Tuesday, June 30

Did you know...

That the library system has the Mississippi Encyclopedia Online?

During our Covid-19 break, we got the opportunity to refresh our minds on everything that the Central Mississippi Regional Library System has to offer.

If you look on our Virtual Reference page you will find the Mississippi Encyclopedia.

Mississippi Encyclopedia is everything Mississippi, from A to Z.

This online version has all the same material in the book version of The Mississippi Encyclopedia, with some new information, with additional videos and images. 

Did you know...
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour declared 2 April 2004 Mildred D. Taylor Day?

The towns: Shieldsboro (Bay St. Louis), Pass Christian, Mississippi City, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and Pascagoula (East and West)—were known as the Six Sisters?

Mississippi had four base or main prisoner of war camps: Camp Clinton (Clinton), Camp Como (Como), Camp McCain (Grenada), and Camp Shelby (Hattiesburg)?

Mississippi beauty and barbershops occupy an enduring place in both southern society and culture. Eudora Welty set “Petrified Man” in a beauty shop, and William Faulkner used a barbershop as a backdrop in “Dry September.”

Local legend held that the name Jitney Jungle resulted from a printer’s error in the first newspaper advertisement that transformed Jingle to Jungle? According to W. H. Holman Sr., however, the name was a play on slang terms of the early twentieth century. Jitney was a popular name for the cheap taxis many customers used to travel to the store as well as a slang term for a nickel, thus echoing the firm’s slogan and advertising emphasis on saving money: “Every Jitney would be a jungle of bargains that could save the customer a ‘jitney’ on a quarter.” The Jitney partners estimated that customers could save 20 percent based on the cash-and-carry policy and self-service design, a viewpoint that inspired the longtime Jitney Jungle slogan, “Save a Nickel on a Quarter.”

Wednesday, June 24

Adventures in Freegal

During time at home during quarantine, we librarians were tasked with sharpening our skills--I personally watched and took notes on dozens of hours of webinars to continue thinking about ways we can improve our library service. The other thing we were asked to do during this time was to really get familiar with our digital library resources.

I myself had only been part of CMRLS for a month before the quarantine began, so I was really excited for this opportunity to really take a step back and look at what we had to offer. (No harm in looking on the bright side, right?) One of my favorite things I found, which I had not previously looked into much, was the digital music service Freegal.

Now, just to set expectations properly: Freegal is not Spotify. It doesn’t have everything available you could think of. But, unlike Spotify, it doesn’t have any annoying ads or make you pay for a subscription. And, for the time being during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has changed from 3 hours of streaming a week to UNLIMITED streaming.

And don’t worry if you’re not at your computer--it has an app ready for your phone. All you need is your CMRLS library card number and your PIN number.

But maybe you’re like me: not really all that into streaming. I like to download my music to my computer, and put it on iTunes, so then it’s stored on my phone. That way, I don’t have to use data to stream, and I don’t have to worry about it’s availability. If so, here’s my favorite part of Freegal: 5 free downloads per week!

It’s hard to tell what will and won’t be on Freegal, but I have to say, sometimes in the fun of discovery that I look forward to. In late March, I started a Jimmie Rogers kick after seeing his music on the soundtrack to the Ken Burns’s “Country Music” documentary from last fall. After perfecting my Blue Yodel, I downloaded a couple of Beyoncé songs I had been meaning to get for a while. I downloaded “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lovely Day” when we all mourned Bill Withers’ passing. One of my favorite country musicians, Jason Isbell, has his new album available on Freegal after releasing it in mid-May.

Sometimes, though, the fun is in finding--or reminding yourself of--music that you would have never thought about. I heard about the calypso folk styling of Alexander D Great when I heard his song “Maya Angelou” in the old CMRLS playlist “Book It,” listing a bunch of crazy songs with literary influences.

At least for me, music has always been a source of healing and comfort, among other things. I know a lot of people feel this same way. Freegal is an excellent, free source of satisfying your musical cravings during this unusual time, and it’s available to you through the use of your CMRLS library card!

Tuesday, June 16

Library Services Update

June 15, 2020

Dear Valued Library Patron:

On behalf of our entire family of libraries, we want to thank you for your support during the past couple of months. While our doors were physically closed to you, our Central Mississippi Regional Library System Board of Trustees and Library Team was committed to providing digital services which included access to eBooks, Databases, eContent, free Wi-Fi at all branches. We are grateful that you have continued to support us from a distance. Because of your support, we have been able to promote safety for our communities and our library team. We sincerely appreciate your vast loyalty and look forward to having you visit our libraries again soon.

What has been happening behind the scene at CMRLS Libraries? While not only getting your libraries ready to open and keeping everyone safe by quarantining and cleaning books, managing computer updates and cabling, moving the Mize Library, a new AC system at the Flowood Library, creation of policies and procedures for prolonged closing and reopening during a pandemic, and much, much more; the CMRLS staff have attended more than 2,530 webinars and self-paced classes ranging from the available CMRLS online resources to Top Ten Skills for Teaching Tech to Patrons.

We kindly ask that you refrain from visiting our libraries if you have any symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea), if you have had a fever of 100.4 in the past 48hrs, or if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID19. Additionally, we request your participation in our social distancing practices to safeguard our CMRLS team and patrons. Thank you for your assistance in this matter!  Libraries will follow all local guidelines to open at specified capacity rates. Below is a list of policies and operations that our libraries will be following, along with estimated dates of when each location plans to reopen.

·         Programming
o   In-person library programming, such as but not limited to story times and book clubs, will not be offered until further notice. We are offering virtual programs!  Visit us on our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/CMRLS.Libraries/.
·         Library Staff
o   The Library Team Member is required to undergo a series of health screening questions before entering the building. Those showing any signs of symptoms or fever are prohibited from entering the library.
o   Library Team Members are required to wear protective masks and gloves with frequent glove changes and hand washing.
o   Library Team Members are provided proper training and guidance on safety protocols and steps to minimize the spread of COVID19.
·         Library Services
o   Curbside Services include material pick up and return.
o   All book drops are open.
o   All returned materials are quarantined for 14 days. All fines and fees will be waived. Materials should not appear on patron’s account after 14 days of quarantine. This will not prevent further checkouts.
o   Appointments can be made at libraries to use study tables and computers. Study tables and computer stations are seated at least 6ft apart from one another.
o   Availability of computers will be limited. We will adhere to thirty-minute sessions to allow for others to use computers. Free Wi-Fi can be accessed on the outside of the library building.
o   All libraries are offering Curbside Document Delivery Services such as printing, copying, and faxing for a fee. Wireless printing is available at select branches: Flowood, Pearl, Magee, Mendenhall, Forest.
o   Notary services are available for a nominal fee at the following branches: Flowood, Harrisville, Magee, and Mendenhall libraries.
o   Meeting room use and study room use are discontinued until further notice
 ·         Library Cleaning
o   Tables, chairs, and other library surfaces are sanitized after every use.
o   High-touch areas such as doorknobs, screens, restrooms, etc. are sanitized frequently throughout each shift.
o   Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer are readily available for Library Team Members and patrons in the libraries.

We will continue to closely monitor the recommendations of local health departments and authorities to ensure we are serving you in the safest way possible. From the beginning of the pandemic, we have continued to prioritize the health and well-being of our library team members and library patrons. Thank you for being a CMRLS patron!  Be safe and be well. 

Warm regards,

Mara V. Polk
Executive Director

Friday, June 12

Spotlight on a Mississippi Author

Charlie Spillers

Spillers graduated from Magee High School in 1963 and spent three years in the U.S Marine Corps before embarking on a 42-year career in law enforcement including serving three tours in Iraq for the Department of Justice as the Justice Attaché for Iraq and as an Attorney-Advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal. Working full time and going to college off and on, he graduated from the University of Mississippi with a business degree in 1981 and from Ole Miss Law School in 1986.

This true story of an ex-Marine who fought crime as an undercover cop, a narcotics agent, and finally, a federal prosecutor spans a decade of crime-fighting and narrow escapes. Charlie Spillers dealt with a remarkable variety of career criminals, including heroin traffickers, safecrackers, burglars, auto thieves, and members of Mafia and Mexican drug smuggling operations. In this riveting tale, the the author recounts fascinating experiences and the creative methods he used to succeed and survive in a difficult and sometimes extremely dangerous underworld life.

As a young officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, ex-Marine Charlie Spillers first went undercover to infiltrate criminal groups to gather intelligence. Working alone and often unarmed, he constantly attempted to walk the thin line between triumph and disaster. When on the hunt, his closest associates were safecrackers, prostitutes, and burglars. His abilities propelled him into years of undercover work inside drug trafficking rings. But the longer he worked, the greater the risks. His final and perhaps most significant action in Baton Rouge was leading a battle against corruption in the police department itself.

After Baton Rouge, he joined the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and for the next five years continued working undercover, from the Gulf Coast to Memphis; and from New Orleans to Houston, Texas. He capped off a unique career by becoming a federal prosecutor and the Justice Attaché for Iraq. In this book, he shares his most intriguing exploits and exciting undercover stings, putting readers in the middle of the action.
You can find a copy here.

Spiller's first fiction is Whirlwind: A Frank Marsh Novel.

A drone strike in the Golan Heights kills an Iranian Quds Force general.  In retaliation, terror cells are sent to the U.S. When a member of a terror cell dies in an auto accident, FBI agent Frank Marsh discovers that an attack may be imminent. Based on vague clues, he and Kathy Foster try to figure out where terrorists plan to attack. At first, sparks fly between Frank and Kathy because of an issue from their past. Their investigation is also hampered by bureaucratic obstacles, turf battles among agencies, and treachery. They become outcasts from their own agencies and no one listens when they discover the possible target of a pending terror attack.

Frank discovers that someone in Washington is providing information to the terror group. In Tehran, Marwan, the commander of a Quds Force assassination unit, realize Frank and Kathy are a threat to uncovering the traitor and he targets the couple for assassination.  Gripping intrigue propels Frank, Kathy, and Marwan to a final confrontation.
You can find a copy here

Friday, June 5

Summertime at Brandon

We have been busy here at Brandon getting ready for our virtual Summer Reading Program and decorating our library for when our wonderful patrons come back.

Our Summer Reading Program starts on June 15th through August 7th. You can find our virtual Summer Reading Program on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CMRLS.Libraries/.  Each age group has its own group discussion page that we will share all information regarding that week’s program.  Do not forget to sign up on BEANSTACK at https://cmrls.beanstack.org/ where you can win prizes when you participate in our reading challenges!
Cannot participate in our virtual program? No problem! Our Children’s Librarians have been working hard on creating craft kits that you can take home. 

Take a look at our Summer Reading banners!   Stay Tuned for more pictures of our library as we get ready to help you "Imagine Your Story"!

Tuesday, June 2

While we have been away

Patrons of the Magee Library are in store for some changes when we all return. While the patrons have been out of the building, we have been doing a lot of cleaning and checking the collection.

The adult graphic novel is off to its self. We moved the blue rays to the shelving unit behind the shelf in the picture. 

Books on CD have more space!
Movies have been moved to the front area to give us an opportunity to expand the area if needed. 

Home of the Large type collection
Biographies and Nonfiction have been shifted and dusted.
We cannot wait for our patrons to start coming back into the building! And please remember that if you need help locating anything, the staff will be available to assist.