Executive Director of Jackson-Hinds Library System advocating for federal funds in Washington D.C.

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:42 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Your favorite libraries in Jackson and Hinds County could be getting much-needed repairs in the coming years.

Executive Director of the Jackson-Hinds Library System, Floyd Council, is currently in Washington D.C. advocating for federal funds that will go to libraries across the country.

When discussing the most important needs of libraries in Mississippi, Council says that upkeeping and maintaining the physical presence of public libraries is crucial.

“The key to preserving the future of the Jackson-Hinds Library System is to cure all of these long-standing and infrastructure problems,” said Executive Director of the Jackson-Hinds Library System Floyd Council.

He also says keeping up with library infrastructure helps preserve the way others may perceive a city when just driving through it.

“Every major city and county deserves iconic public living rooms,” Council said. “That is what public libraries are. So, the type of standard of disrepair that we’ve seen for many years in downtown Jackson has never been acceptable.”

He says the State of Mississippi hasn’t had a serious funding initiative for library infrastructure since 1954, which even further echoes the physical desperation many of Jackson-Hinds libraries face.

Jackson-Hinds Library System Trustee, Paul Forster, also chimed in on the need for an infrastructure overhaul.

“Get our facilities back in working order. If you don’t have a building, it’s really hard to call it a library,” Foster said.

But like many public funding initiatives in the city, Forster understands why it’s taken so long to effectively push for these funds.

“The city of Jackson obviously has tons of priorities that they are trying to address in every corner of the cityscape there and the library. We’ve just got to become more of an advocate for our corner of things,” said Foster.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.