Monday, November 23, 2015

4 Nonfiction Books For Thanksgiving!

Have a few days off and aren't sure what to read? Have a bunch of people over and not sure what to cook? Here's four books on Thanksgiving you can check out that will get you in the thankful spirit!

Monday, October 26, 2015

National Novel Writing Month Is Coming!

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Want to make your mark by writing 50,000 words in 30 days? Join the fun at the library!

Check our event schedule for events at the library to help you buckle down and get those 1,667 words per day!

  • North Branch will be having "Come Write In Writing Sessions" twice a day at 9am and 4pm, Sunday through Thursday throughout November, as a place to quietly work on your novel and meet other writers.
  • North Branch will have its Teen Writers Group on November 11 and 25th, 4:30pm for any teens who need to talk about their writing.
  • North Branch will have a "NaNoWriMo Writers Meetup," a support group for NaNoWriMo participants! Share ideas, frustrations, and coffee with your fellow writers.  Every Thursday at 6pm.
  • Main Branch will have "Writer's Unite!" a program for teen writers to discuss and do writing exercises. November 12 at 6:30pm.
  • Main Branch will be hosting our adult writing workshop "You Should Be Writing" if you need a place to discuss what you have been working on or get ideas on moving forward. November 18th, 7pm in the Davidson Board Room, 18 years or older.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Primary Voting Is Here, Are You Ready?

Voting season is here and the primary is this coming weekend, October 24th. With that in mind, here are some resources to help you choose which candidate get your vote.

For local information, the Terrebonne Parish Clerk of Court website contains the following:
  • Polls for the October 24, 2015 election will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
  • To verify your registration and precinct location, click here and input the information requested.
  • For past election results by parish, multi-parish, or statewide, click here and input the information requested.
  • To see a sample ballot of an upcoming election, click here and input the parish and precinct information. Be sure to click on "full text" for a complete description of any propositions/amendments.
From the Louisiana Secretary of State's website:
The following is important information for the Oct. 24, 2015 primary and the Nov. 21, 2015 general:
  • early voting is Oct. 10-17 (except Sunday and holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Oct. 24th primary election; and
  • early voting is Nov. 7-14 (except Sunday and holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Nov. 21st general election.
The Louisiana Secretary of State's website also contains information:

  • register to vote
  • how to vote
  • get election material (including a full candidate list)
  • and many other informative materials

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

5 Fun Facts about the Carnival Season

Carnival Night is coming up, October 27th from 6pm to 7:30pm, and we got to wondering, what exactly is a carnival? So we looked up in a few of our reference books, such as The Encyclopedia of American Folklore and Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia, and found the following facts to celebrate about!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ebooks have never been easier to get with Axis360!

Along with Overdrive, patrons of Terrebonne Parish Library System can access ebooks through the service Axis360. The service, available on a website and phone/tablet app, contains thousands of ebooks from our library. With a new update, using Axis360 is easier than ever before after a quick download and update.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Learn over 60 languages with Mango at the library!

Mango's a great way to learn over 60 languages (including pirate!) for free for Terrebonne Parish library patrons! Follow the easy instructions below to start learning today or click here for Mango on the library's page.

Friday, September 25, 2015

This Week In Terrebonne History: September 25, 1940


Much of the world in 1940s Terrebonne was concentrated on the growing European conflict that would become World War II. Local news was scarce but a few stories and ads spoke out, such as the opening of the "new and modern" Falgout Funeral Home (above) and the fact that the Houma Courier got a new phone number, the difficult to forget “342.” Don’t we wish our own phone numbers were as easy to remember?


The cinema had several offerings for the 1940 Terrebonne native. The Fox had Of Mice and Men starring Burgess Meredith (famous as Mick in the Rocky franchise) and Lon Chaney, Jr, also known as the Wolfman from Universal Pictures.

The Bijou was showing at the same time The Great McGinty. This political satire came from Preston Sturges, one of if not the first man to write and direct his own scripts, an unlikely act in early Hollywood.


If you were looking to do a little sewing, sheer Alpaca fabric was on sale in Terrebonne in 1940 for 79 cents a yard. The same fabric today would cost you somewhere between $15-$400 per yard, depending on the quality.

Friday, September 18, 2015

This Week in Terrebonne History: Water, Water, Everywhere

Welcome to another addition of This Week in Terrebonne History! For this week we go back 25 years to look at some flooding, 50 years for more effects of Hurricane Betsy, and 75 years to see international news from World War II. All information is pulled from the main library's genealogy collection, specifically the Houma Courier microfilm archives.

Monday, September 14, 2015

History of Swamp Thing

With the Terrebonne Comic Con just a short week away (September 20, 2015, 2-5pm at the Main Branch), all the library is thinking about is superheroes and comics. When this library starts thinking about comics, of course we think about Houma's own superhero, Swamp Thing. We even made it into the comic itself, as you can see from Saga of Swamp Thing Vol. 2!

Friday, September 11, 2015

This Week in Terrebonne History: Weather and Worn

Image of Nazi planes over London
Welcome to another This Week in Terrebonne History! This week we have low temperatures, hurricanes, and all the prices for shoes and cars throughout the years! Everything was gathered using the microfilm collection of Houma newspapers found in the main library's genealogy room. Come down and look through them, see what you can find!

September 9-13, 1940 - Houma Daily Courier


  • "Mercury Hits 40-Year Low" - At a temperature of 31 degrees, Houma experienced its coldest September in 40 years.
  • "Nearly 5,000 Use the Parish Library During August" - The library had great numbers in 1940, according to librarian Patricia Motte.
  • "Special Rules for Traffic Announced" - Special paint was added to curbs and "Slow School" signs on Barrow Street to teach children to cross at crosswalks.



  • A.M. and J. C. Dupont had shoes in all sizes from 89 cents to $5.00.
  • Terrebonne Motors was selling a used 1937 Ford "85" for $323.

Monday, September 7, 2015

New Access Video On Demand Videos!

Are you a fan of documentaries?  Were you the kind of kid who couldn't wait for the teacher to show a film in class?  Maybe you're still that kind of kid?  If so, we have a great database for you.  Access Video on Demand offers over 18,000 informative videos and documentaries.  You can watch videos from the BBC, the History Channel, Ken Burns, PBS, Scientific American Frontiers, and many more.

Click here to be taken to this service! You'll need your library card to view!

Here are some examples of new videos in this collection:

Friday, September 4, 2015

This Week In Terrebonne History: Street Paving and Sports

 Let's reach back into our parish's history by grabbing headlines and other information, getting a little peak in to the way things were.

50 years ago... Friday, September 3, 1965


  • The above image is Elysian Fields School construction. Seems some flooding conditions where halting the work and water had to be pumped out before they could continue.
  • The Terrebonne Parish School board voted to allow tire chains on buses conveying children from the lower Dularge area due to hazardous bayou conditions.
  • A streets paving program costing $8 million began, allowing 44.85 miles of Houma roads to be paved in several phases over five years. The first phase included Morrison Avenue, Jefferson Davis Street, Sixth Street, Williams Avenue, Gum Street, and several more.
  • New non-teacher salary raises were allowed for Terrebonne Parish School employees, including janitors, drivers, clerks, and secretaries. The only salaried mentioned were construction foreman who received $2.50 an hour and construction helpers who received $2.00 an hour.

At the Movies

  • Shenandoah starring James Stewart at The Park
  • John Ford's Cheyene Autumn at the Fox
  • How to Stuff a Wild Bikini at the Bijou
  • Disney's Monkey's Uncle and Bridge on the River Kwai at the Houma Drive In

At the Market

  • Zenith Color TV for $359.95 at Houma Electrical Appliance and Furniture Co., Inc on E Main and Grinage Street
  • The A&P had a 4lb cooked canned ham for $2.99 and a 1lb box of potato chips for 49 cents.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Are You Prepared for a Hurricane?

The peak of hurricane season has arrived and with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina past and Hurricane Rita's on the way, it is best to take stock and make sure you and yours are prepared for any coming storm. While most everyone who lives on or near the gulf knows how to prepare and the best emergency routes for evacuation, it never hurts to go over the basics.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Whom You Should Be Writing To

Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open.” by Stephen King

Ever thought "I can tell a better story than this" while reading a book, watching a movie, or digging around online? Then you should be writing. The reference department is presenting a workshop aiming to get you writing with exercises and peer discussion rather than critiques. The next of these workshops will be Wednesday, August 26th at 7:00pm in the Davidson Boardroom on the second floor of the Main Branch.

The first question that comes up when I say "You should be writing" is "Who would want to read what I write?" And that's a valid question because why write something if no one is ever going to read it? Sure, you could scrawl away for hours a night in a million notebooks, but that's more "crazy person hatching plans" than "being a writer." When you are trying to write, you must remember the audience you are writing to.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Research With Wikipedia


Sometimes you just need answers from the Internet quick and with little hassle. For those times, you may have heard of a little website encyclopedia with nearly 35 million articles in 288 different languages called Wikipedia. Wikipedia can give fast, easy reference information to answer simple questions, such as those that come up in game shows, bets with friends, or just innocent day dreams.

Monday, August 10, 2015

How to Get Online Help for Overdrive eBooks

The library's eBook collection in Overdrive has many benefits over the normal print collection. The ability to check out books while the library is closed helps out when you can't find the time to come to the library. But what happens when the library is closed and your device does not want to behave?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Researching: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

When doing research in a library, it's often best to consider the sources you find on the shelves. Librarians choose books for a variety of reasons, but the reference collection contains the most accurate and up-to-date sources the library can find. The three types of resources found in libraries are primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.

Primary Sources

A primary source is the document or item that shows original thinking, discovery, or new information. Often in research these are the most important items to use because they have not been filtered through anyone's opinion but the creators. Examples of primary sources include diaries, works of art, literature, emails, photographs, constitutions, legal statutes, and many other creations. Most public libraries do not have many nonfiction primary sources, but some may contain maps, yearbooks, local history and genealogy collections.

Secondary Sources

A secondary source is a commentary on a primary source. This means that instead of creating something new, the author is giving his opinion or restating something that has already been expressed. These types of sources are often used in research to back up an opinion or point of view the researcher wishes to present. Secondary sources can be journal articles, biographies, summaries, criticisms, and many others. This type of resource is most used in the library, especially in journal databases and newspapers.

Tertiary Sources

Tertiary Sources are documents made up of many primary or secondary sources on a single topic or a variety of topics. Often college level classes will not allow the use of tertiary sources because they can be seen as redundant for restating secondary sources or having a biased opinion, but some professors and most high school classes allow them. Examples include dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as other fact books and manuals that are often found in reference collections.

If you keep in mind the types of sources you can find in a library, you can better use them to help strengthen any research paper. 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Why You Should Be Writing

“We read to know we are not alone.” - William Nicholson

Ever thought "I can tell a better story than this" while reading a book, watching a movie, or digging around online? Then you should be writing. The reference department is presenting a new workshop aiming to get you writing with exercises and peer discussion rather than critiques. The next of these workshops will be Wednesday, August 26th at 7:00pm in the Davidson Board Room on the second floor of the Main Branch.

With a title like "You Should Be Writing," there should be some really good reasons for you to be writing, right? Turns out, there's a bunch, and they all reflect the world,your place in it, and how you change as a person.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do-It-Yourself Legal Aid

With money today stretched as tight as many can bear, do-it-yourself services are on the rise. One lawsuit, divorce, or contract can cost a lot if dealt with through a lawyer. For some simple court matters or legal questions, the library can help with books and online resources!

The library reference department has many resources available to help patrons in the building. These sources include primary and secondary legal materials. Primary materials are items containing the law, such as Louisiana Statutes, Civil Code, and U.S. Constitution. Secondary sources are all the resources used to define or interpret primary materials, like Black's Law Dictionary and Gale's Encyclopedia of Law.

Many resources exist online to give legal aid, but which one's can you trust? If you go to the library's page for "Databases by Subject," several resources are listed under Legal Reference, such as the Louisiana State Legislature's searchable laws and The United States Code.

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Other resources that provide context and examples of law include Cornell's Legal Information Institute and Google Scholar. Google Scholar has access to most state and federal court documents published in the last 50 years.

Because of Louisiana's use of the Napoleonic Code in civil cases, statutes and forms for court can be different from district to district or even parish to parish. The Louisiana State Bar Association has set up community resources to help the public find the right documents or representation they need. By visiting the Legal Education & Assistance Program (LEAP) for the public, many resources found in the community can be located. These resources include numbers for lawyer referrals, legal services corporations such as Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, general resources, and court contacts. Documents known as "libguides" contain information about driver's licenses, divorces, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, and several other general topics.

The reference staff are not legal professionals and cannot interpret, recommend, or proofread any legal term or document, but we are happy to help as much as we can to find you the help you need.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Genealogy at the Library

The library reference staff are gearing up for Genealogy Day at the library! On Saturday, June 27th starting at 10:00am, staff will be available to answer all your questions about the items in the Genealogy Room. That means the books, the microfilm, the online databases… everything!
To get prepared for the day or just in case you can not make it, here are some past posts and current information from the library to help you out!
  • Genealogy Page - The library’s genealogy page on our website contains all the information needed to start the search for your family’s heritage. From forms to print out to database links, this page lists all the information below and more!
  • Genealogy at Terrebonne Parish Library - A brief introduction to genealogy and the genealogy resources at the library, including (accessible for free inside the library).
  • Genealogy Research: The Next Steps - Some quick advice from a member of the reference staff about how to start researching your family tree.
  • Louisiana Roots: Some Great Local Sources for Genealogy - A guide to print materials in the library’s Genealogy Room centered around local residents. Is your family in there? (Note: some of the links in the article may not work due to a change in our catalog, but the items are in the collection)
  • New Ancestry Resources - You’ve checked all the print books, now what? Check out the database and the types of materials in it as well as other online information. The best part? The Ancestry database has added even more information to hunt through since this was posted!
  • From Census Data to Family Tree - This article gives an outline of the United States and local parish census records, and how they can help with researching your family tree.
  • Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives - Looking for old newspapers, city directories, or other archived items? This article explains the basics of our Fold3 and Genealogy archives databases that cover a range of published materials. (To use the Fold3 from home, you will need a library card and PIN. Come in or contact the library at (985) 876-5861, option 2 if you need assistance.)
  • HeritageQuest Online - This database is similar to, containing census and other genealogical research data from that site. The main difference is you can use this one from home! Simply go to the library’s website (, click on the “Genealogy” link on the right hand side, find the link and search away!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keep Internet Searching Simple

You found your way to this entry! Take a moment to congratulate yourself, sit back, and think about how this whole Internet thing is not so bad after all. And what's the big deal? All human knowledge collected in millions of computers sharing... well, lots of knowledge per second. And you worked it out to find this page. Go you!

One question: How did you find this web page once you decided what you were looking for? Could you do it again? For any question? If I asked you to find out who created the Chauvin Sculpture Garden, could you do that? How do you know the source is reliable?

The answer is pretty easy if you just keep Internet searching simple. By using simple language and tools, you can find anything on the Internet you want and keep out most of the things you do not.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Every Hero Has A Story: Summer Reading Program 2015

Not sure what kind of summer you're going to have? How about a superhero summer?! The whole family can get involved with the library’s Summer Reading Program "Every Hero Has a Story," from adults to pre-k. Sign up starting May 26th online or come into the library anytime or during an event!


Make your summer a family affair of reading by signing up for the ADULT summer reading program. Read a total of 3 library books, eBooks, or magazines and be entered into a drawing to win a free Kindle Fire HD 7. All participants that complete will receive a Library Superhero lawn sign and coupon!

7th – 12th grade Teens

Read 3 library books, eBooks, graphics novels, or magazines and receive a certificate, cool coupons, Library Superhero lawn sign, and a chance to win a free Kindle Fire HD 7!

4th – 6th grade Kids (Tweens)

Read 5 library books and receive a certificate, a chance to win a bike, coupons for FREE STUFF, a Library Superhero lawn sign, and a chance to win a bike! Turn your summer into an adventure with weekly story times, craft workshops, and special performers.

Pre-K – 3rd grade Kids

Read 10 library books (or parents, read 10 library books to younger children) and receive a certificate, coupons for FREE STUFF, a Library Superhero lawn sign, and a chance to win a bike! Turn your summer into an adventure with weekly story times, craft workshops, and special performers.
A big THANK YOU to our sponsors for making this year’s Summer Reading Programs possible. View sponsors here.

View our SPECIAL EVENTS this summer for the whole family.