Christmas Sights & Sounds

Our Sights and Sounds InfoGuide keeps you up to date with the latest audio and DVD additions to the library catalog, as well as providing highlights of different audio/video genres available. It’s definitely worth visiting often! To help you get in the Christmas spirit there is now a section on the guide dedicated to the holidays.

Find that perfect CD of Christmas music or check out some old and new DVD favorites. From A Charlie Brown Christmas and Home Alone, to festive tunes crooned by the Rat Pack, you’ll find a great selection on Sights and Sounds!

Festival of Lights 2011

One of my favorite events of the year is the Downtown Festival of Lights. Don’t miss this wonderful evening around the Shaw Center for the Arts / Lafayette Park on Friday, December 2nd, 4-9 p.m.  The Mayor will switch on the nearly half a million Christmas lights that illuminate downtown and the Christmas tree.

There is lots of family fun and entertainment, including live festive swingin’ music from Ned Fasullo and his Big Band Orchestra, movies, the holiday express train, free ice skating and six tons of real snow!

Mrs. Claus and her elves will be on board the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Book Mobile accepting letters to Santa, so make sure to stop by and say hello.

Head on over to the Downtown Development District’s site for more information and for a full schedule of events.

Louisiana Book Festival 2011

Join us at the 8th Annual Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, October 29, at Capitol Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

It’s a fantastic fun day for the whole family including workshops, food, music, crafts and exhibits. Take a look at this list of all the featured authors that will be appearing, including the 2011 Louisiana Writer Award winner James Wilcox.

For more information visit the festival website: and we’ll see you out there!

Freegal: Free Music Downloads

Have you tried Freegal? You get free, legal music downloads from artists on the Sony label, that’s thousands of songs!!!

It’s not a temporary download, it’s an MP3 file and you keep it! There is no software to download, just the song itself. Every library card holder can download up to five songs per week. To help you choose, you can listen to 30 second samples and if you’ve used up your downloads for the week you can create a wish list for next time. It’s like iTunes for the library, but free!

What are you waiting for? Start downloading!!!! 🙂

Music Biographies

If you’ve ever seen an episode of VH1’s Behind The Music you’ll know that musicians tend to lead some pretty eventful lives.  We have lots of musician and band biographies, these are just a small selection. Check the catalog or call us at 231-3750 to see if we have your favorite artist!

Between a Heart and a Rock Place by Pat Benetar

Bowie: A Biography by Marc Spitz

Digging For Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB by Jaime Lowe

Enter Night: A biography of Metallica by Mick Wall

Fortunate Son: The Life of Elvis Presley by Charles Ponce de Leon

Gaga by Johnny Morgan

Becoming Jimi Hendrix : From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, The Untold Story of a Musical Genius by Stephen Roby

Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis

Life With My Sister Madonna by Christopher Ciccone

Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience by David Stricklin

Not Dead and Not For Sale by Scott Weiland

Prince: A Thief in the Temple by Brian Morton

Opera In Video Collection Updated

Opera lovers rejoice! Our Opera in Video database brings you streaming opera video to enjoy from your computer, featuring full performances of your favorite operas from some of Europe’s greatest opera houses.

The Opera in Video collection has been updated with 29 videos/30 hours of performances and documentaries, including:

*Cardiff Singer of the World competition highlights from 1999 and 2001
*Recital of arias by Karita Mattila and Dmitri Hvorostovsky
*Welsh National Opera’s performance of Monteverdi’s Poppea
*Recital by Angela Gheorghiu at the Royal Opera House
*Lucia di Lammermoor (Vienna), featuring Katia Ricciarelli and Jose Carreras

You can see a list of all the new videos here:

Baton Rouge’s Music History

Our archives, The Baton Rouge Room, is looking for your slice of history related to the local music scene. Are you a fan or musician? Did you attend concerts at places like Independence Hall, Cow Palace, the Assembly Center, or the Centroplex? If so, our archivist Melissa Eastin would like your help to document our musical history. You can email her at or call 389-4960. Here are some of the items she is specifically looking for:

  • Ticket Stubs
  • Promotional Posters or photos
  • Playbills or programs
  • Photographs from the Concert
  • Tapes, 45s, LPs, record sleeves
  • Concert Souvenirs-t-shirts, guitar picks, buttons…

Music Online Expanded

The classical music section of our database Music Online has just had 22,500 new tracks added! With Music Online you can listen to streaming music through your computer, create and share your own playlists, even send music to your smartphone.

Highlights of the new additions include recordings by Thomas Hampson, Natalie Dessay, Sarah Chang, Les Arts Florissants, Maria Callas, Julian Bream, English Consort, Dinu Lipatti, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Christa Ludwig, Berlin Philharmonic, Sviatoslav Richter, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Taverner Choir, Kiri Te Kanawa, Maxim Vengerov, Vienna Philharmonic.

Of course there is much more than just classical music available on Music Online. Other genres include Cajun/Zydeco, Folk, Humor, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel.

Altogether the Music Online database now has:
715,148 music tracks. 24,368 scores (400,000 pages) and 488 videos! Wow!

4th of July Celebration Baton Rouge Riverfront

The place to be on Independence Day is downtown Baton Rouge for celebrations, food, lots of music and fireworks. The annual Star-Spangled Celebration takes place on the Mississippi riverfront by the USS Kidd. Don’t miss the F-15 fighters and vintage aircraft mock attack!

Events kick off at 8am and the day of patriotic entertainment culminates with ‘Fireworks on the Mississippi’ at 9pm. For a full schedule of events, head on over to the Downtown Development District website.