SCLA 2011: Opening Ceremonies

And we’re here!  First up is Mayor Summey of North Charleston.He’s talking about the Stingrays. 🙂  Ice Hockey in North Charleston has been going on for 19 years in North Charleston.  (Has it really been this long?  Holy cow!)  And he’s inviting us to shop at Tanger, too.

Burns Elementary’s remodel: 2000 new books, each child went home with 7 of their own books to start a home library, and each child will have 22 pounds of food each month for the next year.  It has new computers, a smart board, and new furnishing.

Librarians are young people’s connection to the outside universe.  He’s from Cottageville & as a child he saw things at the library that he couldn’t have done otherwise.  We give every child an opportunity to explore.  We enrich everyone’s quality of life in the community.

Next, Doug Henderson, director of our fair library system.  Doug is talking about the corporate spelling bee that he, Cynthia Bledsoe, and Misty Jones participated in last night.  We came in 3rd place!  🙂

Alex Sanders is next.  He prefers speakers who are story tellers, so he’s going to tell us a story.  He came home to his 4 year old daughter’s grief over her dead pet turtle.  He offered to buy her a new turtle, but that didn’t help.  Then he said, “Let’s have a funeral.”  She didn’t know what a funeral was, so started explaining it.  “A funeral is really just like a birthday party.  All the children come over to play, there’s lemonade and cake and ice cream,” he said, carried away with how happy this idea was making his daughter.  All is well, he thinks, till they look down to see that the turtle had crawled away from them.  His daughter knew what they could do, though.  In her innocence, she had the solution.  “Daddy?  Let’s kill it.”  Kids say the darndest things.

Funny how much people say they love libraries, but libraries are closing all around us, cutting off the only path to employment that many people have.  Public libraries are basically the only place you can find books in large numbers.  We proivde a 3rd place where people can sit & read in peace.  We also provide a chance to ask librarians for help.  “Librarians, you have no idea how precious you are.”

He grew up in Columbia & went 3 times a week to the library, always carrying out a load of books from his RCPL branch.  No school he attended could ever match the learning available to him in a library.  Wherever he’s traveled, the library has helped him feel at home.

He heard a politician say that closing libraries were okay because we have the Internet at home.  Not true.  Reading a book, the slow process, teaches patience, stamina, and the necessity to stop and rest and reflect on what you are learning.  It’s a terrifying thought to think that the greatest nation on earth may not have libraries, the institution upon which democracy depends.  Librarians are the custodians of the democracy in this country.  The future of democracy depends on us.  (Kind words, but also true!)

Cathi Cooper Mack, Scholarship Chair for Diversity Committee presented the scholarship awards for this year.

And now for Ray Turner and Adam Haigh and the business meeting for this year.

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