Scheduled Maintenance

On Thursday April 2nd between the hours of 5 and 11 p.m. our upstream internet provider will be performing routine maintenance on their network. This maintenance may possibly cause a degradation in internet speeds. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Posted Thursday March 26, 2015 03:00pm

Just Arrived

Spring is officially here and many people are making plans for their yearly vegetable gardens. If you are one of these people, the library received a couple of books this week that might help.

Check out:

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens by Andrea Bellamy. This informative book will help you grow delicious foods even if you only have a small space available for your garden. You will learn how to plan and build your garden on a balcony, in a raised bed or in any small space that might be available. It will show you how to sow, grow and harvest an abundance of fresh vegetables all season long. Included are lots of color photographs showing creative solutions to the unique demands of a limited growing space. Also included is an A-Z guide to the best small-space varieties of plants.

Epic Tomatoes: How to Select & Grow the Best Varieties of All Time by Craig LeHoullier. Tomato expert Craig LeHoullier shows you how to grow and harvest the best tomatoes ever in this practical and beautiful guide. You will learn the history of this fascinating fruit (yes, tomatoes are actually fruit even though many think of them as vegetables) Included are descriptions of 33 varieties of tomato with photographs. There are step-by-step instructions for starting the seeds, transplanting them and helping them grow to maturity. There are solutions to many of the common problems that tomato growers face, and even a few recipes to help you use your harvest in creative and delicious ways.

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Posted Thursday March 26, 2015 09:00am

Staff Picks

With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong and her novels of the Other World. Her usual writing follows a group of woman from all different supernatural walks of life and their Journey to find happiness with what they are and the people that want them destroyed.

When I picked up the new series Cainsville, first book titled Omens I wasn't too sure what to expect since it was so different from her regular writing style. But I immediately fell in love with her writing all over again. Omens follows Olivia Taylor Jones, a rich girl in a world she doesn’t feel like she belongs in completely. Her world is tuned upside down when she finds out through the media that she is really the long lost daughter of the infamous serial killers Todd and Pamela Larson who are serving a life sentence.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past. Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

This book is followed up by Visions, continuing Olivia’s journey to find the truth about her parents crimes and understand her life now.

If this book interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.

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Posted Wednesday March 25, 2015 09:30am

Tech Tips

Need to make a presentation but don't have access to Microsoft's Powerpoint program? No problem! Here at the library we have LibreOffice Impress; A completely free and feature similar program to Powerpoint.

If you have used Powerpoint before then you shouldn't have much problem learning the ins and outs of Impress. And like I said before the best part is that it's completely free! You can download and use it on your computer at home for no charge!

So if you need that presentation done today, then look no further than the local library. This program is available for use at all branches so come on down and work with us today!

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Posted Tuesday March 24, 2015 12:00pm

Mango Monday: Mango Premiere

Mango Premiere

Most of the time we will tell you about a specific language available through Mango or Pronunciator. This time we would like to take a step back and tell you about an interesting feature exclusive to Mango: Mango Premiere. This fun component of Mango helps you learn your language with the help of different movies and videos. They have recently added two new videos in Spanish that we would love to tell you about.

We’ve teamed up with National Geographic to bring you closer than ever to the pulse of the planet and all of its wildest wonders ― all while you use Mango Premiere’s signature methodology to learn Spanish.

If you’ve been itching to delve into the depths of Antarctica, climb the heights of Mount Everest, and improve your Spanish skills, you’ve come to the right place. Mango Premiere is debuting its first two episodes of National Geographic’s Wild Chronicles, in which host Boyd Watson leads learners through 30 minutes of adventure-packed globe trotting, offering a rare in-depth look at the state of our natural world. Whether you’re a nature hobbyist, a language-loving science teacher (or a science-loving language teacher!), or a local librarian with a wild streak, Mango Premiere’s new Wild Chronicles will unlock your sense of adventure and add brand-new thrills to your language-learning journey.

These new short features introduce viewers to some of nature’s best-kept secrets ― you’ll come face-to-face with mysterious sea creatures, endangered animals, native populations, and breathtaking plant life. Students will be spellbound, and older learners will be scrambling to renew their passports.

The best part: You’ll take in nature’s finest via Mango Premiere’s integrated learning system. That means that besides the adorable monkeys, sweeping landscapes, scientific discoveries, and inspiring stories, users are able to learn Spanish by fully interacting with the information presented. Learn through cultural insights, interactive words and phrases, voice comparison, color mapping, and bite-sized scenes that are as entertaining to watch as they are educational.*

Next week we will be back to tell you all about the Mango Religious and Scholarly collection!

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Posted Monday March 23, 2015 03:00pm

Story Time Tales

For Story Time this week Ms Sandi is ready to take children on an Alphabet of Adventure with: Xx Marks the Spot

For those who want to read the stories at home after Story Time is over, the titles are:

After the story, Ms Sandi has a fantastic craft that will be X for Xenial! Young patrons will make a pirate with the cut out of the letter X.

PLACE AND TIME

DeRidder: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 11:00 am in the Media Room, near the Teen Center.

For more Story Time content, please visit our TumbleBooks page. Interested readers and their families can find picture books, audiobooks and much more.

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Posted Monday March 23, 2015 11:00am

Sunday School: World Religions

World Religions

With this week's edition of Sunday School with Universal Class we will help you some of the various World Religions classes that are available through Universal Class for free to patrons who hold Beauregard Parish library cards.

Here are some sample courses you might consider taking, but there are many others are available. The descriptions are shortened, but there is more detail at Universal Class.

World Religions 101
"Explore the religions that have shaped history, civilizations and your next door neighbors views. You will learn about the founders, the history and essential teachings of each of these major religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoism, plus brief descriptions of other religions and religious practices."
[9 lessons]
Buddhism 101
"The worldwide resurgence of interest in Buddhist philosophy demonstrates that its ideals of logic, individualism, tolerance and freedom have appeal in the 21st century. Of the four major religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, Buddhism alone makes no attempt to convert others or to persecute those whose beliefs are different. Its message of nonviolence and personal responsibility may be needed more now than ever.
This course examines the known historical facts of the Buddha's life. His teachings are introduced, including the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment, and the Five Noble Precepts. Participants will learn the nature of Karma, and the distinction between Rebirth in Buddhist philosophy and reincarnation as it is envisioned in Hinduism and other religions. This course will also provide an overview of Buddhism as it becomes increasingly influential in the modern world, including the areas of art, architecture, science, politics, and culture."
[11 lessons]
Christianity 101
"Christianity is currently the largest faith in the world with over 85% of Americans identifying themselves as Christian. What sets Christianity apart from other religions is the belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the birth of whom was written about in the Old Testament. This course does not focus on, or favor, any specific Christian church. What is provided, however, for reference and educational purposes, are the basic principles and doctrines of the world's largest Christian churches and denominations, namely Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant."
[13 lessons]
Judaism 101
"In this course, students will experience the beginnings of Judaism and become familiar with some of the basic beliefs and tenants of one of the largest religions in the world. You'll be introduced to the Synagogue and life customs and traditions such as bris and bar mitzvah. Jewish celebrations and Holy Days are also briefly introduced in order to offer greater understanding of the origination and importance of traditions found within Judaism."
[19 lessons]

There are over 500 different courses available. If these are not to your interest, log in to Universal Class. You're bound to find something you like!

If you need a reminder of how Universal Class works, please click this introductory post.

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Posted Sunday March 22, 2015 12:00pm

Weekend Webcast

Today is National Quilting Day! It's the perfect day to start on that new quilt or just pick up a new hobby. In the meantime check out this cool video on the quilting craft in America.

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Posted Saturday March 21, 2015 12:00pm

Find It Fridays

BookBrowse- Book Talks:

Have you been wanting to join a book club but just can’t seem to make the time or gather local interest? BookBrowse can help! BookBrowse offers online book club discussions as well as reading guides and advice for starting a club of your own. To explore this section of BookBrowse select the “Reading Clubs” tab at the top of the homepage.

How the Online Reading Clubs Work: Each month a new book is introduced and an online discussion is opened for BookBrowse members to participate in. These discussions offer readers the option to post from their own homes on a flexible schedule. You only have to participate in discussions you are actually interested in! To participate in one of the many active discussions you can register a screen name and a password for free and get logged in.

Reading Guides: This section is useful for anyone trying to pick the next book for their club. The listed books all have short abstracts and reviews for you to browse through, as well as the publication details. The Reading Guides section even arranges the books by genre to make it easier navigate, giving you an easier way to search for the perfect book.

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Posted Friday March 20, 2015 09:00am

Just Arrived

Last week we received several classic movies on DVD. This week we are added some classic western television series sets to our collection.

Cheyenne. This series began about the same time as the legendary Gunsmoke (also available to check out.) It starred Clint Walker as cowboy Cheyenne Bodie. Cheyenne was a classic western hero who drifted through the west accepting jobs that ranged from trail boss to frontier scout. He encountered many different people played by actors who became some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. In the exciting episodes, he fought for justice against rustlers, outlaws, hostile Indians, and even crooked sheriffs.

Laramie. This series, which debuted in 1959, is considered by many to be one of the best family westerns of all time. It brought the Old West to life telling tales of life on the edge of the Wyoming Territory in the 1870’s. It starred John Smith as Slim Sherman and Robert Fuller as Jess Harper and each episode featured famous guest such as Charles Bronson, Brian Keith, Nanette Fabray and James Coburn. The series was exciting, serious, funny and even a bit violent, but always embodied the values of the Code of the West – loyalty, morals and pride.

The Big Valley. This was one of the later classic westerns first appearing in 1965. It starred Barbara Stanwyck as Victoria Barkley, the widowed matriarch of a wealthy cattle ranching family in California. This strong woman ran the ranch, as well as silver mines, logging camps and citrus groves. Assisting her in all of this were her children Nick, Jared and Audra and her step-son Heath. The series featured beautiful cinematography and great western action.

We have several seasons of each of these series and many others. Check them out!

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Posted Thursday March 19, 2015 09:00am

Staff Picks

With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat is a compelling and historic story about the University of Washington rowing team that won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. If you were inspired by stories like The Blind Side, Seabiscuit, and Miracle, this book is for you! One great thing about this book is that you don’t have to have any knowledge of rowing before you start, you learn as you read. The heroes of the story face hardships both in and out of the boat, and as a reader you cheer for them the whole way! They struggle through the early years of the Great Depression, get summer jobs doing backbreaking work on the Grand Coulee dam, and if that isn’t enough even when they finally qualify for the Olympics they still have to raise the money to pay their own way.

The 1936 Berlin Olympics were held just a few years before the start of World War II and planned by the Nazi Regime. As an interesting addition to the book Brown gives readers insight into the planning that took place to convince participating nations and athletes of a peaceful, tolerant Germany. This book is available in audio, physical, and e-book formats at BPL, give it a try!

If this book interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.

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Posted Wednesday March 18, 2015 09:30am

Tech Tips

Today, let's talk about image resizing.

Sometimes, you just want to make that picture bigger (or smaller). We can do that with the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP).

The easiest way to do this is to right-click on the image you want to resize and select open with Gnu Image Maniupulation Program. When GIMP opens, go to image on the menu; from there, select scale image. You can scale your image here.

Using inches is probably the easiest way for us humans to do it. Just remember to unlink the chain next to the x and y image axis so that you can change width and height idependently of each other.

It may sound complicated at first but it is actually really easy, especially once you practice with it a little bit. So, come out to the library today and get working on those images!

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Posted Tuesday March 17, 2015 12:00pm

Feeling Lucky ?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Look through our website to find the sad leprechaun's piece of gold.

The first person to type the piece of gold's exact location in the comments section of our most recent Facebook update will win a BPL mug. Everyone else who locates the gold and posts its location will be entered into a drawing for an Advanced Reader's Copy of an unreleased book!

Good luck!

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Posted Tuesday March 17, 2015 09:30am

Merryville Branch Early Closure

Merryville branch will close today at 5:00 pm instead of 7:00 pm. We apologize for any inconvenience. All branches of the Beauregard Parish Library will resume their regular hours on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

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Posted Monday March 16, 2015 04:00pm

Mango Monday: Irish

In honor of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, this week's Mango Monday will be about our offerings for Irish.

Irish is a language spoken as a first language by an estimated 280,000 people on the island of Ireland, and it is spoken as a second language by 1,065,00 more people. If you're interested in this language, you can make it a second language by 1,065,001!

Irish is an Indo-European language as English is, but it is a Celtic language family that also includes Scottish. Written Irish uses the Latin alphabet, which will help new learners.

The St Patrick's Day Mango lesson will start you off with some fun. You can learn these phrases and many more

  • Hello, how are you? Dia duit, cén chaoi a bhfuil tú?
  • Hello! Dia is Muire duit!
  • Well, thanks, and yourself? Go maith, go raibh maith agat, agus tú féin?
  • I am quite well. Tá mé go measartha.
  • My name's Thomas. Tomás atá orm.
  • What's your name? Cén t-ainm atá ort?
  • I'm Deirdre. Is mise Deirdre.
  • Well, goodbye. Bhuel, slán agat!
  • Goodbye. Slán leat!

Irish is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.

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Posted Monday March 16, 2015 03:00pm

Story Time Tales

For Story Time this week Ms Sandi is ready to take children on an Alphabet of Adventure with: W is for Walrus

For those who want to read the stories at home after Story Time is over, the titles are:

After the story, Ms Sandi will show the children how to make a Walrus paper bag puppet that will is W for Wonderful!

PLACES AND TIMES

DeRidder: Wednesday, March 18 at 11:00 am in the Media Room, near the Teen Center.
Ragley: Saturday, March 21 at 10:30 am.

For more Story Time content, please visit our TumbleBooks page. Interested readers and their families can find picture books, audiobooks and much more.

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Posted Monday March 16, 2015 10:00am

Sunday School: Pet Care

Pet Care

With this week's edition of Sunday School with Universal Class is for people who want to know more about Pet Care classes that are available through Universal Class for free to patrons who hold Beauregard Parish library cards. There are over 15 different classes, and most are about dogs

Here are some sample courses you might consider taking, but there are many others are available. The descriptions are shortened, but there is more detail at Universal Class.

Dog & Cat First Aid, Care & Maintenance
"Bringing home a new pet to join your family is always a fun and exciting time. But it also comes with a huge responsibility. This animal now depends on you for food, shelter, medical care, and companionship. In short, you hold their very life in your hands. This fun and informative course will help you cover all the basics of animal care. Every thing from feeding recommendations, bathing tips, and basic first aid topics are covered."
[12 lessons]
Cat Care and Training 101
"Understanding a cat is not as simple as understanding a dog. Cat care is not about learning to love a cat, but learning to ensure it is healthy and happy. This course is about finding a lifelong friend and ensuring it can accompany you for as long as possible, while you are still the smart one in the relationship--knowing about the medical and social needs of the pet. This course is the way all responsible pet owners should start out their pet-ownership--with respect for their animal and a knowledge of how to maximize the enduring relationship available with their dearest friend."
[16 lessons]
Dog Training 101
"A dog is a wonderful, entertaining and loyal companion. Bringing home a new dog to join your family is such a fun and exciting time. This fun and informative course will help you cover all the basics of dog care and training. Everything from feeding recommendations, bathing tips, training guides and basic first aid topics are included in just 12 easy-to-learn lessons. Just follow along and you'll be a pro in no time at all!"
[12 lessons]
How to Care for House Pets
"There are literally hundreds of different types of house pets that can live and thrive in a home environment. While the majority of house pets in America tend to be cats and dogs, statistics show that there is a marked increase in more exotic pets. This course will give a basic set of guidelines on caring for more exotic types of house pets including rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, guinea pigs, birds, and snakes. These are basic guidelines only as each animal may have many different types of breeds with specific characteristics. By following these guidelines, a current or future pet owner will learn how to choose a pet, what care is required, expected expense, feeding schedules, possible health and veterinary requirements, and how to create a lasting bond that will benefit pet and owner alike."
[8 lessons]

There are over 500 different courses available. If these are not to your interest, log in to Universal Class. You're bound to find something you like!

If you need a reminder of how Universal Class works, please click this introductory post.

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Posted Sunday March 15, 2015 12:00pm

Weekend Webcast

Today is the birth anniversary of one of the greatest scientific minds the world has ever seen, Albert Einstein. In celebration of Einstein's great work check out this introduction video. The entire biography can be viewed on our AVOD service!

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Posted Saturday March 14, 2015 12:00pm

Find It Fridays

Use BookBrowse to find your next page turner!

This week we want to talk about BookBrowse and what a great resource it can be for patrons. The BookBrowse database is available from BPL’s homepage and offers book reviews, book suggestions, read-alikes, and even online reading clubs. If you are stuck and looking for a new author to try out or if you want to venture into a new genre completely, this is the database for you! This week we will talk about the Read-Alike feature.

Read-Alike: This feature gives you a great option for finding books that have similar characteristics to those you have already read. All you need is a title of a book you loved, or even an author, and the database will give you similar results based on a formula of sorts. These results could have a similar plot, writing style, or tone. This is a great way to read new authors and series while still sticking with a genre you already know you enjoy!

For Example: If you really enjoyed the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn you would type that title into the Read-Alike search function. From there you will select “See Read-Alikes” and the next page will give you the results. Each of the results will give the book title, the author, and a short description of the book.

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Posted Friday March 13, 2015 09:00am

Just Arrived

If you are feeling nostalgic and would like to sit back and watch an old classic movie, we received some good ones on DVD this week.

Guest Wife starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. Determined to impress his old-fashioned boss, a quick-thinking unmarried foreign correspondent talks his best friend’s bride into posing as his wife. When the hoax gets hopelessly out of hand, he nearly ruins the couple’s honeymoon and marriage.

Jezebel. Bette Davis won the 1938 Best Actress Academy Award for playing Julie, a New Orleans beauty who constantly tries unsuccessfully to make her fiance jealous. Finally, angry and discraced, the fiance, played by Henry Fonda, breaks their engagement and leaves town. Julie endures a year of remorse until he returns, now married. Then her vengeance explodes.

Midnight Lace. Doris Day stars as Kit Preston, the elegant wife of British Financier Anthony Preston, played by Rex Harrison. After moving to one of London’s finest neighborhoods, Kit is threatened by an unknown party. The tension mounts as the menacing phone calls continue and her husband seems unconcerned. Kit begins to doubt her sanity and the motives of everyone around her.

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Posted Thursday March 12, 2015 09:00am

Staff Picks

With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Thr3e by Ted Dekker

This is the story of Kevin Parson. Thr3e by Ted Dekker is sure to grasp the attention of all who read it. From the very first chapter, the story captures you, an average man, a crazed killer and the ultimate battle between good and evil. If you enjoy having your mind twisted and toyed with and everything you know/believe questioned, Thr3e is the book for you.

If this book interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.

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Posted Wednesday March 11, 2015 09:30am

Mango Monday: Portuguese

Mango Monday: Portuguese

For this edition of Mango Monday, our featured language is Portuguese. The language is spoken in Portugal, Brazil and in parts of Africa and Asia. During the Age of Exploration Portuguese became a world language because of the fantastic sailors, including Ferdinand Magellan, who went far and wide to discover our world. At one point in history, the Portuguese royal court ruled from Brazil instead of Portugal.

There are two distinct varieties of Portuguese. The Brazilian version has the most speakers world wide. In the total list of countries where Portuguese is an official language, there are an estimated 260 million speakers of the language. Over 200 million of those live in Brazil alone. So for educational purposes, most Portuguese lessons will focus on the Brazilian variety. Mango has this kind exclusively, while Pronunciator offers both Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese.

For those tempted by the idea of visiting Brazil, Mango has this comment:

At one point or another, a trip to Brazil has probably crossed your mind: Whether it’s the lure of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, or an eco-tour of the wild Amazon basin, your experience will surely be enhanced by knowing conversational Portuguese.

Brazil is a gigantic country, with more than a little something for everyone. It’s known for great hospitality and amazing beaches, and many tourists return for second and third trips because there is just so much to see and do.

Mango's mini lessons in Portuguese include:

  • Mango Conversations [basic and intermediate phrases]
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Soccer Celebration [FIFA World Cup]
  • Romance

Here are some phrases you can learn in the first Hospitality and Tourism lesson:

  • I would like to take a cruise to Rio de Janeiro next month with my family.
    Eu gostaria de fazer um cruzeiro ao Rio de Janeiro no mês que vem com a minha família.
  • We are thinking of going by ship in order to see the coast of Brazil.
    Estamos pensando em ir de navio para ver a costa brasileira.
  • My wife wants to visit Rio to see the Botanical Garden and Sugarloaf Mountain.
    Minha esposa quer visitar o Rio para ver o Jardim Botânico e o Pão de Açúcar.

Portuguese is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.

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Posted Monday March 9, 2015 03:00pm

Story Time Tales

For Story Time this week Ms Sandi has prepared a truly special Alphabet of Adventure with: V is for Vegetables

The featured Story Time titles for this week are:

After the story, Ms Sandi has a fantastic craft planned that will be V for Vivid! Children will make a vegetable collage with the letter V for a base.

PLACES AND TIMES

DeRidder: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 11:00 am in the Media Room, near the Teen Center.
Singer: Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 10:30 am.

For more Story Time content, please visit our TumbleBooks page. Interested readers and their families can find picture books, audiobooks and much more.

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Posted Monday March 9, 2015 11:00am

Sunday School: ESL

English as a Second Language

With this week's edition of Sunday School with Universal Class we will help you with English as a Second Language classes that are available through Universal Class for free to patrons who hold Beauregard Parish library cards.

We have a growing population in the area who use English as a second language, and we have many resources available to help them, including Mango's full set of ESL. We also have items in our library that you can check out and take home with you. If you want to try things from the comfort of your own internet connection, here are some sample courses you might consider taking. The descriptions are shortened, but there is more detail at Universal Class.

ESL Basic Grammar
"Whether you are learning English as a second language or are a native speaker striving to improve your English and writing skills, understanding proper grammar rules and guidelines are the essential building blocks to creating clear and understandable thought processes and ideas. This ESL basic grammar course will provide an introduction into the basics of English grammar. We'll cover many relevant topics, including sentence structure, writing basics, as well as review basic English structure in the form of nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjectives and adverbs. Native English speakers as well as those learning English will benefit from the examples and reviews of basic English grammar structure and foundations presented throughout this course."
[11 lessons]
ESL Basic Grammar and Writing
"This ESL basic grammar and writing course will provide an introduction to the basics of American English grammar and writing. Whether you are learning English as a second language or are a native speaker striving to improve your English and writing skills, using proper grammar rules and writing guidelines are essential building blocks to creating clear and understandable thought processes and ideas. Knowing the proper way to communicate in a wide range of fields will help promote your self-confidence, increase your skill levels, and ensure your job advancement and promotion. This course will guide you through the basic grammar structures and rules as well as focus on improving the necessary skills leading to clear and accurate writing."
[22 lessons]
ESL Grammar Skills Level 1
"This is a beginning grammar and writing course for learners of the English language. This course is Level 1. Each lesson includes an HD Video to help you better understand the ideas and rules of the lesson, and help you with your listening comprehension and your pronunciation. With successful completion of this course, you will have a strong foundation in English. Your language will be limited, but you will be able to say most things you need to say. If English is new for you or if you need a solid refresher on the basics, this is an excellent course for you."
[33 lessons]
ESL Basic Writing Skills
"Communication is vital in today's society. It is not enough to merely be able to speak and understand spoken English. In the United States, writing English is often a necessary skill in many job industries and fields. In order to develop practical writing skills, one must understand the basics of English grammar and sentence structure. Learning essential vocabulary and continually expanding knowledge is one of the best ways to succeed, both in personal and professional lives.
This ESL basic writing course will help you improve your writing skills through lesson plans and samples that explain many grammatical style rules and functions in easy-to-understand examples and skill-building usage."
[11 lessons]

There are over 500 different courses available. If these are not to your interest, log in to Universal Class. You're bound to find something you like!

If you need a reminder of how Universal Class works, please click this introductory post.

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Posted Sunday March 8, 2015 12:00pm

Weekend Webcast

Today is Geneaology Day! It's the day to get in touch with your roots and discover where you came from! Come on down to the library in Deridder and ask for Ashley or Patricia; Either one of them would love to help you get started on a search through your family tree. In the meantime check out this cool video about geneaology and family history!

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Posted Saturday March 7, 2015 12:00pm

Find It Fridays

Ordering Paper Tax Forms for Louisiana State Taxes:

Each new Find it Friday brings us closer to the tax deadline so this week we will discuss how to order paper tax forms from the state of Louisiana. These forms will be mailed to your home address for you to fill out and send back in. Remember, if you want to request tax forms online but do not have internet access at home you can always come visit the library to use a computer!

You will visit this website to request that forms be mailed to your address. Once you have reached the site you will fill out your personal information as well as select which tax forms and how many you will need. This is a quick and easy option for patrons who want to file their taxes themselves, but do not want to do it all online. It is important to note that on the state website patrons are warned that the processing time for paper returns will be 8-10 weeks from the date the return was mailed.

To request tax forms by phone: The state of Louisiana has a toll free number set up for patrons to call in and request tax forms be mailed to them. This number is: 1-888-829-3071. You will choose option 6 from the recorded message.

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Posted Friday March 6, 2015 09:00am

Just Arrived

Have you listened to a good Playaway lately? For those not familiar with this handy bit of technology, they are self-contained audio books. You can just plug in any type of earphones and enjoy a great story. If you prefer, you can use a connector cord and plug into MP3 speakers or even most car radios. Check out a few of the titles by best-selling authors we received this week.

Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel. This is the story of twin brothers who grew up together but could not be more different. One is good, the other evil. They are bitter enemies from early childhood. One leaves home to make his fortune, but is forced to return when his life crashes around him. His reunion with the brother who remained at home and became a beloved doctor and pillar of the community is surprisingly sweet. But there is more to these men than meets the eye. Which one is good and which is evil?

Private Vegas by James Patterson. Las Vegas attracts all sorts of people, including those with secrets. It is the perfect place for Lester Olsen to run his unusual business. He treats beautiful young women to lavish dinners and shows - then teaches them how to kill. Private’s Jack Morgan has been hired to find two men who are on a murder spree. When the trail leads to Las Vegas, he is drawn into a murder ring more ruthless than anything he could have imagined led by a diabolical genius.

Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb. Eve Dallas has solved many murders in her career. Now she has become the object of obsession by a killer who believes that they have a special relationship. This murderer leaves messages for Eve at the scene of the crimes. Eve insists on handling this case herself, which will be a very dangerous thing for her and everyone around her.

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Posted Thursday March 5, 2015 09:00am

Staff Picks

With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Animal Stories: Encounters with Alaska's Wildlife by Bill Sherwonit

Nature writer Bill Sherwonit is an Alaska based author who has written extensively about this geographic wilderness and the experiences he has encountered while living there.

This book tells of captivating stories describing life in the wild with rare and seldom seen animals of the region. If you enjoy the enchantment of nature, wildlife and the Alaskan wilderness adventure, then this collection of essays is a journey you must take!

If this book interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.

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Posted Wednesday March 4, 2015 09:30am

Tech Tips

In today's Tech Tip we are going to talk about how to scan a document and send it as an email from the Deridder branch of the Beauregard Parish Library. This service is provided by the large ColorQube device, and yes this service is completely free!

The first step is to insert your paper(s) either into the feeder on top of the machine, or for a single page you may also place it right on the glass as if making a copy. You will need to press the services button on the face of the machine and then press the email button on the touchscreen. Here you can select new recipient, enter an email address, press save and if that is all you'd like to do press the start button on the machine. That's all there is to it! Of course you can do other things such as add additional email addresses, change the subject line, etc.

Remember if you are having trouble feel free to ask an employee for help or how to use one of the additonal features. I hope this has been informative for you guys and we hope to see you at the library!

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Posted Tuesday March 3, 2015 12:00pm

Mango Monday: English

Mango Monday: English as a Second Language

For this installment of Mango Monday, we will discuss our offerings for English.

While English is the native language to most of the residents of Beauregard Parish, there are people who use English as a second language. We want to serve all our public, and that includes those who want to learn or improve their English. For that, we will discuss Mango and Pronunciator in this article.

Mango Languages:

  • Offers ESL to speakers of 18 different languages
  • Main focus is speaking and developing an apprpriate accent
  • Has color grammar to help make things understandable
  • Uses extensive but easy to understand cultural and grammar notes
  • Is portable on a smart phone or tablet

Pronunciator:

  • Offers ESL to speakers of 50 different languages
  • Uses 4 aspects of language (speaking, reading, writing, listening
  • Has different educational games to stimulate learning
  • Is portable on a smart phone or tablet

We have many more materials for ESL learning both online and in the library. On Sunday, we will post an article about English as a Second Language courses available for free through Universal Class. Then next Monday we will be back with a edition of Mango Monday for a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.

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Posted Monday March 2, 2015 03:00pm

Story Time Tales

For Story Time this week Ms Sandi has prepared a truly special Alphabet of Adventure with: U is for Universe

There are many space events, but the Dawn spacecraft will arrive at dwarf planet Ceres around March 6th. According to official information from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

Ceres is the largest body in the main asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter. It has an average diameter of 590 miles (950 kilometers), and is thought to contain a large amount of ice. Some scientists think it's possible that the surface conceals an ocean.

Dawn's arrival at Ceres will mark the first time a spacecraft has ever visited a dwarf planet.*

The featured Story Time titles for this week are:

After the story, Ms Sandi has a fantastic Night Time Tube craft planned that will be U for Unbelievable!

PLACES AND TIMES

DeRidder: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 11:00 am in the Media Room, near the Teen Center.
Merryville: Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 10:30 am.

For more Story Time content, please visit our TumbleBooks page. Interested readers and their families can find picture books, audiobooks and much more.

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Posted Monday March 2, 2015 11:00am

Sunday School: Gardening

Gardening

With this week's edition of Sunday School with Universal Class we will help you get ready for spring planting with a few of the Gardening classes that are available through Universal Class for free to patrons who hold Beauregard Parish library cards.

Here are some sample courses you might consider taking, but there are many others are available. The descriptions are shortened, but there is more detail at Universal Class.

Introduction to Gardening
"Does spring weather make you wish to get your hands dirty in the garden? Is your neighbor's garden the envy of your eye? Have you always wanted to start a garden but just were not sure how to start? The easiest way make this decision is to take a class that will guide you step by easy step through the process of deciding what kind of garden you wish to start, where to place it, how to be certain that the soil is ready and good for growing, how to know what to plant and where to plant it."
[11 lessons]
Vegetable Gardening 101
"Vegetable Gardening is a course that is designed for beginners to gardening. If you're interested in learning how to set up, design, and cultivate a vegetable garden, you will find the tips and advice in this course to be a helpful way to get started and to keep your garden growing for years to come."
[13 lessons]
Tropical Gardens 101
"This course on tropical gardening is designed for beginner gardeners who are looking to start a tropical garden or to cultivate a garden they have inherited on their property. We start with the basics, such as choosing tropical plants and learning where tropical plants come from. We'll then learn how tropical plants work and what their special needs are.
Some of the more common tropical plants are reviewed, as well as information about watering, growing, protecting, pruning, and training these plants to thrive in your yard. Additionally, this course covers the basics of pest and disease control, and also discusses the ideas of organic gardening, planning an effective garden, and choosing the right garden type for your needs. You will find out how to garden effectively – even if you don't have a green thumb."
[12 lessons]
Landscaping 101
"The enjoyment of a beautiful landscape is one of the great pleasures of home ownership. However, actually realizing your landscaping visions can be stressful Frequently you have a bare dirt and poor grass yard or an all grass yard and you just don't know where to start. This online course can help. Landscaping 101 will not only teach you the basics of the science of landscaping, it will show you how to apply your own creativity to transform your yard into a work of art."
[10 lessons]

There are over 500 different courses available. If these are not to your interest, log in to Universal Class. You're bound to find something you like!

If you need a reminder of how Universal Class works, please click this introductory post.

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Posted Sunday March 1, 2015 12:00pm

Find It Fridays

Finding Louisiana State Tax Publications for 2014:

Over the past two weeks we have covered how to find Federal income tax forms for filing year 2014. This week we wanted to cover how to find Louisiana state tax publications because we have had some questions here at the library. The state of Louisiana no longer sends paper copies of the tax forms to our library as they may have done in the past, but you still have options when it comes to filing your own taxes. This week we will cover where to go to file taxes online and how to print tax forms from the Louisiana Department of Revenue website.

Where to go to file state taxes online: If you wish to file your state taxes online you can visit THIS WEBSITE. The state of Louisiana has tried to make this website very user friendly and has a great set of instructions to get you started.

How to print tax forms from the Department of Revenue website: If you want to physically print out your tax forms to fill out you should visit THIS WEBSITE. Here you have the option to print out any of the tax forms or instruction booklets that are currently available from the state.

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Posted Friday February 27, 2015 09:00am

Just Arrived

With the cold weather we have had the last few days, think how nice it would be to relax in your cozy, warm chair with a sizzling romance novel from the library. Here are a few of our latest titles.

His Very Convenient Bride by Sophie Pembroke. Helena Morrison hopes that by marrying handsome tycoon Flynn Ashton she can unite their two families and redeem herself in her father’s eyes. It doesn’t hurt that she has also had a crush on him since childhood. After a perfect Tuscan honeymoon, it seems that their paper marriage is turning into something else as an unexpected heat flares between them. Could this marriage of convenience turn into a chance for true happiness?

Unleashed by Rachel Lacey. Cara Medlen rescues dogs. She has one rule: Don’t get attached. This has served her well with the many dogs she has fostered, but it is not working so well with her gorgeous neighbor. Matt Dumont is a private investigator who realizes that Cara is everything he wants in a woman. But the timing is all wrong. He is about to move away and just can’t start a relationship now. But as their attraction grows, they will have to make a decision whether to forget the consequences and get together, or forget each other and try to let go.

The Man to Be Reckoned With by Tara Pammi. Riya has always lived in the shadow of Nathaniel Ramirez, her adoptive father’s son. She is determined to put the past behind her and lures Nathaniel home with the promise of his family’s estate. Nathaniel is furious that he is forced to face his past, but can’t resist the bait. He also sees the attraction that Riya has for him burning in her eyes. He will use every trick he can to claim his heritage and win the beautiful woman.

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Posted Thursday February 26, 2015 11:00am

Staff Picks

With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite. This is a new fantasy series with two books already published and another on the way.

Pax Arcana [series] by Elliott James

I stepped outside my regular reading type and found this funny yet cheesy series about a man named “Charming” who once was a Knight protecting the world as we know it from the knowledge of the other world. I found the series funny and filled with action. A little slow to start, but once the story picks up it hooks you in(if that’s what you like to read).

Charming [Book 1]

John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings -- an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best--until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, John tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. That is, until a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar...

Daring [Book 2]

THE WEREWOLVES HAVE A NEW LEADER...AND HE CANNOT BE STOPPED.

Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin.

Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar -- keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind -- who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away...no knight except one.

John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman...or a messiah.

If this series interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.

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Posted Wednesday February 25, 2015 09:30am

Tech Tips

Today let's talk about compatibility. Specifically between Microsoft Office products (which we do not use) and the Libreoffice products which we have on any lab machine at all branches of the library. Libreoffice has taken great pains to make it's software as compatible with Microsoft products as possible and they have done a very good job, however it is not perfect. For instance, tables created in a Word document may not display correctly in Libreoffice Writer and you will need to work with them a little bit to get them back to normal. This applies to all of our Libreoffice products.

Now having said that, you should notice most things are pretty similar. This was done on purpose to facilitate ease of use between the two products. This means you should be able to sit down a lab computer, and feel pretty familiar with a Libreoffice product in a short time. We do hope this is the case but, if not, you can always ask a friendly library staff member for help. We hope this will ease your mind about our computers somewhat and we also hope to see you in our lab!

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Posted Tuesday February 24, 2015 12:00pm

Mango Monday: Cherokee

Mango Monday: Cherokee

For this installment of Mango Monday, we will discuss a brand new language offered exclusively by Mango: Cherokee.

According to Mango's Cherokee page, "Cherokee is the language of North America's Cherokee people. It is one of the healthiest indigenous languages of North America with an extensive library of literature and a significant community of native speakers." It is further indicated that there are approximately "10,400 speakers speakers in Iroquoian communities in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Arkansas."

In the official blog of Mango Languages, the new Cherokee project is described as:

"In partnership with the Cherokee Nation and the Tulsa City-County Library, we’ve officially debuted our first-ever Native American course. A collaborative labor of love, the Cherokee course is now live and ready to be enjoyed by Mango users in libraries, schools, and homes across North America.

The importance of this course is underlined by the shudder-inducing reality that Cherokee is considered an endangered language, with about 16,000 native speakers worldwide. Compare that against the whopping 317,000 Cherokee citizens that make up the United States’ largest tribal nation and the urgency of this issue becomes immediately clear."*

The Cherokee conversations lesson will help you learn several things about the language. The first lesson begins with greetings and asking about the other person's well-being. The lessons do use the unique writing system, but don't let that scare you. The words and phrases are also rendered phonetically in English to maximize learning.

Cherokee is a vibrant and healthy spoken language with a history of literature dating back to the 1820s when Sequoya developed the first Cherokee syllabary. A syllabary has characters that represent a set of sounds instead of individual letters. Those we have studied Japanese will recognize the similarity in idea to the sets kana. The Cherokee language also uses tones, which are used most notably in various dialects of Chinese.

Supplementary Material:

The video below is from our Access Video on Demand collection. The segment is about the development of the written language by Sequoia, and the full length video is about the trail of tears. If you are at home, you may need to type your library card number to view the video.

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library. Don't forget to take advantage of Mango's mobile app for language learning on the go!

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Posted Monday February 23, 2015 03:00pm
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