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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Governor Appoints Ann Marsh to Mississippi Library Commission Board

Governor Phil Bryant has appointed Ann Marsh to the Mississippi Library Commission Board of Commissioners. Marsh fills the vacancy left when Russell Burns of Brookhaven resigned and will serve the remainder of the term which expires June 30, 2015. She represents one of two “at large” positions.

A native of Missouri, Marsh received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is an avid library supporter and lover of books. When asked about her appointment to the Library Commission Board Marsh remarked, “With my years of experience in the public library, I hope to give insight to Board decisions and have a positive impact on library services. It is an honor to serve on the Mississippi Library Commission Board of Commissioners.”

She is the branch manager at the Northwest Point Reservoir Library, a branch of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System, where she has been employed for twenty-six years.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Book is Grrreat!!

We have recently acquired The Great American Cereal Book: How Breakfast Got Its Crunch by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis and have since been delighting in cereal nostalgia! Cereal was originally made with laxative properties, but turned towards marketing to children following WWII. Presweetened cereals made their appearance on television, with the help of cartoon characters and popular sitcoms, during the late 1940s through the 1960s. Health-conscious cereals made a return during the 1970s, and both types of cereals now live harmoniously on our grocery store shelves today.

We thought we would delight you with some fun cereal facts! While some of these had very interesting flavors, they unfortunately did not have a very long shelf life…

  • Surprize – Created by Kellogg’s, this cereal hit the shelves in 1957, but the date in which it was taken off the shelves is unknown. It was known as the “first brown-rice flaked cereal” (168).
  • Caramel Puffs – This cereal, created by General Mills, was supposed to be a variation of Cocoa Puffs with “caramel-flavored corn nuggets” (108). It was not well-received and lasted a year on the shelves from 1959-1960.

  • Wackies – Created by General Mills, this cereal stayed on the shelves from 1965 to 1966. It was composed of “frosted oats and banana-flavored marbits [marshmallow bits] in various shapes” (175).
  • Cornados – Created by General Mills, this cereal stayed on the shelves from 1966-1967. It was composed of “cone-shaped corn and rice” (110).
  • Ooobopperoos – Created by Nabisco, this cereal stayed on the shelves from 1972-1973. It was composed of “blueberry-flavored cereal” (212).

  • Sir Grapefellow – Created by General Mills, this cereal stayed on the shelves from 1972-1975. It was composed of “grape-flavored oat rings with sweet-grape starbits [star-shaped marshmallow bits]” (220).
  • Crunchy Loggs – Created by Kellogg’s, this wood-themed cereal stayed on the shelves from 1978-1979. It was composed of “sweetened corn and oat logs” (195).

We saved the best for last!

Ad found in The Times-Dispatch on March 13, 1903

Ad found in The Scranton Tribune on September 8, 1902

Tryabita – Created by Tryabita Cereal Mills, this cereal hit the shelves in 1903, but the date in which it was taken off the shelves is unknown. It was the first (and possibly only) celery-flavored cereal.

Do you have a favorite cereal from your childhood? Or perhaps you have had the opportunity to try one of these unusually-flavored cereals? We'd love to know!

Gitlin, Marty and Topher Ellis. The Great American Cereal Book: How Breakfast Got Its Crunch. Abrams Image: New York, 2011. Print
The Times-Dispatch:
The Scranton Tribune:

Monday, July 22, 2013

She Done What She Could
Webster's Blue
Black Speller
I've been searching for the first school shooting in Mississippi for the past day or so. I favor a three-pronged attack: print sources, Internet databases, and ye olde Internet search. You'd be amazed at what isn't available on the Internet! I was scanning a print book called From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875, which led me to The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, wherein I found an incredibly moving story that cried out to be shared:

Belle Caruthers was born a slave. At the end of the War Between the States, she was one of 437,000 blacks set free (31). Most were completely illiterate. Belle was not. She had cared for a white baby as a slave and, "The baby had alphabet blocks and I learned my letters while she learned hers" (33). Belle later found a Webster's Blue Black Speller and used it to study. Her master kicked her when he found her pouring over its pages (33). This did not phase Belle in the least. "I found a hymnbook one day and spelled out, 'When I Can Read My Title Clear.' I was so happy when I saw that I could really read that I ran around telling all the other slaves" (34). I can imagine her excitement, can't you? It practically leaps from the page even now, over 150 years later.
Tombstone of Belle G. Caruthers
She done what she could.
Belle went on to some further schooling herself; she then spent many years as a teacher in the Holly Springs area, passing on her love of and knowledge and learning. She married and raised a family. Belle also wrote for The South, the local county newspaper printed in Holly Springs. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History holds the newspaper for the years Belle would've written her column. I think a personal trip to MDAH is in order in the near future!

Do you see what happened there? I went into my search looking for one thing and came out with a great story and a new resource. (I can't wait to try this in my genealogy research!) Mrs. Belle may have passed away in 1938 at the age of 91, but I think she still has a lot to teach the world.

Blue Black Speller
Gravestone at Hill Crest Cemetery - She Done What She Could:
Rawick, George P. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography Supplement, Series 1, Volume 7 Mississippi Narratives, Part 2. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977. Print.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Books & Library Goodness...On Microfilm! Pt.2

We love images of libraries, books, or anything to do with reading (if you don't believe us, check out our Pinterest boards!). We come to you, again, bearing images that we have found while conducting research on microfilm. The first two show students using the library as a study space, and the third shows Mississippi Girl Scouts operating a hospital book-mobile!

"At public library, teenagers do research for term papers. Clintona is [a] relative new-comer to [the] city. Family moved to Detroit only four years ago from West Virginia where her dad worked as chief surgeon for West Virginia State College."

"During study period, Richard reads in library. His college plans are clouded by [the] very real possibility that he will be offered [a] bonus to sign with a major league baseball club. Bonus might be so big that he will find it hard to turn it down."
"Candy Stripers -- These girls are not really bookworms, but are Girl Scouts serving as hospital aides in the Candy Striper Organization at the Baptist Hospital. Here, they are shown taking the book-mobile to patients' rooms. Betsy Martin, center, and Peggy Tomlin, right, are working to receive their Hospital Service Aide Bar from Girl Scouts, a United Givers Fund Agency. Cam Moore, left, has already earned her bar."
If you missed part one, check it out here!

"At Public Library". Ebony. Oct. 1958. p.7. Microfilm.
"During Study Period". Ebony. Dec. 1957. Microfilm.
"Candy Stripers". The Clarion-Ledger. Sep. 17, 1962. p.2. Microfilm.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't You Make Me Repeat It: Just Eat It

A few days ago, I was flipping through one of our new Reference books, They Eat That? I was fixated: caught between tittering at the unmentionables that people eat and basically being awestruck at the inventiveness of humankind. Each entry gave an overview of an exotic, new food and included various trivia about it. At the end of many of the entries, a recipe added extra reading fun. Who can resist thinking about tulip bulb pancakes or scrambled eggs and brains? Some of my favorite entries reminded me of books I've read:

  • Bird's Nest Soup is a delicacy in China. They use actual birds' nests which are built from the saliva of the male swiftlet bird instead of sticks and strings. An interesting addendum about the nests is that they must be harvested in absolute silence. If the person finding the nests makes too much noise, they will "disturb the cave spirits" where the nests are found and "be punished." This specialty was featured in Lisa See's book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan:

    Swiftlet Nest
    A grand banquet was served with birds-nest soup, salted birds that had been pickled for six months, and wine-fed duck stewed with ginger, garlic, and fresh red and green hot peppers. Through it all I missed Snow Flower horribly and later wrote to her as many details as I could recall, not thinking that they might remind her of the dreadful oversight.
  • Mopane Worms are actually the larva of a moth, and therefore are really caterpillars. They are incredibly popular, and can be eaten alone as a snack or mixed with vegetables and sauce as a meal. Alexander McCall Smith talks about them in the first book of his series, Number One Ladies Detective Agency:

    Mopane Worm
    She offered the bag to Mma Ramotswe, who helped herself to one of the dried tree worms and popped it into her mouth. It was a delicacy she simply could not resist.
  • Earth is eaten across the globe. It is particularly well known in places like Burkina Faso and Ghana, where choice selections are available for purchase. There is a special clay in southwestern Burkina Faso called aloko, or caolin (kaolin) which contains a silicate with aluminum. Kaopectate, an anti-diarrhea medicine in the U.S., is made from the same thing. Who knew?! Eating earth, or geophagy, was mentioned in The Known World, the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner by Edward P. Jones:

    Balls of Clay
    He was the only man in the realm, slave or free, who ate dirt, but while the bondage women, particularly the pregnant ones, ate it for some incomprehensible need, for that something that ash cakes and apples and fatback did not give their bodies, he ate it not only to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the field, but because the eating of it tied him to the only thing in his small world that meant almost as much as his own life.
Now, go on out and have a nice, bland lunch. Next time you're traveling, though, or just out and about trying a new restaurant, why not try something new and exotic? Camel Kefta Burger, anyone?
Deutsch, Jonathan, ed. They Eat That? Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. Print.
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