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Impact Alabama To Offer Free Tax Prep Assistance at Selected BPL Locations

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:48am
Impact Alabama will again be providing free tax preparation services during the 2013 tax season for households earning less than $50,000 a year with one or more children or $20,000 year without children. You must call 1-888-99-TAX-AL (1-888-998-2925) for an appointment; no walk-ins will be assisted. Impact Alabama is sponsored by SaveFirst.

Participating Libraries:

Smithfield Branch Library
205-324-8428
Opening Day, January 20 (library is closed for MLK Day, but Impact Alabama will begin taking appointments)
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
January 21-February 1
Mondays & Tuesdays 12:00-6:00 p.m.; Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
February 3-March 8
Mondays & Tuesdays 12:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
March 10-April 14
Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Super Tax Saturday, April 12
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

West End Branch Library
205-226-4089
January 22-March 8
Wednesdays & Fridays 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Woodlawn Branch Library
205-595-2001
January 23-March 8
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 12:00-6:00 p.m.; Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Please note: There will be no tax prep service on Saturday, January 25)

MakingCents Class for Kids on Saving Money at Avondale Library, January 23

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:30am

The Birmingham Public Library will kick off the new year with three money management classes in January. All classes are free and open to the public.


January 23
3:30 p.m.
Avondale Library
Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this children’s program. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’’ McEntee will teach children about the importance of saving money.

For more information, call Jim Murray at 205-226-3690 or visit www.making-cents.org.

The Birmingham Public Library and 14 other libraries in Jefferson and Shelby counties offer the series. The programs will end in May 2014. Other BPL locations include Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road.

The classes are part of a national grant program known as MakingCents: Resources to Help Your Money Grow and Smart investing@your library®, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Teen Audio Book Review: Vanish

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 4:03pm
Vanish
Sophie Jordan
Narrated by Therese Plummer

Jacinda, her twin, Tamra, and their mother must flee back to their "pride" when Jacinda shows her true self to the boy she loves: Will. Will is a menber of a family who hunts her people. The draki decides Jacinda, a fire breather, must marry the pride's heir apparent, Cassian, whom Tamra wants. The draki have the ability to morph from human to dragon form which is not revealed until the third CD, although Jacinda morphs several times. The angst Jacinda suffers over the duty to her pride and her love for Will ends the story with a cliffhanger.

Therese Plummer does a good job narrating this angst-filled story. Her character voices are distinct and easy to follow. Her pacing fits the narrative and the characters. When the character narrative says her voice breaks, the character's dialog reflects the break.

Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture - Human Trafficking 101, January 17

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 9:30am
Patricia A. McCayAs part of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each January the Birmingham Public Library’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts sponsors Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture. Now in its eleventh year, the King Lecture has featured civil rights activists, scholars, children’s book authors, and community leaders talking on civil rights history and contemporary civil rights issues.

The 2014 lecture will feature Patricia A. McCay, Chair of the Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force. Her talk, Human Trafficking 101, will discuss the victims of modern day slavery, explore the ways that traffickers entrap and control their victims, and look at cases of trafficking in Alabama.

The program will be held January 17, 2014, at noon in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium at the downtown Birmingham Public Library.

To learn more about Patricia McCay and human trafficking in Alabama visit http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/08/human_trafficking_task_force_w.html.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jim Baggett
(205-226-3631, jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us) or visit www.bplonline.org.

Jim Baggett
Archives Department
Central Library

February 2014 RLCC Class Schedule Available

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:00am


Registration is now open for staff and the public for the February 2014 Regional Library Computer Center classes. All classes are held in the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) of the Central (downtown) LibraryPRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES.To register for classes, you may:
  • Visit the Computer Commons department at the Central Library and obtain a copy of the class schedule. Fill it out and return to a Computer Commons staff.
  • Register online through the RLCC website. Please allow 2 to 4 business days for registration confirmation.
Space is limited for each class, and registration does not guarantee you a space. If you register for a class, please make all efforts to attend. Repeated "no shows" could affect your registration eligibility for future classes. If you register for a class and cannot attend, call Public Computer Services at (205) 226-3680 or 226-3681 as soon as possible.Please pay close attention to the class times. No one will be admitted after 5 minutes past the time class is scheduled to start. Classes are provided by the Birmingham Public Library.

Birmingham Motivational Speaker Eunice Elliott and the Birmingham Public Library Kick Off New Empowerment Lecture Series to Help People Realize their Dreams in 2014

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:18am
Eunice Elliott
Get motivated in the new year with inspiring words from Birmingham motivational speaker Eunice Elliott and her lecture series, Living the Dream 2014, at various Birmingham Public Library locations in January and February. The interactive empowerment series will focus on how people can identify and activate individual goals and ambitions. All sessions are free and open to the public.

The first session will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 10:30 a.m., at Five Points West Library. The topic will be “Dreaming 101: Identifying Your Heart’s Desires.’’ “I feel that my calling in life is to inspire people to pursue their dreams,’’ says Elliott. “Stop trying to put limits on your dreams. It’s a dream. Anything can happen.’’

The Bessemer native graduated from the University of Alabama in 1997 and moved to Connecticut a week later to pursue her dream job at ESPN, working in public relations and later as a production assistant at ESPN Sports Center. After more than 10 years working in sports public relations, including stints at the Tennessee Titans, the FedEx Orange Bowl Committee, and with several high-profile professional athletes, Elliott changed course and started performing stand-up comedy and acting.

In 2011, she moved to Atlanta to pursue her new passion of comedy and acting. In 2013, she returned to Birmingham to join Alabama's 13 morning team as the traffic reporter. She appears daily from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

"I'm so excited about this series because honestly, when I see that light come on in people's minds about pursuing their own passions, it further inspires and motivates me to continue pursuing my own,’’ says Elliott. “I love the feeling I get from motivating other others. Honestly, it motivates me to keep trying to accomplish my own dreams.’’

“Each session will address another phase of Living the Dream. The first session is designed to help those who may have forgotten their passion due to circumstances or have run out of ideas of how to pursue them,’’ she says.

The other sessions include:

 "As a Man Thinketh"— Understanding the Law of Attraction
Monday, January 27, 11:00 a.m.
Springville Road Library

Maintaining the Vision — Keeping the Faith
Wednesday, January 29, 12:00 p.m.
Central Library

Enjoying this Moment —Gratitude
Monday, February 3, 12:00 p.m.
North Birmingham Library

For more information, visit http://facebook.com/euniceelliott.

Performances, Cooking Classes, and More Are Part of Black History Month 2014 at BPL

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 2:18pm


Several Birmingham Public Library locations will celebrate Black History Month in February with cooking classes, art projects, lectures, and theatrical presentations. All events are free. Click on the poster image for a list of the programs.

Addendum:
"Our Musical Journey Through Faith"
Thursday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. at the West End Branch (1348 Tuscaloosa Ave. SW.)
Come see the Birmingham Metropolitan Youth Choir perform songs from the civil rights movement on Thursday, 2/20/14, at the West End.
Three foot soldiers will talk about their experiences. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Choir director: Emmanuel Reese Musician: Samuel Robinson.
Target age group: Children and teenagers
Registration is not required.
Phone: 205-226-4089

Discover Middle-Earth

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 12:44pm
In September of 1937 an Oxford professor by the name of John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien published a short novel based upon stories originally written for his children: The Hobbit or There and Back Again. This book became the prequel to the later-written Lord of the Rings trilogy and the posthumously published Silmarillion (1977) and sparked a phenomenon that has been loved by generations.


 Film adaptations of The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1954, Film 2001), The Two Towers (Book 1954, Film 2002), and Return of the King (Book 1955, Film 2003) were blockbuster hits, leading to the current three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit - the second of which, The Desolation of Smaug is currently in theaters (the third movie, There and Back Again is due out in late 2014). 

Learn more about The Hobbit, Middle-Earth, and Tolkien at the Birmingham Public Library.

Read: The Hobbit

Watch: In 1977 The Hobbit was made into an animated motion picture.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is also now available on DVD.

Discover Middle-earth:
The art of the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien / Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull
There and back again : the map of the Hobbit/ text by Brian Sibley; images by John Howe
The complete guide to Middle-earth : from The hobbit to The Silmarillion / Robert FosterThe peoples of middle-earth / J.R.R. Tolkien ; edited by Christopher Tolkien
Realms of Tolkien : images of Middle-earth
Read analysis, commentary, criticism and critique:
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The hobbit / Corey Olsen
The individuated hobbit : Jung, Tolkien, and the archetypes of Middle-Earth / Timothy R. O'Neill
The wisdom of the shire : a short guide to a long and happy life / Noble Smith
Defending Middle-earth : Tolkien, myth and modernity / Patrick Curry
Meditations on Middle Earth / edited by Karen Haber

Learn about the making of the movie:
The hobbit : an unexpected journey : official movie guide / Brian Sibley
The hobbit : an unexpected journey. Chronicles II, Creatures & characters /  Daniel Falconer
The hobbit : an unexpected journey : chronicles : art & design /  Daniel Falconer
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design



*Images in this post are the primary English language book covers and movie posters used for The Hobbit since its publication. More images of covers for many of Tolkien's books can be found here

This Year I Will Exercise More

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 10:12am

It’s a new year and many of us have made New Year’s resolutions.  One resolution on many lists is to get more exercise.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t find the discipline to exercise consistently.  I go through periods when I can’t wait to go exercise and others when I’d rather do anything but exercise.  Usually when I’m exercising on a regular basis, something happens to throw me off track (injury, illness, etc.). Sometimes I get disgruntled with my health club membership and decide to go it alone to save money.  I admit I’ve bought a couple of things I’ve seen on television, but I didn’t stick with them for the long haul.

A coworker told me about BodyRock.tv.  This website features a number of high-intensity workouts that work your entire body with just a short time commitment.  I decided to give it a try.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did start my BodyRock journey with a workout entitled, “It Will Rain Sweat.”  To use one of Judge Judy’s famous phrases, “BIG MISTAKE!!!”  As I gasped for breath, heaving on the floor, I texted (with great effort) the person who told me about BodyRock and said I could only do one round.  After she got her laughter under control, which I learned later, she texted back and told me I went through the workout too fast. 
Have you seen the commercial where the bodybuilder asks the smaller guy if he "got his burn on" today?  If you haven’t experienced that, believe me, it happens.  When I was a member of the YMCA, a friend from the library who’s more than twice my age started trash-talking me about not using all the workout equipment that he did.  He's not a bodybuilder, but he's in great shape.  He is a mild-mannered, friendly grandpa, but get him in the gym and he turns into a UFC fighter.  How about the people who choose the cardio machine right next to you and start racing?  I admit that ONE time this guy started running next to me and I decided that barring death, I would NOT be the first one to stop.  I had to crawl back to the locker room, but he stopped first.  I call that a victory.  Thankfully, the locker room was on the same floor.
I hope you’re laughing by now, but we all know that exercise is important for good health.  My eating habits are in order, but I have to get back on the exercise train.  I hope all of us find something we enjoy doing and stick to our New Year’s resolution to get more exercise.  Be sure to check out the collection of fitness books and DVDs at the library to get some motivation and inspiration.  Happy New Year!

Book Review: The Cleaner of Chartres

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 5:02pm
The Cleaner of Chartres
Salley Vickers

We often know the traits of Dickens’s characters as we read their names. In Salley Vickers’s The Cleaner of Chartres names don’t give away the game, but Vickers gives us insight into characters even as she introduces them. This Dickensian tale set in modern France even has its own Madame DeFarge and Madame Beck in this story and is also full of malice. (Fortunately Madame Beck does not knit). Helpfully, Vickers tells us the meaning of our cleaner’s name, Agnès Morel. Morel is for the mushroom, beloved by the old farmer who found her abandoned, in a basket, in his fields. Agnès means “lamb of God”, in this case a very Dickensian name. Agnès is indeed the lamb of God. She is forty when we meet her, humbly washing the floors of the great cathedral, which is the other great character of this book.

And there are many characters. The author introduces her characters early on and almost all at once in a natural, offhand way, the narrative passing effortlessly from the thoughts of one to the other as their paths weave together from day to day in the old town in and about the cathedral. Salley Vickers was a practicing psychoanalyst until the success of her first novel Miss Garnet’s Angel, and she has unsparing insight into the cleric, nuns, widows, workmen and barmaids of Chartres, regarding their foibles with humor and sympathy. We come to know them well.

We come to know Agnès well, but Agnès is nonetheless a mystery. She carries a dark secret and hides her shame. She is so silent the townspeople believe her to be stupid and give her odd jobs. The narrative of the novel alternates between the present, when, forty years old, her precarious mental state she is threatened by discovery, and twenty five years earlier, her teen years as an orphan in a convent and mental hospital, the story of her secret shame.

We pull for Agnès. While the townspeople take her for granted and think very little about her, she quietly goes about her tasks, listening to those who need solace and doing small things that make a difference in their lives, spreading God’s grace. Indeed, this reader wondered if she might be a revisitation by Saint Mary to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, so saintly is Agnès. But, as the dense plot unfolds, the characters become more than stereotypes, entertaining us at every twist and turn through the medieval town, up, under and through the great gothic masterwork of Chartres Cathedral.

David Blake
Fiction Department
Central Library

Book Review: The Liars' Club

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 1:33pm
The Liars’ Club
Mary Karr

Over the last few years I’ve read several of the big memoir phenoms that are part of a memoir revival that’s been going on in America for the last twenty or so years. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr’s story of growing up in brutal East Texas and Antelope, Colorado, in the fifties and sixties, is often seen as the first book of this revival.

The metatheme for most memoirs is Overcoming Adversity, or at least Surviving Adversity. The Liars’ Club is much more of the latter. Both of Karr’s parents were alcoholics. Leechfield, Texas, where most of the action takes place, won national awards as one of the ugliest and most unhealthy towns in the U.S. It’s a town where ”…the only thing a woman might dream for…was a deep-freeze filled with deer meat she’d cleaned and dressed herself.” All women, that is, but Karr’s mother. She rages at how she’s sunk socially so much that she has to actually live in such a place as Leechfield, drowning her anger in drink. Dad works at the refinery, comes home and drinks. Mary and her sister Lecia absorb and dodge the fallout as best they can. Their dad teaches them to become scrappers, to fight. Soon they become feared throughout town, even by most boys.

As I said, Leechfield is filthiness itself. Once, the sisters join other children in following the mosquito truck as it goes through town. Interestingly, this scene is duplicated years later in Bill Bryson’s Thunderbolt Kid memoir. Was inhaling mosquito repellent a rite of passage in Mid-Century America?

The East Texas lingo is one of the strengths of the books and it’s here in all its hardscrabble glory: “Grandma…was such a ringtailed bitch.” “He’s got the mulligrubs.” Rain falls on the back porch “like a cow pissing on a flat rock.” “Mother…was Nervous.”

Mom and Dad divorce. Grandma dies; Mom comes into an inheritance, blows it. She takes the kids to Colorado, marries Hector, a Mexican-American, another alcoholic. They fight. She buys a bar in Antelope and runs it. Antelope has not only seen better days, it’s past its adequate days. The girl’s public school is an experimental bad joke. Mom splits up with Hector, takes the girls back to Leechfield, reunites with husband one. The last section, from 1980, concerns the death of Karr’s father. He smokes and drinks himself to death.

Does it seem unbearable? Well, it isn’t. There is humor scattered through the book. Karr has a smaller reputation as a poet, and her poet’s eye and ear are exhilaratingly strong throughout. Here is Karr’s on her mom: “She pinched her mouth into a stiff little asterisk at that.” A hurricane throws a jellyfish up on the beach: “I spied a huge cabbage-head jellyfish…It looked like a free-floating brain knocked out of somebody’s skull.” “When [dad] finally curled on his side…he looked like something dry you’d shake out of a shell.” I could cite a hundred equally good bits.

The ugly beauty of The Liars’ Club is very rare and sometimes miraculous. Like Sylvia Plath, Mary Karr is proof that poets can come out of the most unlikely places. She’s been called a writer’s writer, and that she is, and a lot more besides. This is memoir writing at the apex.

Richard Grooms
Fiction Department
Central Library

Begin the Day: The Eleventh Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:25pm
Patricia A. McCayAs part of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each January the Birmingham Public Library’s Department of Archives and Manuscripts sponsors Begin the Day: The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture. Now in its eleventh year, the King Lecture has featured civil rights activists, scholars, children’s book authors, and community leaders talking on civil rights history and contemporary civil rights issues.

The 2014 lecture will feature Patricia A. McCay, Chair of the Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force. Her talk, Human Trafficking 101, will discuss the victims of modern day slavery, explore the ways that traffickers entrap and control their victims, and look at cases of trafficking in Alabama.

The program will be held January 17, 2014, at noon in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium at the downtown Birmingham Public Library.

To learn more about Patricia McCay and human trafficking in Alabama visit http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/08/human_trafficking_task_force_w.html.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jim Baggett
(205-226-3631, jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us) or visit www.bplonline.org.

Jim Baggett
Archives Department
Central Library

From Page to Stage: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – A Reader’s Theater Workshop for Children

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 12:28pm


The Birmingham Public Library (BPL), in partnership with the Birmingham Children’s Theatre (BCT) and Junior League of Birmingham (JLB), would like to invite you to attend From Page to Stage: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer — A Readers’ Theater Workshop for Children.

In anticipation of the upcoming BCT performance of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, BPL will be hosting free workshops at several of its area libraries. Children, aged 7 to 12, will learn how storybook characters 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 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer production on February 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.

Tom’s adventures begin with a whitewashed fence, a sweet girl named Becky, Huck Finn, and tales of pirating and treasure hunting. After a surprise funeral and a murder trial where the truth is uncovered, the audience will see Tom not only as an adventurer, but also a moral hero. Join the Birmingham Public Library and the Birmingham Children’s Theatre for lessons of bravery, truth, and adventure where Tom meets his match and mischievous fun begins.

Workshop space is limited, so contact your participating library location to register a child for the workshop. Libraries and dates are as follows:

Avondale: January 18 – 11:00 a.m.Central: January 25 – 11:00 a.m. East Lake: January 18 – 11:00 a.m.Five Points West: January 25 – 11:00 a.m.
North Birmingham: January 18 – 11:00 a.m. Southside: January 18 – 2:30 p.m.Springville Road: January 25 at 11:00 a.m. West End: January 25 – 2:30 p.m.

Talk and Gallery Tour to Accompany Lois Wilson Exhibit

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:04am

The exhibit Ladies, Gentlemen and Bazards: The Art of Lois Wilson will be on display in the Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery from January 6 to February 21, 2014. Featuring a little known Alabama artist who died in 1980, the exhibit focuses on Wilson’s “found art” where she used wood that she scavenged from demolition sites, parts of furniture that she disassembled, old brushes, ironing boards, toilet seats, and left over food for coloring to take the trash that other people discarded and create art. The art illustrates the issues that were important to Wilson: environmentalism and conservation, racism, spiritualism, the needs of the aged and homeless, and the emptiness of modern American materialism.

Laquita Thomson, courtesy of Diego Rojas
Laquita Thomson, Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, will give a talk and gallery tour to accompany the exhibit. The talk, titled Alabama Mystic or Alabama Outsider: The Art of Lois Wilson, will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2014, in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library.

Thomson specializes in studio art and art history research. Born in Corinth, Mississippi, she holds degrees from Mississippi University for Women, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn University, and University of Alabama-Huntsville. During many years living in Alabama she researched and wrote about 19th and 20th century artists who had connections to Alabama, including William Bonar, Nathan Negus, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Maltby Sykes, and Lois Wilson. Her writings have been published in Alabama Review and Alabama Heritage, as well as by Black Belt Press and Michigan State University Press. She wrote “Art in Alabama” for the Alabama Historical Commission Preservation Project in 1988. Her research is credited in two feature films, Maltby Sykes, Gentleman Modernist by Dale Schierholt and Treasures from the Rubble by Alexandra Branyon.

Thomson is an active artist herself, exhibiting widely for the past 35 years. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Huntsville Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Morris Museum of Southern Art, and Mississippi Museum of Art. She has been featured and reviewed in several publications including Arts and Activities Magazine and Art Papers, as well as numerous newspapers. For the fourth time the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art will feature Thomson’s work in a one-person exhibit in Summer 2014.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Jim Baggett at jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us or 205-226-3631.

Submitted by Jim Baggett
Archives Department
Central Library

Free Computer Classes at Springville Road Library

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 4:26pm

Do any of your New Year's resolutions include conquering the Internet or PC? If so, then call 226-4083 to make a reservation to attend one or both of these free computer classes offered at the Springville Road Library.

Beginning InternetSaturday, January 11, 2014 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Beginning PCSaturday, January 18, 2014 9:30-11:30 a.m.

East Building of BPL Closed Until Further Notice Due to Heating Problems

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 11:26am
The East Building of the Central Library is closed until further notice due to lack of heat in the building.

Early BPL Closings on Tuesday, January 7

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 4:11pm
The cold temperatures outside have made the conditions in many of our library buildings very uncomfortable. Due to these conditions, we are closing some of our buildings early today.

Some buildings have very little heat. The libraries include West End, Titusville, Southside and North Birmingham. These locations will close at 4:00 p.m. today.

The Central Library will close at 5:00.

Community and the other regional libraries will close at 6:00 p.m.

Libraries Change Lives

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 3:24pm
The Pew Research Center released a report December 11 titled "How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities."  The Summary of Findings states, "Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life.  Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services."

Jamerrius RosemanWylam Library has first hand knowledge of a young man whose life has been changed because he visited the library. For the past year, Jamerrius Roseman has come to the library regularly so he could use the public PCs to search for a job. The library staff got to know him and introduced him to the JOB Corps website.

A month ago, Jamerrius stopped coming to the library. The staff were concerned, but didn't have a way to get in touch with him. They were happily surprised last week when Jamerrius walked in announcing he had joined the JOB Corps and was assigned to the training center in Muhlenberg, Kentucky. He is being trained as a heavy equipment operator.

Your public library is much more than books, dvds, other media and even pcs. Your public library is a place where you can find your dream and make it come true.

MakingCents Money Management Classes at Wylam and Five Points West Libraries, January 8

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 2:56pm


The Birmingham Public Library will kick off the new year with three money management classes in January. All classes are free and open to the public.

January 8
10:00 a.m.
Wylam Library
Learn about saving and investing with Andreas Rauterkus, associate professor of accounting and finance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Attendees will learn how to understand various financial markets, evaluate different saving and investment options, develop ways to make better investment decisions, and more.

10:30 a.m.
Five Points West Library
Take control of your finances in a workshop led by UAB professor Dale Callahan. He will discuss ways to increase income, save more, and how to eliminate personal debt will be addressed. (Check out Callahan’s website: www.dalecallahan.com.)

January 23
3:30 p.m.
Avondale Library
Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this children’s program. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’’ McEntee will teach children about the importance of saving money.

For more information, call Jim Murray at 205-226-3690 or visit www.making-cents.org.

The Birmingham Public Library and 14 other libraries in Jefferson and Shelby counties offer the series. The programs will end in May 2014. Other BPL locations include Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road.

The classes are part of a national grant program known as MakingCents: Resources to Help Your Money Grow and Smart investing@your library®, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Birmingham Public Library Hours for Monday, January 6

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:20am
All Birmingham Public Library locations will open to the public at 11:00 a.m.  Neighborhood branches will stick to their normal schedule of closing for lunch from noon until 1:00 p.m., and closing for the day at 5:00 p.m. All of our remaining libraries will close at 6:00 p.m.