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Monday, January 30, 2017

Meet MLC Monday: Katie Gill

Meet Katie Gill, Digital Documents Coordinator at the Mississippi Library Commission! She processes and files all incoming state document periodicals, which are titles like the University of Southern Mississippi's Southern Quarterly. She's also currently working on a massive digitization project of Mississippi educational reports. Gill completed another large digitization project recently, making the Mississippi Library Commission's old newsletter The Packet available online. Both of those can be viewed online here. In addition to her documents duties, she also tracks down old images of Mississippi libraries for use on MLC's social media platforms and is a backup for the Reference Desk. She began at the Mississippi Library Commission in September, 2016.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. She is a graduate of the Mississippi Library Commission's Librarianship 101 program. Gill previously interned at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, Maryland, and the University of Mississippi Museum at Rowan Oak.

Katie says she enjoys her work at MLC because it meshes with her love for history. "I love seeing primary documents in context. The realization that one event can affect multiple other things, even years down the line--it's fascinating!" Gill points to devastation caused by Katrina as a prime example. Records that were destroyed during the hurricane are obviously missing, leaving large gaps in the documentation process.

When talking about her love for libraries, Katie said she could go on forever. "I love libraries. I love reading. I love the services libraries provide. When I've lived and worked in small, rural towns, things I took for granted in a larger, more metropolitan cities weren't necessarily available. There's always a library, though, and that library always fills the hole. Go to the library and they'll get you whatever you need!"

Like we said earlier, Gill is a huge fan of reading. Unlike many readaholics, she knows exactly what her favorite book of all time is. Not only that, she owns three copies of The Picture of Dorian Gray: one on Kindle, one that she bought many years ago for a high school class, and a beloved edition with annotations and extra content. She says the book has stood up well to multiple rereads and that she's got about a billion books that are her "second favorites." Us, too, Katie! She's currently reading Kim Newman's The Hound of the D'Urbervilles, a reimagining of Sherlock Holmes's world. When she's not reading, Gill enjoys watching game shows on the Food Network and Project Runway. She writes for several music blogs, including that at the Jackson Free Press. Katie is also a newbie knitter and says she has successfully created both scarves and hats. (She's still working up to socks and gloves.)

Until next time, happy reading!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ready, Set, Read 2017!

All right, readers! It's time to turn off the boob tube and turn on the reading lamp. Which reading challenge are you going to try this year?
  • Mississippi Reads Online Bookclub
    While not a challenge per se, this book club on Facebook run by the Mississippi Center for the Book reads one book each month. Challenge yourself to read along with them and weigh in with your opinion for each book. January's book is Ever is a Long Time by W. Ralph Eubanks.
  • World Tour Challenge
    We've seen several variations on this theme. There's a European Reading Challenge. There's a Women Writers of the World Reading Challenge. Read a book about each continent or written by authors from each continent--you decide!
  • POPSUGAR's Moms Reading Challenge
    This list challenges busy moms to read 20 books in various categories, like "a book short enough to finish on secret trips to the bathroom to escape the kids" and "a book that highlights the humor in parenting."
  • POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
    For those of us without little ones and for those supermoms among us, POPSUGAR has also created a "non-mom" reading challenge. These 40 books, plus 12 more for the advanced challenge, fall into categories like "a book recommended by a librarian" and "a book set in a hotel."
  • The TBR Jar Challenge
    Basically, you put book titles you want to read into a jar and pull one out when you're ready to read a new book. A variation on this would be placing your book challenge categories on slips of paper and drawing them out of the jar.

  • Goodreads
    This app simply asks that you challenge yourself. Pick a reading goal of 1-1,000,000 books (seriously, if you read a million books this year please let us know how you do it) and use Goodread's reading community to help you stick with it.
  • YALSA Hub Challenge
    While this challenge has not yet begun for 2017, we have our eyes peeled for the start date. Participants will read 25 award winning YA books between the end of January and the end of June. Head to YALSA's contests and challenges page for more information.
  • The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge
    This is another book challenge where you choose your own books from given categories. These range from things like "a book in a genre you usually avoid" to "a book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven't read yet."
  • Book Riot's Read Harder Reading Challenge
    Participants will read 24 books in a variety of categories like "a book about books" and "an all-ages comic." Bonus: six of the categories were suggested by some of today's popular authors.
Still want to read more books in 2017, but don't see the perfect challenge for you? We found two lists, one from Book Riot and one from Girl XOXO, that contain even more 2017 reading challenges.

Need help finding books to meet your reading challenge? Try our anonymous, personalized Bookmatch service!

Let us know your 2017 reading plans in the comments. Until next time, happy reading!
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