Our partnership with the Parenting Center of Lexington County School District One in cultural events continues to thrive. Dia de los Muertos was held at the Lexington Main Library on Saturday, October 25 with over 150 attending. Children had their photos taken, made crafts, and participated in a Storytime, along with a new black light puppet show. Suzette Hawkins and Angela O’Connell of Lexington Main Youth Services worked diligently to create the new glowing puppets and Youth Services Librarian Patty Taylor compiled and edited the soundtrack. The show was well received at Dia de los Muertos, so much so that our Cayce-West Columbia Branch borrowed it for their own Halloween Spooktacular, and Lexington Main presented it in three additional events for Halloween Music and Movement.
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.
On May 15, the Lexington Main Library hosted a preview to the South Carolina Book Festival. As a result of the efforts of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library, the Main Library entered into a partnership with the University of South Carolina Press and the Thomas Cooper Society to sponsor this event.
Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the USC Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections on the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of the F. Scott Fitzgerald, began the evening giving a little history about the research done at the Thomas Cooper Library of the American author of the early 20th Century, F. Scoot Fitzgerald. She introduced the two well known authors who were the highlighting this evening’s even, Lee Smith (author of Guests on Earth) and Therese Anne Fowler (author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald). Both authors read from their books and took questions from the moderator as well as from the audience. It was a wonderful literary evening at LML and it is hoped that many more like this are headed our way in the near future.