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Football Season

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 3:47pm

I love football season for three reasons: food, family, and football. I love the food that accompanies the football game experience; whether you’re sitting at home watching the game on TV or tailgating at the game, food makes the experience exciting. I really enjoy spending time with my extended family and watching a football game is a great excuse to see everyone. I’m not the most avid football fan, but I do enjoy myself. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the 2012 Alabama vs. LSU game so much that when Alabama won, I jumped up and ruptured my Achilles tendon and spent the next 6-8 months recovering from surgery.

Oh well, I hope these resources on football season food, fun family activities, and the game itself enable you to enjoy “Football Season” to the max this year!

Books - Food
The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up: Grilling, Tailgating, Picnicking, and More
Fanfare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home
Fox Sports Tailgating Handbook: The Gear, the Food, the Stadiums
The Healthy Home Cookbook: Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for Holidays, Parties, and Everyday Celebrations
The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook
The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: a Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football, and the South
Taste of the Town: a Guided Tour of College Football's Best Places to Eat

Books - Football
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
Breaking the Line: the Season in Black College Football that Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights
Game of My Life. Auburn Tigers: Memorable Stories of Tigers Football
Football for Dummies
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
Legends of Alabama Football: Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Mark Ingram Jr., and Other Alabama Stars
My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football
Nick Saban vs. College Football
The Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book: Where Greatness Lives

Websites - Food
Allrecipes.com - Check out these tailgating recipes. The Touchdown Taco Dip is easy to prepare and looks delicious.
Kraft Super Bowl Party Recipes - This website has everything: burgers, sliders, ribs, chicken all prepared in interesting and innovative ways. I think I want to try the pulled pork nachos.
My Recipes - This website has healthy tailgating recipes as well as recipes for ACC, Big 12, and SEC tailgaters.
Tailgate Party Recipes - This is a link to Food Networks “Tailgate Party Recipes."  I found some really tasty recipes for tailgating along with Food Network’s “Top 50 Tailgating Recipes.”

Websites - Football
Football.com US Edition - Provides coverage of NFL, NCAA and International football.
NFL Official Website
Official Website of the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
Rivals.com - College football and basketball scores, recruiting information etc…Follow Alabama at alabama.rivals.com and Auburn at auburn.rivals.com.
USA Football - NFL youth football partner.

Billy Bob Thornton in Friday Night LightsDVDs
The Blind Side
Draft Day
The Express
Facing the Giants
Friday Night Lights
Invincible
The Longshots
Roll Tide/War Eagle
Rudy
Undefeated
We are Marshall
You don't know Bo

I hope these books, websites, and DVDs help keep your fall filled with good food, family and lots of football.

Maya Jones
West End Library

Children's TV Series Review: Peppa Pig

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:20pm
If you don't know, Peppa Pig is one of several "famous pigs." This cute little pig along with her brother George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig are the center of many adventures of the Peppa Pig British TV series. The Peppa Pig TV series was created by Neville Astley and Mark Baker, produced by Astley Baker Davies Ltd., and is broadcast on Nick Jr.

Peppa enjoys spending time with her family and friends to visiting Grandpa Pig and Granny Pig. Her favorite activity is jumping in muddy puddles. While anyone can enjoy Peppa Pig, this series excites and creates lots of fun learning for preschoolers.

There are many positive qualities from this series that parents and children can share and discuss, like family values, singing, friendship, and self-confidence, and it's evident that diversity is one more. Peppa has many friends including a cat, dog, elephant, rabbit, sheep, zebra, and even "Pedro" the pony. As an added bonus, each friend makes their own animal sound before speaking.

I have one last thing to say: “I like Peppa Pig!”

Please visit the library or check the catalog for books and DVDs from this series.

Links of interest:
Peppa Pig Official Site
Peppa Pig page on Nick Jr.
Peppa Pig on Facebook

Saundra Ross
North Avondale Library

Women’s Suffrage Victory—165 Years Later

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:19pm
Women working at suffrage headquarters, 1913
BPL Digital Collections
The women’s suffrage movement was founded in the mid-19th century by women who had become politically active through their work in the abolitionist and temperance movements. In recognition of Women’s Equality Day, the event is observed annually on August 26. Some of the early organizers included Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. As early as 1837, Susan B. Anthony, a young teacher dissatisfied with her wages, asked for equal pay for women teachers; Sojourner Truth in 1851, defended women’s rights and “Negroes rights” at a convention in Akron, Ohio. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony campaigned to encourage women to register to vote using the 14th Amendment as justification.

On January 10, 1878, The “Anthony Amendment” was introduced for the first time in the United States Congress. If approved it would extend the right to vote to women. The amendment stated “The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any States on account of sex. The Congress shall have the power by appropriate legislations to enforce the provisions of this action.”

After several failed attempts, the Amendment was finally voted on by the U. S. Senate for the first time on January 25, 1887, and also for the last time in 25 years. The hard fought battle was not won entirely state by state, so the women had to resort to using radical tactics for a federal suffrage amendment to be added to the Constitution: picketing the White House, staging large suffrage marches, demonstrations and going to jail.

Their actions worked and on June 4, 1919, the United States Senate endorsed the Amendment and sent it to the states. Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan were the first states to pass the law; (sadly), Georgia and Alabama rushed to pass rejections. When 35 of the 36 states had ratified the amendment, the battle came to Tennessee and the rest is history.

Votes for women a success, the map proves it, 1914
BPL Digital CollectionsThe long battle for the vote for women was won when a young legislator, 24 year old Harry Burn from Tennessee voted yes for the amendment. On August 18, 1920, this single vote gave the Anthony Amendment the thirty-sixth and deciding state needed for ratification. Up until this time Burns had often voted with the anti-suffrage forces. His mother had urged him to vote for the amendment and for suffrage. On August 26, 1920, the U. S. Secretary of State signed the Anthony Amendment into law giving women the right to vote in the fall elections and the Presidential elections.
1923: Equal Rights Amendment introduced into the U.S. Congress, proposed by the National Woman’s Party.

Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1866 granted citizenship, the right to vote was not given to all native born Americans. In 1869, Congress passed the 15th Amendment giving African American men the right to vote. Moving ahead to 1940, only 3 percent of eligible African Americans in the South were registered to vote. Jim Crow laws that required prospective voters to pass literacy tests and pay “poll taxes” served as deterrents to African Americans to vote, because they could not read and were not able to pay the unfair ‘taxes’ that had been imposed on them.

It took the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60s and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing the Voting Rights Act into law, to make voting a reality for everyone. My mother, a teacher, could not vote in Wilcox County. When white workers from the North came to assist African Americans in their efforts to vote, she allowed them to live in her home and often bailed others from jail that had been locked up. In 2014, minorities still face significant obstacles in registering to vote and casting ballots.

Women’s rights have come a long way. However, the fight for equality still continues. The Equal Pay Act put into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 helped ensure equal earnings for both men and women by illegalizing discrimination based on sex. The gap has lessened, but unfortunately, has not disappeared entirely. Women are still earning, on average about 80 cents to the dollar, sometimes even less in the case of minorities.

A local Alabama native Lilly Ledbetter, fought for 10 years to close the gap between women’s and men’s wages, sparring with the Supreme Court, lobbying Capitol Hill in a historic discrimination case against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Ledbetter won a jury verdict of more than 3 million dollars after having filed a gender pay discrimination suit in federal court, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the lower court’s ruling. On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the first new law of his administration: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Ledbetter will never receive restitution from Goodyear, but she said, “I’ll be happy if the last thing they say about me after I die, is that I made a difference.”

As we recognize the strides women have made in all walks of life--from business to education to politics, we realize our work is not done. Women, and their families, still face tremendous economic pressures.

“I renew my pledge to keep fighting for laws that help America’s women. Because when women succeed, America succeeds: An Economic Agenda for women and Families, focusing on the issues that hard working American women struggle with every day: fair pay, paid maternity leave, and affordable Day care.” — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Related Readings:
History of Woman Suffrage
Failure is Impossible 
The Concise History of Woman Suffrage: Selections from the Classic Work of Stanton, Anthony, Gage, and Harper
Slavery and the Woman Question
Women of Uncommon Valor: Life Stories of Women from Birmingham, Alabama
Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

Claudette W. Camp
Avondale Library

September is National Hispanic Heritage Month

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:19pm

Although September officially starts the football season, there are lots of other important events that are coming upon us this fall. National Hispanic Heritage Month is also celebrated in September.

According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website: “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.”

Also from the website: “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

There are many little known Hispanic citizens who have made significant contributions to our culture in the areas of politics, entertainment, and music, as well as many other areas. This is the perfect time to stop by your local library to pick up a few books or DVDs about prominent Hispanic figures:

Books
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes 
Hispanic-American Crafts Kids Can Do!
Hispanic Holidays 
Sonia Sotomayor: First Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice
My Beloved World 
El Barrio 
A Kid's Guid to Latino History: More Than 50 Activities

DVDs
Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation
Roots of  Rhythm

Pamela Jessie
Woodlawn Library

Book Review: The Goldfinch

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:17pm
The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch, published last year, is a long piece of literary fiction. Widely read, it is believed by many to be the worthy successor to the author’s debut novel, The Secret History (1992). Much has been written about the book; there are a jaw-dropping 14,000 reviews of The Goldfinch on Amazon alone. A rich work, it is open to many interpretations, but, plainly said, it is story of two boys from different worlds who become instant close friends, perhaps because of the horrific trauma and loss that afflicted their young lives.

Theo, our narrator, is an upper West Side, private school kid, who loses his mother, a single mom, in a terrorist bombing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ultimately Theo is taken away from his home to live with his drug dependent gambler-father in a vacant, desolate post-economic-disaster suburban development in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Very soon he meets Boris, a Russian-Ukrainian, who lives with his abusive, alcoholic father. They go for days without seeing either of their parents and live by scrounging and stealing.

Much is written about post-traumatic stress disorder, but in The Goldfinch, as we read, we experience, at length, Theo’s long daily struggle against unbidden memories and undeserved, but relentless remorse. But we also see Boris’s lusty response to his own damaged past. Both boys self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. The boys make bad choices again and again, and the reader soon comes to fear for their survival. But a painting, a priceless seventeenth century Dutch masterwork, titled, The Goldfinch, has fallen into Theo’s hands and we are given to wonder if its eternal beauty ultimately saves Theo and Boris from the wreck of their dangerous impulses.

Both Boris and Theo read Russian novels, and it is clear that the author has modeled her narrative on the tortured inner monologues of a Dostoevsky protagonist. With Theo, we spiral down into depression and self-recrimination, while we wonder at his daily efforts to live a normal life, at least as seen by others. Yet, there is hope, and perhaps that hope is symbolized by the little yellow bird in the old painting.

Related links:
Donna Tartt Discusses The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt "Surprised" by Pulitzer for Goldfinch

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch Sells Movie Rights to Warner Bros., RatPac

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

Young Adult Novelist Stephanie Perry Moore Brings Book Tour to the Birmingham Public Library, September 22-25

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:32am

Go ahead and ask because Stephanie Perry Moore has heard the question too many times to count.

Yes, people have told her she looks like Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer of The Help fame. And yes, Moore knows Spencer.

The two were high school classmates at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama, where they were both in drama class.

While Spencer has a large following for her acting, Moore has one for her writing.

Moore, who’s written more than 60 books full of heart, sass, and grit, will be in Birmingham on September 22-25 for a fall book tour and talk at several Birmingham Public Library locations. She’ll kick off her tour at 10:00 a.m. at the Central Library. (See the complete tour schedule at the end of this release.)

The young adult novelist will target youth in her Birmingham message. She’ll discuss the importance of following dreams, writing books, and how she’s still on a journey of trying to get her books made for television and movies. Her goal is to inspire youth to live their purpose.

“If you are still living, breathing and going, you are supposed to keep striving,’’ says Moore, a married mother of three now living in the greater Atlanta area. “So that means more networking, more education ... and (more) prayer.’’

What is her advice for pursuing a D.R.E.A.M.? She has five tips:

Be Dedicated
When going after a dream, you have to work on it all the time. You can’t put it down and pick it up. You have to prepare for the test and ace it. Athletes practice nonstop. Those 3-point shots just don’t happen. They happen because a person practices.

Be Resourceful
Find a mentor and ask how they excelled and how they failed. Avoid people not doing anything.

Elevate Yourself
Always reach high. If you are making Bs in school, go for As. Keep climbing.

Have an A-plus attitude
Wear a smile even when you feel like frowning. Maintain a positive attitude through disappointment.

Focus on “Me’’
If you make “me’’ important, you will take care of that “me’’ just like you will take care of that dream. Learn to be your own cheerleader.

Here is Moore’s Birmingham tour schedule:

Monday, September 22
Central Library, 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Library, 1:00 p.m.
Springville Road Library, 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 23
Powderly Library, 10:00 a.m.
Titusville Library, 1:00 p.m.
West End Library, 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 24
Smithfield Library, 10:00 a.m.
Avondale Library, 1:00 p.m.
North Birmingham Library, 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 25
Five Points West Library, 10:00 a.m.
Pratt City Library, 4:00 p.m.

For more information on Moore, please visit www.stephanieperrymoore.com.

Sixty Works to be Featured in the Watercolor Society of Alabama’s Annual Showcase at the Central Library, September 21–October 31

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30am
Great Blue & Company, Charlotte McDavidNearly 60 aqua media works from across the state will be on display September 21–October 31 during the 2014 Watercolor Society of Alabama Annual Members' Showcase at the Central Library. The free exhibit will be in the library’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

An award ceremony and opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 21, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., in the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

E. Gordon West of San Antonio, Texas, is the selection juror. West has received numerous awards in national exhibitions and has works in the permanent collections of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas A&M University, and the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville and studied at the Chicago Art Institute.

Steve Rogers of Ormond Beach, Florida is the awards juror. His artwork has won international awards. He was the Purchase Award Winner of the 2006 National Watercolor Society “Best of Show.” His paintings have won four awards in the American Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibitions. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill.
The Ancient Splendor, Chenghao Li
Rogers will host a watercolor workshop at Forstall Art Center in Homewood, September 18-20. The daily sessions will be 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. There is a workshop fee.

To register for the workshop or for more information on the class, contact Charlotte McDavid, chair of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, at charsart@bellsouth.net.

For information about the library exhibit, call 226-3670 or send emails to hm@bham.lib.al.us.

Discover Your Inner Artist

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:13am
Pallet Party

Wylam Library, 4300 7th Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35224

Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00 am

Light refreshments will be served

RSVP 785-0349

You're invited to paint your masterpiece at Wylam Branch Library. Artist Cherie Hunt will help you paint a picture you can frame and hang or give away as a gift. If you would like further instruction, Birmingham Public Library has many resources you can check out. Here is a sampling.

The complete artist's manual : the definitive guide to painting and drawing / by Simon Jennings

Design dynamic paintings [videorecording] : how fundamental design and composition principles can improve your paintings / by Ed Labadie

Just paint it! / Sam Piyasena and Beverly Philp


Drawing for painters / text, Gabriel Martín Roig ; translated from the Spanish by Michael Brunelle

Welcome Back, Pratt City Library

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:03pm

The September/October 2014 issue of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association, features interesting innovative architectural designs. Pratt City Library is featured as a newly renovated library under Disaster Recovery. The library re-opened February 10, 2014.

The tornado that spread through the Pratt City community three years ago presented an opportunity to rebuild a shiny new light of hope in its new library. The library retained its history and restored faith to the community. The newly rebuilt library is a feeling of "coming home." Patrons are enlightened with what they see and happy to return to a revolving door that is uniquely theirs.

From the BPL Blog archives:
A Look Inside Pratt City Library after the Tornado

Alabama Humanities Foundation Gifts Pratt City Library with New Books

Pratt City Remembers: Special Tornado Anniversary to Be Held Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pratt City Library's Reopening Scheduled for February 10

Deborah Drake
Pratt City Library

Read It Forward 2014 - The Giver by Lois Lowry

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 9:10am

You're invited to join Birmingham Public Library's 2014 Read It Forward program. This year's book is Lois Lowry's The Giver.  Here's how to participate:
  1. Visit any BPL location and pick up a free copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry (while supplies last).
  2. Read the book.
  3. Go to the library's Read It Forward page, enter the book's tracking identification number, and leave a comment.
  4. Pass the book forward for someone else to read.
  5. Log onto the library's website often to track your book as it travels from reader to reader. See what others have to say about this book.

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:19pm
Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking
Susan Cain

Garrison Keillor once did a humor piece called “Shy Rights: Why Not Pretty Soon?” If you think that’s funny, you’ll probably like this book. If you just happen to know someone who’s introverted and want to know how they work, you’ll probably like this, too. (By the way, shy isn’t necessarily the same thing as introverted. That’s covered here.)

Do you prefer one-on-one talking to group activities? Do you prefer solitude over parties? Do you tend to avoid risk? Dislike conflict? Work better on your own? Feel wiped out after being around people all day? If so, you may be introverted. There’s a test in the book which can help you to be reasonably sure. Introverts make up at least 1/3 of all Americans, and may constitute much more. And yet American culture is an extroverted one, with extroversion often held up as an ideal. How can introverts, who sometimes feel left out, learn to thrive? How can extroverts learn to embrace them? Author Susan Cain calmly and persuasively guides us through these and other topics, and suggests that a revolution (albeit a quiet one) may be in order. Any healthy society, she maintains, will have a balance between extroverts and introverts. What she has to say is provocative, revelatory and will come as a relief to the introverts (and, to a lesser degree, extroverts) among us. She’s summarized a very large amount of research, research that’s been done because the existence of introversion/extroversion is about the only thing personality psychologists agree on. Even animal societies, including fish and insects, show introvert and extrovert traits. Evolutionists have come round to the idea that these societies have to have both types in order to survive. At base, introversion and extroversion are biological far more than something we choose. If Cain occasionally missteps (shyness is not “inherently painful”—now there’s evidence of the dread extroversion bias she keeps warning us about if there ever was one) she is usually on target, demonstrating compassion, common sense, and good judgment.

An introvert myself, I was struck again and again at how the researchers and Cain seem to know me without ever having met me. Me, and seemingly all the introverts I know. The sheer bulk and range of the research accounts for some of this, as does the consistency of traits among most introverts. If you’re an extrovert, you’ll probably see yourself in here, too.

As important as anything here is the promise Cain holds out of a more balanced, stronger and wise society, one that embraces the inner- as well as outer-directed, one that is less neurotic than ours because introverts will be able to accept themselves instead of try to prove they’re someone they’re not. We’re talking about a radical change here, even a revolution, and some significant changes in this direction have already occurred. In the end we’ll be a lot healthier. Sound too difficult? We did it with left-handedness, and gay rights has already won the historical moment. So this isn’t a pipe dream. It’s a self-help book for America as well as for individuals. Shy rights, indeed. Why not now?

Richard Grooms
Fiction Department
Central Library

Bank on Birmingham Financial Program Scheduled for North Birmingham Library, September 23

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:48am
A sound understanding of banks and banking plays an important part in assuring one’s personal financial health. Acquiring such an understanding, however, takes some time and effort. In the world of banking, there exist different kinds of institutions offering a variety of accounts, products, and investment opportunities. But it is not a matter of one size fits all; which banking services are suitable for you depends upon your particular circumstances, needs, and goals. Therefore, in order to make good decisions about banks, you should try to get good, solid information about what is available so that you can compare their offerings with your priorities.

Bank on Birmingham (BoB) is a local non-profit organization that was created to provide information to the public about banking products and services. The membership of Bank on Birmingham, which consists of both local financial institutions and community organizations, is particularly interested in reaching low and moderate income consumers who have been underserved by the banking industry. Through advocacy, education, and outreach, BoB strives to make better banking awareness a catalyst for increasing the financial self-sufficiency of individuals and families in the Birmingham area.

As part of its educational initiative, Bank on Birmingham is holding a series of Snack and Learn events at several locations of the Birmingham Public Library during September and October of 2014. Two similar events will be held at Community Education South. These events are scheduled to last about an hour and BoB representatives will be available to share their knowledge on a variety of topics including banking, credit, budgeting, identity theft, home ownership, and small business finance. Light refreshments will be served. Both adults and older youth are encouraged to attend.

The Snack and Learn events are free but registration is required. You can register online on the Events Calendar page on Bank on Birmingham’s website or at the library location where the event is being held:

North Birmingham Library
Tuesday September 23, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Central Library 
Monday October 6, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Avondale Library
Tuesday October 14, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Bank on Birmingham Program Scheduled for Five Points West Library, September 9

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:55pm
A sound understanding of banks and banking plays an important part in assuring one’s personal financial health. Acquiring such an understanding, however, takes some time and effort. In the world of banking, there exist different kinds of institutions offering a variety of accounts, products, and investment opportunities. But it is not a matter of one size fits all; which banking services are suitable for you depends upon your particular circumstances, needs, and goals. Therefore, in order to make good decisions about banks, you should try to get good, solid information about what is available so that you can compare their offerings with your priorities.

Bank on Birmingham (BoB) is a local non-profit organization that was created to provide information to the public about banking products and services. The membership of Bank on Birmingham, which consists of both local financial institutions and community organizations, is particularly interested in reaching low and moderate income consumers who have been underserved by the banking industry. Through advocacy, education, and outreach, BoB strives to make better banking awareness a catalyst for increasing the financial self-sufficiency of individuals and families in the Birmingham area.

As part of its educational initiative, Bank on Birmingham is holding a series of Snack and Learn events at several locations of the Birmingham Public Library during September and October of 2014. Two similar events will be held at Community Education South. These events are scheduled to last about an hour and BoB representatives will be available to share their knowledge on a variety of topics including banking, credit, budgeting, identity theft, home ownership, and small business finance. Light refreshments will be served. Both adults and older youth are encouraged to attend.

The Snack and Learn events are free but registration is required. You can register online on the Events Calendar page on Bank on Birmingham’s website or at the library location where the event is being held:

Schedule of Events:
Five Points West Library
Tuesday September 9, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Springville Road Library
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

North Birmingham Library
Tuesday September 23, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Central Library 
Monday October 6, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Avondale Library
Tuesday October 14, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Learn More About Your Banking Options at Bank on Birmingham Events to Be Held at Birmingham Public Library Locations in September and October

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:54pm
A sound understanding of banks and banking plays an important part in assuring one’s personal financial health. Acquiring such an understanding, however, takes some time and effort. In the world of banking, there exist different kinds of institutions offering a variety of accounts, products, and investment opportunities. But it is not a matter of one size fits all; which banking services are suitable for you depends upon your particular circumstances, needs, and goals. Therefore, in order to make good decisions about banks, you should try to get good, solid information about what is available so that you can compare their offerings with your priorities.

Bank on Birmingham (BoB) is a local non-profit organization that was created to provide information to the public about banking products and services. The membership of Bank on Birmingham, which consists of both local financial institutions and community organizations, is particularly interested in reaching low and moderate income consumers who have been underserved by the banking industry. Through advocacy, education, and outreach, BoB strives to make better banking awareness a catalyst for increasing the financial self-sufficiency of individuals and families in the Birmingham area.

As part of its educational initiative, Bank on Birmingham is holding a series of Snack and Learn events at several locations of the Birmingham Public Library during September and October of 2014. Two similar events will be held at Community Education South. These events are scheduled to last about an hour and BoB representatives will be available to share their knowledge on a variety of topics including banking, credit, budgeting, identity theft, home ownership, and small business finance. Light refreshments will be served. Both adults and older youth are encouraged to attend.

The Snack and Learn events are free but registration is required. You can register online on the Events Calendar page on Bank on Birmingham’s website or at the library location where the event is being held:

Schedule of Events:
Five Points West Library
Tuesday September 9, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Springville Road Library
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

North Birmingham Library
Tuesday September 23, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Central Library 
Monday October 6, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Avondale Library
Tuesday October 14, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Community Education South
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:14pm
The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson

After years spent on the road outrunning bad memories, blue-haired teen Hayley Kincaid and her troubled, army veteran father return to their hometown in New York. Having been home-schooled for the last five years, Hayley cautiously re-enters the world of traditional learning, a repulsive realm populated by high school "zombies" (the in-crowd) and a few rebellious "freaks" like herself. Although she impresses few at first with her snarky attitude, she slowly becomes accustomed to her new life, and even gathers a handful of friends (other "freaks" like herself). In the back of her mind, though, is a fear that no teen should have to worry about: the constant, sickening fear for her father's declining mental health. While the prose lacks the gritty, lyrical beauty found in Anderson's previous novel, Wintergirls, this newest offering succeeds in painting a touching, realistic, and perilous portrait of a new era of social issues. Recommended for Ages 15-Up.

Liz Winn
Microforms/Government Documents
Central Library

Renasant Offers Entrepreneurial Success Series

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:00am
 
Renasant Bank is reaching out to help small businesses succeed with a free six-part entrepreneurial success series. Series topics include Financial Management, Networking and Relationship Building, Social Media, Tax Information, Business Plan Components, Human Resources and Access to Capital.

Renasant staff and local experts are leading these valuable learning sessions throughout the Birmingham and Shelby County communities. The event is co-sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library System and Trudy Phillips Consulting. Complementary refreshments will be served.

Tracey Morant Adams, Senior Vice President Small Business and Community Development Director said of the series, ‘This free series is part of Renasant Bank’s continuing commitment to further the success of small business owners and entrepreneurs in our area. We are pleased to provide valuable tools and insight to help our local community businesses thrive and flourish.”

To register for any of the sessions, please visit: http://movetogreaterservice.com/smallbiz

Sessions:

How Do I Make Money with My Website
Central Library
September 18, 2014
9:30-11:00 a.m.

Financing, Lending Sources and Credit
Pratt City Library
October 23, 2014
9:30-11:00 a.m.

Self-employed & Small Business Tax Workshop
Woodlawn Public Library
November 20, 2014
9:30-11:00 a.m.

One-Page Business Plan with Financial Projections
Alabaster City Hall
January 15, 2015
9:30-11:00 a.m.

Contract Employees vs. Full Time Employees
Avondale Public Library
February 12, 2015
9:30-11:00 a.m.

Civil Rights Authors Chervis Isom and Nick Patterson Head Panel Discussion on Race and Reconciliation at Central Library, September 12

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 9:39am

The Birmingham Public Library will present a panel discussion on race, redemption, and reconciliation on Friday, September 12, at noon in the Central Library's Arrington Auditorium as part of the city's Empowerment Week. The event is free and open to the public.

The speakers will be Chervis Isom and Nick Patterson, authors of recent books that examine Birmingham during the civil rights movement. Though one author is white and the other is black, the men's stories carry similar messages of change and moving forward.

Isom once held racist views as a child growing up in a segregated Birmingham in the 1950s and 1960s. But his opinions eventually changed when a married couple on his newspaper route taught him that it's wrong to judge people based on skin color. He shares his coming-of-age story in The Newspaper Boy.

Patterson had always felt that stories of the movement's foot soldiers were ones of struggle and perseverance that needed to live on for generations to share. Through research and extensive interviews, he delved deep into the past to tell their stories in his book Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement.

Come learn about the city's past and how it prepares people for the future. Isom, an attorney, and Patterson, a writer, will sell and sign copies of their books after the discussion and Q&A session.

Birmingham's Empowerment Week, set for September 11-15, will include a day of service, speakers and festivals.

Let's Talk Nails

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:00pm
Getting a manicure or pedicure was once only thought to be in the world of celebrities. But in the 21st century women and men consider getting a pedicure or manicure as a part of their biweekly pampering regimen. The nail industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and new techniques blossoming by the minute. A new reality show on Oxygen called Nailed It will be premiering this fall. The industry has introduced an array of colors, shapes, and techniques to choose from such has Acrylic, Gel, Shellac, French tips, and 3D Nail art. Below are some resources to assist in selecting the best method and style for you.

Books
Cool Nail Art 

DIY Nail Art: 75 Creative Nail Art Designs

Totally Cool Nails: 50 Fun and Easy Nail Art Designs for Kids

Nails, Nails, Nails!: 25 Creative DIY Nail Art Projects

Polish You Pretty 

Pro Nail Care: Salon Secrets of the Professionals


Websites
NAIL IT! 

Essie 

NAILPRO 

Nail Gallery Art on Pinterest 

Nail Designs on Pinterest 


Yolanda Hardy
Smithfield Library

Free Workshop on How to Make Money with Your Business Website Set for September 18 at the Birmingham Public Library

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 3:12pm

A free workshop to help businesses boost sales through their website will be held on Thursday, September 18, at the Central Library. The session will be from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. It’s free but registration is required at http://movetogreaterservice.com/smallbiz.

“A lot of small businesses don’t have the money to do advertising and ad campaigns, so (this workshop) will really be for how to use content marketing and social media to attract the right kind of customers they are looking for,’’ said Andrea Walker, a Birmingham digital strategist and start-up marketing expert scheduled to teach the class. “At the end of the day, I want people to walk away learning something they haven’t learned before and knowing they can do it.’’

Her session will address several topics, including the importance of content marketing, which is how to create and share free content on the web with the goal of attracting potential customers and turning them into repeat customers. The workshop is part of an entrepreneurial series presented by Renasant Bank, Trudy Phillips Consulting Service, and the Birmingham Public Library. Sessions on financial management, business plans, and more are planned now through February 2015 at Birmingham libraries and Alabaster City Hall. All classes will be held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

"This free series is part of Renasant Bank’s continuing commitment to further the success of small business owners and entrepreneurs in our area,'' said Tracey Morant Adams, Renasant Bank’s senior vice president small business and community development director. "We are pleased to provide valuable tools and insight to help our local community businesses thrive and flourish.”

Dates and locations for sessions include:

How Do I Make Money with My Website
September 18, 2014
Central Library

Financing, Lending Sources and Credit
October 23, 2014
Pratt City Library

Self-Employed and Small Business Tax Workshop
November 20-2014
Woodlawn Library 

One-Page Business Plan with Financial Projections
January 15, 2015
Alabaster City Hall

Contract Employees vs. Full-Time Employees
February 12, 2015
Avondale Public Library

Chariot Races, Gladiators, and Film

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:59am
Visages of gladiatorial battles and chariot races often fill the minds of modern audiences with wonder. Ancient Roman sport and spectacle have long-since been an inspiration for popular culture- from books and plays to television and moves.

Chariot races were quite popular in much of the ancient Mediterranean for over a millennium. Roman chariot races were much like modern NASCAR/stock car driving, with both standard regulations and variances in tracks, as well as excitement at both wins and crashes! Perhaps best known for its thrilling chariot race, Ben-Hur (1959) is considered by many to be one of the best films of all time. This historical epic starring Charlton Heston follows a prince who was sent into slavery, and later seeks revenge on the race track. The film is actually based upon a book written in 1880 by Lew Wallace of the same name. Perhaps even more surprising, the 1959 film is neither the first nor the last screen adaptation, with a 1925 silent film and a remake currently in progress, due out in 2016!

Gladiatorial combat reached its popularity in late 1st CE century Rome. While its origins remain murky, they were noted by Roman historian Livy as existing by the 2nd century BCE and became an essential feature of political and social life, continuing through the 6th century. Gladiators were typically- although not solely - slaves, often from military backgrounds. They were most frequently male, although there is evidence of female gladiators, especially during Nero's reign. We do know that  female gladiators were formally banned in 200 CE.

Gladiator (2000) directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe is one of the most appreciated depictions of recent years. In the film the fictional general Maximus, after being betrayed by the emperor Commodus and swept up into slavery, must fight as a gladiator to seek vengeance for himself and his family. The film is also known for its soundtrack and received five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Gladiator : the making of the Ridley Scott epic has more about the making of the film. Though the film plays a bit loose with the history, it is an entertaining film for 21st century audiences.

Perhaps slightly more realistic, and loosely based on historical events, are the many iterations of Spartacus. Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator and was one of the slave leaders in the Third Servile War in the first century BCE. Books, novels, movies and television shows have continuously elaborated on the tale of which historians know relatively few details. Howard Fast's 1952 book Spartacus served as the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film starring Kirk Douglas. More recently, the television show Spartacus: Blood and Sand ran for three seasons to a relatively positive reception.

The Colosseum in Rome is the best known location of ancient gladiatorial battles which can still be visited. Started in 70CE and completed in 80, the Colosseum could seat 50,000-80,000 and was the first permanent amphitheater in Rome. Repaired multiple times in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, the ruins are adjacent to the Forum Romanum, both of which are popular tourist destinations.