We hope you enjoy these
photographs of 2009 programs and other happenings at
New Orleans Public Library

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger version of the image.
December 2009
King’s December Candy Jar counting contest winner was William from the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Charter School for Science & Technology. William won all of the candy in the jar. William is pictured here with King’s lovely Story Teller, Miss Leddy.
On December 29, City and Library officials gathered to break ground for the new Norman Mayer Branch. The library, known to most as the "Gentilly Branch," was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina; the new facility will be expanded from 7,850 square feet to approximately 19,000 square feet. The structure's $5.5 million cost is being funded by FEMA, Disaster Community Block Grant Funds, and Energy Grant. The building has an anticipated completion date of late 2010.
On December 17, recently purchased property next to the Gentilly Branch was demolished to make way for construction of the new 18,000 square foot branch at 1200 Foy Street. The ground breaking for the new branch is coming soon!
The winner of the Nix Branch's December 2009 "Count the Whatever Contest" was NOPL's very own James Watson of the Maintenance department. He gave the closest guess of 135 Hershey Kisses in the jar out of a possible 141. (For the native New Orleanians that's Silver Bells). He won a tin of Christmas Cookies.
At the Lakeview Branch, mothers and children both created ornaments for the branch's Christmas tree. The children also enjoyed making Christmas tree puzzles.
The King library recently hosted ceramic angel painting. Children from the area came to the library and painted ceramic angels to give to Harmony Hospice. Here are some of the angels the children painted.
Miss Leddy, King Library’s very own Story Teller, recently hosted story time about Kangaroos. A local Animal Rescuer brought in a live baby Kangaroo to show the children. King Library Associate James pets the baby Kangaroo!”
On December 5, the Children's Room partnered with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and other local groups to give out a free beanbag chair and a book to young library card holders. Over 200 bean bags were distributed. The Main Library Children's Room staff helped families pick out a free book for each child to go with their free bean bag chair. Each child and parent signed a contract to read for five minutes every day in the bean bag chair.
East New Orleans Regional Library Ground Breaking was held on Dec. 4, 2009 Friday. The 30,000 sq. two floor building is expected to be completed in late 2010. Mayor C. Ray Nagin, New Orleans City Council Member at Large Jackie Clarkson, State Representative Austin J. Badon, Jr., Council woman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, and NOPL Chief Operation Officer Rica Trigs attended the ceremony. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin spoke at the ceremony.
November 2009
Wendolyn Birdsong of our Acquisitions Division (shown here with her husband, Roy), retired after 31 years of service to NOPL. Wendolyn was honored by her colleagues at a retirement party on November 19, and, earlier, by the NOPL Board of Directors (shown here with Board Member Lee Reid and Board Chairman Irvin Mayfield). We'll miss you, Wendolyn!
The winner of the Nix Branch's November "Count the Whatever Contest" was Miriam. Even though November was National Peanut Butter Month, we decided to use pecans because of too many kids with peanut allergies. Miriam correctly guessed 173 pecan halves in the jar to win a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. She is shown here with her daughters Valerie and Miriam.
The Mid-City branch took part in National Gaming Day @ your library on Saturday, Nov 14. It was also a chance to debut our newest collection: video games! Attendees were able to play Wii, PlayStation, Dance Dance Revolution, and Rock Band, as well as board games. People of all ages had a great time getting their Game On. To keep the fun going, make sure to check out a video game for play at home!
Earlier this year, NOPL collaborated with Operation Paperback, an organization that sends reading materials to our service men and women stationed overseas. Seale Paterson, Branch Manager of the Hubbell Branch, along with several library volunteers, sent more than 1,300 paperbacks donated to Library to the military through this program. Recently, we received this thank you note from Major David G. Loyark, USMC, of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Afghanistan.
On November 7, NOPL participated in the Bywater Neighborhood Association's Mirliton Festival under the children's tent. Children attending the festival were given free books and completed arts and crafts projects.
October 2009
The winner of the Nix Branch's October "Count the Whatever" Contest is Timothy O'Connor, shown here with his girlfriend, Megan Burns. He guessed 133 out of a possible 134 candy pumpkins in the jar. He won a pumpkin for Halloween.
Abraham McFarland, Children's Room Associate, reads to little pumpkins, indians, and cheerleaders on October 29 at the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Main. After the stories and a craft, they went trick-or-treating around the Main Library.
On the 24th volunteers from Capital One Bank and the Friends of New Orleans Public Library aided us in doing some landscaping around the building. They planted crepe myrtles on the Willow Street side and placed some planters in the front of the building.
On Thursday, October 22nd, the M. L. King Branch celebrated Teen Book Day by giving away a free Young Adult book to any teen with a New Orleans Public Library Card.
On October 22nd, Nix Branch did a special storytime highlighting Louisiana children's authors. Joy read works by Coleen Salley, Cecilia Dartez and Mo Willems to the 1st grade class of St Andrew's Episcopal School. Afterwards in keeping with our traditional Louisiana swamp theme the kids made alligators and received goody bags on their way out. A few of them even found time to lie down and read a good book.
The King Branch celebrated Teen Read Week with a Brazilian Capoeira Martial Arts Demonstration, featuring New Orleans own local Capoeira Maculele group. This martial art incorporates dance, music, and acrobatics into a deadly defense. King’s Librarian also participated in Capoeira Maculele!
Capital One Bank recently came to the M. L. King Branch Library to help reorganize their back storage room. Volunteers donated 3 beautiful new bookshelves! Capital One Bank also donated a wonderful new Bike Rack, compliments of New Orleans own Gerken’s Bike Shop. Here a Gerken employee installs the new bike rack.
Rodney Smith & Michelle Gremillion represented NOPL at the Louisiana Festival of the Book in Baton Rouge on October 17.
On October 15, students at the Martin Luther King Charter School got a visit from President Barack Obama. The King School houses a branch of the New Orleans Public Library. These photos were taken by the branch manager, Linda Gielec.
On October 13, the East New Orleans Temporary Branch opened to the public with a Grand Opening Celebration. Shown here are SOLINET Manager Mary Ellin Santiago; ENO Branch Library Manager Lila LaGraize; Chair, Board of Directors Irvin Mayfield; Associate Director of Branch Services Shannon Aymami; Council woman Cynthia Willard-Lewis; and NOPL Chief Operating Officer Rica Trigs. The ENO Branch, at 5641 Read Blvd., will serve the East New Orleans community while our new branch, slated for completion in 2010, is under construction.
On October 8, for the 4th year in a row, the Nix branch joined with other libraries around the world in Jumpstart's Read for the Record program. The idea is to have as many kids read, or be read to the same book on the same day. The book chosen this year was Eric Carle's A Very Hungry Caterpillar. This year over 1 million children worldwide participated in the event.The kindergarten class of St Andrew's came in for the story and a craft.
At the King Branch, Miss Leddy hosts a wonderful outer-space themed story time. Here children are picking up their outer-space coloring sheets after the program.
Martin Luther King School Pre-K students and children from the public enjoy a monster themed story time with Miss Leddy at the King Branch Library. Here a local young man throws a bean bag into the Story Monster’s mouth!
King Branch Patrons are concentrating hard on their game as they take part in the new King Branch Library Chess Club.
September 2009
Young library patrons proudly display their "catch of the day" after another Craft Saturday with Celan Hardman at Alvar Branch.
In celebration of the 111th anniversary of H.A. Rey's birth (author of the Curious George books) on September 16, the Nix Branch did a Curious George storytime with 2nd graders from St Andrew's Episcopal School. The kids received bananas afterwards.
August 2009
Ms. Kathy Voltz won the August "Count the Whatever Contest" at Nix Library. She guessed 263 out of a possible 267 little watermelon candies in the jar. For National Watermelon Month she won a nice little seedless watermelon.
Many thanks to the New Orleans Food and Farm Network for coordinating and supervising local Tulane University Volunteers in their work of weeding and replanting the front Garden at Alvar Branch Library.
In anticipation of the King Branch's upcoming fall monster-themed storytimes, King's new Page, Ms. Milam, created this wonderful "Story Monster" display sculpture. Ms. Milam created this monster with help from various MLK School students and local neigborhood children.
The King Branch recently acquired a lovely new pet! Come to the King Branch to say hello to our new Bearded Dragon, Pretty Boy.
The King Branch is hosting a series of adult memoir writing workshops, led by local author Michelle Embree.
On August 5th, King’s new Page, Miss Sherry “Leddy”, orchestrated a kid made and produced puppet show based around the book Chica Chica Boom Boom.
"The Solitary Chair" by artist and New Orleans native Michael Moreau, was recently installed in the garden at the Alvar Branch in Bywater. Librarian Mary Ann Marx and Earl Moreau, father of the artist, are seen with the piece, which is an artistic expression of personal space.
Over 200 Summer Reading Club participants attended a party in their honor at the City Park amusement park on August 1, 2009. Congratulations to all the readers who participated in this year's program. See lots more photos of the party on Flickr.
July 2009
Ms. Kendra Forte won the July Lollipop counting contest at the King Branch. She won a bag full of lollipops, including two Hello Kitty Marshmallow Pops!
The African American Resource Center hosted eight programs for summer day campers from June 2 – July 21. Beyonka Wilson, African American Resource Center library associate, helps two campers create their African huts during the second the second AARC summer day camp program.
That Was the Year That Was, an interactive play written by Chakula cha Jua, was AARC’s seventh program. Campers learned about the history of Black New Orleans, being introduced to 25 different years of an historical event or the birth of an African American.
Do You Know Nu’Awlins?, another AARC Summer program, had three stations that reflected some the unique characteristics of New Orleans culture -- Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans cuisine and jazz. Here the campers are learning about New Orleans cuisine with the help of guest facilitator Ethelyn Hamilton Frezel.
The winner of the Nix Branch's July Count the Whatever Contest is 12 year old Nadia. She guessed 105 out of a possible 107 little ice cream spoons in the jar. For National Ice Cream Month she won a $10 gift certificate to Gelato Pazzo Caffe on Oak Street.
King's new library page, Ms. Milam, began regular storytimes at the King Branch Library in July.
Children at the King Branch took part in their own Summer Reading Program End Party. Everyone had cake and punch and some lucky children went home with prizes.
Ms. Eunice, through the King Branch Library, volunteered her time on July 29th to help local Lower 9th Ward summer camp kids paint her hand crafted pottery. The children also painted their own fruit pottery.
On July 28th, for the last Summer Reading Program performance at the Mid-City Branch, Michael Skinkus and Janel Sula Evans taught a packed audience about traditional drumming and songs from Africa to New Orleans.
On July 28th, Irvin Mayfield spoke at the meeting of the Culture at the Center Series held at the Alvar Branch library.
The Aquavan brought the rainforest to the King Branch Library on July 22. The kids got to meet Chippy the Iguana.
The "Samba Man" Curtis Pierre played a variety of percussion instruments from around the world at the Main Library on July 22. The Tambourine and Fan Summer Camp enjoyed the show and sang, clapped, played and danced with Mr. Pierre.
Irwin Royes, the World’s Smallest Magician, mesmerized the audience at Mid-City Library on July 21st in conjunction with the Summer Reading Program. Volunteers from the audience helped him perform magic tricks.
The Summer Reading Program brought musician Curtis Pierre to Nix on the 16th. Curtis demonstrated several percussion instruments from around the world to an attentive crowd. He entertained them with samba music and got the kids up to play music with him.
The Martin Luther King Branch Library's new library page, Ms. Sherry Led Milam, shows children at the library several examples of some wonderful puppets. She is preparing the children for their very own puppet production which they will create and perform for friends and family within the library in early August. In preparation for their puppet production, children at the Martin Luther King Branch Library are painting their very own puppet show background!
On July 15th, children at the Martin Luther King Branch Library were introduced to live raptor birds. Sally Farrel brought six beautiful raptor birds to the library. Here, she is introducing a very special owl!"
Adella Adella the Storyteller, taking part in the event for the Summer Reading Program 2009 at Alvar Branch Library on July 15, animatedly dances her story as she enthusiastically invites young audience members to join in on all the fun.
On July 10th, Magician Irwin Royes visited the Martin Luther King Branch Library and wowed kids with his magnificent magic! As a special treat, the Martin Luther King Branch Library provided free Sno-Balls to all of the children who came to Irwin's magical performance.
The Summer Reading Program brought the Audubon Institute's Ed Gray and the AquaVan to Nix on July 1st. Ed talked about the Rainforest and the species it harbors to a crowd of 73. Among the animals he brought were a tarantula, a Chilean Pacman frog, an African Savana Monitor Lizard and a Sinaloan Milk Snake.
On July 1st, Philip Melancon visited the Martin Luther King Branch Library and put on a smashing musical performance. Kids are pictured here learning to play some amazing instruments!"
Sally Farrel shows off one of her amazing birds of prey during the Wind In My Feathers Summer Reading Program at Alvar Library July 1st.
June 2009
June was both National Dairy & National Candy Month! In honor of this, the Martin Luther King Branch Library held a candy guessing jar contest. Everyone who set foot in the library, adults and children alike, were invited to guess how much candy was in our jar. We awarded our 1st prize guesser, our very own James Watson of delivery fame, a small sand-pale full of candy, along with a stuffed cow piggy bank!! Our 2nd prize guesser was a King regular, Mr. Russell Jordan. Russell won all of the candy in the jar!
In the Nix Branch's June 2009 "Count the Whatever Contest", Ms. Kimberly Bordeaux won for National Candy Month. She guessed 204 out of a possible 208 gumdrops in the jar and won a box of chocolates.
On June 30th, the Martin Luther King Branch Library celebrated the end of June, National Dairy Month, by having a Cow Story Time, followed by a Craft Time which involved several children from the community gathering to make cow sock puppets. Here is an example of one of the many cow sock puppets so lovingly created at the Martin Luther King Branch Library.
Bernard Parun, Jr., U.S. National Chess Association Expert Player, plays chess simultaneously against two Alvar library patrons. Mr. Parun will be available to play beginners and intermediate players the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 5 p.m.
Jacquelynn guessed the correct amount of candies in the jar to win Alvar's Fourth of July candy contest.
As part of Summer Reading Program, on June 24, the Wetlands Express came to the Main Library to discuss and perform a fashion show of swamp life. Tambourine and Fan Summer Camp sent a roomful of kids. Here's one of them modeling the possum costume with the wrap-around tail and back-nipples like real possum mothers, and another petting a baby alligator.
Readers of all ages gathered on June 24 to examine lady bugs under a microscope during Longue Vue Garden's ladybug program, part of the Summer Reading Program at the Alvar branch.
Patrons enjoyed the sounds of the Caribbean with the muical stylings of steel drum player Peter Nu at the Alvar Branch on June 17th.
It was a pink day at Nix on the 17th as staff wore pink for a Pinkalicious party. The 31 kids and adults listened to a reading of Pinkalicious by Victoria Kahn. The kids then got to decorate pink cupcakes, received pink goody bags full of pink things and a wand, of course.
On June 17, the Main Library LEGO party, one of the Summer Reading Program events, attracted a roomful of eager modelers, including campers from the Academy of the Sacred Heart summer camp. Here's one of our youngest patrons building with DUPLO blocks at the Main Library LEGO party.
Longue Vue House & Gardens brought information about lady bugs and lady bug crafts to the Keller Branch on June 17 as part of the Summer Reading Program.
The Main Library hosted a special Teen Game Day on June 13 as part of the Teen Summer Reading Program. The teens enjoyed video games like Guitar Hero, board games, snacks and door prizes.
The Martin Luther King Branch Library brought the New Orleans Public Library Bookmobile to the Lower 9th Ward's monthly Sankofa Market on Saturday, June 13th. All child visitors were given 2 free books of their choice, compliments of the NOPL through RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). Despite the heat, some excited visitors also chose to hula hoop with library staff in front of the bookmobile!
The Summer Reading Program brought Sally Farrel and her birds of prey program, Wind on My Feathers, to the Nix Library on June 11th. An audience of 57 took delight in seeing the various species of owls, hawks and Mississippi Kites.
On June 10, Philip Melancon kicked off the Main Library Summer Reading Program events list. Phil plays many instruments and enjoys listening to young prodigies! We can always find talent at the Main Library!
On June 10th, a mix of over 60 MLK school students and community members attended the Martin Luther King Branch Library's "Lady Bug Art" program, presented by Longue Vue Gardens. Children got to hold live lady bugs and observe jarred specimens of other various beatles. The program ended with children making and decorating their own oragami Lady Bugs!"
Poets, artists and art-lovers gathered on June 6th for the closing reception of the Contemporary Women Artists of New Orleans art exhibits at the Alvar Library.
NOPL's Summer Reading Program brought the Audubon Zoo's Wetland Express to the Nix Library on June 4th. The program brought hands-on experience of Louisiana's wetland creatures to an audience of 54.
On June 3, the first Summer Reading Program at Alvar presented Toni B, who demonstrated and taught the children many different types of dances including Hip Hop and Cajun Zydeco.
On June 2nd, Toni B. visited King through the Summer Reading Program. Toni B. explained an intriguing history of the diverse roots of hip hop. She even taught a few snazzy moves to participants!
May 2009
Children and parents were invited to the Latter Library on May 30 to celebrate the beginning of NOPL's Summer Reading Program and enjoy an afternoon of treats, crafts, face-painting, and a musical performance by Jeff Klein's KidDrum drumming troupe. To see a lot more pictures of the party, visit the Children's Resource Center's Flickr page.
Patrons learned about "Louisiana Characters" such as Louis Armstrong and Baroness De Pontalba during the Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) Program. The program, sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, ran from April 15th to May 20th at Alvar Library.
During Alvar Arts Night, May 19th, Kirsha Kaechele of KKProjects discussed the open gallery approach for artists in the St. Roch neihborhood. Pres Kabacoff talked about the development of the old Universal Furniture store on St. Claude Ave into a community center.
Shoria Foy awards a gift basket to the first participant in Alvar's Read Aloud program.
On May 19, storyteller Amelie Prescott and a group of young readers made arts and crafts at the Alvar Branch. Ms. Prescott read a story as part of Alvar's Childrens Book Week celebration.
Charmaine Neville read and sang to an enthusiastic group of over 100 children at the King Branch Library on May 12th. Her story reading was beautifully accompanied by keyboardist Amasa Miller.
On May 12th, the King Branch Library hosted illustrator, Michael P. White. During White's demonstration, 250 MLK School students enthusiastically created and shared their own renditions of White's drawings. White donated several of his creations to the New Orleans Public Library. Two of these amazing illustrations are on display at the King Branch Library.
In celebration of Children's Book Week the 3rd grade of St. Andrew's came over to hear storyteller Bonnie Fastring entertain them.
At Alvar, May 5, volunteers from STAIR provided reading tutoring to students from Drew Elementary School.
During Family Fest at the Louisiana Children's Museum, Alvar's Mary Ann Marx represented the New Orleans Public Library..
The pre-k class at St Andrew's Episcopal came to Nix on May 5 to help us celebrate Mexican culture on Cinco de Mayo. They listened to stories, made noisemakers, partook in chips and salsa and left with sombreros.
April 2009
Johnnisha won an Easter basket for her winning guess in Alvar’s April Count the Candies contest.
Ten year old Talia Schaffer won the Nix Branch's monthly counting contest. In honor of both National Frog Month & National Kite Month, she guessed 107 frogs out of a possible 111 in the jar and won a kite.
Nix's annual frog program took place on the 28th. April is not only National Frog Month but the 28th is also National Save the Frogs Day. The second grade class of St Andrew's came for a special storytime and craft. The kids all made frog visors.
Local poets and patrons celebrated National Poetry Month with readings at the Alvar library.
On April 22, Drew Elementary School students planted a tree at the Alvar library as part of their Earth Day celebration.
Alvar goes to Hollywood! On April 21st, Alvar Arts night thrilled audiences with short films and upcoming movie previews from Louisiana Endowment For the Humanities Director of Grants, Walker Lasiter.
On April 18, during National Library Week, Mat Bowers, Rachel Bailey, and Seale Patterson of the Algiers Regional Branch went to the Big Easy Roller Girls April bout to hand out National Library Week bags and promotional materials. They also accepted donations of both cash and craft and office supplies. The Elvi helped hand out bags, and so did one of the Roller Girls (she's a member of the Crescent Wenches team).
Books On Wheels visited the Alvar library on April 7th, to give out free books and offer free bike repair!
The kindergarten class at St Andrews came for an Easter storytime and craft on April 7th. The kids made little Easter chicks using bags of jelly beans and pom poms.
The growing collection of art on display at the Alvar library now includes artwork by local artist and Bywater resident Phyllis Parun, sponsored in part by the Puffin Foundation.
March 2009
March was National Umbrella Month and the Nix Branch's Count-the-Whatever contest winner was Laura McNamara, a new resident to our city. She recently moved here from Ohio. She guessed 72 paper umbrellas in the jar out of a possible 73. She won an umbrella from the Audubon Insectarium.
Local women artists are displaying their paintings, photographs, and other works through April at the Alvar branch library as part of National Women's History Month. Shown here is "Inside," a painting by Raven Creature.
Pictured is the Alvar's winner of the St.Patrick's Day candy guessing contest. Our young winner received a large jar of green candy and an Irish stuffed animal.
Two-legged and four-legged creatures had a fun time reading and sharing stories at the Keller library’s Reading to Rover event Thursday, March 12, from 6:30-7:30 pm. Reading to Rover is a program sponsored by the Visiting Pet Program to encourage literacy by providing a docile pet as an attentive and non-judgemental listener to a young person reading a story. A great time was had by all! Reading to Rover will continue at the Keller Branch on the second Thursday of each month.
The Paul Robeson Acting Competition, the final event of Black History Month, took place at the Main Library on Saturday, March 7. The winners were Roy Riley, who portrayed Spike Lee, third place; Davis Perkins, who portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr., second place; and Saadiq Holmes, who portrayed Malcolm X, first place. The panel of professional judges included Carol Sutton, local star of stage, screen, and film; Chakula cha Jua, creative dramatics specialist and founder and director of Chakula cha Jua Theater Company; and Anthony Bean, founder and director of the Anthony Bean Community Theater and Acting School.
The Louisiana Division said farewell on March 6 to volunteers Tom and Bonnie Armstrong (at right). Tom and Bonnie, who came to NOPL on a mission for their church, have worked in the Louisiana Division for the last year and a half, assisting with the Genealogical Society of Utah's project to digitize the probate records of the Court of Probates (1804-1846) and the Second District Court (1846-1880). Tom and Bonnie humidified, unfolded, and foldered tens of thousands of fragile records in preparation for filming. Their work has been invaluable, and their friendship has been a gift. Here, the Louisiana Division staff presents them with a certificate of appreciation from the City of New Orleans.
Participating in the Read Across America literacy program at the Alvar Branch on March 2, two kindergarten classes from the Drew Elementary School, pose with the Library Associate Valerie Hawkins and their teachers.
The Lakeview Branch celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday with a Read Across America storytime too.
And the kids from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology showed of their Read Across America certificates at the MLK Branch.
The Keller Branch also held a Read Across America storytime, on March 3. Twenty-four students from the Wilson Charter School looked on as Keller staffers Melissa Clark and Nancy Zehr (they're the ladies in the funny hats) acted out Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham. It was fun!
February 2009
Storytime with Ms. Desha at the Keller Branch, February 23.
On February 18, Ivoire Spectacle, a West African drum and dance ensemble from Côte d'Ivoire, performed authentic African rhythms and movement as part of this year’s Black History Month program. Three drummers and three dancers thrilled the audience with their dynamic drumming and dance at the Martin Luther King Library.
The third and final lecture of Black History Month’s African American Leadership Lecture Series was held on February 11 at the Mid-City Library. Dr. John Penny, Professor of Social Sciences at Southern University at New Orleans, lectured on African American leadership since the Civil Rights era.
On February 10, for Black History Month, the Rethinkers brought their innovated program of student leadership to the students of the Martin Luther King Jr. School of Science and Technology. The Rethinkers are students who are expressing their voice in the rebuilding of area schools. Their first program to bring about changes in their cafeteria was highly successful.
Al Mipro spoke about the World War II Museum, founded by Dr. Stephen Ambrose, to the ninth grade students at the Martin Luther School of Science and Technology. Mr. Mipro later asked questions of Lionel Lopez, a decorated veteran of World War II, about his experiences at war against the Japanese. The students also had many interesting questions to ask Mr. Lopez about war.
The colorful Mardi Gras Mask bead box is ready at the Alvar library. Bring all of your unwanted Mardi Gras beads and throw them in the box. All beads collected will be donated to the ARC and STRIVE programs.
Patrons shared and posted Valentine wishes for the Alvar library. One read, "The library was the guiding light for my life." Another stated, " I love the people, the books, the service, the community programs, and the art." One young patron wrote, "I luv the library because Stella Luna is the best #1 book." And summing it all up was this, "I love the library because it is a great place to warm the intellect."
At the Nix Branch on February 13, first-graders from St. Andrew's Episcopal School listened to Valentine's Day stories read by staffer Joy Watts, crafted Valentine inchworms, and displayed them proudly.
Louisiana researcher Barbara Trevigne led the Genealogy Workshop for beginners at the Main Library for Black History Month on February 7. Participants learned how to research their family genealogy by using historical documents housed in the African American Resource Center and the Louisiana Division. Gregory Osborn of the Louisiana Division led the intermediate Genealogy Workshop. Researchers learned how to use African American Genealogical Resources found on the internet. Greg was joined by guest speaker Jack Belson, a long- time genealogist who informed researchers how to use Catholic resources in their genealogical searches.
Local quilt designer and quilt maker Cely displays her quilts at the Alvar library during Black History Month. Books and information about the symbols and meaning of these designs are available at the library.
Pictured is local author Keith Weldon Medley, who, along with Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson, took part in a Black History Month presentation about Homer Plessy and his arrest at the Press Street Railroad station. The arrest led to the historic Plessy v. Ferguson United States Supreme Court decision legalizing the concept of "separate but equal" and the beginning of the enforcement of Jim Crow laws of segregation. The program took place at the Alvar Branch on February 5.
On February 4, Ms. Diane Coleman presented The History of Walkertown, the second lecture of Black History Month’s African American Leadership Lecture Series at Mid City Library. Ms. Coleman offered her perspective on the African American leaders and pioneers of Walkertown, a black community on the West Bank in the New Orleans area founded around the turn of the 20th century.
At the Hubbell Library (temporarily located at the Algiers Courthouse carriage house) on February 4th, some of the 3rd graders from Martin Behrman Elementary got to enjoy a storytime from Roscoe Reddix, Jr. as part of NOPL's Black History Month celebration. Some students had the opportunity to act in front of their classmates as Sister Fox and Sister Rabbit, while another student was the drummer for the traditional West African call and response song, "Che Che Kule."
At the Main Library on February 3, the Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes from the Good Shepherd School also enjoyed a great storytelling session from Roscoe Reddix, Jr. as part of the NOPL's Black History Month programs. Mr. Reddix had all the children moving and singing with his great drumming and storytelling. One little kindergartener stole the show during the audience participation!
Dinah Gray conducts storytime at the Lakeview Branch while patrons Alexis and Jess Akers listen intently. Storytime for preschoolers is held at the Lakeview Branch every Friday at 10:30 a.m.
On a class trip to New Orleans, students from the American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama volunteered their time to do maintenance and clean up in the yard at the Alvar library. They were treated with a Mardi Gras King Cake and lots of beads.
In celebration of National Chocolate Lover's Month the winner of the Nix Branch's February 2009 Count the Whatever contest is Ms Sara Pickett. She came up with a guess of 112 out of a possible 114 chocolates in the jar. She won a box of chocolates.
Alvar patron Ella Monroe was very excited to win the Mardi Gras doll as the prize for guessing the correct number of doubloons.
January 2009
Xavier University College of Pharmacy students tested blood pressure during the Black History Month Health Fair at Latter Library on January 31. Mr. Matthew Wilson is a cancer survivor and was a volunteer from the American Cancer Society at the Health Fair at Latter Library. Laura Bevins of the New Orleans Public Library congratulates him as one of ten NOPL t-shirt winners. NOPL staff member Melissa Clark leads a group in yoga on the Latter Library lawn, and Kenneth Bryan, AmeriCorps member , joins in before teaching a dance workshop.
The first of three lectures in the Black History Month African American Leadership Lecture Series began on January 28 with Dr. Joe Caldwell, Associate Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, at MidCity Library. Dr. Caldwell gave a thought-provoking presentation on African American leadership during and after the Reconstruction period.
The first storytime at the new Keller Branch, January 26, conducted by Branch Manager Desha Rhodes. A regular storytime for toddlers and babies is held at Keller every Monday at 10 a.m.
The last of four sessions of the Creative Writers' Worshop was conducted by Ms. Lee Grue at the Alvar Branch on January 22, 2009.
Fashion/costume designer (also known for her unique hat creations) Tracy Thomson entertained the crowd with the story of her career at the monthly Alvar Arts night. She also displayed many of her unique costumes, hats, and dresses. Two attendees were the lucky winners of a hat of their choice from Tracy's large collection.
Patrons watch with interest the historic inauguration of President Barrack Obama at the Alvar branch on January 20th.
The dance and drum ensemble Ivoire Spectacle from Cote de Ivoire in West Africa performed their authentic traditional African rhythms at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration held at Main on January 14th -- the kickoff for NOPL's Black History Month activities.
After taking a 2 month break for the holidays, the Nix Branch started its "Count the Whatever" monthly contests again. Since January was National Hot Tea Month, you had to count the number of tea bags in the jar. January's winner was Ms. Juanetta Grey, who came closest with a count of 116 out of a possible 121. She won a collection of fine teas.

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Updated 2/12/2010