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We’re pleased to highlight a new addition to our Digital Library: PressDisplay, an online newspaper database that offers instant access to over 3,000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries in 60 languages! There’s no special software required or downloading involved. Simply search for a publication by title, country, or language, and you can skip right to your favorite section (Front Page, Entertainment, Sports, you name it). You can then read the articles in full color on your computer or even download, print, or email them as desired. PressDisplay is available from any computer with your library card, so click here and start exploring news from around the world today.

Check out our YouTube video highlighting PressDisplay here: 


Amateur Radio License Classes at Main Library

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Ham Radio, also known as Amateur Radio, is a popular hobby and a service which licensed participants operate communications equipment, with a deep appreciation of the radio art. Now you can join this hobby of 700,000 U.S. Ham Radio operators in a 12-week course (1 night per week) conducted by the Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club (BRARC).2015-02-07 08_41_58-Tech Class Flyer  - Feb2015.pdf - Adobe Reader

Morse code is no longer a requirement for the FCC license, but still very popular. Several other modern communications modes including voice, data, and television are used today. Satellites, the internet, and radios are all part of the hobby now. Join the fabulous, fun hobby of Amateur Radio by registering for a class today.

Technician Class License
Level I Course: This is the entry-level course designed for anyone with an interest in communicating, learning operating procedures, and new technology. No pre-requisites are required. The course covers operating and communicating with hams, licensing r2015-02-07 08_41_11-Tech Class Flyer  - Feb2015.pdf - Adobe Readeregulations, radio safety, and the very basic fundamentals of radio and electronics. The course concludes with the 35-question multiple-choice FCC exam. Experienced Amateur Radio Class instructors conduct the classes and the testing.

The class starts this Thursday, February 12, and runs every Thursday through April 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Main Library at Goodwood (7711 Goodwood Blvd, 70806)
There is no cost for the class, but it is recommended you obtain the class text, Technician Class 2014-2018 by Gordon West, WB6NOA. It can be obtained from BRARC (contacts below) or at No preregistration required. For more information, contact Buddy Brown, N5BUD at 225.573.2111 or or Jon Reise, WA9JBR 225.388.5776.

Open Data BR Launches

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Digital Initiative Opens Public Access to City-Parish Data
Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden announced this week the launch of his new Open Data BR initiative, a state-of-the-art digital platform that will dramatically improve how the City-Parish approaches data management and digital engagement. Open Data BR – publicly accessible and downloadable today at – is the first in a series of key digital initiatives highlighted in Mayor Holden’s recent State of the City address to provide a more transparent and accessible City-Parish government. “The launch of Open Data BR is a critical step toward growing a strong, vibrant digital economy here in Baton Rouge,” Mayor Holden said. “We believe this initiative will truly revolutionize how the public interacts with our City-Parish data.”


Previously, much of the data was kept in information silos within separate agencies, where public access was limited. The new initiative represents a targeted effort by all of the City-Parish departments to work together, reduce those data silos and embrace technology as a tool to make government more efficient, effective and accessible.

The first phase of the Open Data initiative, available today, includes data sets such as fire and police data, employee salaries and detailed property information. Additional data sets will be added to the platform while existing ones will be maintained and updated. “Our eventual goal is to create an open government at all levels by publishing each and every City-Parish data point that may be of public interest,” Mayor Holden said. The Open Data BR initiative, led by the Mayor’s Department of Information Services, also follows the recommendations in IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge Grant last year.

“When IBM sent in its team of experts to study Baton Rouge and recommend how to improve our internal operations, one of the main points they kept going back to was data – both improving how we manage our data and how we then support the public’s interaction with it,” said Interim Information Services Director Eric Romero. “While we were already working on this effort, IBM’s recommendations served as validation that we were on the right track.”

Over the past year, Romero and his staff studied a number of other cities that are leaders in the “open data” movement, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Raleigh.  In many instances, software developers in these areas have used this new level of access to data to produce applications with a civic or public-sector focus.

“We believe this initiative will serve as a catalyst to engage the software development community to leverage our data – provided at no cost to the public – and work with us to develop technology-based solutions to public-sector problems,” said Romero.

In other cities, developers have utilized data from a number of public sources such as new building permits and new business licenses to build websites that are useful for new residents or new businesses.  Other applications use city data to track which streets have been cleared of snow during major snow events. In Baton Rouge, similar technology could be used during emergency situations such as heavy rain, icy road conditions and hurricanes, when knowing the real-time availability of key roadways can mean the difference between life and death.


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Want to start the new year off right by learning something new? We’ve got you covered! A great recent addition to our Digital Library is Pronunciator, a language learning database, featuring 80 language courses, along with English as a Second Language courses and tools. You can access it with your library card from any computer or download the mobile app for iOS or Android and use it on the go! Pronunciator has a wide variety of language learning exercises including quizzes, music, radio, and movies. You can take self-paced courses or sign up for structured 8-week courses. Check it out on our Digital Library page today!


Mergent Online

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We have a new business database to tell you about! Mergent Online offers in-depth company and financial information. You can also find industry reports, executive profiles, corporate family trees, historical data, all with the option to generate customized reports.

Access to Mergent Online is available 24/7 in the Digital Library with your library card.