Friday, February 27, 2009

We're sharing our bookmarks on delicious

Delicious is a free social bookmarking service where thousands of people store and share their bookmarks, enabling you to see what's trendy and popular.

Delicious uses a non-hierarchical classification system in which users can tag each of their bookmarks with freely chosen index terms (generating a kind of folksonomy). A combined view of everyone's bookmarks with a given tag is available; for instance, the URL "" displays all of the most recent links tagged "wiki". Its collective nature makes it possible to view bookmarks added by similar-minded users. ~Wikipedia 

We are sharing our bookmarks with you at which include online library services, government sites, library links, our Web 2.0/social networking links, and local Homewood, Jefferson County and Alabama sites. We'll be adding to them continually, so check back often.


We're on facebook!

NEW! Check out HPL's page on facebook. We'd like you to write on our wall and tell us what you'd like to see there. 

Also, join the discussion on the Discussion Board and tell us your favorite thing about the library, or if you don't have a favorite thing maybe you'd like to make a suggestion about how we can improve.   


Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Right Mistake by Walter Mosley

The novel is another in the Socrates Fortlow series. Like the others it is set in California. Socrates is still dispensing wisdom and trying to stay afloat.

This time he decides to start a think tank, however, this think tank won’t be one of those high fluting government sponsored tanks. No expensive suits, no one with four or five degrees behind their name, no one squirreled away out of the public eye. This think tank will involve everyday people. To start there’s a cook, gambler, suspected murderer, lawyer, retiree, ex-convict, singer, and shop owner.

They come together to talk about whatever. Any and everything is open for discussion.

While maintaining the think tank, Socrates must contend with the local authorities and others who try and thwart his idea of open dialogue for regular folks. He must also battle his own demons while trying to decide if he deserves to be loved.

Reserve this book in the catalog!

~The Circulator (a.k.a. L. Jones)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stimulus Watch: Projects in Alabama

Stimulus Watch: Projects in Alabama
The "shovel-ready" projects the mayors of this state submitted in the 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors report are shown on this website. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not. For a more local view, you can drill down to projects in a city from the following list: Anniston • Auburn • Bessemer • Birmingham • Decatur • Florence • Gadsden • Huntsville • Mobile • Prichard • Tuscaloosa.

The total cost of all the projects submitted by Alabama is $3,675,416,049.

How do you use Stimulus Watch? Watch the video tour! was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes. Learn more by reading the FAQs.

How can you contribute? Find a project that interests you, or about which you have special knowledge, and let us know what you think. You can find projects by searching or by browsing by locality or program type. Once you find a program, there are three things you can do: 1) vote on whether you believe the project is critical or not; 2) edit the project's description and points in favor or against, and 3) post a comment in the conversation about the project. ~from the website

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Father Goose reads Snow Wonder

Charles Ghigna and wife, Debra, graciously invited us into their home in Homewood, AL. Mr. Ghigna read his latest children's book, Snow Wonder, from his office that he likes to call his tree house.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Homewood Public Library Receives 3 Star Rating in Library Journal

Star-rated public libraries
As readers peruse the accompanying tables, they should be aware of the following characteristics of the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service:

  •  This is an index of public library service output only and as such is determined equally by four related per capita output indicators: visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.
  • Libraries are scored in relation to other peer libraries based on total operating expenditures rather than on community population.
  • Scores are calculated using statistical methods that make year-to-year comparisons more accurate than other ranking approaches.
  • A library's standing on this index will be meaningful if its leaders thoughtfully examine the four service indicators and note its standing on each among peer libraries. 
The library's community 
The location of a library community or its demographics can have a dramatic impact on its service levels. 

Organization and funding 
Library service output can also be influenced by how a library is organized and/or funded. 

Leadership and management 
Beyond these external factors, service levels can also be affected by how public libraries are run and the philosophy management espouses. 

An output-based index 
Traditionally, many public library decision-makers have focused on circulation alone as the performance indicator. Today, the full range of services includes electronic access, facilities use, and programming. So there is no compelling reason to give greater weight to one type of library use over another. Besides, weighting is an arbitrary process that it is best to avoid. ~from Library Journal's website

Read the entire article America's Star Libraries: The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009.

Hannah Grace The Daughters of Jacob Kane #1 by Sharlene Maclaren

Gabe accepted the job of sheriff in Sandy Shores, Michigan in 1903. On his way there he acquired a stowaway in his wagon. The boy remained a mystery because he wouldn't talk. By the time they arrived at Gabe's destination he had decided the boy would stay with him. As sheriff he would make contacts to learn of missing children hoping to reunite a family. Hannah Grace helped run her father's store and library. That is where she first met Gabe and his charge. She assumed the boy was Gabe's son and from the bruises on the child that Gabe was an abusive parent. When she learned the truth she volunteered to care for the boy during the day while Gabe was on duty. Fortunately they soon discovered a name label in his clothes so now they knew the boy's name-Jesse Gant. Another piece in the puzzle for Gabe to check on. Each day Jesse stayed with Hannah Grace and sometimes her two sisters or grandmother. As time went on Jesse was able to trust Gabe and Hannah Grace enough to relax and enjoy his surroundings. It became apparent that he had experienced or witnessed something awful and did not trust anyone easily. Hannah was almost engaged to Ralston, the doctor in town. He had definite ideas of his future and how he wanted Hannah to fit into them. Caring for a "street urchin" was not part of what was proper. But she cared deeply for Jesse and became friends with Gabe, too. What would they do when Jesse would be returned to his family?

Coming Soon! A catalog especially for kids!

The Kids Catalog will be available March 13th. Catch a sneak peak of how it will look below.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Searching for a job? We've got help.

Birmingham Public Library has assembled in one place a number of helpful links for people in our area who are searching for jobs. Some of the things you will find here are:
  • Industry & Job Overviews including the Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Job Listings - Local: Links to Alabama Joblink & Craigslist Birmingham
  • Job Listings - Federal: Link to USAJOBS
  • Job Listings - National: Links to & Simply Hired
  • Resume Writing with writing guides & tutorials
Visit Job Searching/Helpful Links to access all of these resources. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Blackbird Papers by Ian Smith

Dr. Ian Smith is famous for trying to get America to lose weight and get healthy. He has written several books on the subject. Several years ago he got the fiction bug and penned a book entitled The Blackbird Papers.

The Blackbird Papers centers on the disappearance and death of a prominent African-American Ethologist at Dartmouth College. The lead FBI investigator happens to be the professor’s estranged brother who still suffers from being the number two son. As a reader you are left wondering will his brother uncover who killed the professor and what in the world does his death have to do with Blackbirds?

I could use words like spell bounding, riveting, and suspenseful to describe it, but that would be cliché. Start it, if it doesn’t grab you by page fifty, put it down.

You can reserve The Blackbird Papers in the catalog.

~by The Circulator (a.k.a. L. Jones)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Use meebo to ask a question about our computer classes or technology center?

Have a question about our computer classes or technology center? Type it above and when we're online, you'll get a quick reply.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Murder in the Magic City - Sat. Feb. 7th

A day filled with murder and mayhem!

Sat., Feb. 7, 2009
Homewood Public Library
9am - 4pm
$30 per person

Join us for an interactive day with some of the best writers in the mystery genre. Guests of honor: Debbie Crombie and William Kent Krueger.

For more info visit

Author of the Month @ HPL

If the goal of Suspense Stories is to raise our blood pressure with fast pacing, intricate plots, twists and double crosses, David Baldacci's novels, except for atypical coming-of age story Wish You Well, help set the standard for readers.

Read more about this prolific author at Homewood Public Library's website and look over his Bibliography and the Read-Alikes! Click the photo to the right and you'll be taken to the catalog where you can reserve a book or two!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tasty Reads Book Group Meets Tues. Feb 10th

Tues. Feb 10th
In the Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom 
from 6:30 - 8 pm

We enjoy refreshments described in or related to the foods in the books we discuss! Y-E-S-!!!

Call 205-332-6620 for more information. You're welcome to join us!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Web 2.0 Blowout: What You Should Know About Online Marketing and Your Library!

This is a link to the presentation that I gave at the ALLA PLD (Ala. Library Assoc. Public Library Div.) Mid-Winter Conference Fri. Jan. 30 >> Web 2.0 Blowout: What You Should Know About Online Marketing and Your Library! I gleaned much of this info from having attended the Internet Librarian Conference the last two years, specifically Sarah Houghton-Jan's ( workshops covering Online/Digital Marketing for libraries. With Sarah's permission, I shared tons of practical how-tos and tips to help Alabama librarians reach more customers.

The other presenters in our workshop were Katie Moellering from Emmet O'Neal Library and Jenne Johnson from Gardendale-Martha Moore Public Library. Katie shared her favorite blogging tips and Jenne enlightened us with how her library uses videocasting to attract customers.