Yule Ball

image005Cayce-West Columbia Branch Library’s Youth Services Department held a Yule Ball for their teen program on October 30.  Participants made wands as they entered this magical wizarding world, then participated in a sorting ceremony and a potions class of fruity drink mixing.  The highlight of the evening was a competitive round of quidditch.  Thanks to Pickens County Library for loaning us their inventive quidditch course built of PVC pipe and hula hoops!

Cayce-West Columbia Branch Community Health Fair

comhealthfairupdatedCayce-West Columbia Branch hosted their second annual Community Health Fair on October 10.  This year the fair was combined with a Community Baby Shower for new and expectant parents.  Health screenings and information were provided by the Lion’s Club, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Palmetto Chiropractic Center, NAMI, Cooperative Ministry, and Family Connection of S.C. The baby shower, coordinated by Youth Services Librarian Kirsten Barber, included a bilingual Lapsit Storytime with the help of Ivette Villarreal, presentations by PASOs about breastfeeding, and information from the Columbia SC Moms Blog on new and improved cloth diapers. Everyone was given a goody bag with information, an early literacy calendar, and a board book.  Some were lucky enough to win diapers, books, infant clothing, and supplies.

The fair also featured:

  • a flu clinic provided by Walgreens (insurance or fee required).
  • free vision screenings provided by the Lion’s Club.
  • spinal screenings provided by Palmetto Chiropractic Center.
  • Affordable Care Act assistance provided by Cooperative Ministry.
  • information on services available to children and adults with special health care needs provided by Family Connection.
  • mental health information provided by NAMI.

Caught Reading Banned Books at Cayce-West Columbia Branch

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Cayce-West Columbia staff have been caught reading banned books!  Banned Books Week (September 21-27) is an annual event which celebrates the freedom to read and highlights the value of free and open access to information.

The top ten challenged books of 2013 as reported to the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  6.  A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith


Little Free Library coming to Douglas Reeves Community Park

image003We are excited that West Columbia City Council has approved Cayce-West Columbia Branch’s request to place a Little Free Library in Douglas Reeves Community Park.  A Little Free Library is a freestanding box that contains a small exchange library. Each programming period, library assistant Kim Nix has a community project for the teens to work on. For the upcoming Fall/Winter schedule she thought a Little Free Library would be a great project to promote literacy and allow the teens to positively affect their local community.  Kim put together and presented the proposal along with Teen Advisory Board member Ella Thomas at the last West Columbia City Council Meeting where it was positively received.  The teens will be building the library with the help of a local builder Richard Murphy with R. G. Murphy Plumbing. The paint will be donated by Sherwin-Williams, and the city will assist with the installation at the park.  We currently support the Little Free Library at the Cayce Riverwalk by supplying it with books and will do the same with this location.

USC Law Students’ Library Community Service Project

probonocollageA huge thanks to the University of South Carolina law students who spent afternoons at the Irmo and Cayce-West Columbia Branches dusting shelves, weeding books, and locating out of place items to be re-shelved as part of their community service efforts.

Read more at:

Irmo Branch Project

Cayce-West Columbia Branch Project

Summer Reading Kickoff Celebrations

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Cayce-West Columbia:

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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.


Cayce-West Columbia Branch Changes and Renovations


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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.

DIA Celebration at Cayce-West Columbia Branch Library

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Cayce-West Columbia Branch held their annual DIA Celebration on May 3. In the spirit of DIA – Diversity in Action, we noted Fair Housing Month with a special storytime. Stephany Snowden from Lexington County Community Development and County Councilman Jim Kinard were a big part of this collaboration. Youth from My Amigos Bilingual Education Center, East Point Academy, and the Guadalajara Folkloric Group performed for an audience of over 100. The event ended with a parade around the library led by a group of community volunteers in traditional dress from several different countries.