17th Annual Louisiana Book Festival – all books, all online!

Mark your calendar as the 17th Annual Louisiana Book Festival will launch programs on Saturday and Sunday, October 30-31, 2021. Additional new content will be available over the following two weeks on Friday, November 5, through Sunday, November 7, and Friday, November 12, through Sunday, November 14. This free, family-friendly, annual festival celebrating readers, writers, and books is being presented virtually this year. More than 80 authors and presenters will discuss their books during more than 40 virtual programs, including 15 presentations for children, tweens, and teens. Virtual programs can be viewed on the Louisiana Book Festival YouTube channel.

Authors participating in this year’s festival include 2021 Louisiana Writer Award recipient Fatima Shaik, Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy, and Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award winning author Tommy Greenwald (Game Changer). Other featured authors include David Armand (The Lord’s Acre), Rickie Lee Jones (Last Chance Texaco), Alecia Long (Cruising for Conspirators), Robert Mann (Backrooms and Bayous), Joshua Prager (The Family Roe), and Steven V. Roberts (Cokie: A Life Well Lived).

To learn about additional authors and participants, see a complete list on the Louisiana Book Festival’s featured author page. A digital version of the program guide with more details is also available. More information and updates are available on the Louisiana Book Festival website and on Facebook.

All featured titles will be available for purchase through Cavalier House Books. All purchases of featured festival books made through December 31, 2021, will receive a 20% discount with the festival code LABOOKFEST.

The Louisiana Center for the Book, established in the State Library of Louisiana in 1994 for the purpose of stimulating public interest in reading, books, literacy, and libraries and celebrating Louisiana’s rich literary heritage, is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

Business Person of the Month: Carlos Thomas of Memphis Mac BBQ

Carlos Thomas of Memphis Mac BBQ

2785 Larkspur Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70805

Website: https://www.memphismac.com/

Phone: 225-256-6398

Email: info@memphismac.com

For most people, inhaling the remnants of yesterday’s barbecue smoke first thing in the morning is not the ideal way to start the day. But for Carlos Thomas, owner of Memphis Mac BBQ, the smell is invigorating. He clarifies that his restaurant is not “a part of the barbecue bakery system” which involves “putting barbecue seasoning on meat, baking it and calling it barbecue. That is not barbecue.” The smoke, he tells me, is what separates authentic barbecue from the imposters.

Thomas opened Memphis Mac in February 2020 after his family returned to Baton Rouge from Los Angeles where he had worked as a professor at the University of Southern California teaching data science and operations management.

Only weeks after it opened, COVID would force the restaurant to close its doors and Thomas to adapt. He began shipping orders across the country, and locally, the restaurant started selling barbecue meats and sides by the slab, pound, and dozen on Saturdays.

After teaching at the college level since 2000, opening a restaurant would prove to be a unique challenge that Thomas likens to obtaining a third PhD. While he enjoys the freedom it affords and the ability to set his own schedule, the true gift of Memphis Mac has been the opportunity to help people. Thomas knew from the beginning that he wanted to employ people who have had legal troubles in the past, but deserved a fresh start. For him, Memphis Mac was never just about making great food, it was always about the chance “to give people an opportunity who may have been marginalized or overlooked because of the challenges they had earlier.” With that goal in mind he has built not only a growing business, but a second family with his colleagues. When asked about the downsides of being a business owner, Thomas does not dwell on the negatives, but cites managing personalities and the unpredictability of food prices among the challenges.

Memphis Mac is located on Larkspur Avenue just across from the Exxon refinery’s south gates which provides consistent lunchtime business, but Thomas has plans to expand to the southern part of the parish. The restaurant has gotten positive feedback after doing pop-ups around town. In Baton Rouge, Thomas observes, “People love to eat and will pay good money for good food,” but he emphasizes that the food must be good.

When the topic shifts to libraries, Thomas’ passion becomes evident. He calls East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries “second to none” and describes them as, “a focal point for my family since my kids were born.” A self-described egghead, Thomas knows the importance of having a “robust library system that provides opportunities for everyone” and he applauds EBRPL for the role it serves in the community.

In his precious spare time, Carlos Thomas serves as a mentor for the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition and cherishes time spent cooking for his family and discussing current events with his wife.

When asked to offer advice to new and aspiring entrepreneurs, Thomas urges them to “Do what you love because every day is not a good day. You have to be in love with the endeavor.”

Visit Memphis Mac for lunch Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30am to 2:30pm or call to inquire about catering. Holiday catering will also be available this year, so get your pre-orders in early!

Interview by Karla D. Stewart

A Safe and Secure Digital Baton Rouge

The City-Parish will host a virtual cybersecurity workshop, called “A Safe and Secure Digital Baton Rouge,” at 6 p.m. Oct. 25.

 The workshop is in recognition of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October. The City-Parish will also host a cybersecurity symposium for Louisiana public agencies, as well as ongoing education and training for employees and residents throughout this month.

The virtual workshop will feature remarks from Mayor Broome and guest speakers Adam Arceneaux with CMA Technology Solutions, a Baton Rouge-based IT and cybersecurity firm; Jared Cavalier with Catholic High School who will discuss common cyber threats against families and youth; and Phil Stuart, a JPMorgan Chase banking and identity expert based in Baton Rouge.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit brla.gov/cyberworkshop.

Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire

Join us for the 8th Annual Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire, family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, & resourcefulness! This year’s weeklong hybrid event, lasting October 18 – 23, will celebrate makers, library makerspaces, & folks with a passion to learn new skills through interactive workshops, grab & geaux crafts, an outdoor maker market, a showcase of robotics excellence, and a celebration of terrible robots fighting sumo style!

Everything starts this very night with an electronics take-apart workshop at the Bluebonnet Regional Branch at 6:15pm. Check out the schedule of events, and register for each event by clicking its name, visiting the library events calendar, or calling (225) 231-3750 for further assistance.

Monday, October 18 

  • Electronics Take-Apart Workshop – 6:15 p.m. – Bluebonnet Regional Branch Take apart old electronics, explore their parts, & build new simple gadgets and machines with the harvested parts. (Ages 10+)

Tuesday, October 19 

  • Laser Workshop – 6 p.m. – River Center Branch Learn the basics of how to use the laser cutter/engraver, then customize & create your own laser cut & engraved keychain. Complete this training class to reserve the laser cutter/engraver for your next project. (Ages 10+)

Wednesday, October 20 

Thursday, October 21 

  • Cricut Workshop: Personalized Tote Bags – 6 p.m. – Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch Learn how to use the Cricut Explore Air 2 & Cricut EasyPress 2 by making your own tote bags. Materials & hands on instruction will be provided; upon completion, patrons will earn a badge to reserve and use the Cricut products at any branch’s makerspace. (Ages 10+)

Saturday, October 23 

Hebocon: Low Tech Robot Fight

Fight, robots, fight! Do you love technology, but aren’t super amazing at it?  Your time has come.  We’re hosting a Hebocon at this year’s Mini Maker Faire.

Come to the Main Library at Goodwood to build the best worst robot out of trash, and send it to fight other terrible robots for a shot at glory!  The showdown begins Saturday, October 23 at 1 PM.  You can register in advance here.  May the worst win!

Don’t miss the rest of this year’s Maker Faire events, either – find the schedule on the Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire website!

Sprocket approved!

LinkedIn Learning Popular Courses for October

Lynda is now LinkedIn Learning! Log on with your library card number and library account password (the same one you use for our online catalog), and check out these popular courses:

  • Marketing Communications
  • Leading a Marketing Team
  • Writing a Press Release
  • Google Universal Analytics Essential Training (2020)
  • Advertising on Facebook
  • Personal Branding on Social Media
  • Brand and Marketing Integration
  • Advanced Branding
  • Create a Brand Strategy
  • Building an Integrated Online Marketing Plan

Final Girls & the Evolution of the Slasher Film with June Pulliam

The Fall Frights horror series for adults continues! Join us this Sunday, October 3rd, for a presentation by LSU Distinguished Instructor June Pulliam on horror’s favorite final girls and the evolution of the slasher film.

Love horror? Check out the other events in the Fall Frights series (viewer discretion advised):

Next month, we’ll spotlight CREATURE FEATURES.
Registration is available online or call 225-231-3750 for assistance.

44th Annual Author-Illustrator: Salina Yoon

Mark your calendar now! Join us virtually for the FREE 44th Annual Author-Illustrator Program featuring award-winning children’s author and illustrator Salina Yoon! A Geisel Honor-winner, Yoon is author and illustrator of a dozen picture books and early readers, and nearly 200 innovative novelty books, with more than 4.5 million books sold worldwide. Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship, which was released in November 2019, is a picture book she co-authored and illustrated with international tidying superstar and bestselling author, Marie Kondo. Yoon’s other awards include the Award for Excellence in a Picture Book for Found, the New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award for Penguin and Pinecone, Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award for Duck, Duck, Porcupine!, and many more.

Everyone is invited to join us via Zoom at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 7, for a FREE program suitable for children and anyone who is interested in Yoon’s work. Pre-registration is required. Visit the Events Calendar at www.ebrpl.com to register. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants before
the program.

Teachers, librarians, writers, artists and children’s literature enthusiasts are invited to reconnect with the Library via Zoom at 10 a.m. Friday, October 8, for a special FREE virtual workshop presented by Yoon. In this workshop, “Creating a Culture of READERS!”, Yoon will highlight how to inspire students to find those books that they can connect to, and show educators/librarians how to create their own concept book using their creative thinking skills, which is an activity they can recreate in their classroom and use with their students. Yoon will also share the many different ways to create a culture of readers, for today, tomorrow, and the future. To register for the Friday, October 8 virtual workshop, call the Main Library Children’s Room at (225) 231-3760, or sign up on the Events Calendar. The workshop will be archived and freely accessible to all registered participants for two weeks.

Selected books by Yoon will be available for purchase throughout October. For more information, contact Children’s Services at (225)231-3760. Pre-autographed book plates will be included with book sales. This program is sponsored by Children’s Services of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library and the Patrons of the Public Library. For more information about author and illustrator Salina Yoon and her books, visit her website.