Anderson County Library System

Explore Oceans of Possibilities This Summer at Your Library


Summer at the Library

What do Ms. Frizzle, the Critter Keeper, and the South Carolina Aquarium all have in common? They are part of the Anderson County Library System’s lineup of summer events beginning this June as part of Summer at the Library’s “Oceans of Possibilities.” With free, engaging events and the Summer Reading challenge, everyone can find something to do during June and July at the library.

Ms. Frizzle with her stuffed chameleon Lizzy.

Summer Reading kicks off on Saturday, June 4 at the Anderson, Powdersville, and Pendleton libraries. Drop by between 10am-1pm to enjoy games, check out books, and register for the reading challenge. At the Anderson Main Library, children and families can meet with the Greenville Drive’s mascot Reedy Rip’It and explore activities with Clemson Extension, Anderson County Beekeepers Association, and others.

“We’re excited to see more of our community returning to the library for Summer Reading,” says Head of Youth Services Diane Smiley. “This year’s Oceans of Possibilities theme gives us the opportunity to partner with other organizations around Anderson County and help families learn about the importance of being good stewards of our water resources for environmental and economic vitality.”

Randy Miller, the Critter Keeper, holding a snapping turtle.

Ms. Frizzle will take children on an ocean adventure June 6-9 at libraries across Anderson County. The Critter Keeper will introduce children to the amazing world of reptiles and his wild friends, like the albino Burmese python, Julius Squeezer, on Friday, June 10 at the Iva Civic Center and Watkins Community Center in Honea Path. And on June 7 at the Anderson Main Library, the South Carolina Aquarium will share information on deep sea exploration, unique animal adaptations, and even have some marine invertebrates to meet and touch.

“Summer Reading is our busiest time of year as well as our favorite time of year,” says Smiley. “We look forward each year to having kids and families at the library for fun events they can enjoy with their friends.”

Find all upcoming events and information about the Summer Reading challenge.

Have You Met Libby?


Coffee? Check. Comfy reading space? Check. Instant access to ebooks and audiobooks? Check. Read on Libby.

What is Libby?
Libby is a free app you can use to checkout eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more from the library.

Who’s Libby for?
Anyone who has or can get an Anderson County Library card, meaning you live, work, go to school, or own property in Anderson County. If you have a reciprocal library card, you can check with your home library about Libby, or pay the annual $25 nonresident fee.

How does Libby work?
Download Libby from the Apple or Google Play app stores to your phone or tablet, or go to libbyapp.com on your computer. Then, enter your library card number and start browsing! Browse or search by genre, popular, newly added, or available now; check items out; place holds; or make a wish list for later.

What about my Kindle?
The Libby app is not available on Kindles. However, you can select the “Send to Kindle” option when checking out most eBooks from your computer or other device.

How is Libby different than Overdrive?
Libby is a newer app by the same company, called Overdrive. They have stopped supporting the original Overdrive app, and it is no longer available from app stores. You can continue using Overdrive, but over time it may lose functionality and compatibility.

What’s available on Libby?
Lots! Thousands of eBooks and audiobooks, including collections for kids and for teens. Popular and unique magazines, including international ones. Extras including Craftsy classes, movies on Indieflix, The Great Courses, and online classes. Don’t see a book you want? Request it by emailing overdrive@andersonlibrary.org

Bonjour, Mango!


Learning a new language just got easier. The Anderson County Library System now offers Mango Languages, an award-winning language education resource, to all library users.

Mango Languages offers over 70 languages and more than 20 English courses for speakers of other languages. Mango is the only adaptive language-learning system powered by proven methodologies, designed to naturally establish retention and rapidly build conversation skills. It is accessible on desktop and on mobile devices with an Apple and Android app.  Users can create accounts to keep up with progress, set up a family account, and for offline learning.

Mango Languages is the latest addition to the digital resources available with a library card. From researching products and investments to studying for the SAT, GED, and other technical exams, library users have access to a wide range of online learning and research tools available anywhere, any time with a library card.

The Anderson County Library System serves residents of all ages in Anderson County across nine library locations, a bookmobile, and the digital library. Get Library events, books, and news straight to your inbox by signing up for newsletters.

Check Out A Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot


Wi-Fi hotspots are now available to check out with a library card from the Anderson County Library System. The hotspot lending program aims to increase broadband Internet access for Anderson County residents and is made possible by a partnership among the Library, Anderson County, and T-Mobile.

A T-Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot next to a case with a tag on it

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that residents of Anderson County face issues with broadband availability and affordability. Some residents do not have access to broadband internet in their area or simply cannot afford to pay for internet in their homes,” says Library Director Annie Sutton. “The Library already provides Internet and Wi-Fi access in all nine libraries. Providing hotspots to check out seems a natural addition to library services .” 

According to the US Census Bureau, around 18,000 households in Anderson County do not have Internet access. The hotspot lending program provides invaluable Internet access to individuals for education, employment, and services. In addition, the Library will provide anonymized geographic data, patterns, and trends to Anderson County leaders to help better inform future broadband infrastructure projects.

Wi-Fi hotpots will be available to check out with an adult library card from each of the Library System’s 9 locations, with the greatest number available at the Honea Path, Iva, and Anderson Main libraries. Hotpots can be checked out for two weeks at a time. If hotspots are not returned after the two weeks, Internet access will be disabled until the device is returned. All devices are equipped with standard content filtering.

“We continually work to offer unique, creative items for checkout and to meet the needs of our residents. I’m excited to provide this new service for library patrons,” says Sutton.            

The Anderson County Library System serves residents of all ages in Anderson County across nine library locations, a bookmobile, and the digital library. Check availability of the Wi-Fi hotspots in the catalog, or ask at your local library.

Be a Citizen Scientist with Project Feederwatch


Love birds? Want to help scientists better understand their migrations? Be a citizen scientist with Project Feederwatch! Project Feederwatch will begin November 13 at the Anderson Main and Pendleton libraries.

To participate, visit the children’s area at either library any time Fridays and Saturdays November 13 through April 30. If you see any birds at the bird feeders, identify them with our aids or the Merlin app, then write down your findings.

At the end of each week, library staff will report your sightings to Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. That data tell scientists about changes in bird abundance and distribution across the United States and Canada, like where birds are and where they are not. This crucial information enables scientists to piece together accurate population maps and identify species that might be at risk.

A mother and son identify birds

This will be the second year the Library System participates in Project Feederwatch. For the 2020-21 season, only the Anderson Main Library was an observation site. During that time, library patrons and visitors observed 231 individual birds and identified 22 different species. This year, the Library System is expanding to have two observation sites: at the Pendleton Library and again at the Anderson Main Library.

Patrons can also explore great collections of picture books or nonfiction books for children and adults about birds, nature, backyard gardens, ornithology and more. For those who want even more educational activities to do at home, Cornell Lab provides free K-12 resources online.

Meet Annette, the New Assistant Director


Annette sitting on a bench in front of a brick wall.

In August 2021, the Anderson County Library System welcomed Annette Greenway as the new Assistant Director. Get to know Annette!

How did you begin working in libraries?
After spending about a decade working in the financial industry, I decided that I wanted to try something different. In 2000 I saw a job opening at my local library. I thought I might enjoy working there because I loved books and libraries. I got the job and it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had found a career that was a really great fit for me.

What is something people find surprising or a little unexpected about you?
I have also worked as a yoga teacher, paddleboard instructor, and river guide.

Since picking a “favorite” book can always be a challenge, what’s something recent that you read and enjoyed?
I am currently reading Songbirds by Christy Lefteri. I recently read another book by her called The Beekeeper of Aleppo. Christy’s parents were Cypriot refugees and she has worked with refugees in Athens. She puts a human face on the refugee and immigrant experiences through the characters she creates.

What makes you excited for working with the Anderson County Library System?
This is my hometown library! I grew up in Anderson and even remember when the bookmobile would visit my neighborhood. I moved away after high school, and I am so glad to have finally found my way back and to have the opportunity to serve the community where I was raised.

Libraries Empower: Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month


September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, and this year’s theme from the American Library Association is “Libraries Empower.” To celebrate how libraries can empower individuals, the Anderson County Library System is giving away two $100 Visa gift cards. To enter, pick up a “Libraries Empower” bookmark from your local library, write how libraries have empowered you or your family, fill out the rest of the bookmark, and return to your library by Thursday, September 30.

Don’t have a library card? September is the perfect time to apply. Library cards are free to anyone who lives, works, owns property, or goes to school in Anderson County. With a library card, you can get more than just books. The Anderson County Library System circulates passes to SC State Parks, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, book club kits, fishing equipment, learning tablets for children, and so much more.

Go digital with your library card. Read eBooks and digital magazines, listen to digital audiobooks, or stream movies, concerts, and lectures with Libby, Hoopla, and Flipster Magazines.


Library cards also provide access to reliable information and research resources. Research your family’s history with Ancestry: Library Edition and HeritageQuest. Search or browse past issues of the Independent-Mail and Consumer Reports. Take an online class at your own pace with Universal Class or practice for the GED, SAT, Praxis, and other college and career exams with LearningExpress Library. Need help getting started? Make an appointment for one-on-one help with Book-A-Librarian.

Introducing Book-A-Librarian


You have questions; the Library has answers! From Shakespeare to stock investments, you can find reliable research information online and in the catalog with your library card.

However, if you’re not sure where to get started, or need a little extra one-on-one help, the Library now offers a Book-A-Librarian service. Simply fill out this online form to select which topic you would like assistance with and which appointment time you would like. Then, meet one-on-one with library staff in person at the Anderson Main Library, via Zoom, or on the phone.

Topics include assistance with genealogy and local history research, how to check out and read eBooks with the Libby app, or help with Microsoft Office programs. If you don’t see a topic that fits your question, you’ll have to option to fill out what research or learning topic you need assistance with, and library staff will do their best to help. You can also see all upcoming computer classes, workshops, and programs the library offers on the events calendar.

The Library Is Now Fine Free


(July 1, 2021) – The Anderson County Library System is eliminating overdue fines on almost all library materials on July 1. ACLS joins a growing, nationwide movement of libraries going fine-free to reduce financial barriers to library access. The policy was approved by the Anderson County Library Board of Trustees to go into effect at the beginning of the library’s fiscal year on July 1.

 “The library provides many services to the community, and we want to ensure those services are truly accessible to everyone,” says Library Director Annie Sutton. “Removing overdue fines does exactly that.” 

With this policy change, ACLS will also remove all outstanding overdue fines on patrons’ accounts. Patrons will no longer accrue any fines for returning materials after their due date, with the exception of limited, highly specialized items such as passes to South Carolina state parks and to the Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Patrons will still be charged for lost or damaged materials. ACLS will continue to send email reminders when materials are due.

In the past, overdue fines have been thought to encourage patrons to return materials to the library in a timely manner. However, research does not support this idea. Instead, fines can have the opposite effect; fearing fines, patrons may not return materials at all and stop using the library altogether. Eliminating overdue fines increases library access and improves interactions between library users and staff. Public libraries that have gone fine-free have also reported increased library use and circulation of materials.

“We’ve all heard the story of the long-overdue book; it’s even in an old episode of Seinfeld,” says Sutton. “I want the library to be a welcoming place and for people to have a positive experience each time they visit.”

People who have questions about their library account, overdue items, or who would like a library card can visit any of ACLS’s nine locations or bookmobile.

Fine Free FAQ

Are all materials free of overdue fines?
Nearly all materials are with the exception of limited, highly specialized items such as SC state park passes and TCMU passes.

Do I still have to pay an overdue fine that was on my account prior to July 1, 2021?
No. Amnesty will be applied to all unpaid overdue fines.

What happens if I don’t return my materials by the due date?
Materials that are 60 days overdue are assumed to be lost, and you will be billed for them. However, if the items are returned in good condition, the charges will be removed and your account will resume good standing.

Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?
Yes. You will be notified by email before and after materials are due. You will receive additional notifications by email when an item is considered lost. Please make sure your email address is up to date in your library account.

What’s the difference between a fine and a lost or damage fee?
Fines are a daily penalty assessed for the late return of items. Lost or damage fees are assessed for items that are long overdue (considered “lost”), or that were returned damaged or with missing parts.

If I owe money, can I still borrow from the Library?
If you owe less than $10, you can still check out items, access digital resources, and use public computers. For accounts owing more, you can pay your bill or discuss payment plan options with the Circulation Department at the Anderson Main Library or your local branch.

Will you issue refunds or credits for lost items that have been paid for?
Yes, you will receive a refund for the amount you paid and any remaining lost item charges will be removed from your account.

What if I can’t return materials?
If you are unable to return materials borrowed, payment plans are available.

What about exceptional circumstances?
Please ask to speak with a Library supervisor.

I still have a book that was due 6 months ago. What should I do with it?
Bring it back! Even if you’ve had it for years, you can still return it and use the Library with no late fines or replacement fees for this item as long as there is no damage to the item.

I paid $10 in fines earlier this year. Do I get them back?
No, this change in policy is only effective moving forward.

Without fines, will others return materials in a timely manner?
Libraries across the country that have eliminated overdue fines report that patrons still return materials on time, that more materials are checked out, and that interactions between staff and patrons are positive.

Can items be returned to any Anderson County Library System location?
Yes.

Explore the Children’s Courtyard


Courtyard garden

Musical butterflies, chalkboard flowers, a StoryWalk®, and a sensory garden are some of the newest features added to the Children’s Courtyard at the Anderson Main Library, thanks to a generous donation from former County Councilmember Craig Wooten as well as local gardening associations.

PLAY MUSIC on the colorful musical butterflies. Each produces unique sounds for children and their families to create brilliant compositions or even try “Hot Cross Buns.”

WALK, SKIP, AND READ through the StoryWalk®, a creative, new way for children and adults to explore the pages of a book along each station. As the stations progress, so too do the pages of the book. Each station may also have an extra prompt that connects to the theme or events in the book. Every so often a new book will be featured in the StoryWalk® so children and their families can check back often.

WRITE OR DRAW on the bright chalkboard flowers blooming on a brick wall. Want to color outside the lines? Use our chalk to decorate the pavement too!

purple flowers in bloom

SEE THE GARDEN GROW. The courtyard gardens have seen major improvements thanks to grants from Anderson County Master Gardener’s Association and the Upstate Master Naturalists Association. A Carolina Fence Garden showcases many of the state’s symbols, such as the state flower Yellow Jessamine, the state stone Blue Granite, a birdhouse for the state bird, the Carolina Wren, and many native wildflowers and pollinators. In the adjacent garden bed, a sensory garden blooms each spring, inviting children and families to engage four of the five senses to see, hear, touch, and smell the plants, birds, and insects in the garden.

These new features and improvements engage exploring, learning, and reading while enjoying the outdoors would not have been possible without the generous support of Library donors, sponsors, and staff.