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Monday, January 27, 2014

Jacks: You've Got To Be Nimble

A few days ago, someone asked if the old-fashioned jacks with which we played as children were still being made and sold. "You remember those, right? We used to play with them back in the day." Oh, yes, we most definitely remember them, and yes, jacks are still around. In fact, it's pretty amazing how long the game of jacks has been around. Some claim that the Roman god Hermes invented the game. He liked to play a few rounds with his half-brother/mentor Apollo (Bloomsbury).

Jacks has had several different names over the years. Some have called it knucklestones, doing so because jacks originally came from sheep knuckles and other various small bones. Checkstones and jackstones were two other popular names; checkstones is a similar game played with small pebbles, or checks (Collins).

Some of the best things about the game of Jacks, in our opinion, are its complete versatility and ease of play. It can be played by one person or a group. To play, one follows these simple steps:
  • Scatter the jacks
  • Throw the ball in the air
  • Pick up one jack with the same hand
  • Catch the ball with the same hand after it has bounced once
  • Repeat until all the jacks have been picked up
  • Graduate to a new round by picking up the jacks in groups of twos, then threes, etc... (Diagram)
We checked and found a plethora of jacks for sale. They're also available at many toy stores and drugstores. Have fun playing, and enjoy your blast to the past! 
Hermes. (1996). In Bloomsbury dictionary of myth. Retrieved from
Jacks. (2000). In Collins english dictionary. Retrieved from
The Diagram Group. Family Fun and Games. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 1992. Print.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mississippi Library Leadership Institute 2014

The Mississippi Library Commission announces the opportunity for up to thirty librarians in the state of Mississippi to participate in the 2014 Mississippi Library Leadership Institute (MLLI). MLLI is an in-residence leadership training program open to librarians employed in public, academic, school, and special libraries in the state of Mississippi. Funded with a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library services (IMLS), the Institute is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in the field of librarianship in Mississippi.

The 2013 Mississippi Library Leadership Institute had 27 participants, including librarians from archives and from public, community college, school, and university libraries. Their studies were focused in the areas of team building, improving communication skills, and strategic planning. They did group work, gave four presentations over the course of the program, and engaged in numerous hands-on learning activities designed to enhance the content of the lectures and presentations. Participants also took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test and received training on using MBTI in the workplace. After reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin, and Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Linkner, participants completed assignments designed to develop their skills as leaders in their institutions. Participants also received $1000 to implement a special project in their library with a community partner. Examples of projects include oral history projects, college entrance preparation, and digital literacy training.

The Institute consists of four three-day retreats held in Jackson over the course of one year. Eligible applicants must:

  • Have a master’s degree in librarianship accredited by the American Library Association (ALA)
    or be currently enrolled in an ALA accredited Master’s degree program in librarianship
  • Have less than fifteen years of professional experience
  • Be employed by a Mississippi library
  • Be nominated by their direct reporting authority such as Library Director, Dean, Administrative Board of Trustees Chair, Principal, Provost, etc...
The only cost to selected participants is transportation to and from Jackson. Dates of the 2014 retreats are:

  • April 2-4, 2014
  • July 16-18, 2014
  • October 22-24, 2014
  • January 14-16, 2015
Applications to the Mississippi Library Leadership Institute must be post-marked by Friday, January 17, 2014. Applicants will be notified of selection status by Friday, February 28, 2014.

Participation in the Institute is intensive; however, it is also extremely rewarding and fun. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Books - Dogs of Courage

Do you love dogs? If you do, our new book Dogs of Courage: The Heroism and Heart of Working Dogs Around the World is a great pick. This informative book by Lisa Rogak explores dogs in various helpful-to-human roles. For example, did you know that in addition to drug-sniffing dogs, that there are such beasts as cancer-sniffing dogs? Drop in soon to check out this book on everyone's favorite pet. See you soon!

Did you know that books at the Mississippi Library Commission are available for check out to the general public? Simply bring in your current library card from a Mississippi public library, fill out this short application form, and you're set!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Did You Know? Carons Aren't Circumflex

Have you ever wondered what the little mark above certain letters is called? While all symbols written on, above, or beneath letters are called diacritics, they also all have special names. The little "V" written above this "S", for example, is called a caron, a wedge, or a haček:
 When the "V" is flipped, it is called a circumflex:
Each mark changes the pronunciation of the letter in some way, depending on the language. Now you know! Go dazzle someone with your new-found knowledge!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Books - Epistolophilia

Did you know that books at the Mississippi Library Commission are available for check out to the general public? Simply bring in your current library card from a Mississippi public library, fill out this short application form, and you're set!

From time to time, we like to share with you the new books available at the Mississippi Library Commission. One of our new favorites is Epistolophilia by Julija Sukys. It details the life of Ona Simaite, a fascinating librarian who helped Jews in Lithuania during World War II. Check out our blog post about her from last year or come on in and check out the book. See you soon!

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