Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays!!

It's gotten cold today -- and it finally feels like Christmas!

Please remember that the Abbeville Library System will be closed starting tomorrow (Friday the 22nd). We will reopen with regular hours on Wednesday, December 27.

Thanks to all those who have made a point to wish us the joys of the season. Some of you baked cookies, some of you sent cards, and some of you simply took a second to wish us well. Thank you!

And to all our library friends and patrons: Happy Holidays -- and thanks for the many ways you make our jobs fun and useful all through the year!

--Mary Eliz.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Get out the popcorn . . .

Tired of shopping? wrapping? writing cards? making cookies? Get out the popcorn, put your feet up, and check out some of our new movies:

Enemy at the Gates with Joseph Fiennes, Jude Law, and Ed Harris

Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeanne Tripplehorn

Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale

A Simple Plan with Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton

Cars from the Pixar studio

and more! Come by, check out a video or DVD, and take a break from the holiday whirl for a couple of hours ---

--Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Ornaments and Happy Holidays

Every year, Wright Middle School sells Christmas ornaments which depict one of the buildings in Abbeville -- the courthouse, Trinity Church, and other well-known spots. We're pleased that the Abbeville Library has been chosen as the 2006 ornament! Ornaments may be purchased for $8.00 at the library and proceeds go to support Wright Middle School. So go on -- get in the spirit -- and put a little of the library on your tree this year!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not just in the library . . .

People are often surprised at how much of the 'library' actually goes on outside of the library buildings. Just this morning, for example, library staff could be found discussing education in Abbeville County with community leaders -- a meeting put on by the state's Education Oversight Committee.

Then, later this morning, the library was represented at the Abbeville senior center, reading a holiday story and describing the resources the library offers seniors.

And, of course, we have people throughout the county using the library's services online: through the website, through databases like Heritage Quest, on the blog and on our myspace.

We still love for you to come in, browse the shelves, and hang out. But the library goes far beyond our four walls -- and we wouldn't want it any other way!

--Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Booksale time again!

It's the most wonderful time of the year --- it's booksale time!! The Friends of the Library will be holding their booksale this Saturday (Dec. 2) from 10 - 1.

A brown grocery bag will be provided to each person -- fill it with books for $5.00. Paperbacks, hardcovers, fiction, non-fiction, kids books, biography -- whatever you like.

So. . . to recap . . .

What? The Friends of the Library booksale

When? This Saturday (Dec 2)

Where? The basement of the Abbeville Library (just follow the signs around to the back of the building)

Why? Because you love to read -- because you love a bargain -- because you love to help the library -- and because there's nothing more fun than roaming the stacks, searching for that perfect volume --

See you there!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Where have all the blogs gone?

Been missing the library blog? Sorry about that, but I have a really, really good excuse -- vacation! Just so you don't think I forgot all about the dewey decimal system while I was gone, rest assured:

That's me checking out the stacks at the Bermuda National Library.

Regular blogging begins again tomorrow!

--Mary Elizabeth

Friday, November 03, 2006


Bookapalooza, a special night sponsored by the Teen Advisory Group, was held Wednesday night at the Abbeville Library. Bookapalooza was a chance for teens to come hang out at the library, eat pizza, check out materials, use the computers, and visit with friends.
Judging by the laughter, the noise, and the empty pizza boxes, everyone had a great time (staff included!)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Goblins and ghosties and gremlins. . . oh my!

The Abbeville Library was overrun this morning with firefighters, walking pumpkins, witches, superheroes, and even a princess or two. It was time once again for the annual Halloween Party! We read fun, spooky stories, made a Halloween craft, and even Trick-or-Treated around the library. Happy Halloween!

The Abbeville Woman's Club supports the library system

There was laughter, there was conversation, there were cupcakes. Why? Because the Abbeville Woman's Club held its October meeting last night at the Abbeville Library.

The club, which has a long history of service to the library system, is adding a new twist: Members of the club will now be "adopting a shelf" at the libraries, helping to ensure that materials are where they should be. In the same way that groups adopt a highway, these club members will be checking their assigned areas, on the lookout for stray or misplaced materials.

This will be a big help to our library staff. Another plus: I bet the volunteers will find books they themselves will want to check out!

Thanks to the Abbeville Woman's Club for, once again, making time to help our organization!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Popular authors on the new bookshelf

Many of you have been awaiting the new novels by Danielle Steel and/or Nicholas Sparks. Well, wait no more: Steel's HRH and Sparks' Dear John are both now available! Prefer the new novel by Anna Quindlen? or Perri O'Shaughnessy? No problem -- we've got those, too!

See you soon at the new book display . . .

--Mary Elizabeth

Sharon Draper visits Abbeville

Today's visit by teen author Sharon Draper was definitely a success. 450 teens and adults filled the Opera House to hear Draper, a well-known author and educator. Many Abbeville High School students had read her books in class, so they were particularly excited to hear the author speak.

Draper's books include Tears of a Tiger, Forged by Fire, and Darkness before Dawn (yes, all available from the library system!)

Photos to follow soon!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New this week . . .

What's new?

The new Stephen King novel, Lisey's Story, is "perhaps King's most personal and powerful novel: What begins as a widow's effort to sort through the papers of her celebrated husband becomes a nearly fatal journey into the darkness he inhabited"

Joyce Carol Oates has just published Black Girl/White Girl, a novel in which the protagonist recounts the "mysterious, violent, terrible death" suffered by her college roommate in 1975. Black Girl/White Girl is "a searing double portrait of 'black' and 'white', of race and civil rights in post-Vietnam America, captured by one of the most important literary voices of our time."

Come on in -- and check 'em out!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Numbers to make you say "WOW"

I spent some time yesterday afternoon pulling together some statistics. We all know that use at the libraries is way up -- you've seen it every time you come in and see the computers full, the new books being checked out, the children at storytime. But, of course, beyond the anecdotal "we're so much busier than we used to be" approach, I need the numbers that back it up. And boy oh boy, have we got numbers!!

Check this out:

In fiscal year 2003, we circulated 26,952 items (an average of 73 items per day).

This has increased each year, and

In fiscal year 2006, we circulated 62,391 items (an average of 171 items per day).

Yes, circulation has more than doubled in the past three years! We are now circulating more items out of the Abbeville branch than we did three years ago in all three libraries combined!

But wait -- there's more . . .

This is the data I had to check, then double-check, then triple-check because, well, WOW --

In fiscal year 2004, there were 1,872 computer sessions by patrons

In fiscal year 2006, there were 11,998 sessions.

Yeah, you read that right -- in two years, our computer use is up 600 percent!! The technology explosion is not a myth.

I'm thrilled to know that you are using our services, and I know those numbers will keep going up and up --

--Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Expanded Hours in Donalds and Calhoun Falls!

This week, I'm most excited about our new hours at the branch libraries.

The new hours in Calhoun Falls are:

10-2 and 3-6 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
3-8 on Tuesdays
10-2 and 3-5 on Fridays
and 2-5 on Sundays

This will allow for after-school use of the library every day, and I know that this will be a real boon to patrons!

In Donalds, the new hours are:

10-1 and 2-8 on Mondays
10-1 and 2-5 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
and 2-5 on Fridays and Saturdays.

This new schedule adds more a.m hours in Donalds.

And what will our next improvement be? Coming later this month, look for new computers at both Donalds and Calhoun Falls!

Come see what your library can do for you!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The cure for the common bookshelf

Shelves overcrowded? Books falling on your head? Think you need to move to a bigger house? Instead, why not donate your gently used books (those you can stand to part with) to the library book sale? Bring them by the headquarters library in Abbeville anytime we're open. Then you'll have space for the new ones you're going to get at the next Bag-of-Books Sale on Saturday, December 2 (Olde South Christmas weekend).

Curious about last week's sale? We sold more than 100 bags of books, bringing the Friends a total of $520.

Thanks to all who came out!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What's new?

What's new? The long-awaited new novel by Charles Frazier! It's Thirteen Moons, "the story of one man's remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change." Loved Cold Mountain? Give Thirteen Moons a try!

Also new this week:

Stuart Woods' new novel, Short Straw: "Set in the shimmering heat of the desert Southwest, Short Straw marks the return of the six-foot-seven-inch take-no-prisoners Santa Fe lawyer Ed Eagle, in a complex thriller that delivers the kind of sexy, fast-paced suspense that readers have come to expect from Stuart Woods."

We've got lots of new audio books, on both cassette and CD. New children's books and videos in this week, too.

Come check it out!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Oops! I thought I'd brought that back. . .

It's that sinking feeling in your stomach. A library book, video, or CD that you were just SURE you'd returned -- expect that there it is, on your own bookshelf. Or it's the children's book you borrowed when your grandchildren came to visit -- only it somehow ended up under the passenger seat of your car.

It happens all the time, and it is, thankfully, one of the more easily solved of life's problems. You return the item, pay that dreaded fine, and all is well.

And what is that fine? 10 cents per item per day.

Often, this results in a small amount. One book kept one week late = 70 cents. Not so bad. Even 3 books kept one week late = 2.10. Still not too steep.

Sometimes, however, even a mere 10 cents can add up. 15 picture books out on one child's card, another 12 on another child's, a few novels and videos on your own card -- and pretty soon, those fines can really add up.

How to avoid such a scenerio? Remember, for starters, that you can always renew items if you need them longer. This can be done easily on the library website, Click on "My Account," enter your library card number and your 4 number PIN (you need to get this the first time from the library -- just call us and we'll set it up for you in a quick minute).

Or do it the old fashioned way -- call us and ask that we renew your materials. We'll do it right over the phone. FYI: the only materials we can't renew are those which are on hold for someone else. Any other materials, including DVDs, videos, and CDs, can be renewed one time.

To make this even easier, we've recently revamped the system for overdue notices. Once you have an item which is two weeks overdue, we will send you an overdue notice. This, obviously, costs the library both staff time and postage -- but I think that it will be worth it, because it's important that we get our materials back as soon as possible. And it's in your best interests, too, since an overdue charge for an item two weeks overdue is a lot easier to handle than a larger one!

Besides, who knows what other treasures you might find under that passenger seat!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Good news about grants

This spring, at career day at Cherokee Trail elementary school, one little boy asked me how we PAID for all those books -- the wide-eyed look left no question that he thought that I, personally, had to pull out my wallet every time we needed a new volume.

Luckily -- VERY luckily!! -- the library offerings don't depend on my personal savings. Rather, we get our funds from three major sources: the county, the state, and grants.

This fiscal year, which began for the library system on July 1, promises to be a particularly good one for us. County Council increased our operating budget, which will allow us to buy many more books and other materials than last year. In addition, the state allocated lottery funds for library use, another increase from last year. Without county and state funding, we could not operate, and I sincerely thank all those who voted to increase library support.

The library system has also secured several grants this year:

-- a $25,000 Library Services and Technology Act grant, which will support programs and purchase computers, Internet access, books, and audiovisuals for the libraries and for the Abbeville County First Steps Learning Bus
. Funds from this grant will not only bring the Learning Bus to the library for programs, it will also allow library outreach programs to travel to the more remote areas of the county.

-- a $14,000 Public Access Hardware Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This grant will allow us to replace older computers at the Donalds library and to increase the number of patron computers in Calhoun Falls.

These funds will allow us to improve our offerings of adult books, children's books, and audiovisuals, as well as to update and expand our computers for patrons. Thanks to county and state support, and to grant supporters like LSTA and the Gates Foundation, we can answer that little boy's question with a big smile!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

First Post

Welcome to the new weblog of the Abbeville County Library System. Add this site to your favorites or bookmarks and check back often for news and events!