Proudly Serving Attala, Holmes, Leake, Montgomery, and Winston Counties Since 1957
The Mid-Mississippi began began its operations in October, 1957 as the eighth regional library system to be set up by the Mississippi Library Commission. The first regional board of trustees was selected from members of each of the existing library county boards. Membership included: Mrs. N.W. Fulton, chairman, Louisville; Mrs. Percy Allen, treasurer, Kosciusko; Mrs. R.G. Brown, Louisville; Mrs. O.F. McMillan, Louisville; and Mrs. B.B. Boyd, McCool.
Initial staff included a director with a librarian at each branch. Mrs. Mary Storer Jones, who had been serving as Attala County librarian, became the system’s first regional director. For a full list of MMRLS Executive Directors through the years, click here.
Total number of volumes held by the region at the time was 16,546, and the circulation figure stood at 53,676 for the system’s first year. The Attala County Library was open thirty-five hours per week, while the Winston County Library was open for thirty-six hours per week.
A bookmobile was purchased for the system’s use in January of 1958.
In 1957, Leake County officially joined MMRLS. And an agreement to cooperate with the Library Commission in a demonstration in Montgomery County was also made. Attala County increased the number of hours it would be open to 39 ½ hours per week and Winston County Library increased its hours open to 40 hours per week.
On February 18, 1968, the new Winston County Library was dedicated with a significant amount of the construction costs be donated by Mrs. D.L. Fair, Sr.
In the fall of 1968 Montgomery County voted to officially join the become a part of Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System.
The new Mid-Mississippi Regional Library and Attala County Library building was dedicated on April 20, 1969. Walnut Grove dedicated their new library building in July of 1969.
In 1970 the MMRLS board voted to join with a library demonstration in Carroll County. The following year this county became a part of the regional system. Carroll County eventually formed a separate system, the Carroll County Library System, officially leaving MMRLS in 1978.
The year 1976 saw Richard O. Greene being named as MMRLS Executive Director. Mr. Greene would continue to serve in this position until 2018, when he retired after 42 years of service. In 1977, Holmes County officially joined the system. In 1979, the Attala County Library began MMRLS’ first Dial-A-Story project, a service that operated over the telephone 24 hours a day, telling stories and inviting children of all ages to visit their local public library. The Star-Herald Newspaper, under the leadership of W.C. Shoemaker, served as the project’s original sponsor.
1978 saw the Grand Opening of the new Winona-Montgomery County Library, while the new Tchula Public Library was completed in 1981.
April of 1982 marked the completion of additions to the Attala County Library, including the Mary E. Love Meeting Room, and the John D. Sanders and Zemuly Weeks Historical and Genealogy Room.
The new Lexington Public Library was completed in May of 1995, while an addition to the Carthage-Leake County Library was completed in November of the same year.
The 2000’s have brought important advancements in the library system’s technological capabilities, along with its most recent construction project.
The year 2000 saw MMRLS move to a fully automated cataloging system, with the Attala County Library the first to receive the new system.
In 2011, the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System joined the Golden Triangle Regional Library Consortium, a group of multi-type libraries that share a library automation system as a means of increasing the sharing of resources and automation costs as well as the sharing of technical expertise. In 2012 the name of the consortium was changed to the Mississippi Library Partnership (MLP) to better reflect the geographic area that the consortium covers.
Also in 2012, in an effort to further meet the needs of its customers, MMRLS libraries added e-books to its collection. In 2018 MMRLS added Hoopla as an e-book source along with access to digital books, movies, and comics.
The new and vastly remodeled Walnut Grove Public Library was dedicated and reopened in 2012.
As MMRLS moves ahead, we are focused on the ever-changing needs of our patrons. We thank each of you for using the services of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System, and look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.