Monday, April 28, 2008

Good News and Sundry Postings

The good news just keeps coming! The South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board (SC SHRAB) has awarded a $4,850 grant to the Library Society to process and re-house its manuscript collections. These grant funds will be used to purchase acid-free folders and boxes and to process our manuscript collections. Soon, scores of researchers will flock to the Library Society to immerse themselves in the treasure trove that is our archives. Heck, we might even hire ushers for crowd control (On second thought, maybe not).

Last Thursday best-selling author Cassandra King gave a fascinating presentation. With great charm, she described how she became a writer and how her personal experiences shaped her novels. She also signed copies of her books. If you stayed home to watch "Survivor: Micronesia", you really missed out. (Come to think of it, if that's the case, you probably need more than one night out a week).

Under the "More Good News" category, when you grow tired of looking at other people's amusing (and sometimes disturbing) Facebook pages, you can look at the Library Society's new page. Soon, you will be able to view images of Library Society events (or anything mildly entertaining that occurs at 164 King Street).

A number of our members only read non-fiction and aren't terribly interested in books that involve a cat that solves murder mysteries (not that there is anything wrong with that). Those members will be thrilled to listen to a first-rate historian on May 22. Clemson professor Rod Andrew will travel to Charleston to discuss and sign his newest book, Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer (UNC Press). Andrew's book is the best Hampton biography to date (my opinion is as good as any). Arrive a little early (before 7:00 p.m.), because this lecture will draw many members and visitors, who never grow tired of books about "The War."

If you are a fan of the Library Society's speakers' series (and have $15), you will love the Southern Literary Festival, which the Library Society is sponsoring as part of Piccolo Spoleto from May 29-31. This year's festival will feature six sessions of prominent Southern writers over the course of three days. Sue Monk Kidd, author of the New York Times bestseller The Secret Life of Bees, will headline this year's events. You can get tickets and information at or by calling Ticketmaster at 888-374-2656.

Read a Book!

W.G. Hinson

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Book Sale and other happenings

This is a busy weekend in Charleston, but of all the events, the Library Society's Annual Spring Book Sale is the most important (but of course I am biased). Do yourself a favor. Disregard the Bridge Run (too crowded, too long, and you can run the bridge anytime by using the handy pedestrian walkway). Ignore the Flowertown Festival (again, too crowded, and who can afford to drive to Summerville to see azaleas, when you can find them in any neighborhood in the lowcountry). Forget about the Cajun Festival (not as crowded, but no Dixie Beer). Instead of wasting time, energy, fossil fuels, eating crawfish and listening to Zydeco, come to the best little used book sale in the lowcountry. The doors of the historic Barnwell Building at 160 King Street open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and don't close until 5:00 p.m. (book dealers can purchase books after noon). On Sunday the doors open at 1:30 p.m. for our famous "fill-a-box-with-books for $10.00 day." The sale ends at 5:00 p.m. This year's selection is the best that I have seen, so get here early.

We have great news for researchers. The CLS online catalog is up and running and can be accessed from our website. Researchers now can view records for our manuscripts, pamphlets, and rare books prior to visiting.

On the good news/bad news front, our new HVAC unit is installed in the main library building and is working well, but the elevator in that building now needs to be replaced. We have started a fund-raising campaign to pay for the new elevator, and, as always, your gifts are both needed and appreciated.

Read a book (and buy one this weekend)!

W.G. Hinson