Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Closing Schedule

The Emmet O'Neal Library will be closed Saturday August 30th through Monday September 1st to celebrate Labor Day! We will reopen at 9am on Tuesday September 2nd. See you then!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Library Closed Thursday August 28th

Computer network-related upgrades are being made tomorrow that will affect all the public libraries of Jefferson County. You will not be able to access the county library cooperative's online catalog or databases nor will you be able use library computers. We thank you in advance for your patience while this upgrade takes place. The Jefferson County Library Cooperative is working to make computer access easier and more efficient for the entire county!

The Emmet O'Neal Library will be closed during this time for Staff Development Day. We will reopen Friday August 29th at 9am. See you then!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Got Fines?

During the month of September you can help out Birmingham area foodbanks AND get rid of your overdue fines (up to $10)!

Remember that September is also JCLC's annual card-swap month so if you haven't yet swapped to the new keychain card or you've worn your card out with your stellar library-visiting habits, stop by your local Jefferson County Public Library and get a shiny, new one free of charge any time between September 1-30!
See you soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Haunting New Book

Brunonia Barry has published a book that highlights the changes in the publishing world. Before Morrow picked it up for a cool $2 million dollars, The Lace Reader was self published and exploded in popularity simply through word-of-mouth. It wasn't long before the main-stream publishers came calling and the auction began.

Listen to an NPR podcast interview with Brunonia Barry!

I recently picked up a copy of this book and was immediately sucked into the story of Towner Whitney, estranged member of the Whitney family of women who can read fortunes and tell the future with only a piece of lace. Towner admits up front that she has refused to exercise this talent for years (since the death of her sister) and that she is a liar and untrustworthy narrator. I quickly forgot this forewarning as the story unfolded in front of me.

Towner returns to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, heart and body sore, only to discover that her beloved great-aunt is missing. Her body is soon found on a local beach and Towner uneasily begins to suspect foul play. Various small town characters, some straight out of the town's witch-hunting history, begin to make their appearances in her aunt's small yet popular tea room. As Towner struggles to come to terms with her great aunt's death, her mother's cold behavior, and her own dark secrets in this tiny close-knit town, the truth seems destined to reveal itself like the interconnected patterns of lace.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Best of the Year So Far

Well here we are eight months into the year and it has been a good one here at Emmet O'Neal! Not only did we win the Alabama Library Association Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Library Service, but also there have been some fabulous books published this year.

Here are's Best Books of the Year...So Far!


Black Flies by Shannon Burke
So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger
Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
Duma Key by Stephen King
My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru
Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
Lush Life by Richard Price
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski


The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America by Thurston Clarke
The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll
The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer by David Goldblatt
The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston
The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead by David Shields
Sitting Bull by Bill Yenne


100 Days of Monsters by Stefan Bucher
Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the City of Light by Gregor Dallas
Pravda by Edward Docx
Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier
The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obssession by Adam Leith Gollner
Rock On by Dan Kennedy
All Known Metal Bands by Dan Nelson
Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock
Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser
Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez


The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
A Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker and Kady McDonald Denton
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Charley Harper ABC's by Charley Harper
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney
Madapple by Christina Meldrum
Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka
The Magician by Michael Scott

Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Katie's New Eminent Lives Challenge

So, I got this wild idea that I am going to read all the books in the Eminent Lives series. If you have not heard about this series, it's published by Atlas Books (an imprint of Harper Collins) and edited by James Atlas (hence the imprint's name). The description of this contemporary series of biographies states that Eminent Lives is "a series of brief biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures." Here's what I like about this series:
  • one word - BRIEF!
  • the subjects are interesting, but not necessarily someone you would have read about in-depth unless you are a specialist (Caravaggio and George Balanchine spring to mind).
  • interesting authors have written these brief bios - Bill Bryson on Shakespeare, Michael Korda on Ulysses S. Grant, and Karen Armstrong on Muhammad.
So, I am starting with Bryson's Shakespeare, which comes in at a whopping 200 pages (yes, I am being sarcastic) compare that to Greenblatt's triumphant Will In The World at 433 pages or Ackroyd's biography which weighs in at 500+ pages. In 200 pages you will be entertained and bewitched (as if you were to read the Bard himself)!

So, let me know if you will be taking the challenge with me! I am posting a list of all the titles in the Eminent Lives Series. Those with a hyperlink are already owned by a Jefferson County Library. Those without are on order. Let me know which one you are going to start with and let's learn something new!

Michael Korda on Ulysses S. Grant

Robert Gottlieb on George Balanchine

Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson

Paul Johnson on George Washington

Francince Prose on Caravaggio

Edmund Morris on Beethoven

Matt Ridley on Francis Crick

Karen Armstrong on Muhammed

Peter Kramer on Freud

Joseph Epstein on Alexis de Tocqueville

Ross King on Machiavelli

Bill Bryson on William Shakespeare

-katie m.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Got Librarians?

Librarians in our nation’s 123,000 libraries make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans every day. Now is your chance to shine the spotlight on a librarian at your public, school, college, community college or university library. Nominate your librarian for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award!

Nominations for public librarians open today and will be accepted through October 1st!

Nominations open for college, community college, university librarians and school library media specialists on September 2.

Visit the I Love Libraries website for more information!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Winter Hours Resume August 17th

The Emmet O'Neal Library will resume Winter Hours on Sunday August 17th so we will be open 1-5pm on that day.
Winter Hours are:
Monday 9am-9pm
Tuesday 9am-9pm
Wednesday 9am-6pm
Thursday 9am-9pm
Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm

Visit us today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Major High School Assignment

Every four years the 12 Grade Government students at Mountain Brook High School have a unique opportunity to learn about our nation's democratic process.

The Prognostication Assignment has begun!

This is a big assignment for the students and a long range one as well and the Emmet O'Neal Library is ready to assist! We have many valuable resources to aid these intrepid researchers in attempting to predict how each state will vote, so send them our way! The high school librarians have been extra busy getting ready for this assignment and their efforts are concentrated in a Prognostication website for the student. The complete details of the assignment and links to both the high school library and the Prognostication website are accessible through the Emmet O'Neal Library's Teen Scene blog! Click through to get all the information you and your student needs to succeed!

Good Luck!


Books With a Movie Tie-in

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative's Reader's Advisory Rountable met this morning to discuss books that have been (or will be) adapted to screen or television. Here is the harvest!

The Ruins / Scott Smith (film)

30 Days of Night / Steve Niles (film)

Escape / Carolyn Jessop (in production)

John Adams / David McCullough (HBO series)

The Wager / Bill Myers (film)

About a Boy / Nick Hornsby (film)

Gone, Baby Gone / Dennis Lehane (film)

Brideshead Revisited / Evelyn Waugh (television series, film)

One Who Walked Alone / Novalyne Price Ellis (film)

1408 (shortstory from Everything's Eventual) / Stephen King (film)

The Mist (shortstory from Skeleton Crew) / Stephen King (film)

Harry Dresden series / Jim Butcher (television series)

Dexter series / Jeffry Lindsay (television series: Season 1, Season 2)

The Firm / John Grisham (film)

Shutter Island / Dennis Lehane (due out October 2009, name change to Ashecliffe)

What Was She Thinking: Notes On a Scandal / Zoe Heller (film)

Back When We Were Grownups / Anne Tyler (television series)

Memoirs of a Geisha / Arthur Golden (film)

P.S. I Love You / Cecelia Ahern (film)

The Lost World / Michael Crichton (film)

Happy Reading and Viewing!


The Marines

Will be our featured DVD at today's Brown Bag program. We'll watch a fascinating History Channel documentary. Join us at 12:30 for snacks and this film. Not going to make the film?
Check out some facts about the Marines here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Student Art on Display

We are pleased to sponsor a display of art from the students at Mountain Brook High School! Visit the second floor Teen Area to see a collection of busts and other mixed media. We are proud of our city's schools and pleased to provide this opportunity to display the talents of our area students!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 8, 2008

Unpublished George Orwell diaries soon to be available!

"What I have wanted most to do is to make political writing into an art."--George Orwell

The works of George Orwell, born Eric Blair in 1903, still resonate today: his vision of a totalitarian society has passed into everyday language, and his journalism still inspires. Tomorrow, August 9, 2008, exactly 70 years after he penned it, the first entry in George Orwell's unpublished diaries will be made available through The Orwell Prize blog, with all addition entries following in the same format.

From BBC:
"The diaries, written from 1938, cover the descent of Europe into war, as well as Orwell's travels in Morocco, following his sojourn in Catalonia, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. They cover the insightful and the mundane - he even includes newspaper clippings of sloe gin recipes."

Listen to the BBC podcast with his son Richard Blair.

Listen to NPR's Alex Chadwick speak to Professor Jean Seaton of The Orwell Prize and Orwell's son Richard Blair about the diaries.

...and just to get you in shape for reading Orwell's diary entries, read one of his books!

Happy Listening and Reading!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Got Fines?

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative is pleased to announce that patrons now have the convenience of paying any library fines and fees online! Simply view your account to get started. No service charges are applied for making online payments.

Forms of payments accepted:
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Discover Card

The ability to make payments using PayPal is not currently supported.


Monday, August 4, 2008

An Exciting New Resource!

The Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library at the Birmingham Museum of Art is not part of the Public Libraries of Jefferson County, but it is open to the public Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. Now, the Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library is pleased to announce that their catalog is now available online!

Due to the unique nature of the many items in the Library's collection, patrons may only use materials on the premises. Library material includes over 35,000 items focusing on objects and styles in the Museum's permanent collection and traveling exhibitions, including general art reference works, auction catalogues, artists' files, periodicals, indexes, exhibition catalogs, and databases.

You may contact the musuem library by telephone (205.254.2565 x3944) or email (


Saturday, August 2, 2008

* * * Adult Summer Reading Program Finale * * *

If you do nothing else, make sure that you come to the library Tuesday, August 5th for


The always wonderful Chez Lulu will be catering and we'll have wine and cheese also. Door prizes will be plentiful as well as prizes for worst art but the main event will be the giveaway of the


You've seen it all summer in cellophane splendor, but who will get to open it? It could be you so make sure to clear your calendar for Tuesday August 5th and head to the library!

6:30pm sharp!

Looking for inspiration? Visit MOBA (the Museum of Bad Art, not to EvEr be confused with MOMA!) for some cracklin' good ideas!

Happy Creating!

Wednesday Brown Bag Lunch August 6th

Join us for a film on the painter, John Constable. He was an English Romantic painter best known for his landscapes of the area surrounding his home, Dedham Vale and was a significant painter during a period when landscape was a dominant genre in British art. His oeuvre was unique in that he usually did not elect to paint places popular with the touring public or other artists, but rather concentrated on sites with which he had family connections, or where, for personal reasons, he happened to be.

Brown Bag Lunch programs are Wednesdays in the library's Community Meeting Room. Please bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert provided. For more information contact Katie Moellering: 205/445-1118 or
Happy Viewing!

November will be here soon!

Are you new to the area? Have you moved recently? Did you recently turn 18 years of age? If you've answered yes to any of these questions then I have another one for you...have you registered to vote or updated your current registration?

The ability to vote exists as one of the most important Constitutional Rights available to the American public. Not only is it an important way to voice your opinions regarding elected leaders and overall policies, but voting also helps you decide your own future by electing a person who might reflect your own views. As a public institution funded by your tax dollars, we at the Emmet O'Neal Library urge you to register to vote or update your voter registration as needed and use your vote to support your local public library!

For your convenience, the library provides voter registration postcards free of charge. Come in and get one today!

For questions about your voter registration, your local polling place, absentee ballots and more, contact the Jefferson County Board of Registrars(click the link to visit their website):

Jefferson County Courthouse - (205) 325-5550
Bessemer Courthouse - (205) 481-4105
Center Point Satellite - (205) 856-8808
Southern Satellite - (205) 916-2720

Happy Voting!