Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghosts, Used Books, and Rum

The staff of the Library Society are absolutely giddy with excitement about tonight's Halloween Party. Hopefully the city's subcontractors will put down their Mountain Dews and honey buns long enough to move their trucks to let visitors and patrons use our parking lot. For those who attend, we promise a frighteningly fun time! Society directory Eric Emerson will give a ghost tour of the building, and Mike Coker will give a ghost tour of downtown Charleston. For our junior members, Carol Jones will have games and crafts. The prize for the best costume is Mike Coker's newest book, Charleston Curiosities: Stories of the Tragic, Heroic, and Bizarre. With any luck, our resident ghost will make an appearance. We guarantee good food, drink, and scary company.

Speaking of scary, after this protracted election cycle, we all will need something to soothe our nerves and distract us for a few months until the next presidential election begins. With that in mind, why not stop by our annual fall book sale on November 8-9. The sale will take place on the first floor of the Barnwell Building from 9:30-5:00 on Saturday, and 1:30-5:00 on Sunday. Book dealers are welcome after noon on Saturday and not a minute earlier (unless, of course, we are desperate). On Sunday, all books are half price, or you can fill a box with books for only $10.

If you are a fan of steel drums and boat drinks, the Library Society's other November event will grab your attention. On November 13, Eric Emerson will give a lecture entitled "Rum, the Triangle of Trade, and Charleston," which will focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth-century rum trade and its impact on Charleston. Afterwards, participants will have an opportunity to enjoy Caribbean-inspired hors d'oeuvres and taste some of the world's finest rums. It will be the most fun that you can have north of Jost Van Dyke.

Read a book!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Earplugs, Anyone?

Like one of the circles of hell from Dante's Inferno, the past two weeks have been a time of endless jack hammering, drilling, sawing and construction noise outside the Library Society. Continuing road work has prevented staff members and visitors from using the Library Society's parking lot, and this morning, the staff was greeted with the pungent aroma of a natural gas line that construction workers pierced in front of the Ripley-Ravenel Building. The leak was contained within a couple of hours, and the work began anew. The good news is that workers have filled and paved the ditch in front of the Library Society's driveway, so visitors might have access to the parking lot by the time of the lecture and book signing on Thursday (fingers crossed).

Speaking of which, did I mention that we are hosting a lecture and book signing by local historian and archivist Michael D. Coker at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 23? Mike's newest book is entitled Charleston Curiosities: Stories of the Tragic, Heroic, and Bizarre (History Press). Mike is a great story teller, and he also has volunteered to lead ghost tours of Charleston as part of our Halloween Party.

Speaking of which, did I happen to mention that the Library Society will host its first Halloween Party at 7:00 p.m. on October 30? Party goers will enjoy refreshments, scary tales, and ghost tours, while children will enjoy games, stories, and Halloween goodies. Everyone is expected to dress in their scariest Halloween costume. I am personally thinking about dressing as Ben Bernanke or Vladimir Lenin (hmm).

Thanks to our members for filling out their surveys. We have learned much that we did not know, and confirmed much that we suspected. Thanks, also, to our members for their patience with King Street construction. Thankfully, it will cease for the holidays, and we will all enjoy a short break before it begins again in 2009.

Read a book (and come to our next lecture and Halloween Party)!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

They're Baaack!

City of Charleston construction crews once again have begun work on King Street in front of the Library Society. Trucks and backhoes will block our driveway for a few days, so please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that the work may cause. Needless to say, we will remain open during this newest round of "improvements", and we hope that you will not let the construction deter you from visiting.

We have an exciting programs schedule for the Fall, and our next event is a book signing on October 23 featuring local historian Michael Coker. His newest book, Charleston Curiosities: Stories of the Tragic, Heroic and Bizarre, is a series of essays regarding some of the more fascinating aspects of Charleston's past, including a chapter on the 1706 Spanish and French siege of Charleston, and another regarding Seminole warrior Osceola and the final disposition of his remains. As with all Library Society events, we will have refreshments for those who attend.

We have been inundated with member surveys, and we hope to get even more. If you have not mailed your survey, you can fill out an online version on our website and save the cost of postage. Member comments are vital to our strategic planning process, and all surveys are anonymous and confidential. Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you soon.

Read a Book!