Famous First Facts

Want to know who invented the traffic light, or the first lawn mower? Celebrate National Inventors Month by finding the answers in Wilson Web Famous First Facts.

You can look up information on a variety of firsts in history and print or email the articles. This is a database offered by the library, and is available at all branches. Remote access is available to East Baton Rouge Parish library card holders, so it’s perfect for late night assignments or just gotta know trivia.

Check out Wilson Web Famous First Facts today.

Do You Live in a Flood Zone?

It’s hurricane season.  Do you know if you live in or near a flood zone?  Flood zone maps and information for property owners in East Baton Rouge Parish are available online. Let us show you how to find your lot!

  • Go to http://gis.brgov.com
  • Click Online Maps
  • Under Property Search, chose search lots by Address, Subdivision, or Business Name
  • After entering your search terms, click Search
  • Results display with the option to select Map or Details
  • Select Details
  • In the Property Details Box, look for the heading Flood Zone
  • The flood zone label is a link to an FAQ page that briefly describes the nature of four different flood zones.


  • Flood zone information is not available for Baker and Zachary.
  • Java must be installed on your computer to display maps. Java is available as a free download from java.com
  • Be sure to check out our Hurricane Hotline for the latest storm information and hurricane preparedness tips!

National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

National Hot Dog and Sausage Council
July is National Hot Dog Month. Find out all the fascinating facts about hot dogs from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. For instance, “on Independence Day, Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs – enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. over five times.” That’s a lot of weenies!

Get tons of great hot dog recipes, and even download brochures on types of sausages. So get out there and celebrate National Hot Dog Month with the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council!


Search The World Over For All The Latest News, Past And Present!

Facts.com is an index of international news stories from 1940 to the present. You can search a certain day, like your birthday or, you can search a range of dates. In addition to world news you can also find science articles through Today’s Science. Many special features are available including 2008 Election Issues, Country Profiles, maps, photos, historic documents, and obituaries.

Get the facts from Facts.com both in the library and at home.

Hurricane Preparedness

NOAA Hurricanes

Hurricane Preparedness Week 2007 took place last month (May 20-26) – like sands of the hourglass, so are the days leading to the next tropical storm. Recent history has confirmed what we already knew about hurricanes: that hurricane hazards do come in many forms – storm, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. Do you have an adequate plan that includes all of these hazards?

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Commerce to bring you timely, accurate storm information, forecasting, as well as images, a history of previous hurricanes, dangers during a hurricane, and how a prepare. Let’s try a couple of searches:

Search #1

  • Logon to the ‘Hurricanes’ website at http://hurricanes.noaa.gov.

  • Click Search on the top menu bar.

  • Type your search term – “hurricane preparedness”; click Search.

  • You’ll retrieve many results; to shorten this list, click Hurricane Preparedness Week on the left-hand menu.

  • Click the result – Hurricane Preparedness Week on the right-hand list.

  • Voila! – feast your eyes on how you can secure your home, create a family disaster plan, pet plan, and compile a disaster supply kit.

Search #2 – En Español

  • On the ‘NOAA’ search page (URL: http://www.noaa.gov/search.html), click Advanced Search.
  • To find information in Spanish on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, type the phrase “saffir-simpson” under ‘This exact phrase’; choose Spanish from the language drop-down menu; click Search.
  • Click the result – La Escala Saffir/Simpson para Huracanes to read the description of a categoria cinco.

Note, to a specific phrase, use quotation marks around the phrase. For example: “atlantic hurricane tracking chart”. Notice also that NOAA search ignores capital letters. Saffir-Simpson produces the same result as saffir-simpson or SafFir-SimpSOn.

Business Person of the Month: N. Alessia Murphy

N. Alessia Murphy

Gallery Director

Esopi Galleries, LLC

4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70816


N. Alessia Murphy, Gallery Diirector Esopi Galleries

“I can see my statue of (King) David within the large mass of marble, and I need only to carve the remaining pieces away to reveal the true beauty.”
–Michaelangelo Buonaroti (1501)

“I will restore her to a beauty that never was.”
–Viollet-le-Duc on beginning major restoration on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1845
With an incredibly eclectic selection of contemporary and traditional artwork, Esopi Galleries showcases local, national and international artists and provides a source of exciting art for first time buyers to seasoned art collectors. Murphy says the business “has been best described (by an international design firm) as an amazing gallery with an unpretentious feel wherein Napa Valley meets Bauhaus, by design.” She works with art galleries in Italy, Spain, Germany and France to promote Baton Rouge artists to the European art market and in turn introduces European artists to Baton Rouge, and the U.S. In addition to their fine art selection, they also sell fine jewelry featuring designers from Italy, Japan and California. “We provide natural gemstones that rate at least 7.0 on the Ohms Scale.” Endeavoring to make art and jewelry affordable for everyone, Esopi offers payment plans on most of the pieces.

Originally from the Pocono mountain region of Pennsylvania, Murphy moved to Louisiana as a youth. She studied art at Tulane, earning a liberal arts degree. Fashion, jewelry and art have been her lifetime passions. She has studied, collected, observed and admired them from around the world. “I decided to follow my dreams and leave the corporate world behind. Opening the gallery facilitates my passions, creates new opportunities for travel and strengthens direct support from me to my community.” She has gotten assistance from “amazing mentors” with strong entrepreneurial skills, who have established international art galleries. “It is a real honor to have industry leaders in my life to whom I can constantly turn.”

Her family and close friends have also been extremely supportive. In fact, she named the gallery after her grandmother who is soon to be 103 years old. “We are so blessed to have a family member for so long. She is a real delight and a true inspiration to both mothers and career women.” Murphy says she makes time to spend with family and friends on Sundays. For the question—‘Who motivates the motivator?’ her answer has always been Music and Movies, but she also adds Faith, Family and Friends.

“But my work never stops.” She belongs to several organizations and believes in playing a strong role in the community, continuously strengthening the gallery’s position in the community while building a strong customer base. In April, Esopi coordinated with LSU’s French Department, the Francophilia Foundation and Paris Parker to create, “Rouge! A Fashion Show and Model Competition.” Over 400 patrons attended the show at LSU and the grand prize was a round trip ticket to France. “It was such an amazing visual display of talent and energy, with exotic models from Africa, Germany and, of course, Louisiana. The lead coordinator, Jean Xavier Brager (a native of Marseilles), did an outstanding job in creating and facilitating the show.”

Esopi Galleries is currently putting together many exhibits and events. At the Gallery from May 25th through June 14th is a show titled, Mediterranean Dreams. Another show, Esopi’s Magical Mixers, will be exhibited at Sullivan’s Steakhouse from June 4th through July 2th. An exhibit called Anime Mi-2 will run from June 14th through July 12th at Esopi Galleries. Six of the gallery’s local artists which are currently on display at the Louisiana State Museum, will have their works televised on June 10th as part of a fundraiser for Friends of LPB.

In June, Esopi will provide works to help raise money for Brave Heart, to help children in need. The Gallery is communicating with Children’s Hospital to plan events with the children and raise money for their causes. Future works also include events for recognizing the elderly, and sponsoring a car rally. “It is a real pleasure to work with such a variety of people who put so much back in to the community. There is so much to plan and not enough awake hours.”

It may sound like this woman works all the time, but luckily Murphy loves her job. “This field is amazing! I am thankful to be surrounded by such beautiful work and to have some of the greatest clients in the world! It is a real honor to work with everyone who comes into the gallery. One of my happiest moments was when a deaf woman came into the gallery, sat down, relaxed and took complete joy in the artwork, then returned several weeks later with a deaf friend. I was happy the woman felt so comfortable here that she brought her friend. I signed ‘thank you’ when they were leaving.”

Murphy credits her diversified outlook on life to traveling extensively. She has lived in various cities in the U.S. and abroad in Italy and Germany. “Yet, I recall falling in love with Baton Rouge the first time I arrived. Baton Rouge was named as one of America’s 10 Greatest Cities in May of 2005 (featured on msn.com, by Sperling’s), and that reinforced my excitement to live here. Also, Baton Rouge still maintains a friendly small town charm like no other city I’ve ever seen. It is a true blessing to be a part of this growing city, as it continues to redefine itself.”

Impressed with the enormous level of growth in Baton Rouge, Murphy praises the efforts to grow the film industry and the downtown area and applauds the continued infrastructure improvements. One of her Baton Rouge favorites is Trafficland.com, a DOTD project that provides Internet access to see exactly how traffic looks on the Interstate. Baton Rouge was only 1 of about 8 cities in the U.S. (this time last year) that had this capability. Murphy would like to see continued improvements with BREC, the Baton Rouge schools, and the libraries to help Baton Rouge maintain itself as the family friendly city.

Murphy reports that libraries have always been a strong part of her life and she’s used them for business research, general research and her schooling from grade school through college. “Sometimes I go to the library, just to unwind and relax and find myself in the middle of some amazing factual or fictional book. Libraries are like finding water in the desert; you thirst and become quenched. Libraries offer food for the brain, soul and spirit. The East Baton Rouge Library is a great asset to our community and there is something for everyone!” One of her favorite books is Our Mutual Friend by the 19th century serialist, Charles Dickens. “OMF is rich in character, social commentary and coyness.”

Because Murphy considers herself a bit of a visionary, she chose quotes from two great visionaries of earlier times for the beginning of her profile. But when she feels exhausted, she recalls an old French proverb—‘It is amazing what one can do when one thinks one can no longer do.’ “People can do great things in life. Great work takes determination, endurance and persistence for which you will one day be rewarded.”

Business Person of the Month Archive

Insurance 101

  • Do I have enough coverage for my small business?
  • How do I insure my home-based business?
  • Does my home owner’s policy cover business losses?
  • Can I get disaster coverage?

Good questions; where can you find answers? The Insurance Information Institute’s website, www.iii.org has answers to these questions and more. Check out the Business page and find a list of informative topics. Use the find a company feature to locate companies in a particular state and by type of insurance coverage.

A Spanish version of the site is available.

One Book – One Community

One Book One Community – Summer 2007
The summer 2007 title selection for One Book One Community is Breach of Faith by Jed Horne. Horne is a metro editor for the Times Picayune. Breach of Faith “traces the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the lives of numerous survivors and, by extension, on the lives of all of us who live in southeast Louisiana.”

The website has a schedule of events taking place at the library and around Baton Rouge, a printable discussion guide, suggestions on participation in discussion groups and an online sigh-up to receive email updates.

Hurricane Hotline

What is it?

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Hurricane Hotline is a one-stop resource for your information needs during hurricane season.

What’s in it?

  • Hurricane Hotline has the latest topical weather advisories for the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico regions
  • Information on hurricane preparedness such as securing your home, creating an emergency supply kit, and taking care of pets.
  • Should a hurricane or tropical storm impact the Baton Rouge area, information on evacuation, shelters, closures, and re-openings will be available.
  • Hurricane Hotline has a history and science section with information for teachers and students.

Google Map Hack: Gmaps Pedometer

Ever wondered about the distance of your liesurely walk around Independence Park? Your afternoon bike ride through your neighborhood or your commute home? Check out this Google Map Hack: Gmaps Pedometer. Its great for plotting your routine daily walk, run, bike ride, or trek to the market. Here’s a way to find out the answer.

Q: What is the distance if you were to walk from the reference desk to the roadside sidewalk and all the way around Independence Park and back?

  • Visit Gmaps Pedometer: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/.
  • In the box labeled ‘Jump to’, type “7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA”; select “zoom: 16” from the drop down menu; click “go”.
  • Switch to a topographical view of the map by clicking the “Topo” button (top left corner of the map). Now you see the library!
  • To begin plotting, click “start recording” (upper left of the screen).
  • To plot a point, simply double click—notice that the characteristic red push pin appears.
  • Once you are done with plotting and wish to save this search, simply click “save route“—this generates a URL for your trip.

A: Approximately 1.5298 mi. (see URL)

Note: The accuracy is more or less based upon your ability to carefully move and click the mouse and to patiently plot points along a curve.

Bonus: Turn on the calorie counter by simply clicking “on”.  While it does require that you enter your age, which is significant to calculating calories burned, it does not ask you to enter the level of intensity of your activity — a giveaway that it is not completely accurate. The name “Gmaps Pedometer” leads one to believe that this might be only accurate for a low intensity walk as opposed to a medium intensity bike ride or a high intensity run.