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Richland Library Friends

Support library programming through the Richland Library Friends

The Richland Library Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising support for library programs and spearheading advocacy efforts on behalf of the library. Since 1975, when the Junior League of Columbia, Inc. voted to provide volunteers and the necessary funds to establish a Friends group in Richland County, the organization has played an integral role in raising awareness of the library throughout the community through specifically targeted advocacy efforts and financial support for programs, such as the Friends Summer Learning Challenge. The Richland Library Friends is governed by a Board of Directors elected from the membership.

A Time of Transition

Effective June 30, 2017, the current membership of the Richland Library Friends voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Board’s proposal to realign the efforts of the Friends with the efforts of the Richland Library Foundation into a single, unified support organization, the purpose of which will be to support and enhance the mission of Richland Library.  Although the votes are in, and it seems imminent that the realignment will move forward as proposed, several steps still must be taken to finalize the realignment, including phasing out the “membership” component of the Friends.  As part of this transition, we are no longer offering new or renewed Friends memberships, but instead, we will be accepting “donations” to the organization.  While a “current Friends membership” (at a cost of $25 per year) historically has afforded a donor the privilege of attending the Friends “members-only” Friday night book sales, this level of annual support will continue to be required by the new organization for the same privilege.  Anyone who has made a gift of $25 or more to either the Richland Library Friends or the Richland Library Foundation during the 12 months prior to an upcoming book sale will be eligible to attend the Friday night “private sale.”  If an individual has not supported either organization at this level within the past 12 months, they may attend the private sale after making a donation of $25 or more at the door. 

All donations to the Richland Library Friends are fully tax-deductible, and they will continue to be used to support library programming. 

Donate now using our convenient, safe online form.

Book Sales

At the Friends’ book sales, thousands of gently used books, CDs, DVDs and more – donated by community residents – are sold to raise funds for library programming. The book sales generate approximately $80,000 a year in revenue for the library and are held at least four times a year at the Operations Center located at 130 Lancewood Road off of Bush River Road near Dutch Square Center. The Friends also hold special members-only and/or half-price inventory reduction sales at various times of the year. 

The remaining book sales for 2017 include the Summer Book Sale, set for July 28-29, and the Fall Book Sale, on October 20-21, 2017.  Both of these events will include the Friday night “private” sale (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) for current library donors (those who have made donations of $25 or more during the 12 months prior to the sale), followed by the Saturday “public” sales (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) that are open to everyone.

Donating Books, CDs and DVDs

We welcome community donations of gently used books, CDs and DVDs for the Friends book sales. Your donations will be taken to the library’s Operations Center where volunteers will sort, price and shelve them for resale at upcoming book sales, held several times a year to raise money for library programs. If you have up to four boxes of materials (not too heavy for an average person to lift), you may drop them off at any library location during normal business hours. If you have more than four boxes of materials, you’ll need to bring them to the loading dock area of the Main Library, located behind the library on Park Street. Library staff members will be happy to accept your donations and give you a receipt for the number of items donated, but they will not place a dollar value on your donation. Please make sure you assess the value of your materials for tax purposes (if appropriate) prior to dropping off your donation. Please make sure also that your books are in boxes or bags that will not need to be returned to you, as staff will not be able to repack your donations into other boxes or containers.


For more information about the Friends or the impending realignment of the Richland Library Friends and the Richland Library Foundation, please contact Tina Gills, Development Director, Richland Library, 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201; telephone: 803.929.3424, or by clicking in the Contact Us box at the bottom of every page.