Community Information Database

How can I find a math tutor for my sixth grader? Where can I receive a copy of my birth certificate? Whom can I call to join a local gardening club? Is there anyone available to speak to groups about journalism? Is there any place to recycle my old computer?

The East Baton Rouge Parish Public library fields these and similar questions all the time. In fact, to facilitate answers for these questions we have compiled the Community Information Database (CID), a continuously updated resource containing records for over 1,200 agencies, organizations, clubs, tutors, and speakers serving the East Baton Rouge Parish area.

The Community Information Database saves our staff and patrons time. Rather than fumbling through the blue pages or scanning endless governmental websites every time a community information question arises, the directory allows for instantaneous, directed searches by keyword, subject, and name.

How is that better than using an online search engine? First of all, unlike, say, a Google search, Community Information Database records have been vetted by staff and come directly from the horse’s mouth – the organizations themselves. Web searches can’t provide that kind of fidelity. Secondly, web searches return vast numbers – sometimes millions – of unrelated and misleading hits. The Community Information Database is small enough that you will not miss a listing on account of it being buried under irrelevant hits.

In addition to saving time and hassle for patrons and staff, the CID provides more information than you will ever find in the phone books. It collates information about an organization’s services (especially in regard to governmental agencies) that otherwise would not appear in the same place in compartmentalized web pages or phone directories.

Patrons may search the directory by selecting the “Community Information” link at our homepage located at www.ebr.lib.la.us.

In addition to the online database, a print version of the Community Information Database called the Community Services Directory (CSD) is published every other year (we will publish the 2008 version at the end of this summer). The CSD contains records for 400-plus groups which provide public service to the East Baton Rouge Parish area. A copy is provided for every reference desk in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System. Members of the public may purchase copies for $16 at the Main Library’s circulation desk.

If you have any questions about the CSD or the CID; would like to have your group included – or add yourself as a tutor; or wish to speak to a Librarian regarding the contents of the directories, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (225) 231-3750, or by email at cis@ebr.lib.la.us.

New Overdrive Media Console Available

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library just received the following press release from OverDrive Media:

OverDrive Media Console (OMC) v3.0, now available at your digital library website, offers many features that your patrons have been anticipating. You and all your users are invited to upgrade to the new OMC v3.0.

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from our Transfer Wizard, we have added a Burn to CD Wizard. With OMC v3.0, patrons no longer need to launch Windows Media Player to burn to CD. Instead, in just a few clicks, patrons can burn WMA audio titles through OMC. Clicking the ‘Burn’ button launches the Burn Wizard, which guides the user through this simple and straightforward burn process. For your audiobook users who burn titles to CD, they will be excited to learn that the new Burn Wizard splits OverDrive’s Audiobook parts into tracks (based on the existing MediaMarkers), allowing users to more easily navigate content they have burned to CD.

As announced and covered in the press, OverDrive will introduce the new OverDrive MP3 Audiobook (compatible with iPods). OMC v3.0 supports the new MP3 format. When OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks are available (coming Summer 2008), Windows users who have already installed OMC v3.0 will be able to use titles in this format. Users of earlier versions will need to upgrade to OMC v3.0 to enjoy OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks. To learn more about OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks, read the press release and Library Journal’s coverage of the exciting news.

10 Reasons to Have the Library Information Service on Speed Dial

Here are ten reasons to have the Library Information Service’s phone number, (225) 231-3750, on your speed dial.

Get directions when you’re lost

You’re on the road and the address is on 12689 Florida Blvd, but where the heck is that? Call the library and find out it’s between Sherwood and Flannery.

Find a phone number

You can’t remember the name of that car stereo place near the corner of Airline and Cedarcrest, so you can’t call Directory Assistance. The library can go that extra step to help you puzzle it out and then to find the phone number.

Settle an argument

Your friend Steve says that Sammy Sosa hit 54 home runs in 2001 but you are sure it was 64! Call the library and learn it was 64. The next round is on Steve.

You just can’t remember who wrote “Trout Fishing in America” even though you read it (albeit 10 years ago). Call the library before you rub your head raw. The library tells you that it was Richard Brautigan.

Be a better shopper

At a car lot, you can call quickly for NADA quotes.

At an electronics store, you can call for Consumer Reports Best Buys selections.

Stock up your book queue

You’re listening to the radio or to your favorite podcast and you hear a review of a book. Call the library immediately and they will hold it for you. If it’s all checked out, you can get on the reserve list and then the library will call you when its ready for you to pick up.

Stock quotes

Where did Evergreen Solar close today? Is that up or down?

Did oil go up again?

Recipe consultation

What’s a good ratio of vinegar to oil for a classic vinaigrette?

You’ve got an 18 pound turkey. How long and at what temperature should you cook it?

What in the world is in Watergate Salad?

When a dictionary isn’t handy

You’ve already settled into your hammock with a good book, and with only an iced tea and a cell phone nearby, when you run into the word “adamantine”. Call for a quick definition (having the hardness or luster of a diamond).

How do you spell Mediterranean?

Out on the town

The movie you wanted to see is sold out. Call the library to see if any of the other movies is a New York Times Critic’s Choice.

Call to see when and where a movie is playing.

Call to find out if a restaurant received a good review in the paper.

Things to do

You’re stuck in Yuma for the next day and a half. Find out what there is to do in Yuma.

Business Person of the Month: Gabby Loubiere

Gabby Loubiere always dreamed of owning a small grill or bar where people would gather. But not wanting the hassle of serving alcohol or all the cooking involved with a grill, a coffee shop seemed ideal to her. The original plan was a 50/50 business arrangement with a friend, but "at the last moment the friend bailed." The Feltzers, who owned the shopping center then, really wanted a coffee shop there. They encouraged Loubiere to open up as sole owner. She feels this was the best thing that could have happened. When the store became vacant, her stepfather came in to oversee the remodeling. They pulled everything off the walls and started over. She likes being sole owner and having the freedom to make changes as she sees fit. She recently repainted the interior in only three days. "I honestly don't drink much coffee, no more than one or two a day; I was just born with a ton of energy."

The company description of Brew Ha-Ha! is Coffee, Teas and More. And yes, the punctuation is part of the official logo. They feature a large variety of coffees, teas and additives plus a lot of homemade sweets. "The desserts sell pretty quickly; my Double Chocolate Walnut Bars is the customers' favorite followed closely by my homemade Banana Pudding and Mississippi Mud Pie."
read more…

SCORE With Small Business Workshops – Summer 2008

SCORE, Service Core of Retired Executives, offers seminars and workshops on managing your small business. Chapter 141 of SCORE has nearly 40 years experience serving the business community in Baton Rouge and  surrounding parishes.

Starting And Managing Your Business, is a series of seminars offered by the Baton Rouge chapter of SCORE. Topics covered include "Introduction to the business plan, Business taxes, Legal aspects of your business, Technology for business, Advertising & Marketing, Insurance necessary for your business, Banking Requirements and Insurance required for your business." Looking for information on this series, click here or contact the Baton Rouge chapter of SCORE.

Baton Rouge SCORE Chapter 141
7117 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
225-381-7130
E-mail: scorebr@scorebr.org

Hurricane Hotline

Hurricane season is upon us again — and everyone in the Parish knows that the best place to track conditions and stay abreast of developments is the Library’s Hurricane Hotline.

Hurricane Hotline has links to the lastest forecasts and up-to-the-minute information on hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean. The site also contains hurricane preparation lists, evacuation route information, links to books and videos in our catalog, and much more.

And for those grumpy hours in the car trying to get out of harm’s way — there are hurricane games and extreme weather trivia quizzes!

But seriously, Hurricane Hotline is an invaluable resource that consolidates important storm information produced by an uncountable number of agencies. You’ll find the local resources you need when a hurricane’s coming, and you’ll find the state and national resources you need if disaster strikes.

So be prepared for hurricane season 2008 (June 1 – Nov. 30). Visit Hurricane Hotline and make it your hurricane season home page.

Looking for Environmental Records?

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) provides free online access to their collection of scanned public documents through their Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Records available date back to 2000 and include permits for businesses, general correspondence, reports, assessments and citations issued.

Creating an account is simple and there is a helpful tutorial to assist with your search. After logging in, you can search for records by company name, date, type of document and even by the property address. You may view, download, email and print documents. In the future, LDEQ plans to extend the date range of the available documents.

For more information, contact the LDEQ Customer Service Center at 225-219-5337 or toll free at 866-896-5337.

To access the EDMS please go to:
http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/2604/Default.aspx

History Net

History Net is the brainchild of The Weider History Group, publishers of military history magazines like “America’s Civil War,” “Vietnam,” and “Aviation History.” History Net offers a wide range of outstanding articles from their myriad publications as well as wargame reviews, historical photos, and fun features.

Who knew military history could be so entertaining?

Test your hawkish knowledge of military operations with the “Daily Quiz.” Check out the podcast on British history and heritage — you’ll get some great tips on things to see and do on that UK vacation you’ve been planning. (we recommend the Cabinet War Rooms in London…) Join a forum and get your “armchair general” on!!

History Net is a great site full of things to interest even the history-phobe. So check out History Net — and remember, he who forgets his past is doomed to repeat it…

C-Span’s Not So Boring

While C-Span may be not always produce scintillating television, it has managed to produce a pretty cool website. Like its television progenitor, the site is heavy on content, but on the web you have the ability to pick and choose the content that most interests you and discover people and issues you might never have thought to explore. And there’s PLENTY of people and issues to explore!

Our favorites include:

Presidential Libraries
An exploration of the Presidential Library collections from Hoover through Clinton. Lots of old video and memorabilia — very cool.

Lincoln – 200 Years
Online version of C-Span’s ongoing Lincoln Bicentennial programming.

Booknotes (duh!!)
THE place for non-fiction junkies! Featuring 500 of the 800 author interviews from the show’s 16 year run. A great place to meet America’s contemporary scholars and thinkers.

Politics
If you can’t keep up with the current campaign ads and stump speeches, this site has them all, as well as many, many interviews with the candidates. A great resource for the still-undecided.