28 May 2015

Meet the New Beaufort County Library Director



The Beaufort County Library welcomed its new director, Ray McBride, on May 4th. Mr. McBride brings with him a storied background that includes years of public library administration and military service.

McBride began his career in the United States Army in 1971 and after decades of service, retired as Command Sergeant Major, Military Intelligence. During his service, he lived and worked over a decade in Germany and two years in Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for exceptionally meritorious service. 

McBride’s library career began after his retirement from the Army, where in 1997 he joined the Darlington County Library system as Systems Administrator/Reference Librarian. There he managed the automated library system and was responsible for the training, installation, maintenance and repair of its computers and servers, as well as managing staff and facilitating technology training to the public.

After Darlington, he joined the Greenville (SC) County Library system in 2000 as Information Technology Manager where he supervised technology staff, computers and servers in one of the largest library systems in SC.  Shortly after, he was promoted to Operations and Information Technology Manager where he also served as Project Manager for all new library construction (five branches).

From 2007-2013, McBride served as the Executive Director of the Florence, SC County Library System where he was responsible for managing six branch libraries and served as Project Manager for the construction of four branch libraries and one community center. 

In 2013, he became the Executive Director of the Lake City (SC) Community Museum Society, Inc., where for two years, he managed a 501(C)3 non-profit organization dedicated to establishing and maintaining museum facilities and programs for art, agriculture, and history which included the National Bean Market, Jones-Carter Gallery and Lynches Lake Historical Society.  He also coordinated the Pee Dee Regional National History Day Competition, ArtFields® and the Lake City Farmers Market. 

He has served as Chairman of the SC LENDS Consortium Executive Board (2009-2011), President of the SC Association of Public Library Administrators (2009-2010), President of the Public Library Section of the South Carolina Library Association (1999-2001), and President of the Darlington County Historical Society (1999-2001). He has served on many Boards, including the Florence County Museum Board of Directors, the Lake City Partnership Council Board of Directors, the Lake City Community Foundation Board of Directors, the Ronald E. McNair Foundation Board of Directors, and currently serves as a member of the Scarecrow Press Library Board.

McBride holds a Bachelor of Science in History (Magna Cum Laude) from Campbell University and a Masters Degree of Library and Information Science from North Carolina Central University. He received the Lyrasis Excellence Award (2010) and was named South Carolina Librarian of the Year in 2009.

Each of the five branch libraries of the Beaufort County Library have planned Meet and Greet sessions with Director McBride. These sessions are open to the public and are sponsored by the Friends of the Library at each branch. Dates and times are as follows:

Hilton Head Branch: June 4th, 11:00am – 12 noon
11 Beach City Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29926

Lobeco Branch: June 8th, 11:00am - 12 noon
1862 Trask Parkway, Lobeco, SC 29931

St. Helena Branch: June 9th, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
6355 Jonathan Francis Sr. Rd, St. Helena, SC 29920

Beaufort Branch: June 10th, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29906

Bluffton Branch: June 11th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton, SC 29910

You'll notice that he doesn't have a Meet & Greet scheduled for the Beaufort District Collection.  We serve anyone over age 12 who is interested in delving deeper into Beaufort's long and storied history regardless of their home library. Therefore, feel free to tell him how much you appreciate and value the services offered through this department at any - or all - of the Meet & Greets.

26 May 2015

BDC Program on Wednesday



"AERIAL LiDAR AND ARCHAEOLOGY of MONT REPOSE AND COTTON HALL INLAND RICE PLANTATIONS” Wednesday, May 27, 6 pm | Beaufort District Collection | Ages 12 to Adult

Learn about how aerial LiDAR assists historical and archaeological research with Matt Newberry. See additional artifacts from Mont Repose explained by Lilith Logan who will do her best to tell you more about any artifacts you bring along for identification, too. Maximum of 50 spots, first come, first seated.

Both Newberry and Logan are graduate students at Georgia Southern University. We are grateful for the support of the Beaufort Chapter, Archaeological Society of South Carolina in co-sponsoring the exhibit and lecture. Come, if you're interested in the topic. Both are free. No registration necessary.

Don't forget! The "Heart of the Home" exhibit will be open Wed., May 27th an extra hour, that is, 10 am to 6 pm - when the program begins. Don't miss your chance to participate in another fine instructive and enlightening experience brought to you by the Library system's special local history collection and archives unit, the Beaufort District Collection.  

REMINDER: There will be no access to the BDC Research Room from June 4 - June 10. 

PS: I couldn't find a photograph of Lilith online.

24 May 2015

Memorial Day in Beaufort

While the Library is closed on Memorial Day, you can read an excellent summary of how Memorial Day was celebrated in Beaufort County through the years written by former Preservation Associate Amber Shorthouse. Memorial Day began as Decoration Day to honor the graves of the Union dead. The Union used Port Royal, Hilton Head, and St. Helena islands as a hub of their Atlantic coast activities and a center for hospitals. When there are hospitals of wounded soldiers and sailors, there are usually some associated deaths and burials nearby. The Beaufort National Cemetery dates from this era. Read more about the local traditions of Memorial Day in this 22 May 2008 Connections post.

Regular hours in the Library system resume Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Heads up: There will be no access to the BDC Research Room June 4 - 10.  

21 May 2015

Heart of the Home Exhibit & Lecture



We're in the final weeks of "Heart of the Home" an exhibit about what Georgia Southern University staff and students uncovered at Mont Repose Plantation near Coosawhatchie in present-day Jasper County. The exhibit ends June 12th. Visit it Mondays through Fridays, 10 am to 5 pm in the 2nd floor lobby at 311 Scott Street, just outside the BDC Research Room door. (See below for special hours on Wed., May 27th). The exhibit and lecture are co-sponsored by Georgia Southern University, Beaufort Chapter, ASSC and the BDC.


 
Perhaps you should think in turns of a "Heritage Date." We're keeping the 2nd floor open an hour later than usual on Wednesday, May 27 to 10 am to 6 pm so that you can see the exhibit before the lecture begins. View the exhibit. Listen to the lecture. Bring objects to be identified. Then go out for your favorite foods and/or beverages in one of the many restaurants nearby. It would make for an instructive, enlightening, and entertaining evening at low cost since the exhibit, lecture, and identification session are all free.


"AERIAL LiDAR AND ARCHAEOLOGY of MONT REPOSE AND COTTON HALL INLAND RICE PLANTATIONS” Wednesday, May 27, 6 pm | Beaufort District Collection | Ages 12 to Adult

Learn about how aerial LiDAR assists historical and archaeological research with Matt Newberry. See additional artifacts from Mont Repose explained by Lilith Logan who will do her best to tell you more about any artifacts you bring along for identification, too. Maximum of 50 spots, first come, first seated.


Reminders: The Library system is closed Monday, May 25 to observe Memorial Day. There will be no access to the BDC from June 4 - June 10.

20 May 2015

Library Hours of Operation, for now ...

You may have read the local media. The schedule in effect today is to remain in effect for at least the next 90 days while the new Library Director, Ray McBride, considers the best next steps to move Beaufort County Library forward.
  • As is traditional, the Library system and almost all other County departments, will be closed Monday, May 25 to observe Memorial Day. 
  • In addition, the BDC Research Room will be closed June 4 - June 10 due to insufficient Library staff to substitute in this department while I am away on a long delayed vacation. 
  • System-wide the Library will be closed on Fri., July 3rd and Sat., July 4th.
REPEAT: Because this is still a one person unit, additional closures are necessitated by lack of sufficient staff in the Beaufort District Collection. The Research Room will be closed June 4 - June 10. Barring anything unforeseen, good health, and no emergencies, the BDC should resume the following schedule June 11, 2015: 

Beaufort District Collection
Mondays, 10:00am-5:00pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by advance appointment only
Fridays, 10:00am-5:00pm
Appointments must be made directly with BDC staff: 843-255-6468 or gracec@bcgov.net.