Billie Stevens: Wonder Librarian

It’s Women’s History month, and a perfect time to look back in our history and share the story of Bossier Parish Libraries’ very own Wonder Woman. Imagine a job ad like this, in the 1950’s: Wanted for Bossier Parish Libraries, a hard worker to perform the following duties: Put buckets under leaks, cut the tops off of large cans and nail them to cover holes in the floor, order books for all the schools in the Parish (in addition to all the public library books), take the bookmobile on unpaved roads to Rocky Mount or Chalybeate Springs, Red Land, Walker’s Chapel, or Mott, get that book mobile... Read Full Blog

Julia Sparke Rule: Nineteenth Century Media Maven and Mother

March is Women’s history month and it’s always a delight to find women from local history who challenged conventions, achieved something out-of-the-ordinary, or used whatever gifts and opportunities they had for the good of their community. It never ceases to amaze me the women like this that you can find when you look. One such woman is Mrs. Julia Rule, who became nationally famous for driving the golden spike in Bossier City, La. to mark the completion of the Shreveport and Arkansas Railroad on April 6, 1888 (later known as the Cotton Belt), and was well-known locally for her role working... Read Full Blog

Reconstruction: A Constitutional History

The last two weeks, I introduced readers to Henry Adams, an advocate for the rights, welfare, and livelihoods of his fellow freed men in Louisiana and nearby states following the Civil War, the U.S. historical time period referred to as “Reconstruction.” In restoring the union of the states in the war’s aftermath, what, exactly, was being “reconstructed”? Federal and State constitutions hold a significant part of that answer.

The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments (changes and additions) to the United States Constitution are sometimes called the “Reconstruction Amendments.” They were... Read Full Blog

Part 2 Henry Adams and Resisting Intimidation: Black History Month 2023

It’s Black History Month and this year’s theme, from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is “Black Resistance.” This is Part 2 of last week’s column about the Shreveport and Bossier-area freedman Henry Adams, whom the ASALH upholds as an example of Black Resistance. The ASALH highlighted that Adams (and Benjamin “Pap” Singleton) led a mass exodus westward of Southern Blacks in the Reconstruction period following the U.S. Civil War. The ASALH credited Bishop Henry McNeal Turner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church with organizing an emigration of ... Read Full Blog

The Origin of Mardi Gras (2-15-2023)

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is upon us! Now, most of us are aware of the origin of Mardi Gras in this state and it’s association with Catholicism and Lent, but did you know that other countries have their own version of this pre-Lent celebration? And it’s not on Tuesday at all!

Apparently in Poland, Fat Thursday, or Tlusty Czwarkek, is celebrated on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday. It is also commonly called Paczki Day due to the tradition of consuming paczki during this celebration. Paczki are a Polish pastry, similar to jelly-filled donuts, which are typically filled with p... Read Full Blog

Black History Month and its Early Days Bossier (History Ctr Column)

Why is Black History Month celebrated in February and not some other month, such as January, the month of Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Because February has the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and Black History Month began before MLK Jr. was even born. This special recognition of Black history was begun by Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875 – 1950), a Harvard-trained historian whose parents had been enslaved. Dr. Woodson believed black people had a culture and tradition that scholars should investigate and artists should use as inspiration. He challenged all Americans to understa... Read Full Blog

National Freedom Day (Comm Eng Column)

It’s officially February…or it will be within a few days, depending on when you read this. That means that Black History Month has kicked off, and it starts with National Freedom Day!

I’m not sure if this holiday is a familiar one to any of my readers, it’s only vaguely familiar to me since it doesn’t get printed into any of the calendars or planners I’ve purchased over the years, but it seems like an important one to celebrate. It’s one of the few official holidays I’ve written about in recent memory, and with its reminders of our history and its celebration of freedom, shouldn’t... Read Full Blog

The Dreaded Jake-Leg and Prohibition (History Ctr Column)

In the United States from 1920 to 1933, a nationwide constitutional law, the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating beverages. It did not outlaw the possession or consumption of alcohol. The Volstead Act, the federal law that provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, had enough loopholes and weaknesses to open the door to countless schemes to evade the “dry” mandate. Several of these schemes flourished in the backwoods, fields and even towns of Bossier Parish and northwest Louisiana. Reports in the local newspapers show that Bossier Pari... Read Full Blog

Hey Knitting Enthusiants! (BPT Column)

The dates don’t necessarily work out to allow for celebrating this next random holiday on the actual date it falls on, but I can’t resist writing about it anyway because it’s tangentially related to knitting which is one of my hobbies. So, without further ado: it seems that since 2008, January 8th has been celebrated as National Argyle Day…at least in Scotland. And why not celebrate it here too?

Argyle, the pattern, is derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell of Argyll in western Scotland. This pattern consists of diamonds in alternating colors, typically only 2 color but nowadays... Read Full Blog

The History of Braille (BPT Column)

Happy New Year! Let me first start by hoping that everyone is experiencing an excellent start 2023. And now on to the first library column of the new year, which is all about the history of Braille in honor of World Braille Day on January 4.

World Braille Day is celebrated every year on January 4 because that day is the birthday of its inventor, Louis Braille. Louis Braille, a Frenchman, lost his sight as a child after an accident with an awl. He was sent to be educated at the Royal Institute for the Blind Youth in France when he was 10; this is where he developed his writing syst... Read Full Blog

Student Success with Your Library

Are you getting ready to head back to school?  Don't forget your library card!  Whether you're a student or an educator, we've got you covered!  Read on to discover how your library card is the most important school supply of all.  With resources for students, educators, homeschool students & educators, and everyone else, your library is here to support your success.

For the Students

Did you know that all students enrolled in a public school in Bossier Parish automatically receive a Student eCard with us as part of our student success initiative? &n... Read Full Blog

Bye Bye OverDrive, Hello Libby!

OverDrive is saying goodbye to their OverDrive app. The Libby App will be the primary way to access digital materials including eBooks and eAudiobooks.

As of February 2022, OverDrive has removed the OverDrive app from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Microsoft Store. It will remain in the Amazon App Store for the time being.


Why the change?

OverDrive has been developing and refining the Libby app for years with a focus on usability, functionality, and awesome features for accessing digital materials. Libby provides an enhanced user experience... Read Full Blog

Baller Budget Bites: Upgrade Your Ramen

Sometimes nothing beats a classic bowl of ramen, am I right?  Whether you prefer it with eggs or chicken, or anything in between, we've got you covered for whatever suits your budget and tastebuds.

Make It a Meal

Ramen is a great snack, but it's a better meal.  Fill out your ramen by adding some protein to your bowl.

Try poaching an egg!  Cook your ramen according to the package instructions.  Remove the pot from heat, then crack a raw egg into the noodles.  Don't stir!  Cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes, then enjoy.

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New Library Projects FAQs

New Central Library & History Center Complex Project

On October 22, 2020, the Library Board of Control approved plans to move forward on the construction of a new Central Library & History Center complex.

Here are answers to some of your frequently asked questions...

What will be different about the new library?

Our new library building will feature much-needed spaces such as a large-capacity multi-functional community meeting space as well as designated spaces for teens and children. We also look forward to an exciting new history center that will feature ... Read Full Blog