July 2019
Find it at the Library

A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.
                                                                                             ― Andrew Carnegie

When I heard the theme for National Library Week (April 7-13) this year is “Libraries = Strong Communities,” I was delighted. I couldn't agree more!

Carnegie did so much more than write the quote above, though. His program of grants helped build more than 2500 libraries all around the world in less than 25 years. He didn’t just give away money, though. He required active community participation in the construction and ongoing funding of a library, and many of them are still open – in places like Skerries, Ireland, where my grandfather grew up, and Germantown in Philadelphia, where I first borrowed a book. (It’s now a senior center.) Here in South Carolina, where I now live, 14 public libraries were built between 1903 and 1916 with Carnegie grants.

On my vacations, I sometimes stop in to visit them – city branch libraries serving neighborhoods, lovely little libraries in small towns – they all celebrate community today.

I was in love with books at first. They took me to places I knew I’d never see. Now, I realize libraries do much more than house books; they are vibrant places, the center of civic life for a town or neighborhood, and they collaborate with other organizations to build community through free programs for all ages. In our little town, pre-school educational activities are just one example of educational activities, offered for free, that have been proven time and again to make a difference in a child’s education. How many of us know about it – and all the other ways the library provides a free education for anyone who wants to use it?
I’m still learning about libraries, and I now know this: it’s the people who work in our libraries that make the magic work. I’ve been to new libraries that win architectural awards and old city branches long overdue for renovations. In both I find staff members with a love for books and learning. 

In the 1950’s, my brothers and I sat on the floor at a story time program in our neighborhood library, and years later, as a high school English teacher, I sometimes wondered who that patient woman was, reading to a bunch of restless city kids. She made a difference in my life and I never told her.

You can help make a difference, too. Visit your library and encourage the staff. Ask them questions, ask for suggestions. Browse, too: you’ll find books and other media on subjects you never knew existed! 
Ask how you can help, too. Around the world, Friends of the Library organizations help to build great libraries. Find out who they are, and join them. No matter who we are and what our beliefs, we all win when we help build a community though the public library.

Dennis Harkins

Dennis Harkins was a high school teacher and District Technology Specialist in Pennsylvania. He has been a volunteer teacher at the USCA McGrath Center for more than 10 years, and is the treasurer for the Friends of the Aiken County Library. He is an avid reader, and his vacations always include visits to local libraries!
Newest Literary Landmark in South Carolina
SUMTER, SC., Jun. 1, 2019 --- Propertius Press and the Arthenia J. Bates Millican Literary Foundation, hosted a book-signing event to launch The Bottoms and Hills: Virginia Tales by Sumter, South Carolina native and internationally renowned author Arthenia J. Bates Millican (1920-2012).

The launch coincides with an official designation of the residence (AJBM Foundation site) by United for Libraries as a South Carolina Literary Landmark. It was also Millican’s 99th birthday.

Contributing to the cost of the plaque was the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, the South Carolina State Library and the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

News From Around The State
FOSCL President wins United for Libraries/ThriftBooks Friend Conference Grant

EXTON, Pennsylvania -- United for Libraries has awarded the 2019 United for Libraries/ThriftBooks Friend Conference Grant to Marlena E. White, current Director of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library in Lexington, S.C. and President of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries.

White will receive $850 plus full conference registration to attend the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. A formal presentation to the grant winner will be made at the conference at the “Gala Author Tea” on Monday, June 24, 2 to 4 p.m.

When notified of her winning status, White replied, “I am honored to receive the 2019 United for Libraries/Thriftbooks Friends Conference Grant! I am thrilled to be representing the Friends of the Lexington Main Library and the Friends of South Carolina State Libraries.”

The United for Libraries/ThriftBooks Friend Conference Grant enables a per­son who is active in his or her public library Friends of the Library group to attend the ALA Annual Confer­ence for the first time. The Conference Grant, made possible by a gift from ThriftBooks, is administered by United for Libraries. Recipients are selected by the United for Libraries Awards Com­mittee.

For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/grants_awards/ friends/thriftbooks. ThriftBooks takes great pride in sponsoring the United For Libraries/ThriftBooks Friend Conference Grant.

Let’s Talk About It is a book discussion series centered on themes ranging from women’s autobiography to the cultural importance of South Carolina’s literary heritage. Funded by the SC Humanities and coordinated with assistance from the South Carolina State library, LTAI has long been the backbone of library programming offered by SC Humanities.

The LTAI groups usually meet every other week to discuss each book in the series. Group discussions can be facilitated by a qualified scholar (a different scholar for each book) or by using the series guide provided with each series. Time, location, scholar(s) and other details are left to the library’s discretion, but SC Humanities has plenty of recommendations to ensure your success.

Praise for Let's Talk About It!
“Every fall our patrons ask about the Let’s Talk About It program and when it will start. It is one of our Star programs for our adult patrons. This year we saw an increase in Friends of the Library membership due to this program.” ~ Deb Warrington, Chapin Memorial Library

Fall 2019 Regional Meeting
October 23, 2019 10:00 - 12:00 pm
The Friends of SC Libraries will host a Regional Meeting at the Greenwood County Library on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 10:00 - 12:00 pm. More details to come!

Greenwood County Library - Main Branch
600 South Main Street
Greenwood, SC 29646
Friends of SC Libraries | fosclpresident@gmail.com | www.foscl.org