Southern Miss Hosting Mississippi Library Association Conference Oct. 21-23
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Contact David Tisdale - 601.266.4499   

The Mississippi Library Association (MLA) will celebrate 100 years of supporting librarians in the state when it holds its annual conference at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center Oct. 21-23.

Because of its commitment to sustainability, Southern Miss is the ideal place to hold this year’s conference because of this year’s theme “Eco-Friendly Libraries: Green for the New Century,” said conference coordinator Ann Branton, head of bibliographic services for Southern Miss University Libraries and vice president of MLA.

“The conference requires a setting that fully supports the idea of environmental sustainability, and with Southern Miss’ commitment to this goal as part of its strategic initiatives, I believe our campus is the perfect place,” Branton said.

Southern Miss President Martha Saunders will give opening remarks at the conference’s general session, set for Oct. 21 at 1:30, which will be moderated by MLA President Jan Willis. Keynote speaker for the conference is Louise Schaper, director of the Fayetteville (Ark.) Public Library.

Under Schaper’s leadership, a new library was designed for the city that meets environmental sustainability goals, and has been honored with the prestigious Library of the Year Award in 2005 and Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification in 2006. It was also the first building in Arkansas registered with the U.S. Green Building’s LEED certification program.

Other highlights of the conference will be an art exhibit, “Artists in Mississippi Libraries,” showcasing the art work of librarians from across the state, to be held at the university’s Museum of Art. The opening reception will be from 5-6 p.m. Oct. 21 and the exhibit will continue through Nov. 12.

Two Mississippi authors will also be honored at the event by the MLA’s Authors Awards Committee, which selects two outstanding works by writers from the state each year. Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help,” now on the New York Times Best Seller List, was selected for the fiction category, along with Gerry Helferich’s “High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta” in the non-fiction category. Both will be honored at the conference’s Authors Awards Banquet Oct. 22.

"We’re pleased to host this year's conference, and look forward to showcasing how libraries can play an important role in advancing efforts to make college campuses and communities more environmentally friendly and sustainable," said Carole Kiehl, dean of Southern Miss University Libraries.

For more information on the conference, contact Ann Branton This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or call 601.266.4350.

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at