Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

With the approach of Thanksgiving, we have much to be grateful for at the Library Society. The first ten months of 2008 have been a time of growth for our organization. Our membership has increased, and more Charleston residents and visitors are learning about our mission and our wonderful collections. Recently, the Charleston Mercury featured an excellent article about the Library Society and its history.

In addition, we have sponsored a number of successful events this year, which have been both entertaining and educational. Two weeks ago we sponsored a sold-out lecture on rum, the triangle of trade, and Charleston, which was followed by a rum tasting. Everyone enjoyed the event, though there was little consensus on which rum was best. Judging from facial expressions (and coughs), the Barbancourt 15 yr. old was definitely not the winner (so much for Haiti's #1 industry).

With the good, however, comes the bad. This year has been a time of failing heating and cooling units at the Library Society. Last Monday the boiler in the main library ceased to function. You might recall that we replaced, at substantial cost, the air conditioning unit in that same building this past summer. The boiler should be fixed in the next few days, but until then, visitors will find the building to be much colder than normal.

We all have witnessed the stock market's slump, which has negatively affected our endowment. Last week we mailed our 2008 Annual Appeal Campaign letter to our members. The mailer was two months later than usual, since we decided to wait for a respite from the successive waves of financial bad news that have pounded us since September. We urge you to give generously to this campaign. Your gifts are more important to the Library Society now than perhaps at any other time in our history.

To kick off the holiday season, we hope that you will join us for our second annual Christmas Parade Party on Sunday, December 7. Bring the children and grandchildren, and watch the Charleston Christmas Parade from the best seats on King Street: the stairs of the Library Society. We will have some cushions, but we urge you to bring your own, since the Society's marble steps are hard, and the parade will last from 2-5 p.m. We will serve Christmas refreshments, hot cider, and lots of holiday cheer!

Read a book (and come wave to Santa at the parade)!