Flood Cleanup Resources

There are several places that have done their best to collect all information regarding the flooding in Louisiana into a central location. Some of the sites below are comprehensive in their coverage of the flooding and of flood support resources in the community.

  • WAFB’s list of assistance and relief information is an alphabetized collection of service organizations here and in New Orleans, and how to contact them for aid.
  • The Louisiana Flood 2016 site can be slow due to heavy usage, but in particular has a section on volunteer opportunities for people who want to give their time, but aren’t sure who to contact or where to start.
  • The library’s Disaster Recovery infoguide is updated frequently with additional links to information and resources.
  • The governor’s office has created a page of Resources for Flood Victims, which covers available state and federal aid sources for finding temporary housing, registering damages for FEMA, recovering your business, and more.
  • Flood Help Louisiana is a site designed to connect contractors, shelters, volunteers, food drives, and more with people who need them. People who have something to give can register what they’re offering, and people who need help can register to be connected with someone who can help them.

The National Guard has set up points of distribution (PODs) at the following locations:

  • Miracle Place Church  2080 Main St., Baker
  • Healing Place Church    19202 Highland Road
  • First Pentecostal Church  2828 Jones Creek Road 
  • Greenwell Springs Library 11300 Greenwell Springs Road Baton Rouge, LA 70809

These locations will be open from 8 AM-8 PM until further notice, and will be distributing MREs, bottled water, and ice. People who stop by to get supplies should stay in their cars while their items are loaded in.

Flood Support Events in Baton Rouge

Especially in times of crisis, it’s important to give yourself time to wind down. If you need a break this weekend, even if just for a few hours, lots of local organizations are stepping up to provide entertainment and a chance to rest your mind for a little while, while also donating to those who were affected by the flood. Here are a few:

  • Tonight at 7 PM, the Manship Theatre will have a free showing of Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs. The Manship will be showing free family-friendly movies, with free concessions, throughout the weekend, at showtimes of 10 AM and 1 PM. Donations of canned food will go towards flood relief.
  • Sistars of Empowerment is offering a Parent Support Session where children will be cared for from 10 AM-2 PM at the Main Library. Snacks and activities will be provided for the children. Registration is available through their website. (If you or your child need additional help dealing with stress in this difficult time, please call Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana’s Kidline at 1-800-244-5373. Lines are open from 8 AM-8 PM.)
  • At 10:45 AM, join Tread BR at The Overpass Merchant for a donation-based 45-minute workout. All proceeds will benefit the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Flood Relief Fund. Bring your own mat (or towel) and water, and then pack it up to go to:
  • the Fundraiser Under the Overpass. More than thirty local restaurants, breweries, and other local sponsors have come together to provide all you can eat food and drinks for a $25 minimum donation, which will also benefit the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Flood Relief Fund. They will also be accepting donations of basic supplies like bedding, toiletries, and clothes.
  • Sunday at 9 AM, yoga studios from all over Baton Rouge (including previous Business Person of the Month, Phi Nguyen, of Agame Yoga) will have a flood-relief class for a suggested minimum donation of $20.

If you want to volunteer, but aren’t sure how, a great way to start is by contacting your local church or civic organization. WAFB’s running list of assistance and flood relief information is a great way to identify area coordinators, such as Edge Church, Family Worship Center, and the Jewel J. Newman Community Center.

And as always, if you need something to read, something to watch, or someone to help you answer a question or find information, the library is always there. We’re on a temporarily adjusted schedule of 10 AM-6 PM today and tomorrow and will be open from 2-6 PM on Sunday, and the Digital Library is always open.

Library Storm Resources

All branches of the library that have not suffered storm damage will be open from 10 AM-6 PM through Saturday, and from 2-6PM on Sunday. The Baker Branch and the Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch are closed for repairs.

Library workers are available to help you with FEMA documentation and other emergency response documents. We have recently created a Disaster Recovery Infoguide that contains information specific to this weekend’s flooding and will be updated as more information is released.

1.  www.disasterassistance.gov

This website is for people seeking Federal assistance from FEMA. There is a registration process. The contact phone is 1-800-621-3362. The FEMA “Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals & Households Program” is here:


Copies should be available at the information desk at your branch.

2.  www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=360

This website is for those seeking disaster assistance from the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It may be easier to Google Louisiana DSNAP to access the site. Again there is a registration process. The contact phone is 1-888-524-3578.

Typically initial information necessary to complete either of these registrations includes:

Name, social security number, and birth date for each household member
Parish where you currently live
Residential address
Monthly income for each household member
Liquid resources for each household member such as:
Cash on Hand
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
Money Market Accounts

  • The final acceptance date for federal tax returns due after August 15th has been pushed back to January 17th, 2017.
  • The Advocate is publishing a running list of parish and state offices that are closed due to flooding, and their expected opening dates, if any have been published.
  • Louisiana DOTD is maintaining a frequently updated map of road closures and areas that are still flooded.
  • All open branches (again, that’s all of them but Baker and Greenwell Springs Road) are accepting donations of new socks in all sizes. Drop off your donations at the children’s desk of your local branch.
  • BREC is opening emergency camps for children who are unable to attend school. The camps will be located at Independence, Highland, Jackson, Zachary Community Parks and T.D. Bickham Park in Baker, for a price of $14 a day or $50 per week where closures are expected to last for a longer period of time.

We are proud to be serving the community of Baton Rouge in this difficult time, and proud of our place in Southern Louisiana.

Laser Tag at the Library

If you are a teenager, or you know a teenager, or you have any concept of what “fun” is – y’all, this is so cool. You’re going to love it. Are you ready?

In June, four branches of the library will partner with Cajun Laser Tag to offer two hours of free laser tag to all teenagers who show up with a signed permission form. Forms are available at the Greenwell Springs Road, Bluebonnet, and Jones Creek Branches, and at the Main Library.

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The dates and times are as follows:

  • 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch
  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, Bluebonnet Regional Branch
  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, Main Library at Goodwood
  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, Jones Creek Regional Branch


After last week’s program on the genealogy of Huey P. Long, you probably want to look into your own family history. The library’s genealogy department can help, with free access to databases and online programs you can’t find anywhere else. (Well, you can find them. But they cost money.)

We’ve got your standard genealogy sites (those marked with an asterisk can only be accessed via library computers or on library wifi):

resources dedicated to the unique challenges of tracing African American ancestry (check out our earlier blog post for more information!):

and digital newspaper archives, which you can use to look up all the weird hijinks your relatives got up to once you find out who they were:

Not sure where to get started? Register for one of our genealogy classes, or get more information, by calling the genealogy department at (225) 231-3751.

Well, why not.

Check out the Long genealogy presentation on the One Book, One Community 2016 infoguide, in the “State History” tab!

Red Stick International Fest Event Schedule

The Red Stick International Festival is coming this Saturday to a library near you! If you live near the Main Library on Goodwood, anyway. Check out our previous blog post and LSU’s event page for more information.

  • Kids Lab, 10am – 3pm

Included activities: Exhibits by Knock Knock Children’s Museum, NASA /Stennis, Arduino showcase/ local school art creations; Lego lab; Minecraft showcase and live lab; and an Interactive art project on Library windows, and more. Ages 6 and up, minors need parent or guardian present.

Knock Knock Children’s Museum is partnering with LSU’s College of Human Sciences & Education, LSU College of Art & Design, and the LSU Center for Computation & Technology to transform the children’s storytelling rooms of the library into a playground of light, shadows and motion. Children will be delighted in using traditional materials to interact with light, color and images projected from digital devices.

Elevator Projects is having a make-your-own Star Wars costume party and Galactic Photobooth – check out their Facebook post for more information!

  • Maker Expo, 1pm – 5pm

Venue provided by the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system. Electronic Arts  – featuring playable demos of game, Acadian Robotics,  the only 3D printer manufacturer in Louisiana,  LSU’s Digital Media Arts & Engineering program and featuring digital and technology makers from around the area .

  • Cones & Drones, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Enjoy free tasty sno-cones and a camera drone demonstration in the plaza.

  • Movies on the Plaza, 6:30pm


Authors Row 2016

Come out to the Jones Creek Regional Branch this Saturday, April 23rd, to meet local Louisiana authors!

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Featured works and authors include, but are not limited to:

  • Business and entrepreneurial titles from Monique Moliere Piper, David Walton Earle and Steve Kubicek. Tonia Askins will have Self-publishing Like a Pro to help you get your own book in print!
  • Or you can learn from children’s author Brian Daigle How to Eat a Book! Terri Hoover Dunham will also be there with her Christmas tale The Legend of Papa Noel.
  • Fun mysteries such as The First Case of Beers by M.LaRose, Louisiana-based political thrillers by Martha Gabour Manuel (great for people who’ve finished the One Book, One community read and want more!), and serious true crime like Familiar Evil by Rannah Gray, based on the murder suicide of local TV celebrity Scott Rogers.
  • Romance novels by Lynn Shurr, Shirley McCoy, and Anne Clayre Mason, and paranormal romance from Sharyn Schmitz.
  • Inspirational works from Rev. S.M. Woods, Yvette D., Tremaine Sterling, and more.
  • Last but not least, Emily Cogburn will be there to discuss Louisiana Saves the Library, a great Southern read for everyone who likes libraries and life in the South – and that’s all of us!

These authors and more will all be there with books available for purchase and autograph, and will be happy to discuss their works with you. Don’t miss this fantastic annual event at the Jones Creek Regional Branch! Call Yvonne Hull at (225) 756-1180.

Temporary Change in River Center Branch Hours

Fridays only, the River Center Branch will experience a shift in hours to accommodate the spring season of the downtown Live After Five Concert Series.

River Center Branch will be open 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, instead of their usual hours of 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, on the following Fridays:

  • April 1
  • April 8
  • April 15
  • April 22
  • April 29
  • May 6
  • May 13
  • May 20

Check out the concert lineup to make sure you don’t miss this great local music tradition. It’s free!

Business Time

The Gale Virtual Reference Library  has been refreshed and updated with Brand New Titles for Brand New Businesses – and education, and art, and more!

We’re going to focus on business, though, because the closer we get to summer, the more our thoughts are turning to vacation possibilities, and two-week cruises through the Caribbean are not cheap.

One day. (dramatic sigh)


There are lots of options to choose from:

2016-03-29 10_34_39-Gale Virtual Reference Library - Basic Search

You can learn about everything from how to get and keep a job, how to get promoted, and how to make your money make you money. Nothing in this life gets a free ride; why should your bank account?

But that’s a lot of books. And I mean, books are great, obviously; it’s just hard to speed-read one to get some quick tips on confident public speaking before a big meeting. Thank glob for advanced search functions!

2016-03-29 16_07_29-Gale Virtual Reference Library - Advanced Search

And there you go. Easy bite-sized results right at your fingertips, perfect for cramming in your eyeballs on short notice.

Check out the new titles in the Gale Virtual Reference Library today!