Monday, April 30, 2007

Library News and Information

Want to know the latest news and happenings for Emmet O'Neal and other Jefferson County public libraries?

Go to the Jefferson County Library Cooperative's website and sign up to receive their quarterly newsletter, The Reader, online via email! If you prefer print, copies should be available at any public library in Jefferson County. The Reader is a great resource for finding fun and entertaining library events in Birmingham and surrounding areas.

Sign up for The Reader online today and find out what's happening @Your Library!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What a Beautiful Day for a Party!

The afternoon with Alexander McCall Smith just ended and it was an amazing event!

Mr. McCall Smith arrived in full kilt promptly at 1pm to a crowd of over 100 people in the library's reading area. The large windows flooded the space with sunlight and the crowd enjoyed a southern reception provided by Western Supermarkets consisting of grilled polenta topped with shrimp, pork tenderloin with sundried tomato chutney on garlic cheese biscuits, vidalia onion tarts, raspberry lemon and blueberry key lime tarts, spiced pecans, and sweet tea.
Mr. McCall Smith mingled easily with the crowd, shaking hands and posing for photos. Shortly after 2pm everyone retired downstairs to the meeting room for his entertaining lecture where laughter and applause were the order of the day.

A booksigning capped the event and the line stretched more than 20 feet back into the meeting room as people waited to have a last chat with the gentleman from Scotland and get their favorite McCall Smith novel signed. Jonathan Benton Booksellers was on hand to make sure everyone had the opportunity to get an autographed copy of one of his books.

We had a great time with Mr. McCall Smith and we hope everyone took advantage of this great opportunity to meet a New York Times best-selling author. We would like to thank Western Supermarkets for providing the wonderful food at today's program and also remind you that Western's Annual Wine Festival plays a pivotal role in bringing great authors like Alexander McCall Smith, Khaled Hosseini, and John Berendt to the Emmet O'Neal Library.

So save the date, October 18, 2007, and join us at our new venue for the Festival, Soho in Homewood!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

McCall Smith's newest now available!

Check out the latest addition to a GREAT series!

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive is Alexander McCall Smith's newest title in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and hit stores on Tuesday!

USA Today had a nice writeup on the book in today's Book section if you'd like to know more!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

And The Award Goes To.....

Brett J. Blackledge won the
for The Birmingham News!!!

Blackledge is the general assignment and special projects reporter for The Birmingham News and has worked at the paper since 1998. His winning project was a series on nepotism and corruption in Alabama's community college system. Blackledge's investigation began back in April of 2005 and the database of information collected on contracts, personnel, accounts receivables and payrolls is likely to keep the Alabama community college system under intense scrutiny for some time.

Congratulations to Mr. Blackledge for his excellent
work and to The Birmingham News for this
prestigious honor for our city!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Man Booker International Prize Contenders

The second annual Man Booker International Prize shortlist was posted today on the Booker Prize website. Contenders for this new prize are a prestigious lot:

The 15 authors on the list are:

Chinua Achebe
Margaret Atwood
John Banville
Peter Carey
Don DeLillo
Carlos Fuentes
Doris Lessing
Ian McEwan
Harry Mulisch
Alice Munro
Michael Ondaatje
Amos Oz
Philip Roth
Salman Rushdie
Michel Tournier

The judging panel for the 2007 Man Booker International Prize is: Professor Elaine Showalter, academic and author; Nadine Gordimer, writer and novelist; and writer and academic, Colm Tóibin.

Like British History?

Join us next Wednesday for our weekly Brown Bag Program.
Why? You ask ...
Because we will be watching a film on the wives of Henry VIII. And there are many of them!

Who? Anyone
When? Wednesday, April 18th
Time? 12:30 p.m.
Where? The library's meeting room
Why? A virtual trip to Tudor England to meet an infamous ruler (and husband)

For more info. contact us at 445-1121 or 445-1122
See you there!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center

If you weren't here for the Brown Bag Lunch Series program today then you really missed out. Our speaker was Kathy Freeland, Executive Director for the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Kathy was an outstanding speaker and representative for her organization. This wonderful natural resource is the largest urban nature park in the state. The Center is in negotiations for the purchase of approximately 500 additional acres, encompassing the rest of the ridge and making it the largest urban nature park in the country! Right here in the heart of Birmingham! Yearly memberships are very affordable and they have around 11 miles of walking trails, a summer camp for the kids as well as several programs for the grown-ups including a sunset wine-and-cheese walk and how to identify edible plants!

I personally had no idea about this tucked away treat in Roebuck, but will be sending in my membership form ASAP! Visit their website for more details on how you can get involved!

Fabulous Book For You!

I've been listening to a great book! It's Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. When you read the summary, you might think that this is sounding a little dry, but it is great, seriously! The author reads the CD himself and has a great voice, is very witty and dry. It's been a lot of fun traveling through the universe with Mr. Bryson - check it out for yourself! If you are interested, we also have this on Playaway (that's a self contained audio book!).

Here's the blurb:

Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey–into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It’s a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Or, as the author puts it, “…how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since.” This is, in short, a tall order.

To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world’s most profound scientific minds, living and dead. His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school. His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it. How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface? How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is? How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question. In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it. Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.



Alexander McCall Smith will be at the library from 1-4pm on April 29, 2007!

Buy your tickets today!

Not familiar with his work???

Come to the second floor and see our multimedia display of his books and others material related to the settings of his entertaining tales. Books, travel films on Scotland and South Africa, and audiobooks on CD have all been set aside for your perusal!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Best Free Reference Websites 2006

This annual list is a great way to find your path on the information superhighway!

Some of the highlights of the list include:

The Reference and User Services page of the American Library Association website has a complete annotated list of these websites and many more!