We hope you enjoy these
photographs of 2008 programs and other happenings at
New Orleans Public Library

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger version of the image.
December 2008
At the Children's Resource Center, the temperature was pushing 80 degrees in late December in New Orleans but inside the library, children from St. Stephen's School were making snowmen anyway. The activity followed a short holiday storytime conducted by Judy Perret.
The Alvar library had a Holiday candy counting contest. April, a student and regular patron of the library, won with the correct guess. She won the bag of candies and a beautiful poinsettia.
The December Holiday program for the Alvar Arts series presented the musical group The Merlitones. The group features Alex McMurray, Jonathan Frielich and Washboard Chaz Leary.
Habitat for Humanity recently held an informational seminar at the Alvar branch library (as well as at several other NOPL locations). Attendees were presented with information on eligibility and requirements for the Habitat for Humanity program.
In December (the final class is January 22), the Alvar Branch hosted a Creative Writing Workshop supported by a grant from Poets & Writers and conducted by poet and writer Lee Grue. Attendees included students from the creative writing class of the Recovery School District and adults from the community.
The Rosa Keller Branch reopened to the public in December in a temporary facility funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At the opening festivities, NOPL's Chief Operating Officer, Rica Trigs (center), and Broadmoor Improvement Association president, LaToya Cantrell, (right) accept a plaque marking the occasion by Solinet's Kate Nivens. The Broadmoor community is excited about the planned major renovation of Keller, as represented by this architectural rendering.
The winners of the Teen Read Week 2008 Art Contest have been announced! They are: First Place: Whitney Mercadel for "Summer of the Monkeys [9th grade, King Branch]; Second Place: Vivian Castro for Arthur's Sleepover" [5th grade, Mid-City Branch]; Third Place: Martin Boecken for "Eragon" [9th grade, King Branch]; and Fourth Place: William Jenning Riley II for "In Freedom's Cause" [6th grade, Mid-City Branch]. The First Runner-Up is Jerweinn Jones [9th grade, King Branch]; the Second Runner-Up is Shaniece Smith [9th grade, King Branch]; and the Third Runner-Up is Tatiana Collins [9th grade, King Branch]. Congratulations to all!
YES, IT SNOWED in New Orleans on December 11(the earliest recorded snowfall here ever). The staff at the Main Library went a little crazy. Click here, here, here, and here to see more locals going nuts over this rare event. It snowed at the Children's Resource Center too (see more pictures at CRC's Flickr page) and across the River at Hubbell and Algiers Regional. And the snow transformed the Latter Branch into a scene perfect for a Christmas card. It was fun while it lasted!
The Kindergarteners from the Good Shepherd School came to see the traveling Lincoln exhibit at the Main Library on December 2. They learned about President Lincoln and grew "beards" during the field trip. The large, lovingly glued paper head of Lincoln is not missing from any national monument we know of.
November 2008
The Zor Bird comes to the CRC. In May of 2008, the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Joan Mitchell Foundation awarded New Orleans Artist and Sculptor Jim Sohr a $25,000 commission in support of the 2008 New Orleans Art in Public Places program. This marked the transition of the "Zor Bird" from its design on paper to an outdoor sculpture of over 15 feet in height. The new Zor Bird has been permanently erected as a unique adornment on the front lawn of the New Orleans Public Library's Childrens Resource Center Branch. For more images and information on the Zor Bird, see the CRC's new Flickr page.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2008 photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick of the L9 Center for the Arts presented a slide program of their photos from Angola prison and scenes of New Orleans. A discussion followed with information about their access to Angola and their relationship with singer Aaron Neville who vocals are used in the presentation, the progress of rebuilding in the Lower Ninth Ward and the important part art is playing in its recovery.
October 2008
Ms. Eileen Ryan won the Nix Branch's October National Popcorn Month contest. She guessed 231 out of a possible 237 number of popcorns stuffed in the jar. She won a tin of caramel popcorn from the Boy Scouts.
Staff members James Gile and Valerie Hawkins open the recently received boxes of items purchases with the donated funds from Americares. The items, including both juvenile and popular videos, children's pictures books, youth adult classic, adult literacy and crafts, and much more, were quickly unpacked and shelved. All are now available to the public system wide.
The Not So Scary Halloween party at Main Library on October 30th, 2008 included decorating treat bags before trick or treating on all three floors of the Library. It wouldn't be a not-so-scary party without at least one Disney Princess.
The Halloween program at Nix brought in a class of 1st graders from St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Staffer Joy Watts entertained them with spooky stories and then they made spiders.
In keeping with the theme of Books with Bite @ your library, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum presented a program entitled Food, Identity & a Sense of Place. Twenty-four 6th, 7th and 8th graders from St Andrew's Episcopal School attended. Liz Williams of SoFaB presented the lecture and the kids, some of whom won prizes, seemed to have loved it.
Darren Shan, author of the Cirque du Freak series, signed copies of his new book at the Main Library on October 28, 2008. Afterward, Darren posed for photos -- or was very dissatisfied with NOPL staff!
The non-profit group Every Child Matters had the Good Shepherd School Kindergarteners for a special storytime at the Main Library on October 28, 2008.
The costumes were a fright at the Halloween party at the Main Library on October 25th, 2008. Staff member Andrea Ely read scary stories, and K.G. Wilkins, our Children's Librarian, dressed as Little Bo Peep for the day -- and this little lamb showed up!
A Halloween candy counting contest was held at the Alvar Public Library. Pictured is Tony Massarello the first place winner with his prizes. Second and third place Halloween candy prizes were awarded to Dixie Robillard and Suzanne Esposito.
At a recent garden party held at the Alvar Public library, local artist Jim Sohr presented his painting titled "For Miss Helen -- Bringing in the Fish" to locally and internationally known jazz singer Charmaine Neville. The painting means a lot to both the artist and recipient since they both knew Miss Helen very well. She was not only a Bywater neighborhood resident but also a unique New Orleans character.
On Saturday, October 11, 2008 NOPL participated in the monthly Lower Ninth Ward Farmer's Market. Children selected free books from the NOPL bookmobile, and staff managed the library card sign-up table under the youth tent. Many adults as well as children received their first library cards.
Namaste! The Children's Room hosts a free children's yoga class every Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 pm. Susan Kierr is our teacher, who volunteers with National Council of Jewish Women. This photo shows the class held on October 7.
On October 2, 2008 the Kindergarten students from the Drew Elementary School participated in the Read for the Record: Jump-Start program in the Alvar public library's garden. Library Associate, Valerie Hawkins, reads this year's selection, Corduroy. After the reading a drawing was held and one child received a Corduroy bear.
The Nix Branch also participated in Read for the Record. Twenty-four kindergartners from St Andrew's Episcopal School came for a reading of Corduroy conducted by Library Associate Joy Watts. The kids stayed afterwards for a craft time related to the book.
At the Main Library, Irvin Mayfield, our Board President and World Famous Trumpeter, read to the Good Shepherd School kindergarten class. On October 2, over 450,000 people read Corduroy by Don Freeman, setting a world record and raising funds for JumpStart, a national literacy organization.
September 2008
Dionne Sparks was the Nix Branch's Count-the-Whatever Contest winner in September. In celebration of National Rice Month, she came closest with a guess of 240 out of a possible 287 rice chex in the jar. She won a box of Rice Krispie Treats.
Here are pictures from the Alvar Poetry program which was conducted on September 13, 2008. Local and nationally known poet, Valentine Pierce, read from her book titled, Geometry of the Heart.
Ms. Kimberly Pollard received her volunteer certificate at the annual Americorps luncheon. Ms. Pollard served at the Martin Luther King public library as a story teller and an after-school tutor. Her service was of great value to the children and to the community.
August 2008
The winner of the Nix Branch's August Count the Whatever Contest was Mike Lappa, who acurately counted 92 Jolly Ranchers to win a watermelon for National Watermelon Month.
July 2008
The Alvar Branch wrapped up the Summer Reading Program on July 31 with a party -- including cake, gifts for the kids, and a performance of "The Journey of the Drum".
The Audubon Zoomobile presented its program to an audience at Nix on July 31.
The July winner of the Nix branch's continuing Count the Whatever Contest is Ms Lavender Spirit, who came closest with a guess of 175 out of a possible 183. For National Ice Cream Month she won $10 in gift certificates to Baskin & Robbins.
Singer and storyteller Philip Melancon entertained the kids for the Summer Reading Program at Mid-City on July 9th.
Longue Vue House and Gardens presented its Bee A Star program at the Nix library on July 3rd. The audience got to check out the bees and learn why they are so important to us. The program also included a bumblebee-making craft time.
The Play Power program, sponsored by the Louisiana Children's Museum, is held every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Alvar Branch. Here children play in boxes which represent their homes and neighborhoods.
June 2008
JoAnn Allen, library associate of the AARC, welcomes students to the library and gets them prepared for the storytelling program, as part of AARC's Summer Programming.
As part of the African American Resource Center's Summer Programming, students enjoyed learning about famous African Americans on June 12. Library Associate JoAnn Allen introduced the students to a variety of famous African Americans using short bio cards with photos. Following the review of the photos and pictures, students took turns sharing information on a famous African American.
On June 13, 2008, the African American Resource Center hosted a Juneteenth Celebration in the auditorium recognizing the abolishment of slavery in America. Valencia Hawkins, head of the African American Resource Center, welcomed over 60 guests to the noontime event. The celebration featured lectures by Dr. Felix James and Ms. Linda Hill, both of Southern University at New Orleans, music by John Mosley and friends, food and gifts.
Americorps volunteer Ms. Anne helped children with a basket making craft after her story time, held every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Alvar branch.
The Nix Branch's June 2008 "Count the Whatever Contest" winner is Clarissa Evans, shown here with her grandniece, Kayla. Clarissa guessed 236 out of a possible 243 candies in the jar. As the winner of National Candy Month, she won chocolates from Blue Frog.
As part of our continuing effort to Build a City of Readers, NOPL has given Touro Birthing Center 500 "Early Literacy Kits" to give out to the parents of babies born at Touro. Donna Shremser, City Librarian, visited Quensell Ponte and baby Skyla, the first mom and newborn to receive a bag. With them is Touro CNA DeLisa Bush. The bags (which contain a cloth toy, a book to read to the baby, a literacy booklet, and information on using the Library) were stuffed on June 25 by Touro volunteers Laura Neil, Kristen Bienvenu, Elizabeth Llopis, Savannah Ball, and Lisette Laprairie. This program is sponsored by a Community Giving Grant from Target.
On Thursday, June 26, thirteen architecture students from Portland State University toured and visited the Alvar library. They returned on Saturday, June 28th and volunteered to trim the trees and shrubs in the yard and around the library. They also helped to unpack and to process several boxes new books. They were accompanied by their professor, L. Rudolph Barton. They will return home to work on a project to design a neighborhood branch library.
The Alvar Branch celebrated the second anniversary of it Post-Katrina re-opening with a garden party. Attendees were treated to cake and tea, and also enjoyed an audition reading by local actress Lauren Swinney and a reading by Carolyn Levy of her one-act play. Phyllis Parun was the mistress of ceremonies. The activities took part in the garden as well as in the library and a good time was had by all.
Perennial Summer Reading Program favorite Irwin Royes, the World's Smallest Magician, mystfied children at the Alvar Branch on June 25. After each trick they always ask, "How does he do that?" Several children even had the opportunity to participate in the magic act.
On June 23, Frank Davis entertained the crowd at Hubbell Library's Author Night while he talked about his latest cookbook: Frank Davis Makes Good Groceries!.
Teen Game Night brought in an audience for board games, video games, PS2 and pizza on June 21st at the Mid-City Branch.
Doug Garrison and Anthony Cuccia conducted a drumming workshop for students from the MLK Summer Academic Academy on June 18, and also helped students make a hand-held shake. The drumming workshop was also held at the Mid-City Branch on June 4, where kids listened to the rhythm of the drums while getting some hands on action.
On June 19th, Sally Farrell presented her Birds of Prey program, Wind on My Feathers at the Nix Branch. Sally and her birds also visited the Einstein Branch on June 5 and the Martin Luther King Branch on June 11.
Campers from the Love Outreach Summer Camp enjoyed a visit and free books from the Hornets bookmobile at Hubbell Library on June 17. A surprise visit from Hugo, the Hornets' mascot, really made their day! The Hornets bookmobile also showed up at the Nix Branch on June 25, with free books from our fabulous, storybook team.
The top two draft choices of the New Orleans Saints visited the Main Library on June 11. Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and cornerback Tracy Porter (who comes from Port Allen, Louisiana) read stories and signed autographs for Saints fans young and old.
At the Alvar Branch on June 10, Walt Burgoyne, from the National World War II Museum dressed a student in an WWII army uniform and explained the particular role each branch of the armed forces played in the victory.
At the Nix Branch, the Summer Reading Program 2008 kicked off with The Journey of the Drum on June 6. Percussionists Michael Skinkus and Sula Evans and the kids journey through the history of New Orleans rhythms. There's another photograph here.
May 2008
The Summer Reading Program 2008 kicked off at the Main Library on May 31. Riffington, the Reading Is Fundamental mascot, made pretty new friends. RIF staffers were on hand with stickers. Communities in Support of Schools volunteers served cake and ice cream. And kids of all ages toted home a bag of free books from the NOPL bookmobile.
Nine year old Savana Strain was the May winner of the Nix Branch's on-going Count-the-Whatever contest. Savana came closest with a guess of 89 out of a possible 94 peppermints in the jar. Since May is National Duck Month, Savana won a dozen chocolate ducks from Blue Frog Chocolates.
With the help of Americorps Volunteers the AARC was able to continue the operation of a Homework Center for students in grade kindergarten - 8. Here students Jared Brown (left) and Donallen Thomas receive two thumbs up from Americorps Volunteers Judith Patrick and Theodore Nathan at the closing ceremony held on May 22nd in the AARC.
David Tureau, local artist and landscaper, dislpayed one of his scupltures on the final program of this season's Alvar Arts Night, May 20.
On May 5, Alvar staff member Marlene Pete participated in the Drew Elementary School Career Day and spoke to a group of 6th-graders on librarianship.
April 2008
April's Alvar Arts Night featured a slide presentation by S. Frederick Starr on the historic restoration of Bywater's Lombard Plantation.
The Nix Branch's celebration of National Frog Month included a "count-the-frogs" contest. Four-and-a-half-year-old Patrick, came closest to guessing the number of little frogs in a big glass jar (he guessed 157 out of a possible 162) and won the grand prize -- a dragon kite almost as big as he is.
On April 17, tadpoles (students, that is) from St. Andrews School celebrated National Frog Month at the Nix Branch with crafts and storytime.
On April 7, Ohio storyteller John Locke entertained children at King Branch with delightful Irish stories. Afterwards, the King kids posed with Mr. Locke.
Hundreds turned out at the April 5 Mid-City Library Fest, sponsored by the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization to raise money for the branch. Fest-goers enjoyed food, music, games, books, and stories.
March 2008
At the Alvar Arts Night, March 18, Lee Grue, noted poet and author, delighted the audience with her humerous and poignant poetry. She was joined by Delia Nakayama, who is not only a poet but also a singer/songwriter, painter and columnist. Her beautiful voice and delicate interpretation was truly unique and entertaining.
St. Patrick's Day at the Nix Branch, with storytime and potato head craft and the kids from St. Andrew's. Link here for another photo of the potato heads.
New Orleans Public Library booth at the 2008 Earth Fest at the Audubon Zoo. Literacy Americorps member Adrian McGrath and others read stories and promoted library use to hundreds of families at this popular Zoo event.
Rayjon Walton and his sister Jaionca Walton visit the Bead Gator at the Main Library Children's Room. The Children's Room is accepting Mardi Gras beads that will go to ARC of New Orleans for recycling (March to April). ARC serves New Orleanians with developmental disabilities and raises funds by recycling Mardi Gras beads. In this photo ARC staffers come to gather donated Mardi Gras beads to be recycled by ARC clients.
City Librarian Donna Schremser reads Marvin K. Mooney, Won't You Please Go Home! by Dr. Seuss during Read Across America at the Main Library on March 3. The Cat in the Hat was also on hand to visit and pose with Ms. Schremser and the kids. Joseph Levy coached 20 kids to act out Dr. Seuss stories in Action Theatre, including Horton, the Mayor, the Lorax, and some other characters. In real life, the kids go to Good Shepherd School, McMillan Pre-School, Covenant House Head Start, Central City Head Start, and MLK Head Start.
The Alvar Branch also celebrated Read Across America. Local pre-school children proudly display their Certificates of Participation from the program, celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday. Dressed in the familiar red hat and boe tie, staff member Henri Fourroux read several books by Dr. Seuss to the children.
February 2008
Black History Month 2008: A beginner's genealogy workshop was held at the Main Library on February 23 that attracted interested patrons to the Saturday morning workshop. Louisiana researcher Barbara Trevigne led the workshop and presented participants with an abundance of handouts and materials. Link here for additional photos from the event.
Black History Month 2008: Mr. Calvin Moret, who was trained as a Tuskegee Airman at Moton Air Field, talks to a captive audience about the Tuskegee Airmen at a February 23 program held inside the African American Resource Center. Mr Moret told the audience about the many different jobs that existed at the Moton Airfield from mechanic to pilot. Link here for additional photos from the event.
Author Night at Hubbell continued on February 19 with a talk by Richard Sexton, a photographer with numerous books to his credit, including his latest, Terra Incognita: Photographs of America's Third Coast. Like all of Hubbell's Author Nights, this one drew a big crowd, which enjoyed wine provided by Brian Perkins of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey and hors d'oeuvres by Laura Arrowood.
Black History Month 2008: On February 16, families had a great time at the Family Day program at the Alvar Branch Library. Hundreds of books were given away at the event. Tables were set up to distribute information from organizations like the Sister Study Breast Cancer Research and Healthy Families, a non-profit support organization offering resources to families. Link here for additional photos from the event.
Black History Month 2008: On February 14, the library gathered to honor Ms Louise LaMothe, who had worked for NOPL for 37 years, eighteen of which were spent as the Branch manager of the Hubbell Branch Library. A hands on individual, Ms LaMothe was a fixture in the Algiers Point community and made the library a central gathering place for many Algiers Point residents. Link here for additional photos from the event.
Black History Month 2008: Chakula Cha Jua presented a program at the Nix Branch of African American tales to students of St. Andrew's Episcopal School, February 12.
Black History Month 2008: Greer Rolland conducted a Mothers and Daughters Scrapbook Workshop on February 9 at the Main Library. Here, a mother and daughter listen as Ms. Rolland discusses the history of scrapbooking. Link here for another photograph from the event.
January 2008
Musician Delfeayo Marsalis was the keynote speaker for this year's Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration on January 17. Marsalis shared his thoughts on the struggles of African American people and the freedoms we enjoy today that were won by that struggle. [Link here for more photos]

Click here for Photo Corner 2007
Click here for Photo Corner 2006

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Updated 12/29/2008