The new year is bringing with it some very cold weather, a few snow flurries (which pushed the Library's opening time back an hour one day this past week), a new president, and other changes. Every year presents its own particular brand of change and challenges to be met. One of the challenges your public library will be meeting this year, along with everyone else, are the difficult economic times we find ourselves facing. We will be doing all we can to offer the best programs and services we can with the resources we have available.
One of our greatest resources are the people who help out and partner with the Sumter County Library. Our Friends group continues to be one of the mainstays of our support. They recently purchased some equipment for the Library that we would not have been able to obtain otherwise. Among other items, they purchased a document camera that has greatly enhanced storytime programs at the Library. The Friends have also pledged their help with Library programming and this years Summer Reading Program.
We also have many other friends who show their support through monetary contributions. The Library recently received generous donations from the Wal-Mart Foundation and the GFWC Bicentennial Woman's Club of Sumter. These kind and timely gifts will be used to purchase materials for our Children's Department. We have also partnered with the City of Sumter for Classic Movie Nights at the Opera House. Movies are shown on the big screen the second Friday of each month at 7:00 pm. North by Northwest, the Maltese Falcon, Stagecoach and a Night at the Opera are a few upcoming attractions.
The Library hopes to offer a variety of unique programs this year. Our Children's Department is planning a very special program for Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 31st. We plan to have a "dragon" powered by nine people inside. Call the Library for further details. Our present round of computer classes will be winding up next month. We currently plan on offering another series in the fall. In the meantime, the Shepherd's Center is holding computer classes at the Library on Thursday mornings. We hope to begin another round in our Film Series later in the Spring and the Wesmark Book Club continues to meet on the first Sunday of each month. For further information on the Book Club, call 469-8110.
The Library was fortunate to be able to purchase new computers for our Children's Department last year. Along with the new computers, new software programs have been installed. Our youngest patrons have been enjoying several of the JumpStart series, Spelling and Math Blaster, Grammar Made EZ, My First Amazing Science Explorer, Learn About Dinosaurs, and Reader Rabbit among others. We were also able to purchase Early Literacy Stations in both English and Spanish. These computers will have an assortment of fun and educational games and programs for children. The Library was able to purchase these Literacy Stations through a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the South Carolina State Library.
Finally, your Sumter County Library greatly appreciates the support we receive from the community and especially from the Friends of the Library. Please consider joining if you haven't already. Applications are available at each Library location and can also be printed out from the Library website. And BTW, keep checking back at our website - we have a few changes we hope to be implementing soon. Change and challenges - your local Library plans to make the best we can of both.
Robert Harden - Director