What is MAGNOLIA?
MAGNOLIA was established during the May 1997 legislative session and implemented in August 1997 under the auspices of the Council on Educational Technology. The Mississippi Legislature appropriated funds for the purchase of databases on behalf of the publicly funded libraries (K-12 school libraries, public libraries, community college libraries, university and state agency libraries) in the state of Mississippi.
The mission of MAGNOLIA is to provide all citizens of Mississippi with free, online access to thousands of full text articles and research that can assist them with their educational, professional and life-long learning endeavors. Individuals needing access to the latest research or information on almost any topic can be accessed by searching the database provided by MAGNOLIA. Access is provided through public libraries, public academic, community college and school libraries.
Without this statewide project, libraries—and especially many smaller libraries—would not have the advantage of, nor the access to, over 47,000 full text journals. MAGNOLIA represents a unique situation across the nation in that this was the first type of cooperative project/consortium that represented all types of libraries at the time the consortium was established.
How is MAGNOLIA funded?
Since its inception, the Mississippi Legislature has provided funding in support of the MAGNOLIA project. Recognizing the broad impact MAGNOLIA has on Mississippi, the legislature has been able to maintain its allocation of $1 million. In FY23, the Mississippi Legislature appropriated $1,350,000 in support of the MAGNOLIA project.
MAGNOLIA provides libraries with free access to 32 databases, many of which they would have to subscribe to individually, in support of their constituents. By providing funding in support of MAGNOLIA, the Mississippi Legislature not only provides every publicly supported library with access to the same resources but also saves these same libraries thousands of dollars not to mention the cost savings to the State of Mississippi. To prove this point, the Steering Committee requested from our vendors a quote to see how much it would cost each of the university libraries, community college libraries, 4 public libraries and 7 high schools to subscribe to these databases individually. Were these libraries to subscribe to these databases, it would cost the State of Mississippi over $3,515,095!
How is MAGNOLIA administered?
A Steering Committee composed of representation from all of the types of libraries across Mississippi was established. Committees were formed to represent areas such as database selection, implementation, training, publicity and evaluation.
No funds are spent in the administering of MAGNOLIA. Funds are used only to purchase databases. An untold number of in-kind hours are contributed by the various committee members, representative of all types of libraries.
How does MAGNOLIA help individuals in Mississippi?
The MAGNOLIA databases have been of great benefit to the citizens of Mississippi. MAGNOLIA has become a vital component in the education of Mississippi students and is now a significant part of many established curriculums. In addition to searching the databases in libraries, individuals can also access many of the electronic resources available through MAGNOLIA from their home or office computer. Interested researchers can contact their local library for the necessary access information and training.
How Can You Help?
MAGNOLIA is supported by funding from the Mississippi Legislature. Please let your local legislative members know what the MAGNOLIA project means to your school, libraries and patrons. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to support MAGNOLIA.
You can also assist in spreading the word about MAGNOLIA. Please be sure to talk to your teachers and encourage them to incorporate the MAGNOLIA products into their teaching. Talk to other librarians in your area to be sure they are using MAGNOLIA and encourage them to do so if they are not using these products.