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.
The Meeting Room was packed on Saturday, September 13 at the Chapin Branch Library as everyone gathered for an American Girl: Meet Isabelle program. Elizabeth Meade of the Columbia City Ballet Training Company demonstrated and instructed the children, ages 5-12, in ballet techniques. After their ballet lesson, everyone made paper ballet fashions and decorated cookies. Each participant received an American Girl Isabelle book which were provided by the Friends of the Chapin Branch Library.
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.
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!
Cayce-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.
We 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.
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!
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.
A meaningful endeavor for the Batesburg-Leesville Branch will be serving as a host site for the District Three Summer Feeding Program. They provided this significant service last summer and are thankful to have the opportunity once again to help children receive healthy lunches during their summer vacation. These lunches will be provided to the children who attend the Music & Movement programs on Wednesday mornings and the special Summer Reading programs on Thursday mornings.