October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

This October, the Public Library Association (PLA) and public libraries nationwide (like EBRPL!) will celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

PLA is doing its part by highlighting cyber security material on DigitalLearn.org, a collection of self-directed, interactive online tutorials developed by the association to help users increase their digital literacy. At DigitalLearn.org, learners can take short, self-directed courses that help them recognize danger and stay safe online. These include:

  • Accounts and Passwords. This course teaches the basics of creating online accounts, including creating secure passwords and keeping accounts secure.
  • Online Scams. This course helps new computer users identify and recognize types of scams, how to avoid getting hurt, and how to report them.
  • Internet Privacy.  This course helps learners understand the level of personal, confidential information we can share on websites and via email, and take control of the information we are constantly sending and receiving.

If you want a little help with one of these classes, or any of the others on Digital Learn, come to the Main Library on Goodwood every other Saturday at 2:00 for Open Lab in the Tech Lab – the next session is next Saturday, October 14th.

EBRPL is one of the pilot libraries for a partnership with Cox Communications to develop enhanced digital literacy training and resources, including Home Broadband, for library patrons and families. In all Cox markets across the company’s 18-state footprint, Cox and the local libraries will collaborate on digital literacy and internet adoption initiatives. Click here to learn more about the PLA/Cox project.

For more information about DigitalLearn.org, call us at 225-231-3750. For more information about the Public Library Association, check out their website!

Meet Libby!

OverDrive has come out with a brand-new app for library users – Libby! 

It’s got lots of new features:

  • Quick and easy for first time users
  • Integrated reading and listening experience with OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen
  • No Adobe ID or account registration required
  • Faster performance and powerful search
  • Same experience on all devices
  • Customizable browsing options to find the books you want faster
  • Simplified download settings
  • Fixed-layout and Read-Along eBook support
  • Support for eBook highlights and annotations
  • Custom lists for tagging books you love, want to read and more

Do you need Libby if you’ve already got the OverDrive app? No! You can keep using the OverDrive app if you’re comfortable with it. OverDrive is not planning to stop supporting the OverDrive app – Libby’s just a new option for people who want one.

Can you use both apps? If you want to, sure! Both apps will connect to your library account. However, they will not sync – so progress you make on a book in the OverDrive app won’t show up on the same title in Libby. So it’s probably best to stick with one or the other.

How are they different? Eventually, the only difference between Libby and the OG OverDrive app will be how they operate. Right now, OverDrive has a few more features that are still being incorporated into Libby, such as accessibility, Reading Rooms, Recommend to Library, and multilingual support. If you make regular use of any of those features, stick with OverDrive for now. OverDrive users will be invited in-app to try out Libby later in the year.

Check out the following video to learn more about it, and remember that you can always call your friendly neighborhood reference librarians at (225)231-3750 for help getting started with library databases.


Lynda in the Winter

Get ready for the new year by teaching yourself something new with Lynda! Here are our most popular courses:

  1. Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
  2. Communication Tips
  3. WordPress Essential Training
  4. C++ Essential Training
  5. Introduction to Graphic Design
  6. TypeScript Essential Training
  7. Excel 2016 Essential Training
  8. Photography 101
  9. Becoming a Web Developer: Full Stack vs Front End
  10. JavaScript for Web Designers

If you are really dreading the next few cold, dark months, try another popular class: Mindfulness! Learning mindfulness can positively affect every part of your life, including job performance, self-confidence, and relationships.

Baton Rouge

Our thoughts are with our Baton Rouge community today. We have compiled a list of resources available for those who need assistance or who are looking for ways to give back.

If you need to talk, there are counselors available at the Baton Rouge Grief Recovery Center. You can contact them by calling (225) 924-6621.

Our Lady of the Lake Hospital has pulled together a few tips from their physicians on how to talk to your children about violence or sad events in the news.

Capital Area Human Services has helpful resources on how to cope with the recent tragedies in Baton Rouge. They are also offering three free discussion sessions with mental health professionals to help the public process the recent violent events in Baton Rouge. No registration is required and attendees are encouraged to bring a bag lunch to the first two sessions. All sessions will be held at Capital Area Human Services located at 4615 Government Street, Building Two, Room 200.

  • Tuesday, July 19 from noon to 1 p.m.
    Managing Your Distress (in the Aftermath of a Shooting)
  • Thursday, July 21 from noon to 1 p.m.
    Helping Others Cope in Times of Tragedy
  • Thursday, July 21 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    Managing Your Distress (in the Aftermath of a Shooting)

You can access our InfoGuide on Coping with Traumatic Events & Disasters for resources and books the library offers.

There are several places where you can donate blood:

  • Our Lady of the Lake Blood Donor Center They will have normal hours the rest of the week 8 am to 6 pm Monday – Thursday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday. They are located on the first floor of the hospital. 
  • LifeShare Blood Center will be open from 10am-6pm Monday, 8am-6pm Tuesday, 10am-6pm Wednesday, and 8:30am-4:30pm on Friday. You can also visit their website to schedule an appointment. They are located at 3849 North Boulevard. Blood drives on Tuesday, July 19 are scheduled for the Zachary Fire Department, 4525 Main Street, Zachary, La. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and EFCU Financial, 10719 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • United Blood Service is located at 8234 One Calais Ave. You can access their website to schedule an appointment to donate.
  • There will be blood drive at Woman’s Hospital on Friday, August 5 from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM at the main hospital entrance.

WAFB has a list of community events planned.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is taking donations to benefit the injured officers and their families as well as the families of the fallen officers.

You can access the GoFundMe page for Officer Montrell Jackson’s family here.

You can access the GoFundMe page for Officer Matt Gerald’s family here.

You can access the GoFundMe page for Deputy Brad Garafola’s family here.

Several local restaurants will donate 25 percent of their sales on July 25th to the families of slain officers. All other contributions collected on that date will be given to the families as well. The event is called  “25% on the 25th”. For a complete list of restaurants participating visit their Facebook page here.

The Baton Rouge Local Union 198 is holding a fundraiser for the families of the fallen officers. You can pick up a dinner for $5.00 on Wednesday, July 27 between 11am-1pm at 5888 Airline Highway.


Baton Rouge Civil Rights Resources

Baton Rouge has a long history as the center of civil rights battles, on both statewide and national fronts. A.P. Tureaud, a New Orleans resident, was instrumental in bringing true integration to state colleges and universities. The Baton Rouge bus boycott in 1953 was the first such event in the country, and served as a model for the Montgomery Bus Boycott begun by Rosa Parks two years later. Below are some of the most prominent pieces of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s collection on Baton Rouge’s civil rights history.

  • Journey for Justice: The A.P. Tureaud Story – This documentary by Rachel Emmanuel details A.P. Tureaud’s work as a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New Orleans, including suits filed against the state to force equal funding to black and white schools in accordance withJourney for Justice: The A.P. Tureaud Story Plessy v. Ferguson. Later, when this became too expensive, he successfully sued to equalize pay for black and white teachers and to desegregate Louisiana State University and the Orleans Parish School District.
  • Oral history with Pearl George – Pearl George, a local activist and civil rights leader, was instrumental in establishing the Eden Park Branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library system. She campaigned tirelessly to desegregate Baton Rouge lunch counters and integrate the pool at City Park, and served three terms on the Metro City Council, where she was the first African American woman elected as a representative.
  • Signpost to Freedom: the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott – This documentary covers the strong grassroots African American community activism of Baton Rouge in the 1940s and 1950s, including the events leading upSignpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott to the 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge. It goes on to examine how the boycott’s organizers, and the reaction of the citizens of Baton Rouge, contributed to civil rights organizations across the south, especially the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955.
  • Our African American Legacy – EBRPL maintains a site of prominent African American community groups and a timeline of civil rights events in this city. You can visit the link to learn more about our community’s development, and how the organizations who got us here are still strengthening us today.

You can find more information about the history of the African American civil rights movement in Baton Rouge with the regularly updated Baton Rouge Civil Rights infoguide.

June is Read GLBT Books Month

It’s Pride Month, y’all! Stop by the library to stock up on novels, documentaries, memoirs, flicks, and everything else you could possibly want to immerse yourself in to celebrate your community and the people you love.

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Not sure where to start? ALA’s GLBT round table has a couple of great book lists: Rainbow Books for kids and teens, and Over the Rainbow Books for adults. The Stonewall Book Awards list is another great resource. You can also keep an eye on Tumblrs like We Need Diverse Books, which regularly posts curated lists of books that contain characters belonging to various minority groups, and Book Riot, which, while less focused, posts similar lists from time to time. Of course, all of that ends up on our own Tumblr account, so you could definitely just follow us instead (if you aren’t already).

Wondering about what the library already has? Check out the LGBTQ Infoguide, which, while not comprehensive (we’ve got like two million items in our total collection), contains lists of adult and teen fiction and non-fiction, as well as graphic novels, movies, documentaries, and electronic resources for parents, youth, and everyone in between. You can also find links to local community organizations like Capital City Alliance and the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. If you’re interested in local history, stop by the Baton Rouge Room in the Main Library and check out our Krewe of Apollo collection!

We’re also having a ReadOut of the book George by Alex Gino. If you would like to participate in reading this book aloud with a group, or if you’d just like to come along and be read to, it’s happening Thursday, June 30th, from 3-9PM, at the Main Library.

Libraries are safe spaces. If you or someone you love needs help or additional information on LGBTQ+ issues or other sensitive topics, or if you just want a recommendation for a book with a happy ending for once, your local librarians are discreet, informed, and truly, truly care. This is an extremely difficult time for many members of our community. We are here to help you, no matter who you are.

Get a Great Job

We’ve all had a little time to settle into the year, but there’s no reason not to look around for ways to make 2016 your best year yet by getting a new job!

This doesn’t have to be you! You could be April after she gets her awesome new job in DC instead!

The Career Center has a lot of great resources to help you in your job hunt – they’re even having an awesome seminar on “Mastering the Job Interview” tomorrow morning from 10-11:30 AM at the Main Library. You can register by calling them at 225-231-3733.


In addition to brushing up on your Microsoft Office skills in one of our introductory computer classes, you can also take a class specifically targeted towards improving your resume! There are two next week:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23, Carver Branch, 10 AM-12 PM
  • Thursday, Feb. 25, Bluebonnet Regional, 10 AM-12 PM

And if you want to take the Leslie Knope route, be sure to sign up for the seminar on “Federal Government Jobs in Louisiana” happening on March 18th! You can learn all about what doing something for your country can do for you.

This could be you, too! Except with less sarcasm!

The Year of Financial Literacy

The new year is a time for reflection. A time to make many resolutions, and possibly even to keep some, even if you simply promise yourself that this year you will put less pressure on yourself to be a totally different person because your new “Birds of Geographic Regions” calendar told you to.

Unfortunately, it is definitely a time to start getting real about paying off your student debt. The library can help you figure it out!

Come to one of our “20somethings Financial Literacy: Graduating with Student Debt and Building Credit” programs at the Greenwell Springs Branch, featuring Bennett Blackledge from Gulf Coast Bank! Presentations will be held Monday, January 11th, from 7:00-8:30, and again on Tuesday, the 19th, at the same time.

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If you can’t make the presentation or you want more info, use your library card to log into our Financial Literacy database. It’s got everything from basic money management tutorials to lessons on how the economy actually works.

Go forth and save money!

Library Elf

No one knows better than a librarian how frantic the holidays can be. With relatives flying in from all over the place, second cousins popping out of the woodwork, and everybody’s children running around like they’re being chased by a real live reindeer, it’s easy to forget about those holiday movies you checked out on DVD for a little family bonding – and/or the murder mystery you picked up to give yourself a break.

No judgment. (We’ve got the first season on DVD, by the way.)

So sign up for an account on Library Elf! You just need an email address and a password to set up reminders up to a week before your items are due. You can also set up a weekly reminder so you can keep track of what you have checked out. It’s also got a “track your reading” feature that you can turn on to keep a record of what you checked out based on the check-out and return dates.

Way less creepy than this guy.

It’s extra-great if you’ve got a big family – you can link multiple library cards to a single Library Elf account, so you can keep track of things your children, uncles, parents, and whoever else check out to make sure everybody turns things in on time. If you want to renew anything, just click on the due date in the reminder email – it’ll bring up the library’s login page and you can renew everything online.

If you’ve got some late fees built up, don’t forget that Food for Fines runs the whole month of December. Bring in canned or nonperishable goods for a dollar off your fine per item.

History Reference Center

What better time than a national holiday to think about those that have come before us?

The History Reference Center is a great place to find articles on exactly that. Like our other reference centers, the History Reference Center lets you search thousands of resources focused on a specific field. If you go into the advanced search options, you can also search a specific chunk of United States or world history using their “Timeline” feature.

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For example, Thanksgiving! You can do a regular search and come up with tons of stuff, or you can click on “European Colonization of the Americas” to learn more about that time period and all of the other stuff that happened before the USA began.

Not even a little true, Ron Ulysses Swanson.

If you’re interested in the origins of our biggest national holiday, this is a great place to start. You can also use it in combination with one of our databases full of teaching resources, ERIC, to find great ways to talk about this holiday with your kids in a way that respects both Native American history and culture, and what the holiday has come to mean: a time of gratitude and celebration.

We certainly are. We’re grateful to continue serving as your information guardians. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.