There were 2,767,526 visits to Richland Library this year.
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Our residents have an immense amount of pride in this library. People depend on us to help them accomplish their goals and we don't take that job lightly. We are so grateful, Richland County residents, that you voted yes to the bond referendum last November and for placing your trust in us and in the future of a strong library system.
Melanie Huggins
Executive Director, Richland Library

Richland Library

It's no secret that libraries are changing, serving more people – and in different ways – than ever before. Richland Library is helping people find jobs, get ready for and succeed in school, and access technology and resources. As society shifts to a digitally enhanced dialog, the library has become equal parts high tech and high touch.

More than 215,000 Richland County residents have library cards.

On average each day, more than 8,500 people visit the 11 library locations throughout Richland County.

What's Next for Your Library

Last fall, Richland County residents passed a $59 million bond referendum that will enhance library facilities over the course of the next several years. We've been hard at work planning for the future – looking at the many ways your family, friends and neighbors are using the library. Richland Library has held a series of Community Conversations, which will continue over the course of the next several months, where we've been able to gather important feedback from the community. Have an idea that you'd like to share? Email us at DesignFreely@RichlandLibrary.com. For the latest news on Richland Library renovations and reconfigurations, visit BuildingYourLibrary.com.

Digital Resources

In addition to traditional resources such as children's books, popular fiction and nonfiction, music CDs and movies, the library also provides access to a wide range of free downloadables - eBooks, audiobooks, downloadable and streaming music, and eMagazines.

Richland Library Main offers an eReady Bar on the first level, where customers can test exciting new technology and learn how to use their new devices.

This fiscal year, Richland Library customers downloaded:

Career & Job Resources

Richland Library's Business and Job Center is staffed with highly trained librarians and career coaches who offer classes and one-on-one assistance.

By the numbers – in 2013:

Coworking Center

Consultants, freelancers and self-employed professionals can find inspiration at Richland Library. The Coworking Center, founded on the concept of a shared workspace to engage creativity, is located on the Third Level at Richland Library Main. The space offers multiple coworking desks, a Mac computer station with Adobe Creative Cloud and scanner, storage lockers, and an online reservation system. All for free!


Richland Library's commitment to our community is evident in our ability to meet people where they are. Whether a school-age child learning how to read or elderly individual who can't easily leave the house, we are equipped to provide access to books and resources to those who most often need them most.

Richland Library's Community Outreach highlights for 2013:

Here Comes Kindergarten

Here Comes Kindergarten is a grant-funded effort that engages vulnerable families and provides parents and caregivers with the skills and tools they need to get their children ready for school. One hundred percent of participating parents reported that they know "a lot more" about school readiness, and 97% said that their children enjoy reading more because of the program. Here Comes Kindergarten has been held at Richland Library Eastover, North Main and Northeast; Gonzales Gardens and Allen-Benedict Court; Harbison Gardens Apartments; and Windsor United Methodist Church. The program is currently made possible by generous funding from United Way of the Midlands and partnership with Columbia Housing Authority, Richland School District Two, and School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties.

One hundred percent of participating parents reported that they know "a lot more" about school readiness, and 97% said that their children enjoy reading more because of the program.

Project Summer Stride

Project Summer Stride reduces learning loss by pairing tutors with struggling students for one-on-one reading, tutoring, special programs and enrichment activities in the summer months. Students also receive books to create a home library and school supplies for the next school year. Project Summer Stride was implemented in partnership with Harbison West Elementary School in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, The Midlands Reading Consortium of the United Way of the Midlands, USC's Office of Programs and Evaluations, and a host of community tutors. The program is currently made possible by generous funding from United Way of the Midlands.

Book Trikes

Have you seen our bikes full of books? The Richland Library Friends donated two book trikes, which frequently make appearances at community events. Free books, compliments of the Richland Library Friends, are given away to individuals to enjoy then share with a friend or neighbor.

ACA Enrollment Assistance

Committed to advancing our community, Richland Library proudly provided a connection for area residents who were seeking reliable information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), funded through generous support of the Knight Foundation Donor Advised Funds at Central Carolina Community Foundation. Thanks to partnerships with a large number of community organizations and a dedicated Community Engagement Team who met on an ongoing basis, the library offered forums, information sessions, and a series of Marketplace education and enrollment events at various Richland Library locations. Navigators were available on-site at the library to walk customers through the ACA sign-up process. More than 360 people received assistance with Affordable Care Act questions and enrollment on Saturday, March 29 at Main.


Home of the well-loved Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are mural, Richland Library's Children's Room at Main and children's areas at all locations provide Midlands-area children an experience like no other. From storytime to puppet shows to fantastic children's librarians who are eager to help children find just the right book, Richland Library understands the importance of making sure children have access to the resources they need to learn and thrive.

Friends' Summer Learning Challenge

This past summer, 20,076 participants took part in the Summer Learning Challenge. Much like the reading clubs of the past, children, teens and adults were rewarded for reading, but also earned rewards for coming to programs or other events, or designing and following their very own learning track.


Unveiled in 2013, Richland Library's Teen Center at Main is a contemporary, high-tech space specially designed for ages 12 – 18.

The space includes 3D printers, Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Laptops, iPads, a Microsoft Pixel Sense Touch Table, iMACs, an HD television, Xbox 360 / Wii U / PlayStation 3, a WhisperSync Vocal Recording Booth and ReadyAnimator Stations.

Teen Center programming includes The Teen Advisory Board, which meets once a month to plan programs, help with the website and perform service projects; and The Teen Otaku Association, where Richland Library's teens gather to discuss manga, also known as Japanese print comics, or anime.

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 are the heart of the library, giving countless hours of time to further our mission. Volunteers are recognized with individual awards for hours of service and an annual recognition event. Throughout the past year, 1,175 total volunteers served more than 23,000 hours - a value of more than $450,000.

Interested in volunteering? Call (803) 929-3436 or visit our website.

Board of Trustees

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

2013 – 2014 Board

Robert E. Gahagan, Chair,
Richland Library
Board of Trustees,
It's such an important time for the library – and our community. The library is excited to be able to move forward with renovations and additions to all facilities based on the changing ways people use our resources.
JoAnn Turnquist, Vice Chair Ida W. Thompson, Treasurer Alethia P. Rearden, Secretary John D. Baker Nathaniel A. Barber Jack Godbold George C. Johnson Rox W. Pollard Jr. Kirby D. Shealy III
Julie-Ann Dixon, Jim Manning and Seth Rose, 2013 Richland County Council Liaisons

Elected to Serve 2014 – 2015

JoAnn Turnquist, Chair Robert E. Gahagan, Vice Chair Nathaniel A. Barber, Treasurer Ida W. Thompson, Secretary
Joyce Dickerson, Norman Jackson and Jim Manning, 2014 Richland County Council Liaisons

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 money throughout the year in book sales and special events including The Literary Vine. Ready to join? Visit RichlandLibrary.com or call (803) 988-0885.

This fiscal year, the Richland Library Friends:

2013-2014 Friends Board Members

Jonathan "J.P." Lee, President
The passage of the library bond referendum speaks volumes about the community's commitment and belief in the promise of our future – a great library system that constantly evolves to meet the needs of our community. I'm so proud to work alongside such a dedicated group of individuals as the Richland Library Friends, and we look forward to the opportunities and possibilities the future brings!
Susan Hackett, Vice President Susan Mazur, Secretary Joe Clark, Treasurer Tina Auman Robin Blume Janice W. Brown Michelle J. Clark Erin Crawford Rose Dangerfield Aubrey Dillard Tracy Haisley Amy Hill Chris Koon Mary League Suzy Madden Sarah Martin Chakisse Newton Rebecca RoserJess TorresSara Weinberg Ashlye Wilkerson
Robert E. Gahagan, Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Elected to Serve 2014 - 2015

Susan Hackett, President Susan Mazur, Vice President Aubrey Dillard, Secretary Joe Clark, Treasurer
JoAnn Turnquist, Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Richland Library Foundation

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 – job centers and homework centers.

By day, the Learning Centers will provide the highest level of services to adult learners and job seekers. The centers will be equipped to offer training in areas such as resume writing, interviewing and computer skills in an effort to develop a competent, skilled cadre of workers. By afternoon and evening, the Learning Centers will transform into dedicated environments focused on homework support and technology training for students.


Tax-deductible gifts are accepted in any amount. Donate Now.

2013 – 2014 Foundation Board Members

Lee E. Rambo, Chair
There's never been a more exciting time for Richland Library! Building on the positive momentum of the passage of the bond referendum, the Foundation is dedicated to our mission to fund learning centers in seven Richland Library locations. Our board is proud to lead this important initiative to provide the space and technology to meet our community's needs – from job assistance for adults to homework help for students.
David Campbell, Vice Chair Adam Davis, Secretary/Treasurer William "Buddy" BatemanW. Bert BrannonChristopher A. Leventis CoxSusie DibbleBeth ElliottSara FisherAlexander FournilBarbara GriffinLana HefnerDavid HodgesJohn NicholsLenora "Nonie" PriceR. Neal Reynolds, M.D.
Jonathan "J.P." Lee, Richland Library Friends' Representative

Elected to Serve 2014 - 2015

David Campbell, Chair Adam Davis, Vice Chair Sarena Burch, Secretary/Treasurer
Susan Hackett, Richland Library Friends' Representative

Our Numbers


County Appropriation
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Capital Projects



Fund Balance


Net Change


Please note that the net change in fund balance is intentional, due to capital projects

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.

Who's Who at the Library 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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