Libraries' News, Events, Exhibits en 120 Science Cafe' on the Coast: Linux, Liberty and Why You Should Care Are you tired of Windows slowing down your machine? Tired of big companies collecting your user data? Linux is an open-source software that gives you the freedom and fun of being able to control as much as you want to about your operating system and desktop environment. Linux is user-friendly and users might be surprised at the many options for programs and support it provides.

Join us Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pass Christian Public Library for a presentation on the Linux system and philosophy from Michael Rainey, president of the South Mississippi Linux Users Group, and learn about the advantages of using Linux. Guests will also have the opportunity to ask the experts questions and receive hands on time with Linux as well as receive a free live DVD to try the system before installing. Feel free to bring your old laptops or computers with you to find out how they can operate faster and smoother with Linux. Attendees will be eligible for door prizes and refreshments will be served.

Rainey has spent the past ten years learning and working with Linux and currently works as a system administrator specializing in Linux systems and works to promote the free and open philosophy of GNU/Linux. He is the president of the South Mississippi Linux Users Group located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  He has used Linux to design and publish books for local writers, designed and created web pages, and small scale communications platform.  Rainey also uses Linux systems as his daily operating system with no need for high priced software or hardware. (I. e. Microsoft or Apple)

Science Café on the Coast is a collaboration between the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Libraries, Harrison County Library System, Long Beach Public Library, and Hancock County Library System. South Mississippi Linux Users Group is a group of computer and technology enthusiasts that meet once a month to share ideas, knowledge, and to promote the free and open philosophy.

Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:41:33 -0600 Dawn Smith <>
Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Winners Announced The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, announced the winners of the 30th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year, a new writer and new illustrator are celebrated. The 2016 award ceremony will be held on April 7th during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000.

“We are proud to present the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to the best new talents in children’s illustrated literature each year. These are writers and illustrators whose books reflect the spirit of Keats, and at the same time, are refreshingly original,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “This year is Ezra’s 100th birthday! So we are especially delighted to celebrate him by honoring those whose books, like his, are wonderful to read and look at and reflect our multicultural world.”

“The Keats Archives at the de Grummond Children’s Collection is a happy reminder of the joy that Ezra’s books have brought to readers and the impact they have had on children’s book makers. Once again, we see that influence in the work of this year’s EJK Book Award winners. We are confident that they’ll join the long list of illustrious past winners whose books continue to delight and make a difference,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

Lois Lowry, two-time winner of the Newbery Award for Number the Stars and The Giver, will present this year’s Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards. Michael Cart, columnist/reviewer for Booklist and a leading expert on young adult literature, will deliver the Keats Lecture.

The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new writer is:
Don Tate for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Published by Peachtree Publishers

In the South before the Civil War, it was illegal to teach slaves to read, but George Moses Horton loved words too much to be stopped. He taught himself to read as a child and grew up to be a published poet, while still a slave. Writing about slavery for young readers is challenging but important, and Don Tate succeeds brilliantly, in an engaging, age-appropriate and true narrative.

Tate said, “Three years ago, I won an Ezra Jack Keats honor award, one of the proudest moments of my career. I never imagined being considered again… this time [for] the top award. There has always been a special place in my heart for Ezra Jack Keats. When he chose to picture brown children in his books, he chose to acknowledge me. I wasn’t invisible to him. As a creator of color in a field that sorely lacks diversity, it can be easy to sometimes feel unseen. This award serves as a reminder to me that I am not invisible and that my work matters.”

The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new illustrator is:
Phoebe Wahl for Sonya’s Chickens
Published by Tundra Books

Sonya’s dad presents her with three baby chicks to care for, and she does her job well, providing food, shelter and lots of love as they grow into hens. Then one night, Sonya discovers that one of her hens is missing! But as her father explains, the fox stole the hen because he loved his kits and needed to feed them. The circle of life is gently and exquisitely depicted in Wahl’s rich and colorful watercolor and collage illustrations of a multicultural family’s life on a farm.

Wahl said, “Keats’ work stands out as some of the most impactful of my childhood. I can directly trace the roots of my obsession with pattern, color and my use of collage to my affinity with the lacy baby blanket in Peter’s Chair. Keats inspired me to create stories that are quiet and gentle, yet honor the rich inner lives of children and all of the complexity that allows. I am humbled to be associated with Keats’ legacy in being presented with this award, and I am so grateful to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the children’s literature community for this show of support and encouragement.”

The 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winners are:
2016 New Writer Honor

•    Julia Sarcone-Roach for The Bear Ate Your Sandwich (illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers)

•    Megan Dowd Lambert for A Crow of His Own (illustrated by David Hyde Costello. Published by Charlesbridge)

2016 New Illustrator Honor

•    Ryan T. Higgins for Mother Bruce (written by Ryan T. Higgins. Published by Disney • Hyperion)

•    Rowboat Watkins for Rude Cakes (written by Rowboat Watkins. Published by Chronicle Books)

To be eligible for the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the author and/or illustrator will have no more than three children’s picture books published prior to the year under consideration.

The selection committee is comprised of nationally recognized early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature: Carolyn Brodie, Chair; Rita Auerbach, Jason Chin, K.T. Horning, Angela Johnson, Claudette McLinn, Sean Qualls, Caroline Ward, and Paul O. Zelinsky. Ex-Officio members are: Deborah Pope, Executive Director, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation; and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

For a complete list of past award winners, visit For information about submissions, visit

About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.

For more about the Foundation, visit

About the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. The Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ mostly American and British published books dating back to 1530. Since 1985, the de Grummond Collection has been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats’ books.

For more about the de Grummond, visit

Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:37:37 -0600 Dawn Smith <>
16mm Film Festival To showcase some of the 16mm films in the collection, University Libraries is hosting a 16mm film festival on February 18 at 6 p.m. in the Cook Library Art Gallery. In the days before Netflix and DVDs, movies and educational productions were shown to classes on 16mm film. University Libraries owns a number of these old films that were used at Southern Miss from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The 16mm Film Festival will feature two educational films from the collection. The short film Better Bulletin Boards (1956) provides a retro look at a time when bulletin boards dominated schools. In Marijuana (1968), entertainer Sonny Bono informs students on the dangers of the drug. These films will provide a glimpse into educational films of previous decades while providing a nostalgic experience of watching the films on an old 16mm projector.

Popcorn and beverages will be served. Contact Michele Frasier-Robinson at or 601.266.6168 for more information or with questions. 

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:45:47 -0600 Dawn Smith <>
Science Cafe' at Cook Library: A Carnivore's Nightmare Tick bites are known to be the causes of diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and certain tick bites can cause you to develop an allergic reaction to meat. This meat allergy, to a sugar carbohydrate found in beef, lamb and pork products, can cause a dangerous, and sometimes life threatening, reaction. Join Gary Crispell on Monday, April 25 in Cook Library Room 123 (LIB 123) at 6 p.m. for a discussion of this new and growing problem.

Crispell, a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southern Miss, is a molecular biologist who has been studying the role of tick saliva in the development of red-meat allergy. In particular, the association between the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americium) and α-galactose hypersensitivity in human red meat allergy.

During the Science Café events at Cook Library, faculty and graduate students from The University of Southern Mississippi, as well as local professionals and experts, share their perspectives and allow participants to get to know the face behind the science in a relaxed and informal setting. Science Cafés are free and open to the public. No science background is assumed or required. For more information, contact Tracy Englert, Science and Technology Librarian, at 601.266.6396 or For more information about The Department of Biological Sciences visit

Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:42:05 -0600 Dawn Smith <>
Science Cafe' at Cook Library: Rock the Cafe' Mighty, elemental forces molded North America. Fiery eruptions, titanic floods, the grinding of great ice sheets and massive impacts from space all shaped our land. Geology and earth science deeply affect our everyday lives, and our future. Join Allan Nolan on Monday, March 28 in Cook Library Room 123 (LIB 123) at 6 p.m. for a discussion of geology-related issues after a short presentation from "Making North America" a three-part television series that aired on PBS in the fall of 2015. This series will be available in University Libraries' collections following the event.

Nolan, a doctoral student in the Center for Science and Math Education and Instructor of Historical Geology in the Department of Geography and Geology, is an educator focused on promoting the teaching and learning of science and enhancing environmental literacy and stewardship.

The Science Café at Cook Library is an event that highlights interesting, relevant, and current science research. These are an opportunity to participate in lively and engaging conversations about science in a casual, welcoming and informal environment. Each Science Café features a brief presentation (usually given by a scientist) followed by discussion and questions. Science Cafés are free and open to the public. No science background is assumed or required. For more information at the Science Cafes, contact Tracy Englert, Science and Technology Librarian, at 601.266.6396 or This event is a collaboration with NOVA, the award-winning PBS series. Major funding for “Making North America” is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:30:41 -0600 Dawn Smith <>