Central Mississippi Regional Library System honored for Back in the Fold Award

The new awards program by Unique Management Services celebrates impactful libraries.

Central Mississippi Regional Library System has been honored for its exceptional impact on the communities they serve. CMRLS earned recognition through a new award program from Unique Management Services, the world’s leading library material recovery and patron communication services company. The awards celebrate impactful libraries that provide vital services, protect public assets and keep patrons in good standing.

The library system was awarded for its work to return a high percentage of patrons to good standing with the Back in the Fold honor. By bringing patrons ‘back in the fold,’ the library ensures continued use of its vital services and supports equity and accessibility in its community.

“All libraries deserve recognition for their unprecedented response this past year to provide vital services to their patrons and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Unique President and CEO Nicole Atkins. “Unique developed this award program as a small way to say thank you, celebrating libraries and librarians like CMRLS for their constant dedication and meaningful impacts.”

Libraries face a difficult road ahead – already underfunded and looking at further drops due to pandemic-related budget cuts and reliance on city and county use taxes impacted by COVID-19. Recovering lost or unreturned books is more important now than ever to maintain budgets, limit the cost of material replacement and protect taxpayer dollars. As libraries evolve to maintain their collections as philosophies shift about fines, keeping patrons in good standing and securing the timely return of materials is essential to ensure access and equity.

"The public library is one of America's greatest institutions where everyone is welcome and has access. The CMRLS mission is to be a strong community partner that provides resources, services, and programs to foster creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. We value our relationship with our patrons and want them to always remember that the public library is one of their most valuable community investments. Bringing patrons "back to the fold" is a goal we strive to reach every day through our materials, services, and programs." said Mara V. Polk, Director of Central Mississippi Regional Library System.

Winners were chosen by Unique’s team who partners with more than 1350 libraries across the country to effectively recover materials while preserving patron goodwill. Libraries were categorized by size, region, and volume to determine the top-performing partners who made the biggest impacts on their communities.

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