Monday, October 17

Brandon Public Library- We've come a long way!

 Brandon Public Library- History Personified (Look How Far We've Come!)

by Amy Lee, Brandon Public Library Branch Manager

The City of Brandon is chockfull of history.  Today, Brandon, Mississippi is currently paving the way for today's modernized society.  A valuable gem of this charming southern town, withstanding the true test of time, is the Brandon Public Library.  Located off of West Government Street, the Brandon Public Library is conveniently nestled between the older and newer parts of the city, providing the ideal meeting point.  The sleek, modern building, built and designed in 2003 for multipurpose use, has been the bridge of connection to endless possibilities. 

While today's current library facilities have been around for almost two decades, what many of you may not know is the fascinating history behind them.  Specifically, "once upon a time...," this library was not the shiny, gorgeous "house of learning" that serves us today.   Here's a bit of a backstory...


The oldest records trace back to 1830 when the City of Brandon had humble, simpler roots.  In 1830, an academic learning group, called the "Brandon Library Society" was formed.  Later, in the 1970s,  the Brandon Public Library building was built.  By 1993, a study of the old library building was done, after concerns about the lack of space.   Around 1997, plans to construct a new library building were presented to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  By 1998, the news spread throughout the city for a call for not only a new library but for more space.  Branch Manager, Ann Graham brought forth to the board that the old building, being at only 3,900 square feet, was running out of room.  Graham, additional library staff, and Friends of the Brandon Library officers supported the need for a new library building, with at least 20,000 square feet of additional space.   In addition, a member of the City Board supported library staff and patrons, stating that the city "deserved a new library."  The Mayor and board seemed to agree, but one major issue stood in the way- funds.  Soon, the Mayor devised a plan for a new Restaurant Tax.  Specifically, all restaurants in Brandon would add a 2% tax to all customers' bills.  As predicted, many citizens in Brandon and local restaurant owners did not take to this very well, especially as reflected on many voters' ballots, when the new tax was proposed.   As a result, the library saw a significant decrease in participation, including volunteers from the Friends of the Library group.   Later, after much persuasion and push from local officials and citizens, plans to rebuild a new Brandon Library, City Park, and Tennis Courts, as well as a new multipurpose center attached to the new library, began to take place.  Johnson, Bailey, Henderson, and McNeel designed the new library, and by 2003, the new (and current) Brandon Public Library building opened for service, and the rest is history! 

Current Brandon Public Library Building (opened in 2003)


As previously mentioned, the Brandon Public Library is a valuable gem of the city of Brandon, MS.  Much of this value comes from the awesome programs and services the library has to offer, warmly welcoming its community.  

We have staff members who are certified notaries, and notary services are offered Monday through Friday, and Saturday (by appointment only).  There is a nominal fee of $3.00.  Office services, including black and white ($0.25 per page)  and color printing ($0.50 per page), faxing ($1.00 per page), scanning ($0.50 per page), and copying are also available.  There is also an industrial-strength shredder, provided generously through our Friends of the Brandon Library, and all patrons and staff can use it for free.  Patron computers, as well as free Wi-Fi, are also available. We also offer proctoring test services for college students.

We also offer a variety of programs, including, but not limited to, DNA discovery and Genealogical society monthly meetings, a monthly book club, Family Night, weekly Preschool Story Time, monthly Teen programs,  Quilting, a Coin Club, VMA Veteran's monthly meetings, the Friends of the Brandon Library group (monthly meetings), and more!  

Genealogy Room:

Speaking of more, did you know that the Brandon Public Library has its own Genealogy Room?  That's right!   When the Brandon Library's new 2003 building opened, the plans included a special room, designed for Genealogical services. The collection started with 2,000 items, but it has grown so so much, since then.  Today, the room houses City Almanacs and Directories, yearbooks, slideshow/photo CDs of historic city events, city scrapbooks, artwork by local MS artists, newspaper clippings, maps, cookbooks, and so much more!  In addition, many wonderful organizations, such as the RCHS Red Jacket Chapter, MS State Society, and DAR have generously donated a huge selection of materials for our Genealogy Collection. We also have three computers with access to, as well as a cool feature where users can not only discover their roots but can design their own family tree!  As previously mentioned, our DNA Discovery Group and Genealogical Society meet every month at the library.  The meeting/program is free for anyone to attend.  

Brandon Public Library Genealogy Room

The Brandon Public Library is located at 1475 W. Government Street in Brandon, MS.  We are open     9-8 Monday through Thursday, 9-5 on Friday, and 9-4 on Saturday (closed on Sunday).  For more information, please feel free to visit us in person, or contact us at 601-825-2672 or at   We look forward to having you visit us!   I hope you have enjoyed today's visit down memory lane.  I am firmly convinced that the Brandon Public Library holds the key, which enables the past, present, and future of Brandon's community (as well as its people) to make and "unlock" these connections.   

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