Sunday, July 31

Magnolia Databases


Magnolia:  Scholarly Research with a Twist by Amy Lee- Branch Manager- Brandon Public Library

At some point during our school years (as well as throughout adulthood), we were required to at least one project that required extensive, involved research on our part.   Usually, this meant using at least one type of database or online search engine.   Today, new resources and innovative technology are on the rise, racing to meet user demands.   While research of all ages and ability levels is something that is not disappearing anytime soon, there will, indeed, be a need for reliable resources with even more reliable and up-to-date, accurate information.    This is where your local library can help!  With a CMRLS card, patrons have access to a variety of print and digital resources, including Magnolia.

Magnolia is an online database that can be easily accessed through Central Mississippi Regional Library System’s virtual reference page.    With Magnolia, users can peruse a variety of scholarly books, journals, and/or journal articles, and other materials, as well as create a unique research experience.   The familiar basic search bar is available at the top of the EBSCOhost software page, but users can perform an advanced search and choose one or more enhancing features, including maps, photographs, type of publication, specific limiters, publication date(s), number of pages, language, and more.  Ebscohost also offers additional information features, including Newspaper Source, Business Source Complete, and Academic Search Premiere, further assisting in tailoring to a user’s research needs.

Not only does Magnolia feature familiar, user-friendly search features for its online database through EBSCOhost, but patrons also have access to more specialized databases, which are tailored to specific subject-based topics, as well as links to resources that are free to CMRLS cardholders.  For example, Magnolia features a clean layout of links, including access to online reference tools, including AutoRepair Source for cars, Novelist Plus online reader’s advisory resource, and Flipster (e-magazines).  

Additional resources that can be accessed through Magnolia’s online database include Explora- a reference informational database designed for Elementary and Middle School students.  Another helpful feature for businesses and organizations can be accessed through Magnolia.  Business Searching Interface offers a large selection of articles and information relating to major organizations and businesses.  Users can also view business profiles, including specific information and marketing reports.  Lastly, patrons have access to up-to-date information in the medical field through various articles, an index with A-to-Z information on common ailments and/or conditions, as well as a database containing natural alternative treatments, and medication listings with information on potential harmful drug interactions and side effects.  A translated feature is also built in for the Spanish-speaking community.

Phew!  This is a lot of information to take in, but the good news is that it is organized by Magnolia’s easy-to-use database and webpage layout.  Also, feel free to stop by your local CMRLS Library Branch, and our staff will be more than happy to assist you with instruction or assistance with any type of information.    It’s one more reason libraries rock and are needed today more than ever!

Monday, May 23

Mississippi Encyclopedia


It is eight o’clock at night when your child informs you that they have an assignment due on a famous Mississippian, what do you do?! Use the Mississippi Encyclopedia Online Source! It is your one-stop shopping for all things Mississippi! Your  A to Z guide!

Slugburgers? What is that? A thin meat pattie, on a bun with chopped onion, pickles, and mustard.

Sounds like Krystal burger but read the article and watch the video and you decide!

ShooFly Decks?

I want one now but I don't have a tree big enough in my yard!

Beah Richards? She was an award-winning actress! Her career was over 50 years, in television, movies, and plays!

So on one hot and humid summer afternoon, go to the website and poke around!

Wednesday, April 13

Be Money Smart at the Library

 Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. --Anne Herbert

Inflation is defined as the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time, and while most people can not do much about inflation, they can be money smart. Money Smart Week is a national public education program that empowers people with the knowledge and skills to make better-informed personal financial decisions. The American Library Association supports the program, which is scheduled for April 9-16, 2022, because the library is a great place to be money smart.

One of the most important reasons that the library is money smart is its location within the local community. A full tank of gas or more is not needed to make a trip to the local library. Programming is available for all ages at the library, from preschool story time to adult books clubs. Passive programming is also available at local libraries, including make-and-take crafts, drawings and guessing games for prizes, and handout activities to enjoy in the library or at home. One of the most advantageous programs for families is the Summer Library Program -- six weeks of free entertainment for the local community. With the sponsorship of local businesses, families can enjoy a variety of presenters and programs -- all free and all local -- at their community library. 

Not only is saving gas money a smart solution offered by the local library, but also saving money on books, DVDs, and other items available for checkout. Librarians love book stores as much as anyone who loves to read, but purchasing books during times of inflation might not be as important as buying groceries. (Some librarians might debate that point.) Why purchase the latest bestseller by your favorite author when you can check it out at the local library. And, if that bestselling book happens to be located at another library 40 miles away, it can be requested from home and delivered to your local library for pick up, usually within a week. The same is true for blockbuster movies, children's DVDs, and television series. Each month, libraries order the most current DVDs available. Another money smart solution for families is to trim the paid subscription services and check out the free collection at the local library.

Free is the best money smart option during times of inflation, such as free wifi at the local library. Almost everyone has some form of internet service at home, but an afternoon at the library provides the entire family an outing. Mom or Dad can read free board books with baby, while teens sit in comfy chairs enjoying a cool space to use their smartphones. Students can improve their reading skills with graphic novels, early readers, bilingual books, or the latest young adult series -- choosing the books they want to read. All of the above are money smart solutions for the entire family. With increased wifi speeds at CMRLS libraries, all residents are welcome to access the library's free databases  -- listening to downloads on Freegal, reading magazines on Flipster, or reading ebooks on cloudLibrary. 

While libraries might not solve the inflation issues facing families in our communities, we can offer money smart solutions. If you want to save gas money, enjoy free programs, and trim the family budget, the library is definitely a money smart start. 

Monday, April 4

National Library Week


National Library Week is this week, April 3 - 9. This is a time to celebrate and recognize our libraries, librarians, and all the great resources our library can offer. This year's theme is Connect with Your Library. This is a very fitting theme because that is what libraries do; connect people with other worlds, each other, the internet, and so much more. 

The Central Mississippi Regional Library System uses this week to recognize our local funding authorities and our loyal library patrons. There are many events taking place this week to celebrate National Library Week. 

There will be ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate our new Little Free Libraries in Harrisville, Puckett, Pelahatchie, and Morton. There will be patron appreciation events all throughout our system. Visit our online calendar for the complete list of programs your library will be offering this week! 

The Power of Poetry

 "On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at the presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe. Her poem, "The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country" ...celebrates the promise of America and affirms the power of poetry.

--An excerpt from the book jacket of The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Most Americans watched as a young woman dressed in yellow as bright as sunshine stepped up to a podium and began to speak. For the following five minutes, the power of poetry entered into homes to fix the listener in rapt attention. The poet is Amanda Gorman, and the event was the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. Despite all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the inaugural festivities, poetry won the day and the heart of a country.

Therein lies the power of poetry -- to stir the soul, to soothe the heart, to embrace hope, and to empower the listener to respond or act. April is National Poetry Month, and according to the official website, it is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and poets marking poetry's important place in our culture and our lives.

Throughout history, the power of poetry has been recognized by some of the world's most famous citizens. Plato stated that poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. Emily Dickinson said, "If I feel as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." Edgar Allen Poe defined poetry as the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. Samuel Beckett described poets as philosophers of the intelligence of humanity, and Wallace Stevens said the poet is the priest of the invisible. 

The CMRLS libraries certainly understand the power of poetry in all its many forms. An initial search of the system's card catalog lists 2,376 item records. A more advanced search displays a variety of poetry subjects from A to Z, from Tennesse to Thailand, from birth to death, from Hiawatha to Helen of Troy. The library collection includes popular works by American poets, English poets, Irish poets, and Scottish poets, but also a broader global community of Portuguese, Chilean, Greek, and Korean. One can find poems to suit all moods and interests, emotions and experiences, celebrations and sorrows, passions and protests.

In his essay, A Defence of Poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote the following: The most unfailing herald, companion, and follower of the awakening of a great people to work a beneficial change in opinion or institution is poetry. At such periods, there is an accumulation of the power of communicating and receiving intense and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature. The persons in whom this power resides may often, as far as regards many portions of their nature, have little apparent correspondence with the spirit of good of which they are ministers. But even while they deny and abjure, they are yet compelled to serve, the power which is seated at the throne of their soul. It is impossible to read the compositions of the most celebrated writers of the present day without being startled with the electric life which burns within their words.

And a present-day nation listened as the youngest poet ever to speak at a presidential inauguration startled her audience with the electric life which burned within her words...the power of poetry. 

Your Personal Readers' Advisory Librarian

 Have you ever been looking for your next book, but you don't know where to start?  What about finishing a series and you want another one like it?  You ask your friends.  You ask your librarian. Or maybe you don't want to ask because that last series you read was a a little risque and you don't want to admit how much you liked it.  Well, whatever the situation, we are here to show you how to find your next great read.  It's right at your fingertips at your library's website!

We're going to take you through this step by step and you are going to wonder where this wonderful tool has been all your life.  First, click on the link above and go to our website. 

Choose Explore  and then Novelist Plus  and then get ready to spend a little time doing what we like to call "book window shopping."  And make sure you've got your library card ready for the next step.

Type your library card number into the Patron ID box.  If you have any questions or problems with this step, call or visit your local branch.  Stop by if you don't have or have lost your library card too.  

Now that you're in, let's have some fun! Most of us have a favorite type of book that we like to read, so this is a great place to start.  Under the Recommended Reads List you can search by age and genre in fiction and non fiction.  There are even sub-genres for each one if you want to get more specific. 

There are also suggestions under I'm in the mood for books that are...  These are more specific and change periodically.  

Maybe you have a favorite author but have trouble keeping up with all of the books they have written or you can't remember the order of the books.  Just type in the name of the author in the search box on the home page and you can find all the answers you need.  Under the authors information you will see a list of their books.  Search by books and you can get them listed alphabetically or by date. Choose series and then you can see each series the author has written and the order of the books in it. This is great if you read anyone other than Janet Evanovich or Sue Grafton.  

Maybe you just finished an epic, life-changing series and are heartbroken because the next book isn't coming out for two years or worse is finished. You want to read another book or series like it ASAP. We've got you covered.  Search for the series on the home page and you will see that each book not only has Title Read-alikes but author and series also.  Plus, there are always suggestions listed on the right side of your screen.  There is bound to be something to help you out in one of those lists. 

 Here is a sample of a read-alike list.  You can even print it out and hand it to your favorite librarian along with your library card and just tell them to pick one and surprise you.  Who knows?  You might find your next favorite series.

If you are the independent type, you'll love this feature.  When you choose a book to see more about it, it tells you how many copies are available in our library system.  If you click on that blue box, it will take you right to our library system's online catalog so you can order a copy and have it sent to the library of your choice.  

Now one more thing before we finish up. If you get in this website and get lost and can't remember all of the wonderful books you found to read, this will be your best friend.  Go to the top and create an account.  Then, when you find a book you want to remember, click on the folder (where the arrow is pointing) and it will save it for you.  

So the next time you get on the Novelist Plus site, all you have to do is sign in and click on the folder in the top right corner and all those great books you want to read are right there waiting for you.  

We hope you will learn to love this site as much as we do.  It such an easy way to find your next book.  Happy reading!

Saturday, February 26

Read Across America

 Read Across America

In 1998, the National Education Association (NEA) launched Read Across America, the nation's largest celebration of reading.  This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read.  The NEA offers a list of titles and resources which reflect students' interests, as well as introduce them to new places and characters that could be different from their own.

Read Across America Day is celebrated on March 2, which is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Most schools celebrate on the school day closest to March 2, while community centers, libraries, and museums may celebrate over the entire week. During this time, teachers, librarians, and students everywhere will wear tall striped top hats and red ties.  They will read books about a cat who is not quite cut out to be a babysitter, or possibly an elephant who saves a teeny, tiny town.

Theodor Geisel is most known for his children's books, but he worked as a commercial illustrator for almost twenty years.  He worked on the FLIT insecticide advertising campaign, created political cartoons for the New Your newspaper, and illustrated posters for the U>S. government during World War II.  No matter the literary venue, it is hard to miss the distinct style in Theodor Geisel's work.

When Geisel did, in 991 Bob Chase, who was the NEA president at the time said, "we are calling for every child in every school in every community to be in the company of a book on Read Across America Day, in celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday."

In President Joe Biden's Read Across America Day Proclamation, he said, "The key to developing your learners into engaged, active and innovated thinkers is instilling in them a lobe of reading at an early age.  Reading is the gateway to countless skills and possibilities - it sets children on the path to a lifetime of discovery."

Help us celebrate Read Across America Day by stopping by your local library and checking out a book to read.  The CMRLS libraries have several special events planned for you to enjoy.

Harrisville: Dr. Seuss Birthday Party, March 1 at 4:30 p.m. This is a family program.

Flowood: Dr. Seuss Story Time and Butter Making, March 1 at 6:00 p.m. and March 5 at 1:00 p.m. This is a family program.

Raleigh:  Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss Story Time, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. This is a preschool program.

Forest:  Dr. Seuss Read Across America Celebration March 2 at 4:00 p.m. This program will be for children from Kindergarten age to fourth grade. 

Pearl:  Dr. Seuss Story Time, March 2 at 10:00 a.m. This is a preschool program. 

Pearl:  Dr. Seuss Story Time, March 2 at 4:00 p.m.  This program will be for children from kindergarten age to fourth grade.

Lake: Read Across America Story Time, March 2 at 10:30 a.m.  This program will be for preschool children.

Florence: Dr. Seuss Story Time, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. Preschool and March 3 at 4:00 p.m. for children kindergarten age to fourth grade.  

Tuesday, January 11

A Time for Celebration

In mid-January, there is excitement in the air for authors, publishers, librarians, and readers as the annual Book & Media Awards and the Youth Media Awards are announced. The announcements are made during the American Library Association’s Mid-Winter Meeting each year. This year, the American Library Association is changing their format to something called LibLearnX. “LibLearnX will offer innovative and participatory education programs to help you learn, network, and find solutions. Attendees can expect a combination of different formats geared toward higher-level education conversation, hands-on interaction, and trend-scanning information,” as noted on the LibLearnX website.  A large number of awards are presented at the Book & Media Awards and the Youth Media Awards. You may explore them all through American Library Association’s website at Today we will provide information about five of these awards.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence:

Started in 2012, this medal is awarded to one adult fiction and one adult nonfiction title each year. The award was established to provide a guide for adults that are looking to select quality reading materials. Each year, a long list of titles is selected under each category and then that list is reduced to a short list of three titles each of fiction and nonfiction from which the medal winner is chosen. To view previous years’ winners and finalists,

Coretta Scott King Book Awards:

These awards started in 1969 and were created by two librarians and a book publisher that desired to create a method to recognize and encourage the talents of African American authors and artists. The award commemorates the late Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife, Coretta Scott King. The awards committee names winners in three categories: Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award, and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. Books that are selected “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” To view previous years’ winners and honorees,

John Newbery Medal:

First awarded in 1922, the Newbery Medal was the first book award for children’s literature in the world. Even today, it is still the most discussed and well-known award for authors of children’s literature. The award is named after John Newbery, an English publisher in the 18th century, that was perhaps the first to recognize that children’s literature could be a profitable venture. To be considered a candidate for the medal, an author must be an American citizen and their work published in the United States. The medal is awarded to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the previous year. Each year the committee names one medallion winner and normally includes several honor winners. To view the previous years’ winners and honorees,

Randolph Caldecott Medal:

Established in 1937, the Caldecott Medal was created to recognize and honor the artists/illustrators of children’s picture books. The Newbery Medal already recognized authors of juvenile literature and many felt artists/illustrators should also be recognized. Thus, this second medal was established. Like the Newbery, the Caldecott Medal winner must be an American citizen and their work published in the United States. The medal is awarded to the illustrator of “the most distinguished picture book of the year.” The award is named for Randolph Caldecott, who was a prominent illustrator in England in the 1800s. To view previous years’ winners and honorees,

Michael L. Printz Award:

Named for a high school librarian that was active in YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the ALA (American Library Association). The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the ALA, and was established in 2000 to recognize a work that exemplifies excellence in young adult (teen) literature. Libraries had started separating children's fiction into  juvenile fiction and young adult fiction. The creation of this award allowed for recognition of the young adult category. Unlike the Newbery and Caldecott medals, books previously published in other countries may be considered if an American edition has been published within the designated period. The committee names one winner and several honor winners as well. To view previous years’ winners and honorees,

These are just a few of the honors that will be bestowed January 23-24, 2022. It is an annual event that many anxiously await. Count me among them as a librarian that is passionate about reading.




Monday, November 22

Discover Gale Virtual Reference Library


Find a Wealth of Information in a Few Clicks with eBooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library

Easy to access through a Google Chrome app and save content directly to Drive

Gale eBooks on CMRLS is a one-stop learning destination for all of your ready reference needs! Let’s look at a few examples.

Here’s a familiar scenario: a high school student is writing a paper about Bill Gates. They are only allowed one internet source, and need book sources. What a perfect use of GVRL!  Sure, the database is accessed via the Internet, but the sources themselves are books. Glorious, full-text reference books!

A GVRL search returns two of the full-text reference books; both of the volumes have entries for Bill Gates. The student is skeptical – the entries looks like an internet print-off and they are worried that their teacher won’t believe that it really, truly, is from a book. No worries, just click on the “View PDF” link at the top of the Bill Gates entry and the screen changes to look like the entry from the print edition, just as if the student had photo-copied the page from the book itself.

There is even a “Listen” button. Press the triangle “Play” button and listen to the entry read by a computerized voice. It’s a nice voice – not overly robotic and with excellent pronunciation (not like your incomprehensible caller ID announcer; more like a real, human voice!)

Now, would the student like a citation of this source? Of course they would! Click on “Citation Tools” on the right side of the screen and choose from MLA or APA styles. You can even save the citation to one of a number of online options like EasyBib, EndNote, or ProCite.

The student doesn’t have to check out this eBook or any eBooks. They can access CMRLS’s full collection through our website Gale eBooks, or download the “Gale eBooks” Google Chrome app. After their first login with his library credentials, they can authenticate and login with his Google account credentials. Once logged in with Google, they can save articles or article highlights directly to Google Drive for future use.

The student is now ready to write their paper. Meanwhile, their parent has been watching this interaction and pipes in with a question of their own. “Is there anything in there about hypertension? This kid is giving me high blood pressure!” Yes, indeed, the GVRL has many eBooks on health topics. You can click “medicine” on the homepage of the database or just search key terms. 

Now, the parent is onboard with GVRL too, and gets excited. “I’m thinking about opening my own business. Are there books in this database to help me get started?” Yes, yes, yes! There are eBooks on business plans, e-commerce, and more. There are search limiters on the right side of the page as well, to really narrow the search to relevant topics, sources, and document types. One of the document types listed is “statistical data,” which is extremely useful in this kind of research!

It is even possible to translate articles into a variety of languages, making this a truly accessible resource. You can even download the MP3 to listen to an article offline.

This database is an extremely practical and relevant and accessible to you 24/7. Access Gale eBooks on GVRL from our library’s website CMRLS: Gale eBooks Should you have any questions, please contact our customer service at CMRLS.



Monday, November 15

Let's Celebrate Picture Book Month!

Celebrate Picture Book Month

    Children’s librarians LOVE picture books. They are perfect for teaching a lesson or a moral in thirty-two pages, and the illustrations can be as close to Art on the page, as Art on the walls. They are also great read aloud and acted out by the reader. Picture books pull young readers in when they are little and can make them life-long readers and learners

    There are not too many picture books that I do not like. I would like to highlight a few that I have enjoyed sharing in previous story times. Personally, I enjoy picture books that make me laugh aloud. One of those books is This is Not my Hat by Jon Klassen. A mischievous fish takes a hat from a much larger fish and “thinks” he is getting away with it. Let us just say the results do not fare well for the mischievous fish.

    I also like books that are fun to read aloud. Wet Dog by Elise Broach is hilarious. If you have a thick, southern drawl like I do, and read the antics of this hound, the kids go nuts. The illustrations are so bright and vibrant the kiddos are at once taken with it. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith is funny as well. The repetition and tongue twists can be a challenge for the reader but are great fun for the listener. Another author, Mo Willem, is great whether you want to read about Elephant and Piggie, or that crazy Pigeon. The books are perfect for early readers because they are funny, relatively short, and children can relate to the characters.

    So, what picture books do you enjoy? Have I left off your favorites? Of course, I have! I could mention books by Seuss, Carle, Bunting, Mayer, Potter, Wood, Henkes, Brown, but I just wanted to highlight a few of my favorites. I encourage parents to take the time to read to your children while they are young. Doing so, could be the difference between a reader and a non-reader.


Tuesday, November 9

Veteran's Day Closing

 CMRLS Veteran's Day Closing: 

All CMRLS libraries and administrative office will close Thursday, November 11, 2021 in observance of Veteran's Day. We will reopen at our regular hours on November 12, 2021

Monday, November 8

International Games Week

         International Games Week started out as a simple idea, can you set a world record by having the most number of people playing the same game, at the same time, on the same day at libraries around the world? Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholson sparked the idea in 2007. They called it National Game Day. In 2012, the name changed from National Games Day to International Games Day, then in 2017, it changed names again to what we now know, International Games Week. The event has grown to include all seven continents.

    The date for this year's International Games Week is November 7-13, 2021. During this week, libraries from around the world participate in local and international activities. The events vary by location. Past events would include a Rock Band concert, Mario Kart Tournaments, and simple board games. Things have changed a little bit with COVID-19. This year they have included some downloadable games for you to print out and play.

Below is the link to the PDF of all the Print and Play games:

   International Games Week sponsors include:

American Library Association

Australian Library And Information Association

L'Associazione Italiana Biblioteche

For more information about International Games Week and the sponsors visit the following website:

    Did you know that your library system has games for the following systems; Wii Gaming Console, Playstation Gaming Console, Xbox Gaming Consoles, and the Nintendo Gaming Systems? If you are 18 and older, all you need is a current library card. You are allowed to check out 2 games at a time and you are allowed to keep them for one (1) week. As the systems change, we strive to keep up with the current games. 

   On a personal note, games have evolved since I was a child. My first gaming system was the old Atari system. We loved that game system. My children have grown up with the Super Nintendo to the Nintendo Switch and much more. Now both of my youngest boys play RPG online with their friends and people all across the county. There is something to be said about the classic board games. When the weather gets bad and we think the lights are going to go out, we break out the battery-powered lanterns and some of our favorite board games. 

   Did you have a favorite board game or a favorite video game as a child? Do you play games on your phone/tablet, if so, what are some of your favorite games?

Wednesday, November 3

New Branch Manager at Sebastopol

Sebastopol Public Library has a new branch manager! Ms. Carolyn Price is very happy to meet her new patrons and to serve the community in Sebastopol. Sebastopol Public library is located at: 17403 Highway 21 North Sebastopol, MS 39359. Please stop by and take advantage of all the great services our Sebastopol branch has to offer!

Sebastopol Hours: 


9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday – Sunday


Friday, October 29

Happy Retirement to Ms. Joyce Bradshaw!

A retirement reception was held in honor of Joyce Bradshaw, Branch Manager of the Polkville Public Library on October 28, 2021. Ms. Bradshaw has been a valued and devoted staff member of Central Mississippi Regional Library System for more than sixteen years. She was awarded a plaque of service from both CMRLS Director Mara V. Polk, and the Mayor of Polkville, Robert W. Miles.  Ms. Bradshaw is looking forward to continue serving the library as a Friend of the Library. Thank you to the Polkville Friends of the Library for hosting the reception. 

Joyce Bradshaw with Polkville Mayor, Robert W. Miles

CMRLS Director Mara V. Polk, Coordinator of Branch Service Kimberly Cook, Smith County Board of Trustee Mrs. Margie Harper

Mara V. Polk (CMRLS Director) and Ms. Bradshaw

Joyce Bradshaw and family

Ms. Bradshaw and grandchildren

Happy Retirement from CMRLS mascot Acorn!

Monday, October 25

World Book Online-Learning Anytime, Anywhere!

    As a valued CMRLS patron, your library card can offer more to you than just books. You have free access to our digital reference service called World Book Online. This wonderful learning tool is great for every member of your household, no matter the age. 
    The learning opportunities with World Book is nearly endless. Modules are divided into age groups, and continue into adult learning. Modules are also available in Spanish. Are you an educator? World Book offers educator tools such as, professional links, lesson plans, and Webquests. 

    Are you more of an interactive learner? With World Book Online Timelines you can travel virtually studying nearly every subject throughout history. An example would be, did you know author of Little Women,  Louisa May Alcott was also an artist? Her artwork "Hospital Sketches" was published in 1863. Four years later she became the editor of a girls' magazine called, "Merry's Museum". There is even a feature to create your own timeline. 

    If you need resources for distance learning, World Book Online is a valuable resource. Simply search your topic and begin learning. There are extra tools that help with research, citation building, headlines, government websites, and even interactive maps. All you need is your CMRLS library card and pin to get started. World Book Online is learning anytime, anywhere. Why not start today!


Monday, October 18

Janet Paczak Winner of Peggy May Award


Central Mississippi Regional Library System staff member Janet Paczak was awarded the Mississippi Library Association Peggy May award.The award is in honor of the late Peggy May's professional accomplishments, and to recognize individuals who exemplify her outstanding achievement in library development and/or recruitment of personnel to the library field. Janet Paczak is the Youth Services Assistant at the Brandon Public Library. 

For more information about the Peggy May award please visit: MLA

Friends of the Library Week


  We would like to dedicate this month's blog to everyone who has become a member of the Friends of the Library program.  We are very grateful for all of the hard work and dedication they put forward and are appreciative of all that they do for our library system.

Friends of the Library plays a vital role for all of our libraries across Central Mississippi.  They spend many  hours helping to arrange our book sale events and also host many fundraisers, as well as volunteering countless hours to help with our many needs.  They truly love what they are doing and it shows in all that they do. Many of the programs that we put together for our patrons would not be possible without the help of the volunteers from Friends of the Library.

If you would also like to become a part of this incredible group of volunteers, we ask that you consider becoming a member of the Friends of the Library program!  Young children and many of the communities throughout Central Mississippi depend on our library system to help their families thrive and grow, and Friends of the Library help to accomplish this goal.

The week of October 17-23 is the National Friends of the Library week.  If you are interested in becoming a part of the Friends of the Library Program, please contact your local CMRLS Library for more details.

Everyone at CMRLS would like to thank you for everything that you do!

Wednesday, October 6

CMRLS Winner of "Back in the Fold" Award


Central Mississippi Regional Library System

honored for Back in the Fold Award

New awards program by Unique Management Services celebrates impactful libraries 

Brandon, MS (October 2021)Central Mississippi Regional Library System has been honored for its exceptional impact on the communities they serve. CMRLS earned the recognition through a new award program from Unique Management Services, the world’s leading library material recovery and patron communication services company. The awards celebrate impactful libraries that provide vital services, protect public assets and keep patrons in good standing.

The library system was awarded for its work to return a high percentage of patrons to good standing with the Back in the Fold honor. By bringing patrons ‘back in the fold,’ the library ensures continued use of its vital services and supports equity and accessibility in its community.

“All libraries deserve recognition for their unprecedented response this past year to provide vital services to their patrons and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Unique President and CEO Nicole Atkins. “Unique developed this award program as a small way to say thank you, celebrating libraries and librarians like CMRLS for their constant dedication and meaningful impacts.”

Libraries face a difficult road ahead – already underfunded and looking at further drops due to pandemic-related budget cuts and reliance on city and county use taxes impacted by COVID-19. Recovering lost or unreturned books is more important now than ever to maintain budgets, limit the cost of material replacement and protect taxpayer dollars. As libraries evolve to maintain their collections as philosophies shift about fines, keeping patrons in good standing and securing the timely return of materials is essential to ensure access and equity.

"The public library is one of America's greatest institutions where everyone is welcome and has access. The CMRLS mission is to be a strong community partner that provides resources, services, and programs to foster creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. We value our relationship with our patrons and want them to always remember that the public library is one of their most valuable community investments. Bringing patrons "back to the fold" is a goal we strive to reach everyday through our materials, services and programs." said Mara V. Polk, Director of Central Mississippi Regional Library System.

Winners were chosen by Unique’s team who partner with more than 1350 libraries across the country to effectively recover materials while preserving patron goodwill. Libraries were categorized by size, region and volume to determine the top-performing partners who made the biggest impacts on their communities.

Friday, October 1



 This year’s theme for TeenTober is, “What will you discover at the library?” TeenTober is a month-long celebration by libraries every October to celebrate teens. TeenTober replaced Teen Read Week which allows all libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies. Visit your local library anytime during the year, especially during TeenTober and check out some of our programs and resources that we offer.

Our libraries have been collecting broken or old toys all through the month of September to make Frankentoys. Some branches may have in-person craft programs and other branches may offer a take-and-make craft for teens. You would take the damaged toys and make them into a super cool Frankentoy. It’s a great way to recycle toys without throwing them out in the garbage. After you are finished, share your creation to our Facebook page, Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS), and tag it with #cmrlsteentober. Please check with your local library for more info, or you can check out our Calendar of Events page on our website.

The topmost circulated books are.

One of is Lying by Karen M. McManus – For five students, a detour into detention ends in    murder.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas – A 16-year-old girl sees a police officer kill her friend.

The Crown by Kiera Cass - Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and in The Crown, Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.


Calendar of Events


Freegal Music



Library Catalog



Wednesday, September 8

Library Card Sign-Up Month

Marley Dias is this year's ALA spokesperson for Library Card Sign-Up Month

A library card may just be the most valuable card you will ever own in your wallet. The resources you can obtain with this one card is almost limitless. Wouldn't you want the same for your children or family members? Just think, with this one free card you can have access to books, materials, computers access, Wi-Fi, and the list goes on. 

Let's imagine that a family with limited education resources who suddenly obtains a card for each member. They can visit the library and in "quiet" travel to lands and universes. They can witness battles where good will conquer over evil and life long lessons learned. Maybe your child has a sudden interest on why the sky is blue and the grass is green. The answer is at the library. Yes, Google and other search engines are amazing, but it's more of a challenge and maybe more rewarding to find the answer inside a book. 
Pearl Public Library
Our libraries also offers more that just books. Movies, video games, exercise equipment, and even cake pans! Who knows what you will find to enjoy within the libraries of CMRLS. Best way to find out is visit your local library and see one of our friendly librarians who will start you on your library patron journey with your own library card. But wait, there is more! Digital resources galore! Want to read on the go? We have an app called cloudLibrary. You can see all that we have to offer and even sign up online to get your own digital library card. CMRLS is the place to start. We can't wait to see you at the library!

Wednesday, September 1

Banned Books Week

Yes Yes Yes, every year, we report on the same books that have been challenged (meaning not actually banned but was attempted to be removed or restricted based upon the objections of a person or group) or banned over the years.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowlings

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

But this year I wanted to focus on worldwide books that have been banned. 

D.H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), Jackie Collins's The Stud (1969) and Bret Ellis's American Psycho (1991) are among some of the books once banned in Australia.

In Ireland:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was banned in 1932, due to alleged references of sexual promiscuity.
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was banned in October 1951.
Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan was banned in 1958. The Irish Censorship of Publications Board was not obliged to reveal its reason but it is believed that it was rejected for its critique of Irish republicanism and the Catholic Church, and its depiction of adolescent sexuality.
The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien was banned by Ireland's censorship board in 1960 for its explicit sexual content.
The Lonely Girl by Edna O'Brien was banned in 1962 after Archbishop John Charles McQuaid complained personally to Justice Minister Charles Haughey that it "was particularly bad".

United Kingdom:
I thought this one was interesting:
Boy by James Hanley 
Hanley’s literary classic charts the short and brutish life of a boy who was unfairly neglected and forced out of school into the unforgiving world of work by his father. He escapes by running away to sea, but his exposure to the brutality that men are capable of only deepens his feelings of rejection. Narrated with unflinching language, it offers a visceral and acute observation of power imbalances. When Boy was initially published in the 1930s, it was prosecuted for obscenity due to the overtly violent writing and remained banned from 1935 until 1991. When the new British edition appeared in the early Nineties, there were significant omissions.  

In the 16th century, Spain had banned the Bible! But what is also interesting is that it has not been banned anywhere else. Challenged a lot? Yes!

If you really want to be bad you must read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov or Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawerence. Both have been banned in more than 5 countries! 

Besides being challenged in the United States, Animal Farm by George Orwell was banned in Russia, Vietnam, and United Arab Emirates, and then some!

I would like to end with this quote from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: