• 14 May 2016 12:01 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    The Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) hosted “Library Day” at the Mississippi State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.  The event was held on the First Floor Rotunda from 11:00am to 2:00pm.  There were costumed characters from some classic children’s books, demonstrations of 3-D printers, and many other exciting things showcasing what is going on in today’s libraries.  Representatives from the Mississippi Library Association (MLA) and Friends of the Mississippi Libraries, Inc. joined MLC to share the news from the libraries in their communities.

    This event provided an opportunity for MLC and its supporters to talk with state lawmakers about the value of libraries in their communities and how libraries enhance and strengthen the state.  For those who were unable to attend the event, a note or call to lawmakers is encouraged.  For more information about “Library Day” or about advocating for libraries, contact MLC at 601-432-4111.

    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

    Susan Liles

    Public Relations Director

    Mississippi Library Commission

  • 14 May 2016 12:00 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    The University of Mississippi recently acquired a particularly rare copy of a 1632 second folio edition of the collected works of William Shakespeare. Originally owned by one of the most famous Shakespearean actors in history, Edwin Booth, this significant volume is now a permanent part of the University of Mississippi’s collections. It is currently on display in the Department of Archives & Special Collections.

    Submitted by

    Jennifer Ford

    Head of Archives and Special Collections and Associate Professor

    J.D. Williams Library

    University of Mississippi

  • 14 May 2016 11:56 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    MaxxSouth Broadband — a provider of high-speed Internet, cable TV and phone services in northern Mississippi – and its owner John Robinson Block donated a rare collection of early Mississippi law books to the MSU Libraries in February and subsequently pledged an in-kind gift valued at $750,000. The gifts are part of the company’s Community First program, designed to deliver on the company’s mission to give back and support its communities in ways that enhance their quality of life.

    The impetus for the in-kind gift was the generous February donation of a major collection of rare, early Mississippi law books to the MSU Libraries Special Collections Department by John Robinson Block, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade, which, like MaxxSouth, are subsidiaries of Block Communications. Mr. Block’s donation to MSU Libraries opened the door to further conversations about MaxxSouth support.

    The collection of 19th-century Mississippi territorial and state session laws were printed between 1801 and 1898. The collection includes the first digest of the laws of the Mississippi territory, published in 1808; state session laws from 1818 to 1859, showing the development of the legal system from a context of early frontier conditions to a highly regulated plantation-dominated society; five Civil War imprints published between 1861 and 1865; and Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction era laws through 1898. For more information on the specific titles visit the Library website.

    “MaxxSouth and Block Communications, Inc., with their generous contributions, have demonstrated just how invested they are in the communities in which they operate,” said Frances Coleman, Dean of Libraries at MSU. “These donations enhance our unique and rare collections and helps promote our vision of delivering excellent programs of teaching, research and service.” As part of the support agreement, MaxxSouth Broadband will provide advertising and other services to MSU Libraries and to a variety of other programs at the university over a three-year period. “Universities play such an important role in society, so we feel it is our duty to give back.” said Peter Kahelin, President and CEO of MaxxSouth Broadband. “The purpose of our support to the Mississippi State University Foundation is to maintain and enhance the academic excellence for which this fine institution is known for, and the benefits they bring to the Mississippi community as a whole.”

    About MaxxSouth Broadband:

    MaxxSouth Broadband service area for video, high-speed Internet and digital phone stretches more than 200 miles and includes 20 counties and 60 communities in northern Mississippi and Alabama. The company currently has approximately 80,000 subscribers for broadband services and passes 110,000 homes. Operating as a subsidiary of the reputable and diversified media holding company Block Communications Inc., MaxxSouth Broadband continues to expand and enhance its state-of-the-art broadband network in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.MaxxSouth.com.

    About the MSU Libraries:

    Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu.

    Photograph by Randall McMillen

    MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum, and MaxxSouth Broadband owner, John Robinson Block at the presentation of the collection to MSU Libraries.

    Submitted by

    Brad Moreland

    Co-chair, Public Relations Committee

    Mitchell Memorial Library

    Mississippi State University 

  • 14 May 2016 11:54 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    The School of Library and Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi is also pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Griffis’ project, “The Roots of Community: Segregated Carnegie Libraries of the American South as Community Learning Spaces” has been funded with a research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The three-year project will examine how public libraries in the past have been used as community learning spaces by members of marginalized and minority groups.

    Griffis’ project was one of 20 funded this spring through the Institute’s Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

    To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow USIMLS on Facebook and IMLS on Twitter.

    Submitted by

    Karen Rowell

    Admissions and Events Coordinator

    School of Library and Information Science

    The University of Southern Mississippi

  • 14 May 2016 11:49 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    USGA Executive Director John Marszalek and his wife, Jeanne, have been strong supporters of Mississippi State University Libraries. Fourteen years ago, the Marszaleks approached Frances Coleman, Dean of MSU Libraries, with the idea of creating fund to donate history related materials to the library’s collection each year. Dean Coleman suggested that in addition to the purchased materials, the library should bring in a speaker each year and work with the history department, where graduate students could apply to present their work. The John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Library Fund & Lecture Series made its debut in the spring of 2003. This year’s event, the 14th lecture in the series, was held at MSU Wednesday, March 23 in Mitchell Memorial Library's John Grisham Room.

    The 2016 Marszalek Lecture speaker was author and USGA member Dr. Edwina S. Campbell.  Dr. Campbell is a former U.S. Foreign Service officer who worked on several presidential visits and summit meetings during her years with the Department of State. After leaving the diplomatic service, she taught American foreign policy at the University of Virginia, was a professor of grand strategy at National Defense University, and retired in 2014 as a professor of national security studies at Air University. Since 1985 she has been a frequent practitioner of public diplomacy for the U.S. Information Agency and the Department of State. Campbell’s numerous publications include Germany’s Past and Europe’s Future: The Challenges of West German Foreign Policy and The Relevance of American Power: The Anglo-American Past and the Euro-Atlantic Future. Dr. Campbell spoke on her forthcoming book, Citizen of a Wider Commonwealth: Ulysses S. Grant's Post Presidential Diplomacy, published by Southern Illinois University Press. The hardback edition is currently available from all major booksellers.

    Ryan Lawrence, a senior at MSU, presented his paper entitled “Mutual Misunderstandings: A Study on Ida Honoré Grant’s Austrian Experience.” The 2016 Marszalek Lecture Series student essay winner’s work centers on the transnational interactions and cultural interpretations between Ida Grant and the Austrian aristocracy during Fred Grant’s appointment as minister to Austria from 1889 until 1893. The collection of Ida Honoré Grant’s letters, donated to the Grant Library by Ulysses Dietz, were invaluable to the completion of this paper.

    For more information on MSU Libraries, the Marszalek Lecture Series, and the upcoming lecture, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/Marszalek.

    About the MSU Libraries:

    Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/


    Submitted by

    Brad Moreland

    Co-chair, Public Relations Committee

    Mitchell Memorial Library

    Mississippi State University 

  • 25 Feb 2016 10:28 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    With the recent passing of two of Mississippi's staunchest library supporters and advocates, Billy Beal and Jane Smith, the Mississippi Library Association felt it was only appropriate that it establish a process to accept memorial scholarship donations. We are happy to announce that memorial donations can now be made to the scholarship fund. Donations should be specified as to who it is in memory of and which scholarship. Donations can be sent via check to MLA PO Box 13687, Jackson MS 39236-3687 or you can make your donations online at:



  • 25 Feb 2016 8:44 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    School librarians from throughout the state of Mississippi gathered on February 5th for the 16th annual MegaResource School Librarian Workshop, hosted and presented by MSU Libraries. This year’s workshop was filled to capacity with others on a waiting list. Attendees took part in various workshops and presentations led by the faculty and staff of Mississippi State University Libraries, as well as guest presenters from local schools and associations across the state.

    The MegaResource School Librarian Workshop series began in 1999 as a series of

    workshops, developed and presented by the Mississippi State University Libraries, for school librarians throughout the state of Mississippi. Designed to cover topics related to technology, instruction, and online databases, these workshops continue to serve as a major outreach effort to the K12 community. 

    Seventysix librarians attended the daylong workshop, where they chose sessions that covered their particular areas of interest. Many of the librarians who attended commented on how helpful the instructional sessions were and how they wished they had time to attend more of them. One attendee commented, “Each session held valuable information - thank you! As a new school librarian of four months, this [workshop] was very helpful to me.”

    “Evaluation comments from last year’s workshop were used during planning for the 2016 workshop,” said Gail Peyton, Associate Dean for Public Services and Coordinator of Outreach Services. “We set a goal to include presentations from school librarians and to have sessions for elementary and secondary school librarians. Another goal was to have participation in some form or another from all areas of the Library. I feel that we accomplished all of these goals.”

    Sessions for the workshop were selected based on the suggestions from the previous year, as well as through a call for participation through the Mississippi Library Association. Topics included MAGNOLIA databases for the elementary classroom, copyright for the K12 library, introduction to the MSU Libraries Special Collections, creating eye-catching flyers in Microsoft Publisher, and iPads in the school library, to name a few.

    MSU Libraries is pleased to serve the community of educators in Mississippi through the MegaResource School Librarian Workshop. For more information on the MegaResource School Librarian Workshop, as well as to view handouts and presentations, please visit http://guides.library.msstate.edu/megaresource.

    About the MSU Libraries:

    Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.

    Photo by: Randall McMillen

    Submitted by

    Angela Patton

    Library Associate

    Mississippi State University Libraries

  • 15 Feb 2016 6:42 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    When Lena de Grummond came to The University of Southern Mississippi to teach children's literature in the School of Library Science in 1965, she envisioned resources that went beyond the classroom textbook. The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection is the result of one woman’s dream to collect original materials from authors and illustrators of children’s books to use as resources for students in library science. If students could study the creative processes of authors and illustrators by examining the manuscripts and illustrations first hand, she knew they would better appreciate the literature.

    De Grummond became acquainted with a number of authors in her previous position in Louisiana as state superintendent of Louisiana School Libraries, and to accomplish her goal, she sent handwritten letters to them, as well as to her favorite children’s book authors, to request original manuscripts and typescripts, illustrations, sketchbooks, and any materials related to the publication of a children’s book, including galleys, dummies, publisher correspondence and fan mail. At one point, she wrote as many as 100 letters per week. The first to respond were Bertha and Elmer Hader, the husband and wife author-illustrator team, who sent manuscript materials, dummies and illustrations for Ding, Dong, Bell (1957). The contributions from the Haders were soon followed by more from Lois Lenski, Elizabeth Coatsworth and Roger Duvoisin.

    “Dr. de Grummond had a vision, and I have no doubt she knew what she was creating from the very beginning.  She developed relationships with authors and illustrators through correspondence, which is a great legacy for us.  The correspondence with H. A. and Margret Rey shows how their relationship developed through the years.  The personal interest Dr. de Grummond had for the donors was remarkable.  She knew details about their lives, their children’s names, their new projects, etc.  She was sincerely interested in them, and the feeling was mutual,” says Ellen Ruffin, current curator of the collection.

    Founded in 1966, the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection has grown far beyond its original intent, and is now one of the largest such collections in North America. The collection contains the works of more than 1300 authors and illustrators, including Randolph Caldecott, John Newbery, Kate Greenaway, H.A. and Margret Rey and Ezra Jack Keats. These are some of the most celebrated names in children’s literature with Caldecott, Newbery and Greenaway all having prestigious national awards named in their honor, and the Rey’s being the creators of Curious George. Keats, the man behind The Snowy Day, is one of America’s most groundbreaking authors with his efforts to break the color barrier in children’s publishing, and The Snowy Day is considered to be one of the most important American books of the 20th century.

    These original materials are supplemented by a book collection of more than 160,000 volumes of historical and contemporary children's literature and include Aesop’s Fables that date back to 1530, a board game from 1790, more than 100 version of the Cinderella story and the papers of popular young adult author, John Green. Researchers from across the United States, around the world and all disciplines at Southern Miss visit the collection on a regular basis to study its fables, fairy tales, folklore, alphabet books, nursery rhymes, textbooks, religious books, moral tales, fantasy, fiction, primers, and children's magazines. Complementing these holdings are scholarly studies, biographies, bibliographies, and critical works.

    Now 50 years later, de Grummond’s legacy lives on. Her influence remains strong and Ruffin says that she is often quoted in correspondence with potential donors. While the collection is available for use by students at Southern Miss and researchers, Ruffin has pointed her efforts to the development of the collection, and to some degree, de Grummond’s unique style can still be found in those efforts. The growth of the collection ensures its longevity and increases its value to the world of children’s literature.

    Since its founding 50 years ago, the collection has become one of the largest and most well-known collections of children’s literature in the world. Today, the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection hosts numerous world-class exhibits from some of the industries’ most well-known authors and illustrators, including Rosemary Wells and Tasha Tudor. The collection also plays a significant role in the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival each year by hosting the de Grummond Lecturer and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, a national award given to newcomers in children’s literature. 

    McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

    Photograph of Dr. Lena de Grummond at her desk.

    Submitted by

    Dawn Smith, M.S.

    Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach

    University of Southern Mississippi Libraries 

  • 15 Feb 2016 6:34 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, announced the winners of the 30th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year, a new writer and new illustrator are celebrated. The 2016 award ceremony will be held on April 7th during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000.

    “We are proud to present the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to the best new talents in children’s illustrated literature each year. These are writers and illustrators whose books reflect the spirit of Keats, and at the same time, are refreshingly original,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “This year is Ezra’s 100th birthday! So we are especially delighted to celebrate him by honoring those whose books, like his, are wonderful to read and look at and reflect our multicultural world.”

    “The Keats Archives at the de Grummond Children’s Collection is a happy reminder of the joy that Ezra’s books have brought to readers and the impact they have had on children’s book makers. Once again, we see that influence in the work of this year’s EJK Book Award winners. We are confident that they’ll join the long list of illustrious past winners whose books continue to delight and make a difference,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

    Lois Lowry, two-time winner of the Newbery Award for Number the Stars and The Giver, will present this year’s Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards. Michael Cart, columnist/reviewer for Booklist and a leading expert on young adult literature, will deliver the Keats Lecture.

    The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new writer is:

    Don Tate for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

    Published by Peachtree Publishers

    In the South before the Civil War, it was illegal to teach slaves to read, but George Moses Horton loved words too much to be stopped. He taught himself to read as a child and grew up to be a published poet, while still a slave. Writing about slavery for young readers is challenging but important, and Don Tate succeeds brilliantly, in an engaging, age-appropriate and true narrative.

    Tate said, “Three years ago, I won an Ezra Jack Keats honor award, one of the proudest moments of my career. I never imagined being considered again… this time [for] the top award. There has always been a special place in my heart for Ezra Jack Keats. When he chose to picture brown children in his books, he chose to acknowledge me. I wasn’t invisible to him. As a creator of color in a field that sorely lacks diversity, it can be easy to sometimes feel unseen. This award serves as a reminder to me that I am not invisible and that my work matters.”

    The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new illustrator is:

    Phoebe Wahl for Sonya’s Chickens

    Published by Tundra Books

    Sonya’s dad presents her with three baby chicks to care for, and she does her job well, providing food, shelter and lots of love as they grow into hens. Then one night, Sonya discovers that one of her hens is missing! But as her father explains, the fox stole the hen because he loved his kits and needed to feed them. The circle of life is gently and exquisitely depicted in Wahl’s rich and colorful watercolor and collage illustrations of a multicultural family’s life on a farm.

    Wahl said, “Keats’ work stands out as some of the most impactful of my childhood. I can directly trace the roots of my obsession with pattern, color and my use of collage to my affinity with the lacy baby blanket in Peter’s Chair. Keats inspired me to create stories that are quiet and gentle, yet honor the rich inner lives of children and all of the complexity that allows. I am humbled to be associated with Keats’ legacy in being presented with this award, and I am so grateful to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the children’s literature community for this show of support and encouragement.”

    The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winners are:

    2016 New Writer Honor

    • Julia Sarcone-Roachfor The Bear Ate Your Sandwich(illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers)
    • Megan Dowd Lambertfor A Crow of His Own (illustrated by David Hyde Costello. Published by Charlesbridge)

    2016 New Illustrator Honor

    • Ryan T. Higginsfor Mother Bruce(written by Ryan T. Higgins. Published by Disney Hyperion)
    • Rowboat Watkinsfor Rude Cakes (written by Rowboat Watkins. Published by Chronicle Books)

    To be eligible for the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the author and/or illustrator will have no more than three children’s picture books published prior to the year under consideration. The selection committee is comprised of nationally recognized early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature: Carolyn Brodie, Chair; Rita Auerbach, Jason Chin, K.T. Horning, Angela Johnson, Claudette McLinn, Sean Qualls, Caroline Ward, and Paul O. Zelinsky. Ex-Officio members are: Deborah Pope, Executive Director, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation; and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

    For a complete list of past award winners, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org/ezra-jack-keats-award-winners. For information about submissions, visit www.lib.usm.edu/degrummond/ezra_keats.html.

    About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

    Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.

    For more about the Foundation, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.

    About the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

    The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. The Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ mostly American and British published books dating back to 1530. Since 1985, the de Grummond Collection has been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats’ books.

    For more about the de Grummond, visit www.lib.usm.edu/degrummond.

    Submitted By

    Dawn Smith, M.S.

    Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach

    University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

  • 15 Feb 2016 5:49 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    On April 16th, 2016, for two hours Indianola Academy 6th Grade students will impersonate different individuals interred at the Indianola City Cemetery.  A cemetery stroll is a unique and interesting way to teach history and we bring this unusual teaching strategy to the local community.  Last year was the sixth occurrence of Headstone Stories and this year it’s going to be even better.  Using our experiences from previous years and our aspirations for this year, the IA teachers and I have created an outline for the project.  We have coordinated what knowledge and experience the teachers want for the students with what historical materials for research are located in the History Room. The students write an eight paragraph paper concerning the lifetime of the interred, specifically the political atmosphere, the economic and agricultural conditions, and the cultural trends.   The students will make two visits with their class to the History Room, utilizing newspapers, microfilm and books to research these areas for their paper and personal reconstruction and one visit individually.  Then on April 16th, 2016 from 10am to noon at the Indianola City Cemetery, the students will represent the interred to the community.  Entertaining and educating visitors with personal stories, anecdotes of their time period and Indianola history.

    Photograph by Jennifer Rose

    Carolyn Kelley participates in Headstone Stories in the Indianola City Cemetery.

    Submitted by

    Jennifer Rose

    Public History Coordinator

    Sunflower County Library System



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