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Shelf Talk 36: Welcome Back!

The Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) libraries are open, and you’re invited to join the fun!

After a year and a half of restrictions: required masks and social distancing, capacity limits, passive events, even virtual summer reading programming, MCLS is ready to welcome our communities back to in-person programming. Starting at the end of July, we’ll be hosting live events and more fully living into our mission to “bring people, ideas, collections, services, and technology together to advance a rich quality of life in our communities.” We hope to reopen for private meetings soon; if your group misses meeting in the library, know that our rooms will be ready for you! Watch for upcoming announcements about game nights (and tournaments), craft clubs, STEM activities, story times, community education classes…the list goes on!

To kick off the celebration, MCLS is bringing Rocky Clements’ “Show of Wonders” to the Blytheville, Manila, and Osceola libraries July 20th and 21st. “The ‘Show of Wonders’ Illusion and Magic Show is a trip back in time to the days of traveling variety shows and Vaudeville,” according to Mr. Clements. “Complete with a beautiful stage set as well as vintage and ornate props, it is a show that will appeal to all ages from children to adults. Each performance features routines and stories about the master magicians of old, traveling medicine shows, carnival sideshows, and more.”

Bring the family to “Show of Wonders” July 20th at 10:30 am (Blytheville Library), July 20th at 2:30 pm (Osceola Library), or July 21st at 2:00 pm (Manila Library). In addition to magical fun, attendees will earn 50 Summer Reading points toward prizes. It’s not too late to register and start earning points at

July 20th will be a busy day at the Blytheville Library! You are invited to a special community-wide conversation at 6 pm, where participants will discuss mental health in Mississippi County: What is the state of our mental health as we enter a post-COVID world? What additional mental health challenges face our populations, especially students, veterans, the homebound, and those living in poverty? What can community leaders (and our library) do to support mental health awareness and promote seeking proper treatment?

This exploratory conversation, funded through the American Library Association’s Transforming Communities grant program, aims to foster a greater understanding of the state of mental health in Mississippi County, develop relationships between community leaders and care providers, and potentially inspire future programming and outreach.

All civic, school, nonprofit, medical provider, and religious leaders are invited to attend this public conversation. Please invite friends and colleagues who you think may be interested in raising awareness. Refreshments will be provided. Please call the Blytheville Library at 870-762-2431 with any questions or to refer us to someone to whom we might send a personal invitation.

And don’t forget to visit the library! Your MCLS is excited to resume in-person programming. We’re looking forward to providing all the great activities you used to love and offering new and inventive programming. If you have an idea for a service or resource the Mississippi County Library System could provide or would like to volunteer at one of our library branches, let us know! As always, feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or suggestions.

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