Connect to tech, classes, books and your community during National Library Week | Entertainment / Life

“Connect with Your Library” is the theme for the 64th annual celebration of National Library Week, which takes place April 3-9 and promotes the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers and other resources.

Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas and classes, in addition to books. But most importantly, libraries also connect communities to each other.

There are three things patrons can do during National Library Month.

  1. Go to the library.
  2. Register for a library card or renew the ones you already have.
  3. Be sure to follow the library on social media so you do not miss out on all its programming, which is ramping up again following Covid.

National Library Week highlights the role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities.

In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Association formed a nonprofit citizens’ organization called the National Book Committee in 1954.

The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. The first National Library Week was observed in 1958.

BOOK CLUBS: Whether on the east bank or the west bank, the library has books clubs that focus on mysteries, contemporary literature and classics.

  • 7 pm April 19: “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
  • 2:30 pm April 19: “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt, River Ridge Library, 8825 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge.
  • 2 pm April 19: “The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly, Old Metairie Library, 2350 Metairie Road.
  • 10:30 am April 20: “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, Gretna Library, 102 Willow Drive, Gretna.
  • 1 pm April 26: The nonfiction book club meets at the Live Oak Library, 125 Acadia Drive, Waggaman. Call the library at (504) 736-8475 for more information.

HAM RADIO TEST: Take the national accreditation test for the amateur radio license at 6 pm Wednesday, April 13, at the Old Metairie Library, 2350 Metairie Road.

GARDENING: The Old Metairie Library, 2751 Metairie Road, is hosting various events for gardening enthusiasts.

  • The Camellia Club of New Orleans meets at 6:30 pm April 6. It’s part of the American Camellia Society, a national membership organization dedicated to fostering appreciation for and knowledge of plants in the genus camellia.
  • The Old Metairie Gardening Club meets at 6 pm April 12.
  • The Native Plant Initiative of New Orleans and the New Orleans Butterfly Club meets at 3 pm April 23. The group focuses on educational programs covering the latest research on monarch butterfly conservation.
  • The Greater New Orleans Bromeliad Society meets at 6:30 pm April 26, and the fourth Tuesday of each month, to discuss these tropical plants that are mostly grown indoors.

GENEALOGY: Gwen Kelley, a librarian who specializes in genealogy and local history, will lead a seminar on Military Records at 2 pm April 11, via streaming through the library’s website. Patrons should visit the homepage and click on the link to join the meeting.

For those who do not have computers, the sessions will be broadcast into the River Ridge (8825 Jefferson Highway) and North Kenner (630 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner) libraries, and the Terrytown (680 Heritage Ave.) and Belle Terre (5550 Belle Terre Road, Marrero) libraries on the west bank. These sessions will be recorded and will be archived on the library’s website.

COMPUTER CLASSES: Receive free computer training at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, and at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

Seating is limited, and online registration is required. Visit the Computer Classes page at www.jplibrary.net/training and click “East Bank Regional Schedule” or “West Bank Regional Schedule.”

Metairie classes include:

  • Microsoft Excel: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 4.
  • JPL Digital Content: 10 am to noon, April 5.
  • One-on-One Training: 10 am to noon, April 6.
  • Intro to the internet: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 6.
  • Microsoft Word 1: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 7.
  • Microsoft Excel 2: 10 am to noon, April 11.
  • One-on-One Training: 10 am to noon, April 12.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 1: 10 am to noon, April 13.
  • Beginner Computer: 10 am to noon, April 14.
  • Introduction to the internet: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 14.
  • Basic Computer: 10 am to noon, April 19.
  • One-on-One: 10 am to noon, April 20.
  • Microsoft Word 2: 10 am to noon, April 21.
  • Microsoft Excel 3: 2 pm to 4 pm, 25 April.
  • 3D Printing: 6 pm to 8 pm, April 25.
  • One-on-One: 10 am to noon, April 26.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 27.
  • JPL Digital Content: 10 am to noon, April 28.
  • One-on-One: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 29.

Harvey classes include:

  • Microsoft Word: 10 am to noon, April 8.
  • Basic Computer: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 12.
  • Basic Computer: 2 pm to 4 pm, April 18.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2: 10 am to noon, April 22.
  • Beginner Computer: 10 am to noon, April 26.
  • Microsoft Excel: 10 am to noon, April 29.

Chris Smith is manager of adult programming at the Jefferson Parish Public Library.

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