• Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:37 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    The Frank L. Leggett Public Library is pleased to be a recipient of a Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund donation.

    Weyerhaeuser, an American timberland company which owns over 12,000,000 acres of timberlands in the U.S., made its first charitable donation in 1903 and has provided more than $239 million in grants through its formal giving program, established in 1948. Foundation giving is limited to areas where they have a significant presence, including communities where they have operations and/or where they own or manage forestlands in the United States and Canada. Weyerhaeuser’s Mississippi operating locations are in Bruce, Columbus, McComb, and Philadelphia, but they manage timber forestlands in Jefferson Davis County.

    Like many libraries during the pandemic, the Frank L. Leggett Public Library implemented safety protocols when re-opening to the public and utilized every resource to ensure a safe and healthy environment. CARES Act funds were used to provide shields and sanitizing products, but very old carpeting still presented a health hazard to patrons. Weyerhaeuser Funds, along with matching community donations and library funds, have been used to replace the carpeting with laminate flooring that can easily be cleaned and sanitized.

    The first library in Bassfield, MS, opened in 1973 and operated for 15 hours a week. The building currently housing the Library was constructed in 1976 and was renamed the Frank L. Leggett Public Library in honor of the service of long-time local physician (and library benefactor) Dr. Frank L. Leggett. Today, the Library is operated five days a week by two full-time staff and receives almost 10,000 public visits per year. In addition to a variety of materials for check-out (books, DVDs, audio-books, and e-books), the Library has six public access computers with free Internet and free Wi-Fi Internet. The Library offers an array of options for printing and document transferal needs and conducts programming year-round for children and families.

    Submitted by:

    Ryda Worthy

    Library Director

    South Mississippi Regional Library

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:29 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Photo by Beth Wynn

    Pictured: Former Rhode Island Chief Justice Frank J. Williams and his wife, Virginia, are pictured at Mississippi State’s Mitchell Memorial Library, home of the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana

    Former Rhode Island Chief Justice Frank J. Williams and his wife, Virginia, have established an endowed faculty chair dedicated to the study of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War at Mississippi State University.

    The Rhode Island couple gifted their collection of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War memorabilia, valued at nearly $3 million, to the university in 2017. Considered the nation’s largest privately owned holding of Lincoln research and display material, the Frank J. and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana has positioned MSU among the nation’s leading centers for study of the Civil War.

    Building on their previous support of the land-grant institution, the Williams’ most recent gift will further MSU’s ability to pioneer meaningful engagements and enhanced understandings regarding the social and political implications of the Civil War era. It also secures the first endowed faculty position to be housed within MSU Libraries.

    “The enduring support of Frank and Virginia Williams for Mississippi State University and the MSU Libraries is remarkable,” said Tommy Anderson, interim Dean of Libraries. “With this latest gift, Judge Williams and Virginia have ensured a legacy of incredible scholarship that will be felt at MSU for many years to come.”

    The Frank and Virginia Williams Chair for Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies position will be two-fold, with responsibilities in both the MSU Libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences’ African American Studies program. Although the duties in the two areas differ in function, they share a collective purpose for teaching and inspiring current and future generations on the importance of history in contemporary society.

    At Mitchell Memorial Library, the chair holder will manage the Williams Collection of Lincolniana and assist with the ongoing development of the Frank and Virginia Williams Lecture Series on Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies. In addition to facilitating smooth department operations including reference and description, collection development, acquisitions and accession, digitization, and storage and curatorial responsibilities related to the exhibits and engagements, the chair will serve as a liaison between the university and the public to promote and aid with accessibility to the valuable resources.

    The chair also will share a teaching load within the African American Studies program and develop courses within their academic area of specialty utilizing the Williams Collection. The program’s interdisciplinary methodology currently helps students explore the history and culture of African descended people to develop skills and sensitivities that will assist them with effective function and navigation in today’s global world. By incorporating studies from the Civil War era within the program, the chair can help students grow their understanding of significant historical events and perceptions that remain relevant.

    “Endowed chairs such as this are instrumental in both recruiting and retaining the most talented scholars. The African American Studies program, the U.S. Grant Presidential Library, and indeed the entire university community will benefit from the teaching and scholarship this endowment will help to facilitate,” said Don Shaffer, MSU director of African American Studies. “As our nation continues to grapple with a history of slavery, race and the Civil War, this endowed chair will provide scholars in the years to come with the tools and resources needed to explore the full complexity of our collective story.”

    Earnings from the endowment will be used to supplement the salary of the position, develop the Williams Lecture Series, process the existing collection, and provide for new acquisitions, as well as fund relevant travel and research grants to advance programming.

    “Faculty are the backbone of an educational institution, and this endowed chair is the perfect conduit to further appreciate this resource and educate more young people,” said Justice Williams. “I hope this chair and the collections assist in the continued healing of a divided country. As the collection grows and continues to be used as a resource both in and outside of the university, the chair holder will also be a paragon and leader for progress, understanding and healing among all future graduates of MSU—regardless of their career path—because Lincoln was a man for all people in all seasons.”

    The Williams Collection is housed in Mitchell Memorial Library and more than 100 items from the collection are showcased in a nearly 1,200-square-foot space designated as the gallery for the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana. The library is also home to the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, the Ulysses S. Grant Association, and the Congressional and Political Research Center.

    For more information on the collection or ways to support MSU Libraries, contact Trish Cunetto, director of development, at 662-325-6762 or tcunetto@foundation.msstate.edu. MSU is one of only six U.S. universities to house a presidential library. For more, visit www.usgrantlibrary.org.

    Submitted by:

    Stephen Cunetto

    Associate Dean of Libraries

    Mississippi State University Libraries

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:28 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    The South Mississippi Regional Library system is pleased to be a recipient of a Save the Children Community Engagement grant in the amount of $20,000.

    Founded in 1919, Save the Children works in over 100 countries to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. They currently serve almost 900 children in Marion County. The grant funds were awarded for community-wide initiatives that support Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd –Grade Proficiency in Reading and Math. “We have been partners with Save the Children for several years now. We were overjoyed to discover this new opportunity to serve our community,” states Library Director, Ryda Worthy.

    The grant enabled the Library to offer Summer Library programs to children ages 5 and older in Marion and Jefferson Davis counties, including: live and virtual events, free books, take home activity kits, and prizes for reading and participation. In addition to this grant, the Library also received a Gift-in-Kind donation from Save the Children of toys and books, valued at over $15,000. Jackie Miller, Library Supervisor in Jefferson Davis County, states, “We have had the best Summer Library Program in years and a lot of the reason is due to their [Save the Children] help. Their help came at a time when the children in our community needed it most. Because of COVID, [our local] schools only did virtual learning for a year, and I know the children have fallen behind. I believe this year’s SLP has helped to make up some of the lost time reading.”

    The other focus of the grant was a Kindergarten Readiness program. As part of this program, the Columbia-Marion County Public Library distributed 300 Kindergarten Readiness kits to families with children entering Kindergarten in the next two school years. Online coaching and additional free resources were available for the families to aid them in preparing their child for Kindergarten.

    The South Mississippi Regional Library, serving Marion and Jefferson Davis counties, with libraries located in Columbia, Bassfield, and Prentiss, provides resources and information for the educational and recreational needs of its customers. Founded in 1912, the Library has been offering a Summer Library Program for over 65 years. The system is supported by the cities of Columbia, Prentiss, Bassfield, and the Marion and Jeffer-son Davis Counties.

    Submitted by:

    Ryda Worthy

    Library Director

    South Mississippi Regional Library

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:26 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Three librarians at the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries were awarded a $33,000 grant from the Jimmy A. Payne Foundation in June 2021 to establish a three-month postgraduate fellowship for recent graduates of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Master of Library and Information Science program. The fellowship, poised to be the only one of its kind in the region, will provide newly degreed librarians with real-world experience as a professional librarian.

    The fellowship will provide experience working in an academic library’s research services unit. Fellows will work alongside faculty librarians to develop skills in providing specialized information literacy instruction, research consultations, and related services to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in programs across the university, as well as assisting members of the surrounding local community. Fellows will advance their analytical and critical thinking skills while building skills in customer service, communication, and collegiality. Fellows will develop “behind the scenes” knowledge with exposure to computer technology that is commonly used in academic libraries. The fellowship will be offered in spring for December graduates and in summer for May graduates.

    The grant application was submitted by Michele Frasier-Robinson (Associate Professor/Education and Human Sciences Librarian), Jamie Stanfield (Assistant Professor/Business and Health Librarian and Online Learning Coordinator), and Tisha Zelner (Associate Professor/Head of Public Services).

    The Jimmy A. Payne Foundation has also graciously awarded Digital Collections $50,000 to upgrade and purchase new digitization stations. This funding will purchase flatbed scanners, transparency lids, high-end computers, along with monitors and memory. This would allow the digital lab to rotate out the older equipment and increase our production quality as well as give students experience with the current hardware they are likely to encounter in the field. Digital Collections is grateful to the Jimmy A. Payne Foundation for their support and looking forward to what we can accomplish in the future.

    Submitted by:

    Tisha Zelner

    Head of Public Services

    University of Southern Mississippi

    Elizabeth La Beaud

    Digital Lab Manager

    University of Southern Mississippi

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:24 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Pass Christian Public Library is pleased to announce their 2021 One Book One Pass selection is Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Natasha Trethewey. Over the next several weeks, the community will be encouraged to read the book and engage in book discussions, panel discussions, and other programs that will culminate in the Author Presentation by Natasha Trethewey on Tuesday, October 12thth at 6:30 pm at the Randolph Center in Pass Christian (315 Clark Avenue).

    Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir is a chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy. Natasha Trethewey, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, is a Pulitzer Prize-winner who served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). In addition to the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (2020); she is the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010), a book of nonfiction ; and five collections of poetry including Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She is the recipient of many awards, fellowships and honors, including the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress. Ms. Trethewey teaches at Northwestern University where she is the Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

    Copies of Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir are available for check out at the Pass Christian Library or for purchase at Pass Christian Books. The author event with Natasha Trethewey is free and open to the public.

    Please call the library (228-452-4596) or email passchristianlibrary@gmail.com if you have any questions or need further information or visit https://www.facebook.com/One-Book-One-Pass-1039070059489155/ for more information!

    Submitted by:

    Wendy Allard

    Head Librarian

    Pass Christian Public Library

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:16 PM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    The Jackson-George Regional Library System has several new hires. Lauria Barton has been appointed as manager of the Vancleave Public Library, located at 12604 Highway 57. Lauria Barton takes the position after having served as Youth Services Assistant which she began in 2020. She earned her bachelor’s degree from William Carey University in 1990 and is currently working on her Master’s in Library Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Lauria has seven years teaching experience, including lead teacher at Grace Christian School in Pascagoula.

    Lynn Rainey has been selected to serve as branch manager of the Ina Thompson Moss Point Library, located at 4119 Bellview Street. Ms. Rainey, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, attended the University of Alabama for both her bachelor’s degree and her MLIS. She has worked in a number of very different libraries from the medical library at UA to cataloging at the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. Her was previously at Mobile Public Library, where she served as Teen Services, Programing, and Collection Librarian for the past five years. “I am very passionate about library services and being involved in the community both in the library and other community spaces. I look forward to what I can bring to the Ida Thompson Moss Point Branch patrons and how to elevate both the library and the community we serve,” said Lynn.

    George Broadus has been appointed as the the new branch manager of the East Central Public Library. The rural branch is located in the community of Hurley, about 25 miles north of Pascagoula, MS. Mr. Broadus took over the management duties of the East Central Public Library left vacant by a promotion given to former manager Ann Smith Rushing. Mr. Broadus started working for the Jackson-George Regional Library system in 2019, as a library page and was soon promoted to clerk. In 2020, he was promoted to First Assistant. He attended MS Gulf Coast Community College and later received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2015. Currently, George is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science at Southern Miss.

    Laura Thompson has been selected to serve as the manager of the Singing River Genealogy and Local History Library in Pascagoula. As manager, Laura will guide the library into the modern era of digitization and organization in an effort to offer increased access to all resources pertaining to the history of the community and service area. Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Psychology from the University of South Alabama in 2018. Soon after, she applied for and was accepted in the MLIS program at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is expected to graduate with a Masters in Archives Certification in late 2021. Laura previously worked at USA’s Marx Library and rekindled her love of libraries. In 2019, she began working at Biloxi Central Library as a clerk. While there, she aided the library by indexing collections in the local history department. Laura stated, “I look forward to working here at JGRLS. I am delighted to assist in creating a great digital collection and helping patrons discover their history!”

    For more information about the genealogy library, branch libraries or library services, visit www.jgrls.org. Find the Singing River Genealogy-Local History Library on Facebook @SingingRiverLibrary and @JacksonGeorgeLibrary for the library system.

    Submitted by:

    Rex Bridges

    PR & Marketing Manager

    Jackson-George Regional Library

  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021 8:36 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children’s Literature Collection is the first book-length project on the Collection. The book is comprised of scholarly essays written by children’s literature scholars in addition to over ninety full-color images taken from the collection.

    Edited by Carolyn J. Brown, Ellen Hunter Ruffin, and Eric L. Tribunella, the book examines the de Grummond Collection’s key subject areas which includes fairy tales, 19th Century periodicals, African American children’s literature, the Golden Age of illustrated books, and early books for children among others.  

    The book also includes the story of collection founder Lena Y. de Grummond and her arrival at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS in 1966. According to sources, Dr. de Grummond wanted her teaching to be “more than a textbook.” Wanting her students to fully experience the courses she taught led her to begin a children’s book collection. In addition to de Grummond's initial decision to request original materials from authors and illustrators, she also began building a library of children’s books and books about children’s books. Dr. de Grummond sought to not only provide more meaningful experiences in her classes and beyond, but also to provide opportunities for scholarly research. 

    Contributors to the book include Ann Mulloy Ashmore, Rudine Sims Bishop, Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Jennifer Brannock, Carolyn J. Brown, Ramona Caponegro, Lorinda Cohoon, Carol Edmonston, Paige Gray, Laura Hakala, Andrew Haley, Wm John Hare, Dee Jones, Allison Kaplan, Megan Norcia, Nathalie op de Beeck, Amy Pattee, Deborah Pope, Anita Silvey, Danielle Bishop Stoulig, Roger Sutton, Deborah D. Taylor, Laura Wasosicz, Alexandra Valint, Eric L. Tribunella, and Ellen Hunter Ruffin. 

    Published by University Press of Mississippi, the book's cover features original artwork from the Collection by Wendell Minor from Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue, a book written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor. For a more information or to purchase a copy of the book, please visit https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/A/A-de-Grummond-Primer 

    Submitted by: 

    Ellen Ruffin 
    Curator of de Grummond Collection, Associate Professor 
    McCain Library and Archives 
    University of Southern Mississippi 

  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021 8:35 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    The Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) recently named 12 public library systems as Star Libraries based on their statistics for fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019).  The library systems are separated into four categories by expenditures that they report on the annual Public Library Survey, required by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. MLC then compares libraries’ per capita rates in these four areas: 

    • Mississippi Measures – This is a combination of interlibrary loan use, statewide database use, number of registered users, and items withdrawn. 

    • Circulation per capita 

    • Total program attendance per capita 

    • Public Internet terminal uses per capita 

    Star Library status is decided by recognizing the three highest scoring libraries in each of the four expenditure categories. Star Library status is awarded to the following libraries for their FY19 statistics: 

    Under $300,000 

    • Noxubee County Public Library System 

    • Covington County Library System 

    • Pine Forest Regional Library System 

    $300,000 - $599,999 

    • Starkville-Oktibbeha County Public Library System 

    • Pearl River County Library System 

    • Sunflower County Library System 

    $600,000 - $999,999 

    • Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System 

    • Northeast Regional Library System 

    • Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library 

    $1,000,000 and above 

    • First Regional Library System 

    • Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System 

    • Jackson-George Regional Library System 

    This will be Sunflower County Library System's fourth time receiving Star Library Status, having received this award in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. 

    The winning libraries received a certificate and a digital Star Library badge to feature on their website.  For further information on Mississippi’s Star Library Star program, contact Lacy Ellinwood, MLC Library Development Director, at lellinwood@mlc.lib.ms.us.

    The Mississippi Library Commission supports innovative programs and initiatives to strengthen and enhance library services for all Mississippians.  The agency is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, with additional funding provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), offering leadership in library services, advocacy, and training for library professionals and paraprofessionals. 

    Submitted by: 

    Mary Ann Griffin 
    Sunflower County Library System 

  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021 8:32 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Beth Anderson, Administrative Assistant at Dixie Regional Library System, begins retirement at the end of June having dedicated 31 years to DRLS. Anderson first served as Pontotoc Branch Manager. During her five years as branch manager, she planned a variety of events from bedtime story times (complete with pajamas and stuffed animals!) to summer reading with tents and (pretend) campfires. Anderson recalls one particularly ambitious summer program where she hand-cranked snow cones for the entire group of summer reading program participants. She says family was integral during her time as branch manager – from her husband (AKA “friend of the librarian”) changing lightbulbs and fixing toilets to her mother portraying Mother Goose and manning the “make your own” sundae bar to her three sons growing up in the library - her days-old youngest child helping welcome Kindergarteners (including her oldest son) to the library during National Library Week. Promoted in 1995, her time as Administrative Assistant for the system has included juggling PERS, insurance, grant reporting, Dixie News newsletter (print & digital), payroll, accounts payable, procurement of summer library supplies for 8 branches as well as many other duties.  Anderson’s creativity, diligence, and care is a great asset, and she will be greatly missed.   

    Submitted by: 

    Emily Sutherland 
    Assistant Director 
    Dixie Regional Library System 

    Pictured: Anderson (left) and Sissy (Lyons) Bullock with John Grisham at the 1991 MLA Author Awards Dinner (photographer unknown)

  • Wednesday, June 02, 2021 8:30 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    DeeDee Baldwin, Assistant Professor and History Research Librarian at Mississippi State University Libraries, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) History Section’s Genealogy/History Achievement Award, sponsored by ProQuest. Baldwin received the award for her work on Against All Odds: The First Black Legislators in Mississippi in addition to her continued service to the library and archival communities, the American Library Association (ALA), Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), and RUSA’s History Section (HS). The award includes a citation and a monetary award to a librarian, library or publisher, in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service, or research librarianship. 

    Submitted by: 

    Stephen Cunetto 
    Associate Dean, University Libraries 
    Mississippi State University 



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