Carnegie Library the focus of MPB's 'Mississippi: Threads Through Time'

The original Carnegie Library built in West Point, Jan. 31, 1913. Carnegie Libraries in Mississippi will be part of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Mississippi: Threads Through Time at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17.
Staff Writer

Throughout 2017, Mississippi Public Broadcasting is recognizing the state's bicentennial year with Mississippi: A Thread Through Time, a new series of one-minute documentaries.

Each week, a short segment will be aired that follows another thread in the rich tapestry of Mississippi's history. Some of the stories will be familiar and others will be amazing. Many will be serious, and a few will be on the lighter side.

Sunday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. the thread that is featured is Carnegie Libraries in Mississippi. Priscilla Ivy, reference librarian at the Bryan Public Library, was approached by MPB for information on the library and its original location as a Carnegie Library.

"Edie Green of Mississippi Public Broadcasting contacted me last year to get information on the Carnegie Library," Priscilla Ivy, reference librarian at the BPL said. "She wanted to know when it was built and how long ago it ceased to be a library. She wanted a picture and it sent one."

Ivy said the library had celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2015, so the information needed was easy to obtain.

"I hope people will set their DVRs to record the segment," Ivy said. "A lot of people may be at worship services so recording it would be a good thing to do."

Lisa Klutts director of the Growth Alliance, said the Growth Alliance is located in the former Carnegie Library building.

"This is a great old historical building to work in," Klutts said. "I don't know how they had enough space to house an entire library in here. But they did utilize the downstairs while we use it for storage. I was glad to hear the segment on Carnegie Libraries is airing Sunday. I think it was a great idea to do the Mississippi: A Thread Through Time, during the bicentennial." Carnegie Libraries (1908 -1916) Mississippi, like many other states, benefited from the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie.

The Carnegie Foundation gave more than $185,500 to establish libraries in Mississippi. Eleven public library buildings were erected in 10 communities across the state in eight years. Libraries were built in Houston, Mound Bayou (which never functioned as a library), Meridian, Greenwood, Clarksdale, Jackson, West Point, Okolona, Vicksburg, and Gulfport. Today, only Clarksdale, Houston and Okolona utilize the Carnegie buildings as libraries.