The Friends of the Irmo Branch Library celebrated their 25th anniversary in the month of September. To kick off the celebration, author Cassandra King visited the branch and spoke about her writing process, how she comes up with story ideas, and what she’s working on next. On September 14, Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor entertained patrons all afternoon with bluegrass. Throughout the month, the Friends also hosted an art show where works from over 20 local artists associated with the Corley Mills Artists Group and the Seven Oaks Art League were displayed. Patrons were able to vote on the works throughout the month, and a reception was held to announce the winning piece. Carole Timmerman took home the prize as her piece, “Hanging Out,” was selected as the favorite.
On October 23, the Irmo Branch hosted their third annual United Nations Day. Dancers performed from the Hindu Cultural Center and Dance of Ireland. Staff members Antonella Nardella and Jacqueline Owens read the bilingual book Pizza in Pienza by Susan Fillion with Antonella reading in Italian and Jacqueline reading in English. Food was generously donated by Chapala’s Mexican Restaurant (chips and salsa), Travinia’s Italian Kitchen (lasagna), The Villa (garlic bread), Zorba’s Greek Restaurant (baklava), and Bhavani Kalapathy (yogurt salad and chicken biryani). We hope to make it an even bigger event next year!
On October 16, the Irmo Branch Library held their second annual Food Fear Factor for tweens. After a discussion of international cuisines, various “scary” foods were sampled. Roaches (prunes stuffed with cream cheese), worms (slivers of hot dog), kitty litter (crumbled cake with squirts of chocolate), dirty dish water (foamy green punch) and ear wax Q-tips (marshmallows dipped in melted butterscotch on a stick) were all enjoyed. The tweens found they loved the flavored crickets best, which were sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar and bacon and cheddar. After a discussion of foods that the tweens liked and disliked, broccoli was unanimously voted their least favorite!
Lots of Halloween fun went on at the Irmo Branch in October. There was a Halloween pajama storytime attended by elves, wizards and even a doctor! On October 25, we had a large crowd of 56 little ones attend our “Not-So-Scary Halloween” program. Participants came dressed in their costumes ready for a story. Afterwards, everyone moved and wiggled to a dance party DJ’ed by Puppet Playhouse’s puppets. The puppets sang “Monster Mash” while the children danced in their costumes. The party ended with cookie decorating fun!
A 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.
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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.