Mississippi Center for the Book
The Mississippi Center for the Book is one of 50 state affiliates of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. The Center's mission is to promote books, reading, libraries and literacy in society. More specifically, Mississippi's Center for the Book is devoted in promoting and exploring Mississippi's rich literary heritage through statewide activities.
- Letters about Literature, a national writing contest for students in grades 4-12, invites students to write personal letters to the authors of their favorite books, living or dead, in any genre. Winners are announced in the spring of each year and receive awards on the state and national level. The LAL website contains information on how to enter, samples of winning letters, lesson plans for teachers, and more. An award ceremony for all state semifinalists, finalists, and winners is held each year in April at the Mississippi Library Commission.
- The Book Club in a Box program allows public libraries to borrow book club kits consisting of 10 copies of a book along with discussion materials. Book club kits are available for three months at a time to allow ample time for mailing, distribution to book club members, reading, and discussion.
Titles available are:
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
- North Towards Home by Willie Morris
- Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives by Brad Watson
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
- Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Magnolia Award, a children's choice award for the state of Mississippi, invites children in grades 3-6 to read and vote for each year's nominated books. The votes are then submitted by their librarians electronically. Previous winners were Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka (2011) and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (2010). The 2012 nominees can be found here. The Mississippi Library Commission is a proud sponsor of this program.
- In 2012, four Mississippi libraries will host the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association reading and discussion program "Making Sense of the American Civil War," funded by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.
- Mississippi participates in the National Book Festival each year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, the festival is a day-long celebration of books and reading. Mississippi's Center for the Book representatives staff the Mississippi table in the Pavilion of the States. Every state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories are represented in the Pavilion to share information about books, reading, and libraries in their states.
- The Mississippi Center for the Book was one of the sponsors of Mississippi Reads, a project that invited readers of all ages to read a specific book by a Mississippi author in 2007-2009. The books were Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner, Richard Wright's Uncle Tom's Children, and The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty.
For more information about any of the Mississippi Center for the Book activities, please contact:
Tracy Carr Seabold, Center for the Book Coordinator