OCPL teams up with the Fair Oaks Youth Association to provide Wifi access to the Internet in Fair Play

Free Wifi is now available on the grounds of the old school  building in Fair Play.  The OCPL is partnering with the Fair Oaks Youth Association, which is housing the equipment in the cafeteria building on the campus.  Fair Play joins Mountain Rest and Long Creek as sites where OCPL wifi is available.  The parking lot of the Mountain Rest Community Club is the access point in Mountain Rest, and the Long Creek Community Center‘s parking lot is the access point in Long Creek.

Wifi access to the internet is also available around the clock in the parking lots at each of the OCPL libraries:

Walhalla Library (501 W. South Broad St., Walhalla, SC)

Seneca Library (300 E. South Second St., Seneca, SC)

Westminster Library (112 W. North Ave., Westminster, SC)

Salem Library (Salem Town Hall, 5 Park Ave., Salem, SC)

Fair Oaks Youth Association Building in Fair Play, SC

New energy-efficient lamps installed in Walhalla Library parking lot

Friday, August 5, 2016, the eight(8) lights that illuminate the parking lot at the Walhalla Library received replacement LED lamps.  The new lamps are much more energy-efficient than the GE R320 Pulse ArcMetal Halide Bulbs they replaced.  Below is a photograph of the box  that one of the new LED lamps came in.  It provides information about the lamp.

The purchase of the lamps was funded by the $150,000 allocation County Council made to the library system this year.


The Oconee County Facilities Maintenance department’s electrician installs a new energy-efficient lamp in one of 8 fixtures that illuminate the parking lot of the Walhalla Library.
This is the box that contained one of the new LED lamps that were installed Friday, August 5, 2016 at the Walhalla Library.

New ceiling tile installed at the Walhalla Library

The Walhalla Library was closed Wednesday, August 3 and Thursday, August 4, 2016 to allow the staff of the Facilities Maintenance Department of Oconee County to replace ceiling tiles in the dropped ceiling areas throughout the library.  The library reopened to the public at 9:00 a.m. this morning, Friday, August 5.  Below are photographs of the work that was going on while the library was closed.

The Westminster Library and the Seneca Library are also scheduled to receive new ceiling tiles soon.  The purchase of the ceiling tiles came from a $150,000 allocation County Council made to the library system this year.


It took two containers to accommodate the used ceiling tiles and other materials produced by the project.
The lobby area of the Walhalla Library with new ceiling tiles installed
The lobby was one of the staging areas for the project
Old tiles are leaning against the wall of this hallway off the main floor
The library’s work room was another staging area.  Note the old tile on the left and the new tile on the right
The area in the middle of the main floor was another staging area for the project.  Note stacks of ceiling tiles in the foreground
Two crews installing ceiling tiles in the staff work area around 4:30 Thursday afternoon

OCPL’s Summer Food Program results

For the first time this summer, the Oconee County Public Library joined forces with the School District of Oconee County’s Food Services department to feed kids for free.

Three county library branches served free meals to children during the summer.  The meals were provided by the School District of Oconee County’s food services department and were served on weekdays from June 7th – July 29th, except for July 4th.

Meals were served from 11:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. at the Seneca Library,  11:00 a.m.– 12:00 noon at the Walhalla Library, and from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. at the Westminster Library.  Children  18 years and under received a free nutritious lunch.  There were no income requirements or registration.  The meals were provided in conjunction with the national Summer Food Service Program. More information about this program is available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer .

Here are the final statistics from the School District of Oconee County on the meals served at our libraries this summer.  Note that bag lunches were provided at the Westminster Library and the Seneca Library while hot meals were provided at the Walhalla Library.  The Walhalla Library(22,500 square feet) had space in the lobby for serving hot meals; the Seneca Library(9,000 square feet) and the Westminster Library(5,000 square feet) did not have the space to accommodate the hot meal option.

June:   Walhalla – 221,   Seneca – 355,   Westminster – 295

July:  Walhalla – 148,  Seneca – 389,  Westminster – 467


Staff member from SDOC’s Food Service in the lobby of the Walhalla Library waiting to serve lunch to children.

Retrofitting the can lights at the Walhalla Library – update

The retrofitting project for the can lights in the ceiling at the Walhalla Library came to a successful conclusion yesterday afternoon around 3:00.  Michael Murphy of the County’s Facilities Maintenance staff installed  the last of 48 replacement lights.  The LED lamps are both brighter and more energy efficient than the lamps they replaced.

The lamp retrofit and other building repair projects at the three(3) library facilities owned by Oconee County* have been paid for by County Council’s special $150,000 allocation earlier this year.


Up on the lift installing the last LED lamp.
The lift, in its down position, on the floor of the Walhalla Library
One of the 48 LED assemblies installed, in its original box.
The light switches have been turned on and all the LED lights are on!
*Walhalla Library, built and opened in 1979; Westminster Library, built and opened in 1979; and the Seneca Library, originally constructed and opened to the public in 1968, with an addition in 1984/85.

Land Before the Waters’ final program

from The front cover of Jerry Vickery’s book about Johnny Hester

On Saturday afternoon, July 23, 2016, more than 45 individuals gathered to hear Claudia Hembree, Debbie Fletcher* and Jerry Vickery discuss what Oconee County was like before the creation of Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee.  The site of the program was the meeting room of the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla, South Carolina.  This was the last program in a series co-sponsored by the Oconee County Public Library and the Oconee Heritage Center and funded by a grant from South Carolina Humanities.** The books are available for checkout at the Oconee County Public Library.

*One of the interesting individuals with a connection to Camp Jocassee for Girls was Lucile Goldbold, mentioned by Debbie Fletcher during her remarks.  Below is an article about Miss Ludy from  http://www.citadel.edu/root/whm2013-features/aline-mahan/241-women-s-history-month/20725-lucile-miss-ludy-godbold :

“You play your best and then if you win or lose it doesn’t matter.”1 – Lucile “Miss Ludy” Godbold – first woman inducted into the SC Sports Hall of Fame

Lucile Godbold

Lucile Godbold was a strong woman who fought for women to be able to compete in sports. Winning a gold medal at the First International Track Meet for Women in Paris in 1922, she was the first South Carolinian to participate in and win an international track meet. The success of this track meet opened up the Olympic Games to women athletes. Godbold was the first woman to be inducted into the South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1961.

Godbold was born in Estill, South Carolina and was a graduate of Winthrop College in 1922 as a physical education major. There she set records in numerous athletic events including running track and throwing the shot put. Godbold was a teacher for 58 years at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina where she taught everything except golf and dance. She became a local legend and was known as ‘Miss Ludy’.

As an American athlete and educator, Miss Godbold received many honors. Columbia College’s physical education center is named for her. The city of Estill erected a historical marker in 1982 as a tribute to Godbold’s achievements. In addition, an annual touch football game initiated by students in 1955, was named the ‘Ludy Bowl’. It is still played during every homecoming weekend at Columbia College.






Image from: www.scmuseum.org


Attendees waiting for the program to begin
(Left to right) Claudia Hembree, Debbie Fletcher, and Jerry Vickery, the three authors on the panel, are seated at the table.
The front cover of Claudia Whitmire Hembree’s book
The front cover of Debbie Fletcher’s book
**SC Humanities funds, promotes, counsels, and coordinates all manner of thoughtful (and thought-provoking) endeavors—exhibits, documentaries, discussion forums, research, planning, workshops, dramatizations, lectures, and on and on—that pertain to the humanities. The humanities are how we understand ourselves, our world and how we communicate that understanding to others.

The story of a new sidewalk

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, the Facilities Maintenance department of Oconee County built a new section of sidewalk connecting the sidewalk at the front of the Walhalla Library with the employee entrance on the side of the library in order to make it more accessible to our employees.  The photographs below tell the story.


Finished sidewalk Thursday morning around 9:30 a.m. There is now a continuous smooth surface back to the steps that provide access to the side entrance.
Facilities Maintenance staff have almost completed working the concrete, around 4:00 p.m.
Facilities Maintenance staff working with the wet concrete as it is poured from the concrete mixer.  The concrete was delivered around 3:00 p.m.
The area for the sidewalk in preparation around noon on Wednesday.  Both soil and gravel were excavated to create the bed for the sidewalk.
The area before work began