With the world at our fingertips, it seems like libraries would be at risk of becoming relics of the past. In Columbia, though, the opposite is true.
Following a full renovation of all 11 branches, the Richland Library system has emerged as a hub for conversation, art and activities. Case in point is Augusta Baker’s Dozen, a literary event that brings notable children’s authors and illustrators to Columbia each year to honor Augusta Baker, a groundbreaking teacher, librarian and storyteller.
From 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, Lowry will discuss her books (and sign them!) at the Sandhills branch, 763 Fashion Drive. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, Lowry will participate in A Celebration of Stories, a morning of storytelling, music and theater performances, at the Main Library, 1431 Assembly St. Both events are free and open to the public.
Although the topics of Lowry’s books are quite varied, she notes on her website that all deal with the importance of human connections. Her works have received dozens of awards, including two Newberry Medals.
"The Giver," which takes place in a dystopian society, has one additional honor, the Slate reported in 2014: "Between 1990 and 1999, it ranked 11th on the list of the books most frequently requested for removal from school reading lists. In the 2000s, it was 23rd, just two spots below 'To Kill a Mockingbird'" by Harper Lee.
Augusta Baker was more than a gifted librarian. Throughout her career with the New York Public Library, she generated awareness about the need to produce stories with positive images of African-Americans. Her influence inspired a number of authors and illustrators, including Ezra Jack Keats, Maurice Sendak and Madeleine L'Engle.
In 1980, six years after retiring from the New York Public Library, she became the University of South Carolina’s storyteller-in-residence.
If you go
Meet the Author: Lois Lowry
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19.
WHERE: Richland Library Sandhills, 763 Fashion Drive.
A Celebration of Stories
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
WHERE: The Children's Room at Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly St.