The Georgetown County Library, founded in 1799, has a rich and award-winning history. “The mission of the Georgetown County Library is “to serve as a community resource that expands and enriches the lives of residents by providing and promoting the use of the library system’s information, education, and recreation resources.” Through its actions, the public library now shows itself as an innovator for its citizens. It also serves well as a community partner that actively advocates and collaborates for the betterment of all through superior services and programming. It has registered 70% of the county’s people as library users, but historically, that openly dynamic, populist focus has evolved gradually over time.” (georgetowncountylibrary.sc.gov)
The Waccamaw Neck Branch Library, 41 St Paul Place, Pawleys Island, South Carolina strives to actively involve the community in the library by providing activities to the public which are often free. Some of the more popular activities are the Movies at the Library Series, Poetry Writing Contest for Students, and the Musicians’ Series.
Currently beginning in February and continuing through May 2019, the Waccamaw Library will host a brand-new film series on “The Cinematic South.” The series will take place on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. in the DeBordieu Auditorium at the Waccamaw Neck Branch Library.
The Cinematic South Matinee Series:
This series helps provide insight into what makes the South, the South through diverse representations of Southern culture and history. It balances Hollywood versions with independent films, comedies and dramas and views from outsiders. Each film screened in the series will be connected with related programs at the library and accompanied by an activity that is equal parts educational and entertaining. Details of the series follow:
Friday, February 15, 2:30 pm: Big Fish—When Tim Burton’s Oscar-nominated film adaptation, Big Fish is screened, the author of the novel Big Fish, Daniel Wallace, will visit on February 12, and there will be a performance of songs from the Broadway musical of Big Fish. There will also be a “Storytime” with a children’s book written and illustrated by Wallace.
Friday, March 15, 5:30 pm: Daughters of the Dust: The Library will screen director Julie Dash’s brilliant vision of Gullah Sea Islands culture as part of the Waccamaw Library’s celebration of Gullah heritage, which includes the performance of the Plantation Singers on Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. and a session on how to coil a sweetgrass wreath. It will also include David Soliday’s FOWL 1st Thursday presentation on his aerial photographs of buried rice plantations on March 7 at 10:00 am.
Friday, March 29, 2:30 pm: O Brother, Where Art Thou?: This screening will overlap with a presentation of the history of bluegrass music and a live concert by South Carolina’s best bluegrass band Palmetto Blue on Saturday, March 30 at 4:00 pm.
Friday, April 12, 2:30 pm: Fried Green Tomatoes: Come laugh, cry, and bond…with some delicious fried green tomatoes on the side!
Friday, April 26, 2:30 pm: To Kill a Mockingbird: Attendees will sample collards, Lane cake and crackling bread, food items depicted in the film, and discuss how they symbolize Southern racial and class divisions.
Friday, May 10, 2:30 pm: Forrest Gump: Trivia Night! Do you know your American history? Your Southern history? Your movie history? Come join the fun, as we look for the history behind Forrest’s stories!
History of Georgetown County Library:
Until 1861, the library functioned as an exclusive library joint-stock company serving an elite group of 50 rice planters and merchants with 5,000 to 10,000 books. Some of the volumes were donated by Vice President Aaron Burr. In the 1850’s ownership of the library was transferred to the Winyah Indigo Society from the Library Society.
In 1865, the library was occupied by federal troops and used as a hospital recovery center. When the soldiers left, they took many of the books with them. The Audubon folios were never recovered, but a letter written to the community by President George Washington was later returned by a war veteran from Ohio.
Towards the end of the 19th Century, a series of devastating hurricanes hit the area destroying the rice fields, causing economic hardships, and the library was neglected. Luckily for Georgetown County, President Grover Cleveland was thrown from a hunter’s skiff while duck hunting which brought national attention to Georgetown County in 1894. This led to Northerners buying the now defunct plantations, upgrading the estates, and sustaining the economy. By the 1920’s, the old library had rebounded and circulated books until 1938.
Then the Great Depression hit, and soon after WWII commenced. In the 1950’s, Georgetown County funded the public library, renovating a former jail to house it, and established Bookmobile services. In the 1960’s the library was also opened to all citizens due to actions resulting from the Civil Rights Era.
In 1989, three new buildings in Georgetown, Andrews and the Waccamaw Neck were added for library resources, and in 2006, a fourth was added in the Carvers Bay area. In 2010 and 2011, a history center and a computer literacy area were added to the Georgetown and Andrews Libraries.
Awards Received by Georgetown County Library:
“As for awards, in 2000, the institution became the only public library nationwide named as a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress. In 2003, it received the first County’s Care for Kids Award by the National Association of Counties. In May 2006, it helped win the first-place Health Information Award for Libraries from the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. During August 2006, WebJunction named Carvers Bay as the Library of the Month. In January 2007, Carvers Bay was one of four libraries featured by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a short documentary on advocacy and innovation. In January 2008, the Georgetown County Library became the first SC institution to be awarded at the White House in Washington, DC, a National Medal for Library Service. With innovative services for all, the Georgetown County Library now fully reflects the best of America’s character. “ (georgetowncountylibrary.sc.gov)