South Congaree, SC (Kitty Spires) 11/18/20 - On Monday, November 16, 2020, the Friends of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Library held an appreciation event to recognized several individuals whose efforts to bring a branch library to the South Congaree-Pine Ridge area made that a reality. These efforts began in 2006.
Bobby Keisler, Lexington County Council Representative from District 5, worked with Lexington County, the Lexington County Library Board, the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission, and the Lexington County Legislative Delegation, to secure the land where the Library sits today at 200 Sunset Drive in South Congaree.
House District 88 Representative McLain Toole worked to secure funding from the State of South Carolina. Those funds were used to purchase the initial book collection.
Councilman Keisler said in an interview Tuesday morning after the award was presented that he was extremely honored to be recognized by the group. “I said when I was elected that one of my goals was to bring a branch library to the South Congaree – Pine Ridge area. By working as a team, we were able to do just that.” He continued by saying, “We can’t forget former Senator Jake Knotts either. Without Jakie’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to get any of this done. He was great at bringing different groups and people together and he worked right beside us during this entire process.”
The library’s groundbreaking was held in October of 2006. Members of the Library Board, Lexington County’s Council, and other local officials were in attendance. The library opened its doors to the public in July of 2007.
Monday evening, the libraries director Kelly Poole spoke about the initial conversation about providing a branch library to the area. She said each separate group worked together to make the vision of a few citizens come true.
Branch librarian Carol Clark told of her journey to become the new branch manager. Thirteen years later, she is still there working in the same position.
Everyone enjoyed a lighthearted moment when Ms. Clark related the story of Representative Toole’s experience in kissing the pig at a library event. Often, the library serves as a gathering place for the community. The Friends of the South Congaree – Pine Ridge Library support these events and the programs of the library.
This year, the Friends created a new award to recognize outstanding volunteer service. The inaugural award, known as the Andy and Dolores Gambrell Volunteer of the Year Award, was presented to Andy and Dolores Gambrell for their efforts to establish the library and the Friends group. Andy served as president of the Friends from 2007 to 2009 when Dolores became president. It can be said of Andy and Dolores that every activity of their lives supports and advances the mission of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Library.
To find out more about the Friends of the South Congaree-Pine Ridge Library, visit their website at www.scprfriends.org.