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Friday, August 28, 2015

MLC Reads: August 28, 2015

Oh, the books! The siren call of the printed page! (Or the eReader...)

The Other Typist
Suzanne Rindell
four stars

Set in America in the 1920s when liquor was illegal and women were bobbing their hair, we meet Rose. Rose is a typist in a police precinct; her life is boring and predictable until the other typist is hired. Rose's life soon changes! Hold onto your hats for a gin-drinking, women-smoking, and speakeasy good time. But be cautious... what you're reading may very well not be entirely the complete truth. (After finishing this book, we're still scratching our heads over all the plausible plots.) Something to look forward to when you finish reading The Other Typist: the film rights have already been purchased.

Mississippi Trial, 1955
written by Chris Crowe
five stars

Mississippi Trial, 1955 is a strong introduction for middle schoolers to the civil rights era in Mississippi. Although the book's centers around a young white protagonist, the tragic story of Emmett Till is told in a way that pre-teens can grasp. Chris Crowe has a pretty way with words, too. One of our favorite quotes from the book was,
"Maybe God put different kinds of people on earth so we could all learn to get along."
Highly recommended, especially with a group discussion.

written and illustrated by Noelle Stevenson
five stars

Nimona is a terrific graphic novel! Nimona is a young shapeshifter looking to join forces with villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart. A twist of fate marks the unlikely pair as heroes. Witty dialog and vibrant illustrations entertained us from beginning to end. We can't wait to read more by Noelle Stevenson. (Lumberjanes is on our radar!)

The Lion & the Mouse
written and illustrated
by Jerry Pinkney
five stars

Jerry Pinkney, an incredible artist, takes on Aesop's fable about a lion and a mouse. This picture book only contains a few "words"-roar and squeak are prominent-but more words are actually unnecessary. Youngsters will be attracted by the large, colorful pictures and will enjoy being able to "read" this one by themselves, making it a great jumping off place for book discussions.

 Death of Innocence:
The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America
forward by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
written by Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson
five stars
The way I looked at it, discrimination was somebody else's problem... That's all Bo would know. In time, he would also know whites, children in school, even adults he would do business with. We made sure he would never be self-conscious around them. He would not see the signs, or the attitudes behind the facades. For him, they would not exist. There would come a time, though, when that strength would make him vulnerable.
Mamie Till-Mobley's only child, Emmett Louis Till, was murdered by white racists in Mississippi on this day, August 28, in 1955. This is her insightful story: of being black, of being a woman, of having a sheltered childhood and a difficult birthing and impossible husbands. The legendary Emmett Till becomes so much more than a historical figure in the hands of his mother and a living, breathing boy steps from the pages. The horrors that he and his mother endured also spring to life, so beware--this can be a tough read at times. It's worth it, though, to stick with it until the end. Till-Mobley's spirit and soul are beautiful. We could all take a page from her book.

We've got these fun reads lined up for next week.
  • In the Unlikely Event
    written by Judy Blume
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    written by Emily M. Danforth
  • Dear Hank Williams
    written by Kimberly Willis Holt
  • The Silence of Our Friends
    written by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos
    illustrated by Nate Powell
  • North Toward Home
    written by Willie Morris
Until then, happy reading!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Libraries: Rebuilding Our Communities

FEMA - 15841 Books strewn outside the Pass Christian Public Library
Photo by Mark Wolfe 14 Sep 2005
On August 29, 2005, Katrina dug a giant, ugly, deadly swath across our beautiful state of Mississippi. Stories of the storm are plentiful. Every Mississippian can tell you what they were doing before and during Katrina. Stories about the recovery effort, equally so. The state and the nation pitched in; the relief effort was massive. Some of the many, many unsung heroes after Katrina have been Mississippi libraries and librarians.

The theme of Mississippi Library Association's annual conference in 2005 was Libraries Build Communities. Originally scheduled for October 25-28, the conference was cancelled due to recovery efforts in the state. The sentiment of libraries as community builders, however, was still very much alive. Libraries served in many important roles: bases of operation, reception centers for volunteers, information distribution sites, as well as their most well-known roles as places to check out books for both information and leisure.

Here are some of the outstanding Mississippi libraries affected by Hurricane Katrina:
The Mississippi Library Association has a wonderful publication called Mississippi Libraries. You can read the archives here and here. They published many stories about the impact of Hurricane Katrina across the state, on the role of libraries, and on the rebuilding effort. This is a short, noninclusive list of those articles:
The American Library Association has also written some excellent articles on the subject:
Ten years later, libraries in Mississippi continue to serve as community builders. We've rebuilt our libraries, we've replaced our books, and our communities are back, stronger than ever. We remember Katrina, but we're moving on to a brighter future.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Don't Iron While the Strike is Hot

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women in the United States the right to vote.  The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in 1878, but was not granted until August 26, 1920.  Today Women’s Equality Day serves as a symbol of the continuing fight for equal rights.

J. P. Laffont/Corbis Sygma
Betty Friedan, a founder of the National Organization for Women,
leads a march  in Manhattan in 1970 for the Women's Strike for Equality.

Women’s Equality Day also commemorates the Women’s Strike for Equality, sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW), which took place on this day in 1970.  The strike celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. It spotlighted issues current to the time (and still as important today): equal pay in the workforce, political rights for women, equality in relationships, abortion, and free childcare.  The strike was organized by Betty Friedan, the author of Feminine Mystique.  At 5pm (so that working women could attend) on August 26th tens of thousands of people gathered on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  The protested ended in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, with speeches by Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Kate Millett. Protests were also held in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. 

Check out our Bookclub Kits featuring Valuing the Vote Kit.   Also check out these books that celebrate women's rights! 

Happy Women's Equality Day! 
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement by Sally G. McMillen
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference by Joyce Hansen

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Printing: Now in 3D at MLC

Maker Bot Replicator 2X
This past Saturday, at the inaugural Mississippi Book Festival, the Mississippi Library Commission's 3D printer made its grand debut. MLC librarians gave demonstrations to the public all day long, but if you missed it (or just want to know more) we've got the skinny on 3D printing:
  • The Mississippi Library Commission has bought a Maker Bot Replicator 2X. According to CE Training Coordinator, Joy Garretson, MLC is "developing partnerships to help schools and libraries in Mississippi have access to 3D printing."
  • This groundbreaking printer does exactly what it sounds like it does: it takes the information programmed into it and lays down thin layers of material in a certain pattern, eventually producing a 3D object.
  • The printer will be yet another way for the Mississippi Library Commission to support all literacies and to meet our population's needs. Our residents will learn  basic engineering skills and programming skills, and thus stay on the cutting edge of technology. 
  • The 3D printer will also foster important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills and education in our young people.
  • Fun fact: several other Mississippi libraries now own a 3D printer. Puckett High School and public libraries in Philadelphia, Purvis, Quitman, and Starkville are all proud owners of 3D printers. Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library also has one.
  • The 3D printer will be available through MLC. Contact Joy Garretson for more information.
Snazzy cat ring made using the Maker Bot Replicator 2X

Friday, August 21, 2015

MLC Reads: August 21, 2015

What have you been reading?

Will in Scarlet
written by Matthew Cody
four stars

What makes a person a legend? Why does the world remember some and others fade away? Is it all just collective forgetfulness and wishful thinking? Matthew Cody explores the Robin Hood character in a whole new light in Will in Scarlet: what if Robin Hood weren't actually Robin Hood at all? We had a ball reading this one; it's always fun to see old friends in a new way.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bookin' It to the Mississippi Book Festival

If you read Lemuria Bookstore's blog post last week, you're already gnashing your teeth to get into the Mississippi Book Festival this coming Saturday. Features keep coming in, so here are a few more events you won't want to miss:

The festivities are beginning early for those of us who JUST CAN'T WAIT. Head over to the Art Museum Thursday night for the Cut-Up and Craft Preview and make a sculpture from copied book pages. If you're not much of an artist, we suggest stopping in Fondren instead. Here you can partake in the Liquor-ature Pub Crawl, which starts at Sal & Mookie's Pi(e) Lounge at 6 p.m, before moving to the Apothecary and Fondren Public. Sponsors from the Mississippi Center for the Book and Lemuria Bookstore will be awarding fun prizes!

Friday, August 14, 2015

MLC Reads: August 14, 2015

In The Fault in Our Stars, John Green says,
"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird, evangelical zeal.."
Here are some weird, evangelical, zeal-filling books that Mississippi Library Commission staff read last week:

written by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
five stars

This is the fascinating story of Brendan Chase, a teenage boy who seems to have a pretty good life. He is into sports, video games, and even has an amazing girlfriend. What more could any teen guy want? What everyone can't see is Brendan's fierce inner struggle with his body. This YA novel made us cry and then smile through our tears. Freakboy, written in verse, tells an important story of sexual identity and of learning to love yourself for who you are.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Doe, A Deer

On August 13, 1942, Walt Disney released his fifth full length picture, Bambi. Bambi was one of those movies I could recite from memory; I watched it that much. I definitely cried with every viewing. (Come on. You know you did, too.) Here are a few fun facts I bet you didn't know about Bambi and deer:

Friday, August 7, 2015

MLC Reads: August 7, 2015

It's book review day here at the Mississippi Library Commission. Here are our highlights:

Copperhead: Volume 1
written by Jay Faerber
illustrated by Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley
five stars

Copperhead follows single mom Clara Bronson as she begins her new job as sheriff on the planet Copperhead. Clara may be in over her head when she takes on hillbilly aliens (!) and a mysterious murder, but she finds an unlikely ally in her deputy Boo, who helps her along the way. Copperhead is a great sci-fi western that will spark readers' imaginations. The illustrations are vibrant and action packed. We can't wait for volume 2!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trademark Basics

We would like to thank Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, for presenting Trademark Basics at the Mississippi Library Commission today.  Participants learned a great deal of information concerning the process of obtaining a quality trademark.

If you were unable to attend Trademark Basics and are still interested in information on trademarks you may contact MLC's Patent Librarian, Laurence Smith, via email at or by phone at 601-432-4120.

Fun Fact: Escalator was actually a trademarked name for moveable staircases by the Otis Elevator Company; however, the name became a generic descriptive term and fell into the public domain after the 1950 Haughton Elevator Co. v. Seeberger case.  This meant that the Otis Elevator Company could no longer hold trademark protection on the word "escalator." 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mississippi Remembers

Growing up in Mississippi, there is always the danger of becoming too accustomed and too inured to our tortured past. If we don't remind ourselves from time to time, we will forget the sacrifices, failures, and successes of those who came before us. Here are three such memorable men.

Michael Schwerner was born in New York City. In his CORE application, he said, "I have an emotional need to offer my services in the South." He was 24 years old when he was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi.
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