For the seventh year we will be participating in the South Carolina State Library’s annual “Storyfest SC” the state-wide kick-off for the 2017 Summer Reading Program.  This year they will be honoring two children’s book authors:

Rita Williams-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of novels for young readers including the multi-award winning One Crazy Summer series featuring the Gaither Sisters. She has been awarded the Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award for each book in the One Crazy Summer series, and has been twice-named a National Book Award Finalist. Ms. Williams-Garcia is living her life-long dream of training in the art of boxing at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York. She is the mother of two adult daughters and she resides in Queens with her husband Fred.

Sophie Blackall has illustrated over 30 books for children, including the New York Times best-selling series, Ivy and Bean and most recently, The Witches of Benevento with John Bemelmans Marciano. She was awarded the 2016 Caldecott medal for her book Finding Winnie and has received four New York Times Best Picture Book Awards. Originally from Australia, she lives in New York and shares a studio in an old garment factory in Brooklyn with four other illustrators and teetering piles of books.

We will be participating at the festival, being held at the State Museum, by volunteering and helping herd the crowds.  In previous years we have had good participation from our own Lee County Patrons and I hope we will have more this year.  This is a great family day with presentations, theater, storytelling, crafts, face painting and visits from literary friends.  (Think Cocky and Clemson Tiger here!)  All events are free and open to the public.  So, mark your calendar for June 3rd and plan to join us at the State Museum!

 We will be kicking off our own 2017 Summer Reading Program the week of May 28th.  Sign-up will begin then, and will continue for two weeks.  Our official program begins on June 9th with our annual visit to Ranger Laura Kirk at the Lee State Park.  We have been communing with Laura for years  and she always has a great program that ties into the theme of the Summer Reading Program.  This year’s theme is “Build a Better World” and we have lots of interesting programming stressing that theme.  As always, our Summer Reading Program is free and open to the public of Lee County.  We hope you can join us.  If you have questions just call the library or come down and ask for Brenda or Elizabeth.

MAY 20, 2017

Well, it’s finally here!!!  The roll out of the 2017 Summer Reading Program!  Yay!  The theme this year is “Build a Better World’ so we have designed each program to enrich the theme.  Here are some important dates:  May 30th to June 5th is the sign up period and on June 9th we will have our kick off at the Lee State Park at 10:00AM.  At that time our friend, Ranger Laura Kirk, will conduct on of her famous field trips and then we will have lunch in the pavilion.  Over the years, this has become one of the most popular programs.  What’s no to love – a day in the fresh air and sunshine and then lunch!!  Laura’s field trip will emphasize:  “Wildlife in our World - The best way to start making the world a better place is learning more about it.  At Lee State Park, we are going to learn more about wildlife that live in South Carolina.   Be prepared to use your observation skills as we look for animals, both big and small.”  We look forward to seeing Laura and spending the day learning about our world. 

 Through the course of the summer we will have seven other programs with arts, crafts, live theater and magic.  We are really looking forward to seeing “our kids” return and welcoming new youngsters to the program.  This year we will start rolling out a new software program that will allow parents to enroll and track the children’s progress on line!  Yay two!!  I have been test driving this software and I hope to get a percentage of our parents enrolled.  For those unable to access the website, we will continue with our traditional tracking via paper trail.   

MAY 26, 2017

June is bustin' out all over
The feelin' is gettin' so intense,
That the young Virginia creepers
Have been huggin’ the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin’ glories on the fence!
Because it’s June…

Rodgers and Hammerstein

News!  Excitement!  New partnerships!  It is all good at the library this month.  We are right in the middle of our sign up period for the 2017 Summer Reading Program.  We are hoping for a record for this year’s program.  The kick off will be June 9th at the Lee State Park at 10:00 AM  At that time our friend, Ranger Laura Kirk, will conduct on of her famous field trips and then we will have lunch in the pavilion.  Over the years, this has become one of the most popular programs.  What’s no to love – a day in the fresh air and sunshine and then lunch. 
On June 15th we will be hosting an art class at the “Accidental Artist” studio on Main Street in downtown Bishopville.  This is where the new partnership comes in.  The Lee County Arts Council is sponsoring an Art Show for children the week of June 19-23.  The art will be displayed at the Bishopville Opera House that week and will be featured at the Arts Council annual meeting on June 22nd.  The deadline for submissions is June 17th, so our young artists will be able to participate!!  Please support the Arts Council they have been valuable assets to the community and have supported the library for many years.  Visit the Opera House during the week of June 19th-23rd and check out the local talent.  

June 14, 2017

Cloudless blue skies, gentle breezes and temperatures in the 70’s – how could you ask for a better day?  Well, you could go out to the Lee County State Park and walk around to enjoy nature.  That is exactly what the 2017 Lee County Summer Reading Program did to kick off the summer!  We gathered out at the park’s education center where our intrepid park ranger and pal, Laura Kirk introduced herself and the days program.  The theme this summer is “Build a Better World” and Laura pointed out that  to help build a better world you should be aware of the existing world.  With that we all trooped down to the pond where we extracted small and microscopic creatures.  (It’s great to be near the water on a warm summer day!)  We then headed back to the education building where Laura examined and presented our specimens under the electron microscope. 

I have mentioned over the years how impressed I am with our summer readers.  They are super attentive and ask the most interesting questions.  One question was why some aquatic mites have blue legs.  Laura admitted not knowing (gasp!) so I googled the question and we all discovered that they come in different colors and it has nothing to do with sex or age or anything.  I have to admit that this kind of stuff fascinates me.  We then adjourned to the shelter to have lunch.  Pizza, water, snacks and cookies were shared and enjoyed by all.  All and all it was a great day – the next day Laura wrote me and told me that some of the readers stayed at the park until after 4:00 o’clock.  That seems to me to indicate a success!!  Thanks Laura and all the parents who bring their youngsters to our programs.  

June 21, 2017

​Wednesday we participated in the SC Plants the Seed Program.  Farmers, librarians, and state employees are banding together to launch the SC Plants the Seed program, providing fresh produce to people across South Carolina. The goals of SC Plants the Seed are to promote early literacy and lifelong learning, to increase awareness about locally farmed produce, to provide lower income and rural populations the chance to buy healthier foods, and to educate residents about safe food preparation and storage. Public libraries, in partnership with the South Carolina State Library, Department of Social Services, Department of Health and Environmental Control, and local farmers, will provide training on nutritional foods and free children’s books to all SC Plants the Seed attendees.

We also had an Art Class at the Accidental Artist on Thursday.  All the Summer Readers met down at the “Blue Moon Studio” where owner/artist Susan Ciotti showed them and assisted them in making individual canvases.  The canvases will be on display this week at the Bishopville Opera House.  The Lee County Arts Council is holding an art contest for junior artists so all of our summer readers are entered.  Please visit the Opera House and take the time to appreciate the local talent.  


Lee County Public Library