Darlington County Honors Friends of the Library

The Darlington County Library System celebrates the sixth annual National Friends of Libraries Week during the week of October 21st thought the 27th by honoring our Friends of the Library groups in Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar, and Society Hill.  Across the county, the Library has over 300 dedicated Friends who contribute thousands of hours annually as volunteers helping with programs and fundraising efforts.

Earlier this month, the Darlington County Council recognized each of the four Library’s Friends groups with a proclamation designating the week of October 21st as National Friends of the Library Week, noting that our Friends “highlight the fact that our Library is the cornerstone of the community providing opportunities for all” and “their gift of their time and commitment to the library sets an example for all in how volunteerism leads to positive civic engagement and the betterment of our community.”  Each Friends group was presented a copy of the proclamation by Chairman Billy Baldwin.  The County Council urges everyone to join their local Friends of the Library and thank them for all they do to make our library and community so much better.

The work of our Friends is not only recognized here in Darlington County, but also across the state. The Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL) recognized Faye Griffin, one of our dedicated Friends from the Lamar branch, by awarding her the 2012 Outstanding Individual Award for her “support and advancement of the mission of the state’s public libraries.”   She demonstrated her devotion to libraries by spearheading the formation of the Friends of the Lamar Library, successfully advocating and securing funding for a new library building in Lamar, and successfully leading later efforts to improve and expand the library’s grounds and facilities.

Another Darlington County resident, State Senator Gerald Malloy, was presented FOSCL’s Outstanding Public Official Award which recognizes outstanding public officials who have promoted libraries through legislation, funding efforts, or who have shown support for libraries in some other purposeful manner. Senator Malloy has a considerable track record in actively assisting public libraries.  He has led the cause to channel much needed state lottery funds to public libraries.  Recently, he was responsible for securing $250,000 in funds from the state budget as well as advocating for $800,000 in local funding for the new Society Hill Branch Library which was completed in July 2011.  Senator Malloy’s longstanding commitment to the mission of public libraries in South Carolina has been a decisive factor in the efforts to provide successful service to the people of his district, the 29th, and the state over the past decade.

“Our Friends are what make many things possible at our libraries,” said library director Jimmie Epling.  “Each Friends group is fantastic.  Lamar’s and Society Hill’s Friends helped make the wonderful facilities we have in those communities a reality.  The Hartsville and Darlington Friends have helped make their libraries special.  The ideas, work, and fundraising our Friends provide make the level and quality of the services and programs we provide possible.”  Each group is made up of friendly, welcoming and dedicated people.  All those with a love of libraries and their community are encouraged to join their local Friends group which is dedicated to fostering closer relations between the libraries and the communities they serve through volunteering, raising funds, promoting library programs, and making suggestions for library use and services.

Each branch of the Darlington County Library System has its own Friends organization.  Membership is open to the public.  Anyone may join by paying a small yearly membership fee.  Your local library will have membership forms.  Contact the Friends group nearest you by calling the Darlington Branch at 398-4940, the Hartsville Branch at 332-5115, the Lamar Branch at 326-5524, or the Society Hill Branch at 378-0026.

You can never have too many Friends.  Join the Friends of the Library nearest you today and become a part of something special, creating a fantastic library in your community!

The Darlington County Library System has location in Darlington, Hartsville, Lamar, and Society Hill.  For more information, contact Director Jimmie Epling at 843.398.4940, Ext. 303 or by email at jepling@darcosc.com.