MERIDIAN, Miss.--Mississippi State University officials today [Dec. 3] dedicated the new Phil Hardin Foundation Library at the Meridian College Park Campus.
A $1.25 million gift by the Meridian-based foundation made possible the new 1,860 square-foot university library that opened last month.
The new facility was created through the renovation of three existing spaces formerly used for classrooms. Though MSU-Meridian has employed a faculty librarian for more than a decade, it represents the first physical library on the College Park Campus.
In remarks during the ceremony, MSU President Mark E. Keenum called the facility a significant educational asset, adding that libraries are the "heart" of all institutions of higher learning.
"We are extremely proud of this new library and profoundly grateful to the Phil Hardin Foundation for the gift that made it possible," Keenum said.
Keenum also observed that the building's array of print and electronic resources and instructional technologies are located in a picturesque setting that includes a scenic lake view.
In addition to housing 8,000 print volumes and journals, the library's resources include 16 public computer workstations, 15 laptop computers, a conference room, microfilm reader print station, and instructional laboratory and teacher station with capacity for 30 students.
Keenum praised and thanked Meridian Community College, which has made its L. O. Todd Library available to MSU students for many years.
"Now, we are delighted to be able to welcome MCC students, and those from Meridian and Lauderdale County schools, to freely use this facility," Keenum said. The university looks forward to a long and cooperative relationship between the Hardin Foundation and Todd libraries for the mutual benefit of both, he added.
Robert F. Ward, president of the Phil Hardin Foundation Board of Directors, said the gift represents the latest example of the organization's mission "to improve the education of Mississippians."
"This wonderful facility will provide a significant environment for reflection and study for students at MSU-Meridian, Meridian Community College and the broader community," Ward said. "This project is an excellent fit with the mission of our foundation."
Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries, echoed Keenum and Ward's remarks.
"We are extremely grateful to the Phil Hardin Foundation for their generous support of our efforts to enhance library services at the MSU-Meridian campus," Coleman said. "We long have appreciated our cooperative relationship with Meridian Community College and know this facility will expand cooperation."
Coleman also reminded those in attendance that the Hardin Foundation Library offers access to the same services and resources available on the Starkville campus.
For more information about MSU, see www.msstate.edu; for MSU-Meridian, www.meridian.msstate.edu.