By Sen. Kent Williams
A Friend of the Library is a group of volunteers. This is a non-profit organization working to promote libraries through book sales and other fundraising events. Ultimately, they promote a celebration of books and a love of reading. South Carolina has over twenty library headquarters with more than one hundred branches and several bookmobiles. Millions of people visit our libraries each year.
Becoming a Friend of the Library is an opportunity to get involved and support your local library. Show support by helping to raise the public’s awareness of the many services, beyond checking out books, that the library offers. In South Carolina, there are several Friend of the Library groups and members. Support your library and this non-profit by becoming a Friend of the Library.
According to the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world, libraries:
– Empower the individual. Whether developing skills to succeed in school, looking for a job, exploring possible careers or planning retirement, people of all ages turn to libraries for instruction, support and access to computers and other resources to help them lead better lives.
– Support literacy and lifelong learning. Many children and adults learn to read at their school and public libraries via story times, research projects, summer reading, tutoring and other opportunities.
– Strengthen families. Families find a comfortable, welcoming space and a wealth of resources to help them learn, grow and play together.
– Are the great equalizer. For many people, libraries provide resources that they could not otherwise afford – resources they need to live, learn, work and govern.
– Help us to better understand each other. People from all walks of life come together at libraries to discuss issues of common concern. Libraries provide programs, collections, and meeting spaces to help us share and learn from our differences.
We, in the General Assembly, are friends of libraries. Each year, in the state budget, the General Assembly allocates money to aid local libraries along with the funding they receive from local government. Contact your local library, find out how you can help and become a “Friend!”
As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 608 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6000 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 1305 North Main Street, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at [email protected] csenate.gov. My business phone is (843) 423-3904. Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.