Public Programs

LearningQUEST has presentations open to the general public. All are welcome to attend these programs, so please join us.

Tallulah Darling! The Life and Times of Huntsville’s Wicked Star

Instructor: Jennifer Garlen
Friday, Jan 26th, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

Join us for a look at the scintillating and scandalous life of Huntsville native Tallulah Bankhead, a Broadway star and Hollywood actress who raised eyebrows with her performances as well as her outrageous behavior in the early decades of the 20th century. Born into a prominent Alabama family, she achieved fame on the stage but is best remembered for breaking every conventional rule about what a well-bred Southern lady ought to be. This program will cover her childhood, stage career, and forays into Hollywood, particularly her appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 film Lifeboat. In keeping with Tallulah’s reputation, mocktails will be served before the program.

Scholars Class: Research in the Library’s Special Collections

Instructor: David Lilly
Tuesday, Feb 13th, 10:00 am – Noon
Downtown Library, A/B

The Library’s Special Collections Department is a major community resource for local history, documents, and photographs. Scholars Class will allow LearningQUEST members to select from a variety of local history research topics and do directed research during the term. Class participants will work with Special Collections staff and volunteer historians. The results will be digitized and printed and/or added to the library’s historical database collection. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to do significant research on fascinating local topics, this presents a unique opportunity to do so.

Hospice 101 – What You Should Know

Instructor: Jim Pride
Wednesday, Feb 21st, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

This presentation provides an easy-to-understand overview of hospice care. We will explore exactly what hospice is and what services are provided while under hospice care. We will also discuss the Medical Hospice Benefit. There will be a time set aside to answer questions from the audience.

Shot in Alabama: A History of Photography, 1839-1941

Instructor: Frances Osborn Robb
Wednesday, Mar 14th, Noon – 1:00 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

Frances Robb will discuss her new book, a narrative about Alabama photographs, from the earliest daguerreotypes to modern snapshots and photojournalism. It is filled with interesting photographs and the stories about them, from the fellow who sold a joke with every picture to the teenaged brother and sister who dressed like Rudolph Valentino and danced the tango in a photographer’s studio. Robb will show some of the book’s photographs and tell some of their stories, also explaining how she came to write the book and how she went about it.

“A Glorious Page in Our History”: The Battle of Midway, June 1942

Instructor: David Lilly
2 Tuesdays, Mar 20th & 27th, 9:30 – 11:00 am
Downtown Library, Auditorium

The Battle of Midway was one of the most decisive naval engagements of the 20th century. In this two-part series, we will review the early events of the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway, examining the ships, aircraft, and pilots from each side. We will consider the critical role of intelligence as well as how air and naval doctrine played a vital role in the battle’s outcome. We will explore the myths and inaccuracies that have grown up around the battle. This is a multi-media presentation with lecture, video, photographs, and maps.

Huntsville’s Madam Mollie Teal

Instructor: Catherine L. Knowles
Wednesday, Apr 11th, Noon – 1:30 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

The author will share her experiences of writing, researching, editing, self-publishing, and marketing her second book, a romantic historical fiction novel about Huntsville’s notorious Madam Mollie Teal and how Mollie was responsible, through her philanthropy, for starting our hometown health care system, Huntsville Hospital. Cathy will share her passion for Huntsville’s history through photos and a walking tour into Huntsville’s past.