Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Rhythm & Rhyme Storytime with Ms. Kim 6/25/09

This is a special storytime aimed at our younger Summer Readers that involves lots of music and movement. All ages are welcome.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big Read – Alabama Participates as State Recipient

National Endowment for the Arts Announces More Than $3.7 Million in Grants

Washington, DC - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) just may have to change the name of its literature program The Big Read to The Biggest Read. June 23rd the NEA announced that 269 nonprofits, including arts, culture, and science organizations; libraries; and municipalities will receive grants totaling $3,742,765 to host Big Read celebrations between September 2009 and June 2010. The Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 2009-2010 Big Read grantees represent 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the 2006 pilot program with ten participating organizations, the NEA has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects.

Nine regions in Alabama received grants to implement the state’s first Big Read project. The title selected for The Big Read: Alabama Reads is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Local communities should contact their local library for programs planned February – April 2010. This project coincides with the Alabama Year of the Small Town activities through the Alabama Bureau of Tourism. Other partners include the Alabama Public Library Service and the Alabama Center for the Book.

The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community-based programs. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title. Reader’s Guides include features such as author biographies, historical context for the book, and discussion questions. Teacher’s Guides are developed with National Council of Teachers of English and State Language Arts standards in mind and include lesson plans, essay topics, and classroom handouts. The Big Read Audio Guides feature readings from the novel along with commentary from renowned artists, educators, and public figures such as Sam Waterston and Aimee Mann, and Big Read authors such as Cynthia Ozick and Tobias Wolff.

To learn more about The Big Read, please visit the

~Pat Ryan, Jefferson County Library Cooperative

Stay tuned for Homewood Public Library's plans to celebrate The Big Read with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. We will have activities for all ages!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin

In May, 1893, Violet learned two things that changed her world. When she was nine years old her father had told her that her mother left them because she was ill and needed treatment. Now, almost twenty-one years old, she learns that her mother just abandoned them. And now her father is engaged to marry a widow with two mean children. In order to get away from her father, the Widow O'Neill and offspring, she went to Chicago to stay with her grandmother and aunts. There she would get to know those relatives better, visit the Columbian Exposition and maybe meet her future husband. Aunt Agnes decided that she would present Violet to high society. This included meeting and greeting at teas and balls. Aunt Matt introduced Violet to the fight for women's rights, marching and stuffing envelopes for the cause. Aunt Birdie was a loving and supportive friend to Violet. Her main suggestion was that Violet should marry for love. Grandmother Florence introduced Violet to the realities of life in the poor sections of Chicago as they volunteered at Jane Addam's settlement house and with the Dwight L. Moody campaign. Violet soon realized that her training by Madame Beauchamps did not prepare her for life outside of high society visiting, teas and balls. Certainly she was not prepared for the filth and stench around the settlement house. But Grandmother was unaffected by the smells, only by the needs of the people. At each level of society Violet acquired a suitor. Aunt Birdie helped her search for her mother when possible. She wanted very much to find her before returning home. And somehow she would decide what she wants in a husband.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Art on the Rocks! June 26th!!!

Art On The Rocks! June 26th!!!
The second of four dates of the 2009 Art on the Rocks! season happens this Friday night, June 26th, at 5:00 pm. Friday night's show features live music by Ben Lee. Find more information at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Miss Opal's Violoncello Concerto Storytime, Summer Reading 6/17/09

Doggie Day Care Murder A Melanie Travis mystery by Laurien Berenson

Alice had decided to go back to work once her children were no longer helpless preschoolers. She had a job as a paralegal arranged in her husband's firm and all she needed was placement for the family dog. So she asked Melanie to check on the Pine Ridge Canine Care Center. Melanie would know what to look for and the questions to ask. What an easy thing to do for a friend. Although the day after Melanie met Steve, the co-owner, he was found dead. Word had gotten around that Melanie has solved mysteries in the past so she was asked to unofficially investigate and learn who killed Steve and why. Aunt Peg was also interested in everything canine. Her new project was grooming Davey to show standard poodles. He loved it. Melanie, her husband and Aunt Peg were proud and encouraging. Candy, Steve's sister, seemed clueless about business and could only help Melanie with the daily operations of the Center. After asking questions of staff and a disgruntled neighbor, Melanie just did not know what to think. Then it all came together suddenly. But did she figure it out too late?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Secunia PSI

Security conscious computer enthusiasts usually always download and install updates to their operating systems as soon as they're released to fix security vulnerabilities and keep OS programs running smoothly. For example, if you're a Windows user, Windows update will provide you with updates for Windows, Microsoft Office & other MS programs, Internet Explorer, and hardware driver updates. But what about that version of Adobe Reader or Flash Player that hasn't been updated since you've installed it? Some of the most efficient security hacks have been exploited through unpatched versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Quicktime Player.

With third-party programs the burden is usually on the user to check for, download, and install updates not necessarily tied to the operating system. I currently have 32 programs installed on my PC. Manually checking for updates daily for 32 programs would be very time consuming, not to mention boring, which leads most people to ignore them, making them more and more vulnerable to viruses and exploits.

I discovered a program called Secunia PSI(Personal Software Inspector), that can do all this for you. It also uses so little memory you won't notice it's running in the background.

Secunia PSI by default runs on system startup after installation and automatically scans the versions of all programs installed on your computer. When the scan is complete Secunia will let you know what programs are insecure on your computer, and provide one click links to download and install patches for insecure programs.

Secunia PSI also provides a simple and advanced version. The simple interface provides one-click solutions for insecure programs, while the advanced version provides version numbers, program and insecure file locations, notification for end-of-life software, and hard drive paths for easy removal of insecure .exe files.

If you brave the advanced setting, be cautious when deleting .exe files. Removing these files can cause some programs to run incorrectly or not at all.

You can download Secunia PSI for free at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Libraries lend a hand in tough times

From the Today Show: 73% of public libraries report they provide the only free access to the Internet in their communities. This rises to 83 percent for rural libraries and Also, 68 percent of Americans have a library card

Monday, June 8, 2009

Three more AVL Summer Webinars - FREE! Mark your calendar!

College Research for College-Bound High School Students

Tuesday June 23rd 7:00 PM
Wednesday June 24th at 1:00 PM
Getting ready to start your college career in the fall, or are you starting research for all of those college applications? Learn how to use Gale Cengage Electronic Resources including eBooks and Databases to conduct college level research and apply your research to writing papers and essays. High School Students as well as Parents of High School Students will get a head start on an invaluable skill to be able to succeed at the College level.

Online Research for Elementary School Students

Monday June 22nd at 1:00 PM
Wednesday June 24th at 7:00 PM
Keep those brains sharp over the long summer months and help your little ones develop valuable online research and learning skills. Learn how to use Gale Cengage Electronic Resources including eBooks and Databases to answer homework questions and conduct summer projects that will keep everyone learning over the summer. 

Streamlining Electronic Research on the Reference Desk

Tuesday June 23rd 11:00 AM
Thursday June 25th 7:00 PM
Learn time saving tips and tricks for conducting reference research using the Gale Electronic Resources already available to you through the Alabama Virtual Reference Library. Tips on training patrons to use eResources from Gale will be discussed. Also, learn to use Web 2.0 technologies to help promote your eResources.

~from AVL's website 

FREE! AVL Summer Webinars for Parents of PreK - 5th Graders

AVL / Early Childhood Resources for Parents, PreK to 2nd Grade

In this special webinar for Alabama parents, we will explore the Britannica Learning Zone, an online resource for Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade students, ages 3-7. The Learning Zone provides vocabulary builders, an interactive atlas, online art activities, interactive games, and audio and video that teach numbers, letters, colors, shapes, and sounds. During this 45 minute webinar, you will learn about how you can use The Learning Zone to help your student maintain early childhood basic skills and help with summer homework assignments. The Learning Zone also has many great “rainy day” activities for you and your students to use! This webinar is ideal for parents of children ages 3-7, as well as parents who home-school their young children. To participate, you will need a computer with internet access and speakers to hear the presentation.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
To register for this webinar, please click here:

AVL / Britannica Online Resources for Parents, Grades 3-5

In this special webinar for Alabama parents, we will explore the Britannica Online School Edition for Elementary Students, an online resource for students grades 3-5, ages 7-10. Britannica Online provides vocabulary builders, an interactive atlas, online activities, interactive games, and videos. During this 45 minute webinar, you will learn about how you can use Britannica Online to help your student maintain their basic skills in reading and math, and help with summer homework assignments. Britannica Online also has many great “rainy day” activities for you and your students to use! This webinar is ideal for parents of children ages 7-10, as well as parents who home-school their children. To participate in the webinar, you will need a computer with internet access and speakers to hear the presentation.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
To register for this webinar, please click here:

 ~from AVL's website

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kate Taylor @ HPL's Teen Summer Kickoff 2009

The Homewood Public Library Teen Department and WTTO TV brought singer/songwriter and Homewood High graduate Kate Taylor to our Summer Kickoff celebration May 29th at Homewood Park. It was a great success! To check out Kates music, visit her MySpace page:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

America's Best Zoos A Travel Guide for Fans and Families by Allen W. Nyhuis and Jon Wassner

This is a wonderful guide to learn about zoos and the variety of animals and exhibits in the many zoos listed as well as others. Anyone planning a trip would do well to use this volume to have an interesting and fun outing. Each entry lists the zoo name and address, directions and fees. Also given are tips for navigating the zoo, exhibits to see and restaurants that will enhance your enjoyment. Learn more about the kinds of animals you will see, hear and smell. Each entry tells which zoo features are best for kids and which shows and programs are best to attend. Each region of the United States is represented in the main list and expanded information about those. There are also lists of other zoos by categories such as fish and zoo aquariums, indoor tropical rain forest and children's zoos. The authors visited all these zoos and make their recommendations. This is a sure bet to help plan your next trip.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Free downloadable audiobooks work with iPods & iPhones!

New! You can now use your iPod®, iPhone™ and iPod Shuffle to download audiobooks. Click here for a list of supported devices. Enjoy the spoken word anytime, anywhere!

Also, with OverDrive Media Console for Mac, audiobooks can now be downloaded and enjoyed on Macs. The built-in Burn Wizard can be used to burn MP3 audiobooks to CD, and the Transfer Wizard allows quick and easy transfer to Apple® devices. 

Go to the downloadable collection.

For more information on OverDrive Media Console for Mac, click here.

To view a list of OverDrive MP3 audiobooks compatible with Mac, click here.

Click here to see the Quick Start Guide or maybe you want to view the help section?


Homewood Teens - Send us Your Wordles

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. ~from the Wordle website

Homewood Teens, grades 6-12, send us your wordles – we'll post the best ones on the website! (send to

The Last Days According To Jesus by RC Sproul

One of the major criticisms of Christianity among scholars are the apparent mistakes and revisions of Jesus and the New Testament authors concerning the time and nature of Christ's prophesied return. Philosopher Bertrand Russell made this a major point in his Why I Am Not A Christian. Russell and other critics argue that Jesus and other New Testament authors fully expected Jesus to return not longer than a generation following Christ's death.

Some Christian theologians have answered this criticism by advocating a "preterist" interpretation of biblical prophecy, which argues that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was a type of coming of Jesus Christ

In The Last Days According To Jesus, Sproul examines the similarities and differences of two schools of preterism, Full and Moderate Preterism.

Full Preterism sees all Old and New Testament prophecies fulfilled before or at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. Moderate Preterism argues that most biblical prophecies have been fulfilled, but a few, ie the resurrection and bodily return of Jesus Christ, are still future.

Sproul focuses mainly on Jesus' Olivet discourse in the gospels, and the book of Revelation, looking at these scriptures in light of James Stuart Russell's book The Parousia, which is probably the most scholarly work dealing with the Second Coming.

It's a pretty technical read, but at less that 200 pages it's not overwhelming and very accessible to laymen. Whether or not you agree with Preterist theology, it is a clear statement of preterism and worthwhile for any prophecy and bible student.