Red Stick Making Expo

If you like making stuff and doing things, bring the fruits of your labor to the Main Library on April 30th to show them off.


The Making Expo is part of 2016’s Red Stick International Festival, which is so big this year that it happens over two weekends – the dates are April 22nd, for opening ceremonies, video game tournament, and the digital showcase at LSU’s Digital Media Center; April 30th, the Kids’ Lab, Making Expo, and showing of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (all at the Main Library); and May 1st, the Entangled Spaces light show and animation displays at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum.

OB-viously you should check out all the other displays, but you can also set up a demonstration of your very own! You can fill out a sign-up form online to get a table’s, or half a table’s, worth of space. Any kind of digital project, artwork, or experiment that you’ve come up with on your own is welcome – you’ll just need to provide your own technology if your display requires it. (We can probably come up with things like power cords, though.)

If you’ve always wanted to show your stuff, but you’ve never been sure exactly how, this is the expo for you! The library can help – we’ve got 3D printers, Arduino kits for learning basic robotics (teens should join the Robotics Club!), and plenty of online education databases to help you learn how to pretty up your computer programming skills – like Treehouse!

Get making, Baton Rouge!

One Book, One Community Instagram Challenge

Calling all shutterbugs – if you like Instagram, you’ll love the One Book, One Community Kingfish 30-Day Photo Challenge!


Take pictures of the key places, things, and points of historical impact mentioned in Kingfish by Richard D. White, Jr., and share them with us on Instagram with #ebrpl. You can pick up a bookmark-sized version of this list at your local library!

Coding at the Library

There’s one language we didn’t mention in our post about the language-learning resources available through the library. That language was the language of machines.


There are lots of free programs you can find and play with online to teach yourself the basic concepts involved in learning computer code. Here are some of them: Scratch! (We’ve done library programs on this!) Codecademy! Code Avengers! Literally dozens of them! If you prefer more structure and less teaching yourself, you can also sign up for one of the coding camps put on by Louisiana Women in Technology!

And then AFTER you do all of those awesome things, come back to the library to build your skills.

Here’s our list of things that are free with your library card!

Short videos that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine! Lesson and activity tracking! Daily reminders to help you keep your momentum strong!

Six-week classes! Lessons guided by an instructor! Online interaction with other students!

Instructors are industry experts! Create your own playlists and personalize your learning! Vast amounts of knowledge!

Any one of these sites would be a great way to kick off your journey into the fascinating and kind of weird world of computer programming. You can also use all three together!

International Creativity Month

January is International Creativity Month! Join us in celebration!

We’re holding a little contest. Since the library has so many craft-based programs and a 3D printer of our very own, we really want to highlight our patrons’ creativity by picking the best library-made thing of the month!

There are lots of ways to enter. You can:

Isn’t it great to have options?

Halloween potion bottles craft at the Fairwood Branch
Halloween potion bottles craft at the Fairwood Branch
A selection of the reference department director's 3D printed nerdery.
A selection of the reference department director’s 3D printed nerdery.

Anything that you make at a library program or get us to 3D print for you (for a $1.00 submission fee, plus $0.10/gram of material) is fair game. We’ll gather the ten best creations into a Facebook album, and you’ll all get to vote. You could win a gift certificate to a local business! (More on that as it develops.)

If you’ve never used a 3D printer before, no biggy! Sketchup Make (formerly Google Sketchup) is a free 3D modeling program with lots of tutorials to teach you everything you need to know. Sites like Thingiverse also have free model files that you can customize as much as you want!

So come on, EBR! Show us your creative side.

The Library’s Got Style


Uncommon Thread, a fashion-focused section of the Baton Rouge arts-focused cultural organization Culture Candy, has chosen the newly built Main Library as the location for their 2015 Wearable Art Show. This year’s event will be held on December 5th at 8:00 PM. (From 3D printing, to career counseling, to a full-on juried fashion show – we would say this isn’t your grandmother’s library, but it totally is. In fact, you should bring her around more often. We miss her. How is she?)

Uncommon Thread reached out to the library because of this year’s theme, “Epilogue.” Designers are encouraged to draw inspiration from books as both content (authors, characters, works, and genres) and medium (physical, digital, and the shift between). For those who want to enter their designs, the deadline is November 16th, with an entry fee of $20 per two entries. Accepted designers will be notified by November 23rd and must submit their finished work by November 30th. For those who would like to attend, tickets are available online for $15 (students), $20, or $35 (includes pre-show party).

Perhaps it was David Bowie who said it best: “Fashion! Turn to the left! Fashion! Turn to the right!” There’s a lot to unpack there, so if you’re looking for something else to do while you think about it, why not use our brand-new Fashion infoguide to learn how to make clothes as eye-catching as his? It’s got everything from the history of the industry to inspiration for this year’s theme. There’s still time to put together a design or two of your own!

Prove Miranda Priestly wrong.

If you want to take some inspiration from history, we particularly recommend The Vogue Archives and The Women’s Wear Daily Archive, two great resources for historical information on changes in fashion design and advertising that both have updates into the present day. Both of these databases combined present literally hundreds of years of material (get it? Because, clothes?) stretching back to the nineteenth century.

This screenshot of the first issue of Vogue ever published, dated 17 December 1892, proves that the past was both well-dressed and hilarious.
This screenshot of the first issue of Vogue ever published, dated 17 December 1892, proves that the past was both well-dressed and hilarious.

Keep an eye on our Pinterest board and our Tumblr, because as the date of the show draws near we’re going to be featuring lots of great ideas to keep you looking fresh.

Make It with the Library

Do you love arts and crafts? Did September’s Mini Maker Faire give you dreams of a display table of your very own? Do you have a favorite hobby, or are you looking for a new one to try? Well, have we got the resource for YOU.

The Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center has recipes, instructions, ideas, articles, and more on subjects from getting started with stamp collecting to whipping up a batch of wasabi mashed potatoes. Just look:

HCRC Categories

You can either run a general search through the whole database to see what comes up across categories, or click on, for example, Science & Technology for some suggested searches:

HCRC Categories Focused

With your library card, you have free access to all the guides and articles that the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center has to offer – for example, after you take the Telescope Training Class at the Main Library, you can check out the telescope and use the “Astronomy” hobby category for ideas of what to look at!

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for craft classes at a library branch near you!

Arduino Kits Available for Check-out

We’re excited to announce that you can now check out an Arduino kit from the library! The Arduino is a DIY electronics kit that you can program to control electrical circuits. People have used it to make everything from robots to musical instruments to greenhouses! Find out more about it here or just search “Arduino” on YouTube. We also have an Arduino section on our special Making @ the Library InfoGuide.

Here are a few more details if you’re interested in checking out an Arduino kit from the library:

  • Where to check-out/check-in: Main Library at Goodwood, Circulation desk
  • Teens (15 and older) and adults only
  • Check-out period: 7 days; no renewals
  • Overdue fine: $1 / day
  • No reservations

Call for Makers

Are you a maker with a project you’d like to show off? The Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire is the place to do it! We’re looking for people passionate about making – whether it’s building something from scratch, assembling a crazy robot, pickling your homegrown vegetables, or crafting something beautiful. Displaying your project at the Mini Maker Faire is a great way to share your passion and inspire future makers.

We’re not just looking for individuals. If your business is geared towards helping people complete their projects, we encourage you to apply for a booth. Want to participate, but don’t feel like a booth is right for you? Consider doing a short presentation or leading a hands-on workshop. Be sure to choose the correct option when you’re submitting your application.

The 2nd Annual Baton Rouge Mini Maker Faire is scheduled for Saturday, September 26, 2015, at the Main Library. Check out the site for further details on applying for a booth. We can’t wait to hear from you!