Tuesday, September 8

Virtual Schooling Tips


You made the choice to virtual school your kids. Things are going okay but you have questions about how things are going. Here is a list of some ideas a teacher posted to help you feel a little more secure.

Tips for families doing virtual school:

1. Sit with your child a few times and learn the program. A lot of programs allow a child to answer twice. However, the first answer is what is counted for their grade. Often children do not understand this and so worry less about their first answer.

2. Click on all the buttons. Do this both in student and parent logins. Learn where they can see their grade. Learn where they can see their progress. It is important that they know how much they need to do a day to finish on time. Also, can you as a parent see their class syllabus or curriculum? This will let you know what they have worked on and what they will be working on.

3. Make sure they write some every day. Buy a workbook like Brain Quest (this one is really good for following standards by grade). Or have a notebook and give them a writing topic. Make sure they remember how to use a pencil.

4. Encourage them to read EVERY day. Make sure they have print outside of their computer time. Get a library card. Let your librarian help you find grade-level and books of interest to encourage reading. Set up goals for how many minutes and how many books read. Celebrate those goals.

5. Early readers have sight words to learn, make flashcards, and put them in a folder. Have a words I know side and the words I’m learning side. Help your child review these sight words regularly.

Whether virtual school, regular school, or homeschool, a key to success is for you to stay involved. Your child will be blessed and so might you.

Wednesday, August 26

Where to Donate Books during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Books can sometimes feel like our most valuable of treasures; their ability to transport, inform, and instruct can feel magical. If you are the type of person who is currently reading a blog post on a library website, I don’t think I have to make too strong a case about the feelings that books inspire.


Because of those feelings, it is understandable that we feel guilty when we run out of space in our lives or our shelves for ALL the books we would ideally like to keep. Therefore, instead of tossing our old books in the dumpster or leaving them in a box on the curb, we attempt to share the joy that these books have provided to us (or a loved one).


Here at the Flowood library, we have received MANY calls recently asking whether we are accepting book donations at this time. Unfortunately, due to the current CMRLS policy during this pandemic, we are unable to accept donations right now. Although we surely will in the future again, it is impossible to know exactly when that will be.


In the meantime, I have researched some options if you need to downsize your book collection for the foreseeable future. Wherever you decide to take your donations, please DO make sure that any books you want to donate are in good condition. A couple years ago, I stored my Harry Potter hardbacks in a place where the Mississippi heat and humidity got to them, growing mold and bending the cover. It bummed me out, but I had to throw them away, because nobody wanted to read those books! Anyway, here are some of your options.


  1. Goodwill - I called the Goodwill Center at the Crossgate Shopping Center in Pearl, and the associate I spoke to said they are accepting books. The address is 5708 Highway 80 East in Pearl, and the hours are 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. You might still want to consider calling ahead 601-664-3424.


  1. Salvation Army Family Store - The Salvation Army Store is accepting books at this time. They request no textbooks nor encyclopedias be donated. The address is 110 Presto Lane, Jackson, MS, 39206. The donation hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Please call 601-982-4881 to schedule an appointment.


  1. Big House Books - Big House Books is an organization that sends free books to Mississippians in prison and juvenile correction that request them. While they are not accepting general donations, they are currently looking for paperback copies of “dictionaries, urban fiction, CDL manuals, trade learning, GED manuals, James Patterson books, and John Grisham books.” E-mail bighousebooksms@gmail.com to donate if you have any books that fit this description.


  1. Little Free Libraries - You may have probably seen a little free library before. They are book donation boxes in publicly accessible areas where you can leave and/or take books. There is a helpful (although incomplete map) in the Little Free Library Website link below, listing several in Brandon, one in Mize, and plenty in Jackson. Our friend and former librarian Lisa B. tipped me off that there is a Little Free Library in Winner’s Circle Park (across from the Flowood Library) next to the vending machines, and one on Lakeview Drive, not too far from Oakdale Elementary.


For more information, please visit these websites:










Wednesday, August 19

Addicted to Love

"Your lights are on, but you're not home. Your mind is not your own. 
Your heart sweats, your body shakes. Another kiss is what it takes.
You can't sleep, you can't eat. There's no doubt, you're in deep. 
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe. Another kiss is all you need.

You like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah.
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough.
You know, you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love."
Addicted to Love, lyrics by Robert Allan Palmer

August is Romance Awareness Month, and readers of romance novels are addicted to love! Romance novels are big business, according to the Romance Writers of America website. The romance fiction genre is worth 1.08 billion dollars a year - a third larger than the inspirational book industry and the size of the mystery genre and science fiction/fantasy genre markets combined. Romance novels are considered "the beating heart" - no pun intended - of the publishing industry and the top revenue-generating literary category in the U.S. Even as the publishing industry as a whole has struggled, especially during the digital age, the romance genre has thrived. In the U.K. alone, a romantic novel is purchased every two seconds. 

And yet, romance novels are not winning any major literary awards. Even though they regularly appear at the top of the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists, the romance novel has long been the target of literary snobbery and ridiculed as a less worthy genre by its critics. As a librarian who has read hundreds of romance novels, addressing this criticism will hopefully bring greater awareness during a month dedicated to romance.

According to Romance Writers of America, romance novels have a formula that consists of two basic elements: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. The focus of the central love story centers around two individuals falling in love, facing struggles and conflicts, and resolving or overcoming those conflicts before the final page. According to the website, "romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality - ranging from sweet to extremely hot." The CMRLS library collections include various romance novel genres, series, and single-titles. The sub-genres range from Inspirational to Erotic, from Historical to Contemporary, from Paranormal to Suspense. Even the subgenres have divisions. Historical novels alone cover periods of time such as Medieval, Georgian, Edwardian, Colonial, and wartime eras. Despite the variety, romance novels are considered by a more literary crowd as formulaic fluff. Critics of the genre have one major complaint: romance novels are not realistic. Champions of the genre often argue that hunger is not a game and the dead do not walk; however, when it comes to the lowly love story, no arguments satisfy the literary elite.

A personal favorite, the Regency romance novel is a sub-genre set during the British Regency or early 19th century. Regency romances are a distinct genre with their own idealistic and chivalrous plots, along with suitable period customs, conduct, and conventions. Often, readers who are addicted to this genre appreciate the extensive research, hierarchy groundwork, and descriptive imagery that elevates the historical setting and family pedigree. But, mostly, they just love the storyline. The hero starts out as tormented or misunderstood, but always as handsome as Apollo. Even though they might be of different stations, the heroine is the one person who makes his life complete. After a proposal that includes a confession of undying love and life-long fidelity, readers are treated to the infamous epilogue.

Actually, there is a not-so-literary and not-so-nice term for readers who are addicted to the epilogue at the end of a romance novel. These readers are epilogue junkies, and they never recover. No matter how much one is tempted otherwise, the reader must wait until the very end for a well-written epilogue. Afterward, readers can close the romance novel, hold the book close to their heart, and smile for a few minutes - thoroughly smitten, captivated, charmed, and entranced. In a Covid-19 world of elections, protests, and uncertainty, the unfailing surety of the epilogue provides a much-needed fix...if only for a few, fleeting moments. Despite cardboard characters with no depth or shallow plots or even too-bizarre-to-believe happy endings, the romance reader always returns to the billion-dollar industry for another fix - aptly defined as a thing or activity that gives a person a feeling of euphoria or pleasure that is difficult to do without. 

"You can't eat, you can't sleep, there's no doubt you're in deep." What better month than Romance Awareness Month to be addicted to love.

Monday, August 10

Hope in Uncertain Times

In all my life, I have never had a personal experience with suicide…until last week. A dear patron that was a frequent visitor at my branch committed suicide. After the initial shock, I reflected on the two times I had interacted with the patron in the previous week. Should I have noticed something different? But reflection offered no clarity. The two times were like the hundreds of times before over the last 10 years, nothing out of the ordinary. It got me to thinking about how we keep our deepest thoughts and feelings buried many times and do not seek help or advice when we are in a not-so-good period of life, many times painting a perfect picture to the world and our friends.

The last five months have been tough on us all. It is not surprising that many are concerned. There has always been uncertainty, but it seems like today there is more uncertainty than most of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. Normally, we post to our blog about novels or events or other entertaining items, but today I want you to know we have resources if you are struggling in any way. Before I began writing this, I searched our card catalog and Freading for books we have available. An obvious subject search is “depression” or "grief," but I also found a tremendous number of resources by putting “hope” and “happiness” in the subject search. In Freading, I found by putting “hope” in the search box, it was possible to narrow the results by clicking on “self-help” or “health & fitness” to filter the results. There are a wide variety of printed resources available through our library system.

To those struggling, talk about it with someone. Sometimes just vocalizing our thoughts to someone helps, and we may find our struggle is their struggle, too. To those that know someone struggling, listen and be patient; don’t judge, criticize, or minimize their pain.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has some excellent information. Below is a link to an article on their website about emotional well-being during the COVID-19 crisis. There is information about coping during community unrest, depression, and numerous other topics.

Supporting Your Emotional Well-Being During the COVIID-19 Outbreak

We are not alone. We are all in this together. Let’s help each other. I will remain HOPEFUL.


Wednesday, July 29

Operation Haircut

It was a stakeout. No doubt about it. Several younger gentlemen were sitting in their POVs (Privately Owned Vehicles) watching a local business. They sat there and they waited. Patiently.

I parked my car and looked at the time. I couldn't believe it. It was 11:55 a.m. There was no line. The pathway was clear. I got out of my car, walked to the door, opened the door and walked inside.

Then there was an immediate slamming of doors behind me, a stampede and the patter of many feet. I quickly found myself standing in the front of a line at a local barber/stylist shop. I registered at the desk, met my stylist, sat down in a chair and proceeded to get my haircut.

"Clipper guard, Number 2," I said. "If you see any gray hair, please cut it."

Then I sat back. 15 minutes later it was done. I thanked the stylist, paid for the haircut and walked through a large group of younger men still waiting and waiting and waiting.

How I miss the good old days.

Since this COVID-19 pandemic began I have resolved that I'm going to learn something new. It would be a dangerous undertaking full of mortal peril. I was going to learn how to cut my own hair. It seemed like a good time for it.

As a librarian I had full access to all sorts of information at my fingertips. I ordered a new set of hair clippers online, and a new set of clipper guards. I would have these items as a backup to the hair clippers and clipper guards I already had. I would also have access to Clipper Guard #8.

Clipper guards offer a way to cut hair so that it is not too short. They range from Clipper Guard 1-8. If I want to cut my hair really close, I would use a Clipper Guard 1 or 2. If I want to have the luxury of making fewer mistakes, I would use a Clipper Guard #8 which would allow for longer hair.

I talked to a few people about hair cutting techniques. I watched several YouTube videos. The moment had come. I turned on the hair clippers.

I paused and looked at myself in the mirror. What's the worst thing that could happen?

If I messed up, I could always wear a hat.

I began cutting my hair a little at a time. The result was not too bad. It will get better with practice and think of all the money I will save on haircuts.

So, what has changed in your life since this COVID-19 pandemic began?

Have you learned anything new?

Tuesday, July 28

"I try..and I made it"

“We’re headed to the library,” we’d say. “Wanna go?”
“Go ahead,” he’d answer. “Waste your time.”
But now, when I told him my idea of building a windmill that would produce power—and then showed him what I’d built so far—he saw things differently.
“Cool! Where did you get such an idea?”
“The library.” (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Brian Mealer)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (P.S.)

 The book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was an interesting book about a young African boy whose family was unable to pay the fees so he could go to secondary school. It was during a difficult time in Malawi’s history but there was a small library nearby, so William spent his time there. From there he studied and invented his own windmill so his family could have electric lights.

The book is a difficult read at times because of the living conditions but it is also inspiring because it reminds us that a library can be important during difficult times. Sometimes that is when we need a library the most. He craved learning so he searched for it. He eventually will be recognized for what he does, and he changes not only his life but the lives of many in his small African village.  At his first inventor’s convention he is asked about how he did it. He said, “I went to library and I get information about windmill…And I try, and I made it.”

What do you need to learn?  What could make your life better?  Are you looking for skills for a new job?  Starting a new hobby?  Your local library may have the resources you need to expand your world in more ways than you could imagine.

Friday, July 17

Weird Books

These books have actually been written!

1. Do It Yourself Coffins for Pets and People: A Schiffer Book for Woodworkers Who Want to Be Buried in Their Work by Dale Power

2. SPAM: A Biography: The Amazing True Story of America's "Miracle Meat!" by Carolyn Wyman

3. Raising Smart Kids For Dummies by Marlene Targ Trill

4. Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat by Amy Hirschman 

5. Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet by Anne Montgomery

6. How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (And They Will) by Chuck Sambuchino

7.  The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification by Julian Montague

 8. Crap Taxidermy by Kat Su

9. Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse to Be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You Encounter by Rick Pelicano 

10. Extreme Ironing 101: A Quick Guide on How to Extreme Iron Step by Step from A to Z by Howexpert by Marie Claire Medina 

Tuesday, July 14

The Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer have definitely arrived in central Mississippi, but for the CMRLS libraries, dog days last all year. Some of the first books children read are those that feature their favorite dogs. Whether it's the Pokey Little Puppy Golden Book written in 1942 or the latest Paw Patrol DVD, those little puppies children love grow up into full-length memoirs and adult fiction favorites. Dog books do not skip age groups or generations. The local libraries love dogs as much as their patrons. Did you know that the CMRLS libraries have almost two thousand (1,922 at last count) fictional books about dogs? This figure doesn't include the hundreds of dog DVDs or nonfiction books, which include books from Mississippi to England, from heroic dogs to therapy dogs to rescue dogs, and from feeding to breeding or hunting to housing.

The dog days at the library begin with preschoolers and early readers and their favorite characters, such as Biscuit, Spot, or Clifford the Big Red Dog. They continue right through elementary school with dog names all kids recognize, such as Harry the Dirty Dog, Hank the Cowdog, Henry and Mudge, and McDuff. And then, as children grow up with their favorite dogs, the books grow up with them -- sometimes teaching more difficult lessons like those learned in Shiloh, Sounder, Old Yeller, White Fang, and Where the Red Fern Grows.

Even as adults, the love for dog books remains. One of Mississippi's own favorite writers, Willie Morris, is remembered for his most beloved memoir entitled My Dog Skip, which was filmed as a movie. But the Mississippi memoir is not the only book to movie that families have enjoyed. Others include Marley and Me, A Dog's Way Home, and most recently, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Library patrons of all ages have their favorite movie dogs, and the CMRLS libraries offer hundreds of dog DVDs, from Disney's Fox and the Hound, Lady and the Tramp, and those 101 Dalmations to Beethoven, Lassie, Benji, and Rin Tin Tin.

The CMRLS libraries also offer nonfiction books that range from bringing your new puppy home to spending the last days with a beloved dog. One can learn how to potty train a new puppy, what to expect from a vet visit, and how to provide the proper care for your dog, such as exercising, feeding, and grooming. However, the dog books that many patrons cherish are those that teach humans how to love unconditionally like the dogs that love them. A few of these books include The Grace of Dogs: A Boy, a Black Lab and a Father's Search for the Canine Soul; Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs; My Therapist's Dog: Lessons in Unconditional Love; and Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me About Life, Loss and Grace.

So where do all these dog stories originate? Some travel as far as the Gobi desert or the Iraq war or even Japan. The book entitled  Gobi: The Little Dog with the Big Heart tells the story of a love so strong between a dog and a marathon runner that it crossed the entire globe! Two books entitled Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle and From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War and a Dog Named Lava remind readers that even in war, dogs and humans can find ways to survive and thrive. And finally, Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog relates the story of a dog who accompanied his owner to and from a train in Tokyo, and after his master dies, continued to wait for him every day for many years. After reading the book, a patron can check out the DVD entitled Hachi: A Dog's Tale.

So do you have a favorite dog breed, dog book, or dog character? It is time for this blogger to pass the baton to all the cat librarians out there with a favorite children's book character, Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese cat who thinks he is a chihuahua or chi-wow-wow! One of the favorite quotes from the books written by Judy Schachner reads as follows:
My name is Skippito Friskito.
I fear not a single bandito.
My manners are mello,
I'm sweet like the Jell-O,
I get the job done, yes indeed-o.

During these dog days of summer, the CMRLS libraries are getting the job done with their dog books and DVDs...yes, indeed-o.

Monday, July 13

A Little Help with What to Read Next

Does your local librarian come to your aid when you are looking for something new to read? We always try. Sometimes, however, even the experts need a little help. "I like Danielle Steel and want a book like hers" or "I just finished all of Stuart Woods' novels and need another author" are fairly easy requests to fill, but sometimes things are a bit more complex. Where is a librarian to turn when they need help with recommending a next read? Often we turn to NoveList Plus. This digital resource provides multiple ways to find recommendations for your next book. And with your CMRLS library card, it is a free service for our patrons.

Recently, a patron read Lisa Wingate's best selling novel, Before We Were Yours, and raved about how much she enjoyed the book. Of course, she went straight to Lisa Wingate's novels on our shelf and checked out a few others. It wasn't long before she returned to bring back the novels, disappointed that they were not to her liking. Enter NoveList Plus where we were able to access a list of books that were read-alikes for the book Before We Were Yours.  With this information, we were able to pull novels for the patron that were what she was seeking to read.

To access NoveList Plus, click on the Digital Library tab on our web page and select Virtual Reference Collection. We have many excellent digital resources available that may be accessed through the Virtual Reference Collection page. If you click to access NoveList Plus, you will be prompted to input your CMRLS library card number.  Simple searches are easy to do if you are familiar with navigating on the Internet. NoveList Plus is linked with our card catalog so you can elect to place a hold on an item when you locate what you want to read. For more complicated searches, you may contact your local branch for assistance or there are YouTube videos from EBSCO that may assist you as well. Simply enter "NoveList" into the YouTube search bar to see what videos are available.

Another help feature for locating a book can be accessed by clicking on the Explore tab on our web page, The librarians at Mississippi Library Commission will recommend titles for you if you answer a few questions. Click on BookMatch to try this service. You will notice you may also access NoveList through the Explore tab. The Explore section of our website is full of reader's advisory help. NextReads and GoodReads are a few other digital resources for book recommendations. And if you are forever forgetting what books you have read, check out Beanstack. With this app, you can participate in reading challenges, log the books you read, and even write book reviews.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 10

Author Spotlight-Brenda Jackson

Don't miss this romance author!!

Mrs. Jackson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated from William M. Raines High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. 
She got married forty-seven years ago to her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon. She proudly wears the going-steady ring Gerald gave her at fifteen years of age. A few years ago, she retired after working 37 years in management for a major insurance company, and is now writing full-time and enjoying every minute of it.
She began her writing career in the eighth grade at Northwestern Junior High School, when she would handwrite my stories for fellow classmates to read. 
Mrs. Jackson has published more than 125 novels and novellas. Additionally, she has over 15 million books in print. She began her professional writing career in 1994 when she signed on with Kensington Arabesque. Her first book, Tonight and Forever, became a huge success, introducing the Madaris Family. Since then she has introduced the Bennetts, the Westmorelands, the Montgomerys, the Masters, the Savoys, the Steeles, and the Grangers, just to name a few. A listing of her books can be found on this website. They are too numerous to list!

To check out her books on Freading, click here!
On Axis 360, click here!

Tuesday, June 30

Did you know...

That the library system has the Mississippi Encyclopedia Online?

During our Covid-19 break, we got the opportunity to refresh our minds on everything that the Central Mississippi Regional Library System has to offer.

If you look on our Virtual Reference page you will find the Mississippi Encyclopedia.

Mississippi Encyclopedia is everything Mississippi, from A to Z.

This online version has all the same material in the book version of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, with some new information, with additional videos and images. 

Did you know...
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour declared 2 April 2004 Mildred D. Taylor Day?

The towns: Shieldsboro (Bay St. Louis), Pass Christian, Mississippi City, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and Pascagoula (East and West)—were known as the Six Sisters?

Mississippi had four base or main prisoner of war camps: Camp Clinton (Clinton), Camp Como (Como), Camp McCain (Grenada), and Camp Shelby (Hattiesburg)?

Mississippi beauty and barbershops occupy an enduring place in both southern society and culture. Eudora Welty set “Petrified Man” in a beauty shop, and William Faulkner used a barbershop as a backdrop in “Dry September.”

Local legend held that the name Jitney Jungle resulted from a printer’s error in the first newspaper advertisement that transformed Jingle to Jungle? According to W. H. Holman Sr., however, the name was a play on slang terms of the early twentieth century. Jitney was a popular name for the cheap taxis many customers used to travel to the store as well as a slang term for a nickel, thus echoing the firm’s slogan and advertising emphasis on saving money: “Every Jitney would be a jungle of bargains that could save the customer a ‘jitney’ on a quarter.” The Jitney partners estimated that customers could save 20 percent based on the cash-and-carry policy and self-service design, a viewpoint that inspired the longtime Jitney Jungle slogan, “Save a Nickel on a Quarter.”

Wednesday, June 24

Adventures in Freegal

During time at home during quarantine, we librarians were tasked with sharpening our skills--I personally watched and took notes on dozens of hours of webinars to continue thinking about ways we can improve our library service. The other thing we were asked to do during this time was to really get familiar with our digital library resources.

I myself had only been part of CMRLS for a month before the quarantine began, so I was really excited for this opportunity to really take a step back and look at what we had to offer. (No harm in looking on the bright side, right?) One of my favorite things I found, which I had not previously looked into much, was the digital music service Freegal.

Now, just to set expectations properly: Freegal is not Spotify. It doesn’t have everything available you could think of. But, unlike Spotify, it doesn’t have any annoying ads or make you pay for a subscription. And, for the time being during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has changed from 3 hours of streaming a week to UNLIMITED streaming.

And don’t worry if you’re not at your computer--it has an app ready for your phone. All you need is your CMRLS library card number and your PIN number.

But maybe you’re like me: not really all that into streaming. I like to download my music to my computer, and put it on iTunes, so then it’s stored on my phone. That way, I don’t have to use data to stream, and I don’t have to worry about it’s availability. If so, here’s my favorite part of Freegal: 5 free downloads per week!

It’s hard to tell what will and won’t be on Freegal, but I have to say, sometimes in the fun of discovery that I look forward to. In late March, I started a Jimmie Rogers kick after seeing his music on the soundtrack to the Ken Burns’s “Country Music” documentary from last fall. After perfecting my Blue Yodel, I downloaded a couple of Beyoncé songs I had been meaning to get for a while. I downloaded “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day” when we all mourned Bill Withers’ passing. One of my favorite country musicians, Jason Isbell, has his new album available on Freegal after releasing it in mid-May.

Sometimes, though, the fun is in finding--or reminding yourself of--music that you would have never thought about. I heard about the calypso folk styling of Alexander D Great when I heard his song “Maya Angelou” in the old CMRLS playlist “Book It,” listing a bunch of crazy songs with literary influences.

At least for me, music has always been a source of healing and comfort, among other things. I know a lot of people feel this same way. Freegal is an excellent, free source of satisfying your musical cravings during this unusual time, and it’s available to you through the use of your CMRLS library card!

Tuesday, June 16

Library Services Update

June 15, 2020

Dear Valued Library Patron:

On behalf of our entire family of libraries, we want to thank you for your support during the past couple of months. While our doors were physically closed to you, our Central Mississippi Regional Library System Board of Trustees and Library Team was committed to providing digital services which included access to eBooks, Databases, eContent, free Wi-Fi at all branches. We are grateful that you have continued to support us from a distance. Because of your support, we have been able to promote safety for our communities and our library team. We sincerely appreciate your vast loyalty and look forward to having you visit our libraries again soon.

What has been happening behind the scene at CMRLS Libraries? While not only getting your libraries ready to open and keeping everyone safe by quarantining and cleaning books, managing computer updates and cabling, moving the Mize Library, a new AC system at the Flowood Library, creation of policies and procedures for prolonged closing and reopening during a pandemic, and much, much more; the CMRLS staff have attended more than 2,530 webinars and self-paced classes ranging from the available CMRLS online resources to Top Ten Skills for Teaching Tech to Patrons.

We kindly ask that you refrain from visiting our libraries if you have any symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea), if you have had a fever of 100.4 in the past 48hrs, or if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID19. Additionally, we request your participation in our social distancing practices to safeguard our CMRLS team and patrons. Thank you for your assistance in this matter!  Libraries will follow all local guidelines to open at specified capacity rates. Below is a list of policies and operations that our libraries will be following, along with estimated dates of when each location plans to reopen.

·         Programming
o   In-person library programming, such as but not limited to story times and book clubs, will not be offered until further notice. We are offering virtual programs!  Visit us on our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/CMRLS.Libraries/.
·         Library Staff
o   The Library Team Member is required to undergo a series of health screening questions before entering the building. Those showing any signs of symptoms or fever are prohibited from entering the library.
o   Library Team Members are required to wear protective masks and gloves with frequent glove changes and hand washing.
o   Library Team Members are provided proper training and guidance on safety protocols and steps to minimize the spread of COVID19.
·         Library Services
o   Curbside Services include material pick up and return.
o   All book drops are open.
o   All returned materials are quarantined for 14 days. All fines and fees will be waived. Materials should not appear on patron’s account after 14 days of quarantine. This will not prevent further checkouts.
o   Appointments can be made at libraries to use study tables and computers. Study tables and computer stations are seated at least 6ft apart from one another.
o   Availability of computers will be limited. We will adhere to thirty-minute sessions to allow for others to use computers. Free Wi-Fi can be accessed on the outside of the library building.
o   All libraries are offering Curbside Document Delivery Services such as printing, copying, and faxing for a fee. Wireless printing is available at select branches: Flowood, Pearl, Magee, Mendenhall, Forest.
o   Notary services are available for a nominal fee at the following branches: Flowood, Harrisville, Magee, and Mendenhall libraries.
o   Meeting room use and study room use are discontinued until further notice
 ·         Library Cleaning
o   Tables, chairs, and other library surfaces are sanitized after every use.
o   High-touch areas such as doorknobs, screens, restrooms, etc. are sanitized frequently throughout each shift.
o   Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer are readily available for Library Team Members and patrons in the libraries.

We will continue to closely monitor the recommendations of local health departments and authorities to ensure we are serving you in the safest way possible. From the beginning of the pandemic, we have continued to prioritize the health and well-being of our library team members and library patrons. Thank you for being a CMRLS patron!  Be safe and be well. 

Warm regards,

Mara V. Polk
Executive Director