State Librarian Stephen Parks sworn in for second term
January 9, 2020
State Librarian Stephen Parks of Jackson was elected to his second term Jan. 9 during a joint session of the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Mississippi Senate.
Gov.-elect Tate Reeves administered the oath of office to Parks as one of his final acts as Lieutenant Governor.
Parks, an attorney, has served as State Librarian since January 2016. He oversees the State Law Library, which is located in the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson. The Law Library is a specialized public library which provides legal research materials for the judiciary, state agencies, lawyers, students and the public.
Parks’ goal is to increase the visibility of the Law Library and let the public know that it is available to everyone. The Law Library, located at 450 High Street, is housed with the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Law Library is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except state holidays.
The Law Library hosts periodic programs featuring presentations by scholars of history and the law. Parks has worked to bring special events to the Law Library, including a visit by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden in August 2017, and displays of the 1817 Mississippi Constitution on April 12, 2016, and again during the Sept. 27, 2017, Bicentennial of the Mississippi Judiciary.
Parks established a partnership with the Mississippi Digital Library to provide some of the Law Library’s historical items online. He also began a major digital initiative, scanning the journals of each of Mississippi's Constitutional Conventions to make them available online for historians and researchers.
Parks was selected by the American Association of Law Libraries as a recipient of the 2018 Emerging Leader Award. Parks is chairman of the Central Mississippi Library Council, and previously served as vice-president and Scholarship Committee chair of the organization. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar, the American Association of Law Libraries and the Southeastern Chapter of AALL.
Parks previously served as Research, Instructional Services and Circulation Librarian at Mississippi College School of Law. He was director of the Judicial Data Project, which compiled into a searchable database, http://judicial.mc.edu/, the opinions, case briefs, and oral argument videos of the Mississippi Supreme Court and Mississippi Court of Appeals from 2007 forward. The Judicial Data Project earned the AALL 2012 Innovations in Technology Award.
Parks also devised and directed the Legislative History Project at MCSOL. The website, http://law.mc.edu/legislature, is a searchable database which archives video of floor debate in the Mississippi Senate and House from 2012 forward. The Legislative History Project won the AALL 2014 Public Access to Government Information Award and the AALL 2014 Innovations in Technology Award. Parks received the Mississippi Historical Society 2014 Award of Merit for work on the Judicial Data Project and the Legislative History Project. AALL presented Parks with its 2017 Marketing Award for best law library newsletter.
Parks is an adjunct professor with the University of Southern Mississippi Library and Information Science Department. He previously taught legal research at MCSOL for five years, and taught law librarianship as an adjunct professor at Tulane’s former Madison campus. He taught legal research in continuing legal education programs and has given numerous presentations on legal research and librarianship.
He is a native of La Grange, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science, magna cum laude, from East Carolina University in 2006. He earned a law degree, magna cum laude, from MCSOL in 2010, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2013.