Category Archives: 3. Administration, Governance, & Structure

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires two things: 1) an Internet Safety Policy; and 2) the use of filtering software on Internet access.


 I.  Internet Safety Policy

You must have an Internet safety policy that covers everything, including new rules passed over the years. You can use the template on our website at (under Links for Additional Information on E-Rate/Universal Services).

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If you have not already adopted an Internet safety policy, you must hold a public hearing during your next board meeting to discuss said policy.  There is not a requirement that members of the public have to actually show up or even speak. Properly advertise when your open meeting will be, and keep a copy of your proof of notice (photocopy of newspaper/printout of newspaper’s website). If you do not have records of having held such a meeting in the past,  you must hold a meeting following the guidelines set forth below.

The notice for this meeting goes beyond the normal public notice you have to do for your usual board meetings.  If you’re making your public hearing a part of your regularly scheduled board meeting, just an additional line is sufficient, like this:

“The regular meeting of the ______ Library Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 11:00 a.m., in the 1st floor main meeting room. The meeting will include a public hearing to discuss proposed technology protection measures and the internet safety policy.”

Be sure to actually discuss the Internet safety policy during your advertised board meeting and make sure it is recorded in the minutes appropriately.   The actual formal discussion of the Internet Safety Policy and its adoption should appear on the board’s agenda.  Ensure that a formal motion and vote of acceptance are recorded accurately in your minutes.  Do not forget to approve these minutes at the subsequent board meeting.

Finally, save all of your documentation which includes:

  • your policy
  • the proof of notice
  • your board minutes discussing and approving the policy

Please share this documentation with Vivian Sanderford by emailing her at


II. Filtering Software

The second part of CIPA requires “specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access” to visual depictions of:

  • Child pornography
  • Obscenity
  • Materials harmful to minors (does not include violence or hate speech)

Filtering must be applied to all Internet accessible computers in the library.  If your library receives Internet access from AT&T and the statewide contract, then this service is already provided to your library.

Affordable Care Act

I. Affordable Care Act legislation and patron assistance

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law. This requires U.S. citizens and legal residents to have qualifying health coverage. Mississippi public libraries may participate in MLC’s Health/Life Insurance Grant program if they meet the eligibility requirements.

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Eligible Mississippi public library employees that work full time (20 hours plus), have health insurance through the State of Mississippi. This plan is considered qualifying coverage according to ACA standards. Those employees working less than 20 hours will need to obtain qualifying health insurance independently, either through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Mississippi or a spouse/partner’s health insurance plan.

When handling library patron questions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), treat them similarly to those you receive about filing taxes. We advise that you do not input personal data for patrons or provide advice on health plans when they are filing. UMMC has Certified Insurance Exchange Navigators who are able to help any citizen in Mississippi who is interested in obtaining insurance through the Exchange. Patrons will need an email address to file for insurance online through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

II. Library System Tax Forms

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has sent library systems notice regarding PPACA Report 6055.  This form will assist your system in filing the appropriate forms (1095C and 1094C) with the IRS concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  MLC advises all library systems and independent public libraries, as political subdivisions in the State of Mississippi, to complete IRS forms 1095C and 1094C.

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Form 1094c is for “Applicable Large Employers,” which is defined as an employer that has at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year. While many library systems employ fewer than 50 full-time employees, your employees will need the information from the form to file their individual returns with the IRS. Filling out the form will ensure that both you and your employees have all the information needed for completion of tax returns.

The library system should take the information provided by BCBS and transfer each employee’s information to Form 1095C.  Two copies of Form 1095C must be created, one for the employee and one for the IRS.  The employee must receive their copy by January 31, 2016.  The IRS must receive its copy of Form 1095C for every employee and one Form 1094C for the entire library system by February 28, 2016. Additionally, the cost of employer health coverage will be reflected on the employee’s W-2 for 2015.

Questions about IRS forms should be directed to the IRS.  Likewise, questions about the BCBS form should go directly to the Membership Division of Blue Cross.



University of Mississippi Medical Center:

Health Insurance Marketplace:

Mississippi State Department of Health:,0,236,628.html

A Brief History of Mississippi Libraries

As with many states, the first libraries in Mississippi were those of the private citizens.  These were in no way considered “public.”  In 1818 (when Mississippi was a new state) the Mississippi Literary and Library Company of Gibson-Port was chartered as a subscription library.  This was the first organization in Mississippi to be called a “library.”  Located in Yazoo City, the Manchester Library Association, chartered in 1840, offered a circulating collection to members.  Between 1900 and 1919 citizen groups formed public libraries in Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, Columbia, Greenville, Port Gibson, and Laurel.

Development of Public Libraries in Mississippi

In 1926, 83 percent of the state was still without free library service.  By 1970, all 82 counties in Mississippi were supporting, to some degree, free county-wide library service.  The following are significant steps in the development of public libraries in Mississippi:

  •  Carnegie Libraries (1908 -1916) Mississippi, like many other states, benefited from the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie.  The Carnegie Foundation gave more than $185,500 to establish libraries in Mississippi.  Eleven public library buildings were erected in ten communities across the state in eight years. Libraries were built in Houston, Mound Bayou (which never functioned as a library), Meridian, (a main branch and a Negro branch were created), Greenwood, Clarksdale, Jackson, West Point, Okolona, Vicksburg, and Gulfport.  Today only Clarksdale, Houston and Okolona utilize the Carnegie buildings as libraries.
  • Federation of Women’s Clubs (1925 -1975) Without the support and steadfast resolve of the women in the various women’s clubs in Mississippi, public libraries would have taken a back row seat to many other community projects.  However, in 1925, the state federation of women’s clubs determined to ask for library service in every county in the state.  In 1926 the Mississippi Library Commission was established and adopted the same goal as the women’s clubs.  It would take more than 50 years to accomplish this goal.
  •  Emergency Relief Act (ERA) (1933) Although Mississippi and the country suffered through the Great Depression, several good things resulted.  One was the ERA funds that helped to establish libraries in Liberty, Pike County, and Walthall County.
  •   Works Progress Library Project (WPA) (1934 -1935)  In 1934, the WPA Library Project also helped provide jobs for the unemployed and also established library service for the first time in six areas:  Bay St. Louis, New Albany, Noxubee County, Pontotoc, Sunflower County, and Winston County.  Funds from this project reinvigorated the public libraries already established in Attala County, Bolivar County, Greenville, Holmes County, Leake County, Marshall County, Natchez, Port Gibson, and Yazoo City. In 1935, with the additional aid of WPA and community groups, libraries were established in DeSoto County, Long Beach, Osyka, Aberdeen, Batesville, Lee County, Meridian, Montgomery County, and Oktibbeha County.
  • World War II (1939-1945) Until the outbreak of World War II, the development of libraries in Mississippi was well underway.  During the war, some were forced to close; others had little development; and no new libraries were established.
  • State Aid (1948-present) Public libraries continued to struggle with funding from local sources.  In 1950 the Legislature passed a law allowing the counties to levy a one mill tax for library support.  With the passage of $45,000 for “state aid for libraries” in 1948, legislators recognized the need for assistance from the state level.  In 1969 the Legislature adopted a unique state aid program – the Personnel Incentive Grant Program.  The purpose was to upgrade public library personnel and bring salaries in line with salaries in other Southern states.  In 1988 the program became a block grant distributed per county/per capita basis to accredited public library systems.  In 2004 more than $5.2 million in the Personnel Incentive Grant Program and an additional $3 million for health and life insurance for public library employees was distributed to qualified public library systems.
  • Multi-County Library Systems (1950-present) The establishment of the original multi-county library system in the state occurred with the formation of First Regional Library in 1950.  By 1973 there were 16 multi-county public library systems in the state and by 1998 there were 18.
  • Federal Aid (1956-present) Libraries in Mississippi also benefited from the Library Services Act, passed by Congress in 1956, which has evolved over the years.  By 2004, the Library Services and Technology Act grant program generated more than $1.6 million in direct and indirect benefits.
  •  Gates Library Foundation (1998-present) In 1998, all public libraries were offered computers and software under a statewide grant according to the needs of the local public service area.  Gates returned a couple of years later with a training grant that was used to develop an intensive, multi-tiered program designed to offer appropriate, convenient, no-cost technology training for public library personnel.
  • MAGNOLIA  (1997-present) In 1997 the Mississippi Legislature funded Mississippi Alliance for Gaining New Opportunities Through Library Information Access (MAGNOLIA), a statewide online database consortium for all publically funded libraries, schools, universities, colleges, and state agencies. MAGNOLIA was the first consortium of its kind to provide online database access to an entire state and remains supported by the Legislature.

Administration, Governance, & Structure

In the state of Mississippi, public library systems are established, maintained, and governed according to provisions of the Mississippi Code of 1972. Title 39, Chapter 3 defines a public library as one that provides customary library services free of charge to all the residents of a county, city, or region and that is supported in whole or in part by public funds.

The content in this section of the Directors Guide of Mississippi Public Library Systems applies to the fifty public library systems recognized a legal entities eligible for receiving state aid in the form of the Personnel Incentive Grant Program from the Mississippi Library Commission. Two independent municipal public libraries located in Long Beach and Water Valley are structured, governed, and administrated in a different manner than described here.


  • Mississippi Library Law {hyperlink to each section from the subtitle}: Introduction to the legal establishment and operation of public libraries in Mississippi.
  • Administrative Board of Trustees: Outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Administrative Board of Trustees in the operation of the library system.
  • Directors: Outlines the roles and responsibilities of the public library system Director in the administration of the library system.
  • Ethics: Discussion of the professional code of ethics of librarianship.