Saturday, May 30, 2009

Google Wonder Wheel Keyword Research Tool Helps Discover Hidden Niches

Great info on new tools and how they save time while searching with Google!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Runaway Heart Westward Dreams #1 by Jane Peart

Holly Lambeth grew up in Kentucky in a wealthy family. When old enough to be interested in beautiful gowns and parties she became part of the social gatherings of her city. When she had a proposal of marriage she was not excited but frustrated and put off giving an answer. Then everyone read in the society pages that her suitor had found another woman who said she would marry him. Holly had been jilted and her family arranged for her to escape the gossips by staying with a cousin in Oregon. Holly had not seen Hettie since they grew up together in Kentucky years before. When Holly arrived at the end of her journey she met Hettie's husband, Ned, and children Aurelia and Teddy. From the start Hettie was very hateful and unkind to Holly. This made for an unbearable visit except for the loving children and understanding Ned. In nice wather Holly went for walks to explore the area but then came the rainy season and then cold weather. Finally Holly applied for position of teacher at the one room school. When the council hired her to replace Mr. Larkin she moved into the small room provided for her in the school house. Holly became an important and welcomed member of the community. Men and women became her friends which make life there more acceptable. Hettie continued to be disagreeable to Holly though no one knew why. The town doctor, the newspaper editor and others invited her to town socials and outings. She was part of life in Oregon. When the doctor and Holly were driving in the countryside he was called on an emergency and Holly helped him. When the town was laid low with a smallpox epidemic Holly cared for children well and sick. Soon it was time for her to return to Kentucky. But would she?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Get these "be creative" books in the Children's Dept.

The Dot by Peter Reynolds - Vashti fears that she cannot draw, and she is overwhelmed by the blank piece of paper in front of her. Her teacher knows better though and says to “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti stabs a dot onto the paper, but then she takes that dot and sees where it leads her. ~Ms. Sara

Mama Does the Mambo
by Katherine Leiner
- Sofia, a young girl is the narrator of this story set in Havana, Cuba. After Papa dies, Mama stops dancing. Men line up to dance with Mama, but she knows just who the perfect dance partner is. You'll have to read this book to find out who does the mambo with Mama! ~Ms. Heather

Babar's Museum of Art
by Laurent de Brunhoff
- Babar and Celeste have decided to turn an old train station into an art museum! What a great place to house the royal art collection! The elephants stroll through looking at all of the amazing artwork, finding all sorts of characters and places. ~Ms. Candice

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What's NEW on our shelves?

The following books were released this month and are available for checkout at the Homewood Public Library. If they're already gone, go to our website and put holds on the ones that interest you. We'll give you a call or send an email when they arrive!

Brimstone by Robert B. Parker
New York Times–bestselling author Robert B. Parker takes aim at the Old West with this brilliantly crafted follow-up to Resolution and Appaloosa, again featuring guns-for-hire Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch.
Cemetery Dance by Douglas J. Preston
After New York Times reporter William Smithback and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Pendergast--the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent--returns to New York City to investigate a murderous Obeah cult.
Dead & Gone by Charlaine Harris
In Bon Temps, Louisiana, a race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves-- is preparing for war. And Sookie Stackhouse will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle as she investigates the murder of a were-panther.
Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson, Jr.
Shortly after Clark Kent interviews Bruce Wayne for a feature in the Daily Planet, their alter egos cross paths as Batman and Superman are drawn into Lex Luthor's scheme for world domination--a scheme that involves the Soviets, death-ray transmitters, and all the "heat" of the Cold War.
Intent to Kill by James Grippando
An anonymous note is sent to prosecuting attorney Emma Carlise on the third anniversary of Chelsea James' death suggesting that Chelsea's death was not a hit and run accident as was first believed.
Mr. & Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels
Lily and Pete are reunited nineteen years after they met in college and reminisce about the odd feelings they had from making donations to the same fertility clinic, but when a news story breaks about two teenage boys who have gone missingthat are also connected to the clinic and they notice that one of the boys bears a striking resemblance to Pete, Lily and Pete work together to find the truth.
Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
Thirteen-year-old Pygmy, a young terrorist in the United States under the pretext of being a foreign exchange student, tries to make sense of American life while plotting his attack.
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard
After Jack Foley is released from prison, he devises a scheme to steal Cundo Rey's fortune, but his plan requires the help of Rey's common-law wife, Dawn Navarro.
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
Forced out of the "Los Angeles Times" amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack Mcevoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career.
Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Upbeat cancer survivor Lydia and her pragmatic sister, Margaret, start a "Knit to Quit" group in their Blossom Street yarn store in Seattle, bringing in a delightful assortment of customers for weekly self-help sessions, including a local baker who wants a baby as much as Lydia does, a super-stressed chocolate magnate who takes the knitting class after his doctor suggests it, and a young woman who is trying to quit obsessing about a broken engagement.
The Visibles by Sara Shepard
Summer Davis, having gained an interest in genetics when she was fifteen-years-old, passes up a fellowship at a prominent institution to take care of her father, whose mental health began to deteriorate after her mother abandoned them, andworries that she is destined to live out her family's legacy.
Wicked Prey by Jon Sandford
In the nineteenth installment of the Prey series, Minnesota investigator Lucas Davenport struggles to protect his daughter Letty from a vengeful psychopathic pimp who blames Davenport for his handicap. All the while, a professional thief plans to rob the city of Minneapolis blind right before the Republican National Convention. Can Davenport protect his daughter and ensure the security of Minneapolis?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What is your library worth to you?

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?
Ever wondered what the estimated retail value of each service would be?
Take a look at our Library Use Calculator.
After you total the value of your library use, send us your total by clicking the link at the bottom of the form.

Thanks, we appreciate you! We didn't earn our three stars without you!

Job Announcements at HPL

There are currently two job announcements @ HPL:

The Alabama State Employment Service handles the application process for the library. Please inquire about these positions at:

Birmingham Career Center
3440 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35222
Phone: 205.254.1338
Fax: 205.254.1387

Driving directions to HPL.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Lydia Goetz, owner of A Good Yarn, decided to give a class for knitters who want to quit something. Alix Turner needs to quit smoking before she and Jordan get pregnant. Phoebe Rylander ended her engagement from a man who repeatedly used prostitutes and she is wanting to quit thinking about him. Bryan Hutchinson needs to deal with the stress of running his family business which is the maker of much loved and enjoyed chocolates.

Anne Marie Roche and her daughter, Ellen, continue to "work on" their lists of wishes. Ellen recently admitted that she would like to meet her father someday. Anne admitted that she would like to possibly start dating. Her husband died some time ago and it is time to move on. When Lydia and Brad applied to adopt an infant they were asked to foster a twelve year old girl for a couple days. But finding Casey a more long term foster family has proven difficult. And so is this time with Casey filled with hard feelings and resentment.

The Blossom Street friends come through with support as needed in some unexpected situations.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What We're Reading in the Children's Dept.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Maryann Kovalski - Grandma arrives to take Jenny and Joanna on a surprise outing. But today is a school day, and what could be more important than school? Grandma won't tell right away, but she sings a familiar tune that gives them a clue. She has brought the girls to the stadium to watch a real ball game! What a fantastic surprise! ~Ms. Dona

Froggy Plays Soccer by Jonathan London - Froggy is so excited when his team gets to play in the championship game. He gets on his soccer gear with a “zap” and a “zoop.” Froggy heads onto the field, but he just has to remember: DON'T USE YOUR HANDS! Will Froggy be able to remember? Will his team win the City Cup? You'll have to read this book in order to find out! ~Ms. Becky

Mack McGinn's Big Win by Coleen Paratore -
Mack McGinn comes from a long line of winners. There's Gramp, the football hero; Dad, the (almost) Olympic soccer star; and his older brother, Rory, who has enough trophies to start his own hall of fame. As Mack strives to prove he can be best at something, he demonstrates to his parents and older brother what really matters most. ~Ms. Laurie

by X. J. Kennedy -
This collection of poems is all about Elephants who have their very own Olympics! They compete in all sorts of sports: diving, triathlon, figure skating, and more. One thing is for sure, these elephants know the value of teamwork and being a good sport so that everyone wins. ~Ms. Sara

This one goes out to all the movie lovers

Get 'em at our library-FREE!

Hotel For Dogs (Rated PG) - Starring: Emma Roberts and Don Cheadle
- When their new guardians forbid 16-year old Andi and her younger brother, Bruce to have a pet, Andi has to use her quick wit to help find a new home for their dog, Friday. The resourceful kids stumble upon an abandoned hotel and using Bruce's talents as a mechanical genius, transform it into a magical dog-paradise for Friday--and eventually for all Friday's friends. When barking dogs make the neighbors suspicious, Andi and Bruce use every invention they have to avoid anyone discovering "who let the dogs in."

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(Rated PG-13) - Starring: Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett - "I was born under unusual circumstances." And so begins "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man's life can be.

Bride Wars (Rated PG) - Starring: Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson - Liv and Emma are best friends who since childhood have planned every detail of their respective weddings. At the top of their bridal "must have" list: a ceremony at New York's ultimate bridal destination, the Plaza Hotel. Now, at age 26, they're both about to get married; they're about to realize their dreams; and they're about to live happily ever after. Or maybe not. When a clerical error causes a clash in wedding dates--they're now to be married on the same date!--Liv, Emma and their lifelong friendship are put to the ultimate test. Liv, a successful lawyer who is used to getting what she wants, including the perfect job and the perfect man, won't settle for anything less than the perfect wedding she has dreamed of for years. Emma, a schoolteacher who has always been good at taking care of others, but not so much in looking after herself, discovers her inner Bridezilla and comes out swinging when her own dream wedding is imperiled. Now, the two best friends who'd do anything for each other find themselves in a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners struggle that threatens to erupt into all-out war.

Last Chance Harvey (Rated PG-13) - Starring: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson - New Yorker Harvey Shine is on the verge of losing his dead-end job as a jingle writer. Warned by his boss that he has just one more chance to deliver, Harvey goes to London for a weekend to attend his daughter's wedding but promises to be back on Monday morning to make an important meeting--or else. Harvey arrives in London only to learn his daughter has chosen to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle instead of him. Doing his best to hide his devastation, he leaves the wedding before the reception in hopes of getting to the airport on time, but misses his plane anyway. When he calls his boss to explain, he is fired on the spot. Drowning his sorrows at the airport bar, Harvey strikes up a conversation with Kate, a slightly prickly, 40-something employee of the Office of National Statistics. Kate, whose life is limited to work, the occasional humiliating blind date and endless phone calls from her smothering mother, is touched by Harvey, who finds himself energized by her intelligence and compassion. The growing connection between the pair inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another's lives.
The Uninvited (Rated PG-13) - Starring: Elizabeth Banks - Anna returns home after spending time in the hospital following the tragic death of her mother. Her recovery suffers a setback when she discovers her father has become engaged to her mother's former nurse. That night, Anna is visited by her mother's ghost, who warns her of Rachel's intentions. Together, Anna and her sister try to convince their father that his current fiancee is not who she pretends to be, and what should have been a happy family reunion becomes a lethal battle of wills between stepdaughters and stepmother.

Frost/Nixon (Rated R) - Starring: Michael Sheen and Frank Langella - For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation's greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who'd built a career out of stonewalling? Over the course of their encounter, each man would reveal his own insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity -- ultimately setting aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth. Frost/Nixon not only re-creates the on-air interview, but the weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes maneuvering between the two men and their camps as negotiations were struck, deals were made and secrets revealed... all leading to the moment when they would sit facing one another in the court of public opinion.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Rated R) - Starring: Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy - The prequel story traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. In the Dark Ages, a young Lycan named Lucian emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor, the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Sonja, in his battle against the Vampire army and his struggle for Lycan freedom.

Yes Man (Rated PG-13) - Starring: Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel - A man signs up for a self-help program based on one simple principle: say yes to everything... and anything. At first, unleashing the power of "yes" transforms his life in amazing and unexpected ways, but he soon discovers that opening up his life to endless possibilities can have its drawbacks.

Taken (Rated PG-13) - Starring: Liam Neeson - Former government operative Bryan Mills begins the longest 96-hours of his life--and the hunt for the fearsome organization that has taken his daughter Kim. Mills had only recently given up his government career as what he calls a "preventer" to be near Kim, who lives with Bryan's ex-wife Lenore and her new husband. To make ends meet, Bryan joins some former colleagues for special security details (like guarding a pop diva), but most of his time and energy are spent re-connecting with Kim. Bryan's familial goal is nearly derailed when Kim requests his permission to spend time in Paris with a friend. All too aware of the dangers that could lie ahead for Kim in a foreign land, Bryan says no, but Kim's disappointment leads him to very reluctantly relent. Bryan's worst fears are realized when Kim and her friend Amanda are suddenly abducted--in broad daylight--from the Paris apartment at which they've just arrived. Moments before Kim is dragged away by the as yet unseen and unknown assailants, she manages to phone Bryan, who begins to expertly piece together clues that will take him to the darkness of Paris's underworld, and to the City of Light's plushest mansions. He will face nightmares worse than anything he experienced in black ops--and let nothing and no one stop him from saving his daughter.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Rated R) - Starring: Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks - Two life-long best friends and roommates, Zack and Miri, haven't paid their bills in months. Now that the utility companies are shutting off their utilities in the freezing cold of winter, the two friends must find a way to make some quick cash. While visiting a high school reunion, they find out that one of their old acquaintances is now a porn star, and that the internet can be used to spread anything quickly. They decide to make a porno to help them pay for their late utilities.

Friday, May 8, 2009

TEENS! Summer Kickoff with Special Guest Kate Taylor!

Get your downloadable Summer Calendar!

Be Creative @ Your Homewood Public Library Summer Reading

crea•tive (krē āt′ iv)
1.    to create using imagination and inventiveness
2.    children who participate in Be Creative @ Your Library this summer

Ok, we added the second one, but it’s true! Your public library is the perfect place to find books, programs, DVDs, Playaways, CD-Rom games, music CDs and programs that fuel the imaginations of artists, musicians, engineers, scientists, dancers, chefs, writers, and children. This summer Be Creative @ Your Library!

We would like to say a special thank you to the following sponsors. Their support and contributions make it possible for us to create a summer of fun for your children!   

Friends of the Homewood Public Library, Alabama Public Library Service, Homewood Cycle & Fitness, Lowes, Mayfield Ice Cream, Publix, Alabama Public Television, Chick-fil-A, Birmingham Barons, Barber’s Dairy, The Alabama Dairy Farmers, Golden Flake, American Cookie Company, Bud’s Best Cookies, Moe’s, Homewood Sewing Mart, Smoothie King, and Western Supermarket


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Microsoft's New Internet Explorer 8

If you have recently downloaded your critical updates you've noticed Microsoft is officially pushing its new Internet Explorer browser, IE8. There are some great new features in this release that may help Microsoft compete with Mozilla in the browser wars, as well as much better security than IE7.

My favorite new feature in IE8 is that you can now move the refresh and stop buttons back to the left of the address bar, where nature intended. I hated that in IE7.

Now on to stuff that really matters. Here are three of my favorite features of IE8, and you can see more features and in-depth info at the IE8 home page

Compatibility Button

When a new web browser is released, not every website is re-written immediately to adjust to changes the new browser may offer, thus a website you frequent may look a little funky the first time in a new browser. IE8 makes up for this with Compatibility View.

If you encounter a site that doesn't work exactly right with IE8, you can now click the Compatibility View Button which is just to the left of the refresh button on the address bar. With one click, you're now viewing the site the way IE7 would see it.

Web Slices
I usually check email several times a day, as well as stock quotes, my fantasy baseball points, etc. This requires the hassle of having multiple tabs open, and even more hassle if you have to repeatedly re-enter passwords. IE8 solves this with Web Slices. For example, if you want easy access to ESPN's frontpage headlines, go to the ESPN home page and click the green "feeds" button, which is just to the right of the "home" icon on the favorites bar. This will add ESPN to the favorites bar, and now with one click on your new bookmark, you'll see a mini-page of ESPN headlines without needing to change tabs or windows.

Enhanced Tabbed Browsing

I love using multiple tabs in one window, but things can get confusing once you get 5 or 6 opened at once. Enhanced Tabbed Browsing groups related tabs together and color codes them for easy reference. For example, you open the ESPN home page, click on a story about the Atlanta Falcons that opens a new tab on the Falcons home page, then you click on a story about QB Matt Ryan that opens another tab for a Wikipedia article with Ryan's biography. IE8 groups these related tabs into the same color, keeping them separate and a different color from the tab you have open with the weather forecast, making them easy to locate.

IE is usually the last browser I'll use, but IE8 has made some impressive strides.


The Lady With All The Answers (pssst...Dolores is coming May 15 & 16!)

The Lady With All The Answers
A one-woman play by David Rambo
Starring Dolores Hydock as Ann Landers
Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16
Homewood Public Library Auditorium
1721 Oxmoor Road
Tickets: $20, includes hors d’oeuvres buffet and performance
Buffet begins at 6:30 pm - Show starts at 7:30 pm
Phone 205-332-6625 for more info.

Actress and storyteller Dolores Hydock brings Ann Landers to the Homewood Public Library stage on May 15th and 16th in the one-woman play The Lady With All The Answers.

Reprising a role that earned a 4-star review from Alec Harvey in The Birmingham News, Hydock portrays the world-renowned advice columnist on the night in 1975 when she struggles to write what will become her most famous column. Along the way, she tells the funny and fascinating story of her life and her work, including excerpts from her most memorable letters. No topic was off-limits for Ann Landers, and, since many of these topics are discussed, this play is not recommended for persons under 16.

The event, sponsored by the Friends of the Homewood Public Library, includes a delicious buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. The performance is from 7:30 to 9 pm. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Adult Services Desk of the Homewood Public Library.

Come spend an evening with the woman who seemed like family to millions of readers who had breakfast with her – or at least her advice – every morning.

"The Lady With All The Answers meets the lady with all the talent. Hydock...has an uncanny connection with her audience. From the top of her well-known and now dated bouffant to the bottom of her oh-so-ladylike shoes, she is every inch Ann Landers." 4 stars ... Alec Harvey, The Birmingham News, July 2007 (photo courtesy Birmingham News)

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Love Homewood Day Parade

This is actually from the We Love Homewood Day Parade last year and is just a sample of Homewood High School band's work. We love and support Homewood High School and its band whole heartedly! Go Patriots!!!

Homewood band - WLHD - Harrassing Hailey pt 1