Tuesday, April 14

Your Own Backyard

In the past several weeks, I find myself outside around my home much more than usual. My back porch is a relaxing place to read or work on library activities on my computer. In the mornings, it is such a beautiful time listening to the birds sing and call to each other. There's also an abundance of squirrels playing and chasing each other up and down trees onto limbs you would never think could support their weight. I hope during this time you have found a sanctuary like mine to drink coffee, read, reflect.

Listening to the music of the birds calling, I became curious about the birds I could not see that were singing. What kind of bird was making that beautiful sound? After a little looking around on the Internet, I found my answer. Below is a link to a Mississippi State University website with Mississippi birds and their calls. In the event you, like me, are curious about some of our Mississippi bird calls, I thought I would share this resource with you. Sitting out at night, I now know the eerie calls I hear are those of the Barred Owl.

While we have all been challenged during the past several weeks, it is wonderful to embrace the beauty of things around us during our social distancing time. Hope you find the birds in your backyard from this list.

Wednesday, April 8

Social Distancing

Social isolation or social distancing as it is called involves keeping at least six feet away from another human being and avoiding groups exceeding 10 in number. It sounds like my social life in college.

Solitary confinement or shelter-in-place is another term that is becoming common in the lexicon. It reminds me of the days when I had to stay at home and watch television because I did not have the money to go out on a date with a pretty girl who would let me pay for her meal, and then choose to keep her social distance from me.

If not for these past social experiences, I might not have adapted so quickly to these unusual times, the new normal.

I used to enjoy the single life of eating, sleeping, watching television, reading, and exercising. I appreciated the overall peace and quiet. Today I live in the country. My nearest neighbors are far, far away. That's a good place for them.

I remember Y2K, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and 2012. I began doing research on the more viable disaster theories. This pandemic gives me the opportunity to test my preparation plan which has been years in the making.

One final bit of terminology I would like to share today is the definition of the word, "Covidiot." It's a derivative of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) nomenclature. I always try to be more kind with my words, but there is a pandemic going on and these are serious times. A "covidiot" describes a person who does not acknowledge social distancing or shelter-in-place protocols. He or she may not even realize that there is even a problem at all. This person may also have a habit of hoarding the essentials that other people desperately need; toilet paper, for example. Such an attitude can be extremely dangerous.

Beware of "covidiots." They tend to carelessly walk within a few feet in front of you and they may or may not have a persistent cough.

Not everyone is on board with social distancing.

Be careful out there.

Tuesday, April 7

What To Do?

All across our state, people are home. Adults are working from home and kids are doing distance learning for school. All this time at home eventually leads to the Teenagers' favorite cry, "I'm Bored!"

Well, Magee Teens and Tweens, be bored no more! The Central Mississippi Regional Library System and your favorite Youth Services Librarian Mr. Matt have got you covered!

Missing the chance to come to the library and find a good book? Then download the Axis360 or Freading app. They both have bunches of good books to read on your smart device or even listen to them.  You can also go to the CMRLS website and read books online through the Tumble Book Library. There is even a good selection of graphic novels. All you need is your library card number and pin.

Wait, you don't have a library card?!?! Go to the CMRLS website and click on the services tab to sign up for a digital library card! Once things return to normal, you will be able to come to the library and get a physical library card. 

Maybe you do not want to read. How about a magazine? Download the Flipster app and browse the selection of popular and specialty magazines. 

Maybe you need a dance party! Download the Freegal app and get your jam on. This free music app allows you to download 5 songs every week. During this unusual time, you even get unlimited streaming. So to quote Kevin Bacon from the classic "Footloose", Let's Dance!

All of this should keep you busy for a while. But, if you just need something different, try a scavenger hunt. I know, we have to stay home. Then do a picture scavenger hunt. Some friends of mine did one last week and it looked like a lot of fun. Here is what you do. Make a list of different kinds of pictures to take with your phone. Some examples could be a group photo with everyone cross eyed. Posing with a "duck" while making duck lips. A picture of something blue. Well, I think you get the idea. Then, send the list and photos to your friends so they can play too. Post them on your social media sites and see how many people you can get to play along. 

Please remember that through all of this, we miss seeing all of you every day at the library. We hope that very soon we will see you again. Until then, be safe and stay healthy!

Saturday, April 4

Library System Continues to Serve During COVID-19 Outbreak

All branches of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS) are currently closed to the public, but many of the library’s digital resources are still available online during this time of social distancing.

CMRLS has created a remote “digital library card” sign-up option to ensure that library cards can be issued to those who want to access digital materials and services while they are at home. To sign up for a digital library card, or to reset the PIN number on an existing library card account, users can visit cmrls.lib.ms.us and click on the tab “Services” and be directed to complete the online application.

The library has a Virtual Reference Collection page, located at https://cmrls.lib.ms.us/digital-library/virtual-reference-collection, to make it easy for users to access all its digital content in one place. Regular updates are posted to this page, including links to additional free educational and informational content. Users will also find links to the library’s Axis360 eBook service and Freading where cardholders can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, and more.

Library staff members will be working to possibly offer virtual children’s story times, and regular updates to its social media pages to share useful and interesting content. Virtual story times will be available through the library’s Facebook page and Instagram pages. Users can find the library on Facebook (CMRLS.Libraries), Twitter (CMRLSLibrary), Twitter (CMRLSTeen) Pinterest (CMRLSLibrary), Flickr (CMRLS Photos), Instagram (CMRLSLibraries).

CMRLS also wants library users to know that all materials checked out from the library have been extended to May 4th and that no overdue fines will be charged during the library’s closure. Library book drops are also closed, and patrons are being asked to keep their checked-out materials until the library reopens.

“Acting on advice and recommendations from the CDC, Governor Tate Reeves, the Mississippi Library Association, and Mississippi Library Commission, nearly all public library systems in the State of Mississippi are currently closed,” said CMRLS Executive Director Mara Villa Polk. “Even so, the decision to close was a tremendously difficult one to make, and we really miss our
patrons. I am proud of our library team member’s efforts as they continue to engage with the community in a safe and responsible way while working to improve and adapt library services during this crisis.”

The Central Mississippi Regional Library System serves Rankin, Scott, Simpson and Smith Counties. Patrons can contact the library via email at: custsvc@cmrls.lib.ms.us or by calling 601-825-0100.