Award-winning reads

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:25pm

Gordon Parks by Carole Boston Weatherford

*Winner of the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children's Literary Work

Beautiful Book about a skilled photographer with a remarkable career. Many of his famous works documented the inequalities between black and white people.

"Weatherford writes in the present tense with intensity, carefully choosing words that concisely evoke the man. Parks' photography gave a powerful and memorable face to racism in America; this book gives him to young readers."

-Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015



Bearing The Cross by David J. Garrow

*Winner of The Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

Based on more than seven hundred interviews and FBI transcripts, the author delves deeply into the professional and private life of the legendary man we know as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

*Winner Of The Pulitzer Prize and winner of The National Book Award

Alice Walker was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. In this stellar novel that won her that honor,  she tells the story of Celie. She is a young black woman who has not known anything but suppression and violence most of her life. Celie manages to find her own strength and self-worth, despite what goes on around her.

The Color Purple is an American novel of permanent importance." —Newsweek

Harriet Tubman by Ann Petry (Juvenile Nonfiction)

*A New York Times Outstanding Book and an ALA Notable Book

Harriet Tubman was born a slave but she dreamed of a different life. Through hard work and diligence, she was able to escape to freedom. After reaching that dream, she decided that her own independence was not enough. Harriet became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, dedicating her life to helping others.

“Thrilling. A good read.” -Children's Literature

“An unusually well-written and moving life of the ‘Moses of her people.’’ -The Horn Book

Black Genius by Dick Russell

Personal, fascinating, in-depth portraits of black men and women who have lent their individual genius to American culture fill the pages of this book. Some of the individuals discussed here are well known such as Duke Ellington, Alvin Ailley, Toni Morrison and Frederick Douglass. Others that are mentioned are not as famous. All of them are amazing in their own way.

Never In My Wildest Dreams by Belva Davis

Belva Davis had a difficult life growing up and never attended college, but she was still a great success. She became the first black female anchorwoman on the west coast of the United States. She interviewed Martin Luther King Jr., James Brown, and Michael Jackson among others. Hers is a story well worth knowing.

 Never in My Wildest Dreams is a very important book. No people can say they understand the times in which they have lived unless they have read this book.” — Dr. Maya Angelou

“Belva Davis has lived this country’s history as only a brave black woman could and has witnessed it as a journalist with a world-class head and heart. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to read her words in Never in My Wildest Dreams without becoming a better and braver person.” — Gloria Steinem

Just 4 Ray LaMontagne FANS

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 8:08am

The last record by Grammy winning folk artist Ray LaMontagne was 'Supernova' in 2014. It reached #1 on rock music charts and #2 on album charts spanning all genres only 12 hours after it was released. The album received praise from The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone. Mr. LaMontagne is coming out with a new album this year entitled "Ouroboros". He has just shared the lead song entitled "Hey, No Pressure".

According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the artist says the song is about "watching someone dear to him buckle under the weight of their responsibilities." The artist wrote in his song "anything you want your life to mean, it can mean".NPR states that the tune is "a new song and a new sound" for this musician. says the track is "electrifying".  

Music from Ray LaMontagne, including the brand new Hey, No Pressure is available on the Freegal site.

New Year, New You

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 8:27am


Want to enrich your life in 2016? Use your local public library more often! Here are a few ways from Hoopla that will help you get that NEW YOU!


Reading eMagz just got easier

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 8:13am
To kick off the New Year, we are pleased to announce major enhancements to Zinio’s mobile apps. Effective now, users may check out magazines from within the mobile app and set preferences to auto-download magazines and queue multiple magazines for batch downloading.
iOS iPhone and iPad App Enhancements 
* Direct links to your local library to check out new magazines
* Download preferences for automatically downloading checkouts or queuing up multiple magazines for batch downloading
* Enhancements to storage management, including display of file size on devices
* Bug fixes for sorting
Android App Enhancements 
* Direct links to your local library to check out new magazines
* Offline reading on Kindle
* Bug fixes for Kindle’s help section
Extras include:
Users may read their checked-out magazines immediately in the online Zinio Reader for desktop and mobile devices. 
Available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire: Log in to the app using the same email and password used to check out magazines. After downloading, magazines may be read offline.
Back issues of their favorite magazines are also available.
Users may opt-in to magazine-specific email reminders for when new issues become available.

Can't get enough of Downton Abbey? Try these eBooks.

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 2:36pm

PBS' Downton Abbey is one of the most honored shows on television. It has won 11 Emmy Awards, 3 Golden Globes, and 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Per the PBS website, it is also the most watched series in their 44 year history. Unfortunately, it is in the midst of it's final season. As luck would have it, there are many books about the program and those with a similar theme as the series:


To Marry An English Lord by Gail MacColl

In an interview with The New York Times, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes stated he was reading this book when he got the idea for the series. It is the delicious tale of post-Civil War American Heiresses who crossed the ocean looking for the high society offered by British Royalty. 

"..delightful...dishing up spicy gossip, pithy social also includes witty profiles of American leading ladies and their British Lords.-Publisher's Weekly


The Real Life of Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams

While giving references to the program, this book gives excellent, in depth background as to what real life was like for the 19th century men and women characterized on Downton Abbey. It also makes fascinating points about which parts of the show were historically accurate and what was fiction. The answers might surprise you.


Splendour and Squalor by Marcus Scriven

The remarkable journey of three noble families is shared in fascinating detail. Set during the Edwardian period, the men and women in this story would seem to have it all if you were an outsider looking in. Once the truth is revealed, readers learn that is not the case.

"...a thoroughly researched work-a masterpiece. A work that will both entertain and appall you AND have you learning things. Quite a lot of things." -An reader review


The Great Estate by Sherri Browning

Also taking place in the same era as Downton Abbey, this is the story of the Countess of Averford. She loves her husband, but he is much too involved with other matters to pay her much attention. She finds herself in the arms of another man but immediately regrets it. She decides that she wants to put the passion back in her marriage. 

'Browning excels at developing the setting and at conveying  the genteel, charming nature of her characters and their interactions..." -Publisher's Weekly

Book a Librarian

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 2:19pm

Book a Librarian Now Offered at Central Library

Patrons who need help with an electronic device, website, or app, but can’t find the time to take a class can now schedule an appointment with a Librarian at Central Library to get one on one help!

Patrons interested in the service are asked to stop by the Help Desk at Central Library, located at 301 W. Claude St. (corner of Ernest and W. Claude) in Lake Charles and fill out a form or call the library at 721-7116 to set up an appointment.

The service is free of charge and open to all members of the public. Patrons are asked to please know all passwords for any accounts or services that they will be asking for help with.

“Many of our computer classes fill up quickly, so now our patrons can still receive the help they need on a one on one basis,” said Christy Comeaux, Public Information Officer for the library. “It’s a great service for those with busy schedules, or those who may be reluctant to come in for a class. And too, it’s always great to sit down with one of our librarians and get the help you need in a slow and comfortable pace.”

For more information about the program, please call Central Library at 721-7116.

Rebel, Rebel Reader

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:29am

I was born in 1981 and my introduction to Grammy winning recording artist David Bowie was not through the numerous studio albums he had already produced by that point but was actually courtesy of the 1986 Jim Henson film Labyrinth which, like any good child of the ’80s, I was completely obsessed with. Later, as I moved through the tenuous time of angsty young adulthood into actual adulthood, I discovered the full range and depth of his music and fully jumped on the Bowie bandwagon.

Today I am all full of the feels.

I also have a suspicion I am not the only one but luckily we can all relive the life and loves of the man behind the music thanks to OverDrive’s offerings.

OverDrive’s selection of Bowie biographies include David Buckley’s Strange Fascination, Sean Egan’s Bowie on Bowie, and Bowie: The Biography by Wendy Leigh. Many of our international library partners also get The Man Who Sold the World by Peter Dogget and When Ziggy Played Guitar by Dylan Jones. For those libraries that have streaming video, I would also recommend adding David Bowie: Origins of a Starman to your collections.

When not in the recording studio, David Bowie was a voracious reader with an eclectic taste in books that rivals his personal discography. Some of his favorites include the iconic A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, the Pulitzer Prize winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens, The Outsider by Colin Wilson, Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg.

He was also a fan of many books that are considered literature cannon, including George Orwell’s 1984, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Homer’s The Iliad, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

For Ziggy Stardust’s sake, here’s hoping that there’s not just life on Mars but a library, too.

written by Adam Sockel, Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive


Explore the world of David Bowie here!

Find additional music from Freegal, music/movies/eBooks/audiobooks/comics from Hoopla, and eBooks from Freading


ALA 2016 youth media award winners

Mon, 01/11/2016 - 11:56am

The American Library Association has announced its top books, video and audio books for children and young adults. A list of all the 2016 award winners follows:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, written by Lindsay Mattick.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: Gone Crazy in Alabama, written by Rita Williams-Garcia.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author AwardHoodoo, written by Ronald L. Smith.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator AwardVoice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime AchievementJerry Pinkney is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Here's a list of his work.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: Bone Gap, written by Laura Ruby.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video: Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producer of “That Is NOT a Good Idea,” is the Carnegie Medal winner.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2016 winner is Jerry Pinkney. Here's a list of his work.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults: David Levithan is the 2016 Edwards Award winner. Here's a list of his work.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. Jacqueline Woodson will deliver the 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming.” Here's a list of her work. 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States: “The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy”.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: The War that Saved My Life, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:“The Drum Dream Girl,” written by Margarita Engle.

Pura Belpré (Author) AwardEnchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir, written by Margarita Engle

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience: George, written by Alex Gino and The Porcupine of Truth, written by Bill Konigsberg.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book: Don’t Throw It to Mo!, written by David A. Adler. 

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, written by Becky Albertalli.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, written by Steve Sheinkin.

Visit this page for a description of each winning category.

New eMag titles from the Library

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:10am

Did you know that you have access to the largest newsstand? It's FREE and all you need is your library card.  

Browse from your library's collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download.

Easy browsing — Browse your library's collection of titles one at a time, search for your favorite magazines by title or use the convenient category feature to find new magazines which meet your interests.

Current Issues — The latest issues are released simultaneously with the print edition are ready for immediate checkout.

Back Issues – Miss the new issue? You can easily browse the magazine detail page to find the previous issue you are need to check out

Manage your collection — with a library collection account and a personal reading account.

No limits — Check out as many issues as you want and keep them. 

Check out the magazines you want (with the library collection account) in your computer/tablet browser; and stream the magazine instantly (with your personal reading account) on your computer (both PC and Mac) browser or access the checked out magazines on a portable media device for download/offline reading.

(Note: viewing options, including the ability to download or view the content while online, may differ based on the device and/or magazine publisher).

Categories include: children, sports, business, entertainment, outdoors, men, women and so much more.

Here's an example list of the newest titles just recently added.

  • Allrecipes, Smart Photography, Writer's Digest ,The Artist's Magazine, Muscle Car Review, Classic Trucks, Motorcycle, Classic Driver, Leisure Boating magazine, Southern Boating, Brides, ForbesLifeInc. Magazine, FamilyFun, Cricket, Ladybug, Muse, Spider, Gadgets & Gizmos, Maximum PC, MacLife, PC Gamer (US Edition), Craftwise, Creative Beading Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Flyfishing, TV Guide Magazine, Popular Woodworking, Smart Parenting, Cook's Illustrated, Cooking with Paula Deen, Louisiana Cookin', Taste of the South, Men's Muscle & Health, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Fit & Well, Civil War Times, Military History, Wild West, World War II, Stitches, Knives Illustrated, Gun World, Homestyle, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV Magazine, Birds & Blooms,Dr.Oz The Good Life, Deer & Deer Hunting, Saltwater Sportsman, Muscle & Fitness, Motorcyle Trader, Bow and Arrow Hunting, Modern Pioneer, Pets Magazine, Sports Afield, Teen Vogue, and Southern Lady.


Start browsing today!

NOTE: Are you new to accessing eMagazines from the library? Get the scoop.


A New Look and New Books for TumbleBook Premium

Wed, 01/06/2016 - 2:37pm

TumbleBooks is pleased to announce the launch of our new TumbleBookLibrary interface that comes with many new books and great new features!!

When you choose a book, you will now see a "You may also like" feature on the bottom of the page.

While we have always had a quiz to accompany every book, we now offer an audio quiz for each title too (they are being uploaded within the next week!)

We've updated the TumbleSearch feature, which now has 8 fields to choose from! In addition to searching by Title, Author, and Reading Levels (like AR and Lexile), you can also search by Subject, Genre, Language, and TumbleTime! Plus, our brand new "Auto-Complete" code compensates for typos and spelling mistakes! It's never been easier to find the exact book you are looking for!

Coming in the next couple months is an awesome collection of award winning novels from HarperCollins! Judy Bloom's "Ramona Quimby, Age 8", and "Ramona Forever"! Neil Gaiman's "Fortunately, The Milk," and "Coraline" (Graphic Novel)! We're also thrilled to announce that "Ella Enchanted", "The Year of Billy Miller", "Surviving the Applewhites", and "One and Only Ivan" are also on the way.

Access to your subscription - by computer, laptop, iPad, or other mobile devices - remains the same! And, as always, you can switch back and forth between the English, French, Spanish, and Mobile sites using the drop down menu on the top right hand corner of the page.

Happy Tumbling and Happy New Year! 

Syndicate content