Summer Mord, Will Malone, Stephen Cunetto and Anita Winger load the van with materials for the Mississippi Library Partnership.
Members of the MSU Libraries load the van with materials for the Mississippi Library Partnership.
The Mississippi State University Libraries work with the Mississippi Library Partnership (MLP) is among eight outreach projects honored with the university’s sixth annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards. Winners are awarded in four categories, including community-engaged research, service, and teaching and learning, and scholarship of engagement.
Submitted by Associate Professor of Practice Anita Winger, Mitchell Memorial Library, and MSU Libraries Associate Dean for Community Relations and Strategic Initiatives Stephen Cunetto, the Mississippi Library Partnership received honorable mention in the Community-Engaged Service category. Winger and Cunetto said they are excited to see the libraries’ work receive this recognition.
According to Winger, the Mississippi Library Partnership was established in 1993 with two IHL libraries to foster the sharing of books. Following 30 years of successful growth, the partnership now includes three IHL libraries, three Community Colleges and six public library systems with the most recent member going live on the automated library system in October 2022.
“Books and other materials are shared between the member library systems when patrons place holds or requests on titles that may not be owned by their home library. In 2022 alone, 95,796 books were requested for materials outside the patrons’ home library,” Winger said.
Cunetto added that of those requests, 41,862 were transported through the new courier service from one library system to another.
“The benefit of sharing books across the state by participating libraries is that it allows the academic library to gain access to non-research material that may not be purchased due to budget constraints, and the public libraries to gain access to research texts and other specialized materials that would be impractical for public libraries to maintain,” Cunetto said.
“By working together and sharing these materials, the patrons from these participating libraries are the true winners,” he added.
“The Mississippi Library Partnership was developed so we, as libraries, can support each other through shared collections. The MSU library serves as the foundation supporting these libraries by maintaining the system that supports the libraries so the individual libraries can focus on serving their communities,” she said.
For more information on the MLP, please visit https://www.library.msstate.edu/mlp.