Hurricane Hotline

Hurricane season is upon us again — and everyone in the Parish knows that the best place to track conditions and stay abreast of developments is the Library’s Hurricane Hotline.

Hurricane Hotline has links to the lastest forecasts and up-to-the-minute information on hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Caribbean. The site also contains hurricane preparation lists, evacuation route information, links to books and videos in our catalog, and much more.

And for those grumpy hours in the car trying to get out of harm’s way — there are hurricane games and extreme weather trivia quizzes!

But seriously, Hurricane Hotline is an invaluable resource that consolidates important storm information produced by an uncountable number of agencies. You’ll find the local resources you need when a hurricane’s coming, and you’ll find the state and national resources you need if disaster strikes.

So be prepared for hurricane season 2008 (June 1 – Nov. 30). Visit Hurricane Hotline and make it your hurricane season home page.

Looking for Environmental Records?

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) provides free online access to their collection of scanned public documents through their Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Records available date back to 2000 and include permits for businesses, general correspondence, reports, assessments and citations issued.

Creating an account is simple and there is a helpful tutorial to assist with your search. After logging in, you can search for records by company name, date, type of document and even by the property address. You may view, download, email and print documents. In the future, LDEQ plans to extend the date range of the available documents.

For more information, contact the LDEQ Customer Service Center at 225-219-5337 or toll free at 866-896-5337.

To access the EDMS please go to:

History Net

History Net is the brainchild of The Weider History Group, publishers of military history magazines like “America’s Civil War,” “Vietnam,” and “Aviation History.” History Net offers a wide range of outstanding articles from their myriad publications as well as wargame reviews, historical photos, and fun features.

Who knew military history could be so entertaining?

Test your hawkish knowledge of military operations with the “Daily Quiz.” Check out the podcast on British history and heritage — you’ll get some great tips on things to see and do on that UK vacation you’ve been planning. (we recommend the Cabinet War Rooms in London…) Join a forum and get your “armchair general” on!!

History Net is a great site full of things to interest even the history-phobe. So check out History Net — and remember, he who forgets his past is doomed to repeat it…

C-Span’s Not So Boring

While C-Span may be not always produce scintillating television, it has managed to produce a pretty cool website. Like its television progenitor, the site is heavy on content, but on the web you have the ability to pick and choose the content that most interests you and discover people and issues you might never have thought to explore. And there’s PLENTY of people and issues to explore!

Our favorites include:

Presidential Libraries
An exploration of the Presidential Library collections from Hoover through Clinton. Lots of old video and memorabilia — very cool.

Lincoln – 200 Years
Online version of C-Span’s ongoing Lincoln Bicentennial programming.

Booknotes (duh!!)
THE place for non-fiction junkies! Featuring 500 of the 800 author interviews from the show’s 16 year run. A great place to meet America’s contemporary scholars and thinkers.

If you can’t keep up with the current campaign ads and stump speeches, this site has them all, as well as many, many interviews with the candidates. A great resource for the still-undecided.

Small Business School

Small Business School is an award winning program on entrepreneurship shown on Public Television across the nation — and now you can visit the program via the internet. is the beginning of your adventure in the challenging world of small business.

This online library of videos and detailed courses will take you on an ‘insiders’ journey to meet best-of-the-best small business owners — owners who share their secrets and their success in turning ideas into products and services that improve the lives of their customers while creating a more meaningful life for themselves.

These owners were carefully chosen from the 25 million small business owners in the U.S. because they are exemplary businesspeople. They have been creating jobs for over 10 years; they are considered to be leaders by those in their industries; and they are loved in their communities.

You’ll have to log in to search this outstanding database and view the videos. Keep the login information handy — you’ll be using it again and again.

Go to and use the following to log in:

Your User ID is:
Your Password: EcoDev (letters are case sensitive)

The 24 Hour Library

There will be a series of short one-hour seminars at the Main Library called The 24 Hour Library: Web 2.0 Tools @ Your Library. This series will cover the Library’s web-based tools, what they are and how to use them.

Free Books Online: Thursday, May 8, 7pm: Learn more about the Library’s eBook collection and how you can access it 24/7 from the library’s website.

Intro to Web 2.0 Tools: Thursday, May 15, 7pm: Learn what Web 2.0 tools are all about. The seminar will cover blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, and collaborative software.

OverDrive: Thursday, May 29, 7pm: Learn how to use OverDrive, the Library’s new digital library. OverDrive allows you to check out and download audiobooks, eBooks, and videos from the comfort of your home.

They will be held in the auditorium of the Main Library at 7711 Goodwood Blvd in Baton Rouge. Call Library Information at 225-231-3750 for more information.

History buffs and genealogists can have a lot of fun trolling through the trove of historical documents and photos on A sampling of the free resources provided by the National Archives to includes:

  • Brady Civil War photographs — contains over 5,600 photos commissioned by Matthew Brady, featuring portraits of officers and soldiers, landscapes, and battle scenes.
  • Photographs of Presidents, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Federal court records pertaining to the salvage of the Spanish schooner Amistad, a ship carrying slaves seized by the US Navy in 1839.
  • Office of Special Investigations records and case files about UFO sightings investigations.

Beyond simply providing access to these documents, also allows visitors to leave comments, annotations, and story pages. Thus, the creators of hope to harness the power of social networking, allowing visitors to contribute to the website and creating a sense of shared history.

The most interesting example of this shared history is the Interactive Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Nearly 1500 images are stitched together to make one 5 gigapixel image of “The Wall”. Visitors can search for individual names and then upload pictures, leave comments or create tributes.

A paid subscription to the website allows access to more collections, including many that may be of interest to genealogists.


You never know when you’ll need a question answered — that’s why you need to “Jott” Library Information!

Jott?? What’s that?

Jott is a really neat service that converts your voice into emails, text messages, reminders… Use it to send a reference question to the Library whenever you need information! All you have to do is call Jott’s 1-800 number and create a voice message. Jott will then send us your message via email.

To Jott the Library, you’ll need to set up an account with Jott. (Don’t worry, it’s free!) And you’ll need an email address so we can send your information to you.

Go to to sign up, and add our Electronic Reference email address to your account. It’s

Then you can Jott us every time you have a need to know!

BR Loop

BR Loop is the official website for the Baton Rouge Loop, which is a major road project that will connect Interstates 10, 12, and 110 while bypassing Baton Rouge’s interior. It involves multiple parishes: including Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge Parishes.

The website contains information about meeting dates, interactive maps with proposed routes, and a place to submit comments. Relevant meeting presentations are also available.