- Debbie Bloom
In April 1963, U.S Attorney General Robert Kennedy arrived in Columbia to speak about the Kennedy administration’s concern about segregation and racial discrimination. While Kennedy praised South Carolina for the peaceful integration of Harvey Gantt into Clemson College he predicted that racial troubles will worsen “unless real progress is made”.
For the last several months, an unfamiliar sound has been echoing down the streets of Eastover. The pounding of hammers and screaming saws is laced with a cadence of pride as a 5,200 square foot library slowly took shape on Main Street.
- Debbie Bloom
J. Bardin is best admired for his abstract art. Indeed, he was one of the first South Carolinians to introduce the New York abstract movement to South Carolina in the 1950s. While a USC professor of art, Bardin became the first South Carolinian to win the prestigious Springs Art Show in 1961. He won it again in 1962 and 1963 before relinquishing the title to his student Warren Johnson, better known as Blue Sky.
- Dashia Starr
Summer is just around the corner and it's almost time to show off your beach body! If you're looking for a fun way to get fit before the hot months hit, here's the perfect opportunity for you.
- Melanie Huggins
A smart lady I know with two beautiful and equally smart little boys, stopped me in the grocery store and asked how things were going at the library. I replied, as I always do, that I have the best job in the best library system and that things were terrific. “Oh good,” she said, furrowing her brow, tilting her head and looking very concerned. “Someone told me that libraries wouldn’t be around in the future and I didn’t want to believe it. I can’t imagine life without libraries.”
As I finished shopping, I tried to imagine our community without libraries—an empty parking lot and boarded up windows at Cooper, the new Eastover location halted, mid-construction, and our beautiful downtown library, still and quiet, emptied of its books, computers and people. I roamed the aisles and let my mind erase all 11 locations. With the buildings gone, I tried to imagine what life would be like without us.
I imagined the nearly 2,000 children from rural South Carolina who recently took a field trip to the Children’s Room. Their eyes wide and jaws slack, they explored the more than 160,000 books before them. These children were just starting to understand the worlds they could visit beyond their hometown, the things they could know, just by reading. Who would make sure these children had access to free books?
I wondered who would have helped Stacey and her husband, when they followed a job prospect to Columbia that ended unexpectedly after just two months. Their meager resources not enough to sustain them they found themselves in a temporary shelter. Stacey sought help from our Business and Job Center, and with the assistance and the encouragement of staff got a new job.
As I drove home, I thought of the countless times when the library has been there for people who need us. How we’ve been there for you, your family, friends and neighbors—the people who make our community and our country strong and vibrant. If you take these stories and multiply them by the more than 2 million visitors the Richland Library welcomes each year and then multiply that by the number of libraries and their visitors all over the country, that’s powerful stuff.
Thinking back to my grocery store encounter, I wish I had memorized and shared author Bill Peschel’s quote with my friend in response to her concerns: “Libraries are society’s workhorses, making available what is good and worthy and open to all who need information, reassurance or a kick in the imagination. A town without a library is irredeemably impoverished.” Wish I could have recited that right there in the cereal aisle.
But instead here’s how I responded:
- Laura Morris
From shelving books to teaching computer classes, Richland Library relies on volunteers to maximize resources and better serve customers. On Wednesday, April 17, the library recognized the efforts of more than 100 volunteers at a special event at the Main Library.
- Sarah Gough
"Oh, ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road,
And I'll get to the Library afore ye..."
A great starting point for students or casual readers looking for a introduction to the themes and discussions on Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
A great starting point for students or casual readers looking for a introduction to the themes and discussions on the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
A great starting point for students or casual readers looking for a introduction to the themes and discussions on Tennessee William's play, A Streetcare Named Desire. This overview also includes Elia Kazan's 1951 film version of the play.