Administrator for the City of Birmingham, presented the checks to BPL during its Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.

Coleman-Madison's checks were as follows:

 • North Birmingham Regional Branch Library -$2,000

 • Springville Road Regional Branch Library - $1,000

 • Pratt City Branch Library - $1,000

 • Ensley Branch Library - $1,000

 • Inglenook Branch Library - $1,000

Coleman-Madison, a former Birmingham City councilwoman, said she was honored to present checks from her Senate Community Service grant funds to the five public libraries in Birmingham located within Senate District 20.

“Politically my campaign slogan has always been "putting people before politics',"  Coleman-Madison said "The personal words I live by are My life is God's …

Interstellar Ginger Beer Partnering with Bards & Brews Poetry Slam

Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library’s monthly spoken word poetry/craft beer event, will debut a new beer partner during its Poetry Slam Friday.

Interstellar Ginger Beer Co. of Alabaster has donated two kegs of beer that will be available for attendees of BPL's first slam of 2019 being held Friday, October 11, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Central Library's Linn-Henley Research Building.

A poetry slam is a competition using elimination rounds for the performance of spoken word poetry, judged by a panel chosen from the audience. Nine of Alabama’s top spoken word artists will compete for a combined $600 in cash. The first place poet will win $300; second place gets $200; third place receives $100.

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…

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Maya Jones, West End Branch Library

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Birmingham Public Library can be your first stop for free information about this type of cancer. I hope these resources will help with early detection and survivorship where needed.

The Black Woman's Breast Cancer Survival Guide: Understanding and Healing in the Face of a Nationwide Crisis by Cheryl D. Holloway
Breast Cancer: Risks, Detection, and Treatment by Michelle Denton
Detecting & Living with Breast Cancer for Dummies by Marshalee George and Kimlin Tam Ashing
The New Generation Breast Cancer Book: How to navigate Your Diagnosis and Treatment Options—and Remain Optimistic—in an Age of Information Overload by Elisa Port
Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancerby Caitlin M. Kiernan

AHFS Consumer Medication Information – This database provides drug information in layman’s terms.
Alt HealthWatch – Database of Alternative health medicine.
Health InfoNet of Alabama – …