Sep 18, 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. Signed copies may be pre-ordered 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

Sep 16, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Speaker @ the Center to Feature Richard Porcher and William Judd

Porcher The Market Preparation of Carolina RiceThe South Carolina State Library’s Center for the invites you to Speaker @ the Center at noon on Thursday, September 25.

Richard Dwight Porcher, Jr., and William Robert Judd will discuss their book, The Market Preparation of Carolina Rice: An Illustrated History of Innovations in the Lowcountry Rice Kingdom (USC Press). This is the first book to illustrate and describe the implements and machines used to prepare Carolina rice for overseas markets.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. All programs will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the South Carolina State Library located at 1500 Senate St., Columbia. Speaker @ the Center is FREE and open to the public. Feel free to bring your lunch.

The South Carolina Center for the Book is the South Carolina Affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is a cooperative project of the South Carolina State Library, the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, and The Humanities CouncilSC.

Sep 9, 2014
Curtis Rogers

2014 Annual Literacy Leaders Award Winners

The Annual Literacy Leaders Awards will be presented by the USC School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) tonight to individuals and/or groups that have had a statewide impact on literacy in South Carolina. Their contributions include:

  • Developing and implementing innovative and creative approaches to literacy education
  • Establishing models of best practices in literacy education
  • Providing service to underserved groups and communities
  • Providing funding and support for these kinds of programs
  • Making other statewide contributions deemed appropriate by the Committee



Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students toward Effective Role Models) is an organization that has developed and implemented innovative approaches to literacy education, established best practices in literacy education, provided services to underserved groups and communities, and provided funding and support of these kids of programs.

The Call Me MISTER program at Clemson University began in 2000 with the goal of placing more male African American elementary teachers from diverse cultures and backgrounds in the classroom.  The program has graduated 150 MISTERs who are teaching in SC schools.

This program focuses on love of reading and learning with an emphasis on math and literacy skills and reading recovery.  The core classroom philosophy is that every child has qualities to be developed.  In addition to the classroom, MISTERs work with after school programs, volunteer in the community, and work with academic coaches each week.

The program has expanded to include 17 other universities and technical colleges in SC and programs in 7 additional states.

Dr. Dianne Johnson

Dr. Johnson, a member of the USC English Language and Literature Department, has spent the last 20 plus years teaching, reading to children, and writing books to encourage reading and literacy—not just for children, but for everyone.  Her love for words and telling stories through books has inspired hundreds of children in elementary schools throughout the state.

Dr. Johnson’s pen name is Dinah Johnson.  Her book that celebrates the color black and its magic and fun—Black Magic—teaches us all about the positive aspects of the color black. Her book that celebrates the beauty of African American hair—Hair Dance—inspires children to love their hair.  All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts is a picture book of the African American community of Columbia in the 1920s and 1930s while Quinnie Blue and Sunday Week celebrates family relationships.  Sitting Pretty:  A Celebration of Black Dolls is a collection of poetry for each doll in Dr. Johnson’s personal collection.  Each doll is named for people in her life and the poems highlight their personalities.  The Best of the Brownies’  Book is Dr. Johnson’s anthology that includes pictures of what life was like for young African Americans in the early 20th century.  Her writing teaches history and explores current issues that encourage young people and their families to read and learn.

Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry

For some forty years, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry (LVL) has been at the forefront of the effort to provide the citizens of greater Beaufort County with reading, writing, and speaking skills essential for success in the family, the workplace, and the community. The organization has dedicated itself to creating awareness of the enormity of the literacy challenge in the area; to providing leadership in its service area and with other organizations offering literacy programs elsewhere; and to offering substantial instruction and other programs to the community.

Beaufort County, one of the wealthiest and best educated county populations in the state, has 11% of its population who lack basic prose literacy skills (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009); neighboring Jasper County has 27% of its population similarly challenged. Nearly 20% of Beaufort County’s school population is Latino.

From its beginnings in 1973, LVL has aggressively confronted the need for improving the literacy skills of the community.  There are now programs that are designed to serve a number of particular segments of the community including basic education programs for adults, preparation for US citizenship, education for English for speakers of other languages and workplace literacy programs.

The Inaugural Peggy Parish Prize

The Peggy Parish Prize honors individuals who have made a personal impact that increases child literacy in South Carolina. Two Prizes of $500 each will be awarded tonight.

Successful recipients will demonstrate their impact through activities such as:

  • Implementing or expanding innovative programs or approaches to increase literacy in children
  • Encouraging a child’s love of reading through the involvement of a parent or caregiver
  • Establishing or expanding programs for under-served community groups to increase child literacy
  • Creating programs that successfully use Peggy Parish’s notion of an “open window” timeframe to encourage reading in children

This prize is being offered in Peggy Parish’s memory, to honor those who demonstrate the imagination, creativity and energy to help the children of South Carolina become life-long readers.

Peggy Parish Prize Winners

Ida Thompson

Throughout her professional career as a school library media specialist, consultant, and district director, Ida Thompson has displayed a compassion for the role of libraries and books in the lives of students.  For over twenty-five years, she has coordinated the Richland School District One Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Program, one of the largest multi-site programs in the country serving over 12,000 students and distributing over 40,000 new books annually.  The RIF Program has received many national honors under her leadership and continues to enhance the district’s literacy focus.

Engaging students requires effort, creativity and persistence.  Ida has combined these qualities into a special event called Reading Rocks, which has become the district’s annual literacy celebration.  Under her leadership, the program has won numerous honors including a special commendation by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  Reading Rocks provides free books to students, features nationally renowned authors and illustrators, local authors, vendors, and an array of interactive games, displays and community groups.

She is a staunch advocate for her district’s school library media programs, securing additional funding to upgrade and maintain quality print and electronic book collections, ensuring that students have access to high quality reading materials at all levels.

She gives countless volunteer hours supporting a wide range of literacy events, including helping to coordinate the Statewide READ-IN, serving on the planning committee for the Annual S. C. Book Festival and Augusta Baker Celebration of Stories.  She serves on the Richland Library Board of Trustees (where she serves as Treasurer) and is a two-time president of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians.  She is a member of the American Library Association and AASL, and often assists with logistics for the Coretta Scott King Book Award Breakfast.  She was recently elected Vice-President of the Columbia Writers Alliance and seizes every opportunity to promote reading and literacy events in her district and the community.

Ida believes that literacy is the great equalizer, opening doors for students to explore and grow. She embodies and displays the tenacity to keep a focus on reading, understanding that readers become leaders who can change the world.

Leslie Tetreault

Leslie Tetreault has been Manager of the Children’s Room at Richland Library since 1986 and is known for her passion and fierceness when it comes to pursuing her mission to improve the lives of children through her work as a librarian. She strives to achieve this by giving children the best books; the best service and letting them know they are valued.

Under Leslie’s leadership many innovative programs have been implemented. One of the most outstanding examples is All Around Town: All Around the State, a literacy initiative that gives at-risk third grade students a book and builds on that book to give them experiences that broadens their world in so many ways. This initiative began with the City of Columbia’s program Together We Can Read that Leslie saw as an opportunity to really engage children in literacy. Through passion and persistence, she convinced the city and Richland School District One to expand this program. 2,000 children took buses to the Columbia Museum of Art where they met the author of All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, Dinah Johnson, heard her present, toured the galleries and made art inspired by the photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts. The event was a huge success and it impacted the children greatly, giving them an autographed copy of a book, a chance to meet the author and an experience they will never forget. It also stoked Leslie’s fire. To date, this program has continued to grow with more than 1,500 children from counties like Richland, Orangeburg, Newberry, Fairfield, Calhoun and Kershaw participating. These children have shared the impact of this program: “This experience makes me want to explore the world and the library” and most telling, “This is my first real book.”

This program is innovative, encouraging and definitely connects with underserved communities.

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

Aug 1, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Center Announces Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Speaker Series

2014 2015 fall winter speaker at the center

The South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book is pleased to announce its upcoming author line up for the Speaker @ the Center series.

Thursday, September 25 – Richard Dwight Porcher, Jr., and William Robert Judd, The Market Preparation of Carolina Rice: An Illustrated History of Innovations in the Lowcountry Rice Kingdom. The first book to illustrate and describe the implements and machines used to prepare Carolina rice for overseas markets. Published by USC Press.

Tuesday, October 14 – Jack Shuler, The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose. A courageous and searching book that reminds us where we come from, and what is lost if we forget. Published by PublicAffairs, member of the Perseus Books Group.

Thursday, November 13– Rachel Haynie, First, You Explore: The Story of the Young Charles Townes. An inspirational biography of the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the laser. Published by USC Press.

Thursday, December 4– John Warley, A Southern Girl. The worlds of privilege and poverty collide in this moving tale of adoption, identity, belonging, dedication, and love. Published by USC Press.

Thursday, January 15– John Mark Sibley-Jones.  By the Red Glare. A Civil War novel of divergent lives and pervasive perils amid the burning of Columbia, South Carolina. Published by USC Press.

Books will be available for purchase and autographing. All programs will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the South Carolina State Library located at 1500 Senate St., Columbia. Speaker @ the Center is FREE and open to the public. Feel free to bring your lunch.

The South Carolina Center for the Book is the South Carolina Affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is a cooperative project of the South Carolina State Library, the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, and The Humanities CouncilSC.

Jun 10, 2014
Curtis Rogers

Reflections of South Carolina Book Talk and Signing

The South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book will host a book talk and signing on Thursday, June 19, from noon- 1:00 p.m. Join us to hear Robert C. Clark and Tom Poland discuss their book, Reflections of South Carolina, Volume 2, a pictorial essay that showcases the natural beauty of the Palmetto State and its inhabitants. Reflections of South Carolina is published by the University of South Carolina Press.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. All Speaker @ the Center programs take place from noon-1:00 p.m. at the South Carolina State Library located at 1500 Senate St., Columbia. Speaker @ the Center is FREE and open to the public. Bring your lunch and enjoy learning more about South Carolina.

The South Carolina Center for the Book is the South Carolina Affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is a cooperative project of the South Carolina State Library, the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, and The Humanities CouncilSC.

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.