Mississippi libraries offer much more than books

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By Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Checking out artwork in the Lee County Library makes it different from other Mississippi libraries. But it’s not alone in offering something a little off the beaten path.

From puppets in Southaven to rabbit-shaped cake pans in Iuka, libraries have more than books and DVDs available to take home.

WALKER

WALKER

Jennifer Wann Walker, director of development services for the Mississippi Library Commission, said many items not usually stocked in libraries may have a story behind them.

“Donations happen all the time,” she said. “People donate weird things all the time to libraries.”

Lynn Shurden with the Bolivar County Library said the library in the Delta offers something special for the holiday season.

“We’ve always had Santa suits to check out at the library,” she said. “They are in high demand and, (it’s) something that has been done there for many years.”

In a couple of south Mississippi libraries, fishing poles are available for checkout. In Greenville’s Washington County Public Library, library card holders can take garden tools home along with books on gardening.

“Our collections includes hoes, rakes and clippers,” said Kay Clanton, director of the library system there. “The tools were given to us by a local garden club.”

robbie.ward@journalinc.com