• 17 Feb 2015 9:20 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)


    After 23 years of outstanding service, Carolyn Steen has retired as System Technology Coordinator of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System (MMRLS). Carolyn served in several positions throughout her years at MMRLS, including Youth Services Coordinator, Reference/ILL Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant before assuming the position of System Technology Coordinator in 1999. Carolyn received a B.S. and M.E. in Educational Psychology from Mississippi State University and a M.D. from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

  • 17 Feb 2015 9:16 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)


    Michael Davide joined the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System in November 2014 as System IT Coordinator. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Michael received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Mississippi State University and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Before joining the library system, Michael served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 years, reaching the rank of Major. While in the Air Force Michael was stationed throughout the U.S. including: Eglin AFB, Florida; Pensacola NAS, Florida; Andrews AFB, Maryland; Keesler AFB, Mississippi; Peterson AFB, Colorado; Scott AFB, Illinois; Randolph AFB, Texas; and served two deployments in Baghdad, Iraq. Michael and his wife Peggy are the parents of four boys.

  • 17 Feb 2015 9:12 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)

    Mariah Grant has joined the Millsaps-Wilson Library staff as Acquisitions and Serials Librarian. 


    Jamie Wilson, formerly Acquisitions Librarian, is now Electronic Resources and Web Services Librarian.

  • 17 Feb 2015 9:08 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)


    The Jackson-George Regional Library System has hired Tonja Johnson as Assistant Director of Human Resources and Branch Development.

    She was previously employed with North Ponotoc School System and held the position of Librarian/Media Specialist in Ecru, MS. Tonja was also Library Director for the Union County Library System in New Albany, MS. While at the school system, she was selected as 2013-2014 Educator of the Year.

    Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Samford University in Birmingham, AL, and has a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

    She has a strong background in library services to bring to the Library System with experience in literacy and library skills, budgets and collections, cataloging, library and professional development, and more.

    For information about libraries, branch locations, and phone numbers, visit the library website at www.jgrls.org.

  • 17 Feb 2015 9:06 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)


    Jennifer Blalock has been named as the new Branch Manager of the Jesse J. Edwards Public Library in Coldwater, a branch of First Regional Library. She recently obtained her Masters in Library Information Services from the University of Southern Mississippi. Blalock has worked in Tate County school libraries and as a sales representative for Rainbow Books. The Tate County native currently resides in Cockrum, MS with her husband and two children. "I'm looking forward to meeting the people of Coldwater and finding out what they want out of their public library." she said. "This is already a great library with a great staff, and I'm excited to find ways we can provide even more support to this community."

    Blalock replaces Tasha Jackson-Sow, who is now Branch Manager of the Tunica County libraries of First Regional Library.

  • 17 Feb 2015 8:55 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)

    The Mississippi Library Commission is pleased to announce the graduation of the 2014 class of the Mississippi Library Leadership Institute. Twenty rising stars in the library profession participated in a year-long program designed to grow the next generation of library leaders in the state of Mississippi.

    The Mississippi Library Leadership Institute is a transformational experience requiring participants to attend four three-day training sessions, study leadership theory between sessions, and undertake a community project. The Institute emphasizes experiences that build strong relationships with community partners and involve a very high level of intensity and risk-taking.

    “Through MLLI, I was given the extraordinary opportunity to create a meaningful project for my library and my community, which I would not have pursued otherwise. In doing so, I learned about managing my first large-scale project, met dedicated and talented librarians from around the state, and tested my potential as a leader. For these things I am so very grateful.” – Hilary Richardson, Mississippi State University

    2014 Mississippi Library Leadership Institute class:

    • Ashley Biggs, Central Mississippi Regional Library System, Flowood, Miss.
    • JoAnn Blue, Carnegie Public Library of Clarksdale & Coahoma County, Clarksdale, Miss.
    • Jamie Elston, Jackson-George Regional Library System, Moss Point, Miss.
    • Antoinette Giamalva, Delta State University, Cleveland, Miss.
    • Crystal Giles, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Senatobia, Miss.
    • Joshua Haidet, East Mississippi Regional Library, Quitman, Miss.
    • Shivon Rockward Hess, Mississippi Library Commission, Jackson, Miss.
    • Lisa Justis, East Mississippi Community College, Mayhew, Miss.
    • Sarah Mangrum, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.
    • Erica McCaleb, Mississippi Library Commission, Jackson, Miss.
    • Lindsey Miller, Columbus Lowndes County Library System, Columbus, Miss.
    • Darlene Morgan, Pike-Amite Walthall Library System, McComb, Miss.
    • Jennifer Parker, Magee High School, Magee, Miss.
    • Jesse Pool, First Regional Library System, Horn Lake, Miss.
    • Hillary Richardson, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
    • Elizabeth Simmons, Puckett Attendance Center, Puckett, Miss.
    • Violene Williams, Coahoma Community College, Clarksdale, Miss.
    • Jamie Wilson, Millsaps College, Jackson, Miss.
    • Callie Wiygul, The Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, & Forrest County, Hattiesburg, Miss.
    • Abbie Woolridge, Meridian Lauderdale County Public Library, Meridian, Miss.

    The Mississippi Library Leadership Institute was made possible in part by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Mississippi Library Commission. For more information about the Institute, visit mlc.lib.ms.us/ ServicesToLibraries/mlli.html

    Mississippi Library Leadership Institute class

    Photograph by Joy Garretson

    Submitted by

    Lacy Ellinwood

    Public Library Consultant

    Mississippi Library Commission

  • 17 Feb 2015 8:49 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)
    This spring, you’ll want to “ankle” quickly to Mississippi State University Libraries for the ninth annual Charles Templeton Ragtime & Jazz Festival– it’s the “bee’s knees!” Dress up in ’20s fashion and be an “Oliver Twist” on the dance floor at the second annual Gatsby Gala, enjoy performances from some of the country’s most talented pianists, and learn more about ragtime, jazz and early American music at a number of lectures.

    Previously an event exclusively featuring piano and concentrating mainly on ragtime, the festival is spreading its wings to include more instruments and styles. Look forward to the sounds of Stride, Boogie, Blues, Novelty, Swing, New Orleans Jazz, some Gershwin and of course, a healthy serving of Ragtime. From the wild, hot piano of Dr. Dave Majchrzak to the pastel-tinged Art Deco pianisms of Richard Dowling, from the torrid New Orleans Rag, Jazz and Blues heritage of Scott Kirby to the impressive eclecticism of Ivory&Gold®, this year's Templeton Festival truly has something for everyone!

    The festival features the Charles H. Templeton Sr. Collection and Museum in MSU Libraries, which houses over 22,000 pieces of sheet music, 200 musical instruments, and unique musical memorabilia from the 1880s to the 1930s. The collection highlights the industry during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when ragtime dominated popular American music.

    Events kick off with the Gatsby Gala on Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m., featuring a fashion show of ’20s designs created by students in the Apparel, Textile and Merchandising program. A series of Templeton Museum tours, seminars and silent movies will be held throughout the day and evening concerts featuring our guest performers will be held in the evenings, Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28. Daytime events and the Gatsby Gala will be held in Mitchell Memorial Library, and the concerts will be held at the McComas Hall Auditorium on the MSU Campus.

    The Festival is sponsored by grants from the Starkville Area Arts Council, Greater Starkville Partnership Development and the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Tickets are available for daily events, evening concerts, and for the entire festival online at http://library.msstate.edu/ragtime. For questions or concerns, contact Lynda Graham at lgraham@library.msstate.eduor (662) 325-6634.

    Submitted by
    Stephen Cunetto
    Administrator of Systems
    Mississippi State University Libraries

  • 17 Feb 2015 8:42 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)

    At places like Walt Disney World and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, more than four million people have viewed The Kinsey Collection's artifacts, manuscripts, books and art documenting African American history.

    Soon, the collection, comprising one of the largest private collections of African American pieces in the world, will make its first visit to the Magnolia State at Mississippi State University. Free, public viewings of The Kinsey Collection's "African American Treasures" will be open March 21-June 20 in the John Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library.

    Because the collection is private, not a permanent public display, viewing "African American Treasures" is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to organizers. They suggest residents, schools and media make plans to see the pieces during its short three-month visit.

    Pieces in The Kinsey Collection, owned by Bernard and Shirley Kinsey of Los Angeles, celebrate African Americans' achievements and accomplishments throughout U.S. history, especially through their impacts on culture and art.

    Highlights of the "African American Treasures" display coming to MSU include an early copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and a signed copy of Brown v. Board of Education. Also, rare works from early 19th century African American artists will be displayed.

    The Kinsey family, including son Khalil, will visit campus to celebrate the opening of The Kinsey Collection at MSU. Bernard Kinsey will speak at a 3 p.m. public presentation on March 22 to offer insights into the respective pieces on display at the university, as well as why he and his wife are so passionate about gathering items for the collection.

    The collection is presented by the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Art and Education. The organization seeks to educate the public about African American history by highlighting African American accomplishments over time, closing societal and cultural gaps between African Americans and other populations, and eroding the stereotypes undercutting equality.

    The exhibit is made possible by MSU Libraries, African American Studies at MSU and grants from Visit Mississippi, Starkville Visitors & Convention Council and the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the Mississippi Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.

    To discover more, schedule group tours or view exhibit hours for "African American Treasures" from The Kinsey Collection at MSU, visit http://library.msstate.edu/Kinsey. More information about the Kinseys, The Kinsey Collection and its history is available at www.thekinseycollection.com.

    African American Treasures

    Submitted by

    Stephen Cunetto
    Administrator of Systems

    Mississippi State University Libraries

  • 16 Jan 2015 1:03 PM | Tina Harry (Administrator)
    The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi will feature 60-plus original watercolor and mixed media art pieces of Rosemary Wells, award-winning children's book author and illustrator, at an exhibit in February.
    Wells' illustrations, featuring some of her most famous characters such as Max and Ruby, Yoko and Mother Goose, will be on display from Feb. 7-28 at Oddfellows Gallery in downtown Hattiesburg. The public will also be invited to attend a reception to celebrate the opening of the Wells exhibit Saturday, Feb. 7 from 4 - 6 p.m. Wells will be in attendance at the reception for a book signing, and selected pieces of her artwork will be available for purchase.
    During a recent visit to Hattiesburg, Wells donated illustrations from her personal collection to the de Grummond Collection.
    "Having Rosemary Wells here in Hattiesburg provides us with the opportunity to have a high-caliber exhibition. Wells' work has been read and loved by children all over the world," said Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. "We are also fortunate to have a gallery like Oddfellows in which to present the work of this noted artist. People attending this event will see a first-class exhibit."
    Wells has won many awards for her work, including the Golden Kite Award for Forest of Dreams, an International Reading Association Children's Choices citation for Max's Chocolate Chicken; Edgar Allan Poe Special Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1981, for When No One Was Looking; many of her books have been named among the best books of the year by School Library Journal or received American Library Association Notable Book citations or American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists" citations.
    In 2002, Wells received The University of Southern Mississippi Medallion, an award for distinguished service in the field of children's literature. Unique among literary prizes, the medallion is awarded for an individual's total body of work, rather than for one particular work. Since the first award at the second annual Children's Book Festival, the Southern Miss Medallion has been presented to an outstanding array of children's authors and illustrators.
    Wells' career as an author and illustrator spans more than 40 years and 120 books. She has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora and Yoko. She also gave Mother Goose new life in two definitive editions, and created an unforgettable world for grown-ups and kids alike in Voyage to the Bunny Planet.
    The community will be treated to more literary and arts culture the weekend of Feb. 6-7 during the Take a Look: Poetry, Art and Books event in downtown Hattiesburg. The weekend begins with the national event, Poetry Out Loud, on Friday and continues on Saturday with the Little Free Library and Rosemary Wells' Exhibit. The Hattiesburg Tourism Commission will provide trolley service from the Cultural Center to Oddfellows Gallery for those interested in attending both events on Saturday.
    Schedule of Events:
    • Friday, Feb. 6: Poetry Out Loud - noon - 2 p.m. - Cultural Arts Center
    • Saturday, Feb. 7: Little Free Library - 3-5 p.m. - Cultural Arts Center
    • Satruday, Feb. 7: Rosemary Wells Exhibit and Book Signing - 4-6 p.m. - Oddfellows Gallery
    For more information on the Rosemary Wells exhibit, contact the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at 601.266.4349.
    Submitted by
    Dawn Smith, M.S.
    Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach
    University Libraries

  • 19 Dec 2014 7:53 AM | Tina Harry (Administrator)

    The St. Martin Public Library is showing the art of local artist Vincent Feranda during the month of December and January.

    Vincent, a patron of the library for many years, is a resident of St. Martin and is showing several wooden sculptures in the library. Most are hand-carved items of discarded logs, boards, and other wood scraps that are crafted to look like animals and fantasy characters with many suspended on poles.

    He began his wood working craft by checking out books on the subject from the library back in 2010. Vincent started with hand tools carving smaller items. Recently, he added chain saw sculpting to his new-found talent and is still learning new techniques.

    For more information on his work, call the library or visit at 15004 Lemoyne Blvd.

    Photo by JGRLS public relations

    Library patron Vincent Feranda is showing several wooden sculptures at the St. Martin Public Library this month.

    Submitted by
    Rex Bridges
    PR & Marketing Manager
    Jackson-George Regional Library



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