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Make Smart Money Moves in 2014 With Free Classes at the Birmingham Public Library

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 11:54am

The Birmingham Public Library will kick off the new year with three money management classes in January. All classes are free and open to the public.

January 8
10:00 a.m.
Wylam Library
Learn about saving and investing with Andreas Rauterkus, associate professor of accounting and finance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Attendees will learn how to understand various financial markets, evaluate different saving and investment options, develop ways to make better investment decisions, and more.

10:30 a.m.
Five Points West Library
Take control of your finances in a workshop led by UAB professor Dale Callahan. He will discuss ways to increase income, save more, and how to eliminate personal debt will be addressed. (Check out Callahan’s website:

January 23
3:30 p.m.
Avondale Library
Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this children’s program. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’’ McEntee will teach children about the importance of saving money.

For more information, call Jim Murray at 205-226-3690 or visit

The Birmingham Public Library and 14 other libraries in Jefferson and Shelby counties offer the series. The programs will end in May 2014. Other BPL locations include Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham, and Springville Road.

The classes are part of a national grant program known as MakingCents: Resources to Help Your Money Grow and Smart investing@your library®, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Bards & Brews Poetry SLAM at Avondale Library, January 3

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 9:00am
Open Mic Night at Good People Brewing Company, November 1, 2013
Visit the Bards & Brews page on Facebook
The Avondale Library hosts the next Bards & Brews SLAM on Friday, January 3, 2014. Poet sign up begins at 6:30 p.m., and SLAM starts at 7:00 p.m. There is a $5 charge to enter the SLAM contest. Cash prizes to winners. 1st Place is $200, 2nd place is $100 Music is by guitarist and singer Susan Lawrence, 6:30-7:00 p.m. The SLAM is free to attend and is open to the public. Must be 18 and up to attend and 21 to participate. Beer tasting will be provided by Back Forty Beer Co. ID required. Refreshments will be served.

For more info, call 205-226-3670 or email

Children's Book Review: The True Meaning of Smekday (Ages 8-12)

Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:44pm
The True Meaning of Smekday
Adam Rex

It has finally happened! The hope and fear of every science fiction nerd on the planet has come true. Aliens (the Boov specifically) have invaded Earth! This story is the account of young Gratuity Tucci, a cat named Pig, and a runaway Boov named J. Lo. This bizarre trio embarks on a cross-country road trip to reunite Gratuity with her mother and the rest of the human race. They become unlikely heroes as they save the world from a second alien invasion by the violent Gorg race.

This book was great fun. It’s a fantastic twist on the classic road trip story. While the adventures and action are great, this story is really something special when it shows how Gratuity and J. Lo try to understand each other’s cultures. Gratuity is understandably miffed at J. Lo and his species for invading her planet and impatient with his absurd alien customs. He loves eating dental floss and thinks that oranges make fine footwear! But it’s not all about wacky alien customs; there were some really funny moments where J. Lo takes a few jabs at some of the silly aspects of American culture.

This book is packed with hilarious illustrations, but the audiobook is fantastic. What I did, and highly recommend, is checking out the audiobook and print copy together. The aliens are hard to imagine without the drawings, but the audiobook really completes the experience. The voice acting of Bahni Turpin is excellent. She performs a wide range of American accents as well as wonderful interpretations of two different alien species. It’s intended for middle grade readers, but I heartily recommend this title to the young and old and everyone in between.

Submitted by Mollie McFarland
Springville Road Library