Winter Wonderlands

We’re allowed to talk about other major winter holidays now, right? It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Chuck out your turkey carcasses and start hanging lights already! Here’s a list of December events that will help you squeeze every drop of joy out of the holiday season. (Joy is good for the skin.)

…Okay, it’s a list of places to look for holiday events. We Louisianians take every opportunity to celebrate, and writing all of them down would make this a very, very long blog post.


Visit Baton Rouge, an organization aimed at increasing tourism to our fair capitol city, has a constant list of every major event happening anywhere in Baton Rouge at any given point. If you’re looking for events for a specific day, look here. The Advocate’s calendar is pretty good, too, with both holiday-focused events and regularly scheduled programming for locals.

We can pretend.

On the other hand, the Baton Rouge Moms community has a great guide to family-focused, kid-friendly events happening up to sixty miles from the city. It’s got a great mix of culture, like The Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou, and places for kids to get some of that sugar energy out, like ice skating at the Baton Rouge River Center. BR City Key is another great resource for finding events specific to your neighborhood if you can’t travel far.

If you celebrate Chanukah, don’t miss the State Capitol ceremony on the first day, December 6th, from 4:30-6:00 PM. Chabad Baton Rouge will host several other events around the city.

And of course, the library’s got programming all over the place. If you like homemade Christmas ornaments, holiday-themed story time, winter movies, winter snacks, or anything remotely related to the month of December, keep an eye on our events calendar for a program happening near you.

…but the library’s always nice and warm (and free of Iron Thrones).


Sock it To Me Drive

Baton Rouge Parents’ Magazine’s 11th Annual Sock It To Me Sock Drive will continue through December 10th. Socks will be delivered to area homeless shelters, where they are the most requested item, and to local hospitals, where they will be given to chemotherapy patients whose feet get cold during chemo treatments. Their goal this year is 15,000 socks, and if you’d like to help them meet it, call (225) 292-0032 to learn about setting up a sock drive of your own!

Donations will go to organizations like the Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center, St. Vincent de Paul’s Uniforms for Kids, and the YMCA’s homeless and outreach programs. You can drop off socks at the BR Parents office at 11831 Wentling Ave.


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.

2015-11-19 18_41_58-Advanced Search_ EBSCOhost

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.

Veterans Day

The original Star Spangled Banner.

The first Veterans Day was held in 1926 based on a declaration from Congress that World War I had finally come to an end. An armistice, or cease of fighting, for “the Great War” was called on November 11th, 1918. The holiday was actually called Armistice Day until 1954, when it turned out that “the war to end all wars” would be followed by World War II and United States involvement in the Korean War. The holiday is now intended to honor all members of the United States military that have served in conflict.

Many of our branches have developed book displays and exhibits to mark the holiday. The EBRPL Tumblr will be regularly updating with links to online history resources for United States military history. You can also visit the National World War II Museum’s website to see and hear oral histories conducted with United States veterans from all over the country.

We thank you for your service.

System-Wide Software Update

Hang on to your hats, friends – this could get bumpy.

Our tech people are working diligently.

This Tuesday and Wednesday, the 10th and 11th of November, the library will be updating our system software (the thing that lets us keep track of books and all our other resources). Unfortunately, since the same system keeps track of all our patron information, your library card numbers aren’t going to work on anything you’d normally be able to use from home.

You can still check out books and DVDs from any of our brick-and-mortar locations, as long as you have your actual library card with you – we won’t be able to look up any of the numbers. Or whether or not any books or DVDs are on the shelf. Or…anything.

The glasses represent our online cataloging system.

Everything should be back to normal by Thursday, but until then, please be patient with Overdrive, Freegal, The Criterion Collection, Alexander Street Music, Screening Room, Zinio, Atomic Training, ComicsPlus, Indieflix, FastPencil, and any other databases that require you to log in with your library card even when you’re in the library; it’s not their fault.


They’ll come back soon!

Legal Information Reference Center

Very few librarians have legal degrees or are in any way qualified to give out legal advice, and in general doing so makes us all very nervous. That’s why the library system subscribes to databases like the Legal Information Reference Center.

2015-11-05 16_02_22-Basic Search_ Legal Information Reference Center

It pulls information from some of the most highly accredited consumer legal information publications on all the subjects seen above. Like all of our other reference centers, the main groups are further divided into more specific categories after you click on the picture.

You can search for popular forms:

2015-11-05 16_33_49-Basic Search_ Legal Information Reference Center
Unfortunately, tax forms are not included.

Or you can search for forms by state:

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This is especially important for Louisiana because law here is unlike law anywhere else in the country. It’s strongly influenced by the Napoleonic Code, because…reasons.

This guy, is the reason. Also the Louisiana Purchase.

…ANYway, if you really need some information and you can’t wait for the next Ask a Lawyer session to come by your local branch or other community center, the Legal Information Reference Center is a great place to start.

As are all libraries.

Expresit Yourself

What’s on your mind? Let us know with the new Expresit app.

The app, part of continuing efforts to bring Baton Rouge into the digital age, lets you rate your experiences with various public services offered here in Baton Rouge, including the police department, airports, and libraries. Just search for the City of Baton Rouge from the app’s home screen.

You can specifically select different branches or locations in each category, say whether something was “good” or “bad” and what characteristics are particularly notable, and write in comments if you want to provide more information.

Expresit Comment Process
From service selection to comment writing.

If you want to address a particular person, you can tag it with their name. You have the option either to register with an email address and username or keep your feedback totally anonymous and use Expresit as a guest; either way, you can either make your feedback public or keep it hidden.


Let us know when something really great happens! Let us know when something really bad happens, so we can fix it! We’d love to hear from you.

One Book, One Community 2016: Kingfish

This year’s One Book, One Community title is Kingfish, by local political historian, Richard D. White, Jr. Librarians braved the rain and wind to announce the book at this past Saturday’s Louisiana Book Festival, and information and events are showing up all over the library’s website.

The One Book, One Community concept started in 1998 with the Washington Center for the Book’s project, “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book”; today, cities and towns all over the nation strengthen their communities through a celebration of reading. 2016 will see a new governor for Louisiana and the election of a new President of the United States; what better way to celebrate democratic tradition than to read about the ways it has been manipulated?

Kingfish details Huey P. Long’s rise to power both as governor and senator, focusing on what he tried to accomplish for Louisiana and for the nation and on the not-always-ethical tactics he used. Material was drawn from interviews with some of Long’s closest cronies and some of his fiercest enemies, in an attempt to let the reader decide whether Long was a simple demagogue, benevolent dictator, or true delegate of Louisiana’s disenfranchised. Either way, the reforms he forced into place to help Louisiana citizens living in poverty made him an enemy of trade unions and big business in the state.

Cubee P. Long
Learn how to make this guy!


The library has the book available in physical, e-book, and audio formats, available at any branch and through Overdrive; check out a copy today to join in, and take a look at our Kingfish infoguide for more books like this one, as well as info on upcoming and past events, background reads on some of Long’s favorite projects (like education), books and activities for kids and teens, and more.


OBOC 2016