Showing posts from March, 2020

Watch BPL’s Bards & Brews Online on Friday, April 3

What: Bards & Brews Spoken Word Poetry Online
When: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020
Where: Watch online on the Bards & Brews Facebook page –
Details: Since the Birmingham Public Library’s popular spoken word poetry-craft beer event is unable to be held on site due to the coronavirus pandemic, BPL is hosting an online version on its Bards & Brews Facebook page this Friday, April 3. For details, see below.

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting the first-ever shelter-in-place Bards and Brews this Friday, April 3, at 5:00 p.m.

BPL’s popular spoken word poetry/craft beer event, in its 10th year, is normally held at library locations, entertainment and craft beer venues across metro Birmingham, but is moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are encouraging the public to tune in through our Bards & Brews Facebook page,” said Candice Hardy, BPL Outreach Librarian and project manager over Bards & Brews. “We are asking par…

BPL Photo Challenge for National Walking Day Wednesday, April 1

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting a series of fun, safe photo challenges for our patrons.  If you are looking for safe activities to do during this coronavirus pandemic, join us.

The first BPL Photo Challenge is to celebrate National Walking Day, which is being observed on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Take a photo of your favorite place to take a walk, post it on your Facebook or Twitter pages, and include the hash tag #BHMLIB247 in your post.

Getting outdoors and enjoying the weather is beneficial to your health, as long as you follow social distancing instructions, said Heather McWilliams, branch manager at Smithfield Library.  The Mayo Clinic provides an excellent guideline to include walking in your exercise regimen. Those guidelines can be found at this link

 For more information about National Walking Day, click here 

BPL Donating Books to Students at Five Birmingham Recreation Centers Starting Tuesday, March 31

In an effort to promote the importance of reading for students homebound due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Birmingham Public Library is donating hundreds of free books to students at five recreation centers across the city of Birmingham.

The books will be given away this week at five Birmingham Parks & Recreation Centers that will also be giving free lunches for students in the Birmingham City School System.

During the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, BPL will donate between 50 and 75 books at each of the five participating recreation centers across Birmingham, said Bessie Miller, a librarian and department head of the BPL Learning Center. The book donations will continue this week while supplies last.

The book give-away comes as BPL has launched its 2020 Spring Reading Challenge. This program  encourages students to read while out of school. The books were donated to BPL by Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, an organization based in Town and Country…

Avondale Library's "Mrs. Eve" Performs Online Storytelling for Kids Stuck at Home

Avondale Regional Library’s Eve Parker – better known as storyteller "Mrs. Eve” -has used her gift to make learning fun for young patrons across the Birmingham Public Library system for more than two decades, including five-plus years full time.

Mrs. Eve loves seeing kids gather at her “Tot Time” storytelling programs at Avondale Library and other libraries in the city. Since the current coronavirus pandemic has shut down public libraries across the country, she has adapted by taking her storytelling virtual to entertain young people.

Over the past two weeks, Mrs. Eve has built a loyal following on the Avondale Library Facebook page  by reading and educating viewers via self-made videos recorded on her iPhone from home. Besides telling stories while digging in the dirt and other activities Mrs. Eve, who leads Avondale Library’s popular “Ukulele 101” classes, has also been serenading her young fans by playing silly tunes on her banjo.

In a Q & A interview, Mrs. Eve talked abou…

Get Live Homework Help at Homework Alabama

By Lynn Hutchins, Circulation Department, Central Library

Need a hand with school work while stuck at home during this coronavirus pandemic? The Birmingham Public Library has online partners from a respected source- Homework Alabama - available to help.

On-demand tutoring is available online at: It is free and easy access from any device.

Tutors are available 24/7 in most subjects, so students can request help when and how they need it:
Connect with an algebra tutor at 2:00 a.m. for an unscheduled review sessionSchedule an appointment with a biology tutor to prepare for an examSubmit an essay or writing assignment for asynchronous review Students can even review or replay their sessions in real time to brush up on key skills before an assessment, or take diagnostic quizzes to identify areas where they need more help.

BPL Offering Online Resources to Help Students Study From Home

The Birmingham Public Library is offering online resources  to help students adapt to being home-schooled during the coronavirus pandemic. BPL is joining libraries across the country partnering with Gale, a national company that provides content and technology to help research and education at libraries, schools, colleges and businesses.

The resources are designed to assist parents in Alabama whose children are studying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced today, Thursday, March 26, that all state K-12 schools will be closed through the rest of the spring 2020 school year. Alabama public and private K-12 schools have been closed since March 19 by state health order to prevent the spread of the virus.

By following the links listed below, users complete information about their school and public library. Then they will be directed to a page to utilize and share resources for research, teaching and learning.
Miss Humblebee’s Academy (kindergarte…

Stuck at Home? Take Advantage of the Time and Complete the 2020 Census Questionnaire

Jim Murray | Business, Science and Technology Department, Central Library

Worries about the spread of the coronavirus have created a major disruption in both society at-large and in our own daily lives. Policies and procedures regarding quarantining, shelter-in-place, and social distancing have left most of us sitting in our homes, leaving only to take care of the most essential needs. So, what can you do with all the extra time on your hands? If you have not done so already, I would suggest completing the 2020 Census questionnaire. In case you were wondering, although our current public health concerns have created a slight interruption in the census-taking process, they have not stopped the U.S. Census Bureau’s efforts in moving full steam ahead towards fulfilling its mission in a timely manner.

The best news of all is that, for the first time ever, the questionnaire can be completed online, at home, using your computer, phone, or tablet. You can quickly access the questionnair…

Catch Up on Coding Online at the Birmingham Public Library

Schools are closed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop coding at the Birmingham Public Library!

BPL’s Central Library and Smithfield Public Library are hosting two online CS First coding classes for Spring Learning starting Monday, March 30, 2020.

BPL’s Spring Learning Challenge, launched this week, will feature three introductory level Scratch programs, including Journeys to Space with interactive presentations, while the other classes will feature two advanced level projects perfect for sports and fashion lovers. 

Here are the instructions to join Central Library and Smithfield Branch Library’s our online program:

1. Go to the following link:

 2. Click sign in in the upper right hand corner.

 3. Click I’m a student.

 4. If using CS First for the first time, choose new student and enter the class code.

 5. You will be given a username and password. Make sure you save them or you will not be able to get back to your project. Use these same…

Avondale Library Hosting Several Online Programs in April

The Birmingham Public Library will offer online services and virtual programs for patrons to utilize while homebound during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first branch to kick off our virtual service is the Avondale Regional Branch, which has announced several online programs throughout April.

Even though BPL’s 19 physical locations across the city are closed, our virtual library remains open 24/7 for patrons to download books, DVDs and other resources such as Overdrive, Hoopla and Kanopy. Go to the BPL home page  and click on the database you are interested in to make your selections.

Here is a list of online programs the Avondale Library is hosting in April:

Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. Keeping it Reel: Weekly Kanopy Film Club 
Other Thursdays in April - April 9, April 16, April 23, and April 30 

Join us as Avondale Library Adult Department’s new film club explores a different film each Thursday from Kanopy’s vast selection of documentaries, foreign masterpieces, and classics. The ne…

Avondale Library To Host Sci-Phi Fridays: Science Fiction as Philosophy Online Discussion April 3

What: Sci-Phi Fridays: Science Fiction as Philosophy Online Discussion
When: Friday, April 3, 3:00 p.m.
Details:Avondale Regional Library is hosting “Sci-Phi Friday’s: Science Fiction as Philosophy,” an online video discussion group. Advanced registration is required. To sign up, email with Sci-Phi in the subject line.

“Sci-Phi Friday’s: Science Fiction as Philosophy,” an online video discussion created by Avondale Regional Branch Library, will debut at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Through viewing this sci-fi video course, offered by The Great Courses, participants in the video conference discussion will explore how popular science fiction shows have tackled profound issues such as autonomy, sentience, pacifism, colonialism, racism, grief, morality, and much more.

In the week prior to the April 3 video conference, view the first episode of The Great Courses’ Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy, “Inception and the Interpretation of Art,”…

All Birmingham Public Library Locations Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

In an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all Birmingham Public Library (BPL) locations are closed to the public until further notice. Please check back here for updates, or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Online Resources/Downloadables & Streaming
The BPL website is open 24/7. Your library card can unlock a world of resources, educational databasesdigital collections, and downloadable/streaming entertainment through Kanopy, Hoopla, OverDrive, Flipster, and Freegal.

Library Mobile Application
You can take the library with you using BPL's app.

Meeting Rooms
Library managers have begun contacting patrons regarding meeting rooms, and all meeting room bookings can be rescheduled or a refund issued to the patron or organization.

Coronavirus Resources and Information
Coronavirus COVID-19 has been the subject of many recent news and social media reports. With the increase of fake and unreliable news, the Birmingham Public Library has compiled a l…

The Dannon Project, BPL to host Employment & Wellness Fair March 25 at Boutwell Auditorium

UPDATE: This event has been cancelled.

Do you want to get a free health checkup, gain access to numerous healthcare resources and share your resume with potential employers at the same event?

The Birmingham Public Library, in partnership with The Dannon Project, presents the 2020 Employment & Wellness Fair on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at the Boutwell Auditorium downtown at 1930 Abraham Woods Blvd.

The event, taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., will include a career fair featuring numerous companies looking to hire employees and a wellness fair featuring vendors offering healthcare services and resources.

Among the vendors are: Regions Bank, Dannon Training Institute, SEI Security, InTime Staffing, Glenwood, Alabama Career Center, The Dannon Project,Snelling, OneRoof,The Maids, AccuStaff, the Crisis Center, Coca-Cola, Peachtree Hotel Group, Jefferson County, The Birmingham Public Library, UAB, Kelly Services, Dedicated Personnel, JCCEO,PSI Personnel Staffing, Big Brothers …

Birmingham Area Residents: Where to Find Up-to-Date Coronavirus Information and Links You Can Trust

The Birmingham Public Library has compiled a list of websites and resources for Birmingham area residents to be able to quickly find reliable local information about the coronavirus disease outbreak (COVID-19).

Bookmark this link for easy access to local coronavirus information:

BPL to Host 2020 Board Staff and Leadership Training Retreat March 14

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting its 2020 Board Staff and Leadership Training Retreat this Saturday, March 14, at the Innovation Depot downtown.

Highlighting the event will be a keynote address by Robert Harrington, board chairman of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System. Harrington’s message will allow the BPL Board of Trustees, Friends Foundation of BPL Board, and BPL staff leadership to hear about the collaboration that enabled Charlotte, N.C. to proceed with plans for a new Charlotte Mecklenburg Central Library.
In November 2019, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library released designs for a new $100 million, 115,000-square-foot Central Library being built in Uptown Charlotte.

“A city with a great Central Library is truly a great city,” said BPL Executive Director Floyd Council. "Unlike most cities, Birmingham has the best of both worlds with our beautiful historic Linn Henley Research Library which opened in 1927 and our Central East Library which was connected by a t…

Birmingham Public Library Kicks Off Birmingham Counts 2020 Census Campaign on March 13

Did you know Alabama cities such as Birmingham could lose out on potentially millions of federal dollars that could be used for schools and public services such as repairing roads due to undercounting in the 2020 U.S. Census? This counting of the nation's population, done every decade, plays an  important role in determining federal funding.

The Birmingham Public Library is stepping up to prevent that by providing residents with free access to its public computers and helping ensure a complete and accurate count of the Birmingham metro population in the 2020 U.S. Census by launching its Birmingham Counts! Campaign this week.

Every Friday beginning March 13 through May 29 - with the exception of Good Friday when all city libraries are closed  - 18 BPL locations will host Census Fridays, a day set aside in which patrons will be able drop by any Birmingham Public Library during operating hours and use public computers to fill out their Census questionnaires.

For more information ab…

Board Game Pandemic by Z-Man Games Available for Checkout at Eastwood Library

Vincent Solfronk | Eastwood Branch Library 

In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hot spots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases' activity. A second separate deck of cards controls the "normal" spread of the infections.

Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists' strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which ar…

BPL Southern History Department Announces New 2020 Genealogy Workshop Schedule

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting a new series of genealogy workshops for 2020.

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 BPL Southern History Facebook page.

The genealogy workshop schedule is as follows:

 • Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 10:30 a.m., Regional Library Computer Center - Library Edition

Participants will be introduced to the Library Edition database in which you can research your family history. Learn the tips and tricks about how to search this database like a librarian.
 •Saturday, March 21, 2020 10:00 a.m., Central Library Southern History Department- Intro to Genealogy

 Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introdu…

Book Review: Spearhead by Adam Makos

Teresa Ceravolo | Southside Branch Library

By coincidence this morning, I finished listening to the audio version of Spearhead by Adam Makos.

March 6, 1945, was the date of the Battle of Cologne during World War II. Today is the 75th anniversary of this tank duel. A new American T26 Pershing tank destroyed a deadly German Mark V Panther tank near the Cologne Cathedral. Almost by accident, both tanks were gun tube to gun tube. Fortunately, the American gunner, Clarence Smoyer, fired first and destroyed the celebrated Panther.

Spearhead relates the story of American tank crews in northern Europe in 1944 to the end of the war. The American tanks were known as Coffins on Wheels. Casualties were high, with over 850 crew members killed and over 800 Sherman tanks destroyed during the war.

Spearhead is available for reserves in book, e-book, and audiobook formats.

Link of interest:
The ‘Hero of Cologne’ receives his Bronze Star 75 years late

Birmingham Public Library To Offer Free ACT Practice Tests March 14 at Central Library

The Birmingham Public Library, in partnership with Sylvan Learning, is excited to support the Birmingham Promise Initiative by offering free ACT practice tests.

Students from the Birmingham City School System, especially seniors vying for scholarships through the Birmingham Promise Initiative supported by the City of Birmingham, are invited to take advantage of these free ACT practice tests at the Central Library on Saturday, March 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Test score results will be provided on the spot to give students an idea on where they stand on the ACT, an important test that colleges look at in determining whether to admit students and in giving out scholarships.

Space is limited. Participants must reserve a spot in advance by calling (205) 538-2759.

Laptops will be provided to participating test takers.

The Birmingham Promise was created by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to ensure Birmingham city school students can succeed academically in college and be prepared for…

Neighborhood Libraries Switching to Daylight Saving Time Schedule beginning Monday, March 9

Beginning Monday, March 9, 2020, the Birmingham Public Library's seven neighborhood branches are ending their winter operating schedule and switching to a Daylight Saving Time schedule.

The change goes into effect after Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 8. Daylight Saving Time ends this year on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

 The new hours of the neighborhood libraries—East Ensley, Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn, and Wylam— will be as follows starting Monday:

 • Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays -9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 • Wednesdays - 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

These BPL neighborhood locations will remain closed on weekends and from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

 All other BPL locations will maintain their regular operating hours.

Wylam Branch Library, which is getting replaced by a new larger facility on-site, remains closed until the new building opens later this spring. An opening da…