Let your voice be heard and support library programming.
Join the Richland Library Friends.
The Richland Library Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising support for library programs and spearheading advocacy efforts on behalf of the library. Since 1975, when the Junior League of Columbia, Inc. voted to provide volunteers and the necessary funds to establish a Friends group in Richland County, the organization has played an integral role in raising awareness of the library throughout the community through specifically targeted advocacy efforts and financial support for programs such as the Friends Summer Reading Challenge. The Richland Library Friends is a membership organization and is governed by a Board of Directors elected from the membership.
There are several ways to support the Friends, including:
The Richland Library Friends spearhead advocacy efforts on behalf of the library. Members help to raise awareness of the Richland Library and organize advocates to support the library through the county budget process and other government funding opportunities. If you are interested in becoming an active advocate for the library through the Friends, please call 803.988.0885.
Annual memberships are available for as little as $25. Many Friends-sponsored events are held exclusively for current Friends members. Print out our membership form or click on the membership levels below to join or renew your Friends membership now, using our convenient, safe online contribution form:
·Bookmark $25 to $49
- Membership plus a coupon (redeemable at any library location) for a free Friends tote bag
·Bookworm $50 to $99
- Tote bag plus a $5 coupon that can be used at any Friends book sale
·Book Collector $100 to $249
- Tote bag plus a $10 book sale coupon
·Reserve List $250 to $499
- Tote bag plus $15 in book sale coupons, along with a personal guided tour of the Main Library
·First Edition $500 to $999
- Tote bag plus $15 in book sale coupons and a personal guided tour of the Main Library, along with two free “Bookmark” level memberships to give as gifts
·Conservator $1,000 or more
- $15 in book sale coupons and a personal guided tour of the Main Library, along with four free “Bookmark” level memberships to give as gifts
Membership applications are available at all library locations and can be downloaded by clicking here.
Friends members at all levels also receive discounts from a variety of local businesses, including: Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia YMCA (downtown location only), Contact Lens Clinic, Ed’s Editions, Folline Vision Center, One Eared Cow Glass and Personal Property Appraisals, LLC. Please note that these discounts are offered at the discretion of the businesses and may change without notice.
At the Friends’ book sales, thousands of gently used books, CDs, DVDs and more – donated by community residents – are sold to raise funds for library programming. The book sales generate approximately $80,000 a year in revenue for the library and are held at least four times a year at the Operations Center located at 130 Lancewood Road off of Bush River Road near Dutch Square Center. The Friends also hold some members-only "pop-up" and/or half-price inventory reduction sales at various times of the year.
See the menu to the right for a calendar of upcoming Friends book sales:
The Friends host various types of special events for the community, such as hosting well-known authors who come to the library for book discussions and signings. Many of these events are free and open to the public, while others are held exclusively for current Friends members.
The Friends’ signature event, The Literary Vine, is held annually at the Main Library as a way to showcase the architecturally stunning building and many of its exciting programs through an evening of wine, beer, food, authors and entertainment.
Donating Books, CDs and DVDs
The Richland Library Friends welcome your donations of gently used books, CDs and DVDs. Your donations will be taken to the library’s Operations Center where Friends volunteers will sort, price and shelve them for resale at the Friends book sales, held several times a year to raise money for library programs. If you have up to four boxes of materials (not too heavy for an average person to lift), you can drop them off at any location during normal business hours. If you have more than four boxes of materials, you’ll need to bring them to the loading dock area of the Main Library, located behind the library on Park Street. Library staff members will be happy to accept your donations and give you a receipt for the number of items donated, but they will not place a dollar value on your donation. Please make sure you assess the value of your materials for tax purposes (if appropriate) prior to dropping off your donation. Please make sure also that your books are in boxes or bags that will not need to be returned to you, as staff will not be able to repack your donations into other boxes or containers.
For more information about the Richland Library Friends, please contact Sharon McElveen, Development Coordinator, Richland Library, 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201; telephone: 803.988.0885, or by clicking in the Contact Us box at the top of every page.