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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Weather Whether It's Blue Skies Or Grey

Last week while I was helping a patron with some genealogy research, I ran across a woman named Tornado. Was it a fluke? Ah, no. It turns out that many people's parents thought to name their children after weather phenomena. Check out these names I found in the US Federal Census:
Rain and lightning in Mississippi
  • Rain Jett, F
    Kentucky, 1910
  • Rainey Bacon, F
    Maryland, 1940
  • Flood Edmonds, Sr. and Jr., M
    West Virginia, 1940
  • Storm Moore, F
    Texas, 1900
  • Tornado Harrison, F
    Pennsylvania, 1940
  • Tornado in Missouri
  • Hurricane Smith, M
    West Virginia, 1930
  • Cyclone Fox, M
    Michigan, 1940
  • Blizzard Schneider, F
    New York, 1930
  • Monsoon Peckham, M
    North Carolina, 1820
  • Thunder Hatcher, M
    North Carolina, 1930
  • Lightning Hightower, M
    Illinois, 1930
  • Blizzard in Minnesota
  • Snow Baker, F
    Georgia, 1940
  • Freeze Quick, M
    Pennsylvania, 1940
  • Ice Lane, M
    Tennessee, 1940
  • Frost White, M
    Maryland, 1910
  • Milford Hail Acres, M
    Tennessee, 1940
  • Sunshine Anderson, F
    Mississippi, 1940
  • Breeze Huffman, F
    California, 1940
  • Flooding in Indiana
  • Cloud Bagwell, M
    South Carolina, 1940
  • Donna Fog Commett, F
    Kentucky, 1940
  • Hot Brandon, M
    Mississippi, 1930
  • Drought Davis, M
    New York, 1940
  • Stark Weather Stevenson, M
    Arizona, 1940
  • Climate Gaines, M
    Texas, 1940
When I have kids, I'm naming them Sleet and Mist. What do you think?,_IN.jpg

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Best Overdue Books Ever

I stumbled across a story last week which I've been waiting to share with you. An unlikely librarian in Lithuania is a new heroine of mine; that is, this unlikely librarian and her concocted story of some very important overdue books.
Ona Simaite
Ona Simaite was born January 6, 1894 (some sources say 1899) in Akmenė, Lithuania. She worked at Vilnius University as a librarian and literary critic. The Nazi occupation of Lithuania began in 1940 and she saw the horrors of the Nazis up close. Simaite decided to act. She convinced the Nazis that Jewish students living in the ghettos had overdue library books that needed to be returned to the library. (Never underestimate the fear and awe that an overdue library book strikes in the hearts of men.) Once she had gained access to the Jewish ghetto, she brought in much needed supplies for the people trapped inside and brought out historical documents and texts for preservation purposes. She was finally found out in 1944 and captured by the Nazis. They tortured her and sentenced her to death. She escaped this fate when colleagues and others at her university spoke in her behalf. She was sent instead to the concentration camp in Dachau, and then later, to one in France. Simaite survived the war and died in Israel in 1970. She was designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1966.

This story just goes to show what a librarian with a strong purpose, a determined spirit, and a threat of some overdue books can do. If you'd like to learn more about this incredible woman, check out the book Epistolophilia by Julija Šukys. It's at the top of my to-read list.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Friday!

Here's a fun comic we found in The Clarion-Ledger on microfilm from June 7th, 1954!
"You'll have to check that slab out -- we can't have all that noise in here!"
Indeed, time has changed! We don't recommend taking a hammer and chisel to library books. Instead, we hope you'll visit your local library this weekend and check some out (and treat them gently). Have a wonderful Friday!

Microfilm: The Clarion-Ledger. June 7th, 1954. pg 11

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cassagne To Head Mississippi Library Commission

The Mississippi Library Commission Board of Commissioners (MLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Young Swindell Cassagne, of Natchez, Mississippi, as the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Library Commission. She will assume her duties October 1, 2013.

“Those of us on the Board look forward to working with Susan Cassagne. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of all types of libraries, as well as many years of experience working with the Mississippi Legislature and with our National Congressional Leaders. We know that library supporters across the state will welcome her as she begins a new, exciting phase of her library career,” said MLC Board Chair Dr. Glenda Segars.

Cassagne currently serves as Director of the Judge George W. Armstrong Library System formerly the Natchez-Adams-Wilkinson Library Service/Homochitto Valley Library Service in Natchez, Mississippi. Prior to accepting the director’s position, she was the Assistant Director/Technology Coordinator of the Pearl River County Library System in Picayune, Mississippi. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Studies and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

A seasoned leader and well respected among her peers, Cassagne is an active member of the Mississippi Library Association (MLA) where she served as President in 2005 and 2006, chaired the Legislative Committee from 2010-2013,and the local arrangements committee for three MLA conferences held in Natchez.

In addition to an MLA membership, she is a member of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association. Cassagne, an active member of the Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, served on the State Board of Management as a State Officer and as a National Vice Chairman. She also served the State Society on several National and State Committees. On the local level, she is a member of the Friends of the Armstrong Library, Rotary Club of Natchez, Natchez Historical Society, Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration Advisory Board, Natchez Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Pilgrimage Garden Club, Natchez Food & Wine Festival, Natchez Downtown Development Association, Krewe of Phoenix, and Krewe of Killarney.

“I look forward to leading the Mississippi Library Commission and working with Mississippi’s public libraries through a commitment to leadership, advocacy and public service,” Cassagne says of her new position. She lives in Natchez with her husband, Gabriel (Gabe); they have four children, Juliette, Andre, Richard and wife Sarah, and Elizabeth.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Board of Commissioners Announces New Executive Director

At the end of June, our beloved director Sharman Smith stepped down from her job as the voice of libraries in Mississippi. Although we still miss her presence here, we know that the memory of her person and the words of advice and wisdom she left with us will remain for a very long time. That is why we are thrilled to look toward the future of Mississippi libraries with this exciting message that we received today:
The Board of Commissioners of the Mississippi Library Commission is happy to announce that Mrs. Susan Cassagne has accepted the position as Executive Director.  Mrs. Cassagne currently serves as the Director of the Judge George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez, Mississippi.  She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of all types of Mississippi libraries, as well as many years of experience working with the Mississippi Legislature and with our National Senators and Congressmen.
We are truly thrilled to welcome Director Cassagne to her new position.

They opened the door and stepped in.
They stopped.
The library deeps lay waiting for them.
-Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
Open the door. Step in. And welcome!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Easter Flood

We recently received a request for images of the 1979 flood in Mississippi, known as the Easter flood. The Pearl River crested on April 17, 1979 after days of heavy rain, and soon flooded into Jackson and surrounding creeks. Several homes, schools, businesses, and other pieces of property were heavily damaged in the process. "It was the worst Pearl River flood in recorded history, topping the old flood record, set in 1902, by more than 5 feet" (6).

We thought we'd share this image we found in the book The Great Flood by the Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Daily News.  This picture caught our attention because of the large pile of library books damaged as a result of the flood hitting the library of Jackson Preparatory School!

"About half of the 12,000 ruined books in the library of Jackson Preparatory School on Lakeland Drive were destroyed by the flood. The books were piled in the middle of a classroom" (107).

For more pictures on the Easter flood, check out the aerial views on The Clarion-Ledger's website.
Check out this pin, and other pins on our "Mississippi History" board!

Hederman, T.M., Jr., ed. The Great Flood. Jackson: Clarion-Ledger/Jackson Daily News, 1979. Print
Mississippi History Timeline:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Remembering William Hollingsworth, Jr.

Today marks the anniversary of Mississippi artist, William Hollingsworth's, death in 1944. Here is a book plate created by the famed artist as found in the book To Paint and Pray: the Art and Life of William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. by Robin Dietrick:

Are you interested in finding out more about him? Revisit our past blog posts about him here and here!

by Shivon
Dietrick, Robin. To Paint and Pray: the Art and Life of William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. Mississippi Museum of Art: Jackson, MS, 2012. Print
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