Celebrate the holidays at Birmingham Public Library! Click the link to see the list of programs scheduled at BPL locations throughout December. All programs are free and open to the public.
In this era of reality television, the cinematic documentation of everyday people seems to have fallen by the wayside. Instead, we are bombarded by c-list celebrities, rural eccentrics, and child beauty pageant stars. Reality television depicts these lives in a sensationalized manner and the spotlight of celebrity has warped almost all sense of reality on our television screens.
Of course there are still some documentaries and -- occasionally -- television programs that offer thoughtful insight into the world in which we live. The "Up Series” is a spellbinding example of this (unfortunately) rare phenomenon. These films are a documentary series that chronicle the lives of fourteen ordinary people in the United Kingdom.
In the fall of 1964, a camera crew from Granada television interviewed fourteen, seven year-old schoolchildren from around London. The children were from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds ranging from working class students to upper class boarding school students. They were all asked several questions about their lives as well as their thoughts on the future.
The documentary was titled 7 Up and was very well received by the British public. One of the associate producers on the production -- filmmaker Michael Apted -- came up with the idea of revisiting these fourteen individuals every seven years. The same children were visited as fourteen years old in 7 and 7 and most of the original fourteen participants have been visited every seven years since and has resulted in a series of documentaries directed by Apted with titles including 21 Up, 28 Up, and so on.
The films have become known as the “Up Series” and have developed quite a following around the world -- there have even been local versions of this series in most major film producing countries. Roger Ebert called the series “…an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium“ and the films are usually listed among the great documentaries ever made. Every seven years the audience for these films grows with more enthusiastic viewers who have discovered the series during the intervening years.
Last year, 56 Up was released in theaters and the film has recently arrived on home video (and is available through the library system). I would recommend that anyone intrigued by the premise of this series to start with the first film and work their way forward. It is tempting to state that viewers really get to know the individuals incrementally documented in this series; however, the truth is that we do not really get to know them at all that well. Michael Apted frames a window in which we can glance at their lives every seven years and it is an incredibly compelling glance.
Perhaps most compelling in that the films make clear that any life can be profound if viewed through the right frame. I would also add that these films do a wonderful job of propelling the viewer to enter a frame of mind in which to examine the profound nature of their own journey through life.
Acclaimed author Pat Conroy recounts to Alabama students how literature, great teachers saved him from abusive childhood (photos)
Career Cruising is a comprehensive career guide that's fun and easy to use. It's the perfect tool for students planning for the future, graduates investigating job options, and adults looking for work or thinking about a career change.
Career Cruising helps job seekers satisfy five key career guidance needs: self-assessment, career exploration, post-secondary education planning, work search, and portfolio development. Each section can be used on its own or in combination with others. You can learn more about your personal interests and find related careers and information about the necessary training, you can explore schools and find financial aid, you can explore occupations that interest you and find related jobs.
CareerCruising features career guidance information, a database of schools, financial aid information, a portofolio tool, employment resources and self-assessments. This resource is perfect for students exploring future career options as well as college grads and job seekers. Create a CareerCruising profile to build a customized plan.
Career Cruising is available at all BPL branches and at home to any residents of the City of Birmingham with a valid library card.
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If you are interested in getting your financial life in order this fall, then the Central Library is the place to be! Dr. Andreas Rauterkus, Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at UAB, will be leading a series of programs that will focus on a variety of issues related to personal finance and investing. This is the last program in the MakingCents series. We hope you have enjoyed and learned from these financial planning programs.
Paying for College
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A college education is a good investment, but is also a very expensive one. In this program, Dr. Rauterkus will discuss ways to make this process more manageable. Among the topics to be covered are evaluating college affordability, utilizing personal savings, and assessing the different forms of financial aid.
These programs are part of the MakingCents: Resources to make your money grow and Smart investing@your library® series, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.