Services provided by the Mississippi Library Commission to Public Library Systems:
- MLC provides the Personnel Incentive Grant Program to public libraries that provide service to an entire county. These are state funds that assist public libraries with employing qualified personnel to ensure our libraries have the best staff financially possible.
- MLC is the facilitator of IMLS federal funds to public libraries. These funds service the LSTA grant program which award grants yearly to public library. LSTA grants have provided books, DVDs, computers, equipment, and other items to Mississippi public libraries. Without MLC to facilitate this process, many public library systems would not be able to receive the benefit of those items.
- Per state statute, MLC provides all public library staff who work 20 hours or more with health and life insurance reimbursements. These are sent directly to public library systems.
- Visit the Grants page for more information on these services.
Continuing Education and Consulting:
- Training is provided to public libraries each year in the form of workshops and webinars that cover various aspects of librarianship. Topics have included reader’s advisory, security measures, children’s, young adult, and adult services, Summer Reading programs, services to those with disabilities, and training on basic technical skills such as using Microsoft Office products. The current continuing education catalog can be found here.
- MLC offers Librarianship 101, an intensive in-residency workshop for paraprofessional staff. Since 2003, over 300 public library staff members have participated in this workshop to help develop stronger library service skills. This workshop helps to give library staff a firm foundation in library protocol in the form of discussions around the Library Code of Ethics, techniques for providing collection development, reference services, reader’s advisory, programming, and children’s and young adult services, in addition to many other topics. Librarianship 101 takes people who have a strong desire to serve their community and trains them how to provide quality public library services.
- Our professional library consultants help all public libraries navigate how things work out in libraryland. Each public library system is assigned a consultant that travels to visit libraries around the state and is available for whatever issues may arise while doing business. Issues range from complicated human resource issues, clarification of library procedure and best practices policies, starting new services, building new collections, and advising on Mississippi library code and Attorney General opinions that affect libraries. MLC also maintains a manual that guides Library Administrative Boards of Trustees through their duties and authority.
- On-site visits from MLC staff are utilized to provide training at libraries for staff development training or as a standalone training. Examples of those trainings include: trustee training, weeding, readers advisory, Friends of the Library training, customer service, Talking Book Services, and MAGNOLIA database training. Staff have also been made available for external library workshops and conferences, like the Northeast Mississippi Area Librarian’s Workshop, and annual Mississippi Library Association Conference, which both provide training to public libraries as well as other types of libraries in Mississippi. To request staff training, fill out this form.
- MLC holds quarterly public library directors’ meetings directors are provided specific training. At each meeting, directors learn new ways to provide services to their communities as well as hear from speakers who advise libraries on how to operate legally as a subsidiary of state government and who announce special projects and initiatives.
- MLC provides the backbone connectivity to the statewide MPLS Network, which is a cloud based network that provides connectivity for public libraries around Mississippi. Our Technology Services department provides free technical assistance, technical consulting services, and serves as the intermediary with AT&T and public libraries on that network.
- Technology Services staff guide public libraries through the complicated federal E-Rate process, which is a reimbursement program that assists public libraries with their internet and telecommunications costs. Discounts on these services are based on the reduced/free lunch program. We offer in-person training on the E-Rate filing and have designated technology staff on-call to answer questions about this filing process.
- Technology Services staff are in the process of migrating public libraries onto Microsoft 365, which includes the Microsoft Office suite, Skype, and Outlook, and provide support for these products. They also assist public libraries with the development and implementation of library system websites, as well as training and support for Microsoft Office and Adobe products.
- For a full list of what Technology Services can do for public libraries, view Technology Services in Detail.
- MLC maintains Beehive Resource Sharing, a statewide interlibrary loan platform that links together all the public library holdings in the state. To promote this customary service, MLC also offers an ILL Transport grant that partially reimburses public libraries who provide ILL service free of charge to their patrons.
- MLC provides access to OCLC for public libraries in order to create the necessary entries for their catalog holdings.
- Our Special Collections are available to assist public libraries with developing programs for free. Some items in our special collections include: 3D printers, book club kits, LEGO and DUPLO programming kits, a button maker, puppets with corresponding children’s books, and makerspace items.
- MLC is home to Talking Book Services. This federally funded program is a division of the Library of Congress’s National Library Services and provides reading material in appropriate formats to people with visual, physical, or reading disabilities. Many of our branch libraries around the state help to connect people from their communities to the Talking Book Services. Talking Books staff are available to visit libraries and discuss the service with staff or with patron during programs for the public. Each branch can also get a digital player for display purposes.
- MLC’s reference desk is available to assist libraries with questions from patrons, to collaborate on resources, and to provide information through our online databases. Reference also provides support for the MAGNOLIA databases, including lost or forgotten codes and search strategies. Call us at 877-KWIK-REF, text us at 601-208-0868, or email us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Projects and Partnerships:
- MLC receives opportunities from outside organizations for grants or projects that can be passed on to public libraries around the state, such as partnerships with the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Mississippi Makerspace group, Volunteer Mississippi, and more.