Library aims to help community thrive

Beth Edwards, Branch Librarian

Libraries and literacy go hand in hand. At the Winston County Library our goal is to provide resources that allow our patrons and our community to THRIVE through literacy:

Teaching and supporting basic literacy skills: we offer books and story hours for toddlers and preschoolers; outreach to kindergartens and early elementary; beginning reading materials; partnerships with schools; homework center; and summer reading programs.

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Heritage: past, present and future = cultural literacy: we offer genealogy and local history collections; African-American History Month programs; cultural programs and resources; local art and cultural event information.

Responsible and informed citizens = civic literacy: we have a meeting room for public use; neighborhood and community development resources; resident and newcomer information; community information and displays; government documents and tax forms.

Investing in personal prosperity = business and financial literacy: we offer employment and career development resources; financial planning resources; small business and marketing resources.

Vital information for a healthy and productive life = life skills literacy: we have health and consumer information; personal growth and development resources; family resource materials; “how to” materials.

Educating the public for the 21st century literacy: we have free internet and wi-fi access; free computers for public use; free computer classes; free e-Book resources.

The Friends of the Library continue to do outstanding work in raising funds to provide items for the library not within the yearly budget. This past year the Friends purchased a new portable puppet theater for the Children’s Librarian to use at all city/county schools; purchased books during the summer months; hosted several educational seminars during the year; sponsored the annual City and County Officials Luncheon during National Library Week, and the Christmas Open House in conjunction with a book signing with chef and author Robert St. John and watercolorist Wyatt Waters. For 2014, the Friends are raising money to purchase new chairs for the meeting room. Money is raised through annual Membership Drives, used book sales, and through Vowell’s Market Place Smart Shopper Savings Stamp program.

The Winston County Library services an average of 6,586 people each month, and checks out an average of 6,578 items each month. Our free public access computers, the only ones in the county, see an average usage of 797 people each month. We also deliver books to home-bound or sick patrons throughout the year.

The Winston County Library is part of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System, made up of Attala, Leake, Holmes, Montgomery and Winston Counties, with headquarters in Kosciusko, MS. The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System is also a member of the Mississippi Library Partnership, bringing more than 3.1 million titles to you.

What this means is that with your MMRLS library card, you can checkout materials at any of the Mississippi Library Partnership 70-plus member libraries. You can also borrow materials from these libraries from your own home computer or electronic device, and have them delivered to the Winston County Library. You will be notified via e-mail or phone when your item is available for checkout.

We are always striving to provide the best services to the people of Winston County, and also to those visiting our county. Call the library at 662-773-3212 for information on any of our programs or for questions in general.