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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kudos to Our Intern!

At the beginning of May, the Mississippi Library Commission was fortunate to welcome our intern, Misti Thornton, to our team. A graduate student with the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Library and Information Science, Thornton has spent the past three months assisting with an archival project at MLC. She'll graduate this fall with Master of Library and Information Science with a certificate in Archives and Special Collections. Her work with us fulfills her requirement for a 150 hour practicum for the certificate.

Thornton's project this summer involves scanning photographs from our archives into an accessible file and creating a corresponding finding aid. The pictures are of libraries and librarians from across Mississippi and date from the 1940s through the 2000s. Misti, who has no experience working in public libraries, finds the task particularly fascinating because many of the pictures are of such libraries. She says that with her love of history, she has really enjoyed poring over all the old pictures and noting the differences between then and now. She points to the days of segregated libraries as an example. "Those libraries had absolutely no funding and depended on donations to fill their collections. Their shelves were nearly bare, to say the least. Instead of having a set of encyclopedias, they might have two or three volumes from a set and donated books were very hit or miss as to topic. I can't imagine going into a library and not being able to get what I want!"

Examples of pictures scanned: (clockwise from top left)
Children and their parents visit the Clarksdale Public Library bookmobile,
children reading at the Amite Public Library, librarians processing books
at the Mississippi Library Commission, librarians using the card catalog
at the University of Mississippi's J.D. Williams Library
Misti also works full-time at the Rowland Medical Library at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She started with them in 2004 and has held several different positions. Working her way up the ladder, she is now assisting in their Archives Division.

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