Meet Tracy Carr, Library Services Director at the Mississippi Library Commission. Tracy oversees four departments here at MLC: Library Development (consulting and continuing education), Talking Books (services for the blind and physically handicapped), Collection Management (technical services), and Information Services (reference and interlibrary loan). She also maintains Beehive Resource Sharing, Mississippi's statewide interlibrary loan system. (Want to know if a book is owned by any libraries in the state? The Beehive is the place to check.) Carr also monitors legislation and Attorney General opinions that could affect public libraries (but is quick to point out that she is not a lawyer!) In addition, she is also the Mississippi Center for the Book coordinator. Tracy has been at MLC since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas, a Master of Arts in English from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Library and Information Science from The University of Alabama.
"My favorite part of my job is connecting a variety of people with a variety of information," says Tracy. "The information itself might be technical, historical, or factual, but it's rare that my days are the same, and that makes things interesting." When asked why she thinks libraries are still important in the internet age, Carr responds, "Libraries are a vital resource, especially in a rural state like Mississippi. They're often the only place in a community where someone can access the internet in order to apply for jobs or take a class, which makes them absolutely crucial to residents' livelihoods. On top of that, libraries still offer all the wonderful things they always have--books, movies, programs, classes! They're just magical places."
Tracy loves to read and says she always has, though she her childhood dream wasn't to become a librarian. Her most recent favorite book is Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. She recommends that every single human in the state read this book, so head to your local library and pick up a copy! Her favorite book by a Mississippi author is Brad Watson's The Heaven of Mercury. When she's not library-ing or reading, Tracy enjoys baking and is especially talented in that she can fold fitted sheets.