Game On!

Celebrate International Games Day by getting your game on at the library from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, November 20 at the Main Library at Goodwood! Bring the whole family to this all-ages, free event and see how many different games you can play in one day! Go from card games to life-sized games, enjoy a board game before switching to the VR headset, connect with local gaming groups and stores like Little Wars and more… come to the library for some fun and friendly competition!
Come to the Teen Room anytime Saturday and pick up a Grab and Geaux DIY Skee Ball.

All Libraries Will Close for Veterans Day

Thursday, 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.

All branches of the library will be closed tomorrow for Veterans Day. All branches will reopen on Friday, November 12th, for regular hours.

17th Annual Sock It to Me Drive

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 17th 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 Monday, November 1, and last through Tuesday, 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 in the Children’s Room at each Library location. For more information, call Children’s Services at (225) 231-3760.

21st Annual Attic Treasures

Bring your collectibles, antiques and other treasures for expert review to the FREE 21st Annual Attic Treasures & Collectibles Event at the Main Library at Goodwood from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, November 6! It’s very similar to what you see on Antiques Roadshow, which runs on LPB TV. Each year, people line up with their treasures at this event, and everyone in the community is welcome. This is the time to raid your attics, cupboards, closets and garages for that interesting or antique art, old toys, pottery, jewelry, rifles, war artifacts, small furniture or other items of interest and see what the story is behind it and possibly more. There is a limit of three items per person at the event, and experts will be on hand to look at your collectibles and antiques. Come for the antiques viewings but bring your Library card to stay and visit our facilities and checkout some of our resources. Library staff will be available to demonstrate the use of the Prices4Antiques Reference Database, frequently used by experts on Antiques Roadshow and available in-house and remotely to all patrons FREE with an East Baton Rouge Parish Library card. For more information about the 21st Annual Attic Treasures & Collectibles Event, call (225) 231-3740. Get more information about Library resources for antiques and collectibles online at https://ebrpl.libguides.com/antiques. To learn more about the Library and any of its free programs, events and resources, call (225) 231-3750, or visit us on the web at www.ebrpl.com.

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.