When did you start working for WBR Parish Library?
I moved to Port Allen 36 years ago. I have two daughters Kim and Amy and an almost one year old grandson, Elijah. I started working at the library in January of 1996. I started at 20 hours per week then went to 30 hours a week and eventually went full time in 2002.
You work with Interlibrary Loans and Serials. What’s a typical day like?
My day coordinates Interlibrary Loan and Serials or magazines. I locate books our library does not own from other libraries for our patrons. These range from novels to repair manuals and all things in between. I can search all 50 states and usually get whatever a person would need fairly quickly. I have received books from probably 35 different states over the years. It’s very satisfying to call a patron and let them know a book they really wanted is here at our library for them to check out. All you need to do is return it to us and I’ll mail it back to it’s home library. I also check in approximately 135 magazines monthly and get them ready for you to check out. We have a wide variety of serials and always take suggestions from our patrons for those we do not own.
If you could another job for a day, what would it be?
I would love to help cancer survivors. When their treatment is over, it’s time to celebrate and have some fun. I would want to make their dreams come true and do something special they’ve always wanted to do.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
My hobbies outside of work are playing with my new grandson, Elijah. I also love playing my electric bass, and my favorite upright bass. I was brought up listening and playing bluegrass and country music.
What’s one food you can’t live without?
Tomatoes are my #1 absolute favorite food, followed by crawfish and anything my mom cooks.
What is something that people probably don’t know about you?
People probably don’t know that I love having jam sessions and playing music. I have had many sessions at my home with some notable musicians. I’ve hosted folks that have played at Jazz Fest and a guy that knew John Lennon and Paul McCartney!
My favorite book: All of the Sweet Potato Queens’ books. They kept me laughing the entire time I read them.
I am a native of West Baton Rouge Parish with two children, Andrew and Annie. I have worked as a classroom teacher and school media specialist librarian. I have worked in West and East Baton Rouge, Madison Mississippi, Ocean County, New Jersey, and St. Tammany Parish.
When did you start working for WBR Parish Library? Why?
I returned to WBRPL in January of 2016. I originally started working for WBRPL in the 80’s as a student worker, where I continued to work until I finished college and started working full time as a teacher. The job started as just a summer job, but grew into something I truly love. I realized I really enjoyed bringing needed material to all the people of this parish. A one-stop for information. I learned quickly how much the library has to offer.
You manage the Library’s Cataloging Department. What is a typical day like?
A typical day in the cataloging department is ordering books, unpacking materials, and getting the materials ready for processing. Once this is done, the materials are checked and readied for circulation.
What is your favorite part of the job so far?
I enjoy being able to look at all the materials being placed in our collection. It is amazing how much information is out there for our use.
What are your hobbies outside of the office?
Reading, Computer, and outside projects.
Favorite book/genre to read?
I really do not have a favorite book or genre. If I had to choose, juvenile fiction and non-fiction is my favorite spot in the library. I tend to enjoy the informational part of the library the most.
Book or ebook?
Book – there is nothing like holding a book in your hands.
What are your goals?
Even though it has only been a couple of months, I am thinking about evaluating our collection to make sure our patrons’ needs are met.
Do you have any advice for aspiring librarians?
Actively participate in your local library organizations
After much serious thought and deliberation, my husband and I have come to the decision that it’s time for me to think about retirement. I’ve had a wonderful career in a field that I am absolutely passionate about, and I’ve had many opportunities to touch and change lives – I hope I have lived up to most of them. And I’ve certainly loved being here in West Baton Rouge Parish with our “small but mighty” library! But April 30 will complete 50 years of drawing a paycheck from libraries for me; that should probably be enough for anyone. I am looking at retiring effective June 1, 2017.
I feel good about what we’ve accomplished since I’ve been here. We’ve been able to upgrade and increase technology, which has offered much more to the public and allowed us to shift staff from behind-the-scenes tasks to face-to-face public service. When I arrived, we only had two positions working in public services, and one of those was vacant! We now have good staffing in the Circulation Department, an Adult Services Librarian, a Network Administrator for technology services, and improved staffing in the Youth Services area. We’ve added e-books and e-audiobooks for downloading, added Blu-rays, and expanded the DVDs and audiobooks on disks. We’ve weeded all adult fiction twice, almost all of the non-fiction, and juvenile materials are spot-weeded each summer. The collections are current and appealing. Programming continues to be exemplary, both in-house and out in the communities with funding assistance from a Parish grant each year. And we’ve done a bit of a face-lift to the Youth Services area to spruce it up.
There’s never a time when everything is finished and it’s easy to hand the reins over to someone new, but May 1 is as good a date as any. The migration to the new Polaris computer system will be complete, with our “go live” date estimated to be the end of March. Weeding of the adult non-fiction collection is nearly done. The building project will still be on hold. We probably won’t know what the State is going to do with the Inventory Tax until the session ends and the Governor signs the budget. To me, that is the single most important issue since it affects our ongoing revenue; it truly controls the future for the Library.
There is always more to do! I will always be excited by what libraries do each and every day! But I think it’s time to close this chapter of my life and start the next one.
Many, many thanks for allowing me to serve you, the people of West Baton Rouge Parish! I will always be grateful for working here. I truly appreciate the many friends I’ve come to know and the professional relationships that I have had here. I hope that they carry over to ongoing friendships in the years ahead!
It’s such a good Plan… and it would certainly take library services to the next level in WBR!
But the Library has had a setback in our quest to expand our footprint with a new building to house the Outreach Department and provide a large meeting room for library programs and public use. Expecting bids to be in the $750,000 to $800,000 range, we were surprised and disappointed to open bids on October 18 and have the low bid come in at $1,374,000. The Library Board has taken the low bid under advisement for now.
The second concern is that our dedicated ad valorem (property tax) millage may take a hit when the State Legislature meets this spring. The State Inventory Tax feeds some revenue into local government taxing bodies, like the Library. The State is looking at possibly eliminating the Inventory Tax which would reduce our revenue by an estimated 25%. Hopefully if that happens, they would replace the revenue for local governments with funds from some other source, but there are no guarantees.
So now is not the time to take on additional expenses, at least until we are assured we can continue to adequately fund our present services, and then cover projected expansions.
The start of this school year might be a bit more challenging than most for teachers, parents, and students. Know that your West Baton Rouge Parish Library is here to help! We have items that are available to help teachers with resource materials, like these titles and more:
We also have books on every level imaginable to supplement classroom collections or to check out and take home – easy readers, concept books, Newbery Award winners, Coretta Scott King Award books, Caldecott Award and other picture books, reference books, encyclopedias, and more. Reinforce a math or science lesson with a DVD, or reward students’ hard work with a Friday movie! Check out magazines like “Your Big Back Yard,” “American Girl,” “National Geographic for Kids,” or “Ranger Rick” to provide reading enrichment.
Remember that the Library offers “HomeworkLouisiana” – a connection to live, certified tutors Sunday through Thursday from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m. Visit www.wbrpl.com from anywhere to connect with your library card. The SkillsCenter Resource Library is available 24/7, and the Adult Education and Career Center is available from Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Library materials will also be brought by bookmobile and van to schools and community stops as well. Child care facilities will receive books and storytimes. Watch for new programs that will be coming up – Cubelets Robotics classes, Lego Club, theater performances, holiday projects, and even “ice skating” at the Library! Make it a great school year – with your West Baton Rouge Parish Library!
Let’s hear it for Summer Reading! Come on, a great big cheer!“Go, Reading Team!”
Summer reading is awesome! Read anything you want to, but read something! It’s about more than just preventing Summer Learning Loss, although that’s certainly reason enough to read. It’s about developing imaginations! It’s about curiosity! It’s about exploring other places and times!
Read aloud together at every age – no one ever outgrows a good story. If you ever want about a thousand reasons why you should make sure your family reads, just “Google” it. Or check out Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook (372.452 TRE), which is fabulous, and also gives appendices of excellent book lists.
There is a huge push to read 1,000 books with your child before he/she enters kindergarten – it’s SO important, and so do-able! It’s all about brain development, and it doesn’t stop when the child enters kindergarten. In fact, it doesn’t stop EVER!
Your library card is free, and we even have a new design with a key-chain option. Choose from over 93,000 books on just about any topic you can imagine – from the library, the bookmobile, or from the website (www.wbrpl.com).
Summer reading is happy reading! Go, Reading Team!
How true! As the State continues to struggle with budget shortfalls and reductions in services, it’s comforting to know that your Library will continue to operate and offer services to counteract the effects of State cuts. West Baton Rouge Parish Library is funded at the Parish level – Parish voters approved a 4.1 mill ad valorem referendum in November 2014 which will support your Library through 2025. Local funding for local services!
Please know that your Library is here for you! We offer current technology for public use, free computer use and Internet access, and a wide variety of databases for homework help, business information, and research topics.
Upgrade your skills with Lynda.com, type your resume’ on our computers, search for job vacancies, apply for assistance, file job applications, or keep up with the latest news. And remember that we have lots of free entertainment for your families – books, DVDs, programs for all ages, and much more!
Since ancient times, mariners have named as “Polaris” the star on the tip of the handle of the “Little Dipper” because it points the direction to the North Pole. It is also the name of a software product from the company Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (www.iii.com) that we are now using at WBRPL to guide us, like the North Star, to a “pole” or goal of better service to you, our patrons.
Polaris ILS is our new Integrated Library System: www.iii.com/products/polaris-ils/. It went online two weeks ago, and we have been fine-tuning it since to offer you a more streamlined and effective service in acquiring, finding, and retrieving the books, talking books, serials, DVDs, and other resources that you request of us, your library staff. In licensing this software, WBRPL joins the technical ranks of the Chicago Public Library among other major urban library systems and several Louisiana libraries that already use Polaris. Polaris this year integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud platform. As a company, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. maintains its edge in the field of information technology. Their brochure states:
“The Polaris ILS is designed from the ground up to provide a robust and scalable software solution with powerful staff tools and an intuitive experience for patrons. Built on a Microsoft SQL server database platform with documented APIs, the Polaris ILS is open to connections: with your patrons and their social media, with third-party vendors, and with resources beyond your walls. The future of library services is open.”
The best thing about Polaris is that its “…open system architecture with APIs and cloud optimization to ensure our system is open, scalable, and extensible for the future.” This is “techie talk” but what this means to you, our patrons, is that our Network Administrator (in-house IT manager) can create customized modules and reports according to our every need, allowing us to use every means at our disposal to speed, target, and facilitate your transactions at our Library, using computers and software to bring 21st century library service to West Baton Rouge Parish. You may not see many changes on-screen, but we hope you “feel” the change as you use the services of our parish Library. Come visit us and give us the opportunity to help you find something fun and/or useful!
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
FREE computer skills classes at WBRPL! Twice a week: Tuesdays 6 – 7:30 PM; Wednesdays 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Call Lou at 225-342-7920 for more information or on the day of class before you make the trip.
We call this program COINS = CO-mputers, IN-ternet, and S-oftware. WBRPL offers our library patrons free one-on-one instruction in computer skills, especially for those who have never used a computer before. Advanced courses are available online via the website Lynda.com – free with your library card!
WBRP Library offers technology skills training because the whole world is shifting to digital format. Job applications, social services, news, medical information, auto repair information, discussions on controversial topics like global warming, environmental pollution, and modern politics are all happening online right this very minute! Those who lack access or skills for information technology risk being left out. A website run by library professionals offers more information: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/
The Library’s mission is: “…to provide the residents of West Baton Rouge Parish with access to books and other resources and services for education, information, and recreation. The library is dedicated to improving the quality of life of parish residents by providing free access to information in both traditional and electronic formats.”
To help us fulfill our mission, WBRPL asks any library patron or resident of the parish to drop in on any class to ask whatever questions you may have. There is no set syllabus or schedule of topics. Any question may be asked at any time. That way, we address the concerns and problems of you – our patrons – directly pertaining to what you need to do: learn the basics of computer operation, learn to navigate the World Wide Web, set up an email account, create documents and save or email them, set up social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and much more.
Please call us today for information: 225-342-7920, ext. 230: Luis Interiano, Adult Services Librarian, West Baton Rouge Parish Library.
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
Don’t touch that dial! … dear patrons, because today, we will look at Newsbank: “With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.”
This is an amazing resource for students doing research, for anyone seeking information, or just looking for entertainment, provided to our patrons FREE by your West Baton Rouge Parish Library. From the comfort of home or mobile phone, our library patrons can read through recent issues of 27 national news magazines, 36 Louisiana newspapers, and 2,292 newspapers and news sources from other states and national distribution: a total of 3,055 recent and high-quality news sources available for FREE with the Golden Ticket called “Your Library Card.”
1) Search is organized by twelve topics: Business & Economics, Education, Environment, Health, International Issues, Jobs and Careers, Leisure Activities, People, Politics and Government, Social Issues, Sports, and Technology.
2) Or patrons can search by the title of any of the 27 news magazines that are available for free reading with issues from the 1990s to the present for some, last few years for others.
3) 36 Louisiana newspapers date from the 2000s to the present.
4) Under “America’s News” patrons can search 2,281 state newspapers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., four US territories, and 260 national news sources.
To access Newsbank, please visit our home page: www.wbrpl.com and click Resources at top left. In the new page, click the first box labeled Newsbank. A new page will open showing “Welcome West Baton Rouge Parish Library” at top left. You can search via the four methods above. If you need more information, please call Adult Services Librarian Luis Interiano at 225-342-7920, ext. 230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Until next time! Hasta luego! This is Librarian Lou, signing off!
WORLD BOOK! A whole world enclosed in a book of many volumes. It is a vision of what information seeking was and still is – because World Book is now online.
To access all the World Book products, our patrons would have to pay hundreds of dollars per year, but the Golden Ticket called Your Library Card gets you a world of learning and fun for FREE because West Baton Rouge Parish Library provides our patrons with free access.
To find it, go to our web page: www.wbrpl.com and click the “Resources” button at top left(ish). On the next page, scroll down to find the Resource box labeled “World Book” and click it. You will jump off and land on the World Book Super Page.
Six of the resources offered are: Kids, Student, Advanced, Timeline, Discover, and Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos (Discoveries Student Encyclopedia) in Spanish.
The Student, Advanced, and Timeline resources have been redone and are truly fantastic! They bring in photos and graphics to enhance results, and searching is very easy with the ability for students to store information in their own separate (free) accounts for later research.
The new World Book E-Books resource contains several thousand ebooks in nineteen categories like Animals, Arts & Crafts, Biographies & Autobiographies, Environment, Fiction & Literature, Health, High Interest, History, Humor, Mathematics, Mysteries & Thrillers, Mythology, Non-Fiction, Science & Nature, Social Studies, Space, Transportation, Puzzles, and Graphic Non-Fiction (illustrated knowledge). There are also 1,500+ Classic Ebooks from Shakespeare to Shelley, Darwin to Dickens, and Tolstoy to Twain.
All of these resources are available to you from home, so you can research or enjoy them at any time. If you need help in learning how to navigate them, please drop into one of our weekly basic computer and internet classes – COINS – on Tuesday evenings, 6 – 7:30 PM and Wednesday mornings, 11 AM – 12:30 PM, or call to schedule 15 minutes of personal instruction. During open library hours, you can also call from home to get help by phone: 225-342-7920 ext. 230, Luis Interiano, Adult Services Librarian.
We are looking forward to hearing from you, our patrons, what you think about the usability and value of these free resources. Please call us or message via our website.
Until next time, this is…Librarian Lou, signing off!
Don’t touch that dial! Hello out there in Library-Land! This is Librarian Lou coming to you with an update on developments at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library.
If you have recently navigated to the Library’s main website at www.wbrpl.com, you will notice a very different look. That is because the back end of the website has been totally redesigned! Our goal was to create a website that patrons will be able to use quickly and easily on all platforms: desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile. The first thing you will notice on our new web page is a less cluttered look and soft pastel colors for a very easy-on-the-eye experience.
At top left, new information has been added and the buttons made more comprehensive. “Happenings” is a new term for upcoming events on the calendar. The biggest change in this area is the addition of the “Resources” button that activates the “Resource Wizard.”
The “Resource Wizard” searches the entire website for topics, events, or resources related to whatever you type in the search box. It is a customized search tool that drills deep down through the pages to find anything related to your request so you can find what you need ASAP. We hope you will find it an easy way to find anything in our website. We welcome your comments! Please click the “Contact” button at top left to send a message.
On the top right are three new buttons: (1) The magnifying glass indicating “search” for books or other library resources in our Catalog; (2) an “age group” button since many of our events are targeted toward four basic age groups: babies & toddlers, older children, teens, adults & seniors; and (3) a “like” button for reaching our three social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Common wisdom says WYSIWYG or “What you see is what you get,” but that is not true about websites. Online, it is very important to scroll down the page with the scroll bar or the wheel on your mouse to see “what lies beneath.” On our web page, scrolling down will show more features including “Staff Stories” which contains this column or previous editions of it, our Teen Zone blog, and more. The next feature is “Happenings” on our calendar, and the page ends with a place for patrons to join our mailing list. Don’t miss this chance to stay informed about the high-quality free programs and resources offered by WBRPL. There is also a button to download this newsletter to your PC or other device. Our quarterly newsletters contain an excellent overview of the many resources we offer. Collect them all!
Please let us know what you think about our new website. Until next time, this is…