Hinds, public library mark National Library Week

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 11, 2010

National Library Week events start Monday in Vicksburg.

Programs will be offered at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library and at the library at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg campus.

National Library Week

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At the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library, 700 Veto St., 601-630-4103:

• 10:30 a.m. Tuesday — Story time with Mayor Paul Winfield.

• 6 p.m. Tuesday — Creative Writing Awards reception.

• 10:30 a.m. Wednesday — Story time with Fire Chief Charles Atkins.

• 9-11 a.m. Friday — Customer Appreciation Day, coffee and cookies.

• All month — Art display by Vicksburg native Carmen Wilkinson.

At Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg campus library, 755 Mississippi 27, 601-629-6846:

• 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday — Library trivia, students enter for chance at a prize; workshops on library resources.

• Events will also be offered at Hinds’ Raymond campus library. Call 601-857-3743.

“We’ve been celebrating National Library Week as long as this library’s been open,” said assistant library director Jennifer Smith. “The theme is Communities Thrive @ Your Library.”

The library was founded in 1916 and in 1979 moved to its Veto Street location, from Monroe and South.

“National Library Week is just a way for us to thank the community for supporting us,” said library director Deb Mitchell. “We see people for a variety of reasons.”

National Library Week is a program of the American Library Association.

Hinds’ events will kick off Monday with library trivia and workshops on library resources. Sessions will run through Friday.

Events at the public library begin Tuesday with a reception for the winners of the library’s 31st annual Creative Writing Awards contest. The guest speaker will be author and Tunica native Rick Ward, who has a background in law enforcement and has written “Blood-Stained Justice” and “The Lawmaker.”

“We enjoy his books and thought it would be nice to have him here,” Smith said.

Two winners and an honorable mention will be announced during the 6 p.m. event. Their works and others will be published in an anthology.

Festivities will also include story time for pre-schoolers and toddlers. On the roster are Mayor Paul Winfield and Fire Chief Charles Atkins.

“We thought since the theme was community, it would be fun to have community leaders come and read,” Smith said.

The week will close out with Customer Appreciation Day, set for 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, with coffee and cookies.

“We have seen an increase in the number of people visiting the library since I’ve been here,” said Smith, who’s worked at the library for about eight years. “We have seen an increase in computer users, an increase in people who check out movies.”

In fiscal year 2009, which ended in September, the library reported 149,413 visits and 227,925 checkouts. The year before, 141,520 visits were reported and 263,441 checkouts.

Computer sessions rose from 20,350 in fiscal year 2008 to 27,970 in 2009. Yet attendance to special programs fell, from 6,137 to 4,031.

The library serves 21,509 registered users compared to 29,881 the year before. The decline, Mitchell said, was because the system was purged for accuracy.

The library, led by a board of directors, is funded by the Warren County Board of Supervisors, state and federal grants and donations. In addition to books, it offers VHS tapes and DVDs, as well as audio books in CD and MP3 formats.

By Manivanh Chanprasith at mchan@vicksburgpost.com