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Friends of South Congaree-Pine Ridge Branch Library recognized as state Friends Group of the Year

South Congaree, SC – 04/28/2021 (Paul Kirby) – The Friends of the Library Group affiliated with the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Branch Library was honored Monday evening when they received the Friends Group of the Year Award from the S.C. Friends of the Public Library Group. This award was given during a gathering of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge (SCPR) Friends Group held at the Town of South Congaree’s Council Chambers and Courtroom.


The president of the S.C. State Friends of the Public Library Group Ms. Marlena White was on hand to present the award. While doing so, she recognized the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Friends Group as the standard bearer for these groups across the State of South Carolina.


White said that the local group has both persevered and achieved a great deal over the past 12 months despite the Covid 19 pandemic. During that time, The SCPR Friends group did not stop. They conducted monthly board meeting via Zoon and developed a new logo and membership brochure. They also applied for and received a $250 grant to develop and publish a new website. Using that website and social media, they were able to advertise the branch’s virtual programs and keep patrons informed about what was going on and available at the local library.

As an outreach to the surround community, the SCPR Friends Group were able to organize and hold a drive-thru birthday party for the branch last July. They also created a new program called Books for Teachers. Through this program, they are able to present each first-year elementary school teacher in the library’s service area with a new book at the beginning of the school year. Nine teachers received books in August of 2020 through this effort.


Even though the pandemic forced the cancellation of many Friends groups’ annual Book Sales across the state, the SCPR Friends were able to organize and hold theirs’ outdoors using social distancing, mask, and hand sanitizer. White said this set the example and their procedures were used to organize and hold Book Sales across the state as other groups, “shamelessly copied” the SCPR group.


The SCPR Friends of the Branch Library also applied for and received a grant from the SC Cares Minority, Small Business, and Non-Profit Relief Fund. This fund was intended to be used to bolster the fundraising efforts of organization that had to cancel events that provided much needed funding due to the pandemic.


For all of these programs and efforts, White presented the beautiful, engraved glass silhouette to Kittie Spires, the 2020/21 president of the Friends of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Library. Spires thanked her for the recognition and then posed for a photo long with all the board members from the local Friends Group.


You can learn more about the Friends of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Branch Library by going to their Facebook page at this link.


PHOTO CAPTION L-R - Kittie Spires and Marlena White



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