Travel Tuesday: Belize

For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Belize. This small country on the Caribbean is a mix of English and Spanish colonial influences. It provides the cautious traveler with a Central American country with English as a second language. It has lovely beaches and other lush, tropical beauty in nature associated with other countries that tourists visit frequently.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about COUNTRY by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • History: "The Spanish conceded to Britain the right to cut timber while maintaining their sovereignty over the territory. This changed in 1798, when the Battle of St. George's Caye saw British forces, aided by their slave laborers, drive the Spanish out of the territory. Belize later formally became Britain’s only Central American colony. Britain renamed the territory British Honduras in 1862, and began a successful international trade in mahogany, bringing wealth to the new colony. The country was not named Belize until 1973, by which time a strong independence movement had been initiated. In 1981, independence from the United Kingdom was finally granted."
  • Money: The Belizean dollar is divided into 100 cents. Banknotes for the Belizean dollar are for 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars. Coins include a $1 coin and 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent coins.
  • Climate: "Belize is a small country in Central America that borders the warm and tumultuous Caribbean Sea. For most of the country, the climate is tropical monsoonal, with a brief dry season and pronounced wet season. However, the extreme south has a tropical rainforest climate with no discernible dry season, and the northern part of the country is a tropical savanna with a winter dry season."
  • Transportation--water travel: "The sugar industry operates motorboat links along Belize's coast. Fast and frequent water taxis link Belize City with Cay Chapel, Cay Caulker, and Ambergris Cay. In addition, you can arrange locally for any of a number of small boats to transport you along the Belize, Hondo, or New Rivers, or between cays. Be advised that many craft do not carry ample safety equipment or may be overloaded with passengers. Be sure the weather forecast is favorable, too; some skippers tend to be a bit too optimistic."
  • Points of Interest--Belize Barrier Reef: "The Belize Barrier Reef is a diver's paradise and stretches for a length of 260 kilometers (162 miles), making it the second largest barrier reef in the world and the largest in the Western hemisphere. Belize's barrier reef is a place of great scenic natural beauty, beautiful islands, sand bores, pristine reefs, and various underwater structures. It supports an incredibly rich ecosystem and is home to over 200 fish species, ranging from small sea fish to large sharks. In fact, more fish varieties are found here than anywhere else in the world. In addition, the reef supports numerous varieties of invertebrates like corals, mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms."

    Language Learners: English (national language) and Spanish (spoken by 56% of the people in Belize) is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Belize or elsewhere in Central America.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Belizean recipe, try Rice and Beans.

    Red beans and rice are a Belizean staple, normally cooked with coconut milk.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 6

    1/2 lb (225 g) red beans, soaked
    2 cups (480 ml) rice
    1 cup (240 ml) thick coconut milk
    1 onion, sliced
    1/2 bell pepper, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) salt
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) black pepper
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) thyme
  • Combine beans, onions, bell pepper, garlic, and water to cover.
  • Simmer until tender.
  • Add coconut milk and seasonings and stir well.
  • Add rice. Cover and cook over very low heat until rice is tender, adding more liquid as needed.
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    Posted Tuesday August 30, 2016 09:00am

    ♬The Music Minute♬

    Free Music from Weird Al Yankovic

    Looking for something different? Something funny? A spoof or two? Something oh, I dunno, weird? Well, look no further. Freegal, the free and legal music website that brings you 5 free downloads a week that are yours to keep forever and 3 free hours of commercial-free streaming music daily has plenty of Weird Al Yankovic music and videos to choose from.

    I watched an interview on 60 Minutes recently that got me re-interested in Weird Al’s music. In his interview, with Morley Safer, Weird Al talked about being bullied and getting the nickname of Weird Al and then using it himself to promote his own career as a DJ. While that was touching, what really made me take notice was the fact that he does not make fun of artists or their music. He might tease but he is never mean. In fact, he gets their permission before he does a parody of their song. According to the interview, Michael Jackson even let Weird Al use his video set for Beat It and Weird Al made the video Eat It and dressed up like Michael and even danced like him a little. I downloaded the video from Freegal and I laughed out loud. So I decided to listen to more of Weird Al’s music and here is what I found on Freegal.

    “Yoda”-a parody of Star Wars borrowing the melody (not the theme) of “Lola”, “Jurassic Park”-a parody of the movie, “Smells Like Nirvana”-a parody of Nirvana and not being able to understand their words complete with musical gargling, “The Achy Breaky Song”-a song in which Weird Al sings he would rather hear Donny & Marie, The Village People, a Yoko Ono marathon, or fingernails on a blackboard than to hear Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart” one more time-ouch!, “My Bologna”-a song regaling balogna using the music of The Knack’s “My Sharona”, “Ode to a Superhero”-a parody of Spider Man using Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”, “I Can’t Watch This”- commentary on the state of the selection on TV using MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This”, “Theme From Rocky XIII” which is a parody of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, “Livin’ in the Fridge”-a crazy song about something growing in his refrigerator (and he thinks it’s alive!), “Ebay”-a song about all the really important and necessary stuff you can find on Ebay like an old used pink bathrobe, a pet rock, and an Alf alarm clock, “TMZ” a parody of the paparazzi stalking the stars to catch their next wardrobe malfunction or mug shot, or when they accidentally shave their head,“Party at the Leper Colony”-well, this one’s too awful to explain but it has you laughing in spite of yourself. Some of his song titles alone have me laughing. And you don’t necessarily need to know the song he is parodying to think the song is funny.

    And if you like the silly songs you should try a few videos. Freegal has many of the accompanying videos to these songs and it is hysterical to see the crazy parody of the song. Remember videos take two of your five downloads. Videos: White & Nerdy, Word Crimes, Eat It, Amish Paradise, I Love Rocky Road, UHF, Sports Song, Polka Face, I Lost On Jeopardy, Like A Surgeon, Ricky, Headline News, Perform This Way-a parody of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Smells Like Nirvana, Spy Hard, Jurassic Park, Living With A Hernia, CNR, Bedrock Anthem, Handy, The Saga Begins

    Search Tip: You can get different albums depending if you type in Weird Al Yankovic or “Weird Al” Yankovic.

    ✷The Library also has Weird Al Yankovic’s movie UHF and his kid’s show The Weird Al Show.

    Remember, everything is free so try listening or downloading Weird Al or any artist you may like. All brought to you by the Beauregard Parish Library.

    Posted Monday August 29, 2016 09:00am

    Just Arrived

    Do you sometimes feel that you are too busy to sit down and read a book? If so, don’t forget about our PlayAway audio books. You can listen to a great book while you work out, do household chores, or even walk the dog. Check out a few of the ones we received this week.

    The Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan. Jack Morgan, head of the renowned international security firm Private, has been called to Rio to ensure that the Olympics go off without a hitch. But before the games even begin, he discovers huge security risks. The prominent clients he is supposed to be protecting disappear and bodies mysteriously start to litter the streets. With the world watching in horror, Jack must diffuse a threat that could turn the games into a deadly spectacle.

    Boar Island by Nevada Barr. National Park Service Ranger Anna Pigeon has had to deal with all sorts of crimes and criminals. But cyberbullying and stalking are new to her. When a friend’s daughter is targeted, Anna must try to find out who is responsible and decide the best way to remove the teenager from the situation. She decides to take the family with her to her new post in Maine. But the stalker follows them east. At the same time, Anna must deal with a brutal murder that is committed by a killer who is uncomfortably close to her.

    Night and Day by Iris Johansen. Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan risked everything to protect Cara Delaney from the enemies who want her dead. And now she has become their next target. To make it worse, despite everything she has done, Cara is taken anyway. Eve must hunt down the very people who want to kill her in order to save the young girl. Her journey takes her from California to a remote mountain in the Scottish Highlands. She must put it all on the line in a pulse-pounding mission of rescue and survival.

    Posted Saturday August 27, 2016 02:00pm

    Find It Friday - Peace and Quiet

    Sometimes you are looking for peace and quiet, and the Beauregard Parish Library is a good place to find it. However, there are times when the Library has activities that may interfere with that peace and quiet, or you just need an extra measure of separation from distractions.

    For this, we have two options: the Study Carrels, and the Comfy Reading Room.

    The Study Carrels are located towards the back of the building, between the Non-Fiction shelves, and the Juvenile Fiction room. One of the three may be reserved on our Request Meeting Room Use page, otherwise they are first come first served. They're great for that bit of concentrated effort to finish off a project.

    The Comfy Reading Room is located just past the Circulation Desk. It's not always as quiet, but it's certainly comfy! Two nice arm chairs and a couch with arms that fold out to hold laptops make for extremely comfortable work. There's also a basket with some snacks and a coffee urn available in the morning. This is the only part of the building where eating and drinking is allowed - mothers with a cranky kid who's hungry might step in and give them a snack to tide them over.

    Both rooms provide electrical outlets to keep a laptop charged, as well as a good clear signal for our WiFi network. We invite you to give them a try next time you're in the Library!

    Posted Friday August 26, 2016 09:00am

    Game On Postponed

    Our Teen program Game On!, regularly scheduled for 5:00 pm, has been postponed while our Teen Programming Coordinator is on leave.

    Please stay tuned to our print and online calendars or our social media accounts for information on rescheduled events in the future. If you have any questions, you can also call us at (337) 463-6217.

    Posted Thursday August 25, 2016 12:00pm

    Program Rescheduled

    Our guest presenter for tonight's program, Toxins in Your Environment, has had to cancel this evening's event for unforseen reasons. This event will be rescheduled and we'll publicize the new date as soon as possible.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

    Posted Thursday August 25, 2016 11:40am

    Staff Pick

    Need a suggestion for something to read or watch from the library this weekend? Maybe you'd like to check out an ebook or audiobook? Try some of our Staff Picks, to find what some of the other people in our parish are enjoying.

    We know that not every staff pick will appeal to every patron, but not to worry! If you need help selecting something, we have online tools like Book Browse and our Online Catalog, or you can ask one of our friendly staff members to help search for you.

    The Ilse Witch by Terry Brooks

    The Ilse Witch is a the first book in The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Trilogy and was a great read. I recommend it. It is a great fantasy book and a very fun read.

    A half-dead elf is found floating in the sea of the Blue Divide, his tongue and eyes ripped out. He's carrying a bracelet that proves he's the elf-king's brother who's been missing for thirty years. He's also carrying a map. The map outlines a quest that was started thirty years before and from which no one ever returned...until now. But what does the map mean? Only one man can decipher it, the last Druid, Walker. So begins a new quest to find out what happened to the Elfstones, lost thirty years before and what lies on the mysterious islands shown on the map.

    If Ilse Witch interests you, feel free to request or check it out. We'll be back next Thursday with a different Staff Pick.

    Posted Thursday August 25, 2016 09:00am

    WayBack Wednesday - Memories of MEL

    Way back when, before the Internet was so much a part of the every day, the Beauregard Parish Library was searching for a way to bring the Internet to those who did not have it. One of the ways the Library did that was with this:

    The MEL - Mobile Electronic Library - was a van custom fitted with stations where laptops networked together could access the Library's Internet service through various options. Groups could request it for training, for special activities, or other needs. From time to time, it went to the various branches of the Library to provide extra computers for their use.

    The MEL has served its purpose, and has since been retired. It provided many people chances to get started at the Beauregard Parish Fair for several years, had classes taught on it at various camps and businesses, and even was pressed into service during Hurricane Rita to provide coordination and access to emergency and recovery personnel. We'll always remember it fondly.

    More information about MEL and it's primary operator, Stormie Barrett, can be found here and here.

    Posted Wednesday August 24, 2016 09:00am

    Singer Branch Down

    Singer branch is closed early today, Tuesday, August 23, 2016, because the electricity is out at that branch. We apologize for any inconvenience. We hope to return to regular service on the branch's next scheduled open day, Friday, August 26, 2016.

    Posted Tuesday August 23, 2016 04:00pm

    Short Outage Tonight

    Battery replacement

    We will go dark after closing tonight for perhaps a half-hour while the UPS powering our telco rack gets the batteries replaced. This will impact all services including Internet access and telephone service.

    Posted Tuesday August 23, 2016 12:30pm

    Travel Tuesday: Japan

    For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Japan. This series began with Brazil as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the host of the 2020 Summer Olypics will be Tokyo the capital of Japan. That is the tip of the iceberg since Japan is known for anime, kabuki, J-pop and so many other pieces of popular entertainment. It is also a country with great physical beauty and a long history. Japan has much to entice any armchair traveler, and students doing reports won't miss a beat when they use our resources.

    There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Japan by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 4 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Climate: "Japan consists of a group of islands off the east coast of Asia; the main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The country has a hilly or mountainous terrain, with the main island, Honshu, having peaks that rise to over 3,600 meters (12,000 ft). The higher mountains in Hokkaido and Honshu are covered in snow throughout the year. The climate is humid continental throughout Hokkaido and the northeastern interior of Honshu, and humid subtropical throughout the rest of Honshu and the other islands."
  • Electrical: Most of our devices from North America can be used in Japan with no problem. "Electricity is supplied in Japan at 100 volts (V) AC. This is different from the rest of the world, which operates on either 110–120V or 220–240V. The frequency of the electric current varies by region, with 50 Hertz (Hz) in Eastern Japan (including Tokyo, Yokohama, and Hokkaido) and 60 Hz in Western Japan (including Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima). Most appliances and devices are not affected by the frequency difference, though timing devices such as clocks may be."
  • Health Care System: "Medical care in Japan is very good; in the World Health Organization’s assessment of health care systems in 191 countries, Japan ranked 10th from the top. The system is well funded and widely available, with good access for all citizens. For foreigners, access can be a bit more difficult. English-speaking physicians and medical facilities that cater to Westerners’ expectations are expensive and not widespread. Medical caregivers in Japan require payment in full at the time of treatment or concrete proof of ability to pay before they will treat a foreigner who is not a member of the national health insurance plan."
  • Tipping: "In Japan, tipping individuals in places such as hotels, restaurants, and beauty salons is not a customary practice. Most of the time, a service charge of 10 to 15 percent is added to your bill. You may tip a small amount (5 to 10 percent) if you have requested special services, or feel you have received exceptional service. However, if the service staff member refuses the tip, do not force it upon him or her, as this would be seen as an embarrassment. If you choose to tip, the tip should always be placed in an envelope, as handing someone an unwrapped tip would be considered rude."

    Language Learners: Japanese available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Japanese music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Japanese recipe, try Gomaae salad.

    Gomaae can be made with a variety of ingredients, but the most popular version is made with spinach.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 4

    1 bunch fresh spinach
    2 tbsp (30 ml) miso
    2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
    2 tbsp (30 ml) ground sesame
    1 tbsp (15 ml) sake
  • Wash the spinach well and put it with the roots first into boiling water.
  • Boil the spinach for about 1 minute. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Cool the spinach down under cold water. Press the water out of the spinach and cut the spinach into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
  • Combine the miso, sake, sugar, and sesame into a bowl and mix well.
  • Mix the spinach with the dressing and serve in small bowls.
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    Posted Tuesday August 23, 2016 09:00am

    ♬The Music Minute♬

    Free Music from K.C. and the Sunshine Band

    K.C. and the Sunshine Band was a group who had hits in the 1970’s, the age of Disco, getting funky, and getting down (that’s dancing by the way). They performed positive feel-good music with a lot of joy and energy. Freegal, the free and legal website that gives you 5 free downloads a week and 3 free hours daily of commercial-free streaming music has their hit songs: “Get Down Tonight”, “That’s the Way (I like it)”, “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”, “Boogie Shoes”, and “Keep It Comin’ Love”.

    ☺Or Try Who Do You Love?, an album of fun Disco music with catchy hooks. Whether you like your Disco funky, danceable, or with a tropical feel this album has many songs to please such as “Do You Feel All Right?”, “Sho' Nuff”, “Come to My Island”, “How About A Little Love”, “So Glad”, “It’s the Same Old Song”, and “Who Do You Love?”.

    ☺Maybe you would like to start collecting Christmas songs with the album A Sunshine Christmas featuring K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s older Disco style on songs like “Jingle Bell Boogie” and “Let’s Go Dancing With Santa”. Or maybe you would like the 70’s funk style of “Carol of the Bells”, or the rock style of “Go Tell It On the Mountain”, or the updated “The Little Drummer Boy”.

    ☺Or try Feelin’ You! The 60’s, a more recently recorded album of songs from the 1960’s like “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me”, “Words”, “Both Sides Now”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”, “Stand By Me”, and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”.

    ☺Other songs from the album KC & the Sunshine Band include “Let’s Go Rock and Roll”, “Give It Up (Baby Give It Up)”,“I’m Your Boogie Man” (more Disco), or the gentle “Please Don’t Go”.

    Posted Monday August 22, 2016 09:00am

    Here To Help

    Recent historic flooding throughout southeastern Louisiana has created a situation where many of our families, friends and neighbors are seeking assistance. We encourage all of our community to assist those who are going through the rebuilding process in their communities.

    Assistance can be gleaned from the local Red Cross chapters, the state of Louisiana website and FEMA. It is recommended that all those impacted by flooding complete the appropriate forms at in order to expedite the process.

    For information on preventing mold growth, contact the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals or your local library.

    The DeRidder branch of the Beauregard Parish Library currently has a limited supply of pamphlets available on cleaning water-damaged property.

    If you or a family member need assistance with attaining forms, getting information on housing, supplies, or food resources, please contact the Beauregard Parish Library at or by calling 337-463-6217.

    We are here to help

    Posted Sunday August 21, 2016 09:00am

    Just Arrived

    This week we received a new book that will be helpful for parents who are concerned about raising children who are empathetic and kind to others. Research suggests that teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than those 30 years ago. The author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World explains why this is and what parents can do to help.

    Michelle Borba is an internationally renowned educational psychologist and an expert in parenting, bullying, and character development. She calls the epidemic of a lack of empathy and self-absorption found in today’s youth the Selfie Syndrome. She says it is dangerous because it hurts kids’ academic performance and leads to bullying. It also hampers the development of the skills needed to collaborate and problem solve that are necessary to succeed in the world.

    She says that the good news is that empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured. She gives parents a blueprint to raise successful, happy kids who are also kind, moral, courageous and resilient. She shows how to shift their focus from strictly themselves to including the needs of others in their thoughts and actions. This allows them to be the type of person who is able to make a positive impact on the world and be successful and happy at the same time.

    Check out this book and our many other parenting resources in the non-fiction section of the library.

    Posted Saturday August 20, 2016 02:00pm

    Find It Friday - The Dewey Decimal System

    Libraries are great for finding something for a bit of recreational reading, but they're also meant to be helpful resource when you need to find out how to do something, or when you just want or need to know more about something in general. Surprisingly enough, the Beauregard Parish Library does indeed have a large collection of books devoted to that purpose! (I know, big surprise, it's only like a third of the shelves!)

    The Card Catalog computers will help you locate things, if you need something specific, but sometimes you might just feel like browsing through an area to see what kinds of things you didn't even know you didn't know about!

    And that's where the Dewey Decimal system comes in. Originally developed by Melvil Dewey in the 1870s, it lets librarians to find just where a book goes on the shelves. It also lets patrons who are interested in a topic find more books related to the one they might have just read on the topic.

    The Dewey Decimal System starts off by giving all books a number. These numbers were originally all just three digits, but as knowledge expanded, librarians tacked on a decimal point and just started adding digits. The most useful of these digits, though, is the first one, which breaks up things into their broadest categories:

    000-099 General works Here you'll find things like encyclopedias, computers, UFOs, and other random topics that don't fit in the other sections.
    100-199 Philosophy and Psychology What's the meaning of life? Why do people think strange things? What's depression really like? and other important topics.
    200-299 Religion and Religious Thinking The Bible, the Koran, the I Ching, the writings of Confucious, the Buddha, various saints and theologians - it's all in here.
    300-399 Social Sciences Sociology, Political Science, Economics, the Law, Education, Social Services, Customs and Etiquette.
    400-499 Languages Various languages, studies about languages and how they relate to each other.
    500-599 Pure and Theoretical Science Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Math, Geology, Paleontology, Biology, etc.
    600-699 Applied Science, Technology, Engineering Medicine, Agriculture, Cook Books, Construction, Housekeeping, Business practices, etc.
    700-799 Arts & Recreation Painting, sculpture, dance, landscaping, architecture, photography, music, sports
    800-899 Literature Poetry, drama, essays, speeches, all in a variety of languages. Some libraries actually file their entire fiction collection in this area.
    900-999 History, Geography, Biographies Some specific categories commonly looked for: 920: biographies and 921: autobiographies. Geography and Genealogy. 999 is even reserved for histories of extraterrestrial worlds!

    There's all kinds of fun stuff in the non-fiction section of the Library! Please come in and explore a while!

    Posted Friday August 19, 2016 09:00am

    Staff Pick

    Need a suggestion for something to read or watch from the library this weekend? Maybe you'd like to check out an ebook or audiobook? Try some of our Staff Picks, to find what some of the other people in our parish are enjoying.

    We know that not every staff pick will appeal to every patron, but not to worry! If you need help selecting something, we have online tools like Book Browse and our Online Catalog, or you can ask one of our friendly staff members to help search for you.

    77 Days in September by Ray Gorham

    It begins with Kyle Tait, who is returning to his home in Montana from Houston when terrorists detonate an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) bomb high in the atmosphere, resulting in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communication, and the bringing to halt most forms of transportation.

    It was a reminder of how much we depend on our electronic devices and how life would be without them. It really made me think of my survival skills and preparedness for any national emergency.

    If you are a prepper, as some call themselves, this book and its sequel, Daunting Days of Winter, would be a good read for you. The possibilities of these fictional books really made me think, What if?

    If 77 Days in September interests you, feel free to request or check it out. We'll be back next Thursday with a different Staff Pick.

    Posted Thursday August 18, 2016 09:00am

    Travel Tuesday: Germany

    For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Germany. As one of the largest countries in Europe with a long history, Germany has great interest for travelers. They can enjoy the scenery from the beaches in the north to the mountains in the south. Architecture lovers can marvel at the old churches or modern movements, such as Bauhaus in Berlin. Classical music lovers can thrill to hear masterworks performed in the same places the masters once lived. Driving aficionados can try their hands at the Autobahn.

    There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Germany by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Climate: "Germany has a short Baltic Sea coastline, but the majority of the country lies within the temperate zone of Western Europe. The climate is variable with frequent changes of weather on a daily basis and with the same seasons often producing different weather from year to year. This is a consequence of the country being influenced periodically by either cold continental air masses from the east or the warming effects of the North Atlantic Drift ocean current. Four traditional seasons are recognized."
  • Attitude Toward Time: "The German attitude toward time is summed up in the well-known saying, Pünktlichkeit ist die Höflichkeit der Könige,(Punctuality is the courtesy of kings). Germans have an international reputation for precision and punctuality. This is no stereotype, but a very real description of German culture and expectations. Paying close attention to time is critical when doing business in Germany, where punctuality indicates honesty, respect, and proper planning."
  • Train: "Rail services in the western part of Germany rank among the most advanced in the world. The rail services in the eastern part of Germany are of lower standards, but an effort is underway to improve them. The eastern and western train systems have now been fully merged, although fares in the east still appear cheaper. Train travel in Germany (and Europe) offers an ideal way to mix business and pleasure. It is also a common way for businesspeople to travel between cities. First-class facilities are available for overnight and day trips."
  • Crime: "Germany has a generally low incidence of violent crime. Street crime occurs, including pickpocketing and theft from unattended vehicles. Extremist youth groups, particularly in urban areas and in states of the former East Germany, have harassed or attacked individuals for racial reasons or because they appear foreign. You should maintain a high level of personal security awareness in public places, particularly at night, and monitor local sources of information on crime."
  • National Flower: Cornflower: "Related to the daisy, the cornflower is a small, slender, annual plant with distinctive blue flowers that are highly valued both by gardeners and florists. It has an upright, often branched, stem; lower leaves are long, narrow and split into irregular lobes, while upper leaves are smaller and more symmetrical. The leaves and stem are grayish-green, with fine gray hairs. The flowers grow at the ends of the stems, and are composed of rings of large "ray" florets surrounding a centralized cluster of "disk" florets. The ray florets are bright blue and the disk florets are a deep purplish color."

    Language Learners: German is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from German music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example German recipe, try Apfelstrudel.

    Juwel aus Kirchwerder, or Martens apple, is one several varieties of apple found in Germany Pastry with apple filling is a very popular dessert or accompaniment to afternoon coffee. Both homemade and commercially produced strudels are common.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 10

    1 lb (450 g) flour
    7 oz (200 g) sugar
    1/2 lb (225 g) butter
    3 eggs
    1 pinch salt
    1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
    2 lb (1 kg) apples, peeled, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla sugar
    Powdered sugar
  • Butter 2 baking sheets.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and add the sugar and salt.
  • Mix in the butter, then the egg and vanilla to form a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Roll each 1/2 out to a thin rectangle.
  • Spread the apples evenly over the dough.
  • Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  • Roll up each strudel, and pinch seams and ends together securely.
  • Transfer strudels to prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until golden.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Apple strudel can be served plain, but is often accompanied by vanilla-flavored whipped cream or ice cream.
  • Variations
    Up to 2 tbsp (30 ml) sliced almonds, 1/3 cup (80 ml) raisins, and 1 tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon may be sprinkled over the filling before rolling the strudel.

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    Posted Tuesday August 16, 2016 09:00am

    ♬The Music Minute♬

    Free Dolly Parton Music from Freegal

    You may know Dolly Parton’s story growing up poor but with love in the Appalachian Mountains. You may have seen the movie Coat of Many Colors (yes, the library owns it) which tells the story behind Dolly’s famous song of the same title. And you may know some of Dolly’s music but Freegal (the free music service paid for by your Beauregard Parish Library) has many songs you may not have heard.

    ★Here are just some of her hits: “Love Is Like A Butterfly”, “Coat of Many Colors”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Jolene”, “The Bargain Store”, “9 to 5” ( yes,we have the movie), “Islands in the Stream”, “But You Know I Love You”, “Old Flames” (Can’t Hold a Candle to You), “Starting Over Again”, “Two Doors Down”, “Here You Come Again”, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”, “My Tennessee Mountain Home”, “Eagle When She Flies”

    ❅She also has a few Christmas albums: Home For Christmas and Once Upon a Christmas

    ✬And she has some albums with Porter Wagner : Always, Always, Two of a Kind, The Essential Porter Wagner and Dolly Parton

    ✰And an album done with Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn called Honky Tonk Angels

    Freegal’s Dolly Parton Videos: Why’d Ya Come In Here, The River , More Where That Came From, Real Love, Rockin’ Years, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Romeo

    ✷Remember you can listen before you download your five free weekly downloads or simply listen with your daily 3 free hours of commercial-free streaming music.

    Posted Monday August 15, 2016 07:00am

    Just Arrived

    The library received some new books this week for all of our patrons who want to develop their crafty skills.. Whether you want to knit, crochet or quilt, check out these new titles:

    Learn How to Knit with 50 Squares by Che Lam. This is the ideal book for those who never thought that they could learn to knit. It demonstrates all of the essential skills needed, one stitch at a time, to create beautiful squares. There are step-by-step instructions and charts. When you master one type of square, you are ready to move on to the next one. There are also instructions for projects that you can make combining the squares for unique and stylish results.

    Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman. This is an amazing collection of over 100 projects featuring practical and fun gifts for babies and toddlers that can each be made with only one skein of yarn. The projects are arranged by categories including hats and caps, socks and booties, clothing, bibs and washcloths, toys, and blankets. There are many patterns to choose from in each category. Also, if you have a particular type of yarn but don’t know what you want to make with it, there is an index of projects by yarn weight.

    The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson. This is the perfect resource for those who want to learn machine quilting. Whether you want to do long-arm or sit-down quilting, this book has warm encouragement and expert tips to help you every step of the way. It is filled with color pictures and diagrams to show how each skill is done. There are ten complete projects with instructions for both types of machine quilting.

    Posted Saturday August 13, 2016 02:00pm

    Find It Friday - New Patron Computers

    The Beauregard Parish Library has brand new computers for all of our patron labs!

    It's been over 8 years since the last time the Library updated all of its computers for the patrons to use, and the decision was made that it was time. So, after careful study and selection of parts, new machines were ordered and built for our patrons to use. This means that everything our patrons do, and they do a lot, should work faster and better. In addition, the patron computers have new monitors, larger and higher resolution to make everything clearer and easier to read.

    For the geeks, these new machines are quad-core AMD processors, running at 3.8GHz, with 16GB of RAM. The front panels come with the usual headphone and microphone jacks (though we ask that patrons not use microphones to avoid disturbing other patrons), as well as a DVD drive, three USB ports, one USB 3.0 High Speed USB port, and a multi-card memory card reader that supports more than 30 different kinds of memory cards, including SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick, Compact Flash, X-Picture, and M2.

    For more information and a labeled picture of the new machines, check here. There are 16 machines in the patron lab at DeRidder, 5 machines at the Merryville branch, 2 machines at the Ragley branch, and 1 each at Fields and Singer. We invite you to come in and try them out!

    As a bonus game, each computer has a name on a label on the front. There is a connection between the names. We invite you to try to puzzle it out what that connection is! Previous machine groups have had names based on flowers of Beauregard Parish, trees of Beauregard Parish, old sawmill towns of Beauregard Parish, falcons, and mythological gods & goddesses. This group is both easier and harder to figure out! Have fun!

    Posted Friday August 12, 2016 09:00am

    Staff Pick

    Need a suggestion for something to read or watch from the library this weekend? Maybe you'd like to check out an ebook or audiobook? Try some of our Staff Picks, to find what some of the other people in our parish are enjoying.

    We know that not every staff pick will appeal to every patron, but not to worry! If you need help selecting something, we have online tools like Book Browse and our Online Catalog, or you can ask one of our friendly staff members to help search for you.

    Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food [e-book on OverDrive] by Nigella Lawson

    Fans of the Cooking Channel's Nigella Feasts and Nigella Express will enjoy Nigella Lawson's latest cookbook, /Simply Nigella : Feel Good Food/, in which Nigella shares some of her favorite recipes encapsulated by short prose in her breezy, British tone. It is easy to read Nigella's writing in the same intonations that pepper her speaking voice and this is one of the reasons I enjoy her cookbooks so much. Am I alone in this?

    Simply Nigella is broken into 7 chapters, not counting the intro, acknowledgments, and index. Quick and Calm outlines recipes that should cause neither fuss nor anxiety; I'm especially looking forward to trying the Indian Spiced Cod recipe alongside some cumin-spiked jasmine rice. Bowlfood discusses dishes best served in a bowl; Dine shares recipes fit for guests but, again, they're un-fussy recipes. The chapter entitled Breathe provides "low and slow" recipes that are easily prepared but take hours of hands-off cooking, allowing the chef time to attend to out-of-the-kitchen matters. The Sides and Sweets chapters are self-explanatory, and the Beginnings chapter features hearty breakfast ideas (Baked French toast with plums and pecans sounds delectable). Many of the recipes shared include tips on making them ahead of time and storing leftovers optimally.

    A few tidbits to note : 1) This cookbook is in e-book format. I have mixed feelings on such a format for a cookbook and realize that opinions may run strongly in the pro- and con- camps on this one. One benefit, in this case, is that quite a few of these recipes call for ingredients that are not readily available in our local stores and, realizing this, the author provides a link to a list of suggested retailers. From the ebook, you can simply click on the link to bring up that page. I'm certain the same information is provided in the print copy; this just saves you the step of transcribing the URL. 2) Having said that, I doubt I will ever try my hand at all of the recipes included in this book because of the very fact that I would have to special order quite a few ingredients. Therefore, despite the apparent and relative ease of the recipes, I view this book as a "special treat" cookbook rather than an "everyday" cookbook. For me, that makes this the perfect sort of item to check-out from the library as opposed to buying a copy.

    If Simply Nigella (link to item page in OverDrive) interests you, feel free to check it out via OverDrive. We'll be back next Thursday with a different Staff Pick.

    Posted Thursday August 11, 2016 09:00am

    Travel Tuesday: Mexico

    For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit our next door neighbor Mexico. Mexico has a rich history and culture. It is famous for adapted cuisine (Tex Mex), archaelogical ruins, modern architectural marvels, and gorgeous beaches. There are many wonders in Mexico, and it is one of the more convenient locations for international travel.

    There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Mexico by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • The People: "Nearly 93 percent of Mexico’s inhabitants speak only the country’s official language of Spanish. The remainder of the population speaks various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages, or a combination of these and Spanish. Mexico is the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country."
  • Names: "When first introduced to someone, and in formal and professional contexts, Mexicans use professional titles and surnames. A person is addressed by his or her professional title and first surname (or, less commonly, both surnames). If a person’s professional title is not known, he or she is addressed with the general titles Señor (Mr.), Señora (Ms./Mrs.), or Señorita (Miss), followed by the first surname (or both surnames). Mexicans use the honorifics Don (Sir) and Doña (Madam) when addressing a respected older person. These titles are used with a person’s given name, never with the surname alone."
  • Independence Day: "Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain. September 16, is a day-long fiesta in many parts of Mexico. It is the country’s biggest Fiestas Patrias (Patriotic Holiday). Houses, government and private offices are decorated with the Mexican flag. The national colors of green, white and red are displayed on cars and buildings, hats, caps pins and balloons. A military parade is accompanied by marching bands, dancers in traditional costumes, and colorfully dressed horse riders. Rodeos, bullfights, carnivals, street performers, concerts, arts and crafts booths, and numerous food stalls line the local plaza."
  • Tipping: "In Mexico, tipping is customary in restaurants, bars, hotels, and spas. Service workers are generally paid low wages and depend on tips to supplement their incomes. Because of this, nearly all service workers—including waiters, porters, valets, and bagging clerks—expect to be tipped for their service.
    The local currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso (Mex$). Stores will commonly use the dollar ($) sign in front of the peso amount. While the US dollar is used frequently in Mexico, and service workers will accept tips in the US dollar, they prefer to be tipped in the local currency."
  • Disease Risks and Prevention: "Diseases of concern in Mexico include dengue, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Vaccinations can protect you against some of these, listed under Immunizations below. For others, no vaccine exists; protective measures appear under Precautions."

    Language Learners: Spanish is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Mexican music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Mexican recipe, try flan.

    A baked egg custard, flan is a classic Mexican dessert. Although there are many versions of flan, the most common one in Mexico uses evaporated milk.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 12

    1/2 cup (120 ml) water
    1 cup (240 ml) sugar
    12 oz (360 ml) evaporated milk
    3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
    6 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
    2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
    Pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
  • Combine water and 1 cup (240 ml) sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until golden.
  • Divide caramel between 6 serving-sized ramekins, carefully coating the inside of each with caramel before the syrup hardens.
  • Beat remaining ingredients together just until combined.
  • Divide custard mixture between the ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a shallow baking dish and add hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of a flan comes out clean.
  • Cool, then refrigerate until serving time, at least 3 hours.
  • To unmold, run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin, and then invert each flan onto an individual serving plate.
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    Posted Tuesday August 9, 2016 09:00am

    ♬The Music Minute♬

    Free Music From Sia from Freegal

    Have you seen the movie The Fifth Wave? At the end is a beautiful song with such emotion and almost sing-screaming vocals but it is passionate and beautiful. It is called “Alive” and is found on Sia’s latest album This Is Acting. Her style is offbeat, often positive, often full of pain, but each song always has something to say. Her vocals are expressive and remind you a bit of Rachel Platten but Sia is very much her own artist.

    Other albums include: 1000 Forms of Fear with notable cuts “Big Girls Cry” (when their hearts are breaking), “Eye of the Needle”, “Straight for the Knife”-song of pain, “Hostage”-for something bouncier and positive, “Elastic Heart” (you haven’t beaten me).

    We Are Born is a sometimes funky album with “Clap Your Hands” and “You’ve Changed”. Sometimes the songs have an 80's feel that remind you of the Go-Go’s like “Stop Trying” and “Bring Night”. Other songs are more pop sounding like “Hurting Me Now” and “Never Gonna Leave Me”. Or maybe you would like the longing sadness of “I’m in Here”.

    Sia’s Videos-Cheap Thrills, Alive, Fire Meets Gasoline, Big Girls Cry, Elastic Heart, Chandelier, Clap Your Hands

    If you feel like exploring this artist or any others, Freegal the free and legal music site has 5 free downloads a week and 3 free hours daily of commercial-free music streaming. All of this brought to you free of charge by your Beauregard Parish Library.

    Posted Monday August 8, 2016 08:00am

    Just Arrived

    James Patterson is one of the most prolific and popular writers today. His books have sold over 325 million copies worldwide and he has won numerous awards. He has written several popular series including the Alex Cross books for adults and the Maximum Ride books for children. This week we received the latest in one of his other popular adult series.

    Bullseye is the ninth book featuring Detective Michael Bennett. In this one, Bennett must trace the source of a threat that could rip the country apart and ignite global war. A team of highly trained assassins is planning a mission to kill the president of the United States. Michael is called in to protect him as he attends a summit at the United Nations in New York. Allegiances are constantly in doubt and no one is above suspicion. Michael must figure it all out and stop the assassins before they succeed in their evil plan.

    Check this one out and discover why James Patterson currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most number 1 books on the New York Times Bestseller list!

    Posted Saturday August 6, 2016 02:00pm

    Fields Branch Closed

    We apologize for the inconvenience, but our Fields branch will be closed this Friday due to problems with the AC. We will try to return to normal service hours as soon as possible or keep our patrons informed if we are unable to do so.

    In the meantime, the bookdrop by the gate is available for returns, or Fields patrons can use one of our other branches. Merryville and Singer branches are open regular hours today, 9:00-1:00; and DeRidder branch is open 9:00-5:30.

    Posted Friday August 5, 2016 09:30am

    Find It Friday - Playaway Audiobooks

    Playaway books are a convenient way to listen to your favorite audiobooks!

    Playaways are small devices that have a complete audiobook preloaded on it. A Playaway is smaller than a CD player and most smartphones, and it runs on a single AAA battery. You won't need to carry a charger around. It's not subject to skipping when you hit a bump in the road or you accidentally hit something when you're jazzercising. Because the full story is loaded on one Playaway, you do not have to stop and fumble around to change while you're on the road!

    Playaways are easy to find in the Library as there are a bunch of shelves full of their distinctive orange cases. Playaways meant for an adult audience will have AP on the label to indicate the Playaway collection, and juvenile Playaways will have APJ. The first time you check out a Playaway, we will update your account and provide you with a free set of supplies, including a lanyard, some extra batteries, a set of earbuds, and a wallet carrying case to hold your Playaway supplies. Each Playaway will include a fresh battery when it is checked out.

    The Playaway will work with regular earphones/headphones, not just the supplied ones, as well as car adapters and audio cables to plug into car stereos, and external speakers.

    Posted Friday August 5, 2016 09:00am

    Staff Pick

    Need a suggestion for something to read or watch from the library this weekend? Maybe you'd like to check out an ebook or audiobook? Try some of our Staff Picks, to find what some of the other people in our parish are enjoying.

    We know that not every staff pick will appeal to every patron, but not to worry! If you need help selecting something, we have online tools like Book Browse and our Online Catalog, or you can ask one of our friendly staff members to help search for you.

    Charley Davidson [series] by Darynda Jones

    The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones is a paranormal mystery set in Albuquerque, New Mexico that is full of sarcastic wit, a great supporting cast, and a grim reaper. That would be Charley, our coffee addicted heroine who can see dead people. Charlotte "Charley" Davidson works as a PI and consultant to the Albuquerque police. She solves murders the others can't because she can talk directly to the departed.

    This series is fun because Charley is so irreverent. Some of the best jokes come from chapter introductions that can be anything from a saying on a T-shirt, bumper sticker, or an internet meme. The crimes are also interesting and often multi-layered. Even those who don't necessarily like paranormal elements in their mysteries may still be interested in the crime elements alone. For those who do like the paranormal, Charley's role as the grim reaper means that she is a portal for those to pass from this life to the after life. Often the most moving scenes in the books are the ones in which Charley experiences the memories of the Departeds lives as they pass through her.

    If any of that interests you, try this series. If the amount of titles seems intimidating, you can also start at book nine, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, because it involves an amnesia plot for the heroine. It is extra fun for audiobook listeners because Lorelai King, famous for also narrating the Stephanie Plum series, delivers a consistently wonderful performance.

    The series reading order is:

  • First Grave on the Right
  • Second Grave on the Left
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead
  • *For I Have Sinned [short story, ebook only]
  • Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  • Fifth Grave Past the Light
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge
  • Seventh Grave and No Body
  • Eighth Grave After Dark
  • The Dirt on Ninth Grave
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave

  • If the Charley Davidson series interests you, feel free to request or check it out. We'll be back next Thursday with a different Staff Pick.

    Posted Thursday August 4, 2016 10:00am
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