Jake Evans was just trying to protect his dad, but when manslaughter is involved, the courts in Idaho, 1885 don’t mess around. Even if you’re a kid and just trying to take care of your only family! This is the story of Jake and the time he served at the Idaho State Penitentiary. This historical fiction is set during the time when the frontier was barely settled and the courts were not prepared to deal with a young kid like Jake. He had to serve hard time with full-grown men, hardened criminals. As dreadful as this prospect might sound, Jake manages to see the silver lining. He gets a cell all to himself, three meals a day, a job to do, and he even learns to read (albeit reluctantly). What seems to be the worst possible situation turns out to be a great opportunity to learn, grow, and move on.
This story would make a great introduction to historical fiction and a great read-aloud for elementary school students. This is based on true events and a real boy named Jake Evans, which makes it so much more interesting. As an adult, I couldn’t resist pulling this title off the shelf to see if there was an explanation about why this kid was convicted of manslaughter, why he did it, and how things worked out for him in the end. I imagine kids would find it even more fascinating than I did. The story moves pretty quickly, it’s sure to keep the attention of reluctant readers. Despite his criminal past, Jake is an incredibly sympathetic character. He was just a kid who landed in the wrong place at the wrong time and reacted before he could think of the consequences. It’s a story that will give readers something to think about for sure.
Submitted by Mollie McFarland
Springville Road Library
Five Birmingham Public Library locations will have winter hours starting Monday, November. 4, 2013. The five neighborhood branches will continue to offer programs and services. The only change will be that they will open an hour earlier and close an hour earlier.
Libraries in Ensley, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn, and Wylam currently open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m. on every day except Wednesday and the weekends. Starting November 4, these five neighborhood libraries will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. The five locations will continue to be closed from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for lunch, be closed on Wednesdays until 1:00 p.m., and be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The winter hours will end on February 28, 2014.
All other BPL locations will maintain regular hours.
Staff from the Inglenook Branch Library, which is currently closed for renovations, will continue to provide library services from the Inglenook Recreation Center, 4016 37th Ave. North from 1:00-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
All five neighborhood locations are closed on Wednesday mornings in order for staff to handle various duties, perform community outreach activities, participate in training and attend system-related meetings.
Note: All Birmingham library locations will be closed for Veterans Day on November 10 and 11.
The November Bards & Brews will feature an Open Mic Night on Friday, November 1, at Good People Brewing Company. Live music will begin at 6:30 p.m., and poetry performances will start at 7 p.m. Craft beer will be available for sampling and light refreshments will be served.
Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins will emcee both events, which are free and open to the public. Attendees must be 18 years or older to attend, and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.
Bards & Brews, which is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, is usually held on the first Friday of the month at various locations around Birmingham. Visit the Bards & Brews Facebook page for more information.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources provides information how to begin the adoption search, a step-by-step checklist for the process, as well as a listing of some of the children seeking Forever Families.
The Department of Human Resources works with other agencies, such as Heart Gallery Alabama to help place these children.
In addition to the Heart Gallery Alabama exhibition, a display photos of children available for adoption which runs from October 31-November 27, 2013, in the First Floor Gallery of the Central Library, there will be a Kickoff Party on November 6th at 6:30pm in at the Central Library. This Reception and Information Session will provide instruction on Adoption in the state of Alabama and introduce some of children still hoping to be adopted as well as a few of the over 450 children successfully placed with Forever Families.
This event is open to the public.
For additional resources on adoption see:
Attaching in adoption : practical tools for today's parents / Deborah D. Gray
Adoption nation : how the adoption revolution is transforming our families-- and America / Adam Pertman.
Unveiling the adoption process : seven families' adventures and insights / Rhonda Y. Miller.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual writing challenge / literary marathon in which participants pledge to write a 50,000 word short novel in thirty days (1,667 words of original fiction, or 4-5 single-space typed pages, per day). The premise is based on the idea that, in program founder Chris Baty’s words, “The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It’s the lack of the deadline.” NaNoWriMo provides that deadline and connects aspiring authors with a worldwide community of fellow writers sharing the same dream.
How it works: Go to the National Novel Writing Month website and set up an author account. There are a plethora of online forums for authors to connect with others working in the same genres, doing research, or seeking advice on how to squeeze in all that writing time. There is also a Birmingham forum where you can meet other aspiring novelists from the area, either online or in person.
On November 1, participants start writing. Each day authors can update the word count on their profiles so that other writers can compare it to their own. At the end of the month, the official NaNoWriMo word counters check each writer's work for length – nothing else – and those who have crossed the 50,000 word finish line are awarded the status of “Winner!”
NaNoWriMo is not like traditional writing contests. Entries are not judged by any merit other than length, authors do not compete against each other, and the final prize is not publication. Instead, at the end of the month, NaNoWriMo winners have achieved that which is most difficult for any author to create – a finished first draft. Many people dream about “one day” writing a book. NaNoWriMo participants are living that dream now.
Heart Gallery Alabama (HGA) is a state wide non-profit agency whose mission is to help find forever families for Alabama's foster children. There are more than 300 children at any one time, who have no identified resource for a permanent home and family of their own, and these are the children for whom HGA recruits. They recruit professional photographers to volunteer to take the Children's portraits, and then take these professional grade photographs around the state to museums, malls, galleries, libraries, and other locations in order to increase awareness of the need for foster and adoptive families in the state of Alabama. Operating for almost eight years, they have been very successful in finding forever families for over 450 children statewide. As November is National Adoption Month, this is timely.
The Heart Gallery photos will be on view at Central Library from October 31-November 27, 2013, in the First Floor Gallery. For more information contact Haruyo Miyagawa at 205-226-3671 or email@example.com.
UAB’s Weight Management Clinical Dietician Megan Davis shares her tips for providing healthier Halloween options for parties and trick-or-treaters this year.
1. Hand out non-food items as treats.
Instead of offering mounds of candy, try handing out festively fun prizes such as crayons, stickers, pencils, whistles, or temporary tattoos. These items are also great as game prizes or party favors: bouncy balls, spider rings, mini-sized Play-Doh, and plastic vampire teeth.
Note: Always be sure that toys are age-appropriate for the group you are treating.
2. Offer low-sugar options.
Davis says that children will get suspicious if there are no sweets at Halloween parties or while trick-or-treating. Fun-size candies such as Twizzlers, Dum Dums pops, and M&Ms are all 4g of sugar per serving, which is less than a full-size bag of candy. She also suggests offering low-sugar sweets like sugar-free gum, string cheese, bags of peanuts, or almonds. Other options include boxed raisins, peanut butter crackers, or fruit cups with 100%juice.
Note: Make other parents or chaperones aware if you are serving items that may be a potential food allergen, such as peanuts.
3. Choose wisely.
Instead of choosing traditional candy mixes, choose brands that have individually wrapped portions. As much as possible, avoid treats with:
• Trans fats and hydrogenated oils
• Sugars (such as corn syrup)
• Artificial flavors and dyes
Some examples of not-so-scary snacks include Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop!, CLIF Kid Zbars, and Let’s Do Organic Fruiti Bears Gummies.
4. Provide water or juice boxes as beverages.
Davis suggests filling an empty planter or container with ice and offering mini water bottles and 100%juice boxes for trick-or-treaters. This can also be an option at Halloween parties to limit soda intake.
Submitted by Felita Hawkins
East Lake Library
As you know, every professional sport has a specific season. Baseball season starts in the spring whereas football, basketball, and hockey start in the fall. The month when all four sports come together is October. Baseball is wrapping up its season with the World Series which starts tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. Preseason is underway in the NBA and the regular season tips off on October 29th. We are in week 8 of the NFL season and week 4 of the NHL season. Add NASCAR and Major League Soccer to the mix and you could spend hours switching from one sporting event to the next.
In case you need something to browse during the commercials, check out some new and upcoming sports titles from the library.
Dr. J: The Autobiography
Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau Field
Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age
Orr: My Story
RG3: The Promise
The Birmingham Public Library will host its Fifth Annual Ghouls’ Ball on Thursday, October 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event, which is open to ages 13 to 18, will be held at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place. Attendees must have a ticket to enter. Free tickets are available at all Birmingham Public Library locations. For a list of locations, please visit www.bplonline.org/locations/.
The event will include owls, snakes, and other reptiles from Alabama 4-H; food; dancing; balloon sculptures; a photo booth; music; and Wii games. Ron Anglin of Quite a Catch Juggling will teach students how to juggle “spending, saving and sharing’’ when it comes to smart investing. A talk about online resources that address money matters and long-term investing will be offered for parents.
Other Halloween-themed events include:
Enjoy spooky children’s stories on Monday, October 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Central Library’s Youth Department Story Castle, second floor. The free event is open to children of all ages and parents. Refreshments will be served. The address is 2100 Park Place. For more information, call 226-3655.
Personalize your pumpkin with decoupage on Wednesday, October 30, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Youth Department of the Central Library, 2100 Park Place. Call 226-3655 for more information. Staff will be present to help students. Ideal for ages 8 and up.
Inglenook Library will participate in Inglenook Recreation Center’s Halloween Spooktacular Festival on Wednesday, October 30, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. The free event will include food, games, treats, crafts, a costume contest, and a dance contest. The address is 4016 37th Ave. North. Call 841-6634 for more information.
For a complete list of October events at BPL, please visit Birmingham365.org.
It's that time of year again! Calling all ghouls to head downtown for a real treat and a devilishly good time.See you there....if you dare.
Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Central Library – First floor Atrium and Fiction Department Students ages 13 – 18. Tickets are free and are available at all BPL locations Activities:
- In conjunction with the Smart Investing @ your library programs, Ron Anglin of Quite a Catch Juggling will teach students how to Juggle the Three "S"s of Smart Investment: Spend, Save, and Share! In a funny and interactive show, students will learn ways that will keep their finances balanced, much like Ron on top of his rola-bola! So make a smart investment of your time and come join the Fun! It doesn't cost you any money!
- Alabama 4-H will bring owls, snakes, and other reptiles. Participants will learn “up close and personal” about the habitat and care of these native animals.
- RKO Photography will provide a photo booth. Participants will have the opportunity to “dress up” with hats, glasses, wigs, etc. and pose alone or with friends for a souvenir photo.
- Space Air Tattoos will provide a variety of designs for a special air-brush tattoo.
- Participants will have the opportunity to participate in Nintendo Wii tournaments including bowling and other sporting events.
- Basketball and football enthusiasts will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills at the inflatable games.
- Balloon sculptures will be provided by Larry Moore.
- Music and dance demonstrations will be on-going throughout the event.
- Free food and beverages will be available including hot dogs, nachos, sodas, popcorn and snow cones.
Narrated by Lincoln Hoppe
Doug Swieteck copes with his family's poverty, his dad's abuse, a new school, learning to draw, a mean librarian and a meaner PE "teacher," his brother coming home from Vietnam, and the cops figuring he is a thug. Doug also experiences his first kiss, a fantastic librarian, the artistry of John James Audubon, some fabulous teachers, a wonderful part-time job, and more—"I'm not lying"—truly great things. Love it!
The narrator actually doesn't change his voice for each character, but somehow he makes them all distinct. I swear I can hear him smiling sometimes. Other times, I could hear the tears way in the background.
Submitted by Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West Library
Neil Gaiman's lecture "Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming" is well worth a read. The above link is an edited version of his lecture. A full transcript is available here: Reading Agency lecture.
Mary Anne Ellis
Southern History Department
The Inglenook Library will be participating in the Inglenook Recreation Center’s “Spooktacular” event where there will be lots of food, games, treats, and crafts. The event will be held on October 30, 2013 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. and is free and open for the public to attend. If you’re looking for something fun, safe, and free to do for Halloween, stop by the Inglenook Recreation Center.
Submitted by Karnecia Williams
Are you addicted to reality television shows? If you are, you’re not alone. Almost everyone is addicted to at least one of these “guilty pleasures.” Did you know that there are several categories of reality shows? Wikipedia uses the following outline:
1. Documentary Style
a. Extraordinary People
b. Historical re-creation
e. Law Enforcement/Rescue/Military
g. Lifestyle Change
h. Fantasies Fulfilled
i. Docu-soaps starring Celebrities 2. Video Cameras/Hidden Camera
3. Game Show/Reality Playoffs
a. Talent Searches 4. Spoofs
The most popular ones are talent searches and game shows/playoffs. Top Chef, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars would be examples of the talent search type. The game show/playoff group includes such hits as the Amazing Race, Survivor, and Celebrity Apprentice. There also several smaller categories, which are dominated by one or two hits. America’s Funniest Home Videos practically owns the Video Camera genre and the Real Housewives is currently dominating the Extraordinary People category. Whatever your pleasure, you might enjoy some of the new books which are being released to provide more detailed information on some of the more popular shows.
Project Runway: The Show That Changed Fashion
Chasing Spirits: The Building of the Ghost Adventures Crew
The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Created a Dynasty
License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver
My Ox is Broken!: Roadblocks, Detours, Fast Forwards, and Other Great Moments from TV's The Amazing Race
Survivor!: The Ultimate Game: The Official Companion Book to the CBS Television Show
A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work
American Pickers Guide to Picking
For What it's Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker
Public Enemies: The Host of America's Most Wanted Targets the Nation's Most Notorious Criminals
Reading the books is an enjoyable way to re-live your favorite shows. After researching the subject, I found that the Biggest Loser is also the biggest winner at the publishing game. There are six books devoted to it: two biographies and four cookbooks. Why not check out a few and you can enjoy your “guilty pleasure” even more.
Submitted by Lorraine Walker
Five Points West Library
Microsoft Excel 2010 is a spreadsheet software in the new Microsoft 2010 Office Suite. Excel allows you to store, manipulate and analyze data in organized workbooks for home and business tasks. You can use Excel to keep up with inventory, budgets, bookkeeping, contact lists, etc. To understand the basics of Excel, you might want to become familiarized with some of its features.
Components of the Excel Window The tabbed Ribbon system was introduced in Excel 2007 to replace traditional menus. It contains all of the commands you'll need in order to do common tasks. There are multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. Some groups have an arrow in the bottom-right corner that you can click to see even more commands.
- File Tab: Opens Backstage view, which displays a menu of commonly used file-management commands, such as Open, Save, Save As, and Print.
- Quick Access Toolbar: Contains buttons for frequently used commands. By default, Save, Undo, and Repeat/Redo are available. You can customize the toolbar to include additional commands.
- Ribbon Tabs: Contain Excel’s primary tools and commands, which are organized in logical groups and divided among the tabs. The main tabs are File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View.
- Ribbon Groups: Further organize related tools and commands. For example, tools and menus for changing text formats are arranged together in the Font group.
- Title Bar: Displays the name of the current document.
- Document area: Displays the text graphics that you type, edit, or insert. The flashing vertical line in the document area is called the insertion point, and it indicates where text will appear as you type.
- Status Bar: Contains the page number, word count, View commands, and document Zoom.
- Scrollbars: Used to view parts of the document that doesn’t currently fit in the window. You can scroll vertically and horizontally.
- Help: Pressing your F1 key will bring up the Help function for Window-based programs. Excel 2010 offers relevant results with articles from different sources online.
The Ribbon Becoming familiar with the Ribbon is a great way to help understand the changes between Microsoft 2003 to Microsoft 2010. The ribbon holds all of the information in previous versions of Microsoft Office in a more visual stream line manner through a series of tabs that include an immense variety of program features. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You can add your own tabs that contain your favorite commands.
- Home Tab-This is the most used tab; it incorporates all text and cell formatting features such as font and paragraph changes. The Home Tab also includes basic spreadsheet formatting elements such as text wrap, merging cells and cell style.
- Insert Tab-This tab allows you to insert a variety of items into a document from pictures, clip art, and headers and footers.
- Page Layout Tab-This tab has commands to adjust page such as margins, orientation and themes
- Formulas Tab-This tab has commands to use when creating Formulas. This tab holds an immense function library which can assist when creating any formula or function in your spreadsheet.
- Data Tab-This tab allows you to modifying worksheets with large amounts of data by sorting and filtering as well as analyzing and grouping data.
- Review Tab-This tab allows you to correct spelling and grammar issues as well as set up security protections. It also provides the track changes and notes feature providing the ability to make notes and change someone’s document.
- View Tab-This tab allows you to change the view of your document including freezing or splitting panes, viewing gridlines and hide cells.
The Digital Bookmobile National Tour will showcase the free e-book download service from Birmingham Public Library’s Central location at 2100 Park Place on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. At this free event, readers of all ages will learn how to download e-books from the library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. A gadget gallery—featuring Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Windows Phone 8, Kindle Fire, Nook HD+, Sony Reader, Creative Zen, iPad Mini, Creative Zen X-Fi, and much more—will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library’s download service.
“When the Digital Bookmobile stopped at our location in 2010, we had hundreds of visitors to walk through and become familiar with downloadable devices,” said Birmingham Public Library Director Renee Blalock. “As a result, we have increased our collection of e-books and other downloadable items. We are committed to keeping pace with changing technology and the needs of our community.”
The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore Birmingham Public’s download service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library’s digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample e-books, audiobooks, music, and video.
Patrons can take advantage of the download service 24/7 when they visit the library’s website. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles, and check out a digital title with a valid library card. Once downloaded, digital titles can be enjoyed on a computer or transferred to supported mobile devices. Many audio titles can also be burned to audio CD. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection. There are never late fees or damaged items.
The Digital Bookmobile is a service of the Birmingham Public Library and is operated by OverDrive, Inc. To check out and download digital books and more, visit http://www.bplonline.org.
The Springville Road Regional Branch now has an art gallery in the Children’s Department. Come and check it out! We will be displaying art created by children from schools in our area. We are currently displaying art created by students at W.J. Christian K-8 School. We will be holding an artists’ reception on Sunday October 27 from 3-5 p.m. in honor of the students whose artwork was selected for our inaugural exhibit. This come-and-go reception will be accompanied by light refreshments.
Submitted by Mollie McFarland
Springville Road Library