The Mississippi Library Commission is the proud home of the Mississippi Center for the Book, the state affiliate for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Center for the Book is tasked with promoting books, reading, literacy, and libraries. The Mississippi Center for the Book is involved in the following programs:
Mississippi Literary Map
Thanks to a Bicentennial grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi’s literary map was updated in August 2017 and unveiled at the Mississippi Book Festival by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, U.S. Representative Gregg Harper, Governor Phil Bryant, Mississippi Humanities Council Director Stuart Rockoff, and Mississippi Center for the Book Coordinator Tracy Carr. If you’d like a copy of the map, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Smith Literacy Award
The Jane Smith Literacy Award recognizes an existing literacy project or program that is:
- outside of traditional library service
- innovative in nature
- in a Mississippi public library
Past Jane Smith Literacy Award Winners:
2017: South Mississippi Regional Library for their Families Read First program
2019: Waynesboro-Wayne County Library for their Laundry and Literacy program
2020: Jackson-Hinds Library System for their Our Reading Families program
Mississippi Book Festival
The Mississippi Library Commission and the Mississippi Center for the Book are greatly involved with the Mississippi Book Festival to help promote Mississippi’s outstanding literary heritage. Each year, MLC and the Mississippi CFB have a special exhibit or program at the Festival.
To the left, Taylor Kitchings participates in the Mississippi Marathon Read at the 2017 Mississippi Book Festival by reading from Barry Hannah’s Airships. For this all-day program, Festival authors read the works of authors featured on the new Mississippi literary map.
At the 2018 Book Festival, Mississippi CFB staff asked Festival authors about their reading habits in quick 10-minute interviews in the Lightning Rounds program. A random bonus question was asked at the end; click here to watch a compilation of the bonus question answers. To the left, author W. Ralph Eubanks discusses his favorite books as a child.
For the 2019 Festival, MLC and the Mississippi CFB created a Pop-Up Library where Festivalgoers could browse books by Festival authors, play board games, learn about MLC services, and otherwise cool off. To the left, kids pose as Mississippi authors Tennessee Williams and Eudora Welty.
National Book Festival
The Mississippi Library Commission participates in the National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States exhibit each year in Washington, D.C., where we engage with the public about Mississippi’s rich literary heritage.
For this project, the Mississippi CFB asked scholars and authors to annotate their favorite Mississippi novels–on sticky notes. The result is like having a friend guide you through a book, asking questions and pointing out the things you may have missed. For more information, click here.