There were 2,767,526 visits to Richland Library this year.
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The 21st century library is about learning in all possible formats. That's how we're approaching not only the collection and activities but the design of every single library renovation. How do people learn in each community; what are the activities they want in each community; and what kind of space do they need to make that happen?
Melanie Huggins
Executive Director, Richland Library

Richland Library

Libraries are in the business of serving communities, and while our physical facilities or the size and nature of our collection may change, we are constantly evolving and adapting so that we can continue to serve Richland County as a place of learning, creating and sharing.

Nearly 200,000 Richland County residents have library cards. This year, the library saw a 48% increase in the number of children ages zero to 12 who used their cards online or at one of our 11 library locations throughout Richland County.

Building Your Library

Richland Library has spent the last year talking with customers, community partners, collaborators and others about shaping our facilities to meet their needs both today and in years to come. From Community Conversations to Focus Groups and One-on-One Interviews, our design teams have worked hard to take community input and realize it through floor plans, refreshed service areas, innovative technology and more.

Focused on maximizing community participation and growth opportunities, the library held several information sessions with local, women and minority-owned businesses to educate them on the type of construction and finishing work that would be available for bid. By the end of the fiscal year, plans for both Richland Library North Main and Main had been revealed to the community and construction projects were out to bid.

For the latest news on Richland Library renovations and reconfigurations, visit BuildingYourLibrary.com.

Digital Resources

In addition to 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, and eMagazines as well as downloadable and streaming music, movies and TV shows.

This fiscal year, customers downloaded:

Watching your favorite movie has never been easier. Customers now have access to streaming and downloadable movies through a new service called Hoopla as well as newly released DVDs and video games thanks to the self-serve Media Box that was piloted at the Main library.

Career & Job Resources

From dedicated spaces like The Business and Job Center and The Coworking Center, to innovative programs like Business Boot Camps, Richland Library's highly trained librarians and career coaches have helped turn dreaming into doing.

By the numbers:

Driving Entrepreneurial Spirit

As Richland County continues to grow, library staff are fueling residents' entrepreneurial spirit. Working one-on-one with budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, they've offered trusted assistance with business plan development, market research, demographic analysis and navigating the Affordable Care Act. All for free!


Richland Library recognizes that those who need library materials and services most often have the greatest barriers. Our commitment to our community is evident in our ability to meet people where they are—including providing books and programs in our most at risk communities.

By the numbers:

Early Literacy

The library provided 483 early literacy outreach programs with 13,235 participants. These programs gave children exposure to the skills they need to be ready to read when they enter kindergarten, and also empower parents and caregivers to be their child's first (and perhaps most important) teacher. Thanks to funding from the Rotary Club of the Vista Night, programs included family storytimes in various community settings, like Gonzales Gardens (Columbia Housing Authority). In addition, Here Comes Kindergarten, funded through the United Way of the Midlands, provided parents and caregivers with early literacy skills and tools in Columbia Housing Authority sites, Section 8 housing, and Spanish-speaking areas of the Northeast.

Grade Level Reading

Project Summer Stride reduces summer learning loss by pairing more than 20 volunteer tutors with struggling students in grades first through third for one-on-one reading tutoring, special programs, field trips and enrichment activities in the summer months. Students also receive more than 15 high quality books to help them build a home library and a new backpack and school supplies for the next school year. The program is currently made possible by generous funding from United Way of the Midlands and in partnership with the Midlands Reading Consortium and Harbison West Elementary School.

Community Engagement

In an effort to promote access to resources throughout the community, the library attended 71 events—connecting with 6,908 attendees. Thanks to the addition of the Play Freely Bus in August 2014 and strong community partnerships, events included festivals, back-to-school bashes, school open houses, street fairs and more.

Essential Services

Committed to the continued growth of our community, the Community Outreach Department provided 188 programs geared towards promoting literacy and life skills to 32,791 participants.

Thanks to a unique partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, a Library Nurse joined the Outreach team in October 2014. Customers and staff received individualized assistance and participated in group programs on health related topics, flu clinics and more.

Through the generous support of the Knight Foundation Donor Advised Funds and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, residents were once again connected to reliable information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through library forums, information sessions, and a series on Marketplace education and enrollment. Navigators were available on-site at several library locations to walk customers through the ACA sign-up process.

Lifelong Learning

Over the past year, 12,672 books were delivered to more than 180 customers who are no longer physically able to visit the library. For many of these customers, the books they receive from the library are a true source of comfort. In addition, the library partnered with assisted living facilities to provide cultural programming and book discussions. Partnerships were also formed with the Richland County Recreation Commission, Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, Transitions Homeless Recovery Center, and many local churches.


Thanks to the library's robust collection, dedicated children's spaces, and award-winning staff, children are learning, creating and sharing every day at our libraries. From storytimes to puppet shows to mini maker spaces and outpost libraries at places like EdVenture Children's Museum, Richland Library understands the importance of making sure children have access to the evolving resources they need to grow into the community leaders of tomorrow.

Children's Highlights:

The Lit Room

Richland Library worked with researchers and designers from Clemson University to host an experimental space that's equal parts high-touch and high-tech. Nestled in the Children's Room at Richland Library Main, the stand-alone space integrates both a traditional and digital learning environment. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project has transformed the way Richland Library can share stories by creating an adaptive and exploratory learning environment. By introducing robotic elements that infuse the story with light, sound and movement, the room creates a multisensory reading experience. In other words, the everyday space of the library merges with the imaginary space of the book turning words into worlds.


Richland Library's high-quality programs and free access to a wide variety of technology help ensure all teenagers in Richland County have the support, opportunities and resources they need to graduate from high school and develop the 21st Century Skills of critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

In addition to its regular teen programming, the library spent the last year helping more than 250 teens and their families prepare for a successful future through a series of 15 grant-funded programs thanks to a $20,000 grant from the First Citizens Foundation. Highlights included Shark Tank: Teen Edition; My Teens Going to College, Now What?; and Within Reach: Arts and Communications Career Fair.

Community Conversations across the library system also highlighted the growing need for dedicated teen spaces as part of the building and renovation process currently underway.

Our People

Richland Library is an award-winning, forward-thinking public library system because of our exceptional, diverse staff, who are passionate about serving our community. From Librarians to graphic designers, social workers, accountants and more, Richland Library employs nearly 400 Midlands' area residents. Interested in joining our team? Apply today.


Volunteers are the heart of the library, giving countless hours of time to further our mission. Throughout the past year, 1,145 total volunteers served more than 23,000 hours - a value of more than $450,000. Volunteers include individuals and groups from local businesses, schools and community organizations like Americorp Vista Summer Associates, the United Way, and more.

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.

2014 – 2015 Board

JoAnn Turnquist, Chair,
Richland Library
Board of Trustees,
One of the library's missions is to be the preferred destination for information and entertainment, no matter how folks access that. The changes that we are making will broaden that access. That's why the bond referendum passed overwhelmingly – people see the library as a safe bastion of inspiring learning.
Robert E. Gahagan, Vice Chair Nathaniel A. Barber, Treasurer Ida W. Thompson, Secretary Ed GarrisonJack Godbold Rev. Johnny Ray Noble Alethia P. Rearden Kirby D. Shealy III Yvonne Stocker
Joyce Dickerson
Norman Jackson
Kelvin Washington
2014 Richland County Council Liaisons

Elected to Serve 2015 – 2016

Nathaniel A. Barber, Chair Ed Garrison, Vice Chair Ida W. Thompson, Treasurer Johnny Ray Noble, Vice Treasurer Yvonne Stocker, Secretary Cheryl EnglishBetty L. GregoryKatherine Swartz HiltonAlethia P. ReardenJames “Jamie” Shadd III

Richland Library Friends

The Richland Library Friends is a 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:

2014 - 2015 Friends Board Members

Susan Hackett, President
From learning to knit to learning about new legislation, you can accomplish anything thanks to the library and its innovative approaches to addressing literacy through the lens of the 21st Century learner. The Richland Library Friends are honored to support the library's efforts to serve our community through access to cutting edge technology and superior programming for all ages.
Susan Mazur, Vice President Joe Clark, Secretary Aubrey Dillard, Treasurer JP Lee, Immediate Past President Tina Auman Robin Blume Tara Branham Janice W. Brown Michelle J. Clark Erin Crawford Rose Dangerfield Tracy Haisley Amy Hill Chris Koon Suzy Madden Sarah Martin Teresea Mathis Chakisse Newton Rebecca Roser Will Stork Jess Torres Sara Weinberg Ashlye Wilkerson
JoAnn Turnquist, Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Elected to Serve 2015 - 2016

Susan Mazur, President John Bradley, Vice President Will Stork, Treasurer Sara Weinberg, Secretary
Nathaniel Barber, Richland Library's Board of Trustees Representative

Richland Library Foundation

The Richland Library Foundation is concluding its Learning Centers campaign after raising nearly $500,000 to fund youth and work force development programs and services in five library locations across Richland County. Funding was received from local corporations and foundations as well as those who serve on the Library's three volunteer boards—the Foundation, Friends, and Trustees. The final phase of the campaign now underway focuses on support from individual donors.

While public funding supports basic library operations, private support helps ensure a higher level of service both now and in the future. It's what makes the difference between a good library and a great library.


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

2014 – 2015 Foundation Board Members

David Campbell, Chair
The five Learning Centers funded by the Foundation campaign will ensure the right technology and programs will be in place to maximize Richland Library's ability to meet the diverse needs of our communities. We're proud to have provided nearly $500,000 in funding for this initiative from the Foundation's very first major gifts campaign.
David Campbell, ChairAdam Davis, Vice Chair Sarena Burch, Secretary/Treasurer Buddy Bateman Tony Cooper Susie Dibble Beth Elliott Sara Fisher Alexander Fournil David Hodges John Nichols Nonie Price Lee Rambo R. Neal Reynolds, M.D.

Elected to Serve 2015 - 2016

Adam Davis, Chair Sarena Burch, Vice Chair Sara Fisher, Secretary/Treasurer
Susan Mazur, Richland Library Friends' Representative

Our Numbers


County Appropriation
State Aid
Bond Revenue




Capital Projects


Addition to reserves: $1,526,225

Items checked out

North Main
St. Andrews



eResources Checked Out

Streaming Music



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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