- Debbie Bloom
On June 23, 1926 the Jefferson Hotel hosted a grand Southern Bell Telephone Company affair honoring Columbia's original telephone subscribers. The 1880 subscribers were mostly deceased but family members, the governor and city officials were on hand to celebrate Columbia's telephone subscriber pioneers. Listed in the first telephone book were eleven city residences, including the governor's mansion. Lorick and Lowrance were among the first businesses to dial up, as well as attorney F.W. McMaster, cotton buyer P.H. Haltiwanger and ice dealer C.C. Habenicht. The State Lunatic Asylum also had a telephone but only in the female building. It is not clear if that is an indication of a woman's capacity to talk or if that was just a convenient location. In all 63 businesses, government entities and homes were listed in Columbia's first telephone directory.
Join the library's Summer Reading Challenge and challenge yourself to read every day this summer!
Summer reading keeps your mind sharp and helps young readers avoid the “summer slide.” We encourage you to challenge yourself to read your way through the summer!
- Jennifer Naimzadeh
We're pretty lucky to have such talented teens at the Richland Library. Sam D. not only helps the library by volunteering with the Teen Advisory Board, but he's a skilled artist as well! Inspired by the work of artist/illustrator Brandon Reese, Sam created his own take on Laughter and Raindrops. In addition to sharing his work with the library, Sam sent this piece to Mr. Reese himself. Brandon loved it so much that he sent Sam an autographed sketchbook- and we love it so much we couldn't wait to share it!
- Melanie Huggins
Our Main Library has a fantastic reputation, abroad as well as right here at home. Its contemporary architecture, green-tinted windows and trees growing inside the building, make it a landmark for downtown Columbia. The Main Library alone sees more than 1 million visits a year and more than 36% of all print books checked out in our library system come from this one facility. Each year, more than 20,000 children and families enjoy our world-class Children’s Room programs and top notch customer service. Since it opened a little over two and a half years ago, our Business and Job Center staff have worked with more than 30,000 people to provide one on one assistance with job and career support. The music and movies in our collection are outstanding, and people check out more than two million nonprint resources a year.
Yet among some residents, the impression of Main is not a positive one. When I tell people where I work, it breaks my heart when they say “I don’t use that library. There are too many homeless people there.” There was a time where these remarks made me want to defend my library. Now I find myself wanting to defend the homeless. When I get the opportunity to listen to people talk about their concerns with homeless people in the library, I’m trying really hard to discern what the real issues are.
- Melissa Thigpen
Most Catholics and many noncatholics have had their eyes turned to Rome, or more accurately, the Vatican today as the Conclave began this morning. The election of a new Pope is always an important event closely watched by millions around the world but this Conclave is groundbreaking in more ways than one. The resignation of Benedict XVI was surprising, even shocking, to a community grappling with so many difficult changes and challenges in recent years. For the first time the Sistine Chapel, traditional site of the Conclave, has been secured against all types of electronic communication and social media. At the same time, televison cameras were allowed in the Sistine Chapel documenting the procession of red robed Cardinals as the Litany of Saints was read and then the taking of the Oath of Secrecy by each participant. Finally the order was given, "Extra omnes" or, everyone out, and the chapel doors were closed and locked.
- Crystal Johnson
Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2013, as Katherine Mellen Charron, author and associate professor of history at North Carolina State University discusses Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark.
- Sarah Gough
Basket weave like a Botswana. Take a ride in a Malian bush taxi. Bargain at a Nigerian marketplace. Play an El Salvadorian marbles game. Come see how people in other countries live through performances and presentations from many cultures by Peace Corps members.
- Leah B.
The 2013-2014 South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominees can be checked out from Richland Library. Get your hands on a copy, today!
- Debbie Bloom
When the calendar page flips to March it’s time to think about Camden’s Carolina Cup. However, it was not too long ago that Columbia was a major stomping ground for horse training. In the 1920’s the Buxton brothers, Clarence and Merritt, discovered that Columbia’s winter weather provided an ideal training location for thoroughbreds.
- Sarah Gough
What do Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Pablo Picasso, Muhammad Ali, George Washington, Richard Branson and Cher all have in common? Dyslexia.