Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Backhoe, a Jackhammer, and a Good Book

During the next couple of weeks, Library Society patrons will be greeted by the presence of a large backhoe in front of our main building. They also will be forced to endure a cacophony of jackhammering. City workers have begun the Library Society's portion of the King Street repair and beautification program. We hope that you will not be dissuaded from visiting by the machinery, noise, or orange cones. You will still be able to park behind the building, and the sidewalk is not blocked, so you may use the front or back entrance. We apologize for any inconvenience that the construction may cause.

July has been a fairly busy month for the staff. We have rearranged the Children's Room to create more flexible space, and we continue to relabel special collections materials. We also are inventorying our collection of videotapes and DVDs to remove duplicates, with the goal of generating extra shelf space in the Barnwell Building for additional DVDs.

If you are a military history buff, I urge you to stop by and check out Rick Atkinson's The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44. It is the second in a planned three-volume history of the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe during World War II. The first volume, An Army at Dawn, earned a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for Atkinson, and The Day of Battle is every bit as good. Atkinson is a wonderful writer, and though his work is very detailed, it is compelling enough to hold the attention of most readers.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Read a book!
W.G. Hinson

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Carolina Day has come and gone, and once again it was a great success. The weather at the Battery was beautiful, cool (low 90's), and breezy, and the Library Society again fielded a large contingent of marchers. Amid a sea of seersucker, Library Society members cast disparaging glances rearward to those johnny-come-lately organizations founded in the late eighteenth century. Upon arrival at the Sergeant Jasper monument, we spread out under the beautiful live oaks, which to our chagrin, were filled with Yellow Night Herons that attempted a bombardment of their own. The service concluded with what seemed like an endless cannonade by a battery of Confederate reenactors. Adults winced, children cried, and dogs barked with each shot. This year the cannon was pointed at the Fort Sumter House instead of out over the harbor, and those in attendance were left with the impression that a company of Yankees had purchased a two bedroom, two bath condo, and the Winyah Light Artillery were trying to drive them back north of the Mason-Dixon. All in all, it was a remarkable day.

The Library Society was closed on July 4 and 5, but we opened again on July 7 for those patrons who are looking for a cool and quiet refuge from the heat. Summers are our quietest season, as members leave for cooler climates. If you are in town for a "staycation," stop by and take a look at the newest issues of Country Life. Yes, these issues have all that you've come to expect from our most popular periodical: horsey debutantes who are spending their gap year in Santorini; multi-million pound country estates; and commentary on the oh-so-troublesome and invasive American Grey Squirrel. Throw in a photographic spread from Lord Smith-Smythe-Smith's birthday party, and you have something for the whole family.

Seriously, we hope that you will stop by, if for no other reason than to say hello. Read a book!