From the Director's Desk

I hope that you had a meaningful holiday season and that you have been able to stay warm during the first half of this winter which hasn’t felt much different than those that I have experienced in the North. I am grateful for shelter from the weather at all times of the year. Over the past three months I have become ever more mindful of such shelter as our two largest library facilities have begun to make their age very obvious.


Both the Blytheville and the Osceola buildings need to have their roofs addressed. Blytheville also needs to replace its original HVAC System while Osceola needs to address its metal mansard and wooden exterior components and windows with a cleaning and new paint. On January 23 I made an informative presentation to Blytheville’s Mayor Sanders, County Judge Brassfield, and several Mississippi County Library Board members.


I presented initial findings concerning what needs to be addressed along with anticipated “ballpark” financial figures to address the needs. Elements of a working vision for new library resources and programming were also shared. All parties are motivated to move forward to address the immediate facility needs, and I anticipate that more details concerning matters will be offered to library customers as figures and approaches become further solidified and the new calendar year progresses.


As the System’s leadership begins to speculate concerning the future of library resources and services, I would like to form some advisory groups from the community. These groups will offer me insight into what has been working for the County’s libraries, what has been valued by the community, and what has not. Folks will also provide input for new endeavors to be investigated and possibly established.


I would like to include folks of all ages (especially teens and young adults), from various ethnic backgrounds, and with widespread geographic (place of residency) representation. The composition of the groups will be determined after I establish a sizeable roster of interested individuals. If you would like to participate in such talks, or if you know of some folks who I might approach for involvement, please email the name(s) and contact info to me at lwalters@mclibrary.net with the subject of MCLS Advisory Groups.


The System’s Library Management and Administration Team has been working on Annual Summer Reading Program plans. Look to hear more about that as Spring approaches.

On a different note, we have started to make some audiobooks available in MP3 format through the OverDrive platform. Many people listen to audiobooks in their cars during long commutes. However, many newer cars no longer have cassette nor CD players in them. One way to listen to audiobooks is to download audiobooks to your phone and then listen to them using a Bluetooth connection. Please understand that future audiobook purchasing efforts will be increasingly focused on delivery through non-physical formats. The number of audiobook titles will take some time to grow, however, as they are often around $100 each.


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