May 3, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony

LAL Award Ceremony 049

Today, the South Carolina Center for the Book awarded nine students from across the state for writing in the annual Letters About Literature competition.  The Letters About Literature program, sponsored by the South Carolina Center for the Book and the Library of Congress is a national reading and writing promotion contest. To enter, readers write personal letters to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.

Nine winners were honored at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book in Columbia. The ceremony was held in the Piedmont Room at 1500 Senate Street, Columbia. Contest judges and South Carolina State Library staff members were on hand to present awards. Winners read their letters and each received a monetary award from the South Carolina State Library Foundation ($100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third).

Level One – Elementary
First Place – Zauria Manigault, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia
Second Place – Banks Mitchell, Atheneum/Vine & Branches Home Educators, Conway
Third Place – Naudia Humphrey, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia

Level Two – Middle
First Place – Emily Grace Cannon, McCants, Anderson
Second Place – Maggee Bolt, McCants, Anderson
Third Place – McKinely Rowland, McCants, Anderson

Level Three – High
First Place – Aidan Baxter-Ferguson, Spartanburg Day School
Second Place – Rebecca Dupree, James F. Byrnes Freshman Academy, Duncan
Third Place – Emma Sherer, SC Virtual Charter School, Columbia

For more photos, please visit the State Library’s flickr site or the Center’s Facebook page.

May 2, 2013
Curtis Rogers

ASERL Launches “Guide to Southern Barbecue”

A Unique Blending of Southern Traditions, Librarian Savvy, and Good Humor

www.aserl.org/bbq

May 1, 2013 – DURHAM, NC.  With tongue firmly planted in cheek, today the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), representing libraries at 40 research institutions across 11 states, officially launched its own “Guide to Southern Barbecue,” a listing of recommended barbecue joints near ASERL campuses across the Southeast.  The ASERL Guide to Southern Barbecue is published as a freely-available, open-access guide to good eating in the region.

“ASERL librarians met last week in Memphis, well-known for its barbecue,” noted ASERL President Lynn Sutton. “And after years of good-natured in-fighting about where to get the best barbecue in the South, we took the occasion to publish our own guide.  As librarians, we have to use good judgment to select high quality resources all the time – we used these same skills to select good barbecue.”

ASERL convened a crack team of research library professionals – each a self-appointed arbiter of good taste in barbecue – to define criteria and design the user interface.  Quoting chapter and verse from “Holy Smoke” and other bibles of the craft, at one point the planning team identified more than three dozen possible criteria to be used in selecting winners.  In the end, ASERL libraries used a variety of methods to identify what they believe are the three best barbecue establishments within a 30-minute drive of their campuses.  On the launch date, about a third of ASERL libraries have contributed data; the remaining libraries continue to carefully consider these difficult decisions.

The online guide – available at www.aserl.org/bbq — contains basic and detailed listings for each selection, and maps to help guide users.  Mobile users can get driving directions to their selected restaurant.  And of course, the website includes links to other trusted resources, and a bibliography.

“We’ve been talking about this idea for a while.  I’m thrilled to see it come to life,” commented John Burger, ASERL’s Executive Director, who has been known to darken the door of such establishments with some frequency.  “I doubt it will solve any arguments – that’s not the point – but it will let people know where to start their search for the best of the best.”  Burger also joked that NIH-compliant data management plans are under development.

About ASERL

Founded in 1956, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries is the largest regional research library cooperative in the country.  ASERL operates numerous projects designed to foster a high standard of library excellence through inter-institutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts.  By working together, ASERL members provide and maintain top quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities.  More information about ASERL can be found at www.aserl.org.

Apr 24, 2013
Curtis Rogers

2012-2013 Letters About Literature Competition Award Winners Announced

The Letters About Literature program, sponsored by the South Carolina Center for the Book and the Library of Congress is a national reading and writing promotion contest. To enter, readers write personal letters to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves. Nine winners will be honored at an awards ceremony at the South Carolina State Library’s Center for the Book in Columbia. The ceremony will be held on May 3 from 11:00 a.m. to noon in the Piedmont Room at 1500 Senate Street, Columbia. Contest judges and South Carolina State Library staff members will be on hand to present awards. Winners will read their letters and each will receive a monetary award from the South Carolina State Library Foundation ($100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third).

Level One – Elementary
First Place – Zauria Manigault, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia
Second Place – Banks Mitchell, Atheneum/Vine & Branches Home Educators, Conway
Third Place – Naudia Humphrey, Heyward Gibbes, Columbia

Level Two – Middle
First Place – Emily Grace Cannon, McCants, Anderson
Second Place – Maggee Bolt, McCants, Anderson
Third Place – McKinely Rowland, McCants, Anderson

Level Three – High
First Place – Aidan Baxter-Ferguson, Spartanburg Day School
Second Place – Rebecca Dupree, James F. Byrnes Freshman Academy, Duncan
Third Place – Emma Sherer, SC Virtual Charter School, Columbia

For more information about the South Carolina Center for the Book, please visit www.readsc.org.

Apr 23, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Review – A Grotesque Legend of Old Charleston

By SC State Library intern, Andre Perez

In the story of “A Grotesque Legend of Old Charleston” by John Bennett there were parts of the story that could have many interpretations. There is a lot of color comparison in this book. In the story there is a mother that goes by the name of Madame Margot, who has a daughter named Gabriella. When being described in the story the mother is compared to her daughter. When describing the mother there are uses of dusk, peach and clay. Margot is from San Domingo and is described by using the words: orange-tawny, golden-russet, golden beauty, and Japonica-color. When describing the daughter there is porcelain, ebony hair, and ivory loveliness.

Madame Margot loved her daughter very much, but with that a fear was born. Gabriella was a beautiful girl and was very innocent of the way of life. Her mother feared that her beauty would cause her pain. Margot seems to want to do anything to protect her daughter from harm or any trouble.

In the introduction by Harlan Green, John Bennett’s life in South Carolina is told. Mr. Green goes into how Bennett moved here from New York, and married one of the natives of Charleston. He also talks about the reaction that the “A Grotesque Legend of Old Charleston” had on the upper class ladies in the presentation that he went to. He was shunned by society because they were insulted by his story. Mr. Green also comments that during the Civil War, Mr. Bennett was one of the only members of the upper-class white community that the blacks would negotiate with.

In the last part of the book, Mr. Bennett talks about his research for the legend. He talks about the location of the shop owned by Margot and her home. He could not find them, but described other places that were talked about in the story that are real places in Charleston. This legend is a true legend from Charleston.

 

Apr 19, 2013
Curtis Rogers

EXPERIENCE SOUTH CAROLINA FEST!

The Old Town Association, Dyer Hart Productions, Bonnie Wallsh Associates LLC & Brown & Brown Marketing are pleased to announce the 2nd annual “Experience South Carolina Fest” will take place on Saturday, August 31, 2013 from 4:30pm-9:30pm along Main Street in Rock Hill.

“Experience South Carolina Fest” will excite the senses & highlight the rich diversity of the music, food, people and the culture of South Carolina. The festival will come alive with the sounds of South Carolina from the Beach Music that will evoke a summer night’s shagging at the beach to R&B representing the region as well as Gospel music. Confirmed entertainment at the festival will include Plair All Stars and Front Line. In addition, you can enjoy the tastes of South Carolina’s regional cuisine representing key areas of the State. Fried fish, barbecue, fried chicken and turkey, sausage gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches, fried pickles, corn bread, peach cobbler, red velvet cake and assorted other Southern specialties are all on the menu along with South Carolina Craft Beers.

The Old Town Market will be an area at the festival where local farmers will sell their produce and local artisans will be selling their handmade art & crafts.

The festival will also feature a Literary Corner to showcase some of South Carolina’s own authors. We invite you to join us at The Literary Corner which will be one of the highlights of Experience South Carolina. We are inviting South Carolina authors and others who have written about South Carolina to join us by submitting an Experience SC literary form.

And of course there will be plenty of activities for children at the Kidz Zone with inflatables.

The festival is free to the public and everyone can feel a part of the lively festival celebrating South Carolina in the beautiful “Old Town District” of Rock Hill on Labor Day weekend.

The event is being produced by Dyer Hart Productions, Bonnie Wallsh Associates LLC and Brown & Brown Marketing (all local promoters) in partnership with The Old Town Association. Linda Dyer Hart is a resident of Tega Cay, SC, Carlondo Brown is a Rock Hill resident and Bonnie Wallsh is a resident of Charlotte. Contact: Bonnie Wallsh, CMP, CMM by telephone at 704 491 0921 or by e-mail at bwacmp@carolina.rr.com.

 

Apr 9, 2013
Abby Davis

Book Review-Forgotten Tales of South Carolina

By Abby Davis

In Forgotten Tales of South Carolina, Sherman Carmichael presents over one hundred bizarre stories that have taken place in South Carolina throughout the past few centuries. These quirky tales include UFO sightings, sonic booms, flying snakes, water monsters, strange lights, flying cows, headless ghosts forever searching for their heads, ghost brides in blood-spattered wedding dresses searching for their lovers, natural disasters, pirates, phantom hitchhikers, witches, and many more equally strange occurrences.

Carmichael, a native South Carolinian from Johnsonville, presents these already intriguing stories with an inquisitive enthusiasm that ignites the same curiosity in his audience. He says in the prologue, “South Carolina is rich in history, and along with history come mysteries and legends. Whether these stories are true or just campfire tales, they still hold our attention.” The tremendous story telling is accompanied by the humorous illustrations of Kyle McQueen. The artwork is very silly and manages to make the book an even more enjoyable reading experience.

Forgotten Tales shares an incredible amount of South Carolina history, much of which could not be found in classroom textbooks. Carmichael takes the reader on a journey outside of the box, providing a brilliant collection of stories that are both entertaining and educational. The book also gives exact locations and times for when and where various ghosts, bizarre lights, and more are said to appear throughout the state. Anyone that is intrigued by mystery or yearning to know more offbeat South Carolina history should certainly indulge in this quirky and enjoyable read.

Mar 29, 2013
Abby Davis

Book Review-Vanna Speaks

By Abby Davis

Vanna White became a household name for her looks, beautiful outfits, and impeccable letter turning capabilities.  However, after reading Vanna Speaks, it is clear that there is a lot more to this woman than what meets the eye while watching Wheel of Fortune.  Vanna grew up in North Myrtle Beach, and it is made evident throughout her book that she cherished her childhood there, and that she still considers it home.

Much of the book is spent illustrating her life in Los Angeles and her struggle to break into show business. The audience quickly learns that it was an arduous path filled with lots of small modeling jobs accompanied by waitressing jobs to pay the bills.  She was not simply cast as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune out of the blue as if it were a fairytale—and this is a point she seems to emphasize throughout the book.  Although she did ultimately have her dream come true, she had to work for it.

While she does tell of her glamorous lifestyle in Hollywood, much of the book actually takes place in North Myrtle Beach.  She writes about her junior high crushes and high school sweethearts, the diners that she worked at in the summers, the Sun Fun Festival that she competed in but never won, and much more.  Vanna makes it clear that North Myrtle Beach has always been very good to her.  The town even did a huge special release of her first film, Graduation Day, which included her name up on the marquee, and the newspaper proudly writing of their local movie star returning home.

Vanna does not hold back in this book at all, she shares very intimate stories from details of relationships and mistakes she has made to her mother’s heartbreaking struggle with cancer and the tragic death of her serious boyfriend.  She also shares answers to lots of frequent questions from fan mail, details regarding Wheel of Fortune, and her own personal dieting regime and beauty tips.

Vanna’s book is very interesting for a variety of reasons, but it can especially be appreciated as the tale of a South Carolina native making it big but never losing sight of where she came from.

Mar 20, 2013
Taylor Cheney

Featuring SC Children’s Literature: “Palmetto: Symbol of Courage” by Kate Salley Palmer

by Taylor Cheney

Kate Salley Palmer’s whimsical Palmetto: Symbol of Courage shares a simplified story of the Battle of Fort Moultrie (formerlly Fort Sullivan) while playfully explaining the significance of the Palmetto Tree which is deeply rooted in South Carolina history.

Dedicated to the young students of South Carolina, the short piece creates a timeline starting at 1776 with the attempted attack on the state by British troops and ends with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Each page contains an acrylic remake of the battle, complete with blue and red clad soldiers, including all the heavy hitters such as General Charles Lee and Colonel Moultrie, larger-than-life white sails, and the periwinkle tones of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Sullivan’s Island. The playful typeface is reminiscent of handwriting on a chalkboard, adds to the naivety of the intended audience. Published in 2005, all illustrations and text were hand drawn by the reader herself.

Yet, what is most impressive of Palmer’s story is how understandable she makes the Civil War and the Battle of Fort Moultrie, two incredibly prominent events in U.S. history, to a young reader. Gone are the stoic images of past Generals, with stuffy looking outfits and over-the-top whigs that faintly resemble the reader’s grandparents. There’s no confusing maps, or pages of long, intimidating text. While Palmetto should not be considered a primary text in teaching a student about early South Carolina origins because it does leave out some significant details and moves quickly, such as immediately jumping into the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the book is an acceptable starting point to get young children interested about how their country started.

In addition, it also provides an example for children to not give up on what they believe. For example, if it were not for Colonel Moultrie’s belief in building the fort out of Palmetto trees, even though many others were against the idea, the original colonies would have possibly been speaking very different accents. What readers can take away from this book is that they can be capable of anything, as long as they believe in their idea. They just won’t have a brigade of British troops firing at them. Hopefully.

Mar 5, 2013
Curtis Rogers

Library of Congress Literacy Awards

Reading and success are inextricably linked. Those who read well and widely throughout their lifetimes are much more likely to achieve success and satisfaction in life. Our nation was founded on the written word, and reading is fundamental to maintaining our dynamic democracy.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards is a new program that will recognize and support individuals and institutions in the United States and abroad that have made significant contributions to combating illiteracy and aliteracy (having the ability to read but simply not exercising the skill).

The literacy awards program is administered by the Library’s Center for the Book. Final selection of prize winners will be made by the Librarian of Congress, who will solicit recommendations from literacy experts on an Advisory Board.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards program is made possible through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, a major donor to Library of Congress programs, including its annual National Book Festival.

  • Read the press release about the Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

Beginning in 2013, three prizes will be awarded annually:

  • The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000), for a groundbreaking contribution to the sustained advancement of literacy by any individual or entity worldwide
  •  The American Prize ($50,000), for a project developed and implemented during the past decade with special emphasis on combating aliteracy
  • The International Prize ($50,000), for the work of an individual, nation or nongovernmental organization working in a specific country or region

Criteria for selection:

  • innovation
  • replicability
  • sustainability
  • measurable impact
  • demonstrated reliance on existing professional literature and applied practice

Who will be considered?

Individuals, institutions and organizations that are working to reduce illiteracy or aliteracy.

Individuals might include, but are not limited to:

  • Educators
  • Librarians
  • School media/technology specialists
  • Community leaders

Institutions, Nongovernmental and Nonprofit Organizations might include:

  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • Nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations such as literacy groups, museums, community-based programs, school or library organizations, foundations

How many award categories may be selected?

  • Individuals may apply or nominate in more than one award category, if appropriate. A separate application must be submitted for each award you apply for.

What do we want to know?

If you are nominating yourself, your organization, another individual or another organization for an award in recognition of groundbreaking, innovative and highly successful work in the field of literacy, describe:

  • the program or project in general
  • the specific elements of the program or project that address the criteria outlined above
  • the methods used to measure impact/success
  • the difference the program or project is making (provide quantifiable information)

Please note that we are especially interested in programs that are highly innovative and could be replicated by others.

Deadline:

All applications must be complete and received by midnight (in Washington, D.C.), April 15, 2013. You will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received.

Questions:

Please send all completed applications and inquiries to literacyawards@loc.gov

Feb 28, 2013
Abby Davis

Book Review-Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story

By Abby Davis

“When the daughter of Indian immigrants, who grew up in a small rural town in the segregated South, can become the first female and minority governor of her state and the youngest governor in the nation, then it’s clear that the American Dream still exists.”  This inspiring quote is one of Nikki Haley’s final comments in her autobiography published last April, Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story.

Her story begins with her parents immigrating to North America and ultimately moving to the small town of Bamberg, South Carolina where she was born.  They were the only Indian family there and she explains that they faced many initial hardships when neither side of a segregated town would accept them, since they were neither white nor black.  Her story miraculously ends, however, with her describing her first 250 days as governor of this very same state.

Through her detailed accounts of all the unbelievable obstacles she encountered on her path to the governor’s mansion, it becomes clear the only way she got there was by truly letting can’t never be an option.  She spends plenty of time illustrating the policies and practices she believes in—which revolve around “limited, responsible, transparent government”—and we see the truth of these statements reflected through her work in the House and now as governor.

This book also, however, allows the audience to see not just Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina—but to see and understand Nikki.  She reveals Nikki the grateful boss; Nikki who got giddy about meeting Sarah Palin; Nikki who likes to “get excited”; Nikki who celebrates with the Black Eyed Peas’ hit “I Gotta Feeling”; Nikki the caring mother; Nikki the loving wife; and Nikki who cares deeply about all South Carolinians.

Whether you support her political “Movement” or not, this book shares an incredible story that all South Carolinians can be proud of.  She frequently describes how incredibly proud she is of the progress that South Carolina has made and continues to make in overcoming bigoted, antiquated ideals of the past.  Nikki Haley herself is proof of the progress and her book does not just tell her triumphant story, but also tells a story of triumph for all of South Carolina.

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