We’re going to the library…to Exercise! 

  

That’s right! The Lafourche Parish Public Library has FREEexercise programs to help keep you fit. Once a week or three times a week, the library has a program for you. You can start out gently by taking “A walk in the Park” starting at the Lockport Branch every other Tuesday at 10:30 am. Raceland Branch hosts Walk the Track”  each Wednesday at 10:30 am. Bayou Blue Branch has “Walk Away the Pounds” every Thursday at 4:30. If that’s not convenient for you, you can catch the program in Golden Meadow on Fridays at 11 am. Still not fitting your schedule? South Lafourche Branch has “Walk Away the Pounds” each Monday at 1:00 pm, and Wednesday and Friday at 2:00 pm.

  

Maybe that seems too tame or you need more intensity. Zumba will get your body moving and your heart thumping! Thibodaux Branch has Zumba programs every Monday at 4:00 pm.  If that’s too early for you, you can catch the program at the Bayou Blue Branch at 5:00 each Thursday. 


Another option for kicking up the heartrate is  the Hip Hop Abs programs at Thibodaux Branch every Friday at 11:00 am.

  

Too much “exercise” and not enough fun involved? Seniors can exercise by playing Wii Bowling at the Larose Branch every other Monday at 10 am. No heavy bowling balls to lift and lots of friendly competition. Maybe you just want to dance and have a good time. Line Dancing with Carolyn takes place at the South Lafourche Branch on the second Thursday of each month at 2:00 pm. You can dance to your heart’s content.

  

With so much to choose from, there is sure to be a program that fits your needs. Check the Lafourche Parish Public Library calendar and start your fitness program with exercises at the Library. It’ll be so much fun, it won’t feel like exercise!


Post by Kathy, Cataloging Librarian


What we did with our Teen Tech Week Grant

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When the Teen Tech Week grant was written, it was hoped that we could get teens interested in more library programs.

Teens will show up to use the computers to chat with friends and watch internet videos, but mention digital literacy or STEM/STEAM and they’ll look at you like you’re an alien. Don’t get me wrong; our schools are hardworking, Title I schools that strive to teach students what they can. But a rural area of Lafourche Parish is not really at the top of the list for the fast paced information technology industry.

Like any library in the country, we know we have to get them young or we lose them until they’re adults. And without many options they’re not going to stay in this area. The public library still has that stereotypical “the library is where the losers hang out” view to contend with among the teens. Our programming has to be unusual to get them in. We all know video games are always a popular draw. I’ve used free programs like Scratch and Kodu with them before. But the funds and resources to host a large scale video game design program were simply beyond our scope before now.makegamesIt’s been a week since we started our Teen Tech Week Game Design Camp and it’s going better than we could have hoped for. Nine teens started making their RPG video game the first meeting, and more have promised to join over the weekend to catch up. We have a mix of teams, partners, and independent game designers working away. Most have chosen to show up daily to work on their game instead of spending time on Facebook and YouTube. Quite a few of the college bound highschoolers have asked about degree programs in computer animation and the gaming industry. They had no idea the library was capable of offering so much for them to enjoy. Some of them had never visited the library before. They regret that now.

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By the end of the month, we hope to have ten games for patrons to beta test that were designed by our teens. The minimum assignment is to create four maps for players to explore, playable characters, and an enemy encounter. If any of them will have a fully created game by the end is questionable, but somehow I don’t think I have to worry about them not reaching the minimum.

Leaving the library before closing is another question.

Post by Kristen, Teen Tech Week Grant Coordinator @ Lockport Library

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In Praise of Libraries

In Praise of Libraries by Joe Queenan

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I was sent a wonderful article published in the March 2015 edition of The Rotarian. What a fantastic article about libraries and their value in communities. I thought I would share some of its main points.

  • “The Public Library is the only civic institution in my community that is uncompromisingly successful. ,,, “
  • “The public library is the community’s kindly grandmother: helpful, patient, understanding. ….
  • “The public library is an indispensable institution that somehow manages to get taken completely for granted. Like the clouds above us, like the birds that fill those skies, it is a glorious creation that is hiding in plain sight. Society pays little attention to it, even though society cannot survive without it. Not any real society. Small towns can do without movie houses and fancy restaurants and stores that sell 50 kinds of balsamic vinegar. They can even do without bookstores. But small towns cannot do without a public library. Cannot, cannot, cannot. You can look it up.”
  • “The public library serves many functions in a community. It is an adjunct to the public schools. A place where kids can do their homework. It is a day care center of sorts, where small children gather for story hour. It is a safe place where senior citizens can pass the time in the company of others, where the unemployed can look for work. It is a place where the lonely can be less lonely, the bored less bored…. It is the one place in a small town where teenagers cannot possibly get into serious trouble. Well, not without really setting their minds to it.”
  • “The Public library has features that make it different from any other institution. It is public, in the true democratic sense of the word, and it is free. The value of being free cannot be overestimated. You cannot hang out in the local coffee shop for free. You cannot hang out in the diner for free. You cannot hang out at the senior citizens center for free if you are not a senior. Yes, you can pass the time in the park or along the bank of the river, but not in December… But you can hang out in a library no matter who you are, no matter what your income, no matter how you are dressed, no matter what your interest. The library’s philosophy is simple: Come one, come all.”
  • “The wide array of things that libraries offer means that they reach all levels of society. They make society better than it would be if left to its own devices.”
  • “The library is the only place where people of all colors, creeds, ages, and political beliefs freely, wisely, and inadvertently intermingle. The public library is the only fully democratic institution that I know of.”
  • “Public libraries are not judgmental in the way that other institutions are. They offer good books, but they also offer bad books. … Inside the library is a free-for-all, culturally speaking. Some people are reading David Baldacci; some are reading David Copperfield. But the most valuable thing that libraries offer  us is a path through the looking glass, a sense of wonder.”
  • “Maureen Percy is the director of the Warner Public Library…. I ask her about the challenges libraries face. ‘Some people think that libraries are obsolete, because you can Google everything,’ she says. ‘Some people don’t see why we need all these books. Well, last year, 192,000 items circulated in this building. Not all of them books, but most of them were. So somebody still thinks library books are important.” (Lafourche Parish in 2014 had over 370,000 items check out)
  • “She adds: ‘We are a community center, yes, so we offer help with doing your taxes and applying for jobs and improving your English. But we can’t just be that. We can’t just be a service organization. We can’t lose sight of our identity as a cultural center.”
  • “ ‘… When you go to the library, you see children, families, people of all age groups. It makes you feel that you are a part of a community.’ … ‘In the library, you get to feel that you are part of something bigger than yourself. Its life.’”
  • “And a big part of life is adventure. Yes, public libraries are a place to learn, but they are also a place to play. They are a place to experiment, a place to go hither when one is expected to go yon.”
  • “The library is thus both the ultimate backstage pass and the rabbit hole we can follow Alice down. The library is not just the House of Knowledge. It is the House of Dreams.”

Continue reading

Women’s History Month

March is National Women’s History Month.



          Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives is the 2015 theme selected by the National Women’s History Project for National Women’s History Month.  It began in March of 1857 when New York City factory workers protested over unfair working conditions. Broadened into Women’s History Week in 1981, it was expanded into a month long celebration in 1987.


Each and every woman has a story to tell. Accounts of the lives of individual women are important because they reveal strong role models who can show what women are capable of accomplishing.  These stories encourage girls and young women to think about their futures and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.


Knowing and sharing stories of our ancestors strengthens our lives.  These stories, written and oral, give us information about the lives of people we may not have known.  Remembering these tales of our ancestors’ talents, sacrifices, and commitments inspire us and opens the way to our future.



Here are a few interesting facts from the U.S. Census in honor of National Women’s History Month:


• 161 million: number of females in the U.S. as of December 2013.  The number of males was 156.1 million.

• 2 to 1:  At 85 and older, the approximate ratio by which women outnumbered men in 2012 (3.9 million to 2.0 million)

• 74.8 million:  number of females 16 and older who participated in the civilian labor force in 2012.  Women comprised 47.4 percent of the civilian labor force in 2012.

• 1.6 million:  number of female veterans in the U.S. in 2012.

• $37, 791:  median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012.  In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $49,398.

• 11.3 million:  number of women college students in fall 2012.  Women comprised 56.8 percent of all college students.

• 85.4 million:  estimated number of mothers in the U.S. in 2009.

• 5.2 million:  number of stay-at-home mothers nationwide in 2013; compared with 214,000 stay-at-home fathers.

I challenge you to make an effort this March to write a short account of a woman who has been an inspiration to you.  That person might be your mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother.  She might be a friend or a special teacher who helped you or inspired you in your youth. Honor this special woman in your life by telling her story and letting her know of the influence she had on you.


Read more at the National women’s history project website.




Post  by Charlotte, Area Librarian

Lockport and South Lafourche branches win YALSA grants!

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Are you a gamer and want to design your own video game?
Do you have a teen (ages 16 or 17) looking for summer work?

The library might be able to help, thanks to two recently awarded grants from ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association, or YALSA.

The Lockport and South Lafourche branches were each awarded $1,000 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) grants. The library branches received word of the grant funding earlier this month.

GAME ON!
The Lockport Branch’s $1,000 YALSA / Best Buy Teen Tech Week Mini Grant will help the branch implement a video game design camp where area teens will learn the technical and creative skills used by today’s game designers.

The library’s Game Design Camp will allow teens to join a Development Team to create their own role-playing game (RPG) video game throughout March to celebrate Teen Tech Week.  The program will allow 20 to 40 tweens and teens ages 12 to 18 to join a team and design a first-person role-playing game. Tweens and Teens will learn some of the skills necessary to become animators, level designers, audio artists, story writers, programmers and game testers. They’ll create characters, images, and backgrounds; learn design and function; construct menus; select music and sound effects; learn basic programming and design; and more.

Kristen Angelette, branch assistant at the Lockport Branch, says the program is designed to help teens gain both confidence and marketable skills. “We believe this workshop will assist teens in developing their digital literacy skills and discover opportunities in the fields of computer animation and game design,” she said.

The Game Design Camp will involve five workshop days, each consisting of 30 minutes of general instruction and one to two hours of assisted design work.

Tweens and teens must register to attend, so sign up at the Lockport Branch.

Game Design Camp dates and times are:
Wednesday, March 11, 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 14, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 25, 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 2:00 p.m.

SUMMER HELP WANTED!

Is your sixteen- or seventeen-year old looking for summer work?
Thanks to YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the South Lafourche Branch is seeking two teen interns to help with the 2015 Summer Reading Program.

Teens will work 50 hours during June and July to assist with various aspects of the library’s Summer Reading Program and will earn $10 per hour, for a total of $500 each during the summer.

To be eligible for an internship, teens must be either 16 or 17 years old; be enrolled in local public or parochial schools or be homeschooled; and live in the South Lafourche communities of Larose, Cut Off, Galliano, Golden Meadow, Leeville or Fourchon.

Teen interns will assist in Summer Reading programs ranging from Story hour and crafts to theatrical performances and guest storytellers. Primarily, they’ll help staff members plan for and implement Summer Reading programs, but they’ll also have an opportunity to greatly assist in programs such as LEGO Robotics, K’nex Kids, and more.

The South Lafourche Branch will be accepting applications for the two available internships in the coming weeks. Check this space for more information.

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