Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Your Michaelmas present: Pat Conroy's coming!

Happy Michaelmas, the third most painfully English of holidays (just behind St. George's Day and Guy Fawkes Night, but slightly ahead of Plough Sunday and Remembrance Day)! We can't cook you a goose or bring bannock bread, so this'll have to do:

Pat Conroy is coming to the Library Society.

To mercilessly crib John Keats; we wish a more exciting word than excited, a more thrilling word than thrilled, to express our regard for so wonderful a writer. Our pleasure in hosting this event cannot be contained.

So, yeah, we're a little hyped up over it. And y'all are too: twenty-four hours after the Post and Courier wrote about the coming fundraiser- more than two weeks before tickets will be on sale- the Society was receiving phone calls about the event. Personally, I've received about a dozen calls and emails looking for tickets, and thereby learned that hanging out with Pat Conroy is a great way to get reacquainted with old friends and distant relations (and then disappoint them terribly).

Tickets will be available after October 15th: priority reservations will be available to Society members, and tickets will be limited. Hard details- exact times and prices- will not be released until sometime next week... so be patient.

While on the topic of events, I would be remiss to neglect the fantastic one we hosted last week. Bret Lott, bestselling author of Jewel and The Hunt Club and about a half-dozen other books delivered a terrific lecture to a very large crowd of members and guests. It was a great kickoff for our Fall events season, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom-friend of the maturing sun... sorry, sorry, more Keats. Anyhow, Bret not only gave a great talk; he supplied the A's in an insightful Q and A session (that could have lasted all evening, had it been allowed); and stuck around for an hour on top of that, talking to attendees personally and fielding lord-only-knows how many more questions. As folks who know him- even those who met him just last Thursday- know, Bret is as wonderful a person as he is a writer, and the Society is always pleased to have him here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bret, you've got it goin' on...

Just a quick reminder, best-selling novelist Bret Lott will be here this Thursday at 7:00 PM. He will discuss his time at the helm of The Southern Review. Bret is the author of a dozen books, including The Hunt Club and Jewel. We hope you can make it to what is sure to be a wonderful event. Please RSVP via email at rsvp@charlestonlibrarysociety.org, or by calling 843.723.9912.

Also: yes, we know it means missing the first quarter of the Ole Miss-USC game. First: y'all know that game's going to the fourth quarter; second, we didn't know that Gamecock fans read books... I now stand corrected.

Gamecock superstar Steve Taneyhill: dedicated bibliophile.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dispatches from the Chalerston Lybrary Societye

Hopefully, some of you are familiar with the continuously wonderful "group complaint about law, liberty, and leisure" that is Popehat.com. It's a site your devoted author frequents regularly and never fails to enjoy. A highlight of the blog is the "Road To Popehat", a regular feature showcasing some of the exact search terms that brought people to the blog, and then musing upon their weirdness.

So, now I'm appropriating the bit for Shh! Here are a few (thoroughly weird) items y'all put into Google that eventually led you to us:

"Chalreston", or "Charlestun", or "Chareston", or "Chalerston", or "Chereleston"
Hopefully these visitors went to Savanuh instead.

old library + king street + savannah
Yup. They did.

murder in Charleston, SC
Might I suggest Romney Street?

The Brick + Charleston, SC + Hours
5 PM to 2 AM, thank you. And in my experience, they're real strict about the 2 AM part.

"free jackhammer" and "damn+jackhammer"
Two folks after my own heart.

Library Society charleston parking
It's a little known fact that we've had a parking lot behind the library for the past 97 years. It's free for patrons and guests!

Dr. King + Halloween Party + Charleston
I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

the charleston library society is

Deep statement, young grasshopper.

charleston library society 29407
It would make my drive to work a little shorter.

what is the oldest and smallest instituion in society?
This feels like a riddle... I'm guessing the Libertarians.

charleston library society + myspace
We're not a band or a paedophile, so MySpace isn't much use to us, thanks. However, do feel free to follow our Facebook group!

Anyhow, that's enough of me being a wisearse. If nothing else, this has been a very insightful exercise: apparently we're not focusing on the illiterate and mildly mentally handicapped... and they are very interested in the "Charlee Lybray King stret".

For those of you who are not only fully literate and in possession of their mental faculties (that's you dear reader!), we have a host of events coming up soon. Bret Lott is here in one week: RSVP now, at rsvp@charlestonlibrarysociety.org, or by calling 843.723.9912. The Fall Book Sale is here in just under two months, so there's still plenty of time to drop by with donations. Remember, we're the "Charlee Lybray" behind the "old+ginko trees+29401", and once again, there is "free parking + Charleston Library". See you soon!

P.S.: To the ten people who have been searching "Clifford Jacobs on Facebook", (quite flattering, thank you) that's just a pen name... so you'll have search harder.

P.P.S.: If you're not a cute, available redhead between the ages of 19 and 35 (or someone looking to pay a freelance blogger), Clifford sez: feel free to stop trying altogether.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fall Events are Here!

Next Thursday, September 24th, bestselling author Bret Lott will give a lecture entitled "Southern Writing and Southern Editing: My Life and The Southern Review". Mr. Lott was named editor of The Southern Review in 2004: he returned to Charleston last year, and now teaches English and creative writing at The College. He is the author of a dozen books, including The Hunt Club and Jewel, an Oprah Book Club pick and major motion picture.

Also, for those of you yet to stop by since we've started remodeling, a picture of part of the improved reading area in the Main Reading Room. The old green vinyl chairs have been happily relegated to the bowels of the building, and our casual reading space has never looked better or felt more relaxing. Stop by soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A brimful of Asha...

Quick tip for confused patrons: your new books are all still here, they've just moved twelve feet. The passageway gallery (!) between the Main Reading Room and the Barnwell Annex is now the home to all our new nonfiction, fiction and mysteries, along with our esoteric collection of non-accessioned books. Feel free to grab a few good volumes and have a seat in our new chairs or couches.

Our fine collection of East Indian art is now on display in the passageway. Though they have been out since 1990, we hope their new place in the passageway brings renewed interest in these wonderful pieces. The Society has many American colonial-era works, and even a few late medieval documents, but none of our written materials compare age to our Indic art. Reflecting on these Jain and Hindu carvings- some over eight centuries old when the Society was founded- makes one pause before calling the CLS a "venerable" institution (still, 1748's pretty good by American standards- even for Charleston!)

Don't forget- CLS Fall Book sale, mid-November. The Bhagavad Gita teaches,

"Worn-out garments are shed by the body; Worn-out bodies are shed by the dweller within the body. New bodies are donned by the dweller, like garments." -Bhagavad Gita II.22

Well, our book sale is exactly like that. Just instead of worn-out bodies, think of worn-out books. And the immortal atman of cash from resale moves through the samsāra of being exchanged for new books. Or something like that. Anyhow, stop by soon, and bring books- it's good for your soul.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day Weekend: more proof Grover Cleveland was our greatest president...

The start of September; the end of summer; the start of football season; the end of having large print books in the front room of the Barnwell Annex... it's an eventful time indeed. Labor Day weekend is here, unless you're one of the 6,335,000,000 or so people who don't live in the United States, Canada, or Bermuda. (Remember, they all celebrate Labor Day on May Day, better known as "Commie Christmas".) Which reminds me, I'm pretty sure the City of Minneapolis officially regards the first of May as "Labor Day". So there's another 330,000 or so folks not celebrating Labor Day this weekend, either.

For the record the Charleston Library Society is taking the holiday off- we're closed this coming Saturday and Monday. I'll personally celebrate the proletariat's struggle against capitalist running-dog lackeys by watching the Bulldogs of UGA (in red, no less) run a football down Mike Gundy's throat; glory, glory, and to hell with Oklahoma State.

Other goings on: Don't forget, we're only a month-and-a-half away from the Fall Book Sale, so stop by with your donations. The new library chairs are in, as are new lamps and some more stylish seating in the Main Reading Room.