Monday, December 30, 2013

Library Closures: New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

All Library branches will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 31st and Wednesday, Jan. 1st so our staff can observe the New Year's holiday with their families.
Please visit us on Thursday, Jan. 2nd when your favorite library branches reopen.

Have a happy New Year! See you in 2014!


Novels: A Good Source of Brain Food

A new study by researchers at Emory University has uncovered that reading novels noticeably changes the brain's activity.

The study, outlined in Brain Connectivity, measured brain activity in 19 students over the course of 17 days. 9 of those days involved actively reading parts of Pompeii by Robert Harris.

On the mornings following the reading, researchers observed higher levels of brain activity. Reading novels may also have residual effects, as increases in activity continued days after the reading was completed.

Read more about these interesting findings in the School Library Journal, or read the entire study here.
Berns, Gregory S., Blaine, Kristina, Prietula, Michael J., and Pye, Brandon E. "Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain." Brain Connectivity 3, no. 6 (2013): 590-600. doi:10.1089/brain.2013.0166.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Library Closures: Christmas

CPPL Patrons:

All library branches will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th, Wednesday, December 25th, and Thursday, December 26th, so that our staff can celebrate the Christmas holiday with their families. 
Please be sure to take care of your library needs in the days before and after the holiday, when the libraries maintain/resume their regular schedules. 
Have a safe and happy holiday!

Just for young readers! Cast your vote!!


The Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award is a reading enrichment program of the LCFTB. The program was founded in 1999 with the first award given in 2000. Participation in this program has climbed from 5,485 votes the first year to over 29,000 students participating in 2009. The purpose of the program is to foster a love of reading in the children of Louisiana by motivating them to participate in the recognition of outstanding books. Now entering its 14th year, the program continues to encourage Louisiana’s youth to read for pleasure.
Vote for your favorite by Feb. 1st. Grades 3-5 or Grades 6-8

The Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice Award is a reading enrichment program of the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana. The purpose of the program is to foster a love of reading in the teenagers of Louisiana by motivating them to participate in the recognition of outstanding books. View more details.....
Vote for your favorite by Feb. 1, 2014

We are excited to announce the 2013 Louisiana Readers’ Choice winners! Press Release

3-5th Grade:
Winner: Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas
Honor: The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

6-8th Grade:
Winner: Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Honor: The Limit by Kristen Landon

9-12th Grade:
Winner: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Honor: Matched by Ally Condie

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Hey teens!

Interesting in winning $275?

Create a video promoting the Summer Reading Program at your library for 2014 and you could get just that!

Create a short Public Service Announcement (PSA), using the theme Spark a Reaction.

You could be the Louisiana Teen Video Winner in the national Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) Spark a Reaction Teen Video Challenge 2014.

Teens all across America will see your video. Find out more!!

All submissions must be received by February 26, 2013

A dark secret exposed......

 Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark (2013)

In her latest novel Mary Higgins Clark, the beloved, bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” exposes a dark secret from a family’s past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years.

The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn’t who he claims to be?

Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in the hospital badly injured and in a coma, so neither can tell what drew them there, or what the tragedy may have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years, nor can they warn that somebody may be covering his tracks, willing to kill to save himself . . .

Step by step, in a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international bestsellers for years. She presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer . . . (from jacket cover)

Praise for Mary Higgins Clark:
  • “Mary Higgins Clark has penned yet another mystery that will keep her at the top of the suspense writers list for a very long time….Daddy’s Gone A Hunting will chill readers….This one is not to be missed.” (
Other titles by Mary Higgins Clark
  • The Lost Years (2012) Available formats: Standard and Large print books, and Audio book on CD.
  • I’ll Walk Alone (2011) Available formats: Standard and Large print books, and Audio book on CD.
  • The Shadow of Your Smile (2010) Available formats: Standard and Large print books, and Audio book on CD.
Post written by C. Ford, staff member in the Collection Services Division of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library System.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Calling all Artistic Anime/Manga Fans!

Are you an artistically-minded anime or manga fan?

Show off your creativity in an Animanga Club-sponsored art contest.

First and second place will be awarded in the following categories: Middle School, High School, Adult, or Collaborative.

All entries will be displayed at the Animanga Convention on Saturday, January 25th at the Central Library.

Submit your individual entry form to any CPPL Branch by January 13th, 2014.

Good luck! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Changes Coming to freegal Music!

Starting now, all CPPL patrons will have access to free songs with FREEGAL MUSIC!

· Enjoy three hours of streaming music a day!
· Create playlists with your favorite artists!
· Download three songs a week to keep!
· Increased access to over 6 million songs from 85 different countries!
· 15,000 popular music videos for download in the MP4 format!

Get yours here.

Little Free Libraries: A Beginning

Earlier this year the Calcasieu Parish Public Library System and Sulphur Parks and Recreation teamed up to bring the Little Free Library phenomenon to the Lake Area.

But where did the idea for the worldwide movement come from? Check out the video below for a TEDx Talk from the mind behind Little Free Libraries.

For more information about local Little Free Libraries, click here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history

The Borgias by G. J. Meyer (2013)
Library Copies

The startling truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history is revealed in a remarkable new account by the acclaimed author of The Tudors and A World Undone. Sweeping aside the gossip, slander, and distortion that have shrouded the Borgias for centuries, G. J. Meyer offers an unprecedented portrait of the infamous Renaissance family and their storied milieu.
 They burst out of obscurity in Spain not only to capture the great prize of the papacy, but to do so twice. Throughout a tumultuous half-century—as popes, statesmen, warriors, lovers, and breathtakingly ambitious political adventurers—they held center stage in the glorious and blood-drenched pageant known to us as the Italian Renaissance, standing at the epicenter of the power games in which Europe’s kings and Italy’s warlords gambled for life-and-death stakes.
 Five centuries after their fall—a fall even more sudden than their rise to the heights of power—they remain immutable symbols of the depths to which humanity can descend: Rodrigo Borgia, who bought the papal crown and prostituted the Roman Church; Cesare Borgia, who became first a teenage cardinal and then the most treacherous cutthroat of a violent time; Lucrezia Borgia, who was as shockingly immoral as she was beautiful. These have long been stock figures in the dark chronicle of European villainy, their name synonymous with unspeakable evil.
 But did these Borgias of legend actually exist? Grounding his narrative in exhaustive research and drawing from rarely examined key sources, Meyer brings fascinating new insight to the real people within the age-encrusted myth. Equally illuminating is the light he shines on the brilliant circles in which the Borgias moved and the thrilling era they helped to shape, a time of wars and political convulsions that reverberate to the present day, when Western civilization simultaneously wallowed in appalling brutality and soared to extraordinary heights.
 Stunning in scope, rich in telling detail, G. J. Meyer’s The Borgias is an indelible work sure to become the new standard on a family and a world that continue to enthrall. -- Amazon
Praise for Borgias and G. J. Meyers:
  •  “The Borgias is a fascinating look into the lives of the notorious Italian Renaissance family and its reputation for womanizing, murder and corruption. Meyer turns centuries of accepted wisdom about the Borgias on its head, probing deep into contemporary documents and neglected histories to reveal some surprising truths. . . . The Borgias: The Hidden History is a gripping history of a tempestuous time and an infamous family.”—Shelf Awareness
  •  “The mention of the Borgia family often conjures up images of a ruthless drive for power via assassination, serpentine plots, and sexual debauchery. This is partially owing to propaganda spread by contemporary rivals of the Borgias, nineteenth-century Renaissance historians, and even films and television shows. . . . [Meyer] convincingly looks past the mythology to present a more nuanced portrait of some members and their achievements. . . . [The] Borgias are treated with . . . evenhandedness in this well-researched and surprising study.”—Booklist
Other books by G. J. Meyers:
  • The Tudors : The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty (2011) Available format: Standard print book.
  • A World Undone : The Story of the Great War, 1914-1918 (2006) Available format: Standard print book.
Be sure to watch the HBO series starring Jeremy Irons, Fran├žois Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, David Oakes, Sean Harris, Colm Feore. Better yet, check out the DVDs from your Library.
  • The Borgias: Season One (2011) Created by Neil Jordan.
  • The Borgias: Season Two (2012) Created by Neil Jordan.
  • The Borgias: Season Three (2013)

Post written by C. Ford, staff member in the Collection Services Division of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library System.

Friday, December 13, 2013

CosPlay Prom at Central

The Central Teens' Animanga Club hosted a CosPlay Prom this week.
The teens enjoyed a costume contest, a "Dating Game," and some trivia.
Check out their fun and creativity in the pics below.


Not-so-geeky holiday device buying guide

Anders’ not-so-geeky holiday device buying guide

Last week OverDrive tech writer and blogger Quinton Lawman detailed his top picks of this year’s crop of new devices in Quinton’s geeky holiday device buying guide (Part 1) (Part 2).

Now it’s my turn.

Conspicuously missing from the list were two iconic devices, the iPad Air, and the iPad Mini with retina display. The iPad Air boasts the most powerful tech specs in any iOS device to date, yet comes in the most elegant package ever. That’s up to 128 GB of storage in a one pound device that fits in the palm of your hand! (For some fun perspective, that much storage back in 1980 would’ve set you back a cool $25 million dollars, and forget about the weight of it!)

While the iPad Air ranges from $499-$799, its smaller cousin, the iPad Mini with retina display, packs all of that goodness into a smaller and more affordable package. Each respective storage capacity, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, is a hundred dollars less than the iPad Air.

Both models feature the best camera we’ve seen on any iPad. With 5 megapixel photos, Autofocus, face detection and a five element lens, it’s perfect to capture those precious holiday moments with friends and family.

But these devices are about more than just great hardware. With the release of iOS 7, the iPad’s newest operating system, Apple did something quietly amazing: they made their entire suite of productivity apps free. Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, collectively known as iWork, are the Apple equivalents of PowerPoint, Word and Excel and create files compatible with their Microsoft Office counterparts. What’s more is that, utilizing the same HTML 5 technology that powers OverDrive Read, offers a web-based version of each app that is accessible from virtually any computer with an internet connection, which will sync with the projects you have on your device. (But let’s face it, even if people don’t want to work on their iPad, at least now they can.) Of course, despite all of those useful free apps, I will probably still spend most of the time on my iPad this winter listening to audiobooks on the OverDrive Media Console.

Anders Brooks is a Training Specialist on the Knowledge Services Team at OverDrive, the provider of the library's digital collection.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Winning Streak Continues!

Winners Announced for Lake Charles Christmas Street Parade

On Saturday, December 7, a panel of judges scored parade entries on presentation, performance, decorations, originality, and safety during the Light up the Lake Christmas Celebration. Awards were presented to the top-scoring entries.

In the Christmas Street Parade, trophies were awarded to: 
  • Best Decorated Vehicle, Studio 57
  • Best Specialty Group, Calcasieu Parish Library
  • 1st Place Float, Community Christian Church
  • 2nd Place Float, The Twelfth Night Revelers
  • 3rd Place Float, Faith Bible Church
  • 1st Place Marching Band, Sam Houston High Pride & Spirit Band
  • 2nd Place Marching Band, LaGrange High Band & Gatorettes.

Lake Charles Toyota/Scion has been the official sponsor of the Lake Charles Christmas Parade since 2001. For more information, please call 491-9149 or

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Battery-free E-readers? They may be closer than you think

Love E-Readers but hate that they have to constantly be recharged?

Well researchers at Disney are working on fixing that, in their quest to creat the first battery-free e-reader. By harnessing the power of paper generators and human interaction, the researchers are one step closer to bringing your favorite stories to life electronically sans battery.

Check out the video below or visit the project website.

Monday, December 9, 2013

We are creating an "Innovation Studio"

Winning Innovation Studio Design by Erik Jessen
The Calcasieu Parish Central Library just received a $24,000 grant to build an innovation studio -- a maker's space that will provide the public with a chance to learn about emerging technologies and a chance to ‘make' new things.

"It's a part of a ‘maker movement'", said Clare Coleman, the Central library branch manager. "That's what people are calling it. You provide the space and equipment, it's usually pretty advanced equipment, and the difference is that a maker's space is designed to bring people together and not just learn as individuals."

Coleman says some of that advanced equipment is already in. The soon-to-be Innovation Studio already has a 70" touch screen monitor that will be used for learning workshops as well as a two 27'' touch screen computers. But there is one piece of equipment that's already causing a stir.

"Well the biggest feature that everybody's excited about is the 3D printer," said Coleman. "We've been having fun learning how to use it."

A 3D printer that can print anything from a comb to a ring, all made out of plastic. System technician at the Calcasieu Parish Central Library Lee Grogan said they also have a 3D scanner, which allows you to place any object and print a small replica of the object in minutes.

The library system has also allowed the public to suggest and vote for programs they think should be available through the Calcasieu Parish Public Library Innovation Studio App.

"It's similar to the "like" feature of Facebook," said Coleman. "You can 'like' a program or creative project that someone else suggests so we can offer the things people really want."

Coleman says she's excited about the library's future.

"I would love to say a year from now, "Wow. I can't believe that was possible," said Coleman.

The library also worked with the Southwest Louisiana Arts and Humanities Council on locating an artist to design and decorate the new studio. Lake Charles native Erik Jessen, Graphic Arts Instructor at Sowela Technical College, was chosen to transform the room.

The grant application was written by Coleman and Fiona Griswold, a former reference librarian at the Central library.

By Monica Grimaldo CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

We know our bread...

Gingerbread that is!

The Annual Gingerbread House Contest, sponsored by the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, was held on Dec. 7th in conjunction with the Lake Charles Annual Christmas Lighting Festival.

Guess who won in their division? Yep…the Library!

Southwest Louisiana's very own mascot, Gumbeaux Gator, helped present the awards. The Gingerbread Houses will remain on display at the bureau throughout the month of December, and all visitors will be able to vote on the People's Choice Award to be announced Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the bureau.

Cajun Library

Friday, December 6, 2013

Geeky holiday device buying guide Parts 1 & 2

Looking for a great gift for the techie in your life? Check out these great suggestions by Quinton Lawman, a Technical Writer on the Knowledge Services team at OverDrive, vendor for the Library's digital collection.
Last year I wrote a post where I recommended some solid devices for the holidays, so I figured I’d chime in again this year. It’s an exciting time to be a geek like me, as technology continues to move along at a breakneck speed. Did you know you can now read eBooks and listen to audiobooks on your refrigerator or washing machine? I mean, why not?

I’m going to focus on slightly more practical devices that are perfect for everyday use—specifically tablets. They all work great with the Library's digital collection from OverDrive, and are pretty versatile to boot. In the not too distant future, my esteemed colleague, Anders Brooks, will write another post that will cover a little more, including E Ink readers. Let’s get started with Part 1, shall we? By the way, part 2 is coming shortly.

Nexus 7 (2013 edition)

You may remember (if you read my post last year) that I was a huge fan of the original Nexus 7. This year Google outdid itself. Simply put, the new Nexus 7 is a best buy at $229.
The iPad mini with retina display (which Anders will talk more about in his post) starts at $399, and has a 326 ppi screen. That’s a great screen, but the 3 ppi difference between that and the new Nexus 7 (323 ppi) is imperceptible to the human eye. Though the iPad mini is a bit faster than the Nexus 7, it’s $160 more expensive, and the speed difference in everyday tasks is negligible.

My wife just got one of these tablets, and she loves it because it’s easy to use, fast, and great for reading. In fact, the screen is fantastic for reading. The sharper the image, the less your eyes have to work to focus on it, and with such a high ppi, the Nexus 7 is practically built for eBooks.
Because the Nexus 7 is also slim and light, it’s also very portable. For me, that means it’s great for audiobooks too. It’s no big deal to take the Nexus 7 on a trip, plug it into the stereo, and use it for navigation while listening to a good book.

It’s this value for money attribute that makes the Nexus 7 my top pick in tablets for the holidays.

Nvidia Tegra Note

The Tegra Note is an interesting specimen. It’s cheaper than the Nexus 7 at $199, which is a major selling point, and it’s also awfully fast with Nvidia’s newest Tegra 4 System on a Chip (SoC). It’s marketed to gamers, but with a $199 price tag, I don’t see why it couldn’t appeal to everyone.
The screen isn’t as good as the Nexus 7 (7” at 1280 x 800 for 216 ppi), but it’s not horrible. It might not be the best out there for reading, but the Note does beat the first and second generation Kindle Fire (202 ppi) and ties the 2nd generation 7” Kindle Fire HD, so it’s just not as big a deal as some reviewers are claiming.
The Tegra Note shows an awful lot of promise in testing (which you can read all about on Tom’s Hardware). Features like the stylus (supposedly very good) and the device’s raw performance make it a real contender. Heck it’s even supposed to have pretty good speakers.
The Note is made out of plastic–Nvidia had to cut corners somewhere along the line to get the price down to $199. Does that mean the Tegra Note is built horribly? I don’t know, because I haven’t been able to get my hands on one yet, but I can almost guarantee that it’s not built as well as an iPad or Nexus 7. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a piece of junk. Reviewers seem to think it feels a little cheap, but nobody likes plastic anymore. My advice is to check one out for yourself—they should be in stores soon.

The new Nexus 10?

There’s a question mark on this one because Google hasn’t yet announced the new Nexus 10. Will it be great? I have no idea. The Nexus brand has done a lot to reshape the way we think about the price of quality tech. You can go out and get a fantastic high-end phone (Nexus 5) for $350 off-contract. Most top-o-the-line phones cost more like $650 or $700. You can go out and buy a killer tablet for $229 too (see above). Each generation of Nexus device has been a significant step up from the previous generation.

The original Nexus 10 is great–even if it’s not the most popular. In fact, it was even higher-end than last year’s Nexus 7. So, I’m dying to know, what will the new Nexus 10 be like? Rumors have pointed to a November launch, so it could be announced any day now. If you prefer the 10” form-factor like I do, my advice is to wait to make your buying decision for a week or two to see what Google might announce.

Microsoft Surface 2

The Surface 2 is a lot like the original Surface RT, but with better everything. The screen is better, it’s lighter, the speakers are better, it’s more responsive, and recent updates to Windows RT really do a lot to increase overall usability.

Here’s the kicker: the original Surface RT is actually a decent tablet, with solid specs and build quality. So the Surface 2 is a nice improvement over a product that was already pretty good.
There are two reasons that the Surface isn’t higher up on my list:

  • It’s a little unwieldy. This has mostly to do with the aspect ratio (16:9 versus the typical 16:10). It’s a little wider and shorter in landscape than your average Android tablet (16:10), and Apple uses 4:3 which is more square-ish. It’s also a little heavier than average (though lighter than the RT).
  • The current Windows RT app selection is a little limited (though growing fast). Microsoft has also locked 3rd party web browsers out of Windows RT, which I do not like at all.
That being said, if you’re fine using Internet Explorer all the time, and you want a tablet that grants you a whole lot of excellent productivity options (the best out there, really), the Surface 2 is where it’s at. The price is not cheap, but reasonable at $450. If the tech geek on your list has a serious need for heavy word processing and other officey type things, then you can’t really beat the Surface as a tablet option.

Honorable mention: Sony Xperia Tablet Z

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z gets an honorable mention because it’s a great tablet that also happens to be water resistant. Yup, that’s right; you can have this out in the rain and not really worry about it. It’s a much more useful feature than you might think, and it means that the Tablet Z is pretty resilient.

In fact, if it weren’t for the price (starting at $449 on sale), I’d have probably picked this as my second or third recommendation. It has a good screen (1920 x 1200 for around 224 ppi), and a decent processor (Snapdragon S4 Pro), but neither make it top of the line. That’s my gripe—the Tablet Z is priced as a top of the line machine (the 32 GB model is $550). If they were charging $400 and $450 for the 16 GB and 32 GB model respectively, this tablet would be a great buy.

What, no iPad?

Anders will talk more about the iPad in his post next week. Both the mini with retina display and the Air are solid devices, but I personally prefer the tablets above. If you’re buying for a big Apple fan, or that special someone on your list already has a lot invested in Apple products, then stay tuned. Anders is the man you are waiting to hear from.

Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer on the Knowledge Services team at OverDrive, vendor for the Library's digital collection.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

An update regarding the reported security breach of Adobe data

As widely reported, Adobe confirmed that they suffered a security breach of customer data on their servers. The company posted information at their blog here:

Adobe has confirmed that the Library's digital collection library users with activated Adobe eBook accounts may have been affected. Here is information that they have provided.

  • Adobe is in the process of resetting passwords and notifying affected users. Affected users will receive an email alert advising them to reset their Adobe password in order to continue access to their Adobe account. For security purposes and as a recommended practice, Adobe is encouraging affected users to reset their Adobe passwords as well as reset passwords for any non-Adobe services/applications (in case they used the same user ID and password as was used with Adobe).
  • Reactivation of previously authorized eBook software and apps using Adobe DRM (Adobe Digital Editions and OverDrive Media Console) is NOT required in order to maintain access to Adobe eBooks or to download new ones, even if users have since changed the password on their Adobe ID.
  • New activations of ADE and OMC will not be possible until users have reset their password with Adobe. This is because Adobe has reset everyone’s existing password.
  • OverDrive users can choose to de-authorize ADE or OMC on their devices and re-authorize with their new password; however, that is not necessary or recommended.
  • Users who have changed their Adobe password and wish to also update their passwords through OverDrive should do so. Changing passwords periodically and using different passwords for different accounts are good security practices.

At OverDrive, we do not store emails or passwords for Adobe ID on OMC. We do store emails and passwords for those that registered an OverDrive ONE account. Users can change and reset their OverDrive ONE password by either using the “Forgot password” link or by using the “Settings” panel. Users who have registered for OverDrive ONE using their Facebook account will have to re-authenticate OverDrive ONE in OMC if they have also updated their Facebook email or password.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Library Closures: Thanksgiving

CPPL Patrons:

All library branches will be closed on Thursday, November 28th, and Friday, November 29th, so that our staff can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. 

Please be sure to take care of your library needs in the days before and after the holiday, when the libraries maintain/resume their regular schedules. 

Have a safe and happy turkey day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tami Hoag brings back Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska!

The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag (2013)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag brings back her fan-favorite Minneapolis investigators Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska in the haunting new thriller The 9th Girl.

"Kovac had seen more dead bodies than he could count: Men, women, children; victims of shootings, stabbings, strangulations, beatings; fresh corpses and bodies that had been left for days in the trunks of cars in the dead of summer. But he had never seen anything quite like this . . . "

On a frigid New Year's Eve in Minneapolis a young woman's brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is, but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal, or could it just have been a crime of opportunity? Their greatest fear is that not only is she their ninth Jane Doe of the year, but that she may be the ninth victim of a vicious transient serial killer they have come to call Doc Holiday.

Crisscrossing America's heartland, Doc Holiday chooses his victims at random, snatching them in one city and leaving them in another, always on a holiday. If Zombie Doe is one of his, he has brought his gruesome game to a new and more terrifying level. But as Kovac and Liska begin to uncover the truth, they will find that the monsters in their ninth girl's life may have lived closer to home. And even as another young woman disappears, they have to ask the question: which is the greater evil--the devil you know or the devil you don't?

Praise for Tami Hoag:
  • “Hoag’s prose is martial-arts quick and precise, her humor is high-voltage, and her insights into the misery of high school, the toxicity of divorce, and the extreme psychosis of a serial killer are knowing and thought-provoking…one of her very best.” – Booklist
  • “Hoag keeps tight control over her plot in this book, raising the tension with every page that turns. She knows her characters, both good and bad, and intensifies the conflict in the most absorbing way. Not every writer of suspense can manage it so successfully, but Hoag does it from beginning to end.” —Huffington Post
Other titles featuring Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska:
  • Down the Darkest Road (2012) Available formats: Standard and Large print books, and eAudio.
  • Prior Bad Acts (2006) Available formats: Standard and Large print books, eAudio and eBook.
  • Dust to Dust (2004) Available formats: Standard print book and eBook.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sneak Peek: New Online Catalog!

You asked, and we listened!

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library is bringing you a new way to search the library's collection.

Check out great new features including the ability to place multiple items on hold at 1 time and only show items available  for check out.

Want to check it out for yourself? Explore the new online catalog!

Coming Soon! Online registration, card renewal & fine payment

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Audubon Day at the LSU Libraries

If you have some free time this Saturday, November 16th, be sure to check out Audobon Day at the LSU Libraries.

The Hill Memorial Library will once again display its double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America in Baton Rouge.

From 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., Hill Memorial will host a free viewing event that is open to the public. Be sure to make a reservation though, because reservations are required prior to entry. Only 40 individuals are allowed in the viewing area per hour.

To place your reservation request, please use the LSU Libraries online registration form or contact the Special Collections during business hours.

Special Collections
LSU Libraries
Louisiana State University

For more information about the event, visit the LSU Libraries Special Collection page, or read the The Wall Street Journal's write up about the 2011 program here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Calling All Couponers!

Interested in learning how to coupon or brush up on your couponing skills?

Join Tameka Nelson, local Lake Charles resident and day care provider at the Epps Branch today, Tuesday November 12th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. for Couponing Tips that Work!

Tameka will show participants how to coupon and provide tips on using coupons to save money.

Are you a couponer? Share some of your favorite couponing tips in the comments.

Monday, November 11, 2013

DVD & Blu-Ray checkout period changing

Did you know that your library has a large DVD/Blu-Ray collection? We have oldies & classics like The Caine Mutiny, Great Expectations, Les misearbles, Halloween or The Rock. We have blockbusters too like LincolnBatman: The Dark Knight returns pt 2, Cars 2 or Madea Gets a Job.
We have kid friendly titles such as Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing GameBabar and Goofy Movie too.
We even have television series like Law & Order, Midsomer Murders, Beauty and the Beast, Psych, Hill Street Blues just to name a few. Plus we now offer a streaming service that offers adventure, comedies, musicals, kid friendly titles and many other categories.
Pretty cool, right? Well guess what. We have a high demand for this great collection so to help with the high demand of DVDs and Blu-Rays and the long waiting time for patrons who place holds on these items, starting on December 2nd, all DVDs & Blu-Rays will have a checkout period of one week. 
Check out the collections below!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Astronomy for Everyone: Size and Scale of the Universe

Join Astrophysicist Kevin Manning at the Central Branch on Monday, November 11th from 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 he transports people of all ages into the fascinating world of astronomy. This program will expertly guide the audience on an educational and entertaining exploration of the universe.

Kevin is a retired astrophysicist, having worked as a consultant with NASA, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and other ground-based observatories. Kevin has won national and international awards in his field.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Who does "Homeless" really belong to?

A Dog Called Homeless
by Sarah Lean (2012)
Library Copies

Reading Level: ages 8 and up
A year ago Cally Fisher’s mother, Louise, was killed in a car wreck…on Cally’s father’s birthday. Since then, Cally’s father, who was once bubbly and joyous, has sunk into an ever deepening depression. In his grief, he has shut himself off from his children and has removed all reminders of Louise from his life.  As far as Cally is concerned, her father is now a stranger and his silence has rendered her mother almost nonexistent.  
Though Cally’s brother, Luke, seems to be taking everything in stride, Cally is not coping well. Once a well behaved student, she is now constantly in trouble at school and even her best friend has turned her back on her. What Cally really needs is comfort from her father, but he has become so emotionally removed that Cally’s erratic behavior only causes him anger. He wants her to forget the past, but she can’t. Although she understands that her mother is dead, Cally still needs to talk about her. She wants to share memories about her mother, so that her mother stays alive in her heart and in her mind.
On the first anniversary of Louise’s death, the Fishers, and their extended family, go to the cemetery to lay flowers on her grave. It is here that Cally sees the ghost of her mother for the first time. Unfortunately, Cally is the only one that can see her, so no one believes her when she insists that her mother is there. Because Cally’s behavior upsets other members of the family, her father becomes angry. He scolders her and tells her that he doesn’t want to hear another word on the subject. He ends up getting more than he bargained for, however, when, after participating in a day long sponsored “silence” for a locate charity, Cally decides to quit talking… indefinitely.
Things become even more complicated, when Louise appears to Cally a second time, accompanied by a large grey wolfhound, that Cally eventually names “Homeless”. The dog takes to Cally immediately, leaving her with the impression that the dog is connected to her mother in some way.  But, unlike her mother, the dog is not a ghost and when he continues to appear to her, it causes Cally trouble both at school and with her father. 
After failing to get her father to accept the dog, Cally decides to help Homeless find a home before he’s sent to the pound. But before she can help Homeless, Cally loses the only home she’s ever known. Without consulting his children, Mr. Fisher sales their house and moves the family into a tiny apartment in town. Cally is devastated, but things turn around when she meets a physically challenged boy named, Sam Cooper. Not only does Sam share in Cally’s silence, he also believes that Cally can see her mother. With Sam’s help, Cally sets out to save Homeless, little knowing that her actions will save more lives than she could ever have imagined. Who does Homeless really belong to? The answer will surprise you.
Praise for A Dog Named Homeless
  • A Dog Called Homeless is a tender story of heartache and hope, doubt and courage, silence and song. Sarah Lean’s graceful, miraculous writing will have you weeping one moment and rejoicing the next. A luminous debut.” Katherine Applegate, award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan.
Praise for Sarah Lean
  • “Sarah Lean has given us a wonderful story about the poser of friendship, promises made, words and silence, and the love of one very big dog. This perceptive and poignant story is a must-read for anyone who has lost something they loved- in other words, everyone!” Bobbie Pyron, author of A Dog’s Way Home
Be sure to read these books by the reviewers:

The Irish Wolfhound
Males: 32 inches tall & 120 lbs.
Females: 30 inches tall & 105 lbs.
Coat: Rough, medium length, wiry hair.
Colors: Grey, Brindle, Red, Black, Pure White, Fawn, Wheaten & Steel Grey.
Life span: 6 to 10 years, though 7 years is average.
Temperament: Quiet & easy going, yet fearless when their family is threatened.
The Irish Wolfhound is the largest of the sight-hound breeds, and is the tallest of all other dog breeds. An old breed, it has been suggested that its forbearers may have been brought to Ireland as early as 7000 B.C. They were originally used for hunting and as war dogs, but today they are considered a companion animal. The Irish Wolfhound almost became extinct, but was saved by an Englishman, Captain George Augustus Graham, who helped recreate the breed using what few specimens that were left. Unfortunately, inbreeding problems have occurred, threatening the breed’s genetic health.

Monday, November 4, 2013

RELIC Louisiana Characters: Biographies of the Bayou State

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library will host three weekly sessions of RELIC Louisiana Characters: Biographies of the Bayou State. This program will explore the uniqueness of French pirate and privateer, Jean Lafitte, through the lens of biography.

Participants will discover this colorful personality through Lyle Saxon's Lafitte the Pirate and engage issues involving this genre of reading: What makes a life worth writing about?

This three-part event will take place on November 5th, 12th, and 19th from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Iowa Branch.

Registration is required for this program. Please visit the Library's event calendar or call or stop by a library branch to sign up. 

The RELIC program is presented by Dr. Cheryl Ware and sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Library To-Go on TV!

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library's new outreach service, Library-To-Go has recently gotten the TV treatment.

KPLC's Erica Bivens interviewed Outreach Librarian Jayme Champagne to get the word out to the community. She also spoke with Jimmie Moriarty a satisfied Library-To-Go patron. 

Missed the original broadcast? Check out the video or transcript on the KPLC website or at the Library's website, and be sure to fill out an application if you think the service would be a good fit for you or someone you know.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

10th Annual Louisiana Book Festival

Its that time of year again! 
The Louisiana Book Festival is back and ready to celebrate literature, literacy, and Louisiana fun.
The event, which takes place this Saturday, November 2nd at the State Library of Louisiana, State Capitol, Capitol Park Museum and in tents around the area is free and open to the public.


Check out this year's key authors/speakers including Ernest Gaines, Pulitzer Prize-winners Shirley Ann Grau and Rick Bragg, and Duck Dynasty's Alan Robertson among others.
Also enjoy live music, delicious food, and tons of activities for the whole family.
Planning to attend and want to plan your day ahead of time? Download the new Louisiana Book Festival app for your smart phone!
For more information about the Festival check out the website here and don't forget the driving directions!
Let us know if you plan to attend in the comments.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Calling All Visual Artists!

Would having your art seen by over 250,000 people every year and $3000 dollars in your pocket give you that validation?

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library is seeking a local artist to redesign the Innovation Studio that is located inside of the Central Library located at 301 West Claude Street in Lake Charles.
The upcoming Innovation Studio will be a collaborative space for all ages and will include 3D printing technology, high end audio/visual software, state of the art computers and much more! The purpose is to encourage patrons to become creators and maker, inventors and engineers, artists and designers.

“The library wants our patrons to take their dreams and turn them into a reality and we would like the design of this room to reflect this purpose,” said Clare Coleman, Central Library branch manager. “If you’re an artist and you want to have your design seen by the over 250,000 patrons that come to Central Library each year, we encourage you to apply!”

Artists are encouraged to submit an idea and quote. The winning designer will receive $3000 and the chance to recreate their idea for all to see.

All interested parties must complete a Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Special Service District Request for Qualifications form by 4:00 p.m. on November 25, 2013 to be considered.

Quotes must be submitted to, faxed to (337) 433-8932, or dropped off at the Police Jury building (see "Request for Qualifications" form for address).

Patrons can also stop by Central Library to view the room for inspiration.

“The Innovation Studio is going to be a great place for creative minds to interact with other likeminded individuals, and as an artist I will be excited to see one of my fellow local artists have the chance to be a part of it! ” added Christy Duhon, Public Information Officer for the library. “It’s a great way to bring a community together.”

This project was made possible in part by the Institute for Museum & Library Services.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Architectural Digest's Most Spectacular Libraries Around the World

Libraries are about so much more than storing your favorite media!

As writer Tim McKeough proves, they can also be beautiful examples of style, architecture, and history.

The November issue of Architectural Digest features a selection of the "most spectacular libraries around the world."

View the magazine's online slideshow here or check out one of the library's copies.

Let us know if you have visited any of these beauties in the comments.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

Are you planning a Halloween party but don’t know where to start? Why not haunt your local library for some frighteningly good ideas? From scary pumpkin carvings and spooky house decorations; to horrific face painting and creepy costumes; to spirited libations and hauntingly good edibles, you can dig up great books to cover it all. Your library even has Halloween sound effects on CD that will add just the right amount of atmospheric chill to your ghoulish gathering.  Before you know it, your home will become the most haunted crept in town! But that’s not all! Your library is filled with untold numbers of the scariest literature ever written and some of the spookiest movies ever directed. So come to the library and see what jumps out and screams… BOO!

Better Homes and Gardens: Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats (Library Copies)
Cool ideas for a personalizing any Halloween party
From spooky to whimsical and everything in between, this all-new edition of Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats is a treasure-trove of neat ideas and helpful how-tos for adding a personal touch to Halloween parties and celebrations. You'll get instructions for throwing Halloween parties that are festive for the whole family and learn how to make Halloween decorations that will transform your home into the spookiest place on the block. Plus, you'll get tasty recipes for Halloween treats, easy-to-follow craft projects, and step-by-step instructions for making handmade Halloween costumes that are clever, creative, and fun.
  • Halloween party ideas and kitchen-tested recipes
  • Instructions for making handmade Halloween decorations and crafts
  • Halloween costume patterns and ideas for kids' games
Best of Halloween Tricks & Treats shows you how to create imaginative Halloween celebrations whatever your level of crafting ability.

Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween by Stephen Brown (Library Copies)

With gorgeous full-color photos and step-by-step instructions for making 20 whimsical Halloween crafts—including some never-before-published Glitterville favorites—Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween is the go-to guide for America’s second-biggest retail holiday. Celebrate the season of costumes and candy with Glitterville's guide to creating a wondrously wacky and whimsical holiday! Treat yourself to the kookiest compilation of crafts and decor assembled from Glitterville's creator, Stephen Brown, judge of Craft Wars on TLC. Glitterville's Handmade Halloween is full of bright, colorful photos, step-by-step holiday how-tos, and over-the-harvest-moon decorating ideas to make your home sparkle and shine this spooktacular season.
A great book for intermediate to experienced crafters, Glitterville's Handmade Halloween will delight readers as they make their way through the playfully photographed pages of the book, which include full, never-before-published instructions for making some of Glitterville's most sought-after items, including Halloween candy garland and the studio collection of folk figures.

Country Living Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas (Library Copies)            
When October arrives, thoughts turn to Halloween and all things scary. To make your holiday marvelously macabre, Country Living has a collection of 125 creepily cool ways to create meaningful memories for family and friends. With ghoulish delight, Spooky & Bright revels in Halloween's magic and mystery with to-die-for pumpkin displays, blood-chilling haunted houses, sinfully sweet treats (like spider-web cupcakes), hair-raising party and trick-or-treat suggestions, and decorating tips with a dark sense of humor. You'll go batty over every devilishly delightful idea!

Other Halloween books available: 
  • Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects by Susan Wesinger
  • Halloween with Matthew Mead by Matthew Mead
  • Betty Crocker Halloween cookbook by Betty Crocker
  • Extreme costume makeup : 25 creepy & cool step-by-step demos by Brian Wolfe
  • Fun face painting ideas for kids by Brian Wolfe and Nick Wolfe
  • Dog trick or cat treat : pets dress up for Halloween by Archie Klondike
  • Extreme pumpkin carving by Vic Hood
  • How to build hair-raising haunted houses by Magan Cooley Peterson
Other spooky reads available:
  • Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans by Jeanne, DeLavigne
  • The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by Otto Penzler
  • Famous Ghosts And Haunted Places by Gordon J. Lynch, Diane Canwell and Jonathan Sutherland
  • Ghosts : Recent Hauntings by Paula Guran
  • Who Was Dracula? : Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood by Jim Steinmeyer
  • The Little Book of True Ghost Stories by Echo L. Bodine