Showing posts from February, 2020

February 29 Cooking Demo by Chef E at Southside Library Closes Out BPL Black History Month

Want to learn how to cook some delicious soul food? Then make plans now to be at Southside Branch Library this Saturday, February 29, at 2:30 p.m. for "Cooking Healthy Soul Food with Chef E," a cooking demo that will close out the Birmingham Public Library's observance of 2020 Black History Month.

The Chef E cooking demo is free but limited to 25 adults. To reserve your spot, call 205-933-7776.

Below is a listing of the final four Black History Month programs taking place at BPL. For more information, click on our website here

Friday, February 28, 3:15 p.m., Inglenook Branch Library - Black History Month Movie
Join us as we watch a movie based on an aspect of black history. Refreshments will be served. 
Friday, February 28, 3:30 p.m., Smithfield Branch Library - Black History Month Movie Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

This powerful documentary on the legendary storyteller Toni Morrison  highlights her life, her works and the impact she made on society.

Friday, February 28, 4…

Cozy Mysteries

Jenn Seiler-Patrick | Five Points West Regional Branch Library

I love reading cozy mysteries. If you haven’t heard of that genre before, let me explain some of what I know about it. First, cozy mysteries are generally not very suspenseful, which works for me because otherwise, I’ll stay up all night thinking that every noise is a stranger in my house. Second, they often have cutesy titles. Like some of the ones from my recent reading list. Caught Dead-Handed,Tide and Punishment, or Toxic Toffee. Third, they usually involve an amateur sleuth who is working to solve the mystery. Finally, if you read quickly, you’ll be happy to learn that cozy mysteries usually come in a series, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to read next.

I get almost all of my cozy mysteries from Hoopla! If you haven’t heard of Hoopla, it is an app that lets you listen to audiobooks or read e-books on your phone or tablet. Check them out or visit your local library if you need help getting started…

Wenonah High School Choir Black History Month Concert is Tuesday, February 25 at Powderly Library

The award-winning Wenonah High School Choir will perform a Black History Month Concert at the Powderly Branch Library at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 25.

 The public is invited to sing along as the choir renders various editions of Negro Spirituals and other selections from African-American composers.  Choir director Joycelyn Whatley is in her 20th year of leading this talented choir at Wenonah High.

The performance by the Wenonah High School Choir is among several programs and activities being held this week to close out the Birmingham Public Library's annual celebration of Black History Month.

Bards & Brews is March 6 at Purpose Center at Dannon

What: Bards & Brews Open Mic Poetry
When: Friday, March 6, 2020, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: The Purpose Center at Dannon, 2324 5th Avenue North
Details: Free to the public aged 18 and up; you must be 21 or older to drink beer samples.

Spoken word and craft beer lovers, make plans now to visit Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library's popular monthly spoken word poetry-craft beer program, on Friday, March 6, at the Purpose Center at Dannon in downtown Birmingham.

The Dannon Project is a longtime partner with BPL.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Musical entertainment by featured artist Al Elliott will begin at 6:30 p.m. and poetry will flow starting at 7:00 p.m. Beer samples provided by TrimTab Brewing.

Both seasoned spoken word artists and novice poets are invited to participate in this Open Mic poetry event. Sign up on site the night of the program. Voice Porter will again serve as host and emcee.

In its 10th year, Bards & Brews is a program that unifies Birmingham's pub…

Let’s Talk about Medicare: Questions and Answers Program at Central Library March 5

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

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

Registration Open for March Computer Classes at Central Library

Registration is now open for the March 2020 computer classes at the Central Library. Topics include computer skills, career guidance, GED prep, and genealogy. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center. See the complete list of March classes.

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

BPL Black History Month: Inglenook Library Spotllights Teen Author Marley Dias

Readers are Leaders, a youth book club at Inglenook Branch Library, will host a Black History Month program paying tribute to teen author Marley Dias this Wednesday, February 19, at 3:30 p.m.

The book club will read books about young heroes, with the spotlight this month on Marley, 15, founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of “Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!”

The spotlight on Marley Dias is among 60 free Black History Month programs taking place at 18 BPL locations during February. The Readers are Leaders Book Club  was launched at Inglenook Library in February 2017.

Marley launched #1000BlackGirlBooks at age 10 in 2015, using the power of social media with a goal of collecting 1,000 books featuring black female protagonists by February 2016. Her story went viral, gaining media attention across the globe. She has far exceeded her goal, collecting more than 11,000 books to date. In 2018, Forbes magazine named the then 13 year old Marley a "change maker" and t…

What Else They Brought February 25 Talk at Central Library to Explore History of African Art

African artwork is big business in the United States, as many African-Americans buy it to reconnect to their ancestral history or attend art shows depicting African culture.

But how much do you know about Native African artwork or African-American art pieces born out of slavery? Octavia Kuransky, a docent in training at the Birmingham Museum of Art, will answer many of your questions during her discussion, "What Else They Brought: An Introduction to Native African Art and Contemporary African American Art," to be presented Tuesday, February 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor.

Kuransky said the title reflects how African slaves brought much more than their manual labor to the United States-art is a big part of African slave legacy that still exists today. “What Else They Brought” is among nearly 60 Black History Month workshops and activities taking place during February at 18 BPL locations. See the full list of BPL Black History Mont…

I’m a F.A.N (Fine Arts Newbie)

Are you interested in learning the basics of good vocal productions including techniques for maximizing breath, emphasis on pitch accuracy, and tuning? Well this program is for you! Whether you are tuning your piano, guitar, or voice these classes will set you on your way to becoming a great vocalist, pianist, or guitarist. Studying the fine arts is a great way to promote self-esteem, cultural exposure, creativity and sharpen academic performance. Why not become a FAN?

You can take advantage of these FREE music lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. at the Pratt City Branch Library. Registration is required and all ages are welcome. For specific dates and to register online, visit the BPL events calendar.

For more information about this wonderful program contact the Pratt City Library and like us on Facebook.

Submitted by Alisha Johnson, Pratt City Branch Library

Movies about Love to Love

February is a busy month with Black History Month, the Grammys, the Oscars, and Valentine’s Day. As a person who loves history and movies, this is a great way for me to marry my love of movies and history together. Love can come in all shapes, sizes, and dimensions, including romantic love as well as love that come from respect, trust, and caring for someone or something deeply and profoundly. Compiled is a list of romantic movies with African American actors and actresses.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Let’s begin with Oscar winners Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a 1967 movie about a white woman and black doctor who travel to San Francisco to meet her wealthy liberal parents. Dinner is served along with issues of race and racism, especially when the disapproving future African American in-laws to be arrive for dinner.

Love & Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Alfre Woodard
American romantic drama tells the story…

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, Brought to You by

Still trying to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Try getting some inspiration from historic Alabama newspapers. Check out these ads and see what couples were giving each other a few decades ago. You just might find the solution to your Valentine’s Day quandary.

Candy is always a good idea. The Johnson Drug Company in Aliceville, Alabama, certainly thought so. They were promoting Hollingsworth’s candy as the ideal gift in this ad that ran in the Pickens County Herald on February 2, 1939.

If candy feels too clichéd or impersonal, the photo studio located on the 2nd floor of the Fairhope Pharmacy has a solution: a photograph of you! It’s the “gift only you can give,” according to their ad in the Fairhope Courier (February 6, 1941).

The Alabama Tribune ran a lengthy article on February 13, 1953, suggesting that gifts made of leather should replace traditional items like handkerchiefs and jewelry. The article advises us that “Nothing looks or feels quite as glamorous as a gift in lea…

From Page to Stage: The Sword in the Stone – 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: The Sword in the Stone – A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of The Sword in the Stone, BPL will host free workshops at several area libraries. Children, ages 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 performance of The Sword in the Stone in April 2020.

The story of King Arthur as you’ve never seen it before! Young Arty has a date with destiny when he pulls that fateful sword from its rocky sheath. But becoming King requires many lessons along the way, and only the old wizard Merlin can help point him in the right direction. This world…

Central Library to Host Census Job Recruitment Event February 18

What: 2020 Census Job Recruitment event
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Where: Birmingham Public Library – Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library/Government Documents Department/3rd floor

The Census Bureau is hiring! On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau will be at the Central Library to provide information about the temporary positions that are available to assist with administering the 2020 Census in Jefferson County. Attendees who are interested in applying for a position will also be shown how to submit an online application on the Census Bureau’s website. Pay rates for Jefferson County range from $16 to $18 per hour.

To be eligible for a 2020 Census job, you must:

Be at least 18 years old.Have a valid Social Security number.Be a U.S. citizen.Have a valid email address.Complete an application and answer assessment questions. Be able to speak, read, and write in English. (Bilingual applicants are needed and are e…

Show Your Library Card and Attend the BJCC Birmingham Home Show for $5 February 14–16

Are you constantly checking out home improvement and design books and resources from your library? If so, you'll want to check out the Birmingham Home Show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex February 14–16.

Admission is just $5 when you show your JCLC library card at the box office. Offer is good any day of the show.

Friday, February 14, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 15, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 16, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

For more information on the show go to

Avondale Library Trivia Night February 18: 90s Romantic Comedies

February’s adult trivia event hosted by Avondale Regional Branch Library is in honor of the month of love!

Come celebrate with us on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Rojo Birmingham by testing your knowledge of ‘90s romantic comedy films like You’ve Got Mail, 10 Things I Hate about You, Boomerang, Singles, and so many more! Seating begins  at 6:00 p.m. and the trivia game starts at 7:00 p.m.

Great themed prizes will be awarded for top scores! As always, trivia is free but requires registration. Call Avondale Library at 205-226-4000 for more information.

This is a monthly trivia event hosted by Avondale librarians Joan Inman and Sydney Leach at Rojo Birmingham, the popular Highland’s neighborhood dining establishment.

The goal of this outreach initiative is to attract adults of all ages who, by attending this event, may become new patrons of the library and for all attendees to be introduced to the many services that we provide.

Past trivia themes include Stephen King, Twentieth Centur…

BPL Black History Workshops February 9, February 23 Explore Racial Redlining in Birmingham

Two Black History Month workshops taking place at the Central Library February 9 and February 23 will explore the history of racial redlining in Birmingham.

Paul Boncella, the map conservator for the Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department, will conduct present workshops focused on two historic maps:  The 1933 Postal Map of Birmingham and the 1938 Residential Security Map of Birmingham.

Boncella’s talks, both open to the public, are as follows:

 • Birmingham Explored Race and Real Estate: Redlining Birmingham in 1938, Sunday, February 9, 3:00 p.m., Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium 

A federal government effort to identify the areas of Birmingham best suited to receive home mortgages led to the creation of a map in 1938 that further defined racial boundaries sanctioned by the city's zoning ordinance of 1926. Paul Boncella of the Southern History Department examines the two versions of the federal government's redlining map and other documents …

Have a Stress-Free Tax Season

Tax season is officially underway, and thus begins the mad rush to meet the April 15 deadline. Everyone wants to make certain that their taxes are done correctly and that they get every dollar that should be coming to them. Whether you decide to use a tax professional or take on the task yourself, the earlier you file the better. Sure there are reasons to procrastinate: You know you owe and want to wait until the last minute to pay, or you know there is no rush because you are getting a refund.
Well, there are some advantages of filing your taxes early. First, gathering all of the documents needed in order to file at the last minute is stressful. Filing early will eliminate the stress and allow time to make certain that you have everything you need to get your taxes done ahead of schedule. Also, filing early will put you at an advantage if you use tax preparers. Waiting until the 11th hour will limit the tax preparers that are available and appointment times will be scarce as well.


Southern History Department Hosting Several February Genealogy Programs

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting five genealogy programs during February, including three Black History Month workshops.

For tons of genealogy workshop tips and other information, follow BPL’s Southern History Department on Facebook

Here is a listing of upcoming BPL genealogy program

*Race and Real Estate: Redlining Birmingham in 1938, Sunday, February 9, 3:00 p.m., Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor

A federal government effort to identify the areas of Birmingham best suited to receive home mortgages led to the creation of a map in 1938 that further defined racial boundaries sanctioned by the city's zoning ordinance of 1926. Paul Boncella of the Southern History Department examines the two versions of the federal government's redlining map and other documents to demonstrate how real estate zones were delineated and how the criteria for doing so were later invoked to justify preserving the city's racial divisions.

 * Intro…