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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Gift of Teaching

I've always admired teachers. It amazes me how they make sharing their knowledge look so effortless. When my daughter was in school, it was a steady battle with homework and assignments, because I just didn't have it in me to help. In my opinion, good teachers are our greatest and most underrated assets.

I recently traveled (on the road again!) to Brookhaven with my colleagues Joy Garretson and Jennifer Nabzdyk Todd. These two ladies were asked to teach librarians about Microsoft Office, MAGNOLIA, and customer service. I really enjoy going along on these trips, because not only do I learn something myself, I also get a chance to visit the outstanding libraries across Mississippi.

Joy and Nabz, as we affectionately call her, were outstanding and personify the term "teacher" in every way. Along with the participating librarians, I learned a great deal that day, too. MLC is so fortunate to have them sharing their knowledge with those who are serving communities in libraries across the state.

Kudos to the Brookhaven Library; you guys are doing outstanding work in your community. Not only is your newly renovated space beautiful, but your team is a testament to your dedication to providing the best possible services to those in your area.

Here at MLC, we will keep teaching, sharing, and serving as we travel Mississippi's roads. It's what we do and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Meet MLC Monday: Veronica Dunning

Meet Veronica Dunning, Purchasing Specialist at the Mississippi Library Commission. Mrs. Dunning takes care of the day-to-day operations of purchasing at MLC. Working internally with other staff and externally with vendors and manufacturers, Veronica determines the most efficient way for the Mississippi Library Commission to spend Mississippi tax dollars. She also deals heavily with purchase orders, service contracts, and agency inventory. She has been with MLC since February 2011. Veronica has her Associate Degree, and is working toward a Bachelor Degree, in Business Administration. She is also a Certified Mississippi Purchasing Agent, has her Administrative Services Certification, and is working toward becoming a Certified Public Procurement Buyer.

When asked what she loves about libraries, Veronica responded, "Libraries are the doors to the world. Come in our front door and get the tools to accomplish more things than you can possibly imagine: books, of course, but also information on patents, trademarks, and copyrights, access to computers, the internet, and WiFi, services for the visually impaired, assistance with questions you need answered... The list goes on and on."

Mrs. Dunning used to be a huge mystery fan, but finds she enjoys comedies and romances more these days. A recent favorite book was Big Girl Panties. Two of her all-time favorite authors are Danielle Steel and Mississippi's own John Grisham.

Veronica likes to bake and cook, but her favorite hobby is photography. She has even developed this hobby into a part-time business. An active member of the Greater Deliverance Church of God in Christ, Veronica is married, the mother of two children, and the grandmother of one exceptional grandbaby.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mail Carrier of the Year Nominations

Shellie Ziegler, Talking Book Services, MLC (l)
Micki Clifton, Mail Carrier of the Year, 2014, Ocean Springs (r)
Show your postal carrier some love and nominate them for the Talking Book Services 2015 Mail Carrier of the Year! Has your mail carrier gone out of their way to make sure you get your books? Have they gone above and beyond when you least expect it? Tell us about it!

We just need to know your name, your mail carrier's name, and the reason you think they should win. If your mail carrier does win, we will contact the mail carrier, their supervisor, and you. Then we'll coordinate a date and time when we all can come out to their post office. We'll present them with a plaque and enjoy some cake together. Let your mail carrier know how much you appreciate them! Give us a call at 601-432-4116 or 1-800-446-0892 or mail your nomination to the address above. Deadline for nominations is 5/15/16.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On the Road

I've always loved the road. Word has it that the only time I didn't cry as a baby was when my dad put me on a pillow in the backseat of his Ford Falcon and hit the back roads.

I still love the road.  Something about being on a Mississippi two-lane is such a freeing experience. I guess that's one reason I love being here at MLC: not only do I get to be on the road, but I get to see some of the most awesome libraries, visit with some of the nicest folks, and experience some of the best local fare you can get. Wow... I get paid for this? What could be better?!

Recently, I traveled to the Hub City for a conference with our fearless leader. We had an extra guest with us who is quite the interesting fellow; Stuart Rockoff, Director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, made the journey with us. He and Susan C. were great road buddies. After the meeting, we decided to stop off at the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County. The Director, Pamela Pridgen, showed us around their beautiful space and shared with us all of the exciting things going on at this fantastic community treasure. It was a great day on the road.

The Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County

Pamela Pridgen, Stuart Rockoff and Susan Cassagne

Yesterday I hit the road again; this time heading in the opposite direction. The Mississippi Delta is one of my favorite road trips. There's something about the flatness and the cultivation of the soil this time of year that makes my spirit happy! When Joy and Mac invited me to go along on a consultation, I was waiting at the car. Jennifer Wann, the Director of the Bolivar County Library System is making some exciting changes to the library in Cleveland. Having already established a wonderful children's library, she has moved on to the teen section and has some really great changes in store. It will be fun to see the future of this wonderful space.

Children's library at the Robinson-Carpenter Memorial Library in Cleveland

Left to right:  Bobbie Matheney, Youth Services; Joy Garretson, MLC;
Megan Fleming, Circulation; Jennifer Wann, Director; Mac Buntin, MLC

Tomorrow I'm off again. Hitting the road with my colleagues on another adventure. You'll have to check back in to see where the road leads us this time!  Stay tuned.....

Monday, April 18, 2016

Meet MLC Monday: Jennifer Todd

Meet Jennifer Todd, Digital Services Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission. Lovingly called "Nabz" by many in the library community, she works in the Technology Services Division assisting libraries and their staff with implementing and using current and emerging technologies in their libraries. Mrs. Todd assists with staff training, like helping them learn how to use Microsoft Office Suite, eBooks, and the Cloud. She has also helped develop many of the new library websites across the state. (Did you know that most of them are now mobile-friendly?) Nabz maintains a close relationship with Mississippi State University Extension Service and their Intelligent Community Institute. She is also the chair of the MLC Celebration Committee which plans events for staff at the Commission. She additionally serves as the web committee co-chair for the Mississippi Library Association and is on the web committee for the Asian Pacific American Library Association. Jennifer began as an intern at MLC in August 2010 and was officially hired April 2012. She obtained her MLIS in 2012 from the University of Southern Mississippi.

"I love working with the most important asset in libraries--the staff. It's a joy and honor to meet all the wonderful, diverse personalities who serve the public in libraries across the state." Nabz thinks that even though many services and a lot of information are being placed online, there is still a disconnect between the general public. "Libraries and library staff are important because they not only provide a computer and the internet, where people might need assistance with online job applications or school assignments, they also function as digital literacy skills teachers. We help people evaluate the information available to them."

Jennifer is a newlywed; she and her husband were married last September. She loves trying out new recipes and plans to start online classes this summer to pursue an associate's degree in computer networking. She enjoys historical fiction. Number the Stars and Copper Sun are two of her favorite novels.

Friday, April 15, 2016

MLC's First National Library Week Program

The Mississippi Library Commission hosted its first National Library Week program April 12-16, 1999. The theme was Read! Learn! Connect! @ the Library. More than 300 K-3 students from Jackson Public Schools attended the week long event. The students were greeted by Mickey Mouse and enjoyed story times with local new anchors like Howard Ballou, WLBT TV 3, Steven Jefferson and Stephanie Strickland of WJTV News Channel 12, and WOAD radio talk show host/station manager Othor Cain. The week concluded with "Staff Participation Day." This day was designed to get staff involved in the celebration of National Library Week. 

To learn more about the first National Library Week Program hosted by MLC visit volume 28, issue 3 of The Packet.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Library Volunteers, Y'all!

Shellie Zeigler
Talking Book Services Director
Mississippi Library Commission

We've been celebrating National Library Week all week, but did you know that it's National Volunteer Week as well? We thought this was the perfect time to honor our Mississippi Library Commission volunteers. Today, the Talking Book Services Department held our Annual Volunteer Recognition event. We celebrated our volunteers and the many hours they have contributed to MLC.

Krista Estes, Volunteer Network Officer at the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services, was guest speaker. Since last April, our volunteers have donated a grand total of 2,858 hours of their time!

All the volunteers received a certificate signed by Deborah Bryant, First Lady of Mississippi, as well as a letter of appreciation for their service. Of special note is our volunteer Melvin Smitherman, who received an honorable mention for the Governor's Initiative for Volunteer Excellence Award. Thank you for all you do!

If you or someone you know is unable to read standard print due to a visual, physical, or organic reading disability, or if you are an institution which serves such individuals, please contact us at 1-800-446-0892 or to learn more about Talking Book Services at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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