One of the best libraries in the country, better than many large cities.
- James Hill
There were 2,767,526 visits to Richland Library this year.
This is an exciting time for Richland Library. We're passionate about learning and sharing resources that keep our community healthy and vibrant. The way people use the library has certainly changed dramatically but the services we provide are more important today than ever before.
Melanie Huggins
Richland Library Executive Director

Advancing Our Community

Your library is a center of the community, providing resources and services that help people find jobs, get ready for and succeed in school, and access technology and resources for learning and leisure. Technology has impacted the way we work and made our services more vital.

The Richland Library :

Richland Library Eastover

This year, the Eastover community received the state-of-the-art library it truly deserves. More than 400 people joined library staff and supporters for a Grand Opening ceremony on April 30. Highlights of the $1.6 million renovation and expansion include:

Richland Library Eastover is pursuing LEED Silver Certification--which would make it one of the first certified county-owned/municipal buildings in Richland County.

The improvements were made possible by a grant from the USDA Rural Development, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and Richland County. The library worked with CDA Architects on the project.

Employment and Entrepreneurship

We're putting Richland County back to work, providing personal assistance with preparing resumes, interview skills, online job applications, small business development and much more. Since the Business and Job Center opened in June 2010 at Main, staff have interacted with customers, providing personalized assistance, more than 35,000 times.

Following in the footsteps of SoCo and other coworking pioneers, the library debuted one of Columbia's first free coworking spaces in August. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and more can simply make a reservation to gain access to the Coworking Center, a private space equipped with WiFi and a fully-loaded Mac computer.


Richland Library is all about access – access to information and resources for learning and leisure. Traditional resources and offerings – children's books, popular fiction and nonfiction, music CDs and movies – are still in high demand, but the library is also bridging the digital divide and ensuring access to electronic resources and devices for everyone. Availability and usage of eResources (eBooks, downloadable music and more) have skyrocketed.



Richland Library is working hard to connect our community's personal interests and needs by using fresh techniques and spaces to create sweet spots of meaningful learning and engagement for children, teens and adults.

Richland Library at Edventure

At the end of June, Richland Library and Edventure teamed up to establish a library just for kids within EdVenture Children's Museum. Museum goers can enjoy the puppet stage and theatre area, while checking out up to five items with their library card. Items can be returned to their favorite library location. The library and EdVenture also worked together in April to develop interactive elements for children at the newly-renovated Richland Library Eastover.

Ready to Read and Learn

The library has earned several grants to ensure children and their caregivers have the tools and resources to be prepared for school and learning, as well as opportunities to maximize their out-of-school time to avoid learning loss.

Here Comes Kindergarten

Here Comes Kindergarten is a grant funded effort that engages families in learning activities and provides books and other resources to make learning fun. One hundred percent of the parents participating said they knew more about preparing their children for school, and 78 percent said their children enjoy reading books a lot more now. Programs have been held at Gonzales Gardens in Columbia and three library locations (Eastover, North Main and Northeast), thanks to the support of the Central Carolina Community Foundation, Women in Philanthropy, United Way of the Midlands, Carmen Nylund Foundation, the Rotary Club of Vista Nights and the Columbia Housing Authority.

Project Summer Stride

Project Summer Stride reduces learning loss by pairing tutors with struggling students for special programs and activities in the summer months. Funded by a $50,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institite of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Project Summer Slide is a partnership between the library, the Midlands Reading Consortium of the United Way of the Midlands, Richland School District One, USC's Office of Programs and Evaluations, and a host of community tutors.

Book Trikes

Richland Library is now encouraging residents at community events and festivals to read local by debuting book trikes. Donated by the Richland Library Friends, the trikes help get the Midlands excited about reading. Books donated by the community are distributed by volunteers, and people are encouraged to enjoy the books and then pass them along to family, friends and neighbors.

Access for All

Each month, one staff person and 2 volunteers deliver more than 1,000 books to 175 library customers who can no longer physically visit the library. The visits and the books become a vital resource for these customers, who eagerly await the next visit from the library.


Reading, books and libraries are vital in the lives of all young people and their families. Richland Library is committed to ensuring that all children are ready to learn and thrive in school, providing resources for children and caregivers from the earliest ages all the way through high school and college years. Special programs and grant funded efforts introduce the basic early literacy skills and ensure access to technology.

By the age of four, children know 90% of all the words they will ever use throughout their life, and a new study by Hart and Risley found that children living in poverty hear fewer than a third of the words heard by children from higher-income families. This learning gap does nothing but grow as the years pass, making the work we do even more significant. This is why 40% of all the programming we provide at the library is geared for children ages 0-5 and their families. We believe—with our help and support of families— that all children have the potential to accomplish great things.

Friends' Summer Reading Challenge

Each year, children, teens and adults are encouraged to challenge themselves to read their way through the summer, opening their minds and imaginations to the world. This year, more than 17,000 people participated.


Richland Library opened its most innovative space to date in July, redefining the traditional role of library services in the Midlands. Complete with a creative space, recording booth, gaming station and more, the Teen Center is a contemporary, high-tech space located at Main for ages 12 - 18 to do what the experts call "Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out" or HoMaGo.

Access is provided to exciting new technology - 3D printers, Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Laptops, iPad 2s, a Microsoft Pixel Sense Touch Table, iMACs, Xbox 360 / Nintendo Wii / PlayStation2, a WhisperSync Vocal Recording Booth and ReadyAnimator Stations.

The Teen Center also includes regular programming such as the Teen Advisory Board (TAB); Teen Otaku Association (TOA), a club that comes together to watch and enjoy anime and manga; the Write Idea - Teen Writing Group, where teen writers come together to share their work and create new writing; author events; and community-partner driven programs with IT-oLogy, The Nickelodeon and Trustus Theatre.

Teens can also enjoy free printing, explore volunteer opportunities, take part in a mentoring program, or explore a soon-to-be-unveiled technology loyalty loan program.

Our People

Strong community support has allowed Richland Library to become the center of the community, providing resources and outstanding customer service that enhances the quality of life for all residents. There are three ways to support your library: Join the Richland Library Friends, support the Richland Library Foundation or volunteer!

Through book sales and other special events, the Richland Library Friends raise more than $100,000 each year to support the efforts of the library. Memberships start at only $25.

The Richland Library Foundation works to make a great library better by providing annual giving opportunities and developing philanthropic support for the library. If you'd like to contribute to the great work taking place at Richland Library and make a difference in peoples' lives, please consider joining the Friends (803) 988-0885 or supporting the Foundation (803) 929-3424.


Volunteers Give Freely at the Library!

From shelving books to teaching computer classes, the library relies on volunteers of all ages to maximize resources and better serve customers. Last year, 1,148 volunteers contributed more than 22,000 hours, a value of $417,700. Junior, teen and adult volunteers are recognized at special events in April and August each year. Interested in volunteering? Call 929-3436.

Board of Trustees

Board members are appointed by the Richland County Council and volunteer their time to advance their community.

2012 – 2013 Board

Kirby D. Shealy, III, Chair,
Richland Library
Board of Trustees,
A free society depends on lifelong access to information, new ideas, and different opinions. I am proud to be a part of the Richland Library-- a vital component of this wonderful community and a key resource for the bright future that lies ahead.
Robert E. Gahagan, Vice Chair JoAnn Turnquist, Treasurer Ida W. Thompson, Secretary John D. Baker Nathaniel A. Barber Jack Godbold George C. Johnson Rox W. Pollard Jr. Alethia P. Rearden
Paul Livingston and Jim Manning, 2012 – 2013 Richland County Council Liaisons

Elected to Serve 2013 – 2014

Robert E. Gahagan, Chair JoAnn Turnquist, Vice Chair Ida W. Thompson, Treasurer Alethia P. Rearden, Secretary
Julie-Ann Dixon, Jim Manning and Seth Rose, 2013 – 2014 Richland County Council Liaisons

Richland Library Friends

Let your voice be heard. Join the Richland Library Friends.

The Richland Library Friends is nonprofit organization dedicated to raising support for library programs and spearheading advocacy efforts on behalf of the library. Established in 1975 by the Junior League of Columbia, Inc., the Friends group raises nearly $100,000 a year in book sales and special events including The Literary Vine. Ready to join? Visit www.RichlandLibrary.com or call 803.988.0885.

Richland Library Friends' Board

The Richland Library Friends are led by a dedicated group of volunteers committed to the library and personally involved in our many programs and events.

2012 – 2013 Board

Jonathan "J.P." Lee, President
It has been an honor to work alongside this dedicated group of volunteers who demonstrate such a strong commitment to the library and who are personally involved in the organization's varied programs and events.  I'm proud to report that The Literary Vine was sold out for the second year in a row, and the Friends' Summer Reading Challenge was a huge success, with more than 17,000 children, teens and adults signing up to participate.  It's been a great year!
Shannon Bobertz, Vice President Susan Mazur, Secretary Mary League, Treasurer Robin Blume Janice W. Brown Joseph D. Clark Michelle J. Clark Erin Crawford Rose Dangerfield Aubrey Dillard Gil Gignilliat Susan Hackett Tracy Haisley Amy Hill Chris Koon Helen Madden Suzy Madden Melina MannSarah MartinChakisse Newton Jennifer Robinson Rebecca Roser Rachel SnowdenJess TorresSara WeinbergAshlye Wilkerson
Kirby D. Shealy III , Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Elected to Serve 2013 - 2014

Jonathan "J.P." Lee, President Susan Hackett, Vice President Susan Mazur, Secretary Joe Clark, Treasurer
Robert E. Gahagan, Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Richland Library Foundation

Make a great library better. Support the Richland Library Foundation.

Public funding alone is not enough. Richland Library also relies on private support from generous individuals like you. Constant innovation and improvement are at the very core of what has made our library one of the nation's finest.

For the past several years, the Richland Library Foundation has focused its fundraising efforts primarily on annual giving to supplement the Richland County tax appropriation.  In 2013, the Foundation embarked on a $750,000 major gifts campaign to fund Learning Centers in seven library locations.  Each Learning Center will be a hybrid of two existing services that are offered on a more limited basis within the Richland Library system – business and job centers and homework centers.


Tax-deductible gifts are accepted in any amount. Donate Now by using our convenient, safe online contribution form.

2012 – 2013 Foundation Board Members

Lee E. Rambo, Chair
Serving in this capacity for the Richland Library Foundation has been so fulfilling.  Our board has made many meaningful contributions to the library, and I look forward to our future efforts.  I'm thrilled about our current mission to fund learning centers in seven Richland Library locations, and know that this initiative will make such an impact for Midlands-area job seekers, students and entrepreneurs.
David Campbell, Vice Chair Adam Davis, Secretary/Treasurer Gail AnastasionWilliam "Buddy" BatemanW. Bert BrannonChristopher A. Leventis CoxSusie DibbleBeth ElliottSara FisherAlexander FournilBarbara GriffinLana HefnerDavid HodgesWendi NanceJohn NicholsLenora "Nonie" PriceR. Neal Reynolds, M.D.
Jonathan "J.P." Lee, Richland Library Friends' Representative

Elected to Serve 2013 - 2014

Lee E. Rambo, Chair David Campbell, Vice Chair Adam Davis, Secretary/Treasurer
Jonathan "J.P." Lee, Richland Library Friends' Representative

Our Numbers


County Appropriation
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Fund Balance


Net Change


NOTE: Subject to year-end audit adjustments

Items checked out

North Main
St. Andrews



eResources Checked Out




Library Use

Total registered borrowers
New registered borrowers
Number of in-library programs
Number of attendees at in-library programs
Number of outreach programs
Number of attendees at outreach programs


Locations and Hours

Richland Library Main

1431 Assembly St.
Columbia 29201
(803) 799-9084

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Ballentine

1321 Dutch Fork Rd.
Irmo 29063
(803) 781-5026

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Blythewood

218 McNulty Rd.
Blythewood 29016
(803) 691-9806

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Cooper

5317 North Trenholm Rd.
Columbia 29206
(803) 787-3462

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Eastover

608 Main St.
Eastover 29044
(803) 353-8584

Mon - Thurs 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library North Main

5306 North Main St.
Columbia 29203
(803) 754-7734

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Northeast

7490 Parklane Rd.
Columbia 29223
(803) 736-6575

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Sandhills

1 Summit Parkway at Clemson Rd.
Columbia 29229
(803) 699-9230

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Southeast

7421 Garners Ferry Rd.
Columbia 29209
(803) 776-0855

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library St. Andrews

2916 Broad River Rd.
Columbia 29210
(803) 772-6675

Mon – Thurs, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Richland Library Wheatley

931 Woodrow St.
Columbia 29205
(803) 799-5873

Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tues, Thurs 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Richland Library at EdVenture

211 Gervais St.
Columbia 29201
(803) 779-3100

Tues – Sat, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun, noon – 5 p.m.

All hours are subject to change.

Executive Leadership Team Download Strategic Plan


Need to renew materials? It's easy!

Call (803) 929-3425 or (803) 929-3427.
Visit any Richland Library location.

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