Thursday, April 25

May Events at the Morton Library

Every Tuesday we have Preschool Story Time
at 10:30 a.m.
Be sure to bring your preschoolers to sing,
dance and listen to stories

This month's themes are:
May 7th Mother's Day
May 14th Machines at Work
May 21st Fingers and Finger Paints
May 28th Dragons

The events for K-4th grade are:
May 9th @ 5 p.m. We will be making Mother's Day cards
May 16th @ 4:30 Come join us for Tween Movie Night
We will be playing " The Incredibles 2"
Produced By: Walt Disney Pictures
Rating: PG
Run time: 1 hour, 58 mins
This event is free.

May 23rd @5 p.m. We will be having Family Game Night!

Tuesday, April 23



Families are invited to join the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at their local CMRLS Library. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, and it is okay to repeat books, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children with essential early literacy skills.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading to children from an early age can help close the vocabulary gap and prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.

This year-round program means that there is no start or finish date. You begin when you wish and read at your own pace. There are no fees and you may check out books for your child on their very own FINE FREE library card. Your library also has a phone app so that you can easily keep track of the books you read to your child -- even if you read the same book again, and again! When you have read 1,000 books together or your child begins kindergarten, your library can print for free a list of the books you have read together and a completion certificate for your records.

When asked about this program, CMRLS Director Mara Villa Polk said, “Reading with your children is a legacy that will remain with them for a lifetime.  I have two children under the ages of three.  I read to them before they were born and since then they have displayed excitement and joy for books and reading with me.”

The program is free, the library card is free - and FINE FREE, and you can keep track of your progress on your phone, tablet, or computer. You will have given your child the priceless beginnings of a skill they will use throughout their lifetime and a skill they can share with the next generation.

For more information on 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and your child’s FINE FREE library card, visit or call your local CMRLS library. Contact information, location, and hours of operation can be found at or call 601-825-0100. Central Mississippi Regional Library System serves the public libraries and the more than 216,000 citizens of Rankin, Scott, Simpson, and Smith Counties.

Wednesday, April 17

Mugshots Trivia

Mugshots Trivia, an exciting contest where patrons gather to test their intellectual skills, meets at Mugshots Restaurant in Flowood, MS once a month, every third Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. to play for Mugshots Restaurant gift cards.

First prize winner will receive a $15 gift card. Second prize winner will receive a $10 gift card. Third prize winner receives a $5 gift card. Fourth prize winner will receive the satisfaction of playing the game while eating good quality food.

As for myself I receive practice in front of a live audience with my public speaking skills. Don't worry. Unlike some of the generals and colonels I knew in the Army, I try to speak well and say something. I try not to waste time and I get to the point.

People gather for the free family fun and with a coupon enjoy free Rotel Dip.

Mugshots Trivia is a library outreach program. It can be a challenging game to play for patrons, but it is also a challenging game to prepare for.

I am one of two branch managers with the responsibility of providing a reasonably challenging trivia game that is both intellectually stimulating and fun.

On my team I have a trivia gamemaster available to assist me in preparing the questions. These questions are often seasonal. For example, last night the theme was Easter, so Easter-related questions were asked. I never knew the Easter Bunny originated in Germany. I review these questions to determine the level of difficulty. I don't want anything too hard or too easy. Everyone needs a reasonable chance of getting the question correct.

The trivia questions are incorporated on a Power Point slide presentation to be displayed on a monitor. It's easier if people can read the questions.

I take a voice amplifier speaker system and attach it to my belt. The Loft, where the game is played, can be noisy with people talking downstairs and music and sports games playing in the background. I also tend to be soft spoken.

"Testing, Testing." The patrons give me a thumbs up letting me know they can hear me.

Then the game begins.

I ask the questions and give everyone time to answer on a slip of paper. I gather the slips of paper and hand them to my assistant. She compiles the score.

At the end of the game we generally know who the winners are. But, sometimes we have a tie and have to have a Bonus Round of questions. First team to get a question right wins.

At the end of the contest people continue with their meals and enjoy the Mugshots Restaurant atmosphere. I pack up my belongings and start to move towards the exit. As I leave the Loft I talk to a few people, but I want to leave everyone to enjoy their meals.

It is astounding that we can get so many people out on a Tuesday night to come and test their intellectual prowess.

A question comes to mind on what we can do to grow this program further.

Should we offer bigger prizes? Should we change the location? Should I ask Miss Mississippi to come and read the questions?

We continue to look for new and innovative ways for our patrons to enjoy their Tuesday evenings at Mugshots Restaurant.

Wednesday, April 10

Tax Day Approaches

Tax Day Approaches

Have you finished your taxes yet? Don't put it off. You can pick up copies of federal and state tax forms at the Flowood Library. We have a surplus of forms. Plenty to go around.

It's been said that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. This statement is roughly attributed to Benjamin Franklin. I have a friend, a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, who would probably disagree with this statement. In the place of "death and taxes" he would say that the two certainties in life are "alimony payments and child support" but that's another story.

It used to be that tax forms could be picked up at the local post office. I don't know why this had to change and become the sole responsibility of the local library. Whatever the reason the library had to step up to this new challenge.

The library has the responsibility of having tax forms available, so that our patrons can complete their taxes without having to go to the internet websites to retrieve them. Tax preparation can be done on computer, but some of our patrons prefer having the booklets and forms in hand. Using a computer can still be a challenge for a lot of people.

As for myself I do my taxes the old fashioned way. I shake my head, crack my knuckles, and put my mind in tax mode. I can see why taxes can be "taxing" on the mind. There's a lot that goes into it. Everything has to be laid out on a table. I have to have peace and quiet and no distractions. I thought the government promised to make these forms less confusing. Of course, if they did that, then we wouldn't need accountants.

Some of our patrons would rather not print their forms off of the computer. I can understand that. However, some forms are special, so printing them off the computer is often necessary. The library is required to charge .20 cents per page for every copy printed.

So, to avoid the task of printing off the computer, our library system makes every attempt to ensure these tax forms are ordered and available to the patrons when they are needed. We are not always successful at getting the federal forms in a timely manner, but we are improving.

I know some of our patrons might want help completing their taxes, but I will have to refer that to your local accountant. Not all of us are tax experts. We're not allowed to view your personal information. We must respect your privacy.

April 15, 2019 is rapidly approaching. If you want to work on your taxes on Sunday, please keep in mind that the library is closed on Sundays.

Also remember that we no longer have 1040EZ or 1040A forms and booklets in the tax system. We only have 1040s. We have 1040s in surplus.

I preferred the 1040EZ. It was something I could understand.

Hay Caramba! I owe the State of Mississippi $3.00. Ouch!

Monday, April 8

Community Strong at the Pearl Public Library That's for Sure!

National Library Week, sporting the theme "Libraries = Strong Communities" is April 7 -13. 

It will be a memorable 2019 National Library Week at the Pearl Public Library!

Bet on that!

This may be the biggest event ever for Central MS Regional Library System's nine Rankin County libraries as they join forces to put on the first annual Central Comic Con at the Pearl Public Library on Sat. April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.!

In an impressive celebration of community, there will be something for all ages! Bring the whole family and all your friends!

Look for 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 present.

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, stickers, magnets and buttons.  

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

or scan the QR Code below:

But, hold on a minute! You don't have to wait until Saturday to feel the community spirit! Come on in and visit the Pearl Library today thru Thurs. Apr 11 and take a minute to fill out a short survey for a chance to win a Chick-fil-A gift card! Drawing to be held on Fri. April 12! Hey, who doesn't love the opportunity to "Eat Mor Chikin" right? RIGHT!

Don't forget to visit the Pearl Library on Fri. April 12! They'll show you just how glad they are that you POPPED IN! Enjoy delicious popcorn from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. just for stopping by!

Don't miss out!

We'll see you there!


National Library Week - a Long-Standing Tradition

“In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee's goals were ambitious.  They ranged from ‘encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time’ to ‘improving incomes and health' and 'developing strong and happy family life.’

“In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme ‘Wake Up and Read!’

“National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.”

Copied from American Library Association’s website ( National Library Week History).

If Americans were reading less in the 1950s, imagine how much less it is today with the addition of all these electronics we can’t seem to live without.  Reading is still, however, very important and while it has been shown that watching TV is a passive brain activity, reading is definitely not passive. It engages our brain and according to Psychology Today, reading fiction has “the power to reshape your brain and improve theory of mind.”

Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS) always offers a variety of programs and National Library Week is no exception.  This year there are four programming opportunities that we just cannot publicize enough.

Scott County Reads: Mississippi Author Michael Farris Smith
Forest Public Library
Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 p.m.

The Forest Public Library is hosting the Second Annual County-Wide Event for National Library Week with an author appearance by Mississippi's own Michael Farris Smith. He will be talking about his latest book and signing books, such as The Fighter. If you haven't read one of his books yet, find one at your local library and check one out! His writing is critically acclaimed by reviewers and readers across the nation!

Brought to you by the CMRLS Scott County branches: Forest, Morton, Lake, and Sebastopol.

Simpson County Afternoon with Mississippi Authors
Mendenhall Public Library
Wednesday, April 10, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Mendenhall Public Library is hosting over 20 Mississippi authors that will be available for you to meet.  There will be a wide variety of genres represented, including a few children’s book authors.  The authors will have books available for sale and will happily autograph your purchases. 

Brought to you by the CMRLS Simpson County branches: Magee, Mendenhall, and Harrisville.

Central Comic Con
Pearl Public Library
Saturday, April 13, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

It's the first annual Central Comic Con, hosted at Pearl Public Library, and you're invited to wear your best costume and enjoy all the fun! Local artists, authors, and vendors will be on site, as well as all of your Rankin County libraries hosting some fun events, including video game tournaments, board game tournaments, a video game trailer, mini golf, crafts for kids, and drawing/art workshops. Get here early to enjoy the fun all day long! Food and beverages will be for sale from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Brought to you by the CMRLS Rankin County branches: Brandon, Flowood, Florence, Pearl, Pelahatchie, Puckett, Reservoir, Richland, and Sandhill and the Friends of Rankin County libraries.

The Six Word Story
Raleigh, Taylorsville, and Mize Public Libraries
April 8 – April 13

Patrons are encouraged to write a six-word story. This event stems from the story of Ernest Hemingway winning a bet that he could write a short story only six words long. His story had a beginning, a middle, and an end. The story is, “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” We are inviting all our patrons to come in and use their writing skills to write their own six-word story. This event will run April 8th through April 13th with the winner announced on Monday, April 15th. A $25 gift card will be awarded to the winner.

Brought to you by the CMRLS Smith County branches: Raleigh, Mize, and Taylorsville.

Four events we would like to invite the public to participate.  There are many more programming opportunities during the week of April 7. Click on the link below to explore other programs planned during National Library Week.

CMRLS Event Calendar