Beyond the Books :: Gulf Coast Library Guide

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Over 20 different branches comprise the Gulf Coast library systems, so wherever you live, there’s a library close by! Think you’ll only find books and DVDs? Guess again. Our library systems offer homeschool and homework resources, gaming rooms, creative play centers, audio books, teen classes, book clubs, and so much more. What are you waiting for?  Find your local branch and get over there!  Better yet, take the kids on an outing to a branch you’ve never visited and discover a whole new world of resources.

Include your local library in your weekly plans. Programs and activities are available for children of all ages, and best of all, they’re free and indoors (read: air conditioning, because we all know that “summer” heat will stick around through October, at least!).

There’s a wealth of educational entertainment available through the 3 coastal library systems!

Please check individual library calendars for specific times and additional programs available. Clicking on the name of the individual system will take you to its website.

HANCOCK COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

  • Bay St. Louis: 312 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520 (Headquarters)
  • East Hancock: 4545 Shepherd Square, Diamondhead, MS 39525
  • Kiln: 17065 Highway 603, Kiln, MS 39556
  • Pearlington: 6096 First Avenue, Pearlington, MS 39572
  • Waveland: 345 Coleman Avenue, Waveland, MS 39576

*I live in Hancock County and have visited each of these branches in my 10 years on the coast.

Programs

Kindergarten readiness classes, breastfeeding classes, story hour, summer reading program; learning games and toys available for checkout, Brainfuse online tutoring, BookMyne app, Halloween safety, trunk or treat, Holiday Tree Gala.

HARRISON COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

*Even though I live in Hancock County, the Harrison County library system receives most of my library business. The staff at the Pass Christian branch are wonderful. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about them. They are helpful and friendly and forgiving (ask me how many times they’ve cleared or reduced my massive overdue books fine!).

Programs

Story hour and craft time; summer reading program; Teen Tuesday; Saturday Arts and Crafts; Sit, Stay, READ (reading to therapy dogs); HOOPLA digital library; 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program and app; 100 Books Before High School program; specialty cake baking pans for birthdays, graduations, etc.

Saucier Children’s Library (the only library on the coast designed specifically for children) offers an after school story hour for elementary ages, a Library Volunteer Club, and Teen Cafe culinary literacy program.

JACKSON-GEORGE REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM

Programs

Infant/toddler story hour; preschool story hour; after school family activities; MANGO language lessons; BookMyne app; summer reading program

Robin’s Favorites

As a mom who frequents the library, I recommend the following:

Story Hour: I have always enjoyed the story hour in Kiln because the librarians work so hard to make it fun and engaging for the littles.

Holiday Tree Gala: The Holiday Tree Gala at the Bay St. Louis branch in early December is a must-see; your kids will go gaga for the variety of trees on display, plus there is an opportunity to take free pictures with Santa.

Summer Reading Program: The summer reading program is a big hit with kids of all ages, and your older kids and teens will love ComicCon at the Bay St. Louis branch in late July/early August.

Game Rooms & Children’s Play Areas: My son loves the game room in Pass Christian, and my 3 year old runs straight to the ship in the children’s wing every time we arrive.

Homeschool Resources: Because we homeschool, we read lots of books.  Harrison County almost always has the books we need for school, and they are shipped from branch to branch quickly.

HOOPLA App: Don’t fail to download the HOOPLA app on your phone or tablet.  You can check out up to 4 books per month and listen to them.  It’s like Audible, but FREE!

LEGO Club: One of our contributors mentioned how much she and her boys love the LEGO Club, especially at the Pascagoula branch!

 

Tell us: what’s your favorite library branch? What programs do you most enjoy and what programs would you love to see the libraries offer for families?

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Originally from Memphis, TN, Robin has called Bay St. Louis home for the last 10 years. One of her favorite things about living on the coast is taking the long way on Highway 90 so she can enjoy the view of the beach. She and her husband Mark met at Mississippi State University and have been married since 2002. Robin taught elementary school before she and Mark added their 5 children (2 boys, 3 girls, ages 3-13) to the family. When she isn’t homeschooling the older 4, running after the 3 year old, folding laundry, cooking dinner, breaking up fights, nursing boo-boos, or driving to soccer/ballet/swim/piano/art lessons, Robin likes to run, sew, binge-watch old episodes of The Office or Grey’s Anatomy, and sing 80’s songs at the top of her lungs. She’s never considered herself a “typical girl” because she’d much rather eat Skittles than chocolate, watch a disaster movie than a romantic comedy, and drink a beer than a glass of wine. The BBC version of Pride and Prejudice? She’s never made it past the first hour, but she could sit and watch football all day long. Robin’s faith plays a central role in her life; she is an active participant in her church and in her denomination’s regional women’s ministry. In Robin’s eyes, the glass is always half full.