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Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection

The Cartography Collection contains regional and historical maps and atlases from the 16th through the 20th centuries. While the emphasis of the collection is on the area of the globe occupied by Alabama, the historic maps retrace the development of the region over centuries and illustrate the evolution of mapmaking. Featured in this online collection are many of the library’s notable and important maps.

Did You Know?

One year ago today, a mile-wide tornado swept through Pratt City and severely damaged the Pratt City Branch Library. Though the building was wrecked, some of the books were salvaged. The collection was supplemented with books donated from Project Turn the Page, an emergency grant awarded to the Alabama Humanities Foundation from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help provide free books for damaged public libraries and schools. The grant provided the library with a core collection of classic titles.

The Pratt City Herald (1899-1901) and newspaper articles about Pratt City (1932-1983) are available online. Take a scroll through Pratt City's past to learn of its progression through the years and see what the locals of the day were up to.

Updates at LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library has added some updates to their test prep and skill-building website.

New Online Practice Exams
New professional and educational practice exams are available to users preparing for various state and national tests, as well as basic skill-building practice. These new additions include NCLEX-RN, PANCE, ASSET, and Praxis practice tests.

New eBooks
The inventory of vocational and instructional eBooks has grown to include new preparatory materials in various areas of study. New professional skills eBooks include Nursing Assistant/Nurse Aide Exam, Fifth Edition; Praxis I: Power Practice; PANCE: Power Practice; and Career Changer's Manual. Academic skills eBooks include 501 Geometry Questions, Second Edition; ACT Flash Review; and Practical Math Success in 20 Minutes a Day, Fifth Edition. ...learn more

BPL’s Jared Millet Edits Collection of Ghost Stories

Anytime is the right time for a good ghost story, or maybe 22 of them. This you will find in Summer Gothic, a new collection of stories edited by Jared Millet. As head of the Birmingham Public Library's Acquisition Department—the people who buy the books for the library—Jared knows good story telling and he's assembled a score plus two ghost stories with a summer theme.

While we think of dark and stormy nights as the best time for reading ghost stories, Summer Gothic might be more appropriate for the beach or the pool. In the story "Beachfront," a demonologist and her friend spend a week at a beach house that was the sight of a grisly murder. In "Fourth of July," set on Alabama's Smith Lake, a suicidal young woman returns to her family's vacation cabin searching for the ghost only she sees. In "Earl and Bubba Save the King," two beer besotted good old boys, devoted sons of an Elvis fan still grieving the King's death, use the power of their minds (stop laughing) to travel back in time to 1972. It's a simple plan to prevent Elvis' death and "make Mama happy again." ...learn more

Reader's Advisory: Urban Grit: A Guide to Street Lit

Street lit, also known as urban fiction, has become a very popular genre among readers. Publishers such as Urban Books and Triple Crown Publications specialize in publishing street lit titles for interested readers. Urban Grit defines the genre as “raw, gritty, urban stories set in the violent, dangerous, familiar, and sometimes exhilarating landscape of the streets, featuring tough African American characters and focusing on themes of interpersonal relationships and survival by any means necessary.”

Urban Grit is a great resource for learning more about the genre and finding good books to read. Although designed to educate librarians and booksellers about street lit, it is a valuable resource for readers who want to find information on authors, titles, series, and subgenres (e.g. players and hustlers, prison). The guide uses a gun symbol and a pepper symbol to indicate the levels of violence and sexuality in each book. The rating ranges from one symbol indicating mild violence and sexual content to three symbols indicating explicit content. ...learn more

April 27, 2012
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
(205) 226-3600

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