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Library Director Honored by Mayor and City Council

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 12:56pm
The director of the Birmingham Public Library, Renee Blalock, was recently honored by the mayor and city council for her years of service with the library. Here is the video from that event. Congratulations, Renee.


Health Wise, Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Very Bad

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 12:46pm

I’ve had a couple of experiences recently that prompted me to spotlight nutritional supplements, specifically vitamins and the dreaded summertime malady of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. While speaking with my father this week, I learned that his physician wanted him to stop taking his multivitamin and stop drinking milk because his vitamin D levels were too high. It’s going to take some months for it to return to normal. My father walks everyday so he gets plenty of sunshine, has milk every morning for breakfast, and was taking a multivitamin every day. In his case, too much of what he thought was a good thing was bad!

I think summer is a wonderful time of the year. Summer provides plenty of sunshine and the opportunity to be outdoors and participate in a myriad of activities with family and friends. But just like my previous example, too much of a good thing, sun and heat, can be very bad. Last week, while attending an outdoor event, I developed heat exhaustion and had to go to the hospital because I was dehydrated. These situations made me think that resources for nutrition and first aid may help you get through the summer, safely.

Books
Nutrition
Coffee Is Good for You: From Vitamin C and Organic Foods to Low-Carb and Detox Diets, the Truth About Diet and Nutrition Claims 
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals
Doctor Chopra Says: Medical Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know
Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Supplements Exposed: The Truth They Don't Want You to Know about Vitamins, Minerals, and Their Effects on Your Health
Vitamin D for Dummies

First Aid
First Aid, CPR, and AED Guide: Expert Advice to Handle Your Next Houshold Emergency: Essential Lifesaving Skills
First Aid Manual

DVDs
Basic First Aid
First Aid: Outdoor Injuries
Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age
Nutrition. 4, Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals, and Oils

Websites
CDC (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat)
Mayo Clinic (Heat Exhaustion First Aid)
Medline Plus (Heat Illness)
Medline Plus (Vitamins)
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet)

Databases
Alt HealthWatch
Health and Wellness Resource Center and Alternative Health Module
Health Source Consumer Edition 

Maya Jones
West End Branch

Adult Summer Reading Programs Scheduled for June-August

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 9:45am

For a list of all Summer Reading programs, visit the Library Events Calendar.

Magic and Science with Larry Moore
What happens when you mix magic and science? You get a program that can only be explained by Larry Moore, the magic man. He shows you how your senses can be fooled by magic and how magic and illusion can be really confusing at times. According to Larry, “It doesn't make Sense!"

North Birmingham - June 23 - 11:00 a.m.
Inglenook - July 21 - 4:00 p.m.
Five Points West - July 23 - 10:30 a.m.
Smithfield - July 24 - 10:00 a.m.

Elementary! The Story of Shirley Holmes Featuring Hitman with a Heart
Shirley Holmes is an elderly—but spry—woman who is convinced that she is the only living descendant of the legendary crime solver Sherlock Holmes. She refuses to be convinced the Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character. Shirley goes around giving lectures on how ordinary people can hone their crime-solving skills. And she snoops around a lot as well. Some people humor her by attending the lectures. Some, like her, believe they are destined to be crime fighters. Some don't appreciate her snooping at all.

Hitman with a Heart Murder Mystery Programs lets you try your hand at being a detective. You and your friends will spend an hour gathering the clues, questioning the suspects and pursuing the bad guys. By the end, you will put the facts together and finger the guilty party. You'll Die Laughing!

Powderly Branch Library - June 20 - 10:00 a.m.
Five Points West Library- June 25 - 10:30 a.m.
North Birmingham Library - June 30 - 11:00 a.m.
Avondale Library– July 7 - 6:30 p.m.
Smithfield Library - July 10 - 10:00 a.m.
Inglenook Library - July 18 - 9:30 a.m.
Springville Road Library - July 22 - 6:30 p.m.
Southside Library - July 24 - 10:30 a.m.
Wylam Library - August 13 - 10:00 a.m.

Light Reactions: A Hands-on Introduction to the Cyanotype Blueprint Led by Artist Justin Banger
Participants will learn the historical photographic process that gave the architectural “blueprint” its name by creating unique works of art using sunlight, a chemical reaction, and water. Invented in 1842, it is one of the very first photographic processes. The chemicals used for cyanotypes react to sunlight and turn a distinctive hue of blue – this is where we get the term for architectural “blue prints,” which were originally made via this process. For this program, each participant will make their own cyanotype photogram by selecting objects such as leaves, flowers, cassettes, etc., placing them on the photosensitive paper to block the light, and exposing them to sunlight (or
in case of a cloudy/rainy day, a UV lamp). The image is then fixed to the paper with running water.

Justin Banger is a Birmingham, Alabama-based printmaker and artist. With a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Montevallo and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Alabama, Justin's artwork explores early print technologies that allow images and information to be shared and consumed.

East Lake – June 18 - 11:30 a.m. - Teen
North Birmingham - June 24 - 1:00 p.m. - Teen
Inglenook - June 26 - 3:30 p.m. - Adult
Five Points West – July 2 - 1:00 p.m. - Teen
Springville Road - July 8 - 6:30 p.m. - Adult
Central – July 10 - 2:00 p.m. - Teen
Woodlawn - July 15 - 4:00 p.m. -  Adult

Spark a Reaction with your Taste Buds with Chef E
Chef E will instruct participants in a fun and excited way that will involve foods that are healthy and fun to make. Chef E has tailored a program designed specifically for the Summer Reading Program that will highlight a good that will excite your palate. Participants will learn how to spark a reaction with their taste buds by using their senses of touch, smell, and taste.

Chef E interactive cooking sessions will including the following:
  • direct interaction with participants such as games or trivia
  • cooking demonstration
  • tasting of prepared food
  • recipe give-away

Southside - June 24 - 11:00 a.m.
Springville Road - June 17 - 6:30 p.m.
Woodlawn - July 8 - 4:00 p.m.

Hoops for Fitness
Looking for a new, fun activity that does not feel like exercise? Discover the NEW hula hoop—a professional fitness hoop! Hoops for Fitness will get you started on your new summer workout with their handmade fitness hoops and a Beginning Hoop Dance Class. The exercise that puts a smile on your face!

Springville Road - June 24 - 6:30 p.m.
Inglenook - July 15 - 3:30 p.m.

Teen Summer Reading Programs Scheduled for June and July

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 9:43am



For a list of all Summer Reading programs, visit the Library Events Calendar.

The Magic of Larry Moore – First you see it, now you don’t. Join Larry Moore for a program of senseless magic where the impossible becomes possible and the unbelievable—it will blow your mind!

Five Points West – June 25 – 1 p.m.
Powderly – June 26 – 1:30 p.m.
Smithfield – July 1 – 10 a.m.
Springville Road – July 2 – 1 p.m.
Avondale – July 3 – 2 p.m.
Central – July 21 – 10:30 a.m.

Cooking with Chef “E” – Chef “E” is in the house cooking up some tasty treats that are guaranteed to spark a positive reaction with your taste buds. Join us for a program filled with healthy creative culinary fun. Limited space; registration required.

Springville Road – June 18 – 10 a.m.
Five Points West – June 18 – 1 p.m.
Titusville – June 19 – 11 a.m.
Central – June 19 – 2 p.m.
Southside – June 24 – 11 a.m.
East Lake – June 25 – 11:30 a.m.
Wylam – June 26 – 2 p.m.
Pratt City – July 9 – 2 p.m.
Avondale – July 10 – 2 p.m.

May the Force Be With You – Did you know that centrifugal force is a part of hula hooping? Be a member of the Centrifugal Force Club (CFC) as you listen to some tunes and learn how to move and groove with your hoop. The library is a circle of fun when the hoops start turning.

Central – June 26 – 2 p.m.
North Birmingham – July 8 – 1 p.m.
Springville Road – July 9 – 10 a.m.

Tug-O-War – The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will take teens through the very important events of the Civil Rights Movement, more specifically the Birmingham Movement, utilizing the game of tug-o-war to demonstrate people’s ideas and reactions to events.

West End – June 18 – 1 p.m.
Springville Road – June 25 – 12 p.m.
Powderly – July 9 – 1 p.m.
Five Points West – July 16 – 1 p.m.

The Birmingham Public Library’s Air Conditioner Could Be Working Soon after Four New Coils Were Delivered June 6

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 3:20pm

Crews on June 6 used a crane to lift four specially-made copper coils up to the fourth floor of the Birmingham Public Library, which has been without air conditioning for several weeks. The coils will soon be installed and adjustments made to get the AC in working condition.

“This has been a long time coming,’’ said Angela Fisher Hall, the library’s associate director. “We are looking forward to getting back to full operation. We do appreciate the patience of the public as well as our staff, as we work through these issues.''

In May, the downtown library’s East Building adjusted its hours to cope with the warm temperatures. It opens one hour early at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 12:00 p.m. The Linn-Henley Research Library, which is across the street, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The temporary hours will remain until further notice.

There are eight coils in the East Building’s air handler. When a cold snap hit Birmingham in February, four coils ruptured on the building’s North side. Four other coils, which are on the other side of the building, were not affected. Loss of the four coils left the building without air this spring and new coils had to be specially made.

Southeastern Temperature Controls Inc. of Pelham has been at the library breaking apart the old coils, building new drain pans and doing prep work. The new parts arrived at the end of May. A crane was used to lift each coil, weighing 600 pounds, to an opening on the library's fourth floor. A crew pulled each coil through the opening. Once the coils were pulled through the opening, a team of five men carried each coil about 25 feet to the air handler. The coils will then be stacked on top of each other.

Several businesses from the mid-West to the East coast experienced the same thing that the library experienced when the cold snap hit. Businesses lost coils and ordered new ones. Coil manufacturers were inundated with requests and businesses and organizations were left waiting for their orders to be filled because of the demand.

The Birmingham Public Library’s Air Conditioner Could Be Working in Five to Ten Days after Four New Coils Were Delivered Today

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:43pm

Crews on June 6 used a crane to lift four specially-made copper coils up to the fourth floor of the Birmingham Public Library, which has been without air conditioning for several weeks. The coils will soon be installed and adjustments made to get the AC in working condition.

“This has been a long time coming,’’ said Angela Fisher Hall, the library’s associate director. “We are looking forward to getting back to full operation. We do appreciate the patience of the public as well as our staff, as we work through these issues.''

In May, the downtown library’s East Building adjusted its hours to cope with the warm temperatures. It opens one hour early at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 12:00 p.m. The Linn-Henley Research Library, which is across the street, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The temporary hours will remain until further notice.

There are eight coils in the East Building’s air handler. When a cold snap hit Birmingham in February, four coils ruptured on the building’s North side. Four other coils, which are on the other side of the building, were not affected. Loss of the four coils left the building without air this spring and new coils had to be specially made.

Southeastern Temperature Controls Inc. of Pelham has been at the library for about two weeks, breaking apart the old coils, building new drain pans and doing prep work. The new parts arrived late last week. Today, a crane was used to lift each coil, weighing 600 pounds, to an opening on the library's fourth floor. A crew pulled each coil through the opening. Once the coils were pulled through the opening, a team of five men carried each coil about 25 feet to the air handler. The coils will then be stacked on top of each other.

Steve Harmon, operations manager with Southeastern Temperature Controls, said that using a crane was the only way to get the coils into the building because the coils are too heavy to carry up a flight of stairs and they are too big to fit onto an elevator or carry up the stairs. Work started shortly after 7 a.m. and crews were finished by 9:30 a.m. today.

“RPM Cranes of Birmingham was a big part of this,’’ Harmon said. “We hope to have some cooling going on’’ soon.

Several businesses from the mid-West to the East coast, Harmon said, experienced the same thing that the library experienced when the cold snap hit. Businesses lost coils and ordered new ones. Coil manufacturers were inundated with requests and businesses and organizations were left waiting for their orders to be filled because of the demand.

The Importance of Summer Reading

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 9:18am

Students in Alabama have worked even harder this past school year due to the entrance of the Common Core Standards. They were tested and taught like they’ve never been before. Additionally, the knowledge that they obtain from the previous grade has always been necessary for the next grade, but it is especially important now since their success in the upcoming grade depends heavily on it and since the Common Core Standards are benchmarked. So where does summer reading fit into the equation?

Well, according to several studies, if children are not engaged in some type of reading activity, their reading skills will surely fall behind. In fact, it is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected (Cooper et al. 1996). Libraries offering summer reading programs to motivate children to read and prevent what educators call the “summer slide” can assist students greatly by keeping them on track and preparing them for the upcoming grade. For more research that indicates different aspects of the importance of summer reading, visit the Academic Search Premier Database on the Birmingham Public Library’s website at http://www.bplonline.org/virtual/databases/.

Reference
Cooper, H., Nye B., Linsey J., et al. (1996). "The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta‐Analytic Review." Review of Educational Research, no. 66, 227‐268.

Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Library

Jerricho Cotchery Is Coming to Town: Birmingham Public Library to Host “Score Big” with NFL Wide Receiver and Birmingham Native Jerricho Cotchery

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 1:42pm

Update:  The deadline for the Cotchery Skills and Drills Football Clinic has been extended to Friday, June 13, 11:00 a.m. Tune in to JOX Friday, June 13, 7:00 a.m., to hear Jerricho Cotchery talking with Jay Barker on the Opening Drive.

The Birmingham Public Library is excited to host “Score Big”with the Cotchery Foundation. Jerricho Cotchery, one of Birmingham’s native sons, has teamed up with the Library to host yet another amazing series of events for the 2014 Teen Summer Reading Program, “Spark a Reaction.”

Born in 1982, Cotchery grew up to be an incredible athlete. He excelled at Phillips High School in Birmingham and attended North Carolina State University. The New York Jets drafted him in 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers added him to their roster in 2010, and this year he will join the Carolina Panthers. For his career, he has compiled 437 receptions for 5,558 yards. In layman’s terms, he’s “the man” and the library is lucky to partner with him.

Named for the famous Biblical city, Jerricho is deeply committed to his faith and to community outreach. He was moved to start the Cotchery Foundation in January 2007 as a result of his own personal memories and experiences growing up. He and his foundation have set out to “show that anyone can do extraordinary things if they have the desire and passion.” Cotchery has made it his mission to show that any individual can make a significant difference in the lives of others.

For the past seven years, The Cotchery Foundation has hosted a FREE Skills and Drills Football Clinic with Jerricho Cotchery. In 2009, The Foundation asked the Birmingham Public Library to join them to enrich the experience. In order to register for the 2014 Skills and Drills Football Clinic, youth from 11-17 must be an active participant in the “Score Big” component of the “Spark a Reaction” summer reading program. Seven points are necessary to qualify. Youth may score points by registering for the program (1 point), reading an entire magazine (3 points), and reading an entire book (6 points). “Score Big” registration forms are available at all Birmingham Public Library locations. The completed registration forms are due by June 11, 2014. At least two hundred participants will be selected to attend the 2014 Skills and Drills Football Clinic on June 28, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at Legion Field. Those selected will be notified by June 20, 2014.

In addition to being eligible for the Skills and Drills Football Clinic, all those who “Score Big” are invited to a FREE Teen Tailgate Party at Birmingham Public Library on June 27, 2014. The celebration will take place on the first floor of the Central Library, located at 2100 Park Place, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There will be music, dancing, photo-ops with Jerricho, food, and lots of fun. Tickets are required and are available at all BPL locations.

Registration for “Score Big” with the Cotchery Foundation is now open. Visit any Birmingham Public Library location for registration materials and additional information.

Generation Gap is Topic of Springville Road Library's Upcoming Salon Session, June 13

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 10:43am
Springville Road Salon will meet Friday, June 13, at 10:00 a.m. Our topic for discussion is: Since ancient times, each generation reaching adulthood has asked the same question: "What's WRONG with these kids today?!?"

Friday's Salon discussion will be about the different challenges faced by the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generations X & Y, and the Millennials. We hope this discussion will include how today's kids are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of the 21st century. All adults are welcome; refreshments will be served, and the program is free.

Kelly Laney
Springville Road Library

Fiction Authors Live On

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 10:43am

I’m sure you know that Maya Angelou died recently.  What came to mind is not only the impact that Maya Angelou had on literature, but also the fact that we will not be graced with any new poetry by the author.  That is, unless a posthumous collection is discovered.  The great thing about fiction, however, is that often an author’s characters continue to live on after the author’s death.  Here are some current releases featuring characters and locations made famous by deceased authors.  Descriptions are from the publisher.


Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Out of the Ashes (1947-2013)
A renegade Saudi Prince with ambitions of controlling the world's oil supply has an ingenious plot to manipulate America into attacking Syria and launching a war against Iran. Next, they would ignite a sleeper cell to attack the American homeland, resulting in a bloodbath unlike any other. Only the men and women of Op-Center, using sophisticated technology, realize what is about to be unleashed. Only they have the courage to issue a warning no one wants to hear. But will anyone believe them?

Thomas Kinkade's Angel Island : Harbor of the Heart (1958-2012)
Liza Martin and Daniel Merritt are closer than ever. She alone knows that he gave up his medical practice because he blamed himself for endangering a patient. But she is completely shocked to hear that Daniel is now considering returning to a medical career...which may mean leaving Angel Island--and Liza.
Daniel struggles to make this decision, but they are both put to the test when a sailor wrecks his boat in a vicious storm. Liza witnesses Daniel's medical skills firsthand and finally understands why she must let him pursue his career. If only that didn't mean sacrificing the love of her life...


Robert Ludlum's (TM) the Bourne Ascendancy  (1927-2001)
Kidnapped and transported to an underground bunker, Bourne finds himself face-to-face with an infamous terrorist named El Ghadan ("Tomorrow"). El Ghadan holds as his captive Soraya Moore, former co-director of Treadstone, and a close friend to Bourne, along with her two year old daughter.  Meanwhile, the President of the United States is in the midst of brokering a historic peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians-an event that El Ghadan is desperate to prevent. He demands that Bourne carry out a special mission: kill the President. If Bourne refuses, Soraya and her daughter will die.


 Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot  (1932-2010)
When off-field violence repeatedly lands the NE Patriots' Kinjo Heywood bad press, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client. When Heywood's son is kidnapped, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser's protege, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser's back and find the child.