• 16 Nov 2016 8:44 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    Jody Perkins was recently hired as the Acquisitions and Serials Librarian at the Millsaps-Wilson Library, Millsaps College. Mr. Perkins brings a wealth of experience in both public and academic libraries to this faculty position.

  • 16 Nov 2016 8:41 AM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    The 2017 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival marks the 50th consecutive children’s book festival at The University of Southern Mississippi.  To commemorate the longevity of the successful festival, the de Grummond Collection is bringing an outstanding art exhibition to Hattiesburg.

    Titled Wendell Minor’s America:  25 Years of Children’s Book Art, the exhibit is coming to Hattiesburg from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.  Minor’s work will probably be familiar, due to his work on over 2,000 book cover designs, including Earnest Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men, Pat Conroy’s Beach Music, the current cover for To Kill a Mockingbird, all of David McCullough’s book covers, and many more.  Minor is also responsible for the illustrations of fifty children’s book titles (and counting). 

    Beginning in March, the exhibition will be at Oddfellows Gallery on Front Street through May.  Because Minor has illustrated picture books about real people, his paintings bring history to life.  When illustrating the picture book biography, Reaching for the Moon, written by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Minor’s interest in history and the natural world were brought to light.  Minor and Aldrin worked closely together on another book for children titled Look to the Stars.  As a result of their collaboration, Minor and Aldrin became friends.

    Aldrin, in an interview with Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator at the Norman Rockwell Museum, remarked on Minor’s work:

    “Wendell has a great talent for creating images that invite you in.  They give you a sense of close observation and being a part of something.  He found a way to bring my authentic experiences to life for children through his art, and I was amazed by that.” (Aldrin 120)

    Make plans now to see the exhibition.  It is something not to be missed.

    Submitted by

    Dawn Smith

    Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach

    University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

  • 07 Sep 2016 4:21 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    A new Little Free Library is now open in Horn Lake, MS! This is the result of a community partnership project between First Regional Library, The City of Horn Lake, and Career Tech West High School. First Regional Library provided the materials for the library, the city of Horn Lake approved the library to be placed in the city park, and the construction students at Career Tech designed and built the Little Library with input from library staff. It has been placed close to the Parks and Recreation office and members of their staff are going to be the "stewards" to make sure it is stocked with books.

    First Regional Library received a grant from First Book Mid-South to stock the Little Library with NEW books for the first few months. The Little Free Library will be registered on the national Little Free Library site soon. Since this project has been such a success, First Regional Library plans on doing more collaborations around the 5 counties to install more Little Free Libraries.

    Savannah Sheley, daughter of Amy Lay, from the Horn Lake Board of Alderman, and Carolyn Hobbs, Friend of the Horn Lake Public Library, choose a book from the new Little Free Library.

    Submitted by

    David Brown

    Public Relations Specialist

    First Regional Library

  • 07 Sep 2016 4:10 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    Colleagues, family, and friends gathered Thursday, July 14th, at Mississippi State to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a beloved Mississippi journalist whose papers will be housed at the university’s Mitchell Memorial Library.

    “Orley was very special to journalism work in the state of Mississippi and even beyond,” said MSU Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman, who officially welcomed the family of late Vicksburg native and award-winning newspaper columnist Orley Mason Hood Jr. to Mississippi State. “One of our main goals here at Mississippi State University is not only to preserve Orley’s papers, but we want to share them on behalf of teaching and research, and especially on behalf of our students.”

    MSU President Mark E. Keenum also expressed joy, pride, and honor in welcoming the Hood family into the MSU Bulldog family, as well as accepting the papers of one of Mississippi’s accomplished writers and storytellers.

    “Over the course of his very accomplished career, many thousands of Mississippians would get up in the morning and read his columns and start their day with Orley Hood,” Keenum said. “Everyday Mississippians could get a sense and feel about how everything rang true and was real to them and their life by reading through Orley’s stories and experiences.”

    Sid Salter, MSU chief communications officer and public affairs director, knew Hood for many years.  Salter noted that Hood was a big fan of MSU basketball legend Bailey Howell, whom Hood referred to as “my first hero” in a column he wrote in October 1997.  Hood wrote, “All these years, I’ve kept that windbreaker stored in plastic. Last year, I gave it to my 10-year-old. I told him how important it was to me. I told him about Bailey. I told him it was the only autograph I’ve ever gotten. That it was the only one I ever wanted.”  To read this and other Hood columns, visit http://msfame.com/category/orley/.

    Hood’s wife and fellow Mississippian, Mary Ann Hood, also shared fond memories of her husband. She said he remained a strong, committed family man up until his death on Feb. 21, 2014 at age 65 from complications of acute myeloid leukemia.

    “The only thing missing today is Orley, but I know what he would say if he were here,” Mary Ann said. “He would flash that grin, and he would say, ‘Isn’t this great?’ ‘Great’ was one of his favorite words. I know Orley would be very happy.”

    Hood wrote for The Meridian Star, Memphis Commercial Appeal and Jackson Daily News as a sportswriter, columnist, sports editor, Southern Style editor, senior editor and features editor. He later joined The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, where he wrote features and a general interest column.

    Mary Ann Hood said her beloved husband was “a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and fantastic Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble player who knew sports, history, literature, art, and anything about World War I or World War II.”

    “Orley never really stressed about writing. It seemed to come easy to him,” she recalled. “He had such a passion for writing, for telling people stories and getting it right. That was so very important to him—getting it right. Spelling peoples’ names right. Getting the score in the first paragraph, and expressing his opinion, of which he had many.”

    In addition to being a talented journalist, Hood said her husband was great at relating to people.  “Many of the things he wrote about -- our family and the experiences we were having -- readers were having, too. He just made it a lot funnier for them,” Mary Ann said. “Orley loved talking to people. A simple trip to the grocery store for a gallon of milk could take an hour because he would run into somebody that he had to talk to.”

    She said along with loving sports -- especially soccer, which sons Hunter and Tucker played -- her husband was an avid walker. Even after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, Hood maintained a walking diary he began nine years prior. He ultimately recorded 22,176 miles, or a little more than 2,000 miles a year.

    “Orley loved Hunter and Tucker, and they loved him back,” Mary Ann said, choking back tears as she commended her sons for being “standup guys” during their father’s illness. “Orley got to see Hunter get into medical school and Tucker graduate with honors from Ole Miss. Both of them got to spend a year at home after graduation, and those were two great years that Orley had.”

    Billy Watkins, features columnist and storyteller for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, also praised Hood for his kindness toward others and ability to “paint pictures” with his writing.  “I loved Orley Hood. The man changed my life. Whenever I finished reading his columns, I would say ‘I wish I’d written that,’” Watkins said. “I worked with him in sports and features every day for more than 25 years, but I never got over being in awe of Orley. I’m still in awe of Orley. He’s my hero.”

    Orley Hood knew more than journalists’ bylines; he knew them as people, Watkins said.  “It was like traveling with a rock star because everywhere you went, people would want to talk to him. You could see the genuine respect that other writers from other states had for him,” Watkins recalled.  Even so, Watkins emphasized that “writing is what Orley did; it’s not who he was.”

    Photo by: Megan Bean, Mississippi State University

    MSU President Mark E. Keenum officially accepts papers of legendary Mississippi newspaper columnist and Vicksburg native Orley Mason Hood Jr., who died in 2014. Making the donation are wife Mary Ann Hood, and two sons, Tucker and Hunter Hood. The papers are becoming part of the Mississippi Journalism Collection housed in Mitchell Memorial Library’s Special Collections Department Manuscripts Division.

    Submitted by

    Angela Patton

    Library Associate

    Mississippi State University Libraries

  • 07 Sep 2016 4:07 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    There are two job changes at the University of Mississippi Libraries. 

    Cecilia Botero is the new Dean of Libraries and Professor at the University of Mississippi. For the past seven years, Cecilia has served as the Director of the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries and Associate Dean of Smathers Libraries. She received her Master of Library and Information Science degree in 1986 from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Travis Cowart is the new Collection Application Developer at the University of Mississippi Libraries. Travis previously served as a network design engineer and project manager for AT&T in Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2012 from the University of Alabama.

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:57 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    Patsy Brewer was given the Award of Meritorious Leadership in Mississippi History and Genealogy for 2016 during a recent event.

    Brewer was honored during the June 11 Spring General Assembly of the Order of the First Families of Mississippi (OFFM), which was held in Natchez.  The morning welcome party was held at one of the well-known historic homes of Natchez, The Elms.  A luncheon, program and business meeting followed at the Carriage House, with Governor General Barbara Gilbert Haigh presiding.  Brewer was nominated for the award by OFFM member and Waynesboro resident Becky Rhinehart.  She described Brewer as a visionary who is always willing to give of her time and talents.  The presentation was made by OFFM Registrar General and 2013 award recipient Virginia Brickell of Indianola.

    Brewer is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently serves as the Director of the Waynesboro-Wayne County Library and served in 2015 as the state president of the Mississippi Library Association.

    Under her leadership, a Genealogy Room was planned to house research materials, family histories and displays of historical items at the library.  As a member of the Wayne County Genealogy Organization, Brewer realized that there was only one small book written on the history of Wayne County. She worked with this organization to compile information and publish three books — History of Wayne County 1809-1909, History of Wayne County Volume 2 and a Pictorial History of Wayne County. She is working with the Wayne County Genealogy Organization to identify and record forgotten cemeteries in the county, working to clean and preserve them.

    Under Brewer’s leadership, a Mississippi Country Music Trail Marker was dedicated to Jimmie Roger’s cousin Jesse Rogers.  The Wayne County Genealogy Organization worked with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to complete this project.

    Brewer also serves as Treasurer for the Wayne County 4-H Advisory Council and is a member of other civic organizations, as well as a lifetime member of the USM Alumni Association and a member of the JCJC Alumni Association.  She currently serves as the Chairman of the Wayne County Relay for Life committee.  She shares her musical talent playing the piano at her church.

    Brewer has had a life-long interest in history.  She is member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Cameo Society.  She is also active in the Fine Arts Club of Wayne County and TEAM W, which stands for Together Energizing and Motivating Waynesboro.  TEAM W sponsors the Whistle Stop Festival each year in April.

    The Award of Meritorious Leadership in Mississippi History and Genealogy was established by the Order of the First Families of Mississippi in 1994 to honor persons who have made significant contributions to the preservation of Mississippi history.  Members of the organization have the opportunity each year in March to nominate persons who have been leaders in preserving Mississippi history.

    Past recipients of the award who are also members of the organization comprise the selection committee.

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:40 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    There are two job changes at Mississippi State University Libraries.

    Jessica Perkins Smith joined Mississippi State University Libraries in May 2016, as Manuscripts Archivist in the Mitchell Memorial Library Special Collections department.  Jessica received a B.A. in History from Millsaps College in Jackson and an MLIS with an Archives concentration from Louisiana State University.  She comes to MSU from the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, where she was a processing archivist working primarily on African American Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) collections.  

    Jessica’s research interests include Mississippi Civil Rights, African American history, and improving access to archival collections.  Jessica is from New Orleans but has Mississippi roots, with family from the Delta and Golden Triangle areas.  Her grandfather graduated from Mississippi State, so cheering for the Bulldogs is in her blood.  She also enjoys running, is an avid Saints fan, and is having a great time exploring Starkville with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

    Jennifer Jones is the new graphic designer for the Mississippi State University Libraries. Born in Columbus, Mississippi, she moved with her family to Alabama in the fourth grade. Jennifer received her degree from the University of Alabama in 2001. After graduation, she moved to Mobile, Alabama, where she worked at an advertising agency for five years before taking a job at the University of South Alabama in the Publications department where she worked as part of a team that was responsible for the design and printing of most of the University’s marketing communication pieces. Jennifer is excited for this new opportunity to support the Library and University and is looking forward to spending time with her family cheering on the Bulldogs and making herself a part of the Starkville community.

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:36 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    There are two faculty job changes at the University of Mississippi Libraries.

    Laura Harper, Associate Professor and Head of Government Publications at the University of Mississippi’s J. D. Williams Library, retired on August 31, 2016 after 45 years of dedicated service.  She held various positions during her career at the University, including Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Reference Bibliographer, and Head of Online Search Services, before becoming the Regional Depository Librarian in 1988.  She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education (1968) and an M.L.S. (1969) from Louisiana State University.  Before moving to Mississippi in 1971, she was a public librarian in her hometown of Monroe, LA. 

    Over the years, Laura has been an active member of MLA, serving as chair of the Automation & Networking Roundtable (1983), of MLA-ACRL (1992), and of MLA-GODORT (1991, 2003, 2008, and 2012).  She was also active in ALA as a member and chair of several ACRL, RASD, and GODORT committees.  From 2007 to 2011, she served on the inaugural Steering Committee for ASERL’s Collaborative Federal Depository Library Program.  In 2011, she was honored as the recipient of the Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award by ALA-GODORT. 

    Laura says she knows she will miss her colleagues at the library and in the depository community in Mississippi but is looking forward to participating in volunteer activities in retirement and continuing to serve on the board of Friends of the Library.  

    Cecelia Parks started at the University of Mississippi Libraries in July as a research and instruction librarian with liaison responsibilities to the departments of history and political science.  Originally from Harrisonburg, Virginia, Cecelia received her MLS from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2016.

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:30 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    Mona Vance-Ali was elected to a three-year term on the Mississippi Historical Society Board of Directors at their 2016 conference this past March.  She currently works as the archivist over the Local History Department at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library in Columbus, MS. 

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:28 PM | Sarah Mangrum (Administrator)

    Lakesha Smith is the 2016 recipient of the Peggy May Scholarship.  Lakesha graduated from Hinds Community College in May 2007 with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies, earned a Bachelor’s degree in History at Jackson State University in May 2010 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library Science at the University of Southern Mississippi.  She is acting Administrative Librarian for Hinds Community College’s Jackson Academic and Technical Center.



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