Phil Hardin Foundation gift funds libraries at MSU-Meridian campuses

Mississippi State University officials dedicated the new Phil Hardin Foundation Library in December 2013 at the Meridian College Park Campus and looked ahead to a second Phil Hardin Foundation Library in the future.

A $1.25 million gift by the Meridian-based foundation made possible the new 1,860 square-foot university library that opened in November. A portion of the gift will also provide an additional library to be housed in the Kress Building on the Meridian Downtown Campus once building renovations are complete in 2015.

The newly opened College Park facility was created through the renovation of three existing spaces formerly used for classrooms. Though MSU-Meridian has employed a faculty librarian for more than a decade, it represents the first physical library on the College Park Campus.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum called the facility a significant educational asset, adding that libraries are the “heart” of all institutions of higher learning.

“We are extremely proud of this new library and profoundly grateful to the Phil Hardin Foundation for the gift that makes this library and a second library named in their honor possible,” Keenum said.

In addition to housing 8,000 print volumes and journals, the library’s resources include 16 public computer workstations, 15 laptop computers, a conference room, microfilm reader print station, and instructional laboratory and teacher station with capacity for 30 students.

Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries, said, “We are extremely grateful to the Phil Hardin Foundation for their generous support of our efforts to enhance library services at MSU-Meridian,” Coleman said. “We long have appreciated our cooperative relationship with Meridian Community College and know these facilities will expand cooperation.”

Coleman also reminded those in attendance that the Hardin Foundation Libraries will offer access to the same services and resources available on the Starkville campus.