Ribbon-cutting ceremonies planned for temporary libraries

Two new temporary libraries will formally open Thursday, one at the corner of Bellman Street and Howard Avenue in east Biloxi and the other near the Woolmarket fire station on Woolmarket Road.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are planned for 10 a.m. at the east Biloxi library and at 2:30 p.m. at the Woolmarket facility. Both events are open to the public.

Both libraries are situated in double-wide trailers, and Biloxi head librarian Charline Longino notes, “they offer frontline library services, such as books, audio books, DVDs, online access and children’s programs.”

In fact, Longino said, most of the 5,000 books at the east Biloxi facility and the 3,500 books at the Woolmarket facility are “new or nearly new” and purchased especially for the temporary libraries.

Initial reception to the libraries has been promising, she said.

“Yesterday at Woolmarket, we had more than 22 elementary-age children for our children’s program and 11 for storyhour. We’re expecting to see similar numbers at the east Biloxi library.”

Initial hours at the two temporary libraries will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours will be adjusted to meet traffic levels, Longino said.

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