31 January 2016

African-American Family History Program

The Beaufort District Collection (BDC) commemorates Black History Month with a special family history presentation on Saturday, February 6th beginning at 1 pm.

Be inspired! Experienced researchers Kimberly Morgan and Akosua Moore have had a banner year. A year ago they introduced us to Stephen Binyard and some of his many descendants. Since then the Edgerly Cemetery (where Stephen is buried) has gotten an historic marker with the full cooperation of the Marine Corps Air Station administration. AND they've played in the family history sandbox with the Big Boys. Dr. Skip Gates and the TV production company of Finding Your Roots were thrilled with the independent research they recently completed for a Finding Your Roots live event  [unfortunately, not televised or recorded for televising.] As Akosua put on her Facebook account:
"When a producer of your favorite show sends this in an email...."We had a call with Dr. Gates last night and thought you would both like to know that he was really impressed with the research. : ) ..." Kaboom!!!." 

On Saturday, Feb. 6th,  they update what they’ve learned about a former slave and his many descendants through family lore, government records, and library materials. They offer tips to help you get started uncovering your own roots. 
It is satisfying to know that our resources provided the impetus for a young woman to learn even more.  She came in asking about a lonely grave she stumbled upon near the Bachelor Officers Quarters at the Air Station in 2004 and came to our Research Room hoping to discover something about Stephen Binyard. She found this very terse obituary card in our files:

But it was enough to fuel her interest and oh! the places she's gone tracking down documents about this man and his descendants over the past 12 years.  

Trust me on this one, folks. Anyone who is interested in Black History, Civil War History, Reconstruction History, or Beaufort County's Local History will enjoy this program. The program is free but space is indeed limited. First come, first seated. Doors to our area on the 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street will open at 12:30 pm. Please join us.

25 January 2016

Another Big Read Update

We had a cozy group of attendees at our "Hurricanes of Beaufort's Past" program on Sat., Jan. 23rd. (It was a dismally cold day. The overcast conditions seemed rather appropriate for the gravitas of the topic.) Those attending saw and heard about some of the almost 100 hurricanes and tropical storms that have visited Beaufort County since 1852. We highlighted the Hurricanes of 1656, 1752, 1854, 1885, 1893, 1896, 1898, 1911, 1940, "Able," "Gracie," "David," "Hugo 'a- wimp-with-a-wallop'," "Earl" and "Floyd." (I really hadn't expected to find quite so many.)  
Looking at "Hurricanes" materials from the Research Room
The Big Read program continues this week with a Book Discussion Group at the Lobeco Branch Library, the final Storyboard Workshop at Beaufort Branch Library, and the closing days to see the Cassandra Gillens Art Exhibit at St. Helena Branch Library
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" Book Discussion at Lobeco, 1872 Trask Parkway, Thursday, Jan 28, 2016, 4:00pm – 5:00pm (The Reader's Guide has questions to ponder.)

Final Storyboard Workshop: Everybody has a story. What’s yours? Whether you’re a writer or not, let inimitable Joggling Board Press publisher and editor Susan Kammeraad-Campbell show you how to capture a moment of your life. No registration necessary. No writing experience necessary. Heck, she even supplies the pens and paper!
Event Location: Beaufort Branch Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC, 29902-5556
Date: Sat, Jan 30, 2016
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

And don't forget that the Cassandra Gillens Art Exhibit on display at St. Helena Branch Library closes Monday, February 1. Be sure to go see her vibrant work during the branch's regular hours of operation.

Event Location: St. Helena Branch Library, 6355 Jonathan Francis Sr. Road, St. Helena, SC, 29920
Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 – Mon, Feb 1, 2016

Please check out the full schedule of upcoming The Big Read events. There are plenty more enlightening, instructive and entertaining events and programs left to explore the themes in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

20 January 2016

The Big Read Continues: Hurricanes, Writing Workshops, and Art Exhibits

Everyone is on board for The Big Read.  Just take a look at what's happening on January 23rd!

I admit to a little bias about our contribution to The Big Read Project. Learn a bit about the "Spanish Repulse Hurricane," the Great Sea Island Storm, and 20th century hurricanes and tropical storms that caused death and destruction here in Beaufort County.(First come; first seated - no registration. Doors to the 2nd floor open at Noon-ish).

However, I know that hurricanes, death, and destruction do not appeal to everyone  - which is why I bring this wonderful opportunity to your attention:  

The inimitable Joggling Board Press publisher and editor Susan Kammeraad-Campbell is back to weave her magic - to help unleash the writer in you!  We know that storytelling is an integral part of what it means to be human. Our stories help us make sense of our world. They tell us who we were, who we are and who we can be. As Ursula K. Le Guin has attested: “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”

You may recall that Kammeraad-Campbell did several memoir writing workshops for the BDC a few years ago in connection with the publication of the national award-winning memoir, The Other Mother by Teresa Bruce. Kammeraad-Campbell drew on techniques she designed while guiding Bruce to access memories and render them through her senses in her workshops. Bruce describes her experience working with Susan in this Charleston City Paper article.  

Post-workshop survey responses were resoundingly enthusiastic:

  • “Writer’s workshops in a public library setting are a necessary and non-judgmental arena to develop;” 
  • “The workshop made me want to write more and to approach writing as a craft;” 
  •  “This workshop changed my perception on the diversity and validity of other’s viewpoints;” 
  • “This workshop empowered me ‘to be me’;” and, several one word critiques: 
  • “Cathartic;”
  •  “Therapeutic,” and 
  • “Inviting.” 
Perhaps most telling, one participant said: “The public library is an inclusive setting where judgment is held at bay. The interaction with the other writers made me feel validated.” If you have any writing aspirations at all, you would be crazy (yes, I wrote "crazy!") not to take advantage of this opportunity to learn at the feet (well, table) of a master editor.

If you can't make the January 23rd session at St. Helena Branch at 1 pm, then be sure to catch the final installment at Beaufort Branch on Saturday, January 30th. No registration necessary. No writing experience necessary. Heck, she even supplies the pens and paper!

And don't forget to enjoy the artwork of Cassandra Gillens on display at St. Helena Branch Library through February 27 during regular library hours. Her work decorates our Library system newsletter, too.

We've have a list of all The Big Read programs and activities at http://www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/the-big-read so you can pick and choose among a variety of options available to help you understand and appreciate one of more aspects of Their Eyes Were Watching God by  Zora Neale Hurston.  

11 January 2016

"Hurricanes in Beaufort's Past": The Big Read

The Big Read project is underway featuring Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God originally published in 1937. If you've read Hurston's novel, you'll know that the hurricane out on the Muck set in motion a series of events that changed Janie Crawford's life forever.

The BDC’s contribution to the Big Read project is an introduction to the many “Hurricanes of Beaufort’s Past.” The Historical Hurricane Tracks website indicates that almost 100 hurricanes and tropical storms have struck within 65 nautical miles of Beaufort SC since 1852, some causing great   impacted on the subsequent course of Beaufort District's history from colonial times to the present. Even if you've attended one of my presentations about the Great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893, there'll be plenty of new information to share and some truly nifty BDC materials to see. Attendees will get to see some photographs, scrapbooks, and pamphlets from our storage area that seldom are put on display, covering  the Great Sea Island Hurricane of 1893, the unnamed 1940  hurricane and Hurricane Gracie (1959).

Please join us for: 
Hurricanes of Beaufort's Past | Sat., Jan. 23, 2016 at 1 pm | Beaufort District Collection (2nd floor, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort SC 29902)

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Beaufort County Library system is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Schedule Adjustment: We regret that the Research Room will be closed Thursday, Jan. 14th due to lack of staff.  

27 December 2015

Research Room Schedule Changes in January

We listened to answers in the community survey as to their preferred hours of operation, talked to staff and looked at statistical data to determine that four branches and one department of the Beaufort County Library System will introduce new hours effective January 2, 2016.

The Library Board of Trustees approved the revised hours at their November 18th meeting.

The Beaufort District Collection, the special local history collection and archives department of the Library System, will be increasing public service hours by 8 hours each week:
Beaufort District Collection
Mondays 9 am to 5 pm
Thursdays 9 am to 5 pm
Fridays 9 am to 3 pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays remain by advance appointment only. Call 843-255-6468 or e-mail gracec@bcgov.net to make an appointment.

There will not be an increase in operating hours at any of the branches. The Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head branches will remain at 50 operating hours per week -  though the hours of operation will get a new configuration:

Beaufort Branch Library Hours
Monday 9 AM - 7PM
Tuesday 9 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday 9 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 9 AM - 6 PM
Friday 9 AM - 3 PM
Saturday 9 AM - 3 PM
Sunday Closed 

Bluffton Branch Library Hours
Monday 10 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 10 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 10 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 7 PM
Friday 10 AM - 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday Closed

Hilton Head Branch Library Hours
Monday 9 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday 9 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 9 AM - 6 PM
Thursday 9 AM - 8 PM
Friday 1 PM - 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday Closed

St. Helena will remain at 40 operating hours per week - though some of the hours are shifted to align with results of the community survey:

St Helena Branch Hours
Monday 11 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 11 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 11 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 11 AM - 3 PM
Friday 11 AM - 6 PM
Saturday 11 AM - 4 PM
Sunday Closed

The Lobeco Branch Library’s hours will remain the same for now. Community preferences and statistical data indicated that the hours at this location remain suitable.

Lobeco Branch Hours (No changes)
Monday 11 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday 11 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday 11 AM - 6 PM
Thursday 11 AM - 6 PM
Friday 11 AM - 5 PM
Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM
Sunday Closed

All units of the Beaufort County Library will close at 5 pm on New Year's Eve and remain closed Friday, January 1st.

Please make a New Year's Resolution to use your Beaufort County Library often and well during 2016 - and in subsequent years to come.  With Hoopla, our subscription databases, and our printed, audio, and e-books, movies, music, and more - getting a free Library card just might be your best financial move ever!