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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 207

The quest for knowledge is not new. I mean, who doesn't want to know stuff?!?!? Discovery, necessity, mother of invention, and all have been super important to our evolution as a species. Knowing things is cool. It is also a valuable commodity and always has been. And as a commodity, it has been traded for centuries!

But where does that knowledge come from? For our purposes: people ... as in direct transfer of knowledge or through books.

Using an easy example, the famous library of Alexandria is said to have embodied universal knowledge. It is said to have been the epicenter of cultural and intellectual life in Ancient Greece. Alas, it was destroyed (details seem to be unknown), likely as part of a military strategy. But for all the hoopla, it was a library! A place to go and borrow books and maybe do some research.

Did you know that public libraries have been instrumental in passing on knowledge forEVER?!?!? Truly, the history of libraries is long and deep dating back well beyond the establishment of the USA even though Ben Franklin often gets credit for starting libraries in the US. No matter who is responsible, it is important to have an idea of what we can learn from and at the local library.

Learn with us this Friday as we kick off the Memorial Day weekend talking about resources available to all ages with:

  • Mary Stein - Assistant Library Director: Programs, Outreach, & Collections

  • Andrew Tadman - Reference Services Coordinator

  • Rodneyna Hart -Museum Division Director at Louisiana State Museum

Also take a minute to check out some of what we will be discussed...



Casey Phillips: So happy Friday, everybody. Happy Friday, everybody. I appreciate you all being here and we have some strong lights of sunshine in this world on the call today. And including of course, our, my co host and our wonderful walls team that is here today. Pepper, what's up? I said how's your Friday morning?  

Pepper Roussel: I'm all excited. Now I've got a new song in my head on the street where she lives from my fair lady, which I absolutely love. I've seen that movie.  Ooh,  almost as many times as I've seen the Wiz. So there we are, which is the exact thank you that. Wow. Yeah. You feel me? 

Rodneyna Hart: Because I've probably watched both about the same amount. Yeah. 

Casey: He's on down that road. All right. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. 

Pepper: Thank y'all for being here on this happy Friday. So exciting!  We are talking resources and I don't know a better place to find them than at the libraries and at the museums. So those are our folks for the day, but we will start with Andrew, because your name starts with an A, and please let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved in all of these things. Your five minutes starts now.  

Andrew Tadman: Okay I'm going to go for 30 minutes after this. I'm the reference coordinator for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. I do a lot with digital literacy, online learning resources, lots of evangelizing  for the library, and all kinds of things as Mary drives. Yeah. Oh. More. 

Pepper: Listen, you are welcome to hold to the 30 minutes. Mary, if you want to jump in since you are a, yeah, that's right.  

Mary Stein: Andrew neglected to tell you he's from Bunky. But so I'm the enabler. At the library, I'm the enabler. And but of course, wonderful shout outs to Rodneyna, who is our fabulous mc. When we broke all the Fire Marshals rules, and had way beyond what we should have had for our One Book, One Community finale, go Rodneyna packing them in.

Pepper: Alright, Rodneyna, not that we don't know yet. I'm just asking, who are you? What do you do? And  but you're on mute, Lovey. All right.  

Rodneyna Hart: So I'm Rodneyna Hart. I am the Museum Division Director for the State Museum System. I'm also an enabler and try to make as many community good things happen as possible. I am also sometimes guest host or emcee or whatever the library tells me I am. I am that person. I volunteer with whoever asks me. I support all of the people that I possibly can. We have a really thriving museum and gallery community here in Baton Rouge that not everyone knows about and not everyone takes full advantage of, but I'm here to let everyone know that they should. So I'm looking forward to telling everyone a lot more about Capitol Park Museum here in Baton Rouge, but also all of the groups of museums and galleries in the area that shared their information and upcoming events. I'm going to be sending all of that in the chat. 

Pepper: All right we're just going to open up the doors to the library since it starts with an L and L's comes before M, that much I'm sure about. Please let us know what is happening and what are the resources. I sent the email over to to our library friends, and I don't know if you guys follow on social media the librarian, who is just an amazing guy. Who grew up as a library kid and is now at a library and who's on a bit of a hiatus, but every time I see him, I think about all of the amazing folks who work in libraries and the incredible things that they do and how they know all of the things and they know all of the things because they have all of the resources. So please share with us. You got 30 minutes  

Mary: All right, so I'm Andrew's play by play and I'm gonna do color. But also joining, you know just observing or stalking is our new library director Katrina Stokes. So wave Katrina, wave. Yay!  All right. Our job is: We don't have to know the things, we just have to know where to find them. And as you said, we are trying to be one of the last places where you can go. You can go and get access to whatever you need at the time that you need it, in the place where you are when you need it. We do this free of charge to citizens, whether they're legal or illegal, whether they're young or old. It's possible that as of next week, we won't be able to use the word free anymore. Thanks to House Bill 265, you still have time to stop it, but anyway, Andrew, go. 

Andrew: Okay,  yeah, so first of all, how to get a library card, because that's the key to unlocking your library card is still free until next week. I don't know what we'll call it then.  

Pepper: Wait, pause. What's wrong with the word free?  

Mary: Representative Amedée doesn't want any of us to use the word free, like going to a museum won't be free anymore, because technically state funds or parish funds are being used. To offer the service or whatever. And so she doesn't want us to use the word free. That bill passed the House, of course, and is languishing in the Senate right now. It got out of committee and now it's at the Legislative Bureau. It's possible that soon we won't be able to use the word free to describe the services that we offer to the living beings in our community. I keep emailing my senators and other senators, anyone, senators saying this will just be confusing to people.  

Pepper: Are we including any sort of language that says your taxes have already paid for it, which is why it's not technically free, or are we just saying. 

Mary: I can't put that thing that's one inch tall and in, and a hundred words long in front of, in every bookmark or in every flyer. I just can't do it. But guess what? Literacy for languages is wonderful. And there are many words for free. Gratis, lagna, libraire. We could do a language a month. 

Pepper: Why, I love librarians. I'm so sorry.  

Andrew: Creative. Yeah.  All right. To get a library card, the key to unlocking all this you just need a picture ID and come into any library branch to get one. And so if you live or work in East Baton Rouge Parish, you can get one. We have agreements with eight surrounding parishes, so you can go to them, get an authorization form just that says you don't owe them a bunch of money. And then you can come to us and get a library card with us as well. So that's the key we do have online cards that you can sign up for but they're limited access They don't give you access to the really good stuff like the ebooks Which is what most people try and get with the online cards of course, we're fine free. So no fines at the library. Just return it when you can return it as you were saying, the library is one of the few, spaces for the community that are available where you don't have to spend any money. And of course, we've got meeting rooms, study rooms Wi Fi lots of electricity, cooling, heating, whatever you need. And lots of events that are going on constantly, so if you check our newsletter, The Source, It'll tell you everything that's going on in the upcoming month. And we're about to start the June Friday night movies on the plaza, which are really nice. Everybody just brings a lawn chair. Mary's advertising there. Bit out of focus. Makerspaces at some of the libraries. So this is creative equipment. So things like laser cutters, sewing machines, crickets. At the River Center branch, we've got a recording studio. Providing access to all kinds of equipment. Just like we always used to do when computers were a new thing, or when expensive books were a new thing, it's about providing access to the community. 

Mary: And y'all, nonprofits are using that recording studio to produce their podcasts and roll them out. Hint hint.  

Andrew: And as well as that we've got public computers at all the branches, and we do a lot of one-on-one literacy instruction, at the time when it's needed, people filling out forms or resumes, whatever it might be. Some of the things you might not expect, we have at the library, of course, we've got the very popular wifi hotspots to help people who might not have access.  We've also got large telescopes you can check out, board games, and even litter pick up kits for groups, so if you wanted to arrange a litter pick up, we can do that. But our focus today will be on the 15th, or soon to be 16th branch, which is the digital library. And of course we've got a new branch coming on near Perkins and College, the south branch. So that'll be open at the start of next year. 

Mary: By this time next year, we'll be totally in it and people will be checking out a thousand books a day. 

Andrew: Okay our most popular online learning resource is LinkedIn Learning. I think partially because people associate the name so it's an easier sell, but so the library has a subscription so individuals can use it without having to pay for a personal subscription, which is you know hundreds of dollars a year and it does have professional certifications for Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Cisco, Amazon Web Services, and things like that, as well as lots of courses. They're three kind of broad areas. Business technology and creative. So there's a lot of software underneath those. So we use it ourselves for training library staff. We've got partners in the community that will go out and help create curriculums for them using these resources,  including Community Coffee. And let's see what else.  So the courses vary in length. They also have a thing called a Learning Path, which is a collection of courses in the same wheelhouse. So if you want a really deep dive on a subject Then you can go through a learning path  and you can connect it to your actual Linkedin account, but you don't have to  

Mary: But y'all Andrew has actually created curated lists, bespoke lists for non profits and individuals and businesses so that they could use them in their own shop for continuing ed or workforce development. And that's just a service that it's still free at the library.  

Pepper: So I've got a question about the document that you'll send over, we added it to the announcement or the reminder. I just dropped all those pages in the chat to make sure everybody's got them and you can download them and keep them handy. But help me understand when you talk about Linkedin learning being an easier sell. What do you get like, what is it for those of you and I ask that question because not all of us use linkedin. We know that it's a place where you can network with folks professionally. Maybe you can get a job. But what is this about? 

Mary: They bought So was the online learning platform that many universities were using as a continuing ed path for their students and then many professionals were using it. LinkedIn Learning just bought it. So now all that's living within their umbrella, all kinds of professional trainings. Soft skills, hard skills and Microsoft some of them come with certifications so you use them for your personal growth or if you're with a company or a small foundation or whatever you can use them with your staff, your employees or whatever. It's cool stuff.

Andrew: Yeah, so it's on demand videos and so we use them for things like there's lots of customer service training, empathy training and pretty much everyone. There's thousands of different courses that are really heavy into software. So if there's any kind of software you're looking to learn, that's kind of a go to place to use it and then let's see what else.

Pepper: And all of that is available online? So once I have a library card, I can go online anywhere or I can go into the library and use the resources there. 

Andrew: Yes, all of these you can use from home. If you have access you can do it all from home now 

Mary: Andrew talk about the two part authentication if you're going to make an account. 

Andrew: Oh, yeah so your account for linkedin you just go through our site through the digital library site on And then put your library card number in and then it asks for a pin number which is a bit confusing because we don't have pins but that's really the account information that you use to log into your library account to renew books and that kind of thing. 

But if you get stuck at any point the reference staff are always here to let you know what that password is or get you started.

Mary: But once you are in there, you build your personal account, so you can keep going back to it.  

Andrew: Yeah, it'll keep track of what you've done or if you've finished or if you have a few minutes to do a course, then you can pick it right back up the next time you log in. All right and the second most popular is Gale Presents Udemy, which is similar on demand courses to LinkedIn Learning, just has a bit more variety. It has a bit more kind of leisure based courses like learning to play the guitar, as well as, all the software, all the soft skills, and workforce training.

Mary: Oh, there's juggling. 

Pepper: I have, I've said this and people laugh at me, but I'm so serious. I could have had a career with Cirque du Soleil and now that you are willing to teach me how to juggle and I can no longer hula hoop, this is a sign. It is a sign that the door is not closed.  

Andrew: Yep. Yeah. We're all back. Continuing the journey of education. There you go. 

Mary: Never stop learning.  

Andrew: Yeah. For Udemy, one thing I really like is before you actually go into the course, they have an overview screen that LinkedIn Learning doesn't have. And so it tells you the things you need to know before you start, what exactly you're going to learn from the course. So that's a really nice feature that they have. 

Mary: So you don't waste any time.  

Andrew: Yeah, and it tells you how long the course is going to be and all that good stuff so you know what you're getting into before you start. But exciting news about Udemy is that it's just been picked up by the state library. So now it means it's available to everybody in Louisiana, which is really good news. Because the state has been lacking that kind of online learning resource that was shared. 

Mary: And then we won't have to pay for it, so we'll spend that money on something else.  

Andrew: Yeah. Okay. So the next one is Gale Courses. As you might know by the names, Gale are a very popular library vendor and they like to put their name in the front of absolutely anything they sell. Gale courses are a bit different in that they're six week long instructor led courses. So this is a bit more interactive and hands on than the previous one. Kind of on demand video courses, so you're in a classroom with other students around the country who are enrolled in the same course at the same time, and they have a bit of homework, but I don't think they're pressuring you too much. Yeah, but the good thing is they have discussions, online discussion boards, so you can get to know classmates, have conversations, talk about whatever it is. And they have a mix of software, soft skills. Leisure courses, they have things like caring for a parent, to writing a children's book, speed Spanish, it's gardening. It's a really big mix of courses, all taught by college instructors. And a new course starts every month, but they run six weeks long and you just have to take two classes per week, but it's not like you have to be online at a certain time. You just have to keep up with them that way. So it's okay. Next one, we have a resource called Cell Ed. Which is one that I really like, and I would really like us to get more usage out of, because we don't get the good numbers we'd like. But it's micro learning courses in English and Spanish that are aimed at low digital literacy or ESL students. And they're three to five minutes long, so they're really short. And you can do them just by texting back and forth with an actual live coach. Or you can even use dumb phone and call a phone number and do it that way. So they have lots of very basic skills like math or job searching, as well as their language courses. A bit on citizenship as well. And for that one, you don't even need a library card. There's just a link on our page that has the code that you need to get into enroll in that. So we really like that resource. It's really good, but we want more users. And then  along those lines, we also have something called Digital Learn, which also is courses covering kind of very basic digital literacy. So this and CellEd are our entry level courses to get started before you move up to the LinkedIn learnings for more advanced stuff. So courses in Digital Learning include creating a budget and getting started with telehealth. Creating an email address, understanding scans and, phishing emails and stuff like that. And those are interactive, animated based programs where you click through and, spot problems and stuff like that.

Mary: Are the transcripts still there? 

Andrew: Yeah, they have transcripts. It's available in English and Spanish. And most of those courses are only about 10 or 15 minutes long. 

Mary: So if you were working with a group of adults who are low literate or low English speaking, you could just adopt this as part of your curriculum and you could deliver the same content. The transcripts are there. The video is there and you could just pass that on. That's the way it was designed to be shared. 

Andrew: Yeah, and this was a pilot that we did with the Public Library Association started 10 years ago and Cox was a partner. So we would go to HUD locations and Cox were providing internet and we would teach classes using digital learn. And it's still going now and they're adding new courses. We're happy about that. And again, you don't need a library card for that one either. You just need an email address, which we've always fought against requiring an email to sign in to take a course about getting an email. Yeah. 

Pepper: All right. That is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. No, so there are far more resources than I had really expected. So I knew that there was Flipster for magazine. There's Hoopla and Libby for online books. I just found Kanopy. I've been telling everybody who will listen that Kanopy exists if you want to watch movies. I had no idea that you could teach me. All of these things. Oh, all right. Tell us about art.  

Mary: Yeah, learning express, Mometrix, go!

Andrew: Okay first Homework Louisiana. That's online tutoring from kindergarten to adult learners and that's available statewide across Louisiana, you don't need a library card. The good part about that is you can talk to a live tutor from 10 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. So it's really good. And the tutors work through problems with you on a virtual whiteboard on the computer screen. So that's really helpful. We have a lot of school kids using those. And it's available in Spanish and Vietnamese language tutors as well. So that's a really good resource and doesn't require a library card as well. That's just as long as you're within Louisiana, you can access that. Then Learning Express is our main standardized test preparation resource. So all kinds of things like ACT, GRE, HiSET all that good stuff. It's practice tests and mostly eBooks and other courses. Mometrix is pretty similar to Learning Express. It's test preparations, flashcards, but it deals with a lot more areas. Learning Express is more academic based or civil service exam. Mometrix covers things like real estate.

Mary: Project Management Institute testing was in there. 

Andrew: Yeah, and actually Linkedin learning, I think, has qualifications for project management as well official credits you can get. Okay. Mango languages is our main language resource. It's like Duolingo for libraries, but it's hard to compete with Duolingo. But it has over 70 languages, including ESL. But what you won't find in Duolingo, I don't think anyway, is they teach Pirate as well. Yes. So things like Pirate, Gaelic, Irish. They have a really broad

Pepper: Oh, not like ARRGH matey.

Mary: Yes. It is like ARRGH matey. Yeah, so in September when it's International Pirates Day we are always Using that. For Dickens Celebration, they also taught Dickens English.

Andrew: Yeah, they have Shakespearean English as well. So they have some interesting courses. And one of the neat things about that is it has situational based language learning. So things like doing business in Spanish or romance in Spanish, it'll tell you all the right things to say.  

Mary: Oh, gosh. Get off your online dating. All right. 

Andrew: Or medical, if you have an emergency in a different country, you'll know what to do. 

Pepper: Alright, that's a real thing. Before we get too far, I do want to make sure that we get the library, excuse me, the museum resources. Thank you Rodneyna for putting all of those links in the chat. So tell us, what are, and then we will just have an open dialogue. What else, what do you have going on over at the museums? Thanks. Which is also not free. I don't know. Okay, pretty cool remix though, I'll tell you that. 

Rodneyna: No, not everyone has the original and remix at the same time. So museums are doing all kinds of really fun, very cool things. We're ramping up for the summer. There are lots of programs that are happening. I included Pretty much everybody. I was like, you know what? I'm representing museums. So I reached out to all my museum folks and I was like, Hey, what are y'all doing? And I have copied and pasted or dropped a link or whatever was possible because these are amazing resources and summer is hot in Baton Rouge. So I highly recommend all of y'all take full advantage of all of your galleries, all of your museums. I'm. Let's see. At Conley Fine Art, they have new exhibits popping up all the time. The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge they are amazing. They have amazing resources. Also a recording studio. They've got a black box theater. They've got a gallery. Just really wonderful things happening. The Art Guild of Baton Rouge, they are the OGs of Baton Rouge art. They are the ones who have been in existence for a very long time, and they do a regular exhibition at the state archives annually and it's at a lot of the museums in Baton Rouge were founded or discovered or filled with their artwork. And that's what kind of started a lot of places off between the Art Guild and also the, let's see, Arts Guild and, oh, and the Junior League. So they were both foundational in a lot of what happens here in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge African American Museum everyone knows that they've relocated and they're building resources right now, and we're really excited that there's a second life for this institution. Baton Rouge Gallery. What can I say about Baton Rouge Gallery? So Baton Rouge Gallery was my beginning in the arts in Baton Rouge. It was the first job that I had and the, and Jason, I was the first person that Jason ever hired. He has great taste. We're really glad that they exist a lot of the programs that they're doing right now where they're thriving, things like Surreal Salon and Movies and Music on the Lawn and the first Wednesday's opening. The first Wednesdays are always free. And those are big community events there. Yes, we're getting there. We're going to sell art. It's going to be great. Also, we're going to just get together as a community and enjoy Each other's company, and also how amazing the arts here are and so it's really wonderful that we have this institution that gives back and that shows up in that way we've got the Magnolia Mound Plantation. That place is, So interesting and it dovetails into so many different types of history in Louisiana. That movie was Emancipation movie that Will Smith was in recently. It was filmed here in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas because the character that he was portraying known as Whipped Peter, he sought refuge at the Magnolia Mound. And so it's really not just something that is a distant history. You've probably seen this image of this, this black man with all of these welts on his back from being tortured. And we may think okay, yes, slavery was bad, but that was in our backyard. That was part of the union propaganda to teach people that slavery is wrong, that people are being tortured, that this is something that's very meaningful. And that area where Magnolia mound is, was a sugar plantation. And it has that duality of a significant historic location for that area that represents freedom post civil war, but also that hosted lots of enslaved people. So we've got really complex histories here. And, they have an amazing team. I've worked with pretty much most of them in different capacities, but great people. And then here at Capital Park Museum we strive to be the living room of museums. We want everyone to feel comfortable, kick your feet up know that this space is for you. We celebrate Louisiana in all ways. Our first floor, our permanent gallery space is Louisiana history. So everything from the Louisiana Purchase, Louisiana at War we talk about agriculture and slavery, civil rights. We have a large section on our Nadesco site here in Louisiana. And it's really wonderful that we can highlight so many wonderful, positive things and educate our communities and our visitors.

We had a lot of international guests because it is a celebration of the entire state. The upper floors are a celebration of all of our culture. So that's Mardi Gras, that's music, that's geographic areas. We also really get to celebrate that Louisiana has such unique offerings and even our HBCUs. That's been an addition that I've been able to help foster in my tenure here. That we now have a section that talks about all of the HBCUs throughout Louisiana and their significant histories and how they contribute to a larger understanding of education in Louisiana. Who we are, how we exist and how they came to be. And then Circa 1857, which I love to include them because even though they are retail space, they do have some artwork and when we think about history, we think about art and culture, but museums, we think about material culture and antique spaces are a way for you to engage with history in your own home. And I love the concept of an antique store and having these objects with a past life  that I get to engage with because I do like to touch the art and you're not supposed to do that in museums. Yeah, don't touch the art. It's really bad for the art. We've got downtown business association which helps with a lot of really cool events like live after five and the Baton Rouge arts market. We've got downtown development district, which also helps us with that intersection of art, history place making economic development. All of these are absolutely essential to thriving as a creative community. We are a cultural district downtown. So the sale of original artwork is a reduced tax. Incentivize coming to actual galleries and getting real art from artists who are still alive. And will benefit from the money that you spend on their artwork. Just Shine Enterprises is a new gallery downtown. They're right there on Florida Boulevard, and they have space. You can rent it out for things like a podcast or just office space. If you need it. I have used it recently, but it's also filled with the owner's artwork and he is just pleased as punch to share it with everybody. So it's pretty fantastic. Knock Knock Children's Museum it's a wonderful resource for children. It's hands-on tactical learning that we are able to engage with in a very meaningful way. The same thing for the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. That was also a place that I loved working at and they're still part of my museum family and they do amazing field trips. They have really outstanding education. And they've got things like dino days and just really great educational entertainment. The exhibition that's up right now is this amazing photography and painting exhibition with local talent and I recommend everyone check it out. There's also really amazing artwork by Chase Mullins. He does a lot of nature paintings that are just outstanding and sometimes secretly subversive, but he wouldn't tell you that. And then there's the State Office of Cultural Development. I want everyone to understand that we have the State Office of Cultural Development in our city, in our backyard. There are so many statewide resources that they are able to share, that they are able to encourage, and if you reach out to the Percent for the Arts, they are constantly doing calls for artists and for artwork, and it pays real money. This is a percentage of all state building projects. That go to help support arts, culture, history in the state. There's also the old governor's mansion and the old state capitol. We've got this beautiful real estate that really talks to the history of our state and why that's so important.  We also have the LSU galleries. So there's some on campus. There's some off campus just pretty much everywhere. And it's really wonderful that we're able to share this kind of information and have student art put on this beautiful pedestal. There's also the Louisiana Museum of Natural Science on campus. There are a lot of little galleries that not everyone knows about, but I highly recommend that you learn more about them because they have special collections of books. They have special collections of herbarium and different types of  leaves and flowers and really cool stuff that you can look at. They even have some that were turned, some of the herbarium samples that they have were paintings that were done by people like In the stones at our first name. Very cool stuff. Then the rural life museum. That is an interesting resource that we have. That is unique. You can understand what it was like to exist in rural Margaret stones. Thank you. It's existing in rural Louisiana. And they also have the windbush gardens when brush to gardens, which is a beautiful space to walk around it. The old arsenal powder magazine magazine museum  that is across from the Capitol park museum. And it's a veteran's memorial. We've got just really cool things that not a lot of people take as full advantage of, and I believe that they are only open on Tuesdays. We've got the Louisiana and the LSU Textile Museum. They always have very interesting exhibitions that highlight textiles that sometimes resonate with people from Louisiana, sometimes historic things but are able to really show how human ecology that developed in our existence and how beneficial it is. The Shaw Center for the Arts has so much art. It's got the LSU Museum of Art in it, it's got the Manship Theater. It really highlights all of some of the things that we do best, which is our art theater and our material culture and our art. The healthcare gallery, a place I used to work, loved it. But they have it's a doctor's office and he sees patients, but he wanted to see patients in an art gallery. And so you're able to take advantage of of course getting all of your health needs met, but also you can visit with artwork. It's very interesting. Yes, the Rural Life Museum is a bit off putting, but it deals with rural life in Louisiana, which is off putting. We don't have a sanitized history. And there are some things you learn, like how people were able to adapt and create and forge a life out of nothing. And that is important to understand but also you learned that this was not an easy life for a lot of people and there were varying levels of comfort, varying levels of labor. But it is an important thing to engage with,  Southern University has a beautiful collection of African artwork that is on their campus. I believe it's only open by not employed by reservations. We also have the Bogan. A. Baton Rouge Fire Museum. So they are working to open in the location where the Arts Council used to be. You may have gone in to a program and saw those antique fire trucks and engines and things. They have all of these really interesting offerings. And they're working to build a full museum now. They're also heavily involved with a lot of the community initiatives that happen in association with  the Spanish Town Parade. The USS Kidd we know that it's sailed off for right now. But they are for conservation and it's very interesting to have a ship museum here in our community that we can explore. It's different to be inside of these places and to understand this like what were the sleeping quarters like? How closely did people need to work together to make these missions successful? Standing where people have stood being in spaces where people have navigated it really does change a relationship with history. It really helps history live. Visit Baton Rouge. I can't say enough good things about Visit Baton Rouge. They're great ambassadors for the city. They do wonderful events. They bring in lots of conferences and, but they also are connectors. And as I love connectors. And so they are able to do very interesting things and promote the niche and the big things of Baton Rouge. So supporting them is easy. West Baton Rouge Museum, they are incredibly innovative and they've integrated music. Into a large part of their interpretation. They also do a sugar festival every year. They are able to put on exhibitions and all different topics and they're worth checking out.

Also, if you are if you do live in Baton Rouge and you have your library card, you can also get a library card in West Baton Rouge because they allowed those reciprocal for neighboring parishes. Get your library cards. Yes, We Cannibal. They are a relatively new organization, but they are making a real splash. They have come in and are being innovative and interesting and very unique and their marketing and their approach and their way of engaging with the community. And they're bringing in some pretty big deal artists and it's an unassuming place. They have a community fridge. They are here to elevate, but also make more accessible a lot of very influential artists. And they have a few artists coming up, which I did include in the chat their press release on their upcoming artists. One of them is a good friend of mine, Scott Finch. Go support him. He's very interesting, very innovative. And then there's also the walls project, which I don't know if you guys are familiar with, but they are amazing and a big part of my heart and they afford these kinds of opportunities where I can just fangirl about all of the arts and culture in Baton Rouge. And it's really fantastic. And they also make really cool murals and gardens and people and photographers. And Graphic designers, like we are so rich in our community. We have so many amazing cultural resources. We have our library systems, which are one of the few places where you don't have to spend money, you go. It may not be that word we can't say, but it is accessible, it is open, and all of our museums within Baton Rouge, and this was just in Baton Rouge, like none of these places were farther afield than like a mile, and  we have six museum And cultural spaces and walking distance downtown, like that is significant. So there is so much that we can take advantage of. There's so many people and resources that are just begging for you to show up. So pick your favorites. Join their mail list, volunteer with them, become a member, that literal investment that you make in that institution, it absolutely turns into more resources for everyone. I do like to say that if you like it, put a ring on it. If you like these cultural offerings, invest in them, go to them, support their programs. And if we don't, they go away. That's my, I don't know, a little more than two cents.  

Pepper: Listen, I could not begin to tell y'all how excited I am about all of the things that I just heard about. I am a frequent flyer at the libraries mainly because there is always something new or interesting. And I know that there were some more things that Andrew had on the list to share with us. There were some questions that popped up in the chat about field trips and where can I, is there somebody at the library who might be able to walk us through all the resources that are available when you show up? Can y'all speak to that? 

Pepper: Oh, yeah, I'm definitely available to give people tours. Yeah, we do it quite a bit, especially for ESL groups, but happy to do it for anybody who wants the guided tour. Can you just reach out to me, or Mary?

Mary: And if it's groups with kids, or with teens, there's someone special just for that and we do like to reserve a time for that so that they get the attention they need, especially as we enter summer reading where the staff is so distracted during the day with so many wonderful, yawning, running little feet. And by the way, every one of y'all can join the adult summer reading club and you can earn your swag. And you can.

Pepper: What's the swag? What's the swag?

Mary: Oh it's a good book. It's a good book bag. That's what people want. And then some other small things. And then for every three books beyond that, you read, you get more swag and you get entered into the grand prize drawing. But I say reading is its own reward, but if we have to bribe you, we will. But Andrew, talk about skill mill and transfers.

Andrew: Yeah, so quickly, we're moving in with some virtual reality programming, so Transfer will be offering pretty regular classes. This is  yeah, you'll come to the library, use one of our headsets to explore, careers and as well as things like automotive, like how to change your oil.

You'll be able to do it in virtual reality all kinds of maintenance skills. And SkillMill's another VR program that we have, and that provides training for electricians, plumbers, solar power solar installers, all kind of HVAC, so you'll see a lot more. Virtual reality programming coming up in the very near future 

Mary: And other kind of creation programs like creative bug and craftsy and artist works. You can learn to play a musical instrument. And hive class, yes, you can learn pickleball.  But you can also learn mindfulness and, it's a kinetic interact. It's not interactive. It's kinetic. Coursework. In little bite sized chunks, so you can use it with your, the kids that you're in charge of, or your adult group, or just yourself. I love it. 

Andrew: Yeah, we used Hi Plus last year for a kind of season of horror movies. So before we watch the horror movie, we'd all be doing the exercise like, you're running from the slasher. You're running from the slasher. Yeah, you're stretching for something, or er. 

Mary: Yeah, all good.  Trying to keep it real at the library. So many things you just need that library card. And yes, if you come in whether you're coming in to the genealogy department and want your one on one to get your search started, or you're coming in to the adult reference department and need your one on one because you're an entrepreneur or a small business person, or you're coming in or sending your mother or your grandmother with their new technology, and they're like I heard about these things called ebooks or I can read the newspaper online, or I can read the newspaper from my hometown online or whatever it is, the staff will help you if you can make an appointment, that's just maybe a more measured experience for everyone. But librarians are standing by. 

Andrew: Yeah, last thing I want to tell you is that newspaper access you can get through the library so you can redeem online passes for the New York Times and Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Plus, we have a resource called PressReader, which is just streaming magazines and newspapers, but it's newspapers from all over the world, different languages but as well as around the U.S., like Dallas, Chicago, L. A., and the New York Times is in there as well. 

Mary: Many of our guest workers and visitors read the paper from their hometown in their home language, or I read it before I travel. That's why we encourage people to use the Mango languages and there's a version for kids too. So that before you're traveling abroad, you really can ask, correctly.

Pepper: Absolutely phenomenal. Y'all, this has been incredible. I am already overloaded and overwhelmed with information, but I want a library card so bad. A Baton Rouge library card. I have, you know what, Fluttershy Belle, you're just showing off. You're just showing off. 

Casey: Pepper, I can't help first of all, thank you to our incredible speakers and sharing all the resources, but Pepper, there's, I can't help but notice, maybe it's because Manny's hair is not here today, but there's no salt in the pepper today. You have literally not stopped smiling since the moment Patrick and Mary Andrew and Mary came onto the line. I was looking at Patrick Tuck and drawing the comparisons and what's up Patrick Tuck and Rodneyna. You haven't stopped, you're glowing for the last year and you're a happy human when it comes to the library and art.

Pepper: Yeah. Listen, I, now that I know that I can actually buy things from the museums, I just got to go and check the prices, man, because I always, I can figure out somewhere to hang some art. I'll tell you that right now. 

Casey: It's a good problem. It's a good problem. Thank you for our speakers today and Pepper and thanks for putting this together. I think it did all of our hearts and good today.  

Pepper: I am glad y'all were here. And between meetings, I'm gonna run over to the Capitol Museum because it can, 'cause it's right here downtown, within five blocks. But beyond that, it is a long weekend y'all. What is happening in Baton Rouge, Jones Creek? What is happening in Baton Rouge that we haven't already discussed? Or if you wanna remind us, I'm happy to hear it. 

Mary: I'm trying to type it. Let's see. I got screwed up. Free concert at the main library on Monday night with the Baton Rouge Concert Band. Outside, bring your lawn chair bring your dog, bring your picnic table. I'm not going to ask what's in your liquid beverage container. A wonderful concert starts at seven. And inside, we have the Gallery of Valor where photographs and stories about some of our local servicemen and women who gave their lives in service to our nation are on display through Memorial Night. So we open up, the library's closed for Memorial Day, but we open up after five so that you can come and get situated, mostly so the band can come and get situated. The concert starts at seven, it is outside, it's always fantastic. 

Patrick Tuck: I love that the libraries let kids orchestra make noise. I've dumped that in the chat a couple of times. So bring your 3 to 11 year olds tomorrow morning to Jones Creek and give them things to bang on and let them make noise. Yes. 

Pepper: Awesome. Also, please register for World Refugee and Immigrant Day if you have not done so. Marcela, what's the date on that?  

Marcela Hernandez: June 22nd, 2 p. m. River Center. If you have not registered, I'm telling you, you will regret it. You will regret it. So go ahead and register before we close the registration tables for the outreach resource coordinators. And I'm telling you, last year we had the representation of 45 countries. You don't want to miss that pool of individuals that are never reached out. And with this huge amount of information and resources that you guys have, I really think that you need to be present for the World Refugee and Immigrant Day. So please, join 22nd.  2 p. m. River Center downtown Baton Rouge. Thank you. Thank you. 

Pepper: All right. It looks like we also have a farmer's market volunteer opportunity.

Allie Schleter: Yes, so we every quarter we count the number of people who stopped by the market just to get an idea of how many people were reaching. And so we need some people to help count that. So this month is next Saturday.  

Pepper: Thank you. Thank you. And is it like a volunteer for veggies or it's a volunteer for the doing the right thing?

Allie: We're doing the right thing for doing the right thing. Maybe we'll see. Maybe there's some kind of incentive. Not sure yet.  

Pepper: Oh, it's fine. Thank you, ma'am. Marcella.

Casey: Pepper. Oh, pepper. I couldn't come up. You passed them, with all the deals that are probably the backdoor deals that are going down at the Capitol. I think that, little veggie payola is acceptable. I think it's an acceptable request, Allie, we're just like, we're just talking about a little bedroom veggies, 

Allie: You might have me there. So  maybe it is volunteer for veggies. 

Marcela: I just wanted to say, if anyone would like from this call, I see that you guys have so much going on. And I just want to say, if you want to come to our summer camp this year and interact with our children and our youth, please get in touch with me. I will be very happy to  welcome you into our setting. We're going to have a cohort of Elementary, Middle school and high schoolers. And if you really have a program that is impactful, that you think that our immigrant and refugee children will benefit from, please email me. My email is on the chat. Let me know and we can coordinate so you guys can come and be a guest speaker. Alrighty. That's it. Thank you. Thank you. 

Pepper: Gorgeous. Thank you all so much for being here. Especially, on a holiday weekend, I cannot thank our speakers enough for sharing all of the resources. Yes, it is evident that libraries and art are where my heart happened to. That in food, that's the top 3. I'm just going to say it anyway. We will see y'all back here saying that. Wait. What's up? Nichola. I'm sorry.  

Casey: She could not be denied. 

Nichola Hall: I am so sorry. I was here hustling because I ran out for another meeting and I was like, wait a minute. They're wrapping up and I didn't get to say out hello to everybody but also to share out that summer meals and summer feeding starts on Tuesday and share out to everyone where these meals will be offered. We have in school feeding. We also have meals on the go at different housing authorities and different libraries. And we also have a rural pickup site in northeast, three day meal, four day meal, three day picked up picks will be picked up or can be picked up on Monday, four days on Thursday pre registration, but we want to feed the babies and we're here to feed the babies. So I want to share out, please. When you get the flyers shared all out. Thank you all. Have a great weekend.  

Casey: Awesome. Thank you, Nichola and thank you for the energy and the passion and the time you sink into the One Rouge capital area. Student Equity Coalition and everything that you did on the summer EBT with all the other folks that we talked about this week at the in person meetings. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who did attend the in person meetings at the library on Tuesday for Education to Coalition, Education to Career Coalition. Tuesday. Wednesday for cafe and Thursday for transportation mobility. If you are interested in getting down to the bigger work past the Fridays, you will get the opportunity to work with giants of change like Nichola and Pepper and Carl and Tia and everybody else who's on this line that came out. If you're interested, please get involved in the coalitions. And then it looks like we have one more Erin wants to come off mute, but I wanted to give Pepper a moment. And think about your favorite moment of Diana Ross from The Wiz. And we'd love to have you take us out today. Go ahead, Erica. 

Erin White: Whoa, not going to do that. But Nicola, we absolutely must connect. I have a STEM camp coming up. I put my number in the chat. I just want to make sure you saw it. So I'm calling attention to it for you. Because I'm all about STEM. You're in the school system. Let's do it.  I don't know what it is yet, but. Yeah, we'll come up with something. 

Nichola: All right. No, for you, anything for you, Erin, you're feeding babies and taking care of babies. I got you. And whoever is moving to Hartford, Connecticut, I just moved from Connecticut. Two and a half years ago, so have fun and enjoy. 

Pepper: The cost of living is too high. Don't do it to yourself. 

Nichola: But you change the resistance up there, get things done, it does. 

Casey: It does seem like this is a moment that Rodneyna and Nicola should maybe have a parting cup of coffee at French truck before Rodneyna you head out because and I think also Christian Engel from YMCA moved from Hardcourt. Is that correct? Yeah, so that's weird. I don't really know what to say about that other than obviously my heart is weeping. As said at the prospect of Rodneyna not being here, however. as your friend. Ooh, fly bird, fly and change the world. We love you, Rodneyna, and thank you for everything in this world that you have done. I was actually talking about Stabbed in the Art last night when we were standing on Perkins Road and how you revived that and everything that you have done with Culture Candy and at the museums and the galleries. Folks, this is nothing short of a Shakespearean tragedy of losing Rodneyna the Heart in the city of Baton Rouge. But we wish you the best. We wish you well. And you never know, my friend, people boomerang back into this place. Sometimes, despite whatever you think is going to happen in life, you live in Baton Rouge and find happiness and fulfillment. So you never know, my friend. You never know. Thank you all so much. And I'm sorry I didn't want to take away from the Wiz reprise Pepper, if you're feeling it. Being that it's your all one of your all time favorites or Rodneyna.

Pepper: Not at all. I am not, listen, I don't even watch that movie for Diana Ross. I watch it for Miss one and for yes. Okay,  and I'm just going to say it because that is indeed my favorite. My favorite scene that, that is my favorite scene is miss one. When she comes in as a numbers runner, who's got a numbers runners rich, but that's, and don't nobody bring me. No bad news by Mabel King is indeed my favorite song from that movie. Don't nobody bring me. No bad news. We wake up in the afternoon, which pleases me to do. Thank you, Morgan. Don't nobody bring me no bad news. 

Casey: Thank you Pepper. Happy Friday, everybody. 



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