Monday, June 24

In a Galaxy Far Far Away a Swirl of Tiny Glistening Treasures Calm the Senses!

As Summer Library Program 2019, themed A Universe of Stories, continues at full throttle at the Pearl Library, DIY Galaxy Jars will surely be a hit with adults!  

As the June installment of the FREE, monthly How-To Tuesday adult program on Tues. June 25 at 6 p.m., these beautiful sensory jars are calming gems!

Participants will choose from an assortment of glittering treats to create a craft that will entertain for hours on end!

And, they aren't bad as gifts either! Anyone would be REALLY happy to receive one of these Galaxy Sensory Jars! That's a promise!

Pre-registration is required! You can visit the CMRLS website at and click on Events. Double click on the actual event and fill out the short, easy form. Or, you can simply come by or call the Pearl Library at 601-932-2562.

Don't miss out!

We'll see you there!

Thursday, June 20

What a Blast! Mendenhall Public Library

Children and adults of all ages had a blast at this afternoon's program with MDWF Wildlife Biologist Corey Wright! Corey was very entertaining, as well as educational! Who knew alligators were born with teeth? 82 to be exact! And how can you remember how many teeth a baby alligator is born with? Because it's the same number of counties in the state of Mississippi! Corey brought with him an 11-month-old alligator and a 2-year-old alligator for the children/adults to see the difference in sizes at their ages. In addition to alligators, Corey brought an Indigo Snake, which is an endangered species but is still occasionally found in southern Mississippi. He also brought a Speckled King Snake. Corey was great with the children; even letting the ones who would touch the alligators and snakes. We so appreciate him sharing his love of animals with the children at our Summer Library Program! 

Be sure to join us next week at the Mendenhall Public Library for Animal Tales at 2 pm! 

Having a Blast at Harrisville

We are having a blast with our summer programs at Harrisville Library this summer. Our first program we hosted was Freedom Ranch with their Birds of Prey. The kids enjoyed hearing the stories about all the birds. We even got to watch one of the bird eat his lunch, and yes it was a mouse. We even got to see Walter the Snake and Beauty the Rat. Everyone had their picture made with Clarissa the Turkey Vulture.

Our second program of the summer was a DIY Craft day. We made some really cool space crafts, Rocket Straws, Comets and Moon Sand. The kids had a contest to see who could launch their rockets the highest. The moon sand was a blast, the kids all got to help mix the moon sand. 

Our third program of the summer was Exploring Space with Reed Freeman. Mr. Freeman is a teacher from Co-Lin Community College in Wesson. He shared some cool and interesting facts about our solar system. The kids loved seeing how air pressure can crush a can. As the kids said, IT WAS COOL!

The fun is just beginning. Our programs are held every Tuesday @ 3pm here at the Harrisville Library. Here are the upcoming programs for Harrisville.
  • Tuesday, June  25th @ 3pm Blast off with Healthy Habits.  Join Mrs. Tammy with the MS Extension Services for some tips on staying healthy all summer long. Following the program we will get to make a yummy snack.
  • Tuesday, July 2nd @ 3pm CMRLS Puppets.  The Puppets have been having a blast this summer and they are back to see you. They want you to join them for their out-of-this-world program.
  • Tuesday, July 9th @ 3pm Hattiesburg Zoo.  Our favorite zoo friends are back to see you. Come see what amazing animals they have brought to share with you. 
  • Saturday, July 20th @ 10am Movies in the Morning.  Join us for our presentation of the 2018 Warner Bros. production of, Ready Player One. This movie is rated PG-13 and runs for 140 minutes. *PG-13 rating is for sci-fi violence, bloody images, partial nudity and language.
We hope that you will join us this summer for all the fun.

The Relevance of the Public Library

On Wednesday, June 19, Branch Manager Dianne McLaurin was invited to speak to the local Rotary Club on behalf of the Forest Public Library. Some of the members asked for a copy of the speech to be shared online, so this post features excerpts from that speech.

"Today, I would like to speak on the relevance of the public library. I would like to begin with a quote from Steve Jobs: Create relevance, not awareness. Now, I would like to follow that quote with two questions:  Number 1 - How many of you are aware that there is a Forest Public Library? (Every hand in the room was raised.) Number 2 - How many of you consider the library a relevant part of your life? (Two hands went up out of  twenty.)  Hmmm...big difference.

So what IS the difference between relevance and awareness? We have established that everyone is aware that there is a library in Forest; it covers a city block! However, we have also established that it is not relevant to everyone in Forest, not even to everyone in this room. Why is that? Because relevance is associated with anything that is considered significant, important, necessary, or current. Relevance means to be closely connected to or by association. Relevance changes based on contemporary interests and current circumstances of a changing world. Relevance is not awareness.

You see, banks are relevant. Everyone needs a checking account or a loan at some point, so the main goal is to attract new customers. A fire department is relevant, especially if your house is on fire. But, how does the public library become relevant? The library might not be considered necessary like the police department, but can it be significant, important, and current? Can the library be a place of connection that reflects the interests of a changing community? Is it possible to create relevance?

The staff at the Forest Public Library say yes, and we have several examples to support that answer. One of the most recent examples is the Teen Advisory Board scholarship awarded last month. As we began the process of pinpointing areas where the library was least relevant, the unanimous choice was the teen demographic...which was literally nonexistent. How could we make the library significant to jr. high and high school students? Only a few things signify to a teen, and at the top of that list is money. After meeting with the Friends of the Library and thanks to an anonymous donation, a $1000 senior scholarship was created. The required criteria for the scholarship was to plan and attend teen programs at the library, volunteer at the library, and recruit other teens to come to the library. At the beginning of the school year, the Friends' group hosted two senior breakfasts at Forest and Scott Central high schools, and the plans were set into motion. The outcomes were across the board increases in teen program attendance, YA (Young Adult) book circulation, and teen volunteer hours. The result was the beginning of relevance.

And here is another important observation -- relevance ripples. After the success of the TAB initiative, the staff began to see relevance in other areas. The Mississippi Library Commission included the TAB scholarship story in their state-wide newsletter, and the Mississippi Library Association chose the library's TAB initiative as one of their presentations for the annual conference. Not only is the library becoming relevant to the Forest teen community, but the library is also becoming relevant to the state library organizations.

So how is relevance not only created but sustained? By doing what I am doing today. By speaking at this Rotary Club meeting, by being selected as a recipient of a $500 Rotary donation to continue the scholarship program, by being seen as an integral part of any significant event in the Forest area, by serving on the Chamber of Commerce and Forest Community Arts, by attending K-6 end-of-school award ceremonies to promote the summer reading program, by experimenting with book drives and back door events, by securing business and organization partnerships, by supporting Scott County and Forest school districts, and by fostering demographic initiatives that include Hispanic, African American, and Asian populations.

For the hundreds of children who use the public computers for their homework assignments, the library is relevant. For the residents who need to send an important and timely fax, but do not have access to a fax machine, the library is relevant. For the college student who needs a proctor for an online course, the library is relevant, and for the student who needs tutoring after school to pass their 3rd grade state test, the library is relevant. And...for every present and future reader in the Forest area, the library is relevant."

Monday, June 17

Summer Library Program Movie Night Takes You to the Moon at the Pearl Public Library!

Summer Library Program 2019, themed A Universe of Stories in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, wouldn't be complete without a "Moon" movie night at the Pearl Public Library!

So let me just tell ya the library is hooking you up! As the June installment of the monthly Third Thursday Flicks,  Apollo 13, rated PG will be shown on the big screen! 

Hey, who doesn't love Tom Hanks?! Hanks played Astronaut Jim Lovell, but did you know that the famous, iconic phrase was actually "Houston we've had a problem" and not "Houston we have a problem"? True. It was altered to present tense in the film script.

A little useless trivia there! LOL! 

Annnnywaaaaay, don't miss out on a fun evening!

"It's a great way to relax after getting off work," Ben Newell, the Pearl Library's Reference Supervisor and adult program coordinator says. "Come enjoy some popcorn and drinks and a free movie!"

The movie starts at 5 p.m. Don't be late!

We'll see you there!

Monday, June 10

A Week of Programs @ Pelahatchie Public Library

This week we have a variety of programs planned and invite you to attend one or more.

On Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. we have our K-5 summer library program entitled Take Me to Your Reader. This week's program will include a special presentation about two books, one is Sideways Stories from Wayside School and the other is a book about inventions. We also will read a story or two about our dads, and since Father's Day is this Sunday, we will conclude with a Father's Day card craft.

Later in the day (Tuesday @ 3:30 p.m.), everyone is invited on an adventure with Dr. Carl DeWitt, professor of physics and astronomy at Hinds Community College. Dr. DeWitt will show us many things about our wonderful universe. This program is for all ages and there will be a special activity for school-age children at the end.

Thursday at 2:00 p.m., our program is DIY Formulas and Recipes. This adult program will include several demonstrations and participants will make a sugar scrub to take home. On Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., come play bingo with us. There will be prizes. Bingo night is for all ages.

Our goal this summer is for everyone to read and have an enjoyable time, so pick out something to read for fun whether it's a picture book, a novel, or a nonfiction book on a subject you're interested in learning more about.

Don't forget to check our online calendar to see all the events CMRLS has planned for our summer library programs.

Wednesday, June 5

The Adventures of Houdini, the Escape Dog

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at approximately 1000 hours, I received a phone call notifying me that a dog was outside the library and that she was missing an owner. "Uh, oh," I thought as I stood up from my desk and walked outside. This sort of problem was not covered in library school.

I could see that the dog, we'll call her Houdini, was a black Labrador Retriever covered in water and mud. She had on a purple collar with no identification. Did she have a microchip? She was friendly which indicated to me that she was probably someone's pet and that someone might want her back.

How do I approach finding the owner? I had to think. Standard Operating Procedure would require me to call Animal Control. I did not want to do this.

Fortunately, my staff had some experience in this area. We got Houdini some water, took a couple of pictures of her and posted her on the Facebook Rankin County, Mississippi Lost and Found Pets Only page.

And, then, we waited. I can only imagine how the owner must have felt to be going about her daily routine far from home, and then to check the internet and find that her dog, Houdini, had escaped from home, had been running through the neighborhood, and had been spotted at the Flowood Library. The owner arrived at the library a few hours later after the initial posting, but Houdini was gone.

Many years ago if a pet had gone missing, one could post flyers on telephone poles and hope someone had seen their pet. How things have changed. Now we have social media. But, social media would not be enough to solve this problem. Other methods would have to be considered to return Houdini to her owner.

I remembered that Houdini had last been seen sitting outside with a patron at the library. I also remembered that this patron had been the one to call me earlier in the day to let me know that Houdini was outside in the first place. I still had her number on my telephone, on my Caller I.D. in my office.

I made the call and left a message. She called me back.

Houdini had indeed followed her home. I also had a report through social media that Houdini had been spotted near the Pump It Up gas station off of Old Fannin Road.

I gave her the name and number of the owner of the dog. I also got her contact information.

Within the hour Houdini was located by the patron, she called the owner, and the owner retrieved her dog.

Social media and a little detective work, 12 comments and 82 shares on Facebook. This problem was solved in seven hours. For the owner it was probably a very long seven hours. I would like to extend a thank you for everyone who participated in returning Houdini to her owner.

As for Houdini, I'm sure she has a story to tell all her friends, about her adventures at the Flowood Library and her travels through the local neighborhoods.

I'm also sure she is planning her next escape.

The 2019 Summer Library Program is at full launch at the Sebastopol Public Library!

5...4...3...2...1 The 2019 Summer Library Program has blasted off!

Summer library programs started in the 1890s in order to encourage students to read even during the summer when students tend to lose a great percentage of the things they learned that school year.

On our journey to keep up with our changing world of technology, we are using Beanstack this year for our readers of all ages to keep track of the books they read throughout this summer either on the Beanstack website or through the Beanstack Tracker App found on the Apple or Play store. Click HERE for help with Beanstack. If you need any assistance with signing up for Beanstack just call or walk into your local library.
Once you are signed up for Beanstack you are able to complete reading goals to be entered into a Grand Prize drawing at your library. Depending on your age group you will have different challenges and a different prize drawing, as listed below:

Preschool - 5 books - a Prize Basket
Kids (K - 4th grade) - 5 books- a Prize Basket
Teen (5th - 8th grade) - 5 books- a $25 gift card
Young Adult ( 9th - 12th grade) - 3 books - a $25 gift card
Adult - 3 books - a $25 gift card

After you complete this challenge, for every book logged, book review, and/or attendance at a library program after this is one more entry into the drawing.

June programs at the Sebastopol Public Library

Kindergarten - 5th grade

June 4 at 3:00 p.m. - Father's Day Crafts
Join us as we make fun crafts for Father's day!

June 5 at 10:30 a.m. - Diane Butler, Storyteller
Join us for some great stories with Ms. Diane!

June 12 at 10:30 a.m. - Fun with Floam
We are going to have a fun time with floam!

June 19 at 10:30 a.m. - Freedom Ranch
Join us for a soaring time as we learn, watch, and touch birds!

June 26 at 10:30 a.m. - Space "Crafts"
Launch with us into a fun adventure of space-related crafts of all kinds!

Click HERE for more Summer Library Programs around our other libraries.

Monday, June 3

"Starry Starry Night. Paint Your Palette Blue and Grey" at the Pearl Public Library!

You might recognize the title of this blog as lyrics from Don McLean's Starry, Starry Night, about the life of Vincent van Gogh.

Great song. Sad, but great! 

You know Van Gogh, although tremendously talented, was a little mentally disturbed. Remember, he is the artist that severed part of his own left ear! OUCH!!!

Art 101: Paint Van Gogh's "Starry Night" couldn't be a more fitting Summer Library Program 2019 event at the Pearl Public Library! 

With this year's SLP 2019 theme being A Universe of Stories, this teen night program Monday, June 10 at 5:30 features famed artist Vincent van Gogh.

They'll waterpaint Van Gogh's The Starry Night and learn about his "curious life" Kristen, the library's Youth Services Supervisor said.

The Starry Night Painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Last Year's Blacklight Teen Night Event at the Pearl Library.

But' let's talk about what's going on tonight. To kick off SLP 2019 Kristen is hosting a teen's Blacklight Galaxy Painting Party TONIGHT at 5:30! Last year's blacklight event was a massive success!

Let's keep it galaxy OKAY!  

Check it out! A Tour of the Universe with Dr. Carl DeWitt, Professor of Physics at Hinds CC. It's going to be an interactive program complete with an experiment! Now, that's out there MAN!!!! 

That's Tues. June 4 at 6 p.m. It's a children's program, but the whole family will enjoy it!

Don't miss out!

We'll see you there!

Use Alexa to Log Your Summer Reading Minutes

Our online Summer Reading platform, called Beanstack, now has an Alexa skill, which makes it even easier to keep track of the time you spend reading this summer! If you don't already have a Beanstack account, visit the Beanstack website or download the Beanstack Tracker for Android or Apple devices to set up your account before logging time with the Alexa skill. Then follow these simple steps to set up the skill on your Alexa-enabled device and start logging your reading:

  1. Enable the skill by either saying “Alexa, enable Beanstack Tracker” or searching for “Beanstack Tracker” in the Alexa Skill Store.
  2. If you enabled the skill by voice, access the skill from your Amazon Alexa App and Choose to Link Your Account.
  3. Search for ‘Central Mississippi Regional Library System’ when prompted.
  4. Click ‘Log In To Your Account.'
  5. When you receive the message "Beanstack Tracker has been successfully linked” you may close the app or website.
  6. Using Alexa, SAY “Alexa, open Beanstack Tracker” and follow the prompts to log minutes for Summer Reading! Because Beanstack allows families to track multiple readers in a single account, your whole family can use Alexa to log their minutes.

If your family has multiple Alexa devices at home, you can use the same Beanstack account across devices or connect each device to a different account. The Beanstack Tracker for Alexa only logs reading time or titles; you can use the app or website to log completed activities. 

To learn more about Summer Reading, get reading suggestions, and find out about summer events at your library, visit

Have FUN this summer...READ, and visit your library!