Local History with Beignets: Discovering Vieux Carre/French Quarter

Discovering Vieux Carre/French Quarter

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~ Elisa Babel, MLS

Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana Purchase

The room where the Louisiana Purchase was signed.  How an apartment in 1850 would’ve been furnished.  The magnificence of historic St. Louis Cathedral. Documents written in Spanish, French, and English. How New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras in yesteryears. These are a few of the things I saw while visiting the museums in the French Quarter.

This was my third ALA Annual and my first time in New Orleans. I stayed at the Holiday Inn-French Quarter on Royal Street so history was on the doorstep.

June 24

Friday was my free day so I spent the day discovering the history of the city.  After going to the convention center to get my badge and tote, I set out for the afternoon in the French Quarter. I had an early lunch at Café Beignet which was a short walk from my hotel.  I enjoyed a croissant sandwich and a side of beignets.  Délicieux! Delicious!  I liked the Café because it was quieter and not as busy.

My first museum stop was the Historic New Orleans Collection complex on Royal Street.  Here I viewed “The Threads of Memory” exhibit–a display of rarely seen documents about the Spanish presence in North America. The collection also included some documents on Louisiana under French control and then American acquisition. Moving on to the next gallery, I was impressed by colonial Spanish religious art in North America.

Cathedral St. Louis

My next stop was at St. Louis Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The church is named for the royal patron saint of France. The Cathedral has a long history and is the oldest continuously used Catholic cathedral in the United States. I was impressed by the magnificent interior.  One of my favorite parts of the building was the ceiling. I spent a few minutes praying and took a few photos. The next day I returned for the 5 pm Mass after a long day at the convention center.  As a souvenir of my attendance, I took the church bulletin on my way out.

After leaving the Cathedral, I went to the Cabildo.  This building had once served as the seat of government during Spanish colonial rule. Later it was home of the Louisiana State Supreme Court before it became a museum in 1911.  Aside from learning a few facts in school, I never knew about the city’s long and rich history. It had changed hands between the French and Spanish before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  On the second floor, I visited the room where the signing took place and the painting of the 1803 ceremony.  I remembered seeing that painting in my American history textbook in grade school.  When I finished visiting all the exhibit rooms, I’d gotten a fascinating tour of New Orleans through time.

Before leaving my hotel earlier, I had made a reservation for a 4 pm walking tour of the French Quarter.  I met my tour guide Mike from Magic Tours in front of K-Joe’s Restaurant. Two others were supposed to come but they didn’t!  We walked through the French Quarter, stopping at various landmarks along the way including Jackson Square, the riverfront, Napoleon House, the Pharmacy Museum, and Madam John’s Legacy.  Mike told me fascinating historical bits and architecture about the city.  I now know why oversized colored water jars were placed in period pharmacy windows. Duelling behind the Cathedral? I’m sure the priests weren’t happy about that!  Since it was a hot day, Mike frequently directed me towards shade.

June 28

I had the morning free before going to the airport and home.  I went to the 1850 House off Jackson Square.  This is one of the buildings built by the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba in 1850 hence the name. I entered the house through the gift shop on the ground floor and mounted a staircase. The rooms are furnished as they would have been of the time period.  Various families lived there along with their slaves and household staff in the back.  In 1927 it became a state museum.

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras New Orleans

My second and final museum was the Presbytere next to St. Louis Cathedral. Originally the Presbytere housed the Capuchins, a Catholic religious order.  In the 19th century it was used as a courthouse then became a state museum in 1911. Originally I didn’t plan to go.  A reproduction of a 19th century Mardi Gras poster outside did it for me. Once inside, I ran into one of my colleagues as she was coming out from an exhibit on Hurricane Katrina. We went up to the Mardi Gras exhibit on the second floor.  It’s a fun exploration of how this New Orleans tradition evolved over the centuries.  There’s also a room about how Mardi Gras is celebrated by the Cajuns in the nearby Louisiana parishes.

Afterwards we went out to lunch near the Cabildo and then I had to leave for the airport.  Although most of my time was split between the convention center and the French Quarter, I had a great time in New Orleans.

Just as you get a generous serving of food in any restaurant in New Orleans, I could say the same about its local history.  Plus having a few beignets on the side.

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Karen Schneider Tribute

A Tribute to Karen Schneider:  outgoing co-moderator of PubLib

On Sat Jun 18 2011 Publib co-moderator Karen Schneider  announced two major Upcoming changes to the PUBLIB list :

1. Migration of the  listserve hosting from Webjunction to OCLC.

2. Her departure as co-moderator of the PubLib listserve after 15 years of service to the growing Publib community.

Co-moderator Sara Weissman provided Publib with a an overview of some of the many intellectual/  administrative contributions Karen Schneider has made to help develop this dynamic Publib community :

1. PubLib postings by and about Karen Schneider  number over 6000

2. Karen Schneider’s numerous insights include her “Internet Reference Success Stories, job announcements, policy questions  galore, using the Internet for fun and benefit, announcements from ALA and  its many divisions, humorous reference questions, patrons and accompanying  animals, skylights, cafes in public libraries, the homeless, etc., etc., etc. “

3. PubLib subscribers grew from 2,700 to 10,458 strong. 

Nann Blaine Hilyard – Director of the Zion-Benton Library has suggested a fitting, colorful tribute to Karen for her generous contributions to the PubLib community:

To thank Karen Schneider for her years as co-moderator of PubLib, we are going to give her a bookshelf quilt.   If all 10,000 PubLibbers contribute, so much the better—she’ll have a library-filled quilt!  

 By July 31, 2011, PubLibbers are asked to create signature blocks.

Here is how:

  Cut a piece of woven cotton fabric  2.5”  x  5”. 

Any color.

Must be woven.   If there are no sewists in your household or among your colleagues, consider using a a piece from a shirt or a sheet.

No knits.   No textures (no terrycloth or corduroy).

  On that piece of fabric write your name and library or town – however you want to be identified.  (If you use a pseudonym, that’s fine.)

 ♦ If possible use a Pigma brand pen.  (Scrapbookers, quilters, and artists in other media use them.)

Alternatives:  a gel pen, a fine-tip Sharpie, India ink are all okay.

 ♦ Any color of ink is okay.

*DO NOT USE* a Flair, a fountain pen, or a ballpoint pen.

Signature block with margins

Keep a 1/4 to 1/2- inch margin all around the block.   Do not write in the margin (that’s the seam allowance). 

Send the signature block to: Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton Public Library, 2400 Gabriel Ave.,Zion, IL  60099 BY JULY 31, 2011.  

If you want to enclose a couple of bucks to defray the cost of fabric, thread, and batting that Nann will use create the quilt, that would be great. 

  Note:  Nann will bring Pigma pens and pre-cut 2.5” x 5” fabric to ALA Annual, so if you’ll be there, find her!   

Nann Blaine Hilyard, director
Zion-Benton Public Library
2400 Gabriel Ave.
Zion, IL  60099
847-872-4680x 110
847-872-4942 fax
www.zblibrary.org.

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A Tribute to Karen Schneider 

Best of PubLib 03.28.10

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This edition of  Best of Publib covers  March 15th through March 28th 2010. This PubLib review and analysis includes questions about naming library rooms, thought-provoking discussions about new media archives , library materials security,  and our new poll on R-rated movie access. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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Best of PubLib 03.14.10

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This edition of  Best of Publib covers the weeks of March 1st  through March 14th 2010. This edition includes questions about collection development, thought-provoking discussions about  known inaccuracies in ‘non-fiction’ works , circulation manager duties ,  humorous anecdotes regarding blondes ,  and the impact of closing public school libraries: 

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Best of PubLib 02.28.10

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Best of PubLib TVComing Soon!

weekly updateThis edition of Best of Publib covers the week of February 22nd through February 28th 2010. This week included questions about advertising and accountability, use and implementation of ebook readers,  and our new poll on charging library fees to support other government departments. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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Best of PubLib 01.31.10

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weekly updateThis week  in  Best of Publib covers January 24th through January 31st 2010. This week includes discussions about the Broadband Stimulus Programs,  collection development, technology planning, library programming, access to archives,  and the effect of library reference poaching. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:

  • Topic   »    Library Fines – Lynda Dydo in Los Gatos, CA wants to know who raised fines – What was the impact on revenue?
  • Topic   »    Author Meet & Greets –  Rhonda Jessup  in Whitby, ON Canada  wants to know how you introduce authors – What is most effective?
  • Topic   »    Employment applications – Kathleen McCorkle in Sedan, KS would like examples of library specific employment applications
  • Topic   »    Documented LJ Index Problems – Thomas J. Hennen Jr. in Racine, WI provides analysis of issues with LJ Index – Will the problems be answered or resolved?
  • Topic   »    program attendance question – Elizabeth Fraser in Charleston WV is looking for program statistics – Which programs are successful?
  • Topic   »    GED revisions? – Kevin O’Kelly in Somerville, MA wanted to know about GED updates – the NETLS Coordinator provided the answers
  • Topic   »    Astoria Library Birthday Party Invitation – Jane Tucker in Astoria, OR lets us know about the 118th Birthday of Astoria Public Library
  • Topic   »    Question for Frequent Travelers – Jennifer Ray in Cassopolis, MI wants to know how to predict the best deals on flights – Sharon Foster offered Bing
  • Topic   »    Church Partnerships? – Tony Ross in Washington, DC wants to know how to build relationships with local churches – Are there constitutional considerations?
  • Topic   »    CD shelving – Lynne S. Ingersoll  in Blue Island, IL is looking at functional storage and display for 3000 CDs – What works?
  • Topic   »    RFID Implementation - Andrea Taylor in Fullerton, CA wants your story on setting up RFID – What were the processes and pitfalls?
  • Topic   »    Challenges to newspaper index entries – Bruce Brigell in Skokie, Illinois relates the effect of newspaper archives that  disparage – What is the balance between public access and public disparagement? 
  • Topic   »    CD and DVD protectors – Margaret (Meg) Van Patten in Baldwinsville, New York wants to know what works best – How do you protect the data side surface of your DVDs?
  • Topic   »    which Speaker System to use – Amy Blossom in Ashland, Oregon wants a low-cost speaker system with portable mikes  for library programs – Which products work for you?
  • Topic   »    iPad and what it means to the library – Andrea Taylor in Fullerton, CA discusses the potential impact of the Apple iPad  on similar products and libraries – What do you think?
  • Topic   »    Tax season – Elisa Babel in Washington, DC provides a great link to Closed Stacks discussing  tax season effect on libraries and the types of tax filers librarians are most likely to encounter – How did libraries become in loco IRS ?
  • Topic   »    Social Networking and the Library – Jane Genzel in Muskego, WI wants to know how your library benefits from blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools – How do you measure success?
  • Topic   »    New Blog: Quid est veritas? – Bob Watson in Lake Villa, IL has started a new blog offering his expertise on reference issues Quid est veritas?
  • Topic   »    Appointments for in-depth Reference Assistance - Theresa Grieshaber in Modesto CA is reviewing methods for exclusive reference services
  • Topic   »   PR/Marketing Masterpieces – Dinah Harris in Lexington, TN is presenting on library public relations and marketing at Tennessee Library Association Conference 2010  – What are some of your success stories?
  • Topic   »    Reference Question Poaching – What happens when a collegue interupts the reference interview with their own answers? How do you handle it?
  • Topic   »    Library Humor for the month of January was compiled in  Best of PubLib Library Humor
  • Topic   »    Get Connected now available - Diedre Conkling in Newport, OR  links to Broadband Stimulus Program information  
  • Topic   »    NTIA sending out 1,400 rejection letters! – James Casey in Oak Lawn, IL points to some of the faults in the bureacratic process – Are Broadband Stimulus Applications too complicated? Is resistance useless?

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Best of PubLib 01.25.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Video coming soon

This week  in  Best of Publib covers January 10th  through January 24th 2010. This week includes questions about collection development,  library hardware and software solutions, politics, policies,  and the ethics of advertising and branding. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    Shelving graphic novels - Phalbe Henriksen in Taylorsville, NC wants to know how many fit on a standard shelf – Graphic novel collections are growing! 
  • Topic   »    Classics List for Small Public Library - Bridget Krejci in Bloomer, WI wants recommendations for Classics – Kevin O’Kelly recommends the Everyman 100 and Carl Long provides an excellent, concise list.
  • Topic   »    Public Library System Organizational Structure: Request for information - Corinne Dickman in Sparks, NV is investigating alternative organizational structures – How is your library configured?
  • Topic   »    The future of reference? – This new product from Intel may show the future of reference – Are hololibrarians the next step in automation?
  • Topic   »    Recalled books – Justine Shaffner  in Aurora, CO forwarded this warning from CPSC of books that may cause a fire – Sometimes the books are on fire, sometimes the books cause them . . .
  • Topic   »    Not Gadgets -  M. McGrorty  in Los Angeles brings us this article by John Tierney – The Madness of Crowds and an Internet Delusion
  • Topic   »    library ethics vs local politics  – American Libraries reported on this troubling story out of Vermont  
  • Topic   »    Iphone app - Georgia Bouda  in  Bloomington, IL discusses the phone applications that digitize patron bar codes and offer them as alternatives to physical library cards – What are the security and service issues? How else can they be used?
  • Topic   »    Story time attendance dropping off? –  Janet Griffing  in Wadsworth, OH reports on diminished participation – Is it demographic changes or flu fears?
  • Topic   »    posting for causes on a library blog? – Kevin O’Kelly  in  Somerville, MA wants to know if it is proper – Should causes be promoted?
  • Topic   »    Flying candidates in for face-to-face interviews  – Matthew Pierce is looking at the cost – Is it still common to fly in recruits?
  • Topic   »    Review - M. McGrorty challenges librarians to post negative reviews of books – Is the trend to only see the good?
  • Topic   »    Branding in Libraries - Jane Genzel  at the  Muskego Public Library is investigating the appropriateness of branded donations – Does branding diminish services?
  • Topic   »    Drop In computer labs - Tracey Reed  in Clearwater, FL is implementing unstructured classes – Where is this effective?
  • Topic   »    Periodicals back issues - Laurenne Teachout   in Stephentown, NY has limited space for periodicals – What is ideal retention?
  • Topic   »    Overdrive Download Stations? – Nilya Carrato   in  Washington, DC  is configuring dedicated PCs for audio/ebook download – What software works the best?
  • Topic   »    Patron Counters - Cath Soffe   at  Ajax Library Services wants to know which products are the best
  • Topic   »    CIPA and e-rate - Andrea Taylor  in  Fullerton, CA is looking for a definitive answers on bona fide research and adult access - Is there conflict between local and federal guidelines?
  • Topic   »    libraries and local bookstores/resend - Robin K. Blum is writing on the subject – What collaborative relationships exist between libraries and bookstores?
  • Topic   »    Laptop Checkout - Mindy Kittay – in Colorado at the Anythink Libraries is looking for exemplary policies and procedures – How do your laptops circulate?
  • Topic   »    experience with outsourcing management of the library - Laurel Goodgion   in Wethersfield CT is investigating corporate profiteering on non-profits – When does outsourced management impinge on professional ethics?
  • Topic   »    Clipping files - Faith Jones – in New Westminster  BC, Canada is looking for best current practices for clipping files – are they still relevant with digitization? Does digitization of clipping files infringe on copyright?
  • Topic   »    Giveaways for silent auctions, etc. - John Richmond   in  Bartonville, IL wants to know what to offer other non-profits – Is there a great combination of that serves the library and external non-profits too?
  • Topic   »    Self Check Out - Andrew R. Stehr   in  Rochester, MN is looking for examples where circulation is 80% or greater automated – What are the benefits?
  • Topic   »    Expired Library Cards - Sue Reed   in  Jefferson City, MO wants to know how long you keep expired patron records before purging – Does your patron policy include privacy considerations?
  • Topic   »    Museum type holdings - John C. Sandstrom   in  El Paso, TX is looking for examples of libraries that still keep art work and realia – What are the collection guidelines?
  • Topic   »    Kevin Trudeau books - Becky Tatar   in  Aurora, IL investigates collection development policies – Do we offer what the public wants or what they should want?
  • Topic   »    Friday reference question - Dusty Gres   in  Vidalia, GA started a new discussion on humorous and troubling reference questions – It looks like we are generating a new list!
  • Topic   »    Book (etc.?) Awards - Diedre Conkling   in  Newport, OR  provided a link to ALA’s Book Award list in Cognotes.  The discussion truncated into contemplation of the effect of marketing and advertising on professional library literature. What do you think?

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