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Monday, July 24, 2017

LearningExpress Leaves the Station

For many years, the Mississippi Library Commission has provided access to LearningExpress Library for all Mississippians through their public libraries. As we announced back in April, we will be unable to continue this statewide subscription for the coming fiscal year. We're sorry to let such a vital resource go and know that we'll all feel its loss. Hopefully this will be a temporary setback and we will be able to resubscribe in the near future. In preparation of the loss of site access on July 31, MLC staff have created a resource page on our website. This page directs people to free sites that offer test prep or practice tests for many of the current tests offered on LearningExpress Library. Currently available are test prep for the ACT, GED, and GRE. We're planning to add test prep for the ASVAB and PRAXIS as soon as possible. We'll clearly miss the benefits of LearningExpress, but hope that this solution will provide some help to your patrons who regularly use the resource.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Let Me Put Some Words In Your Mouth

Summer Library Program at Winston County Library in Louisville,
a branch of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System
Every winter and spring, libraries are preparing ahead and looking for great guests for local summer library programs. Animal caretakers, magicians, firefighters, policemen, and other local professional, nonprofit, and state agency employees all contribute to fantastic, eye-opening experiences for children (and adults!) across Mississippi. We recently caught up with ventriloquist Johnny Lowe to discuss his experience during his first summer performing at libraries.

Summer Library Program at Lincoln County Library in Brookhaven,
headquarters of Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library
Lowe says that though he performed in big and small libraries, every single one has been a great event with a spectacular audience. "A lot of kids have never seen a ventriloquist and their reactions can be pretty interesting. The younger kids especially get a kick out of seeing a purple cat be loud and obnoxious. They flock to the front after a performance and ask to pet and talk to my sidekick Hunter."

Summer Library Program at Prentiss Public Library,
a branch of South Mississippi Regional Library
"I’m no Jeff Dunham," says Lowe, "but I’m always learning and working to be as entertaining and funny as I can. Once in a while a kid will say, 'I saw your mouth moving!' and then Hunter will berate me for not rehearsing enough. Other times they’ll ask if the puppet is real. When they do, Hunter looks at me and says, 'Nope, he’s pretty fake.' I'll say, 'Hey, that was rude,' and he'll respond with 'What's your point?' The kids and I all have had a lot of fun and it's been wonderful sharing my passion for ventriloquism with them."
Summer Library Program at West Public Library,
a branch of Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System
Summer library programs are still going strong in public libraries across the state. Head to your local library to find out what fun and extraordinary offerings they have for you!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Hate U Give is on the Map

The Mississippi Center for the Book (MSCFB) is pleased to announce that Angie Thomas's debut novel The Hate U Give has been selected to represent Mississippi on the 2017 National Book Festival’s Discover Great Places through Reading Map.

The book, acquired in a 13-house auction by Balzar + Bray/Harper, was released in February of 2017 to great acclaim. Everyone from The Atlantic to NPR to The Guardian to Oprah has given it rave reviews and it's been on the New York Times Best Seller list for the past 16 weeks. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter witnesses a childhood friend's death and is faced with the decision whether to stand up for her friend and her neighborhood or to play it safe and let his death go by unnoticed and without justice. Aimed at young adults, but immensely readable by adults as well, The Hate U Give is a hard hitting, no holds barred look at police violence, racial profiling, and standing up for what you believe in. There's a great interview with the author and a discussion guide here.

Angie Thomas was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University. Apart from her top-notch writing skills, Thomas is also a hip hop scholar and Harry Potter aficionado. She is currently working on her next novel and will be participating in the Mississippi Book Festival's Rising Stars in Young Adult panel in August.

The 17th Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held Saturday, September 2, 2017 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Mississippi Center for the Book Director Tracy Carr and MSCFB Assistant Director Ally Mellon will represent Mississippi at the Pavilion of the States.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warren County-Vicksburg Library Prepares Kids for Kindergarten


The Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library partnered with Excel by 5 to create the Tiny Tot's Early Learning Read & Play program. The goal of this program is to provide access to educational toys, games, and board books to preschool-aged children and their parents. WCVPL applied for and received a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to purchase board books, a few toys and games, and containers in which to keep the toys and games. Excel by 5 will purchase additional toys and games to add to the collection. Together, the library and Excel by 5 will offer parents the tools, both fun and educational, needed to prepare today's children for kindergarten.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Read for Pride





The month of June is LGBT Pride Month and commemorates the Stonewall riots that happened in June 1969. To celebrate we have compiled a short list of LGBTQIA+ newly released books.

Ramona Blue
By Julie Murphy
Ramona Blue follows a young girl living in Eulogy, Mississippi who has had her life turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina. Ramona is certain that she likes girls; however, when her childhood friend, Freddie, returns to town she starts questions her sexual identity. Maybe she likes both girls and boys.

At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces
By Marry Collins and Donald Collins
This is a collaborative memoir between mother and trans son that reflects their thoughts and feelings through the journey of transitioning.

The Lawrence Browne Affair
By Cat Sebastian
Lawrence Browne is the Earl of Radnor and also a proclaimed mad scientist. Georgie Turner is a con man in a dangerous situation. When Lawrence and Georgie cross paths sparks fly. This is a historical mm romance with a great ending. 

Long Black Veil
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
This is a mystery thriller that follows Judith Carrigan as she tries to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance and death in the notorious Eastern State Penitentiary. This is a great novel for those looking for trans representation. 

Love Interest
By Cale Dietrich
This is a contemporary young adult novel with an mm romance. A secret society is raising teenage spies to be able to get close to people of great power in order to learn their secrets. Caden and Dylan are on their first assignment but instead of attracting the attention of their target they attract the attention of each other. 

Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch
By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, and Valentine De Landro
Bitch Planet takes place in a dystopia future that punishes noncompliant women by sending them to a prison on another planet. This comic includes a diverse cast of characters including trans and lesbian representation.  

Happy reading.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Apply Now For Librarianship 101 2017

The Mississippi Library Commission is pleased to announce that applications for the 2017 Librarianship 101 Institute are now being accepted. The Librarianship 101 Institute is a three-day, in-residence workshop on September 18-20, 2017 designed to help public library staff members develop basic skills for professional fulfillment and career advancement. Participation in the Librarianship 101 Institute will be limited to fifteen (15) individuals who will be selected in a competitive application process. Nominees should be service-oriented individuals who want to enhance and improve their communities through their work in the public library.


Institute topics include:
  • librarianship code of ethics
  • programming
  • collection development
  • reference services
  • children’s and young adult services
  • diversity in the library
  • social media
  • readers’ advisory
  • MLC services
  • alternative funding methods 

You can find more information about the Institute here, an application, and a sample of the selection criteria used by the evaluator. (You do not need to fill out the selection criteria and send it along with the application; it is provided for informational purposes only.)


Nominations must be postmarked by July 6, 2017. If you have any questions about the Institute, don’t hesitate to contact Tracy Carr, Lacy Ellinwood, or Lucinda Ogden!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's Getting STEAMy at East Mississippi Library


When renovation plans began on the Bay Springs Municipal Library, a branch of the East Mississippi Regional Library, it was of paramount importance that the new children's section be a place where kids come come to learn, discover, and create using the fundamentals of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) learning. While the library has always been a place where knowledge is accessible through the written word, kids can now visit the library to use building blocks, markers, crayons, magnets, and puzzles to develop their problem-solving and collaborative learning skills. They can also now check out and take home educational digital learning tablets, extending the use of these materials far beyond the library walls. Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding brought the vision the library had for their new children's section to life in a way that would not have been otherwise possible, and has given the young patrons a library experience never before available in the rural community.

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