Carol Langston, Ph.D., director of College Guidance at Metairie Park Country Day School, will discuss the importance of college essays, résumés and interviews at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., in Metairie.

Langston says that while grades, courses and standardized test scores will always be the most significant factors in the admissions process, other parts of the application, and especially the essays, can sometimes be the difference between acceptance and denial.

“It is important for the student to view the essays not as an obstacle to fear but rather as an opportunity to speak directly with the admissions committee,” she said.

“The student needs to view the essay as a means of selling oneself. ... This is a time to flaunt talents and accomplishments. However, be very careful not to do so in a self-serving, pompous way. The essay portion is the only part of the application where the student has complete control, so take advantage of it and express individuality,” she said.

Langston will discuss the elements that make an essay a valuable tool in the admissions process. She also will discuss how to create an effective résumé and how to make the interview a positive part of the applications process.

Langston has more than 30 years of college counseling experience at Metairie Park Country Day School; she is also the owner of Langston Educational Consulting. She has served as a College Board essay consultant and has authored a chapter in a college counseling textbook that is used to certify counselors as college counselors.

STAYING SAFE AND SOUND: Deputy Kent Wolkart, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, will discuss strategies and techniques to improve one’s safety at home, in the car or away from one’s house at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at the East Bank Regional Library.

EMBRACING DEATH: Mary LaCoste, author of a new book titled “Death Embraced: New Orleans Tombs and Burial Customs,” will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at the East Bank Regional Library. LaCoste will discuss the following historical points:

New Orleans reverted to Spanish rule in the 1760s and the Spanish, not the French, began above-ground burial in New Orleans before the Louisiana Purchase.

All of the graves in the old Jewish cemeteries at the end of Canal Street are below ground, as are about half the graves in the St. Patrick cemeteries there.

Human bodies are 60 percent water, and wooden coffins allow for evaporation and natural decomposition. It is natural decomposition that makes multiple burials work in a single tomb.

LaCoste has served as a teacher, principal and university instructor. She holds a doctoral degree in education from the University of New Orleans.

BASICS OF HOME BUYING: The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America will conduct a home buyers seminar at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the East Bank Regional Library. NACA is a nonprofit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership.

PUBLISHING WITH SMALL PRESSES: “To Sell or Not to Sell, That Is the Question — the Pros and Cons of Publishing with a Small Press,” a panel discussion sponsored by the Southeastern Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, will occur at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the East Bank Regional Library. The panel discussion will be led by Liah Penn, an award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels in the Ina Stone and Sam Fujimoto mystery series. The other panelists are local authors Farrah Rochon, Dawn Chartier and Ann B. Cantrell.

GARDENING OUTREACH: The LSU AgCenter will conduct a community forum to determine the needs of the public at the monthly meeting of the Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at the East Bank Regional Library. Lee Rouse, agent for Orleans Parish, and Sarah Everhart, agent for Jefferson Parish, will be present at the meeting titled “Advisory Leadership Council.” During the meeting, Rouse and Everhart will talk about the services offered by the AgCenter. The purpose of the meeting is to determine which new programs resident gardeners would find valuable.

EAT HEALTHY SEMINAR AT LAKESHORE: Karen Walker, nutrition agent with the Jefferson Parish office of the LSU AgCenter, kicks off a series of six sessions about the importance of good nutrition at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Lakeshore Branch Library, 1000 Esplanade Ave., Metairie. This lesson is “Making Half of Your Grains Whole Grains.” The food demonstration involves making “Quinoa and Vegetable Stir Fry.”

All programs at the library are free and open to the public. For information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, visit http://www.jplibrary.net/ or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.