Dinah Harris

at your service


We are all so excited about the growth of the library! Our North Branch stays busy, and our Main location, downtown, is constantly bustling with activity. As we promised, we are focusing on programming, and we have a great line-up for you already in the works for May through July.

Next Saturday, May 3, we will be having a party in the park in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Spanish dishes will be served. Pinatas will be available for the children’s enjoyment. Spanish dancers will perform traditional folk dances. Clowns, snow cones, and face painting will also be part of the fun. All of this is free and open to the public!

The Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation will be holding their annual used book sale on June 6-8. The Library’s Summer Reading Programs will begin on those same dates. We have a great lineup of programs for kids, teens, and adults. We will have the brochures available in just a few weeks.

Come be a part of the community!


One year!

Last week, I celebrated one year in Jackson-Madison County, and I must say that it has been a very satisfying year. In one year, we have managed to relocate the Branch making many improvements in what we can offer at that location and remodel the Main completely transforming the look and feel of the place. When I look at the before and after pictures, I feel very blessed. 

The outpour of community support by Madison County, The City of Jackson, The Friends of the Library, The Library Foundation, the Library Staff, and the Library Patrons, has been outstanding. Because we have all been pulling in the same direction, we have been able to accomplish much.

Someone asked me at the open house at the North Branch this week what the projects would be now. We have several things we need to do. First, we need to inventory our collection so our catalog (and our catalog as reflected in the State of Tennessee’s database) will be up to date. We will also be doing an inventory of all of our furnishings and fixtures. We will be honing our customer service skills constantly. We will be working on bringing more programs to the library for the community’s education and enjoyment. We will be working on a public relations plan to better keep the people of Madison County informed of all of the library’s offerings. We will focus on reaching the teens of Madison County. We will be working on reestablishing our reference department. We will be working on finding a way to provide printing from wireless devices. Last, but not least, we will be working on a plan to begin offering some library services in the south part of Madison County.

I just get so excited when I think about the ways the library can help make people’s lives better!

We are moving right along!

First, I would like to apologize for taking so long to post. We have been very busy at the library lately.

Around the first of August, we moved the North Branch of the library from N. Highland to 8 Stonebridge, Suites F & G. We were able to almost double our space. The increased area allowed us to add two additional public access computers, a program room, 15 additional wall-shelving units, and an improved children’s area. The new location also offers much more parking. We also have a new branch manager, Allison Christy.

Downtown is seeing many changes as well.  A new circulation desk was installed just a few weeks ago. The new desk makes it much easier for library staff to provide excellent customer service; staff are much more visible and accessible. Several changes have occurred in the children’s area as well. We now have two touch screen computers for the kids along with two reading cubes. The children’s librarian now has a nice desk that matches the big circulation desk. The position of this desk allows her to monitor the children’s area in a much greater manner than before.

The old coffee shoppe has been converted into a community classroom, and computer classes are already being taught. Call or come by to register for any of the classes lined up for October. A list of the classes can be obtained from the Library along with a calendar of all the Library events for October.

The big change, the moving of the book collection downstairs and the computers upstairs, will happen in just a few weeks. This change will benefit customers in several ways: it will guarantee a staff member’s presence on the second floor (increased safety), it will allow customers to find reading materials without having to climb stairs or take the elevator, and it will enhance the atmosphere upon entering the library.

Security guard hours have been increased, and we are making a very strong effort to eliminate loitering and panhandling.  Please feel free to call the library at 425-8600, and someone will come out and escort you into the building should you feel uncomfortable with something you see.

We are here to serve you!

Here we go!

It’s official! Library North (our branch) will be relocating the last week of July. The space will increase from 2500 square feet to 4850 square feet. We will be closed for 7-10 days while we make the transition.  Thanks for your patience!

We also thank you for your patience downtown as we are beginning the remodeling. There may be a little noise in the library as we move shelves and rearrange furniture. If you have trouble locating anything, please just ask!




The Only Thing Constant is Change

The next few months will be very busy ones at the main library and our branch library out north. First of all, Library North will be moving to a new location on Stonebridge in the next couple of months. As soon as we get Library North situated, we will begin the remodeling of the main library. I anticipate that once we have the changes completed, many of you who left downtown will return. Already, we are experiencing a much friendlier, patron-centered atmosphere. 

If you have not met the new Library North manager, Karen White, please stop by and do so. She is very excited to be with us here in Jackson and is already pouring her knowledge and experience into serving patrons at Library North. 



It’s National Library Week!

This week, the Jackson-Madison County Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers.

Libraries today are more than repositories for books and other resources. Often the heart of their communities, campuses or schools, libraries are deeply committed to the places where their patrons live, work and study.  Libraries are trusted places where everyone in the community can gather to reconnect and re-engage with each other to enrich and shape the community and address local issues.

Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large to discover what their communities needs are and meet them.  Whether through offering e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or those to support early literacy, librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond.

The Jackson-Madison County Library serves residents of Jackson and Madison County in two locations and provides books, ebooks, audio books, DVDs, test proctoring, computer classes, preschool story times, summer reading programs, copy service, fax service, genealogical and local history resources, and public access computers.

Service to the community is the focus of the library. Libraries have grown and evolved in how they provide for the needs of every member of their community.”

The Jackson-Madison County Library is celebrating National Library Week by doing the following:

  • We will be waiving fines for all overdue materials returned during this week.
  • Zoe Pride will begin teaching computer classes at the library twice weekly beginning April 16.
  • We will welcome our new Library North manager, Karen White, on April 16.
  • We will be giving away two gift cards to two lucky winners at the end of the week: $25 to Books-a-Million and $25 to Amazon.com.  You may register when you visit the library during National Library Week.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

For more information, visit the Jackson-Madison County Library at 433 East Lafayette St or our branch at 3189 N. Highland, Units F&G, call 731-425-8600 or see the library’s Web site at www.jmcl.tn.org.

Here we go!

The Library is finally back to local management. I have patiently been waiting for this day since I came on January 8. Our first official day was last Friday, March 1.  The changes we have proposed to the layout of the library, the remodeling, will not be accomplished until after the beginning of our new fiscal year in July. However, we are already working on other aspects of the library that were also seen as vital to serve the community as we should.

More staff members have been dedicated to the circulation and tech area to assist you with your research, reading, and technological needs. We’ve talked about how we want to “knock-your-socks-off” with our new customer service mind-set. Hopefully, if you’ve been in the library this week, you can already feel the difference.

We have already implemented our plan of patron-driven acquisitions. This just means that if you ask about a particular title that the library does not own, we will either get it for you through Interlibrary Loan, or we will purchase it on our next order if at all possible.

We are beefing up our social media presence. The Library’s blog is being updated.  A few weeks ago, we added the Director’s blog (which you are reading now), another Twitter account (in addition to Library North’s), and Pinterest boards. Help us spread the word. We want to reach as many people in Madison County as possible.

As they say in the Hill-Boren ad, “We’re here to help, and we know how!” Come see us.

The Plan

I’ve officially been on the job over a month now and have spent much time in observation and conversation. We now have a plan to move forward. The plan includes major rearrangement of the contents of the library. Some of the highlights of the plan are this:

  • Moving all circulating materials to the main floor so patrons will not have to climb the stairs or use the elevator to select fictional or audio materials.
  • Move all sitting tables out of the line of patron traffic through the library.
  • Re-establishing a reference department on the second floor with a reference librarian present.
  • Moving the computer lab to the second floor, adding 5 computers, and having dedicated laptop desks. This area would have dedicated staff.
  • Updating the children’s area with new computers and children’s activity pieces.
  • Enlarging (just a bit) and securing the children’s area by adding a railing to define the area.
  • Adding a security system for inside and outside with several cameras.
  • Increasing security guards’ hours.
  • More copies of bestsellers available for patrons.
  • Patron-driven acquisitions. This means that if you want something, ask for it! That’s what we will buy.
  • Last but not least, providing customer service that will “knock your socks off!”

Excitement is in the air!


We now have boards on Pinterest providing links to useful and interesting library related sites. Check them out here. You will find links to sites offering free ebooks, genealogy sites, and reference sites along with more! Enjoy!


Would you please take a few moments to fill out our survey? You can access it by clicking on the word “survey.”  We also have paper copies of the survey at the circulation desk at the Main Library Branch and the North Branch.

It is very important that we know your thoughts and feelings as we plan for the future.

Thank you!