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Focused on Mississippi: Ricks Library

By Walt Grayson,

2023-03-14

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YAZOO CITY, Miss. ( WJTV ) – The Ricks Library in Yazoo City is an interesting building with an interesting history.

The architecture of the Ricks Library is striking. It was built back in the day when a building was more than just a glass, wood and brick box to house something inside. The structure was to make as much of a statement as what it housed.

This building, being a library and housing the literary works and wisdom of the ages, needed to be more than merely four walls and a roof with windows and doors. Craig Wooten is the director of the library and said the Yazoo City library building not only has character, but it is historic.

“This is the oldest library building in the state of Mississippi. It was donated to the Yazoo Library Association by Mrs. Fanny Ricks in memory of her husband, Mr. B.S. Ricks. The building was built in 1900, and then they finished it in 1901,” explained Wooten.

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It’s built in the Beaux Arts style just like the State Capitol Building in Jackson. Inside, there are books, of course. The special touches you expect in a library. A display of local women authors set up for March, National Women’s Month.

There’s a special section in the history room for Yazoo City’s Willie Morris, writer of “My Dog Skip” and many other articles and books.

“There’s so many things we do for a town. So many people think it’s just checking out books. We do that. We also do E-books, but it’s also a place where the community can come and gather. It’s also a place that people come and look for jobs, come to programing. Things like that,” said Wooten.

The package in which all of this is housed in Yazoo City certainly hasn’t changed. The Ricks Library facade has defined what a library looks like to Yazooins for nearly a century and a quarter.

The architect of the Ricks Library, William Nichols, was also the architect for the Govenor’s Mansion in Jackson.

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