Richland Library marks COVID-19 anniversary with 10 memorable moments

March 16, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, Richland Library is adapting to the needs of our community and intentionally offering resources, services and programs with the well-being of customers and staff at the forefront.

We made the unprecedented decision to close our buildings on March 16, 2020, but over the last year, the library has never stopped serving local residents, providing access in new and creative ways.

Here are 10 memorable moments from our incredible staff:

  • Served nearly 50,000 customers through our pick-up windows and curbside service and added almost 20,000 books to our Community Collections, which have been accessible in laundromats, grocery stores and public housing sites across Richland County
  • Distributed more than 300 Wi-Fi devices to address the absence of broadband access in underserved areas in our community and saw more than 100,000 distinct Wi-Fi sessions from the parking lots of 12 library locations
  • Held nearly 400 online programs, including nine major author events (Ibram X. Kendi; Michael Twitty; Mac Barnett; Jonathan Haupt; Jenny Lawson; Libby Copeland; Richard Rothstein; Dorothy Roberts; Jane Elliott), and recorded a nearly 25% increase in program attendance
  • Trained additional staff to serve as career coaches, totaling about 30, and offered assistance to jobseekers and small businesses through 350 appointments
  • Tended to the personal needs of more than 700 households through our Social Work Department
  • Became sites for meal distribution with Senior Resources, providing more than 180,000 meals, and for COVID-19 testing with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Genetworx, administering around 45,000 tests
  • Supported learning from home by making it easier for children to obtain a library card through the ConnectED Library Card Project, for families to understand South Carolina Education Standards, and for students to receive daily homework help with
  • Continued being a safe space to examine diversity, equity and inclusion by launching a year-long Let’s Talk Race community initiative, creating a webpage with resources to initiate internal dialogue and engage in courageous conversations, and displaying Black Lives Matter-inspired public art outside of our Main location
  • Shared vital information on and provided assistance with the 2020 Census, voter registration, and the COVID-19 pandemic, testing and vaccination
  • Launched new resources, such as: the online personalized recommendation service, carry-out kits and mobile self-checkout

As a reminder, the library continues to provide select services from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 6 p.m., Monday – Saturday at all 13 of our locations. For the latest updates and safety protocols, call 803-799-9084, visit or follow us on social media.

For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803-587-3637 or [email protected].

About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.