MSU-based library consortium grows, changes name
Mississippi's largest library consortium added new libraries and changed its name last week week. With the merger, the system now serves 53 libraries in 14 Mississippi counties.
The Mississippi Library Partnership (MLP), formerly known as the Golden Triangle Regional Library Consortium (GTRLC), welcomes the First Regional Library (FRL) System to its ranks. The FRL System is a five-county public library cooperative with thirteen branches located in Northwest Mississippi. The Region was formed among DeSoto, Tate, Panola and Lafayette counties in 1950. Tunica County joined the System in 1968. The regional headquarters is located inside the branch in Hernando.
Public libraries within the FRL System include facilities in Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch, Horn Lake, Walls, Tunica, Coldwater, Senatobia, Crenshaw, Como, Sardis, Batesville and Oxford.
The FRL System joins a partnership with the former GTRLC that served 40 libraries on the campuses of Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, East Mississippi Community College, Starkville High School, and in the cities of Starkville, Maben, Sturgis, Meridian, Jackson, Columbus, Amory, Aberdeen, Ackerman, West Point, Hamilton, Mathiston, Nettleton, Eupora, Weir, Wren, Mayhew, Scooba, Artesia, Crawford, Caledonia, Kosciusko, Duck Hill, Carthage, Durant, Goodman, Kilmichael, Lexington, Pickens, Tchula, Walnut Grove, West, Winona and Louisville.
"We have simply outgrown the previous name for the consortium," said Stephen Cunetto, administrator of systems with Mississippi State University Libraries. "The name Mississippi Library Partnership better represents the fact that this network covers more than just Mississippi's Golden Triangle."
During a contract signing on March 5, Dr. Mark Keenum, president of Mississippi State University, welcomed the new libraries to the MLP stating, "We're proud to welcome First Regional Library System to the Mississippi Library Partnership. This relationship brings libraries in northwest Mississippi into the most significant library consortium in Mississippi and allows the University to facilitate shared resources for library patrons during tight budget times and increased utilization of databases that might otherwise be unavailable to community libraries."
FRL System Director Catherine Nathan is pleased with the decision to join, remarking, "The staff and trustees of the First Regional Library could not be more pleased about joining the Mississippi Library Partnership. We look forward to many years of resource sharing and collaboration with the membership -- and hope that other libraries will consider joining."
The Mississippi Library Partnership was established in 1993 as a means of increasing the sharing of resources and automation costs as well as the sharing of technical expertise. The mission of the partnership is to provide a central database that customers can utilize to provide easy access to resources available in the Golden Triangle and Mid-Mississippi regions. Building upon the success of the venture between charter members Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women, the partnership continues to impact libraries and provide exceptional service to its members.
"We are very pleased to have the FRL System join the MLP," said Cunetto. "With the addition of the FRL System, the partnership -- the only one of its kind in the state -- now includes over 50 libraries, including academic, public, and school libraries."
Since its establishment, Starkville High School, Tombigbee Regional Library System, Oktibbeha-Starkville Public Library, the East Mississippi Community College Libraries and the Mid-Mississippi Library System have joined the partnership. Training and ongoing development and support for the partnership is handled by the Mississippi State University Libraries.
For more information on the Mississippi Library Partnership, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/gtrlc.
Lyle Tate | MSU Libraries