Wednesday, March 20

Genealogy Research: A Personal Journey

Genealogy Research: A Personal Journey

Who are you?  Where do you come from?  Do you really want to have answers to these questions?

No need to hire a Genealogist or an Archivist.  You can begin your journey here at the Flowood Library.

According to World Book Online, "Genealogy is the study of family history through records. These records reveal important events in the lives of people and their ancestors. Genealogical research is used to identify ancestors from written and oral records. It is also used to establish relationships in families. Genealogical research has become a popular and informative pastime for many people.

People engage in genealogical research for various reasons. Some people search for their family roots out of curiosity. Others hope to establish a legal right to inherit property. Still other people seek to join societies whose membership is based on lineage. In addition, some people search for parents or children whose identity has been lost through divorce or adoption.

A person begins genealogical research by recording his or her name on a pedigree chart—also known as a family tree. The person continues with the names of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. The family tree is expanded by completing a family group record for each ancestral couple and their children. Each person on the chart is identified by dates and places of birth, marriage, and death.

The best records for establishing the identity of family members are vital records. Vital records include birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. These records are kept by government agencies or churches in the area where the family lived. Other useful records include census reports, military records, deeds and other land papers, probate records (records having to do with a person’s legal will), newspaper archives, and cemetery records. Many government agencies and historical and genealogical societies are digitizing (computerizing) their paper records. This enables the records to be stored electronically and viewed on the Internet. These electronic records make it much easier for people to locate vital records of their ancestors.

The world’s largest genealogy library is the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. Its worldwide microfilm collection includes copies of records filmed at government and church repositories and at other genealogical libraries. In 2009, the library launched an Internet site with a searchable database of vital records. The database contains a wide range of records from the United States and many other countries.

Several businesses and organizations have placed vital records information online. Many of them provide assistance for people researching their family history." and Heritage Quest are offered free of charge through our computer system.

DNA Testing

I have been told that I am primarily of European descent, but I may also be 1/64 Cherokee Indian. I never had reason to doubt this family story until recently when I had my DNA tested through Ancestry and further verified through 23 and Me.

I could not verify my Native American DNA via Ancestry or 23 and Me. However, I did find out that I was less than 1% South African, more specifically from the Bantu Tribe.

I asked my father, where my Native American DNA would have come from, "Are you sure you are my father?" My father responded, "Only your mother knows for sure."

I turned to my mother regarding the South African DNA, and she told me a story of Dutch traders.

Finding out who I am has been an ongoing mystery.

You can begin your Genealogy adventure at the Flowood Library using the library's subscription to and Heritage Quest.

You can research census records, marriage records, family trees that have been placed online by members, and much more.

The scope of your research can be never ending and an adventure in itself.

My journey continues.

Monday, March 18

First Ever Central Comic-Con Coming Soon at the Pearl Public Library!

Pearl Library Staffers Kimberly Mooney (left) and Kristen Hillman
proudly show off the Central Comic-Con banner.


YES!  The newly organized - a joint effort of ALL nine Rankin County libraries - Central Comic-Con is happening, folks! 

Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance is FREE. 

So, mark your calendars!  You do no want to miss this! 

The idea of a Comic-Con first was birthed in San Diego in 1970 as basically a comic book convention complete with attendees sporting costumes. Since then, it has become quite the pop-culture event. Still attracting costume-garbed participants, but with added attractions such as artists, authors, video games, etc. comic-cons have gained in popularity, sprouting across the country. 

Plans for the Central Comic-Con  have been underway for months! Even though it is being held at the Pearl Library, all Rankin County libraries have worked really hard to make this monumental event possible!

First, there should be lots of costumed characters here! Hey, that's enough reason right there to participate!

The Pearl Library is already advertising the event on social media, the radio and in-house with a Central Comic-Con banner up in the library and life-size character cutouts!

The Central Comic-Con will have artists such as Tony Reed, Emily Riffle, Michael Hipps, Derek Craft and Will Brooks. Sean Starwars of Laurel, MS plans to be here as well.

Young Adult (YA) author Rendy Breland of Memphis, who is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has written a three-part book series, The Saga of Little Bird, will be here.

Janet Ferguson- Christian Romance Author: Ms. Ferguson is a contemporary Christian humor and romance author. She will be on site promoting her books.

There be Fortnite demos, video games and tournaments, table top games, Kids’ Krafts, drawing workshops, trivia contests and so so much more! 

All events are free, but there will be some things for sale, such hamburgers and hotdogs, t-shirts and buttons.  

To follow the CMRLS Central Comic-Con Facebook Page click on this link

or scan the QR Code below:

We'll see you there!

Happenings in Harrisville

We are having so much fun at Harrisville Library and we want you to come to join us in the fun too.

Coming up Saturday, March 23rd at 10:00 am, we will be showing the 2018 Universal Pictures production of The House With a Clock in Its Wall. The movie is rated PG and runs for 1 hour and 40 minutes. The movie stars Jack Black, Eli Roth, Cate Blanchett, and Sunny Sulijic. Free popcorn! Family Friendly.

We have a full calendar of events for April as well.

Saturday, April 6th at 10:00 am we will be watching the 2018 Columbia Pictures Industries production of Peter Rabbit. The movie is rated PG and runs for 1 hour and 35 minutes. 
The movie stars James Corden, Rose Byrne, and Domhnall Gleeson. Free popcorn! Family Friendly.

Saturday, April 13th at 10:30 am Peter Cottontail is hopping by the library for some fun. We will read stories, play games and make a craft. If the weather is permitting, following story time we will have an egg hunt sponsored by the Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department. Parents don't forget your cameras to snap a picture of the kids with Peter while he is here. Family friendly event

Thursday, April 18th at 4:30 pm join us for Family Bingo. Bring the family or bring a friend because it's bingo time again. We have some awesome prizes to chose from and some yummy snacks to enjoy while we play. Family friendly event.

Thursday, April 25th at 4:00 pm join us for our Make & Take. Rhoda Benton with Cross Her Art will be bringing with her a sweet little bird for us to paint. There is a $20.00 supply fee.
 Please let me Mrs. Kathie know if you will be attending the program by April 23rd. Adult only event.

Monday, April 29th the CMRLS Libraries will be closed for Team Development. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, April 30th.

Friday, March 15

Soap Making at Brandon Library

Between YouTube and Pinterest, we live in a DIY world. Recipes and instructions for everything from baked goods to household cleaners to makeup are all over the internet.

This is especially true of health and beauty products--like, say, soap. After all, when you make your own supplies, you know exactly what goes into them!

Join us at the Brandon Library on Thursday, April 11 at 6:00 pm for a special demonstration by Debbie Huff on how to make your own cold press soap! 

Thursday, March 14

April events at the Morton Library

We will be having a special Story Time on April 2nd!
It's Story Time with Winnie the Pooh!
Come join us for Winnie the Pooh stories and crafts and you
can have your picture made with Pooh for $1, sponsored be the Friends of the
Library to help support our summer programs.

Our other Story Time themes will be
April 9th : The Jungle
April 16th: The Alphabet
April 23rd: Cookies
April 30th: All About Dogs

For K-4th Grade
April the 11th at 5 p.m.
The Easter Bunny will be at the Library!
Come join us for a fun craft have your picture made with the Easter Bunny
for $1, sponsored by the Friends of the Library to help
support our summer programs. We will also be having special 
Easter eggs and whoever gets the golden egg will win an Easter prize!
We will look forward to seeing you.

Tween Craft Night

On April 18th We will be having tween craft night.
We will be making decorative paper out of 
shaving cream and food coloring.
Come have a good time with us!

Adult & Senior Adult
April 4th We will be having Ladies Movie Night
We will be playing Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again 
Produced By: Universal Pictures
Rating: ( pg-13)
Run Time 1 hour, 54 mins
This event is free  and for Adult Ladies

April 29th the CMRLS Libraries will be closed for Team 
Development. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday April 30th.

March 2019 Taylorsville Timeline To Do's

Let this March be a time of To Do's at your Library in Taylorsville. Listed below are some of the exciting events we have planned for you to mark off of your To Do List.

Each Wednesday at 11:00 am will be our Preschool Story Time. Our marvelous March themes are:
March 6th:   Dr. Seuss's Birthday Celebration
March 13th: Creepy Crawly Bugs
March 20th: Oh, So Slow Snails
March 27th: Eeek! It's a Mouse

These programs are filled with fun books, music, and crafts!

On March 11th  at 3:30, our Magnolia Monday for K6 will learn how to make a DIY pom pom. All you need is a fork, some yarn and scissors (provided at the library).

On March 12th  at 3:30, our Totally Teen Tuesday for Tweens and Teens will learn how to make a DIY pom pom and turn them into a comfy rug. Supplies provided at the library.

Our Adult and Senior Book Club meets on Tuesday, March 12th  at 3:00. We will be reading and discussing the latest novel by: Janet Dailey, Letters From Peaceful Lane.

Our Friends of the Library Chapter would love for you to join them on Tuesday, March 12th at 3:30, for their monthly meeting to discuss upcoming events and ways to help the library make them a success.

We look forward to helping you complete your Library To Do's.

Wednesday, March 13

The Virtual Reference Collection

The Virtual Reference Collection

The Reference Department at the Flowood Library offers exceptional assistance to our patrons who are performing research. One of the information assets that we have for our patrons is the Virtual Reference Collection found on the CMRLS website.

Often patrons come in and want a book on a certain subject because they have a research paper to do. We assist them in finding a book but also mention to them about the resources in our Virtual Reference Collection. Usually, they will say that their teacher said they had to use a book as a resource and not the internet. And that's when we explain to them that the references in our databases contain a variety of resources including academic journals and articles.

Well, by this time we have their attention, because, let's face it, the generation that is doing research papers is much more oriented to the technological arena.

My favorite two databases to show to patrons are Explora and World Book Online. On Explora, the research databases are separated by grade levels. But we don't just tell them about the databases, we actually go to the computer and demonstrate how to use the databases.

Our CMRLS website offers a more detailed explanation of what Explora can do.

"Explora provides easy-to-use features and reliable content from the world's leading magazine and reference books. A simple search and category browse quickly deliver relevant results including primary source documents, more articles, and Associated Press videos. Topic overviews provide users with a starting point for research."

For example, a patron could come to us and tell us that they were doing a research paper on World War II. Well, that's a good topic and of course, we have books on World War II, but it is usually best to attempt to narrow the topic down a bit and introduce the patron to our online resources. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to use Explora to explain the process.

First of all, there is a search box where the person can type in any words to find books, journals, or magazines. Since I mentioned World War II I am going to type that in the search box. When I type in World War II, I find that there are 240,097 resources. Obviously, that's entirely too many, so my next step is to ask the patron if they have a thesis for their paper. Some patrons, especially the younger ones aren't really sure what a thesis is. So, I continue to interview them by asking what it is that they would like to write about World War II. Often times they really don't know. So, we go back to the word "thesis" and I explain that the thesis is a statement that usually is written at the beginning of the page that sets forth the theme of their paper. It can be a belief or opinion that they may want to prove.

If the patron doesn't decide on a theme, I would suggest one so we could do an Advanced Search on Explora that would narrow down the results. A topic that could be used for World War II is the Holocaust. So, we would show the patron how to do an advanced search. You simply select Advanced Search, type in the main topic, which in this case is World War II and then in the search box under the main search box you would type in Holocaust. By doing this I found that there are 6,381 results. So, the patron could either browse through some of those or narrow the search down from that.

Once a patron is aware of what the library has to offer in the Virtual Reference Collection, they are both impressed and excited. They also like the fact that they can do this on their own computer at home. However, a library card is needed to access the websites offered in the Virtual Reference Collection.

There are many collections other than Explora that are available for use in the CMRLS digital library collection. They are of a variety in the nature of their subject and purpose. In my opinion, the databases that CMRLS has to offer are one of the best reasons to come into the library. The reference resources are remarkable. For example, free Mississippi DMV Practice Tests are available. There is an online site with free ACT and other Prep Resources. If entertainment is something in which you are interested, Freegal and Flipster are available.

Freegal is a resource in which a person can download five songs each week at no cost on to a smartphone or tablet.  Streaming is also available. Flipster is a collection of current issues of magazines that can be viewed at no cost.

I would encourage you to visit the CMRLS web page.

Click on Virtual Reference Collection and find out all the resources that we have, and remember they are free. It is important to emphasize that a library card with CMRLS is needed and in some cases the pin number associated with the account is required.

Thursday, March 7

Teen Tech Week: Minecraft

March is already here and with a new month comes new events! March 3-9 is Teen Tech Week. This week is meant for teenagers to improve their knowledge with different technology they can find at the library. These may include DVDs, databases, audiobooks, videogames, and other technology that is provided by the library.

In the month of March, Sebastopol Public Library is hosting Minecraft for 4 days to celebrate Teen Tech Week. Each person will get 2 hours to play Minecraft. We do not want to leave out the younger children in such a fun event, so this event is for ages 5-18! Come join us, bring your kids, or someone you know to enhance creativity while interacting with others in the world of Minecraft!

Minecraft days at the Library:

Tuesday, March 12, 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19, 3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

We ask that you contact Sebastopol Public Library about signing up to ensure everyone gets a chance to join the Minecraft fun.

Wednesday, March 6

Finding a Job

Finding a Job

One of the many things a library can specialize in is assisting patrons with completing job applications. Today a patron who is seeking employment must often access a computer and fill out a job application online. The problem is that many of our older patrons are not comfortable with this process or don't have the computer skills necessary to complete the task. Another problem is that some of those job websites are not user friendly at all. This can be a challenge even for the librarian who has the computer skills to help the patron complete the application.

Things were simpler years ago when one in need of a job could walk into a business establishment and ask for a blank job application that could be filled out by hand, or on something called a typewriter, and turned in for consideration.

Keep in mind a librarian is not supposed to complete the job application for the patron. He/she is supposed to point a patron in the right direction and let the patron do the work. A librarian is not supposed to have access to any personal information.

When Outlets of Mississippi in Pearl opened, several patrons came to the library looking for formats for resumes, so they could apply for jobs. This is available in the Resumes and Cover Letters section of Microsoft Word. I would find the templates for the patrons, the patrons would type the resumes, and I would print them off.

I noticed that very little effort was put into these resumes. There were mistakes everywhere. I handed the patrons the copies they requested, and they went on their way.

A resume should represent the best effort a potential employee can make to present their work experience in a positive light. It should ideally be one page although I have seen resumes with more than one page. A resume can always be improved upon and is never quite finished.

On occasion I have had the opportunity to review job applications and resumes from potential employees. Not everyone can be a librarian and I try to sort through each application very carefully. A librarian must have a certain degree of education and a pleasant disposition in dealing with patrons.

One can often tell what kind of employee one will get by the amount of effort they will put into a job application or a resume. I prefer to see an application that has been completed with as few mistakes as possible. This used to be the standard for job applications and resumes.

The CMRLS website has a Job Resources page under our Virtual Reference Collection. Many businesses and other organizations have websites with employment listings. I’ve always been fond of the job search website We also have several books on the subject.

Every morning during rush hour I see people in a hurry to get to the one place they don’t want to go…the workplace. I wish you the best of luck in your job search. Many people who find the job they love, find they never have to work again.