Thursday, August 21, 2014

Step by Step........

Well little by little we are getting the website put together. Yay! Please visit at: Feel free to offer suggestions or comments.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Library Services.......................

Several years ago we had a service we offered that I fondly referred to as “Geek on the Street.” This service offered at home computer help using the library staff. We recently have had some requests for this service and are happy to comply – with some caveats. If you need help during the library regular hours and Breon or I am available – we will be happy to help you. If you need help after regular library hours there will be a nominal charge. This is a great service and one that very few – if any - other SC libraries offer. When I went to the State Library a few weeks ago they were very impressed and encouraged me to promote it. So that’s what I am doing! Remember: this is available based on staffing levels so be patient if we can’t get to you immediately.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More from the summer....................

Here's a little heartwarming story from the library. Pictured above are Levi Atkinson and Nylek Thomas. These young men met each other during the first program of Summer Reading 2014 - the Edventure program. Levi lives in Lee County and Nylek was visiting his grandmother from Charleston County. But they hit it off big time. They visited back and forth the whole time Nylek was here. Alas, the day came when Nylek had to return to Charleston. Since then they written and called each other almost weekly. Nylek had his birthday in July and held a camping themed sleep over party. Levi could not attend, but he sent hime a sleeping bag and called during the party to wish him a happy birthday.

They still are in close contact and Levi's parent up date us on the progress of their friendship. The library ladies think this is a wonderful example of how we impact our community and the lives of our young ones.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer reading is o.v.e.r.......

Well, the 2014 Lee County Library’s Summer Reading program has concluded! Although it was a dark and threatening day out, we had a wonderful final program at the Lee State Park with our pal Ranger Laura. Her program: “Aquatic and Biotic Factors in Fresh Water Quality” was fascinating!! Although intimidating as that may sound it essentially means water life and how it reflects the quality of the water they live in. To that end, we pulled samples from the artesian well that feeds the ponds. By looking under the electron microscope we could identify various small and microscopic flora and fauna and by looking at their condition conclude that the water quality at the ponds is good to excellent. Yay!! Then Laura pulled out pelts and specimens of some of the wild life that lives in the park. Deer, otter, raccoon as well an assortment of snakes were all displayed and handled by the youngsters. Thanks to Ranger Laura Kirk for a great and informative program. We all learned a lot.
Next we all went to Scoops where the owner Griselda Wilson provided us with a nice lunch of hot dogs, potato chips and, of course, ice cream! She also went out of her way to offer the children cookies and assorted sweets. We were surprised and pleased when she gave out school supplies to the youngsters. Thanks to Griselda for going above and beyond our expectations!!
So this was our busiest and most exciting summer reading program. Thanks to grants from the LSTA and administered by the SC State Library we were able to bring three great programs to Lee County. The EdVenture program kicked of the season, we funded PorkChop Productions presentation and finally the Lee State program closed the season. We would like to thank all our partners for their help: The Lee County Arts Council, Clemson University Extension, Lee State Park and Scoops Ice Cream. We also must thank the parents of the participants who go out or their way to get their children to the programs. Summer Reading is fun, but more importantly it helps students keep their reading skills sharp so they are at an advantage when school starts. So, thanks to everyone and we hope we will see you next summer!
Oh, one more thing: thanks to the SC State Library who donated some children’s books to us to give to our summer readers. We had some left over so we gave them to Griselda at Scoops to hand out. If you would like a brand new children’s book _”Wild About Reading, by Judy Sierra just go to Scoops and present your library card. Viola, you will have a very nice book to add to your collection!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More summer fun...and reading..........

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost

Well, it’s official: we are half way through our 2014 Summer Reading Program!! Last week we had the arts/crafts class at the annex and about 30 participants, led by our crafty librarian Brenda, spent the afternoon making coasters out of bath tiles by decorating them. The finished products were pretty darn impressive. One of the children wrapped his up to give to his father who was celebrating his birthday that day.

This week we are hosting the Van Doran Magic show. The show is being held at the Opera House, today at 1:30. If you do not have plans this afternoon try to make it down to the Opera House. The magician came to the library last week to finalize plans and he is GREAT! As always, this show is FREE and open to the public. Each year the library donates a couple of live performances to the community as our way of saying thank for the continued support. So Thanks Lee County! Come catch a live show!
Also mark your calendars for next week when the Porkchop Productions will be presenting Rumpelstiltskin on July 25th at 1:30 at the Opera House. Again, another free show! This performance is paid for by a grant from the South Carolina State Library and a grant from the IMLS. So, come down and enjoy.

The new release shelf is chock full of best sellers from authors as diverse as Clive Cussler, C.J.Box, Jeffrey Deaver and Jeffrey Archer. One of my favorites is Robert B, Parker. But wait you say: “Robert B died four years ago.” Yes, that’s true and he is not writing from the grave but his estate authorized a couple of novelists to continue his Spenser series and the Cole and Hitch series. I have always loved the Spenser series because: 1. they are really easy reads (think Sunday afternoon here) and 2. they are set in Boston so I recognize many of the places mentioned. Actually Boston is really a character itself. The authorized author is Ace Atkins and he holds up the tradition pretty well. He has written a couple of these novels and we have them all. So come down and check us out and check out a book!!

More summer reading..............

It’s a hot and lazy time of year
With temperatures rising high
A body doesn’t want to work
Doesn’t even want to try

It’s time to lie around and rest
Not exert much energy
It’s too hot to work but rather
We want to take it pretty easy…..
Marilyn Lott

During the “dog days’ of summer the librarians try to take it easy, but with the Summer Reading Program in full swing we have to keep up to pace. This week we are having an art class being presented by our very own talented Dawn Ellen. Dawn does beautiful work, and you can see examples here at the library. We hope to have the summer reader’s art work on display as well.

Please mark your calendars for July 16th at 1:30 P.M. We will be presenting a live theater production at the Opera House. We will be hosting the Van Doran Magic show. Again, this is a FREE performance. We really want to pack the Opera House. We will also be hosting The Pork Chop production ladies again this year. They will be performing on July 25rd at 1:30. This is their sixth visit here and everyone who has seen them loves them. This program is funded by a grant from the SC State Library and IMLS. Again, this is a free and public production. Everything the library does is free – we are supported by tax payers’ dollars and private donations. So try to come to this performance and encourage the youngsters.

Okay, patrons have been asking about accessing e-books through our SCLends program. Here is the skinny: we do not have access to e-books, but some of our partners (Kershaw, Florence, etc.) do. In order to access their catalog you have to have a library card from that county. You can go to the home library and apply for a card. Because we are members of the consortium, there is no out of county fee. A couple of our patrons have come back and reported how easy it is and they love the access. We also try to get our patrons to access the on-line catalog. It’s convenient and you can do it from home 24/7. If you do not have internet access at home, come to the library and we can order it from the desk.

The Lee County Friends of the Library is conducting its annual drive for membership. In past years, the Friends organization has been instrumental in the funding of six live theater productions for our young readers in the “Summer Reading Program.” Also, in the past we have contributed to field trips to EdVenture in Columbia and the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.
We encourage you to become a Friend of the Library. Your contributions help support the Lee County Public Library and its many worthwhile projects. You may also contribute in honor of friends and family.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Healthy Snacking...2014 Summer Reading Program

Well, the summer of 2014 is progressing right along and so is the 2014 Summer Reading Program “Fizz, Boom, Read.” Last week we had a great program at the library annex called “Healthy Snacking.” Clemson Extension’s Cindy Welch came over and presented a healthy snack of yogurt, a variety of fruits, some granola and other natural toppings. The youngsters, of course, loved it as well as the librarians! After this light snack Cindy held an impromptu “Junior Jazzercise” and all the children jumped around, ran in place and generally just let off some steam. Much laughter ensued. Our partners at BlueChoice and Healthy Connections came in with some valuable information, granola bars and water bottles. So all the children went home with a souvenir and a happy memory!!

We will not be having any programs this week because of the holiday. Our next program will be July 8th & 9th and is an art class taught by our own talented Dawn Ellen. Come into the library to see the creations. This is a reminder that we have a free and public performance at the Opera House on July 16th of the Van Doren magic show. Mr. Van Doren is basing his show on the summer reading theme of STEM (Science, Technology, and Engineering Math) education. Again this is free and open to the public. It is the library’s way to return to the community. Performance is at 1:30PM at the Opera house and is open to the entire community.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

EdVenture kicks off the 2014 Summer Reading Program

What do you get when you take a bunch of children to the Lee State Park on a glorious day? You have a great kick off for the Lee County Library’s 2014 Summer Reading Program. Last Friday, Brenda and I took our readers out to the park to see a presentation put on by Edventure Children’s Museum in Columbia. Our educator, Mrs. Elena, was wonderful and presented a program called “Garbology.” Funded by a grant from the SC State Library and IMLS, Elena walked us through various stages of soil production and how our behavior can influence our world. We reviewed good garbage (recyclable) bad garbage (electronics, not reusable, etc.) and no garbage (compostable). She interacted with the youngsters to help identify each and answer their questions about each category. Then she rolled out the star of the show: “Garbagena.” This life like muppet-type doll lives in a composting bin and is full of various forms of garbage. The youngsters were invited to reach in her tummy and pull out what they found. As the items emerged they were identified and then arranged in each category. At the end of Elena’s presentation Ranger Laura Kirk showed us some of the projects she conducts at the park using recycled material. Everyone had a wonderful time; and learned something too!!

The parents and the kids then went around and explored the park. What a little jewel here in Lee County! Brenda, Laura and I served a lunch of hot dogs, chips and roasted marshmallows. Then it was off to the swimming hole. They all had such a great time in the water and it was a perfect day for it given the 94 degree temperatures. Finally the day was over and we all headed home a little more aware and considerably more tired.
Special thanks to all our partners: EdVenture, SC State Library, Lee State Park and Recreational Area, Coke, Friends of the Lee County Library and especially our biggest partner – the parents.

Our next program is June 26th with Clemson Extension and Blue Cross Blue Shield presenting “Healthy Snacking.”
The library ladies would like to welcome our newest neighbor, Scoops Ice Cream Shop. We are always happy to see new merchants on Main Street. We went over to visit and while speaking to the owner, Griselda Wilson, we asked if she would be interested in hosting our summer reading closing party. We got an enthusiastic “Yes!” So for our final program on August 1st we will be going to the Lee State Park to visit Ranger Laura Kirk and then heading back to go to Scoops. Sounds like a fun way to wrap up the 2014 Summer Reading Program.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SCLends to the rescue!!!

It has been brought to our attention that many patrons do not realize that you can access the library via the internet by using our BlogSpot account as a portal. When you go there you will see the email address as well as our online catalog. Go to and on the right hand side of the blog is a link called SCLends. When you click on the link it will take you to the SCLends main catalog (16 statewide libraries!) You can browse the catalog or access your account. Once you have an account you can renew your books, change your address your e-mail or any other information we have on file.
If this is the first time you have accessed it, you will need to enter your library card and a four digit pin number. If you do not have the pin number, call the library and we can assign you one. Once you have entered the pin the main account screen appears. Click on the tab that says “Accounts Preferences” and your account information will appear. The first time you go there, click on the password field and enter your pin, then enter a password of your choice. That’s it! You are done!! (This is a good time to check that the information we have is correct.) It is hard to write up these steps in paragraph form, so if you need more help I have made a “cheat sheet” and it is available at the front desk. If you are still having a hard time, I will be offering classes on Saturdays to help you out; once you have done it a couple of times, all will become clear!
Many of our patrons do not have internet access or skills. Not to worry!! You can call or come to the library and we can search the catalog for you. You have to have your library card to place holds. But other than that there are no other requirements. Once you place a hold, a request goes to the participating library where they pull the book and send it to us. Once we get it, we scan it and an e-mail goes out to you.
Just a few random thoughts about SCLends: when you access your account to renew books, the books cannot be overdue. You will have to call to renew books that are overdue. I have asked the committee to look into this since it makes no sense to me that you can’t renew an over due, and we will probably resolve it in the future. Also, if you are wishing to place a hold on a new release book, there is a 60 day window where the home library restricts the lending. So, you can place the hold, they just won’t send it. Also, we have been pleased at the number of hold requests we get here at the library! Each week we send out 60-75 volumes that other libraries have requested – I think that speaks well of our collection; we have stuff that other people want!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Our apologies.................

We would like to apologize to our patrons for any inconvenience we may have caused during our air condition malfunction. For several days the temperatures in the library exceeded 90 degrees and as a result we closed early. The public area of the library frequently has a capacity of patrons and with 17 computers running the temperature rises quickly. Also the night time temperatures never got low enough to cool the building. Several people have wondered why we can’t open the windows - well they are sealed! We did run a fan behind the desk to no affect and the main library room is just too big to cool with fans.
So again, we would like to apologize for the inconvenience and hopefully as you are reading this we are back on our feet and running full steam ahead! Additionally. rest assured that no fines were charged during the time we were closed. That is our standard practice. If we are closed and your books are due, we will not charge a late fee. Also we would like to thank Mr. Brian Bradt and the crew of the Lee County Maintenance department for the quick turnaround time on this. They had to switch the entire system and that is no small project.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A day at the Library........

There is a Greek word:  “Agora” which literally means “assembly’ or “gathering place” or “discussion place.”  If ever there was an appropriate word for the Lee County Library, agora is it.  This is especially true on Friday afternoons.  We have a rotating cast of characters who come in and the discussions are wide ranging and open.  As well as books, current events and top news stories are discussed.  All the debates are good natured and usually pretty funny.  Our Friday regulars really light and lighten up the day. 

Not long ago, a friend/patron returned a book and recommended it to me.  It was called “Still Life with Crows,” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs.  I read it and loved it and recommended it to another friend/patron.  We all started recommending it and everyone loved it.  We are now having a run on Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs books that cannot be believed.  Once, we had an entire shelf of them and now at last count there were about three of them on the shelf.  Showing the power of word of mouth!!

These could be classified as mysteries, but they are way, way more.  The protagonist, Aloysius Penergast is an FBI agent with some really unusual abilities.  He also has a back story that is dribbled out with new twists in each book.  This is a book series but they can be read as standalone novels.  All the ones I have read are slightly eerie, maybe even scary, but they are definitely interesting.  This brings us back to the Lee County Library “agora.”  Last Friday there was a heated discussion on old Aloysius’ back story and each of us had something different to add.  We are ordering copies of the titles we don’t have from SCLends. 

The upstart of all of this is that the original friend/patron who recommended it to me came in Friday and couldn’t find any copies.  I think he was a little cranky!  But we all had a good laugh; since we are all reading the copies and the original recommender couldn’t find his.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

18th Annual Book Festival

After many telephone calls and lots of thought Brenda and I have put together what we thing is a great Summer Reading Program.  Sign up week will start on June 9th through June 14th.  Our first program will be on June 20th at the Lee State Park and featuring our partners at EdVenture in Columbia.  This program is funded by a special LSTA grant and awarded by the SC State Library.  The program will focus on the science of the natural world.  We are very excited about this program and I think our summer readers will love it and gain some insights into the natural world. 

We also will be offering a science themed magic show.  We will be hosting the play, “Rumpelstiltskin” Also holding two cooking classes and arts and crafts classes.  All and all it is going to be busy fun filled summer.  Bring your youngsters to the library to sign up the week of June 9th.