Self-Publishing @the Library

Get that novel out of the drawer and self-publish it for free at the library!

We’ve got several electronic platforms that, individually or in concert, will be perfect for your creative brainchild. If you want to standardize your book’s digital formatting and make sure it reads the way you want, check out Pressbooks! You can upload a file or even just copy and paste what you’re working on, and export a shiny new file in the format of your choice when you’re finished.

From Pressbooks, you can send your book to SELF-e for publication in the library’s ebook collection! SELF-e is an ebook submission platform managed by Library Journal. It’s completely free to submit to, and if your book is selected for publication (almost all are), it will be included in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Biblioboard collection. They’ve recently revamped the submission process to make it easier and more streamlined than ever!

Your book could even be chosen as biblioboard_1a Library Journal Select Title,
meaning it would be shared with collections across the country – or anywhere a library has signed up for the Biblioboard service. We’ll be able to feature it in a variety of collections. You can use your profile on Biblioboard to grow your readership and support your new career as a published author!

Get started today!

SELF-e and Biblioboard

It’s time to get that novel out of the bottom drawer of your desk, dust it off, and get it published – with the library’s new self-publishing duo, SELF-e and Biblioboard.

When you submit a book to SELF-e, it goes through a low-key review process by Library Journal – mostly just to check for file formatting errors and very basic readability standards, like the occasional presence of verbs. Some books are chosen as “Select” titles, which are shared with Biblioboard users across the country.

biblioboard_1

All accepted titles, though, will be published to the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Biblioboard collection. Readers will be able to add them to favorites lists, comment on their favorite parts, and share their opinions with other Biblioboard users – it’s kind of like Goodreads, but the books are already there, too.

SELF-e and Biblioboard are great resources for everyone who’s interested in reading and connecting with local authors – and for those authors who want to reach more readers with their self-published works. Try them today, or check out our infoguide for more information!

Free Media Refresher Post

If you’re hoping for some shiny new electronics this Crimbo and you need some other uses for them besides “Paperweight: Fancy Executive Style,” may I suggest free stuff from the library?

GET EXCITED

Books!

  • OverDrive – One-stop shop for all your ebook and audiobook needs! Can you call something a “shop” if it’s free? You get the idea.
  • One Click Digital – EVEN MORE ebooks and audiobooks! If it’s not in OverDrive, it might be here. There is no overlap in the two collections, providing you with even more content.
  • Comics Plus Library Edition – OverDrive for single-issue comics!

Magazines!

  • Zinio – Digital copies of all your favorite periodicals! Beyoncé is in here, y’all. This is not a drill.
    • Beyoncé was on the cover of Vogue and Vogue is in here.
    • It still counts.
    • Make sure you get the “Zinio for Libraries” app instead of the just-plain-Zinio one!
  • Flipster – Kind of like Overdrive and One Click Digital, this is a supplementary digital magazine collection – this one is easier to use, and doesn’t require you to download the magazine!
This could be us, but you playing.

Movies! (Some of these are not apps, but you can still get to them from the library’s home page and watch them on your…whatever you have.)

  • Criterion Collection – Is not an app. Is instead streaming content of all films considered part of the Criterion Collection. Neat!
  • IndieFlix – Short and full-length indie films you can access with your library card!
  • OverDrive – EVEN MORE THINGS (what can’t it do?) (Wash dishes, that’s what.) (But it can suggest some resources on how to keep your house clean.)

Languages! The linked infoguide has information about most of our language learning provided software, like Mango, Muzzy (a great resource for kids!), ESL, and Signing Savvy! We’ve also got Pronunciator.

There’s literally nothing you can’t do!

We use this gif a lot because it’s just so true.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Have you tried Gale Virtual Reference Library yet? It’s a great eBook database in our Digital Library for all your reference needs. You can search by subject or keyword. The GVRL collection also includes an extensive list of titles in the “Complete Idiot’s Guide” series, including books on language learning, computer help, health, cooking, crafts, and more.

The books are available 24-7 and you don’t need to download them so they won’t take up any space on your computer or handheld device. All you need in order to access the collection is a library card and an Internet connection. You can even download specific chapters for later use as PDF files. Check out Gale Virtual Reference Library today!

gvrl

OverDrive Big Library Read: Shakespeare Saved My Life

Join us and other libraries worldwide as together we take part in a huge community read of the inspiring true story Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates. The Big Library Read program started March 17 and will run through March 31. During this time, the eBook will be available for simultaneous use, which means no holds or waiting lists. We will have unlimited eBook copies of the book available through OverDrive. Check out a copy and join our Big Library eBook Read today!

Here’s a description of the boshakespeare-savedok:

Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before — supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Thus begins the most unlikely of friendships, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years—a friendship that, in the end, would save more than one life.

New Louisiana Titles on OverDrive

Just in time for our spring 2015 One Book, One Community reading of A Confederacy of Dunces by Louisiana author John Kennedy Toole, we have a new selection of Louisiana titles available in our OverDrive collection. We also have OverDrive copies available of Dunces and a great line-up of programs for all ages this spring. All you need is your library card to log in and download an eBook or audiobook today!

empire-kristla-crawfish-irwinmad-madame-lalauriehaunted-nolagame-wardennola-food-bionola-stylenola-suitenola-carnival-krewesnew-orleans-undergroundpatriotic firevoodoo

Spring 2015 One Book, One Community Selection: A Confederacy of Dunces

This spring’s One Book, One Community selection is A Confederacy of Dunces by Louisiana author John Kennedy Toole. In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s publication, we have a great series of programs for all ages centered around this New Orleans classic.Confederacy

Join us downtown this Saturday, February 28, as we kick off our spring 2015 One Book, One Community celebration with a New Orleans-style street party in Town Square. The family-friendly party is from 6 to 9 and will feature music from the Mike Foster Project, food trucks, face painting, fortune telling, and fun. See you Saturday!

Check out our Dunces InfoGuide for more on the book, the author, and the series of events we have for you this spring.

 

Book Review: My Salinger Year

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff. Reviewed by Louise Hilton. 

Joanna Rakoff’s nonfiction debut chronicles her year spent as the assistant to the head of a literary agency in Manhattan in the late 1990s. The agency’s most important client? J. D. Salinger, hence the title. A bright and eager twentysomething, the bookish Rakoff is thrilled at landing a job at the prestigious Agency, as the never-named company is referred to throughout the book. Imagine her surprise when she arrives in the dimly lit office to find a dusty old Selectric typewriter and a stack of tapes waiting for her to listen to on a Dictaphone (remember those? I didn’t think so.) This, in 1996. The office is so old-fashioned that by the end of Rakoff’s time with the agency, her boss’s one concession to the encroaching digital age is the addition of a sole computer for the entire office to share.

Far from what she’d thought would be the glamorous world of publishing, Rakoff spends her days transcribing her boss’s dictated letters and sorting through the Agency’s most important client’s fan mail. When she started working there, Rakoff had yet to read any of Salinger’s work so she’s at first surprised by the dozens of letters that arrive each week for him. Once she reads the heartfelt messages from frustrated teenagers à la Holden Caulfield to aging veterans like Salinger himself, she realizes the profound effect novels such as The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey had on his readers. She decides to write personalized replies to some – utterly ignoring Agency protocol of sending form letters to fans – which leads to interesting consequences.

Rakoff also touches on the post-graduate ennui she and some of her friends experienced and details her life outside of work, living in Brooklyn – before it was cool – with a tiresome man. Luckily she finally realizes what a nightmare their relationship is (jealous “writer” boyfriend with socialist leanings and an absurdly healthy ego, need I say more?) and strikes out on her own.

A highlight of the book is when Rakoff settles in to read all of Salinger’s novels one lonely weekend. She captures perfectly the transformative experience of reading Salinger for the first time, discovering that his novels are not just for angst-filled teenagers like his beloved Holden: “Salinger was not cutesy. His work was not nostalgic. These were not fairy tales about child geniuses traipsing the streets of Old New York. Salinger was nothing like I’d thought. Nothing. Salinger was brutal. Brutal and funny and precise. I loved him. I loved it all.”

Far from a gimmicky tell-all about her brush with literary fame – although her retelling of the phone calls she received from the famously reclusive Salinger and their one meeting in the flesh are exciting to read about – My Salinger Year is a lovely ode to books, reading, and New York. It’s also an engrossing read about a young woman finding her way in the world and at a mere 249 pages, I found it woefully short. This is by far my top pick of 2014.

*An abridged version of this review first appeared in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) on 1/25/15.

Book Review: And the Dark Sacred Night

And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass. Reviewed by Louise Hilton.

Kit Noonan is going through a midlife crisis.  An academic who’s been out of work for two years, he is floundering, haunted by his lifelong wish to uncover the identity of his biological father, a secret his mother and stepfather Jasper kept from him.  Kit’s wife, out of patience with his sad sack ways, encourages him to revisit his childhood home in search of answers.  The narrative alternates between Kit’s trip back to the gruff but lovable Jasper’s house and flashbacks to his mother’s youth and his own childhood.

If you read Glass’s debut, the National Book Award winner Three Junes, you’ll likely remember Lucinda, Fenno, and Malachy, all of whom play important roles in this novel as well. Glass is a master at portraying different truths of the human condition, in this case, our ineffable need to know where we come from and to feel a connection to our past.  Her characters’ back stories combine seamlessly to lead Kit – and the reader – on his journey of discovery.  I highly recommend this beautifully written, touching novel about family, regret, memory, and, above all, love. The title tells it all: taken from the lyrics “the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night” of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”, it reminds us how magical the world really is.