MISSISSIPPI LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

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  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:48 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)


    The University of Mississippi Libraries will host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.


    Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at the University Libraries’ J.D. Williams Library along with a series of related special events, from December 1, 2021 to January 14, 2022.


    More information about the exhibit is available at: https://exhibitions.ushmm.org/americans-and-the-holocaust


    Submitted by:

    Adam Clemons

    Research & Instruction Librarian, Assistant Professor

    University of Mississippi


  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:45 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    The Hancock County Library System welcomed new Executive Director John Brdecka on September 13, 2021. Hancock County Library System serves roughly 46,000 residents on the coast from its five outlet locations in Bay St. Louis, Kiln, Diamondhead, Waveland, and Pearlington. Brdecka is an Illinois native, hailing from the Chicago area. Brdecka completed his MLIS at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. He brings sixteen years of experience to the position, making the leap from academic to public libraries after working in various positions at Northwestern University, most recently as Interim Associate University Librarian for Resource Delivery and Management. Brdecka will oversee HCLS’ thirty-two staff members.


    “I’m fortunate to be in the position to work with so many passionate people who eat, drink, live for the communities they serve and I look forward to working with them to move this library system forward,” said Brdecka.


    John Brdecka was recently featured in the local news article for the Sea Coast Echo detailing his background and influences. Brdecka also provided input for an article in American Libraries on the challenges libraries face in recovering from severe storms. Hancock County Library System suffered only minor impacts from this season’s Hurricane Ida. The library was able to provide services to evacuees in the wake of significant damage to neighbors in Louisiana.

  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:37 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Jackson-George Regional Library System Board of Trustees
    Pictured are (left to right) George Sholl, Belinda Dammen, Angela Stewart (director), Metty Ryals, Carol Lewis-Jones (board chair), Evelyn Read (vice-chair), and Nancy Jo Maples. Not pictured, Susan Agnelly.

    The Jackson-George Regional Library System Board of Trustees welcomed new Library System Director Angela Stewart at the October 2021 meeting. She was promoted from the Pascagoula Public Library where she served as branch manager. Stewart was also the Gautier Public Library manager before being promoted to the main library in Pascagoula.


    “I am incredibly happy to be selected as library system director,” said Mrs. Stewart. “I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a capable group of people who are totally committed to public service. I look forward to working with all the libraries and communities we serve.”



    After working on air for 15 years, including as a radio announcer on K99 and Magic 93.7 FM, Angela decided to change her career path. In July of 2001, she was hired as a library clerk at the Vancleave Public Library and became very interested in Library Science as a career. Stewart is a longtime Gautier resident and a 1984 graduate of Pascagoula High School. She received her Bachelor of Library Science in 2013 and her Master of Library and Information Science in 2017 at the University of Southern Mississippi.


    Jackson-George Regional Library System also announced a change for the Pascagoula Public Library by selecting Jeanne Damiano as branch manager. Damiano takes the position that was previously held by Angela Stewart who is now the new Library Director for the system. Damiano was previously the JGRLS Collection Management Services coordinator in Administration. She previously served as branch manager for the Lucedale, Ocean Springs, and Vancleave Public Libraries.


    Damiano graduated with a BA in Library and Information Science and minor in English from Southern Mississippi in 1997 and received her MLIS in 1999. She also received the 1999 Anna M. Roberts Award for scholarship, service, and professionalism.


    For more information about Jackson-George Regional Library System, visit www.jgrls.org.

  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:36 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    University of Mississippi Libraries is proud to welcome Brooke Gross as a Research & Instruction Librarian and Assistant Professor. Brooke earned her Master of Science in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2020. While in graduate school, she worked with UT Libraries as the GRA for Assessment Programs & Collection Strategy and the GSLA for Rare Books. Prior to joining the University of Mississippi, she served as the Assistant Librarian at Holmes Community College in Grenada, MS.



  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:31 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

    Hannah Madonna joined The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries in September 2021 as assistant professor/arts and humanities librarian at Cook Library. She earned her Master of Information degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently enrolled in the MFA in creative writing program at Mississippi University for Women.



    As Arts and Humanities Librarian, Madonna provides research services with a focus on patrons from the Schools of Communication, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies, Music, Performing and Visual Arts, and Social Science and Global Studies. Her duties include instruction, research assistance, collection development, and outreach. Madonna’s previous work history includes eight years at the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County in Hattiesburg, MS.


  • 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


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