Monday, January 25, 2010

The Big Read: Alabama Reads Starts Tue. Feb. 2 at Homewood Public Library

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) & Arts Midwest. The initiative is designed to promote reading for pleasure, to reintroduce the “classics” of literature, & to promote book discussion & exploration. This year Alabama libraries are participating in a statewide Big Read using the title The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Here are some of the great programs going on in Homewood: (all programs are at the Homewood Public Library unless otherwise noted)

The Big Read: Alabama Reads Kickoff
Tuesday, February 2nd, from 11am - 4pm
Drop by the Homewood Public Library to help us kickoff a celebration of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain! We'll have snacks, information on the Big Read: Alabama Reads & a chance to win your own copy of the book.

Tasty Reads Book Group
Tuesday, February 9th, at 6:30pm
Join the Tasty Reads book group for light refreshments & a lively discussion of The Big Read: Alabama Reads title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain.

Homewood High School Book Club
Tuesday, February 23rd, at 3:15pm
Grades 9-12. Join us at HHS after school to talk about this month’s title! My Jim, by Nancy Rawles, is the story of Sadie Watson, the woman Jim left behind when he rafted down the Mississippi with young Huck Finn. 

Teen Sawyers
Wednesday, February 24th, at 3:30pm.
Grades 6-12. Put on your overalls & join us to decorate your own straw hat, participate in a frog jumping contest & have some snacks. 

Jim Aycock presents Mark Twain
Thursday, March 11th, at 1pm.
Local actor & musician Jim Aycock will be Mark Twain, presenting his stories & wit to the 7th graders at Homewood Middle School.

“Plenty to Eat But Nothing to Do”
Monday, March 15th, at 3:30pm
Ages 0-10. Mark Twain wrote 'Plenty to eat but nothing to do' in an unfinished sequel to the Tom & Huck book. Join us for this kind of afternoon; good snacks & nothing to do but enjoy a great movie. 

Dead Cats & Spunkwater
Wednesday, March 17th, at 12:15pm.
Join local storyteller Dolores Hydock for her presentation of Dead Cats & Spunkwater: Superstitions & Strange Logic in the Writings of Mark Twain. Bring your lunch - we'll supply drinks & dessert. 

The 'Calaveras County Frog Jumping Contest'
Thursday, March 18th, at 10:30am.
Ages 0-10. Come see which frog will be Homewood Library's 'Calaveras County Frog Jumping' Champion. We provide the 'frogs' & snacks! The winner will be honored with a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This program will be held outdoors & may be canceled in the event of rain. 

An Evening With Mark Twain
Thursday, April 22nd, at 6:30pm.
Local actor & musician Jim Aycock will be Mark Twain, presenting Twain's stories & wit for all ages. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Download our program schedule here!

Murder in the Magic City 2010 to be held at Homewood Public Library

Murder in the Magic City is a mystery conference for fans of all sub-genres of mystery novels. The event is February 6, 2010. The conference consists of panel discussions and presentations by the Guests of Honor. Lunch, coffee and doughnuts, sodas, and a "goody bag" are included in the registration fee. In additon, they have a basket auction each year for charity. Baskets consist of at least one book and items related to that book/theme. For 2009, they raised over $700 for the important Crime Lab Project. 

The 2010 Guests of Honor:
S.J. Rozan and C.J. Box 

Also scheduled to appear:
Philip Cioffari
Meredith Cole
Margaret Fenton
Andrew Grant
Lois Greiman
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Richard Helms
Marion Moore Hill
Sheila Lowe
Sharon Potts
Hank Phillipi Ryan
Maggie Sefton
Tom Schreck
Patricia Sprinkle
E. Michael Terrell
Sheila York

Go to the Murder in the Magic City website for registration info.

Sponsored by:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard has lived in Shakespeare, Arkansas for four years. She cleans houses for a living, goes to the gym and the grocery store, and otherwise keeps herself to herself. She doesn't want to be noticed, because then she might be recognized.

One night, unable to sleep, Lily takes a late walk through Shakespeare. It's a familiar route, one she takes on her bad nights when she knows sleep will be slow in coming. Near her home she sees a figure carrying something in her trash bin cart. The figure takes the something to a park across the street and when it returns the cart is empty. Unable to stand the thought that a child might find what she thinks has been dumped, Lily waits a while, then goes to check it out. Sure enough, a body is double bagged in black garbage bags. She checks for a pulse and then makes an anonymous call to her neighbor, the chief of police. But she won't be able to stay anonymous for long...

I have torn through two of Charlaine Harris' other series (Sookie Stackhouse and Aurora Teagarden) and decided to try this one. Its a darker mystery than either of the series I've already read, with a damaged heroine who lacks Sookie's naivete or Roe's gumption. But what Lily does have is determination and strength, and her growing confidence throughout the book is realistic. The mystery is also more prominent in the plot of this novel than it is in the other two series, and I really enjoyed watching the pieces come together. I highly recommend this early Charlaine Harris series to fans of her other novels as well as those who like milder mystery stories.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking News - Blio is Coming!

Kurzweil’s Blio: A Singular Challenge to the Ebook Industry?

Blio is FREE eReader software that presents eBooks like you’ve never seen them before!
~from the Blio website

At its launch later this month, this free full-color system will work on a variety of platforms: PCs, Mac, netbooks, tablet PCs, and various mobile devices.

Blio e-reader software, preserves "the image-rich format of books and magazines, including their layout, typesetting, images, color, and graphics, while also supporting full media functionally, including video, graphics, and web sites," allowing users to more "fully enjoy the subtlety of design originally intended by the publisher."

Instead of partnering with specific publishers or focusing on specific product areas, Blio is using existing book distribution channels, resulting in an initial catalog of titles from thousands of publishers, as well as access to more than 1.2 million public-domain books. Initial publishers with titles in the Blio Bookstore include publishers such as Elsevier, Hachette, HarperCollins, Random House, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley. 

The software is amazingly flexible, allowing you to add notes as well as insert photos, video, and websites. You can also extract your notes into a Word document. You can bookmark your pages, and the audio Text-to-Speech, which uses Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software, allows you to use Blio as an audio book. As the text is read aloud, Blio will highlight the words as they are read. This highlight feature can also be turned off. ~from the Information Today website 


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Homewood Public Library from 1941 to Now: Our History

When the Homewood Public Library was established on March 24, 1941, the city was fourteen years old and had a population of 7,397. That first library was located in a small room on the second floor of City Hall, and its opening day collection consisted of between 2,500 and 3,000 books. The library was run by Mrs. J. L. (Mary Katherine) Switzer, a former librarian at the Birmingham Public Library. The library was open Monday through Friday from 2:00-6:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Books could be checked out for seven to fourteen days, but there was a limit of three books per patron. (Only two books could be checked out on a child's card.) Overdue fines were two cents per day. 

Today, the population of the City of Homewood has increased to over 25,000, and the Homewood Public Library has grown with it. Now situated in a 50,000 square foot building on busy Oxmoor Road, the library's collection encompasses over 94,000 books as well as DVDs, videos, CDs, audiobooks, and electronic games. The library's hours have expanded from a mere 29 hours per week (in 1941) to a whopping 67 hours. There is currently no limit to the number of books any patron may check out, and they may keep them for three weeks. The library is a member of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative and serves over 48,000 patrons per month, both from the Homewood community and surrounding areas. No longer just a library, Homewood Public Library is a cultural center, offering programs for adults, teens, and children, Wi-Fi Internet access, computer classes, meeting rooms, and more.

In 2009, Homewood Public Library earned a national Four Star Rating for Library Service in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. This system scrutinizes statistics that describe library service outputs, such as visits, circulation, public Internet computer usage, and program attendance. Out of 7,268 public libraries across the nation only 258 received star ratings. Homewood Public Library is one of only five libraries in Alabama to receive such an honor and one of only twelve in the Southeast. This Four Star rating followed the Three Star rating that was received in an earlier Library Journal survey.

In 2004, Homewood Public Library was awarded a Blue Ribbon Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Library Service. This is the highest distinction given to public libraries for excellence in library service. In order to receive this recognition, a library must meet or exceed more than seventy specifications based on the population of the city or county that established the library. To date, only nine libraries in Alabama have received this award. The award was presented by the Public Library Division of the Alabama Library Association. Gov. Bob Riley also presented Homewood Public Library with a letter and certificate of recognition from the governor’s office.

In 2002, the library was voted as Jefferson County's "Favorite Library". 

In 2001, Homewood Public Library earned Three Gold Stars for meeting so many of the established state standards for libraries as outlined by the Alabama Library Association and the Alabama Library Service. In previous years, the library was ranked seventh in the state and was awarded the Certificate of Achievement at the Two Star level.

Check us out on Bham Wiki.

Friday, January 8, 2010

snow Jan. 8, 2010 - round auditorium on the front of the library

We know, we know, it may be silly to our northern friends, but here in the south, it's quite exciting! We don't normally see very much snow around here ;^P

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tasty Reads Book Group Selects Titles for 2010

Jan. 12th: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Feb. 9th: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

March 9th: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

April 13th: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

May 11th: While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

Tasty Reads meets:

Second Tuesday of the month
6:30 - 8 pm
Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom

We enjoy refreshments described in or related to the foods in the books we discuss. Click the titles above to reserve in the catalog.

Call 205.332.6624 for more info and come join us!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Children's Snowy Book Recommendations from our Staff

Ms. Dona—Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Wilson Bentley loved everything about how amazingly beautiful snowflakes are. In fact, he loved snowflakes so much that he took wonderful photographs of them just to see how different each one might be from the next. Wilson looked at many snowflakes, and he never found two that were exactly alike.

Ms. Becky—Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara
There once was a boy who hated winter. Then one day he ran outside to find someone covering everything with snow. It was Jack Frost! They played together in the snow throwing snowballs, sledding, and building snowmen. The boy enjoyed his new friend until it was time for Jack to leave to make way for spring.

Ms. Laurie—Snow Is My Favorite and My Best by Lauren Child
Join Charlie and Lola as they wake up to a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Lola loves everything about playing in the snow, so much in fact that she wants snow all the time! Charlie has to explain to her about the north and south poles where it snows all the time. Lola just might change her mind about always having snow.

Ms. Candice—First Snow by Bernette Ford
It is winter, and the snow is starting to fall. As it swirls and twirls through the air, a group of young bunnies experiences snow for the first time. They romp and play while watching other animals in the snow. Some children even leave a snowman in the meadow for the bunnies to enjoy during their first snow.

Ms. Heather—The Kids Winter Handbook by Jane Drake and Ann Love
Do you love drinking hot chocolate by the roaring fire? Or skating figure eights on a homemade rink? These are great traditional winter activities. But have you ever looked for special effects in the winter night sky? Or enjoyed a wintry outdoor picnic? This book has so many wonderful ways to enjoy the frosty season.

Ms. Alice—Who Likes the Snow? by Etta Kaner by Etta Kaner
Snow crunches underfoot, floats through the air, and covers the ground like a blanket. But what exactly is it and where does it come from? This book tells all about the science behind snow! It tells of snow angels, snowflakes, sledding, and even what happens to snow in the springtime when it melts.

Ms. Sara—The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Peter is so excited because overnight it has snowed! He puts on his bright red snowsuit and goes outside into his neighborhood to enjoy the white winter day. Peter is ready to make a snowman, throw snowballs, and even make a snow angel. Then he is ready to come inside where it is warm and cozy.