Public library expands access

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

If expanding your mind is at the top of your 2013 list, the Lee-Itawamba Library System can connect you beyond its collections in Tupelo and Fulton.
The Mississippi Library Partnership gives Lee and Itawamba county residents access to more than 40 other libraries around the state, including Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women libraries.
“The academic collections are much more specific than public library collections,” said Lee-Itawamba Library System Director Jeff Tomlinson. “Think about the degree programs that must be supported by MSU and MUW libaries.”
During its first two full months as part of the partnership, the Lee-Itawamba library system had more than 400 items borrowed from outside its collections in Tupelo and Fulton.
In addition to being able to pick up materials from other libraries in Tupelo and Fulton, the Mississippi Library Partnership empowers the Lee-Itawamba library card.
“Your local library card also will work at these other library locations,” like Starkville, Columbus and the First Regional Libraries, Tomlinson said. “So if you are in Oxford and want to go in to the library and check something out, you can, and you can just return it to the library here and we’ll send it back for you.”
Also this fall, the Lee-Itawamba system updated its lending policies, allowing patrons to check out more books, videos and CDs when the libraries upgraded its computer software.
The total number of items increased from 25 to 50. The number of videos and audio books increased from four to 10 for each category. Videos now can be renewed twice, just like books.
Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Lee or Itawamba counties is eligible for a library card.
“If you’ve lost your library card, we are giving free replacements cards through the end of January,” Tomlinson said.

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