Jane Smith

02 Feb 2016 1:12 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Miss Jane Smith. 

Mary Jane Smith, 69, passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. A private graveside service will be held by the family.

Miss Smith was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in Pulaski County. She was a longtime resident of Jackson, retiring as Assistant Director of the Mississippi Library Commission after 40+ years of loyal service. Miss Smith enjoyed needlepoint, cross stitch and reading. Reading was her life, giving her great joy. She was a loving sister, friend to many, a woman of her word and someone you could always count on.

Miss Smith started at MLC as a Library Consultant March 1, 1980. She held a variety of positions and titles in the thirty years she worked there, including Library Consultant Supervisor, Acting Assistant Director for Library Development, Assistant Director for Library Development, Deputy Director, Director of Public Services, and Acting Director of the Mississippi Library Commission. (She held this last position not once, but twice.) Jane was also the 2006 MLA Peggy May Award winner.

In 1992, she was key in securing $10 million in bond funding for public libraries. This was the first time the Mississippi Legislature had approved such funding for public libraries. It led to 100 new and newly renovated public library buildings in the state.

Miss Smith was the person who contacted Senator Gray Ferris about developing a statewide collection of databases for use by public libraries. Ferris thought it was a great idea that academic, public, and school libraries joined forces to get legislative support. The end result was MAGNOLIA, which is still in use today. Other states followed Jane's and Mississippi's lead and began offering statewide access to databases.

MLC Executive Director Susan Cassagne said, "She was a presence. She was always fair and ready to listen. She was an integral part of the MLC family for many years; she will be missed. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers."

Photo taken from MLC Reference Blog

Jane Smith (left) with Sharman Smith (right)



MLA's mission is to provide professional leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

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Phone: 601-981-4586


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