The Progressive’s Lifestyle in New Orleans: A Day at the Library


There is so much going on in NOLA on any given weekend that it can seem nearly impossible to decide what to do. This is the sixteenth edition of a weekly series (formerly titled “things to do“) in which we here at Big Easy Magazine give suggestions on meaningful ways to spend a day, evening or afternoon in our beloved city that tie in with progressive values. So let’s begin! What’s a good way to spend a weekend in New Orleans, or more specifically, what’s a great way to use your time this weekend in this beautiful city of ours? No matter what part of the city you might find yourself in, make sure to visit, support and enjoy the many services offered at one of New Orleans’ public libraries!

If you read this piece and find that I’ve left something out, or have thoughts or suggestions on how to best use our public libraries resources; please chip in!  Leave your thoughts and your favorite New Orleans Library Branch in the comments below!

Libraries are places wherein progressive values are lived out (and often born for that matter, since these values are born of education). Equality and education find their home in the public library systems in our nation. Whether for adults or children, public libraries are the great equalizer. With fifteen locations, the New Orleans library system is an essential resource for the residents of the Orleans parish.  I won’t list all fifteen locations here, but instead, will touch on a few that I’m familiar with through my living in the city!  For a full list be sure to visit the New Orleans library webpage!

The first branch that I’m going to mention is perhaps one of the most well known, both because of its architecture and the subsequent use of that architecture by film location scouts.  This is the Milton H. Latter branch of the New Orleans library system.  Located at 5120 St. Charles Ave.  The Milton H. Latter branch is located in a beautiful two story early 20th century (1907 to be exact) mansion.  With a large computer lab, great reading rooms, and an impressive book selection, this branch is a must for all those who love libraries.  Steps from the Streetcar line, checking out the Milton H. Latter branch of our library system can be built into any day’s activities.  It is open seven days  a week!

The next branch I will mention is a smaller, but still beautiful and useful, branch of the New Orleans public Library system.  Located at 1401 S. Carrolton Avenue, the Nix branch is a single story library that is essentially a large room.  Even though it is a single, giant room, Nix offers all of the essentials in computer, printing and copying services, as well as a decent sized selection of books, audiobooks and dvds.  Steps away from the South Carrolton streetcar line and open every day but Sunday, this branch is also an easy edition to any day.

The final branch that I’ll mention, for the purposes of this brief piece, is the Mid City Branch.  At 4140 Canal Street, this branch offers not only a wide selection of books and the usual, but also has a seed library!  This means that children and adults alike who live in New Orleans parish need only to get a library card (for no fee of course, it’s built into the taxes we pay) in order to access the vast seed library at the Mid-City branch.  The library system in our city not only gives us the tools to learn through books, but the tools to better take care of our bodies and minds through growing our own food!

No matter where in the city you live, the New Orleans public library website allows you to pick up books, dvds and audiobooks from any of its locations through the location closest to you!  If you live in Algiers point and you want a book from the Main library branch but don’t feel like driving across the river, you can simply have the Main library mail it (usually within a matter of 2 days) to the branch easiest for you to get to!  This vital resource has helped my lazy self actually make proper use of our library system’s full catalogue.  I highly recommend it!  Be sure to check out the New Orleans public library’s events page for a variety of upcoming educational and fun events that every person of every age can benefit from!

No matter what you end up doing this weekend, regardless of which branch of our vast and wonderful library system you decide to check out, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Be kind! Be New Orleans! Also, make sure you take the time to check out our larger and more detailed piece on New Orleans’ public libraries that we published in our September edition a couple weeks ago!  There you can learn more about the services and experiences our libraries have waiting for you!

If you have any additional suggestions or thoughts on which library branch is best, please comment! If you just have thoughts on living and working in this city that you want to share, feel free to contribute to our blog! Lastly, don’t forget to check out the events section on our website for many other good ideas on how to get the most out of your weekend.

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