We hope you enjoy these
photographs of 2011 programs and other happenings at
New Orleans Public Library

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger version of the image.
December 2011
The Central City Branch Library held a Video Game Day on December 21. The children of Central City enjoyed Video Games as well as board games. By a unanimous decision, the children substituted the traditional Christmas turkey dinner for turkey hotdogs, chips, and punch.
Santa visted the Alvar Community on December 14, 2011. He shared the Cajun Night Before Christmas and holiday songs with the children.
Santa Claus visited the children at the Gentilly Library Branch to read stories and surprises them with gifts of books.
NOPL staff got into the holiday spirit with a party at the Main Library on Thursday, December 15.
Ms. Oriane & Ms. Kris hosted a wonderful Winter Holiday Story Time at the King Branch Library on December 14th, 2012.
On December 7th, 2011, Gregory Bright, an amazing exonerated man who was incarcerated for 27.5 years for a crime that he did not commit, spoke to a group of people from the public and young adults from the MLK School. Gregory Bright now works with the Innocence Project New Orleans, helping others who have faced the same difficult plight.
At the Nix Branch, Cherri Ainsworth of the Central Carrollton Neighborhood Association and Ernest Brown planted oleanders donated by the Friends of New Orleans Public Library. came out and planted them for us. They will have beautiful red blooms on them next year.
December’s winner in the Nix Branch's “Count the Whatever Contest” was 12 year old William Slate. William guessed 91 out of a possible 93 candies in the jar to win a tray of Christmas cookies for the holidays.
November 2011
The ZooMobile visit to Algiers Regional Library on November 22nd was very popular with our young patrons. About 25 children and adults got to visit with and learn about a variety of animals, including a guinea pig, turtle, rat, hedgehog, and barn owl.
November was National Pecan Month and Mrs. Jeanne Bruno guessed 168 pecans in the jar out of a total of 170 to win the Nix Branch's "Count-the-Whatever Contest." Mrs. Bruno won a pecan pie from Robert’s Supermarket just in time for the holidays.
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, led by Grammy Award Winning Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield (far right) treated staff and patrons to an entertaining jazz concert at the Main Library on November 17. Mayfield is a former NOPL Library Board President and currently serves as the President of the New Orleans Public Library Foundation.
The Audubon Institutes Wetlands Express came to Nix on November 17. They entertained the 3rd graders of St. Andrew’s with alligators, snakes, bunnies, bull frogs and others.
On November 11th, thirty 7th graders from Jefferson Parish Magnet school for the Gifted and Talented visited the King Branch Library to discuss the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Lower 9th Ward. Here Ms. Pete and Mr. Gile, King Library Associates, discussed their experiences during the hurricane and the veracity of The 9th Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes.
October 2011
The October Nix Branch "Count-the-Whatever" contest winners for National Pumpkin Month are Nancy Landrum and Cecilia. Both correctly guessed 102 pumpkin candies in the jar to each win a pumpkin for Halloween.
For a special Halloween treat, the 2nd grade of St. Andrew's came to participate in the reading of Bone Soup by Cambria Evans, a Halloween take on the old French tale, "Stone Soup." After the tale, the kids started creating their own little monsters and ghouls.
As part of the New Orleans Jazz Institute's Fall Masters Series, Steve Masakowski and group presented Masakowski's "Jazz Tribute to John Kennedy Toole" at the Nix Branch on October 28.
On October 20, the Mahalia Jackson Early Childhood & Family Learning Center celebrated Mahalia Jackson’s 100th birthday and the Mahalia Jackson Center’s 1st year. The MJ 100 + 1 Festival featured the 21st Century Brass Band, the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians, free food, face painting, arts and crafts, plus lots more. The Central City Branch Library held a story time in the garden and distributed book and Halloween give-a-ways to the children.
The Central Carrollton Neighborhood Association donated a chair to the Nix Branch for its storyteller to sit in, upholstered with with monkeys, parrots and dragonflies.
On October 20, the staff of the Main Library visited City Hall to distribute information about the library, pass out library card applications and ask residents to complete a survey on the Main Library.
Brazilian percussionist Curtis Pierre entertained the 1st graders of St Andrew’s Episcopal School at the Nix Branch on Oct 18th. The kids even got to play with the instruments.
On October 6, the Children’s Room at Main helped set a new World Record with the Martin Luther King Head Start 4-year-olds. LaToya Augustine read Llama, Llama Red Pajama by A. Dewdney as part of the JumpStart literacy annual event. Afterwards, the students colored pajama coloring sheets and made hanging cottony llamas to take home.
The Nix Branch also read for the record on October 6. The kindergarten of St Andrew's listened to the Llama, Llama Red Pajama and other bedtime stories and then created their own craft of gluing pajamas to their llamas.
And parents and kids at the Gentilly Branch also participated in Read for the Record 2011.
September 2011
A full house listens to author Yvonne Spear Perret discuss her hilarious book Yat Wit: Chicken Gumbo for the New Orleans Soul at Author Night at Hubbell Library, September 2011.
The Main Library Children’s Room put up its Annual Banned Books Week display in September.
Decorate your own sombrero was a popular craft at the Skippyjon Jones Adventure Party at the Main Library’s Children’s Room on September 10. Pyramid Golf was fun to play during the party.
July 2011
The children had a wonderful time at the Summer Reading Club party at the Alvar branch. Every child received books, prizes, balloons, cake and punch.
Children at Alvar enjoy a unique craft time at the Alvar library as they cut out and create a Mohawk hat out of tee-shirts.
Literacy AmeriCorps volunteers came to help out the Penguin Party at the Main Library on July 16. Here are: Annie Castro, Abigail Buchheit, Adrienne Brenneman, Jasper Frank, Laura Davey and Heather Riley in the Children’s room before the party started. Families designed their own penguins.
Curtis Pierre and his students brought the World of Percussion to the Main Library on July 13 as part of Summer Reading Program.
The Wetlands Express Animal Tour from the Audubon Zoo visited the Keller Branch on Tuesday July 12 to showcase several creatures from the wild. Patrons, children and accompanying adults along with several staffers were given an opportunity to see, touch and learn about king snakes, baby alligators, opossums and a screech owl.
June 2011
The American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibit came to New Orleans June 23-28. NOPL Buildings Supervisor, Bill South, conducted a tour for ALA visitors on June 24. The tour stopped at several of our new branches, currently under construction, toured other NOPL facilities and New Orleans neighborhoods, and stopped for a sumptuous lunch. Here the group poses on the steps of the Latter Branch.
On June 28, the Main Library's Technology Center hosted an ALA program, Finding Funders: A Basic Introduction to Finding Resources for Non-Profits Using Foundation Center Resources.
At the Main Library, ALA volunteers assisted with renovation of the audiotorium, helped weed and sort volumes in storage, and helped out in Technical Services. We thank them all!
At the Alvar Branch, ALA volunteers painted the railings and bike racks in front of the builidng.
Pictured here are three absolutely wonderful school librarian volunteers from Massachusetts at the King Branch. These smashing ladies spent 2 days at King, helping us to reorganize our audiovisual collection. We owe a massive thanks to these ladies for their invaluable work and generosity.
Kim Tran, Associate Director, Technical Services, took part in the Asian/Pacific Americans Librarian Association President’s Program during the ALA Convention.
The King Library received a very special visit from the Zephyr's mascot, Boudreaux on June 30. Boudreaux taught local King patrons about baseball, with help from King's story teller, Miss Elizabeth.
The Audubon Institute Zoomobile visited the King Branch Library on June 23. Young patrons hopped like frogs and got to pet a big snake.
Ato Yohannes, a wonderful man and supporter of literacy from Ethiopia, read from his picture books about Ethiopia to a crowd of young patrons at the King Branch Library on June 24th. Ato Yohannes was awarded an honorary membership to the American Library Association. Mr. Yohannes also donated a beautiful Ethiopian Cross to the King Branch Library. Here he is seen presenting the cross to King Library Branch Manager, Linda Gielec.
Special Guest Story Teller, Kima Richard, read from her new picture book Possibilities, to a crowd of local children at the King Branch Library on June 15th.
The New Orleans Craft Mafia shared their artistic knowledge and skill with the children at the Central City Branch Library on June 11. The Central City kids learned how to create jewelry, Mohawk hats, and halter tops out of re-cycled tee shirts.
As part of the Summer Reading Program's celebration, the Calliope Puppets performed a wonderful show at the Central City Branch Library on June 7 for the Mahalia Jackson Elementary School students, the TCA Headstart students, the Alphabet Soup Day Camp participants, and the Central City neighborhood children.
May 2011
Denise Matthews was the winner of the See It, Count It Contest at the Central City Branch. During the month of May, patrons faced the challenge of counting Central City's collection. Yes, that means we wanted to know how many books, DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks the patrons thought were in the library. Denise received $10 worth of snowballs from a neighborhood snowball stand as her prize.
On May 6th, the King Branch was visited by a Ringling Brother's circus clown, who entertained a large audience of excited children.
Miss Laurence presented an awesome folklore story time at the Martin Luther King Branch Library to local kids and MLK students on May 4th. Her pet bunny was a visitor, too.
For Children's Book Week, the Nix Library hosted Cecilia Dartez (author of the Jenny Giraffe books) reading stories to the first graders of Lusher Elementary. Cecilia gave two storytimes on May 2nd & 4th to ensure that the 100+ 1st graders all got to participate. The kids were given free books in celebration of Children's Book Week. On May 5th a clown from Ringling Brothers came to entertain the second graders of St. Andrew's. After performing tricks and reading a story the kids received a gift bag with circus related items and a free book.
April 2011
April was both National Frog Month and National Kite Month. Once again the Nix Branch had a tie in its "Count the Whatever Contest", as two boys correctly guessed 86 frogs in the jar to each win a kite. The first photo at left is of young John, shown with his parents. John chose a frog kite as his prize. Link here for the second winner, Manuel, who received a gecko kite as his prize.
Christopher Foster, a fourth grade student, was the April winner of the Central City Branch's See It, Count It Contest. Christopher guessed that there were 601 jelly beans in the jar out of a possible 614. He excitedly exclaimed, "I knew I was going to win, because every time I saw the jar of jelly beans my heart would beat fast!" Christopher received an Easter basket filled with treats and candy.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, Monica Turner, Education and Outreach Coordinator of WYES, collaborated with the African American Resource Center at the Main Library to present a seniors program that focused on the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. An excerpt from the American Experience documentary was shown followed by commentary of Doratha “Dodie” Smith- Simmons, a Freedom Rider born and raised in New Orleans. Dodie and Monica are shown here holding the announcement postcard for the Monday, May 16, 2011, 50th Anniversary event sponsored by WYES, the American Experience, The Louisiana Weekly, and Ashe Cultural Arts Center.
Children hunted for eggs in the garden at Alvar Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 23.
In celebration of National Frog Month, Nix held its annual frog program on April 12th. Joy read frog stories and the kids from St. Andrew's kindergarten made themselves frog visors.
In April, Miss Elizabeth presented an amazing fairy tales story time for local Lower 9th Ward patrons. This story time even featured branch manager, Linda Gielec's, little pinky toe in "The Three Little Pigs." Children at King worked on a very exciting coloring page after story time.
March 2011
During a very special story time on March 30th, Miss Eilzabeth is pictured here with local kids as they read about fish and learn to spell.
Brenda Melady and Thaddeus Narcisse were winners in the Nix Branch's monthly contest. For the second month in a row Nix had a tie. For National Umbrella Month Brenda and Thaddeus correctly guessed 76 paper umbrellas in the jar to win an umbrella from the National Breast Cancer Awareness drive. Here's a picture of Brenda.
At the Children's Resource Center on March 26, the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience presented Activities on"Your Sensational Brain" . There were demonstrations and activities that taught kids about the brain and its functions. There was even a real human brain on hand to see and touch. (You can see more photos of this program on the CRC's Flickr page.)
Courtney Kearney, a geologist, began her demonstration of density as young patrons at Alvar Library conducted their own experiment at the first "Science Alive" program on Saturday, March 26. The program continues for three more Saturdays, April 2, 9, and 16 at Alvar Branch at 3 to 4 PM.
At the March 15 Alvar Arts program, in a slide presentation, Cely Pedescleaux, told the audience the story behind her beautifully hand-made quilts. She later displayed her quilts and took questions from the audience.
To celebrate 2011's National "Read for the Record" on Dr. Seuss's birthday, King's new story teller, Miss Elizabeth, staged a Dr. Seuss Story time at the King Branch Library. Miss Elizabeth, with the help of the stellar Miss Kris, played a hat game with the enraptured audience. With the help of Mr. James & Miss Kris, Miss Elizabeth also staged an exciting enactment of Dr. Suess's "The Sneeches." As you can see, everyone was VERY excited!
The Nix library celebrated both National Pig Day (March 1) and Porky Pig's Birthday (March 2) on the 15th. The first grade class of St. Andrew's Episcopal School came in for pig stories and a pig craft.
On March 8th, the King juvenile library was struck by a surprise visit from a Brass Band. Imagine such amazing and loud music in the library! This visit came complete with the MLK School's "Kingsations" dancers. Wow!!
Janice Harney was the winner of the Central City Branch’s See It, Count It Contest. Janice guessed that there were 400 colorful pom poms in the jar out of a possible 401. She missed a perfect guess by one pom pom! Janice received a gift certificate to a local restaurant as her prize.
February 2011
February was National Chocolate Lover's Month and in our monthly contest there was a tie. Both Meghan Stroh and Josha Rivers correctly guessed the number of chocolates in the jar. They both receive a box of chocolates as a prize. Here is a picture of Meghan.
For this year’s Black History 2011 Storytelling, individual branches were asked to host a Black History story time during the week of January 23 – 31 and February 20 – 28. A suggested list of children’s books was sent to the library branch managers from which a book was to be selected. Branch managers were asked to send the date and selected story of their library’s Black History Story Time. The African American Resource Center hosted a story time on February 25 focusing on the four little girls who began the desegregation of New Orleans Public Schools. The featured book was Ruby Bridges by Madeline Donaldson.
King's new page and story teller, Miss Elizabeth, did her very first story time at King on February 22nd. Here she is reading a book about hats for her hat story time.
The Pebbles Center at the Children's Resource Center branch library welcomed award-winning singer and children's author José-Luis Orozco on February 19th. (You can see more photos of this program on the CRC's Flickr page.)
Here is Leonard Smith, III, owner of LS3 Studios, L.L.C. and producer of digital storytelling. Smith led a workshop on February 19 on how to document and electronically preserve family histories as well as how to digitize and create a mini-documentary of those histories.
Honoree Leona Tate speaks about her experience as a six-year-old girl desegregating a New Orleans Public School. The other three honorees were Ruby Bridges, Gail Etienne Stripling, and Tessie Prevost Williams. The Februrary 17 program focused on the integration of New Orleans Public schools from the past to the present with guest speakers Turry Flucker, Project Director of the Louisiana State Museum’s Center for Civil Rights and Justice as well as Dr. Roslyn Smith, Board Chair of the Treme Charter School Association.
Local resident Tim acted as a guest story teller for a group of local pre-K children at the King Branch Library on February 16th.
The 3rd grade students from St. Andrew's Episcopal School came in on February 15th for a Black History Month Program. Joy read stories focusing on the quest for freedom and then the kids made necklaces out of paper and beads.
Black History 2011 held its annual Paul Robeson Acting Competition on Saturday, February 12 in the Main Branch Library’s Auditorium. Photographed here are the ten contestants representing St. Augustine High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, L.B. Landry High School, and O. Perry Walker College and Career Preparatory High School. Judging the competition since its inception in 2000 were Carol Sutton, New Orleans-born professional film and theater actress; Chakula cha Jua of the Chakula cha Jua Theater Company; and Anthony Bean of the Anthony Bean Community Theater.
African Americans in Aviation, the fourth Black History 2011 program, took place at the Gentilly Branch Library on Thursday, February 10. Guests included Mr. Calvin Moret, a former Tuskegee Airman, and the first documented all African American Coast Guard flight crew (photographed here). Myrna Hutcherson portrayed Bessie Coleman, the first African American female pilot.
Local Lower 9th Ward artist Bruce Davenport Jr. spoke to a group of patrons and MLK School students about his art and his life as an artist during his art during his art opening at the King Branch Library on February 10th. Bruce has been showing his art worldwide this past year and is about to do an exhibit in Paris, France. His show at King will be on display through March 10th. The exhibit is entitled "Lafitte & Friends" and incorporates his art works and the art works of several of his friends.
Students from the International School of Louisiana visited the Periodicals/Young Adults and Louisiana Divisions on February 10 to research local topics for a class assignment.
Miss Laurence presented a wonderful story time at the King Branch Library on February 9th. She is seen here reading about duckies to a group of MLK School PreK students and local kids.
Audience members intently listen to Catherine Broussard and Michael Groetsch while Atty. Jan Beebe facilitates during Black History 2011‘s Violence Against Women Panel Discussion held at Latter Branch Library on Thursday, February 3. Broussard, Groetsch and Beebe work together in the city courts while Groetsch is the founder of the first court-based program in Louisiana to specialize in spousal abuse.
Kris Ford, King Branch Libary Page extraordinare, is pictured here doing an awesome dinosaur story time for a group of MLK Preschoolers. Miss Kris is hosting Tuesday & Thursday Story Times at King after Miss Leddy's departure.
Nancy Zehr, King Library Associate, held a wonderful Story Time on February 2nd. She read a very engaging mouse story to a group of MLK School Pre-K students. Miss Nancy has been hosting Wednesday Story Times at King since Miss Leddy's departure.
January 2011
The African American Resource Center hosted the Freedom Riders 1961 Traveling Exhibit from December 23, 2010 to January 28, 2011. An opening reception was held on Thursday, January 6 in the African American Resource Center on the second floor of the Main Library. Dodie Smith-Simmons, the reception’s guest speaker, was Secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality here in New Orleans when she was seventeen and a trainer in the nonviolent approach to protest for anyone who volunteered for the Freedom Rides. Smith-Simmons was also a tester traveling to bus stations when the Interstate Commerce Commission passed a ruling that interstate transportation had to be integrated.
Jerome Smith, one of the original Freedom Riders of the 1960s, was the guest speaker for the Black History 2011 program Freedom Riders – New Orleans’ Role, held on Thursday, January 20 at the African American Resource Center on the second floor of the Main Library.
The Keller Branch held a Black History storytime for a second-grade class from the Wilson Charter School on January 25.
Miss Leddy, the King Branch's beloved Page & Story Teller's last day at King was Friday, January 21st. King held a wild and fun going away party for Miss Leddy. Pictured here are Miss Leddy with King's staff, Henri from Alvar, volunteers, and the MLK School Art Teachers, with whom we often work very closely. A very special Story Time was also held for Miss Leddy as part of this celebration, performed by the MLK School's 2nd Grade class.
Clifton Faust, photographer, photojournalist, teacher, and portrait painter, presented his photographs and spoke about what influences his choice of subject matters at the monthly Alvar Arts program. He showed slides of his work including his latest exhibit, which opened January 14 at Dillard University. Titled “Too Soon”, the work is his response to the recent shooting deaths of beautiful young people in our city.
The New Orleans Public Library celebrated the Martin Luther King Holiday with an afternoon celebration that featured an inspirational keynote address by Dr. Doris Roché-Hicks, Principal and CEO of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology. The McDonogh 35 High School Choir performed hymns and spirituals at the celebration. The program took place on Thursday, January 13th and was the kick-off program for the library's Black History Celebration.
After a holiday hiatus, Nix has returned to it's monthly count the whatever contest. January 2011 was National Hot Tea Month and the jar was filled with tea bags. Little 5 1/2 year old Molly got it exact. She guessed 44 tea bags and as the winner she received a selection of fine teas. She's giving them to her parents.
Local Artist and resident, Bruce Davenport Jr., is the happy new proud pop of King's MASSIVE African Cichlid, Vlad the Impaler. In Vladdy's 1.5 years at the King Branch Library, his fishyness far outgrew our small 25 gallon tank. Mr. Davenport has adopted Vlad and is welcoming him with open arms into his gorgeous, spacious 90 gallon tank in his own home. Thank you Mr. Davenport!! We miss you Vladdy but know you have a wonderful new home!

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Updated 2/12/2012