Data USA

Like statistics? If you’ve gotten used to the resources available on the library’s digital statistics resource, Statista, it might be time to check out DataUSA!

DataUSA (not a library resource, just awesome) uses data collected from all kinds of federal agencies to tell stories about, well, all kinds of things – for example, you can learn about the degrees with best immediate payoff in the job market; then the best places to go to school for different degrees; move on to where the best job prospects for engineering grads can be found; and finish off with a study of happiest places to retire.

Included in this post are screen-grabbed examples of the categories you will find and some of the stories in each category, and you can also watch the following short video for more information:

Happy analyzing, Baton Rouge!

Movies in the Plaza

Every Friday in June (starting with this very night!) the Main Library will show a free family movie in the Plaza at 7 PM! Check out the schedule:

  • June 2nd (tonight)! – Zootopia
  • June 9th – Tangled
  • June 16th – Field of Dreams
  • June 23rd – Back to the Future
  • June 30th – The LEGO Batman Movie

In case of weather, movies will be shown in the Large Meeting Room.

Summer Reading!

It’s finally here! It’s summer reading time!

Reading logs went out yesterday, and are available for pickup at all branches. We’ve got THREE WHOLE PROGRAMS this year – one for kids, one for teens, and one for adults – so there’s no reason not to put some books in your face this summer.

Adults can join Red Stick Reads! Teens in 6-12th grade and children from birth to fifth grade will Build a Better World with every book they finish. Everyone who turns in their completed reading log by July 31st will be handsomely rewarded!

You’ll be like Bilbo, but with library goodies!

Sign up today!

Baton Rouge’s Human Library Opens Again in May

If you missed the Human Library™ at the Ebb and Flow Festival last weekend (which was, unfortunately, closed for weather on its second day), you’ll have another chance to visit it in May! The May edition of the Human Library will open at the Main Library on Goodwood on Saturday, May 6th, from 1-5 PM.

Some of the Living Books will be “renewed” for the May event, but we’ll have some new titles, too – and if you have a story that deserves to be told, now’s your chance! Applications for Living Books for the May event are now open. If you are part of one of the following groups and have a story you want to tell, please consider applying:

  • Minority ethnicity
  • Life with a physical or mental disability
  • Non-traditional family structure
  • Military or police service
  • Religious background or beliefs
  • LGBTQIA
  • Community activist

For more information, contact Ned Denby at 225-231-3750.

The History of Baton Rouge’s Mardi Gras Parades

by Baton Rouge Room archivist Emily Ward

King Ugandi

The first Mardi Gras parade in Baton Rouge was sponsored by two African American clubs, the Purple Circle Social Club and the “colored Esso Boosters,” and took place in 1941.  The Esso Boosters were responsible for sponsoring King Ugandi and his float for the event.  King Ugandi was represented by Ernest Dupuy, employed by Y. & M. V. check office.  The King and his parade followers rolled down South Blvd., on to East Blvd., North Blvd. and  ending on Government Street where the revelers attended a ball at the Club’s headquarters.  There was an estimated 20,000 people, both White and Black, that showed up to watch the festivities.  When asked about the choice of names for the king, the response was this, “Ugandi is a British protectorate in East Central Africa.  It consists of 110,300 square miles and has a population of more than three million highly cultured Negroes.  Hence—King Ugandi.” (Matthews Jr., 1941, p. 14). Visit the following links to read the original announcement in Standard Oil’s newsletter, then called The Stanocolan:

The Stanocolan, pg. 1

The Stanocolan, pg. 2

 

Once Upon a Time

A float from a 1951 parade.

What was believed to be the first, but was actually the second, Mardi Gras parade took place in 1949 and was sponsored by the Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC) of Baton Rouge.  The theme was Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes and consisted of 33 floats all representing a nursery rhymes, 4 marching bands from local high schools, and torch bearers.  The parade rolled downtown and made a loop back to the American Legion Community Club where a ball was hosted in honor of Mardi Gras royalty and nobility.

Before 1949, if you wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras, the options were limited to New Orleans or to one of the smaller parades such as those in New Roads or Lafayette.  There was also the more traditional Mardi Gras celebration that took place in the small Cajun town of Mamou which involved the Courir de Mardi Gras – a traditional rural celebration where participants ride through the countryside costumed and masked collecting ingredients for the evening gumbo.   The Baton Rouge parade attracted some of the largest crowds the city had ever seen and that popularity allowed the YMBC to sponsor the parades for eight years.

When there were no parades

There was no definitive reason given by YMBC when they dropped their sponsorship of the annual Mardi Gras Parade and subsequent ball in 1957; however, other groups and organizations kept the celebration going by hosting private balls and parties for members of their organizations or clubs.  The archives houses the Mystic Krewe of Desk and Derrick collection, which is a women’s organization dedicated to the education of women in the oil and gas industry.  They have hosted an annual ball since 1961 that still thrives today.  Another organization whose records are stored in the Baton Rouge Room Archives is the Mystic Krewe of Apollo, which began hosting a lavish bal masqué (masked ball) in 1980.

La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale and the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Association

In 1976, two krewes decided to put on a parade for Baton Rouge.  The krewes Knights of Nineveh and the Ladies of Antiope paraded with 68 units, 14 floats, and 7 bands and was sponsored by the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Association.  Mayor-President Woody Dumas served as Grand Marshal and rode in a convertible at the head of the parade.  Nearly 100,000 people came out to view the parade that began in the Rebel Shopping Center on Florida Blvd. and rolled East to E. Airport Drive. Ever wondered what the “mystique” or “mystic” meant? This is a designation applied to krewes that will not reveal the identities of their royalty until the opening of a parade or a ball.

In 1977, new krewes and parades begin to develop.  La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale became the premier parade Krewe in Baton Rouge.  This parade and Krewe is meant to be for the Capital City and not specific to any one neighborhood or specific group or organization.  It’s mission is to bring Mardi Gras to Baton Rouge.  Today, La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale’s parade is one of the longest running parades in the city.

The Mystique Krewe parade route, 1977.

The most recent city parades to be added to the itinerary of Mardi Gras celebrations are the Krewe of Orion, added in 1998, and the Krewe of Artemis, an off-shoot of Orion, added in 2003.  Orion began as a co-ed organization and then split to create its sister Krewe of Artemis, which is a women’s only Krewe. These krewes are still an integral part of the Baton Rouge parade scene.  You can see these parades a few weeks before “Fat Tuesday.”

Neighborhood Parades

From 1979 to 1981, two new krewes were added to the mix.  The first in 1979 was the Krewe of Rio, which paraded on Burgin Avenue. In 1981, Don Zeringue announced that the historic Spanish Town neighborhood would host its own parade. The Spanish Town parade became well known for its satire and as a medium to critique and poke fun at current events and politics.  Sporting a pink flamingo as the official mascot, this parade has only grown in popularity through the years and has added an array of parade favorites such as the Krewe of Yazoo Lawnmowers Drill Team and the Prancing Babycakes to name a few.

In 1989, Southdown Flambeau Parade was added to the Mardi Gras Roster.  This parade rolls out from S. Pickett Street and ends at Acadian Thruway and Perkins.  A family friendly parade, the identifying characteristic is the use of flambeau.  Flambeau is a type of flaming torch typically with three candles.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Krewe of Southdowns.

There are many smaller krewes that host or have hosted community parades that deserve mention as well. See the list below:

  • Poor Man’s Parade: Gulf State Regional Institute and Burbank parade
  • Mystic Krewe of LaCumba de Jaguar: Southern University Krewe
  • Krewe of the Tiger: LSU Krewe
  • East Gate Mardi Gras: Old Hammond Hwy.
  • Krewe of Girl Scouts
  • Krewe of Grease: Cotton Club parade

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!

Historical Software Collection

Visit the Historical Software Collection online and play PacMan the way it was made to be played – via a software emulator right in your computer browser!

SEE – the original 8-bit graphics in all their glory!

HEAR – the sounds of whatever early-childhood video game memories you’ve most been missing! We’re pretty partial to the Mario universe, but oh my gosh The Hobbit get out of the way —

2016-11-03-14_36_07-mame_-zx-spectrum-spectrum
We’re finally going to get to be Gandalf!

This is just another of the wonderful projects brought to you by the Internet Archive. Check out all the weird things previous generations used to have to do to use computers! Experiment with old time management software! Try to write anything in green text on a black background! And then go and thank someone for the screen you’re using to read this document, you hooligans.

If you are one of the people who made this great age of technology possible, we thank you for your dedication. Godspeed.

Go play some video games!

We'll be back in five hours.
We’ll be back in five hours.

Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

Black Quotidian is an excellent resource for anyone interested in African American history and culture. Each day, a newspaper article from that date in history is posted from sources like the Atlanta Daily World, Baltimore Afro-American,Chicago Defender, and Philadelphia Tribune, along with summary of and short commentary on the events discussed or the period in history from which the article is taken.

2016-09-10-10_15_53-black-quotidian

While the articles tend to have a focus on historical events, particularly when the date has historical significance, curator Matt Delmont also includes human interest pieces on everything from beauty pageants to homecoming dances. The project is intended to bring attention to the depth and variety of information available through African-American newspapers and to encourage their use in the classroom. Articles are posted as PDFs and include any photographs published with the original issue.

Black Quotidian is a fascinating project worth investigating by anyone with an interest in history, culture, or journalism, particularly that with an African-American focus.

The Last Mission to the Moon

Man’s last mission to the moon was Apollo 17. The spacecraft launched on December 7th, 1972; all astronauts returned safely to Earth on December 19th. You can travel along with them at Apollo 17 in Real-Time, where all 300 hours of audio, 22 hours of video, and 4200 photographs have been released to the public.

Start off with the beginning of the launch, or join in wherever the playback is now. The interface looks like this:

2016-08-02 08_48_00-Apollo 17 in Real-time

The squares on the far right are images and videos that match the timestamps of the sound recording that’s playing, but you can click or scroll through as you like. You can follow along with the transcript, take a guided tour of the site and of the events, or read commentary on the mission.

This site is an amazing resource for anyone who’s ever looked up at the stars and wondered what it’s like to go to them. If space is what fuels your imagination, head to the library to check out items like these: