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 firstname.lastname@example.org.