New patron, Bob Bouyea, was the recipient of a $100 Gift Card provided by the Friends of the Irmo Branch Library for the new library card campaign in May. Mr. Bouyea was very surprised and, obviously, happy about his good fortune! For the month of June campaign, The DoubleTree by Hilton generously donated a one-night’s stay at their Bush River Road property. The winner of this prize won’t have to go far for a relaxing evening, and maybe they will even take a good book to read by the pool!
The 2014 Summer Reading Kickoffs started with a BOOM on June 2 at the Batesburg-Leesville and Chapin Branch Libraries. At the Gilbert-Summit Branch, the children celebrated our summer science theme by making batches of slime and having their photos taken with the mad scientist photo display. Irmo Branch prepared for the big day by sliming their meeting room! Youth Services staff were busy drawing, cutting, gluing, and hanging decorations until the entire children’s area and meeting room were slimed and “science-ified” from Einstein to signs of the elements hanging from the ceiling.
On June 4 the party moved to the Main Library where, per custom, the Library hosted the popular attractions: games; food; face-painting; a bounce house and slide; and, for the older youth, a rock climbing wall. The day concluded with the “After Party, Party” featuring the high energy performance of Story Squad. This wonderful event, which marks the “official” beginning of summer for so many families in our community, was made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library and by many community partners including Air Fun Rentals, Kmart, Fatz Cafe, Donut Guy, Jimmy Johns, and Chick-fil-A.
Gaston Branch hosted their kickoff on June 5. There were five stations manned by our volunteers where children could make an ocean in a bottle, salt paint, color, have their face painted, and grab a snack. For the grand kickoff finale there were two science experiments. The first one was a coke and mento geyser, and the second experiment was learning how a balloon could inflate with soda. The kids used pop rocks and three different types of soda to see which one would blow up a balloon the fastest. Everyone had great time and laughed at Ms. Stephanie when she got all sticky in the name of science.
Cayce-West Columbia followed with their kickoff on June 5. This year’s event included something for all ages. Story Squad performed Once Upon a Time Remixed for the younger patrons, DNR set up an inflatable archery range for the teens, and Willie Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass performed for the adults. We also offered a gadget gallery for patrons to explore and ask questions about our downloadable services for eBooks, audio books, and magazines. The Friends of Cayce-West Columbia Branch Library sponsored the event and manned a membership and t-shirt sales table. One of the highlights of the evening was when the band called up our Jr. Volunteer Ella Thomas to play along with them. She and her family frequently play at Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor who graciously helped us in arranging the music for the event.
The turnout at all of our branches was wonderful! South Congaree-Pine Ridge, Swansea, and Pelion Branch Libraries brought our Kickoff celebrations to a close by June 7, and patrons are on their way to filling out those reading records! We look forward to seeing everyone throughout the summer months.
It has been a full month of renovations at our Cayce-West Columbia Branch. The circulation counter had several spots where the laminate was worn all the way through to the brown surface below; evidence of how many books that have slid across this counter over the years! This has been replaced with new laminate so the process can begin anew. Additional outside lights have been installed to light up areas of the parking lot and sidewalk that were dark. The spotted spackle look has finally been covered with a new coat of paint as well as the misnamed mural, leaving us with a clean new look throughout.
The computer area in Reference is almost complete with new furnishings and additional computer stations which will allow patrons more space and privacy as they work online. Patrons have been so patient with us as much of this work has gone on while we were open with areas being cordoned off, computers being down, and lifts and ladders being moved about. We are happy that many have made favorable comments about the changes.
Megan’s passive programming display on the 1980’s is drawing lots of attention! Books and objects about monumental events, famous people, and popular items from that decade are on display. Megan also made entries available for patrons to post their own comments relating to this period in time. Possibly, the most entertaining aspect of the display is the pictures staff posted of themselves. Drop by and have a look for yourself!
The square foot community garden is producing peas and onions right now. The carrots are bushy and the cucumbers are climbing the trellis. Several tomato plants are putting out blooms! The blueberry bushes survived the winter and one has ripening blueberries on it. The blackberry bushes are still growing and we are hopeful for some berries this fall.
May was “Love Your Pet” month at the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Branch Library. The children enjoyed a visit from Chase the dog, and four large boxes full of supplies and monetary donations were collected on behalf of Pets Inc. As always, the staff from Pets Inc. was very appreciative of this community’s efforts.
Irmo Branch volunteer, Pete Stewart, was recognized by Beverly Brandt, the Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Midlands. She presented him with a certificate of appreciation and thanks for his continued volunteer efforts at the Irmo Branch Library. Pete also loves to read to first graders at Dutch Fork Elementary and second graders at Harbison West Elementary. He serves as a mentor to a young fifth grader at Harbison West Elementary and tutors students at Dutch Fork Elementary upon the teachers’ requests.