Library gets in on state’s bicentennial buzz

Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The untold stories of Lincoln County will soon become a part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration at the Lincoln County Public Library in June.

Printed histories are included in the exhibit, “Bicentennial: Literacy in Our Story – Lincoln, Lawrence, and Franklin Counties.”

The exhibit is funded by the Mississippi Legislature through the Bicentennial Grant Program administration of the Mississippi Humanities Council and the Mississippi Development Authorities’ Visit Mississippi.

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The Brookhaven branch of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library will host the exhibit June through August. The display cases will be filled with the rich history of Lincoln County through advertisements, newspapers, letters and books.

The exhibit will be comprised of six museum-style display cases that feature a combination of cultural and literacy items affecting the tri-county area. Featured subjects include segregation, literacy, historic hallmarks, famous authors and movements within the field of education, said Katrina Castilaw, assistant director for the library. Artifacts will include such items as letters from war, eye wear, school primers, school cards and similar artifacts, she said.  “Each cabinet will endeavor to demonstrate how different literacy aspects are intertwined with the area’s cultural advancements,” she said.

The library is partnering with the Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society, the Franklin County Museum, and the Lawrence County Civic Center and Regional Historical Museum to ensure accurateness and depth in the exhibit’s presentation.  However, the library hopes to expand its partnerships to include other historical societies, chambers of commerce, and community organizations with venues that complement the exhibit’s subject and goals.

It will move to the Lawrence and Franklin County branches September through December. History of each county will be shown in those displays as well.

Representatives of the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library applied for the grant as a way to show the importance of literacy in Mississippi history. All branches came together and formed the idea of having an exhibit, which will give residents of each county the opportunity to read and learn more things about their county.

Residents will get the chance to learn more about their county as well as take advantage of what Castilaw thinks is one of the greatest gifts, the ability to read.

“It’s fascinating to me how much we take for granted when we can read,” Castilaw said. “This exhibit shows how the county has progressed and how the written word was a part of that.”

Castilaw said history would have not been recorded without the written word. She said it’s important to spend time reading and learning about various topics, especially Lincoln County.

“Our goal is to have lifelong learners,” she said.

For more information or to offer information/artifacts to support the exhibit, contact Katrina Castilaw at or 601-833-3369.