Learn and Play programs offer free sessions for families | Entertainment/Life

The West Bank Book Club will meet at 4 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive, to discuss “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward.

The book is described as a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina and as a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal and restrictive realities of rural poverty.

Ward, a professor of creative writing at Tulane University, is a two-time National Book Award winner for “Bones” in 2011 and for “Sing, Unburied, Sing” in 2017.

She recently won the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, the youngest author to do so.

The book club meets the first Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted. New members are welcome.

In February, the group will read “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus.

Email Simon Hand at shand@nolalibrary.org for information.

DIGITAL FOR SENIORS: Finding a new computer can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

The New Orleans Public Library has partnered with the AARP Foundation, Older Adults Technology Services and the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library to present Digital Skills for Seniors 50+, a workshop series running through 2023. January’s topic is all about buying your next computer .

Participants will learn where to start, what brands are most reliable, how much to budget, and what technical specifications to look for. It also covers operating systems and alternatives to traditional computers such as tablets and Chromebooks.

  • Jan. 5, 1 p.m at Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, 4300 S Broad St.
  • Jan. 9, 2 p.m at East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd.
  • Jan. 19, 11 a.m at Norman Mayer Library, 3001 Gentilly Blvd.
  • Jan. 26, 11 am at Nora Navra Library, 1902 St. Bernard Ave.

MLK CELEBRATION: The library will host its annual Remember, Celebrate, Act: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at the Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave.

The two-hour event’s theme is “Freedom Song.” Lecturer, publisher and writer Janis Kearney, author of “Only on Sunday: Mahalia Jackson’s Long Journey,” will share Mahalia Jackson’s story as a New Orleans native and her influence on King and the civil rights movement.

Local artists will perform some of Jackson’s songs, as well as other entertainment related to King’s legacy.

Remember, Celebrate, Act is free and open to the public.

The program is sponsored by Capital One Bank and the Friends of New Orleans Public Library, and presented in partnership with the city of New Orleans Martin Luther King Jr. Day Planning Commission.

ART SMARTS: Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are invited to the New Orleans Public Library’s newest weekly program. Art Smarts is a fun and free opportunity for kids to enjoy making art, learning about important artists throughout history, and hanging out with their peers.

To join, drop by Mid-City Library, 4140 Canal St., every Thursday at 4 pm and Robert E. Smith Library, 6301 Canal Blvd., on Tuesdays.

JOB HELP: Sessions by JOB1 Business and Career Solutions are offered at New Orleans Libraries. The organization offers a variety of workforce development services, with a primary focus of connecting job seekers with temporary jobs that pay at least $16/hour, work readiness training, work experience opportunities, and training and certification programs.

These services are offered for free and are federally funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Visit job1nola.org for information or go to neworleans.libnet.info for a schedule.

Janet Legros is the director of marketing and communications for the New Orleans Public Library.

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