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franklin county times

Meridian/Lauderdale County Public Library meets reading needs

By Staff
MAILIBRARY Mary McDonald packages books to be mailed to area residents from the Meridian/Lauderdale County Public Library. McDonald, who has worked 22 years at the library, said books are mailed at no charge to anyone requesting them. In July, 1,400 paperbacks were mailed. Books may be checked out for one month and returned by mail or at one of the many book drops at Meridian businesses. PHOTO BY ANNA WRIGHT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Ida Brown / special sections editor
August 8, 2004
While the Internet has provided a new way of acquiring information, most people still rely on tried and true sources such as the library.
And though books are its biggest commodity, the local library offers much more through materials, programs and services.
Making the most
of library services
To take full advantage of everything the library offers, you must sign up for a library card which is free to those who meet requirements that include being a Lauderdale County resident.
For avid readers such as Mattie Royster, the borrower's card is the key to an unlimited supply of books.
Royster, who enjoys murder mysteries and the classics, is a member of a book club, but seldom makes purchases.
Most library books can be checked out two weeks, then renewed for two more weeks; the exception is books on request, which are checked out for one week.
Books may be returned either at the library, or at one of the convenient drop boxes at Winn-Dixie on Highway 39 or Highway 19 North, and FoodMax on Frontage Road or North Hills Street.
And, for those unable to visit the library, the Mailibrary service mails paperback books to patrons.
Created in 1972 to replace the library's bookmobile service, Mailibrary (Books-by-Mail) is a "library within a library." Its primary focus is to provide paperback reading materials to those unable to visit the main library. However, it is also gaining popularity among those with demanding schedules.
Books may be checked out for one month and may be delivered by US mail, or picked up at the library's circulation desk.
Adult services
Located on the library's main floor, the Adult Services department provides directional and informational assistance to patrons. More than 50,000 reference inquiries are addressed by the department each year.
The library houses one of the finest genealogy collections in East Central Mississippi. It contains a broad collection of genealogy books for most of the Southern states, along with an extensive family history collection.
Federal census microfilm for Mississippi and Alabama are available for in-house use. The library also owns census microfilm for 1800-1850 for Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Census index books for some years are also available.
The library's Mississippi Room contains a wealth of historical information, including the roster of the Confederacy and many other pertinent Civil War materials, along with significant historical information on Lauderdale County.
While most researchers prefer to work alone, the library's staff is always ready to offer assistance, especially to newcomers.
Children's services
The library's Children's Services Department houses an impressive collection of children's fiction and non-fiction literature which support the reading needs of children from birth through sixth grade.
Other materials supporting children's educational and recreational needs include periodicals, a wide array of audiovisuals and some toys. Special interest collections include parent/teacher books, home schooling books, toddler and beginning reader books and popular series collections. Also available is an up-to-date reference collection geared to younger library patrons.

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