Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Library Staff Day

Americans value their libraries, and they show that appreciation by using their libraries in large numbers and by supporting library funding. The library is seen, quite correctly, as both a benign and benevolent pillar of the community and is one of the very few places you can go and be provided with educational, recreational, and/or useful materials for free. You can walk out the door of a public library with hundreds of dollars worth of your tax money all because you have a library card! 

In these challenging economic times, libraries are being used more than ever, and with less financial backing. Therefore, the same amount of library staff, almost all with fewer resources, are providing more services such as story hours, reference and outreach.

Today, Tuesday April 15, 2014, during National Library Week, schools, campuses and communities across the country will celebrate the second National Library Workers Day and the valuable contributions of our librarians and library support staff. Libraries are part of the American dream – places for opportunity, education, lifelong learning and free and equal access to a world of resources no matter your age, income or background -- but that dream would not exist if it were not for the people who work in libraries.

Library workers organize and maintain everything that is in the library. Materials need to be selected, ordered, processed, and then made available for users. From a book for research or leisure reading to a laptop that can be checked out to a display for Black History Month, dedicated human is responsible for its presence in the library. Library workers—catalogers, circulation clerks, reference librarians, evening supervisors, and student assistants, to name a few, provide access to the past while preserving the present.

They plan for the libraries of the future and Banned Book Week displays. They choose, order, catalog, label, and shelve all of the books, media, serials, and other materials. They lobby for funding and crusade against censorship. Library workers read stories to children and books to the blind. They suggest good reads, organize book clubs, and drive bookmobiles. They advise vampire slayers, fight crime, and throw fabulous parties (Think Buffy's Mr. Giles, Bat Girl, and Party Girl).  In the local college or university they provide the educational support for students, faculty, and staff.

Those in public service, whether it's in a public, school, or university library, are skilled and knowledgeable researchers who know how just which tool to use for which information need, navigating through a variety of electronic and print resources: almanacs, bibliographies, catalogs, databases, dictionaries, gazetteers, encyclopedias, reviews, and yearbooks. And they know! More and more those who work in libraries need to know how to use technology. Sometimes locating just the right answer appears so simple that the users do not realize that it is isn't easy. Often times library workers are drawing on education and experience that make it look that way.

Library workers do all this and more, even though they are rarely thanked. Yet, working in the library is rewarding for most people because it involves giving a service that contributes to the overall quality of life in a community. It is positive work that should be recognized in a society that values knowledge, learning and opportunity.

Take a moment today to thank our library workers for the services they provide and to remind our campus officials that libraries and library workers provide vital services, programs and collections each and every day. The Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library works because Brandy, Jared, Margaret, Nancy, Veronica, Todd, and Emily do!

Monday, April 14, 2014

This week, the Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library at Coker College joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers.  

Libraries today are more than repositories for books and other resources. Often the heart of their communities, campuses or schools, libraries are deeply committed to the places where their patrons live, work and study.  Libraries are trusted places where everyone in the community can gather to reconnect and reengage with each other to enrich and shape their communities and address local issues. 

Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students, college administrators, faculty and the public at large to discover what their communities needs are and meet them.  Librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond.

The Charles W. & Joan S. Coker Library serves Coker College by providing print, audio visual and electronic resources that support the curriculum and the academic research of our students and faculty. Service to the college community has always been the focus of the library. While this aspect has never changed, our library has grown and evolved in how we provide for the needs of every member of the Coker College community.  We are celebrating National Library Week with daily activities. Stop the library and check out the egg hunt, giveaways and food.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.  

For more information, visit library’s Web site at https://coker.edu/library.  Libraries hours this week are Monday through Thursday 7:30am to 12:00am; Good Friday 10:00am to 5:00pm; Saturday 12:00pm to 5:00pm; and Easter Sunday 1:00pm to 12:00am.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

 Thursday April 10 at 7pm as part of the Civil War 150 exhibition, the movie, Glory will be shown at the Hartsville Memorial Library.

Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes and directed by Edward Zwick, this is one the best US Civil War movies to be made. The movie tells the story of the Captain Robert Shaw and the first all-black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The program is free and open to the public.

Click here for a review of the movie from American Heritage Magazine.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bruce Blackmon will present a lecture entitled "Tsars, Vain Men, Bad Women and the Myth of the Ragged Rebel" in conjunction with the Civil War 150 exhibition in the Charles W. Coker Auditorium on Monday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The Civil War in South Carolina boasted of several prominent women who would make  the fictional Scarlett O'Hara look tame. Bruce Blackmon will talk about the tumultuous lives of these fiery women (along with a few vain men)  and how they impacted, not only what the average S.C. soldier wore during the conflict, but also the myths that arose about them after the war. 

Blackmon is a native of Hartsville, S.C. and has been a civil war re-enactor for over 15 years. He has participated in countless reenactments on over 25 original battlefields. Currently, Blackmon serves as 'Colonel' of the Palmetto Battalion, a reenacting organization in the state that boasts over 400 members. It includes branches of infantry, artillery and cavalry.

Blackmon graduated from Coker in 1985. He double majored in communications and political science and was first honor graduate of his class. He received his master’s in public administration from UNC-Pembroke in 2005.

This event is a part of Civil War 150, a national traveling exhibition from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History from Mar. 31 to Apr. 21 hosted by The Charles W. and Joan S. Coker Library. The Gilder Lehrman Institute developed the exhibition to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial.