Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Looking Back with America's Historical Newspapers

Newspapers may be considered passé in today's society, often just an annoyance to be thrown immediately into the recycling bin or saved up for lining the table at your next crawfish boil. But in times past, they were an essential way of learning what was happening in your community, around the country, and around the world. If it was important, it was in the paper. And now, newspapers from the past are an essential tool in learning about what shaped the lives of those who came before us. 

Here at Terrebonne Parish Library, we are fans of the printed word. We subscribe to various papers in print, including The Advocate, The Times Picayune, The Houma Courier, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and several more local and national publications. But these are sources for learning about what is happening now. Where should you look for historical newspapers? 

Terrebonne Parish Library subscribes to two databases which are extremely useful for historical research: America's Historical Newspapers and Newspaper Source. Both are available for free, 24/7, at All you need is your active Terrebonne Parish library card. 

 America's Historical Newspapers has a very simple search functions, so if you are looking for a specific topic, you can type in a word in the text box, just like you would in Google. From there, you can narrow down your results with several filters such as dates, newspaper titles, and location. 

You can also choose to get more specific results by using the "advanced search" function at the beginning of your search to find combinations of words. This is helpful when you are searching for a topic that is very specific. 

For example, I did a search for "Terrebonne Parish" and "yellow fever," which yielded only three results; However, these results were extremely relevant to my search. 

Viewing the newspapers inside of America's Historical Newspapers is even easier than reading them in print. Your search terms will be highlighted in your results. You can zoom in and out on the tiny font, making it much easier to read than regular print. You can also download your results to a PDF and email it or print it out, so keeping track of your research is easy. 

EBSCO's Newspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 U.S. & international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for 389 regional United States newspapers. In addition to newspapers, this source contains the full text of television and radio news transcripts from CBS News, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, NPR, and more. Use EBSCO's multiple search filters to find the content you want quickly and easily.

 Both of these databases provide a wealth of information to researchers, both professional and amateur. If you would like help learning to use databases, consider attending a class with Reference Department staff, or as a librarian for a demonstration. We are always happy to help someone discover the past with our fantastic historical resources! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Juneteeth Resources

June 19th, or "Juneteenth," is the largest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. However, it is not nearly as well known or widely celebrated as other holidays. If you would like to  learn more about the history of the holiday, and about African American history in general, the Terrebonne Parish Library has a plethora of free resources available at your fingertips, 24/7.

A great place to begin is with the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL). To access GVRL from our website, select "Research" then "Databases by Name" and scroll down to the "G's." Withing GVRL, you will find titles such as the American Civil War Reference Library, a collection featuring five volumes of Civil War history. 

Also in GVRL, The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture has a fantastic article on African American food traditions that features a sidebar on Juneteenth, explaining its cultural significance in the African American community:

Works such as The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, and Gale Encyclopedia of Multi-Cultural America, all available in full online through Gale Virtual Reference Library, feature significant information on African American culture, history, and traditions from various sources. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library is available for free, 24/7, to anyone with an active Terrebonne Parish Library Card. No check outs are required; simply log on from and enjoy unlimited access to these titles and dozens more. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ACT Prep at Your Library! Part I: Homework Louisiana

Summer is just around the corner! Tomorrow is officially the last day of school in Terrebonne Parish. Your student is going to be ready to sleep late, relax, and decompress from their busy schedule. That's great! Studies from the CDC have shown that teens need more sleep than the rest of us. But when your teen isn't busy getting ten hours of much needed rest, you might want to nudge them a bit to think about their future. 

The "summer slide" is real. Your student can easily fall behind in her studies without continuous practice. And, as many students head into the latter part of high school, ACT testing begins in earnest. The ACT can determine not only your child's eligibility for entrance into a certain school, but also her eligibility for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid. 

Luckily, your Terrebonne Parish Library has a multitude of high quality resources to give your child an advantage when it comes to ACT testing. 

This summer, we are conducting a pilot program of our very own, completely free, six week ACT prep course. The course will be taught by library staff and tutors, and is sponsored by the Friends of the Terrebonne Parish Library. The program is currently full, but, if it proves successful this summer, we intend to continue these sessions next summer.

The class may be full, but most of the resources we are using to prepare students for the ACT are available for free through the library's website. Two databases in particular are excellent for preparing students for the ACT: Learning Express and

From our home page, select the "Research" tab on the top right of the screen. Choose "databases by name" and scroll down to either Learning Express or Homework Louisiana. 

When  you enter Homework Louisiana, you will see a screen offering a variety of options for free tutoring and test prep. For ACT prep, click on "Prep for the SAT/ACT." You will be prompted to log in or create an account. Don't worry, your account registration and use of this site is completely free! 

After sign in, select "other tools," then "Prep for the SAT/ACT." There, you will find multiple tools for your student's success. 

There are multiple practice tests, a module to help track success and goals, and a "coursework" section for reviewing core concepts. All of your progress is saved with your user name and password, so you can take your time reviewing.

In the next blog entry, I will be showcasing LearningExpress Library's fantastic ACT/SAT prep resources. In the meantime, go create an account on Homework Louisiana and check out all it has to offer! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Family Time with TumbleBooks

Do you have little ones at home? Are they stuck to their screens? Do you wish there was a way to spend more time learning and less time playing mindless games? 

Then you should know about TumbleBooks Library!

TumbleBooks is an e book service for children. As with all library resources, it's free: all you need is an active library card. 

TumbleBooks has a massive story book collection, as well as a "read along" feature for children in grades 2 to 6. The book highlights the text as it reads aloud to the child. Fun animations make the book engaging for visual learners. This feature may be turned off for silent or family reading. Many books are award winners by popular authors. 

In addition to picture books, TumbleBooks offers a selection of chapter books, including such classics as The One And Only IvanElla Enchanted, and Fortunately, the Milk!

Graphic novels, math stories, and language learning round out the collection to make TumbleBooks Library an invaluable resource for families with young children. Get your child started reading on TumbleBooks today!

Monday, April 2, 2018

April is National Poetry Month

Get some poetry in your life this April with resources from your Terrebonne Parish Library! 

Listen to poetry read aloud on Freegal. You can stream entire albums, or download three tracks per week. 
Overdrive also offers audio books of poetry read aloud. The following titles are available for download.
And don't skip the 43 books in the ebook poetry collection, available on Overdrive as well! This collection features some of the titles shown below, as well as many others. 

 Do you want to find out more about the lives of your favorite poets? Visit Gale Virtual Reference Library and browse through the seventh edition of Contemporary Poets

Three of our databases, Scribner Writers Series, Twayne's Authors Series, and Salem Literature, specifically focus on the lives and works of famous authors. 

And, of course, our print collection of poetry books is a great place to start a new poet or reacquaint yourself with an old one. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Jambalaya Writers Conference 2018

As you may have heard, our Jambalaya Writers Conference is coming up on Saturday, March 3. We will have a host of authors here talking about their craft, and tons of information session to assist up and coming local writers to hone their skills. Authors in attendance include R.L. Stine, Joshilyn Jackson, Melissa Marr, Jack Bedell, and a long list of other talented writers of poetry and prose for a variety of audiences (a complete list of presenters may be found here).

If you’d like familiarize yourself with these authors before the conference, check out our card catalog. Do a quick search by author’s name to find some of their work in our collection. Below are just a handful of the books that we have available in our collection. Search the card catalog at for more!