From the Director's Desk

To open this issue of the MCLS newsletter I would like to compliment our personnel for making 2019 a great success. Looking back over the past year we have accomplished much.

In January we opened the rebuilt Keiser Library eleven months after a tornado had destroyed it. Then we worked around the Blytheville roofing and HVAC renovation throughout the summer and into the fall. (See our feature story by one of our new employees, Tom Henry). Osceola dealt with a plethora of repairs, including two incidents of vandalism and theft. We also made some small changes in the floor plan at Manila to add shelving for its growing collections.

All personnel have had to be nimble to create and support different types of programs for people of all ages. We have deployed and learned how to use to a new catalog and circulation system. Many employees have adapted to new work schedules as we have added evening and weekend hours at several locations

More changes are on the way. The Osceola building needs to have the roof upgraded as soon as possible, and there are many other facility challenges at that location. I have been talking with several individuals and entities about renewing the landscaping at the Blytheville building. Hopefully there will be at least the start of a new look by spring.

As we transition into 2020 an exciting initiative is the establishment of our “Library of Things.” This will be a growing collection of non-traditional items that people will be able to borrow just like books. The collection will include items such as board games, toys, puzzles, thematic educational kits, crafting kits, and cakepans of various shapes and sizes.

Finally, we aim to offer a greater variety of programs. The latest new offering is table gaming activity that takes place every Monday evening at Manila and Blytheville. Folks of any age gather around board games and card games while building intergenerational relationships -- somewhat like those that developed on the front porches of days now gone by.

Enriching lives. That’s what we are about as we pass through the holiday season and into a new decade.

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As many will remember, on February 24, 2018 a tornado severely damaged the Keiser Public Library. On January 22, 2019, the renovated building was re-opened with a ribbon cutting, which was orchestrate

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Mississippi County Library System

200 North 5th Street

Blytheville AR 72315