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Aug 28, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Book Launch for The Spirit of an Activist: The Life and Work of I. DeQuincey Newman

Join us for the official book launch and reception of The Spirit of an Activist: The Life and Work of I. DeQuincey Newman, published by the University of South Carolina Press and edited by Sadye L. M. Logan with foreword by Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. and prologue by James E. Clyburn. The event will be held Thursday, September 25 at the South Carolina State Library in Columbia, 1500 Senate Street from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Parking is available in the lot behind the library off Bull Street.RSVP by September 15 and pre-order signed copies via or call 803-777-3912.  Copies of the book will also be for sale at the signing. For more information, please visit additional book talks and signings at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book, please visit

Aug 21, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Did you know??? Talking Book Services are available in South Carolina

Do you know someone who has a visual impairment or physical disability that prevents them from enjoying reading?  Check out our Talking Book Services program and like us on Facebook  Learn more about how to apply at

Aug 20, 2014
Curtis Rogers

2015 Latino Children’s & Young Adults’ Literature and Literacies National Conference

Be a Part of this Exciting Event!
The College of Education is pleased to announce the 2015 Latino Children’s & Young Adults’ Literature and Literacies Conference to be held at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC January 11-14, 2015. This conference focuses on current research of the education of Latino children/young adults and their families, and will offer perspectives and ideas on how to serve this rapidly growing population in the U.S.

In keeping with the idea of celebrating Latino children’s and young adult literature, literacies and culture, we invite proposals that contribute to and extend existing knowledge in the following areas: Latino children’s literature, Latino young adult literature, Latino family involvement, Latino literacy, literature programs with Latino children’s literature, educational needs of Latino children, and other related topics.

Who Should Attend the Conference?
Those interested in Latino children’s and young adult literature and literacies will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the richness and variety within the Latino culture. Learn about current research on the educational needs of Latino children and their families and on uses of Latino children’s and young adult literature in a variety of settings­, homes, communities and schools. Gain expert insights, network and share ideas about how you can best serve this diverse population. Join us as we strive to deepen our understanding of Latino cultures and learn ways to integrate the cultures into our classrooms and communities through Latino literature!

For more information, please visit

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Aug 20, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Register today for the South Carolina Storytelling Conference

The South Carolina Storytelling Conference hosted by the South Carolina Center for Oral Narration at USC Sumter is an all day event providing workshops and storytelling opportunities for new and experienced storytellers. Special sessions have been designed for educators and CEU credit is available. This year’s featured teller is John Fowler.


8:00-9:00 Registration
9:00-10:30 Workshop Session 1
10:45-12:15 Workshop Session 2
12:35-1:30 Storytime Lunch
1:30-3:00–Workshop Session 3: Master Storytelling Workshop with Featured Teller John Fowler
3:15-4:45 Workshop Session 4
5:00-6:00 Featured Teller Performance


Aug 20, 2014
Curtis Rogers

South Carolina Library Association Annual Conference to be held in Columbia

*REGISTRATION / Early bird rate available through September 19, 2014.  Now available online and via downloadable formCheck the downloadable form for a general conference agenda.

*POSTER SESSIONS / The general and student poster session deadlines are both September 16, 2014.  Access the applications from the conference webpage.

*SPONSORSHIP & EXHIBITORS / Opportunities are still available.  Download the Sponsor and Exhibitor Packet now.  The deadline to be included in the conference program is September 19, 2014.


First General Session ‐ Wednesday, October 22

Our opening keynote session will feature award‐winning poet Ed Madden, Jr. Madden’s poems have appeared in Borderlands, Los Angeles Review, Poetry Ireland, Southern Humanities Review, and other journals, as well as in Best New Poets 2007 and the anthology The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present from the University of Notre Dame Press. His other publications include, Prodigal: Variations, and Nest.  Born and raised in rural Arkansas, Ed Madden is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches Irish literature and creative writing. His scholarly works include Tiresian Poetics, a study of modernist poetry, and he is the editor of Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, a collection of radio essays from the first three years of South Carolina’s only gay and lesbian radio show.

Second General Session ‐ Thursday, October 23

Our second general session will feature George Needham from the Online Computer Information Center (OCLC). George was appointed Vice President of Member Services at OCLC in 1999 and was named to his current position in 2009. During his tenure at OCLC, he has been deeply involved with transforming the cooperative into a global membership organization with a new governance structure.  Before joining OCLC, he was State Librarian of Michigan, where he launched several innovative, statewide library projects, including AccessMichigan, a pioneering LSTA‐funded project that provides full‐text databases, indexes, abstracts and other online reference services to all types of libraries in Michigan. From 1984 to 1989, he served as library director of Fairfield County District Library in Lancaster, OH, during which he opened a new library built entirely with community donations and designed by library staff. From 1990 to 1993, he was Director of Member Services of the Ohio Library Association. He was also Executive Director of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, from 1993 to 1996.  George received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He credits his experience as a reference librarian as helping him become a two‐time champion on the television show Jeopardy in 1994.

Third General Session ‐ Friday, October 24

Our third general session will feature award winning comic book illustrator and author, Sanford Greene. Sanford has worked in comics and related industries for over 10 years. His clients include Disney, DC Comics, SEGA, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Warner Brothers, Fox, and Marvel Comics. His current works include a French graphic album for Humanoid Publishing and a Spiderman children book for Disney/Marvel Publishing.  Sanford is also working on two creator owned projects: one called “Rotten Apple” published by Dark Horse Comics; the other project is titled “1000” with MTV.

We look forward to seeing you in Columbia in October!

Crystal L. Johnson, First Vice President/Conference Chair, SCLA

Jun 9, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Lexington educator wins S.C. First Novel Prize

The South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press of Spartanburg announce James Edwin McTeer II of Lexington as the winner of the 2014 South Carolina First Novel Competition. McTeer’s novel Grave Dust from the Islands Far will be published by Hub City Press and debut at the South Carolina Book Festival in May 2015.

McTeer will receive a $1,000 book advance from Hub City Press.

Grave Dust from the Islands Far is a gorgeous fever-dream of a novel,” said competition judge Ben Fountain. “McTeer’s story of a young boy’s quest achieves a narrative drive and depth that are rare in any novel, much less a debut effort. Grave Dust picked me up by the scruff of the neck and carried me along as powerfully as a novel by Pat Conroy or Toni Morrison. Yeah, McTeer is that good. I look forward to many more novels by this excellent young writer.”

Born and raised in Beaufort, McTeer is the grandson of the late J. E. McTeer, whose 37 years as High Sheriff of the Lowcountry (and local witch doctor) served as inspiration for the winning novel. McTeer, 30, has worked for five years as a school media specialist and is currently the librarian at Polo Road Elementary School in Columbia. He lives in Lexington with his wife, but travels to Beaufort monthly “to soak in the marsh, the mud, and the salty air.”

“As a native of South Carolina and a child of the Lowcountry, being selected as the winner of the South Carolina First Novel Competition is the highest honor I could receive as a writer,” McTeer said. “My dream has always been to put a story on the page that would excite and entertain, and winning with a South Carolina tale makes the moment even more special.”

Set in a fictional Beaufort County in the late 19th century, McTeer’s novel “is a LowcountryHeart of Darkness, evoking the work of Karen Russell,” said Betsy Teter, editor of Hub City Press. “We are thrilled to publish the enigmatic story of Minnow, who ventures deep into the voodoo world of the South Carolina Sea Islands in search of a cure for his father’s mysterious illness.”

“The First Novel Prize is South Carolina’s premiere competition to discover new novelists in our state and launch their literary careers,” said Sara June Goldstein, literary arts director at the South Carolina Arts Commission. “It is the only first novel competition sponsored by a state arts commission, and it presents a unique way to appreciate the depth and breadth of the work of our remarkable writers, and then get the best of that fine writing into the hands of readers.”

The competition judge, Ben Fountain, won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for his debut novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. A native of North Carolina now living in Dallas, Fountain also is a recipient of a Pen/Hemingway award for a story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevera.

Other finalists in this year’s competition were Matthew Boedy of Columbia, Mary Fancher of Greer, Scott Gould of Greenville, and David A. Wright of Travelers Rest.

Read more about The First Novel competition.

Jun 5, 2014
Curtis Rogers

SC State Library Board Appoints Benggio Acting Director

The South Carolina State Library’s Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Leesa Benggio as Acting Director of the South Carolina State Library.

Benggio has been employed by the South Carolina State Library for seven years, serving as Deputy Director and Interim Agency Director.  She has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from Columbia College and has applied to the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science.  She has represented the South Carolina State Library both locally and nationally at the U.S. House and Senate and has over 20 years of experience in administration, business operations, budgeting, financial forecasting, leadership, and human resources.

“I believe that libraries are imperative to the success of a community and South Carolina as a whole,” said Benggio. She also stated, “South Carolinians use their libraries to look and apply for jobs, pursue personal interests, educate their families, and enrich their lives.  My work in libraries has been both rewarding and challenging, and I look forward to a successful future with all of our public libraries, partner agencies, and extraordinary staff.”

According to Debbie Hyler, South Carolina State Library Board Chair, “Leesa has been a loyal fixture within the library for years and has successfully led this agency in the past. We look forward to the future under her leadership.”

Benggio officially began her position as Acting Director of the South Carolina State Library on May 28, 2014.

Jun 2, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Columbia Museum of Art Reading and Art Program for Third-Graders a Success

“All Around Town: All Around the State” returns for the third year

The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA), in collaboration with Richland Library and the South Carolina State Library, provided a special arts and literacy field trip to more than 500 third-grade students from Richland, Kershaw, and Newberry counties, during April and May. “All Around Town, All Around the State” is a hands-on reading and art program that provides students with a rare cultural experience to which these children might not otherwise be exposed. This year Boundary Street Elementary and Gallman Elementary in Newberry County, C.C. Pinckney Elementary in Fort Jackson, Conder Elementary and Bookman Road Elementary in Richland County, and Doby’s Mill Elementary and Blaney Elementary in Kershaw County participated. The first-ever on-site presentations of the program occurred at the Conder and Bookman Road campuses this year, making the experience accessible to students unable to travel to the Museum.

“This program is always a delight and such a great way to combine art, literature, and history to teach children in an engaging way,” says Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby, CMA director of education. “We are excited this year to take All Around Town directly to children on-site at their schools that were unable to make it downtown. It is encouraging to see the program grow to reach even more students.”

The program includes three components: a dynamic, interactive reading by African-American author Dinah Johnson of her book All Around Town about the photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, who lived and worked in Columbia; a guided tour of the Museum’s portrait collection to view original paintings and photographs including works by Roberts; and a hands-on studio arts component where students create a work of art to imagine what a person’s life was like.

“The South Carolina State Library was happy to once again partner with the Columbia Museum of Art and Richland Library,” says Denise Lyons, director of library development at the South Carolina State Library. “This high-quality, multi-component program is one example of how we view successful partnerships in the state between libraries and museums. This year we were able to welcome children from parts of the state who had not yet had the chance to participate. The uniqueness of the program is that children are exposed to original works of art at the museum, using that experience to create their own original artwork, followed by a trip to the Richland Library to engage with librarians and story, encouraging them to visit the public libraries in their own counties. It is a winning combination for third-graders who are at such a critical learning juncture.”

The CMA is very grateful to the South Carolina State Library for providing a copy of Johnson’s book to each student and for funding the author’s participation, and to Richland Library for all their support in making the program a success.

A special thanks to South Carolina Bank and Trust (SCBT) for its commitment to community enrichment and art education and for its generous support which helped fund “All Around Town, All Around the State.”

“We are excited to be a part of this much-needed program, which provides access to the arts to students of lower-income families,” says Montague Laffitte, president, SCBT Central Region. “Exposing children to the arts at a young age helps them be more well-rounded, creating greater opportunities for their future.”

Jun 2, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Kershaw County Library Announces Book to Action Project

Through a grant from the South Carolina State Library using funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Kershaw County Library will be encouraging reading and discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Recounting the year she and her family committed to eat only locally produced food, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author discusses both their efforts, which included growing their own produce, raising chickens, and buying from local farmers and farmers’ markets directly; and why.  To that point, Kingsolver raises issues related to modern food production and the way most eat today, including discussion of genetically modified food, the cost of transporting food internationally, and a lost connection with the natural world (and good tasting food).

“We believe the points made in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will resonate. Many people have farmers in their family only a generation or two back, and that connection is still alive and well. Regardless of political persuasion, we have a lot of enthusiasm for gardening, local farming, and self-sufficiency,” states Library Director Amy Schofield. “It’s visible in the thriving farmer’s market, the proliferation of backyard gardens, and also in the concern I’ve heard expressed many times on how we can create a more healthy community and respect our natural world.”

To promote this book, the library will have extra copies available for checkout, and independent bookseller Books on Broad will have discounted copies on hand. In addition, book talk events are planned and some of the ideas discussed in the book will be placed into action. Throughout the summer the library will be hosting book discussions, cooking demonstrations with chefs and nutritionists, gardening workshops through the Kershaw County Master Gardeners, and even chicken coop building how-to sessions with local woodworker Anthony Hawkesworth.

As a way to promote the book (and its ideas) to families, the library will be providing a community garden on land adjacent to the Camden location, generously provided by The Mullikin Law Firm. Families are encouraged to learn with this garden, which will be called The Growing Plot. A kick-off event for The Growing Plot is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3 at the Camden Library.

Children ages 5 and up will make a seed necklace that sprouts when worn, with guided instruction by representatives from the Certified SC Grown program, a division of the SC Department of Agriculture.

Schofield summarized the Book to Action project by stating that “the idea is to not only to read a book and talk about it, but also to be inspired by the ideas it raises, and from that inspiration do something positive for yourself and the community.”

For more information, please visit the library website at or contact Amy Schofield, Library Director at or 803-427-6420.

Jun 2, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Reception Announced for Literary Convergence

Fall Lines – a literary convergence—Columbia’s newest and most ambitious literary journal—launches inaugural issue Sunday, June 8with a reception at Richland Library.
The Columbia Fall Line is a natural junction, along which the Congaree River falls and rapids form, running parallel to the east coast of the country between the resilient rocks of the Appalachians and the softer, more gentle coastal plain.
Jasper Magazine, in partnership with Richland Library, USC Press, and One Columbia, will release the inaugural issue of Fall Lines – a literary convergence on Sunday, June 8th at 4 pm at a free reception at Richland Library. An annual literary journal based in Columbia, SC, Fall Lines was conceived as a mechanism for highlighting Columbia as the literary arts center of South Carolina.

A panel of judges selected 30 pieces of poetry and prose from almost 500 submissions for publication in Fall Lines alongside invited poetry from SC Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth (sponsored by the Roe Young State Farm Agency) and essays from Christopher Dickey, Josephine Humphries, Ray McManus and more. Two new prizes for the literary arts, sponsored by Friends of the Richland Library, will also be given on Sunday including the Saluda River Prize for Poetry, which will be awarded to Mary Hutchins Harris of Daniel Island, SC, and the Broad River Prize for Prose which will be awarded to Nicola Waldron of Columbia. A certificate and check for $250 will accompany each prize. In addition, via a relationship with the South Carolina Academy of Authors, Fall Lines will also publish the SCAA 2014 fellowship winners in fiction and poetry, Nancy Brock and Jo Angela Edwins, respectively.

“Richland Library is not only interested in offering the best in literature to our community, we also value writers and want to support their work and success,” says Tony Tallent, director of literary and learning at Richland Library. “Partnering with Jasper to make Fall Lines a reality allows a new opportunity to explore the library’s role in supporting writers and unleashing their creations to our community and the world.”

A 98-page perfect bound book with cover art by W. Heyward Sims, Fall Lines is published by Muddy Ford Press in lieu of the summer issue of Jasper Magazine and was edited by 2014 Verner Award recipient and Jasper editor-in-chief Cindi Boiter with poetry editor Ed Madden.

Fall Lines will be distributed in select locations including all branches of the Richland Library, USC Press offices on Senate Street, the One Columbia office on Taylor Street, Gallery West, Ed’s Editions, Trustus Theatre, If Art, Tapps Arts Center, City Art, 701 Whaley CCA, the SC Arts Commission, and the Jasper Studio in the historic Arcade at 1332 Main Street. Fall Lines will also be available as an E-book via Richland Library and for purchase from,, and