Saturday, May 18, 2024

At The Library: This Week Will Knock Your Socks Off

by BPT Staff
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This week, I couldn’t pick just one topic so I’ve decided to, once again, feature a few random holidays. So, this week I have fun facts about socks, cupcakes, and alphabet magnets!

Andrea Gilmer, MLIS Community Engagement Librarian Bossier Parish Libraries

Kicking off with socks (see what I did there?) we celebrate No Socks Day on May 8th. This quirky little celebration was started by Ruth and Thomas Roy in a bid to “set feet free and bring them into contact with the earth” for a day. Before we get to celebrating going barefoot, I have to talk about the long history of socks, which have been around since about 8th century B.C. In Ancient Greece, socks were made from matted animal hair, which just sounds itchy; apparently toe socks weren’t just an early-2000’s fad because a pair of socks discovered in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, dating back to about 300-500 A.D., were designed with splits between the toes to be worn with sandals. With William Lee’s invention of the knitting machine in 1589 socks became more popular and more affordable for everyone. But since it’s May in Louisiana, I think we can give socks a pass for a day while we enjoy the feel of the grass, dangle our feet in the water, or simply walk around our homes barefoot.

While walking around doing toe curls, or stretches, enjoying the barefoot life, why not also celebrate National Give Someone a Cupcake Day? Also celebrated on May 8, share a cupcake with family, friends, coworkers, or anyone you think could use a cupcake! The history of cupcakes is a bit vague, but there seems to be a general consensus that the name comes from small cakes that were baked in cups since muffin tins as we have them today weren’t available; the original recipe might date back to the 18th century when small pound cakes, also called “Queen Cakes” were popular. The first published recipe for “a light cake to bake in small cups” was by Amelia Simmons who included it in her cookbook in 1796, but the first use of the term “cupcake” seems to have originated with Eliza Leslie in 1828.

Now, as you walk barefoot and eating a cupcake, pause by a magnetic surface (if your refrigerator is still magnetic, this would be a great place) and break out the alphabet magnets! Really have some fun with this classic and arrange them in a favorite quote, play a game with a friend trying to make as many words as you can, write a poem, or quote song lyrics. This origin story is also a bit vague, but apparently magnetic letters were used by the space industry in the 1960s for tracking and charting. Fisher-Price commercialized these classics in the 1970s, but since then they’ve been produced in a variety of designs by multiple companies. Alphabet Magnet Day is the newest holiday we’re celebrating this week, having only been established in 2022 by Ashley and Paul Jankowski, the founders of The Type Set Company.

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New Library Hours:

  • Central/History Center
    • Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 8:00pm
    • Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
    • Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Benton
    • Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 7:00pm
    • Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
    • Saturday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Haughton
    • Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
    • Saturday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Aulds/East 80/Plain Dealing/Tooke
    • Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Library Locations:

  • Aulds Branch


  • Benton Branch


  • Central Library


  • East 80 Branch


  • Haughton Branch


  • History Center


  • Plain Dealing Branch


  • Tooke Branch


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