Chainsaw artist update; temporary libraries; other news and notes

Chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins, commissioned by Mayor A.J. Holloway to sculpt marine-related figure from standing dead trees in the median of U.S. 90, ends his four days of work this afternoon. To see before-and-after photos, video and background on the project, click here.

Temporary libraries in works at two Biloxi locations

Biloxi will soon have two new temporary libraries, according to Charline Longino, head librarian in Biloxi

Workers on Wednesday began assembling two double-wide trailers at 150 Bellman Street in east Biloxi and at 8455 Woolmarket Road, near the Woolmarket fire station.

“It will take some time to install furniture and shelving as well as the books, audio-visuals, and internet accessible computers that make up a library collection,” Longino said, “but these temporary libraries will be providing a full-range of library services when they open in April.”

The temporary libraries are the result of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Gulf Coast Libraries Project, Longino said. In July 2006, the Gates Foundation awarded $12.2 million to SOLINET as part of the Gulf Coast Libraries Project, to assist 16 public libraries in 13 communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. Gates Foundation funds are also earmarked for materials, technology and staffing for these libraries.

Said Longino: “Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the public libraries in Harrison County. The downtown Biloxi and Gulfport libraries were both badly damaged by the storm and have not been able to re-open. These new, temporary facilities will bring library services back to these areas and to a part of Biloxi that has seen rapid growth since the storm, Woolmarket.”

To join Longino on a video tour of the downtown Biloxi library, taken days after the storm, click here.

City seeks youngsters for Start Smart program

The Parks and Recreation Department has 20 openings for a program designed to help prepare youngsters to particpate in organized sports.

For details on the Start Smart Program, which is free for Biloxi residents, click here.