Food for Fines 2020

It’s that time of year again! If you lost track of some library items during the general mayhem of this year and have some fines you’d like to take care of, you can bring non-perishable food items to any branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library to take ’em down. One dollar of late fines will be waived for each donated item, and all donations go to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The program starts December 1st and runs until the end of 2020, which sounds dramatic, but is really just the end of December.

Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire 2020 – videos available now!

This year’s Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire was completely, 100% virtual! That means that if you missed the livestream, you can still see all the panels and activities, and maybe even follow along with some of them yourself. Follow us on YouTube, or click the playlist below to see such wonders as:

  1. the full, eight-hour livestream!
  2. DIY PPE: Making Us Safe Together
  3. Building Communities: Library Makerspaces
  4. Viral Business: Business During COVID
  5. Full STEAM Ahead: Teaching for Tomorrow Today
  6. Art & Activism
  7. so many more videos of library Arduino projects and the work of local makers!

Library Closed for Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11th, is Veterans Day, a day to remember all people who have served in the military in any capacity. It is held on the eleventh day of the eleventh month to honor the armistice that ended World War I.

If you’d like to find members of your family that served in the military, genealogy websites can be great places to start. Ancestry.com is temporarily available outside the library with your library card. With their section on military records, you can trace your great-great-grandparents’ service history and find out more about your personal history.

Lynda Courses for November

Lynda can teach you everything from selling your old stuff on Ebay to beautifully photographing your family for the holidays. Educate yourself with one of this month’s most popular courses on Lynda, free with the internet and your library card.

  1. SOLIDWORKS 2020 Essential Training
  2. Illustrator 2020 Essential Training
  3. Excel 2016 Essential Training
  4. Excel Weekly Challenge
  5. Photoshop 2020 Essential Training: The Basics
  6. Python for Students
  7. Learning Linux Command Line
  8. Python: Programming Efficiently
  9. Learning DaVinci Resolve 16
  10. ZBrush: Modeling a Cartoon Character

Free Webinar from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

If you have questions about wills, tenants’ rights, or bankruptcy, these upcoming webinars from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be just what you need.

  • 11/17/20 at 12PM – Do I Need a Will or a Power of Attorney?
  • 12/15/20 at 12PM – The Eviction Moratorium Ends Soon – What Happens If I Can’t Pay My Rent?
  • 1/19/2021 at 12PM – Consumer Rights & Bankruptcy

Registration for these free webinars is available online.

You may be eligible for free legal services. Please contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services for more information.

The 16th Annual Sock It to Me Drive!

The 16th Annual Sock It to Me Drive!

November 1 – 30

Children’s Room Every Library

Socks are the most requested and least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters. In an effort to help make this item available for those in need, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Children’s Services Department will once again join with Baton Rouge Parents magazine’s 16th Annual Sock It to Me Drive to collect socks that will be distributed to area homeless shelters, the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, and Bethany House, which is a facility for cancer patients at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. The drive will begin Sunday, November 1, and last through Monday, November 30.

Our goal is to collect at least 2,500 pairs and with your help, we will! Simply drop new, unworn socks in the collection box that will be in the Children’s Room at each Library location. For more information, call Children’s Services at (225) 231-3760.

Business Person of the Month: Pam Cannatella

Cannatella’s Grocery might not fit the immediate picture of an entrepreneurial venture — the Baton Rouge store is an outgrowth of a Melville, LA, staple that’s been in the community for nearly a hundred years, and as a family business, the Cannatellas aren’t interested in endless growth.  When I talked to Pam Cannatella, fourth-generation owner and operator of the new location, however, it was obvious that she is just as much the entrepreneur as the flashiest techno-hypist in San Fransisco, even though she may not be firing cars into space.  Pam provides an important service to her adopted community here in Baton Rouge, and she plans on doing it well for a long time.

The Cannatellas moved into their location at 3869 Government Street in 2019, in response to a shrinking population in Melville, where the “Old Store” has been based for nearly a hundred years.  They immediately liked the new building for its resemblances to the original, and they stocked it full of prepared and shelf-stable foods that they thought Mid-Cityers might appreciate — including a lot of organic foods.

“As we started seeing our customers come through,” though, Pam says, “I realized that they are really more traditional shoppers … they’re buying more of the prepared foods, because folks around here, they don’t really have time to cook.”  Luckily, Cannatella’s is widely known for the quality of their prepared foods, which Pam’s husband Grant makes at their Melville location, and which Pam drives to the store in Baton Rouge every day.  The prepared foods have been so successful that they’ve seen demand for some products double, such as their most popular, meatballs & gravy and lasagna.  Of course, Pam took it in stride: every night at closing, she inventories the store’s freezers and coolers, then Grant cooks what’s needed, enabling Pam to replinish the stores each morning.

All the back-and-forth between Melville and Baton Rouge has meant that Pam has had to be less-involved in her Melville community, where she was mayor a few years ago.  However, she hopes to become more involved with the Mid-City Merchants, the Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance, Associated Grocers, and other groups here in Baton Rouge and around the country that work with the small business community.  She did say that the lack of clear regulatory direction in Louisiana was a burden, even with the benefit of being in business for generations: “I think there needs to be kind of a one-stop-shop, someone to walk you through” putting together a business.

After the initial hurdles, though, Cannatella’s location in Baton Rouge has been doing pretty well.  They were lucky during the COVID pandemic, and haven’t experienced much loss in revenue.  Pam has been experimenting with new product lines, including making pastas in-store, and she has a lot of plans for new merchandise and food storage, to keep up with the demand for “Heat-and-Eats.”

More than anything, she loves visiting with her customers.  She says, “Every day, there’s somebody that walks in here that has a Melville story.  Either they know somebody from Melville, or they’re from Melville — there’s some Melville connection.  They tell me these old home stories.”  She’s living proof of her mantra — “Do what’s right, work hard, and everything else is going to fall into place” — and with Pam at the wheel, I think people will be talking about the Canatella’s in Baton Rouge for a long time to come.

Post by Case Duckworth