Jeffrey Martin Mug

Jeffrey Martin

Wow, this year is already flying by! With one month in the books, we are continuing to plan many fun events at the library.

On Monday, Feb. 24, we will host another meeting of the Itawamba County Book Club. This month, we are reading the acclaimed historical fiction novel “An Officer and a Spy” by British novelist Robert Harris. The novel deals with French Army Officer Georges Picquart and his role in exposing the truth about the Dreyfuss Affair, which exiled an innocent, Alfred Dreyfuss, to Devil’s Island for treason. Anyone is welcome to join us for the meeting. If you’d like to borrow a copy of the book, please call the library so we can get a copy in your hands.

I am also excited to have Mrs. San McLeod as the guest speaker for our February Lunching with Books program. That event will take place on Friday, Feb. 28, at noon. I look forward to hearing the book or books she will review that day. San is truly one of my favorite people, and she has discussed some great books each time she has spoken at Lunching with Books over the years.

We continue to hold our STEM Story Times on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. We have some very exciting STEM-in-Action events coming up, as well. At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, we will have a fun and engaging science experiment program with ACES Science Labs from Huntsville, Alabama. On March 31, again at 4 p.m., we will host magician Bentley Burns for a spectacular math- and science-filled magic show. I am also putting the final touches on the library’s Summer Reading Program and hope to announce that lineup within the next month or so. We will get fliers out to all the children in the county.

As a way of wrapping up, I wanted to discuss the process we use for borrowing books from other libraries for our patrons. Our library contains about 48,000 books in its collection, so there is a fair chance that we may have the book you’re looking for. But there have been approximately 130 million books published since the beginning of written history, so a few book requests may require us to look outside the walls of our library to fill. If you happen to be searching for a book that’s not on our shelves, our first step is to determine if the item can be borrowed from one of the libraries in the Mississippi Library Partnership. The partnership includes approximately 60 libraries, including six public library systems, two universities, and two community colleges. These libraries share resources and a linked computer database, and they meet weekly to swap materials requested from the patrons of other partnership libraries. This partnership allows our library patrons access to over three-million items via the library’s card catalog at www.li.lib.ms.us. If logged into the website, anyone with a library card can place holds on items there to be picked up at our library.

If the book you are looking for is a little more obscure and isn’t included in the vast collections of Mississippi Library Partnership libraries, there is still hope we might be able to locate and borrow the book for you. Through two other databases, we have access to items owned by other Mississippi libraries, as well as libraries in the Southeastern United States, Kansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Requests to these databases are handled on an individual basis, with the request going out to multiple libraries that own the item. No library is required to send an item to fill any hold, so there are some occasions when requests are not filled. I have, however, been pleasantly surprised to locate and borrow many obscure books for library patrons, some of which were held by only a handful of libraries in the entire United States.

I hope this has explained the process we use for borrowing books from other libraries. Please browse the website, call us, or come by the library if you need help locating a specific book. We will be glad to assist you.

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