To celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month this September, the Anderson County Library System now offers seeds for checkout through the Seed Library at the Anderson Main Library. The Seed Library is in partnership with Anderson County Soil and Water Conservation District and aims to foster and engage Anderson residents of all ages in food and environmental sustainability.
Library cardholders can check out up to five packets of five seasonally appropriate seeds. Then, plant and see what grows. There’s nothing to return and what grows is yours to keep. Seeds currently available or coming soon include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collard greens, lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, and spinach. Patrons can check out gardening guides and books from the library for help with growing or find additional information from Clemson Cooperative Extension’s Home and Garden Center online.
If you do not have a library card, September is the perfect time to sign up. Library cards are free for anyone who lives, works, or owns property in Anderson County. A picture ID and proof of address are required. Students at Anderson University, Tri-County Technical College, or other local colleges can also get a free library card for the school year.
With your library card, you can get more than just books. The Anderson County Library System circulates SC State Park passes, book club kits, fishing equipment, learning tablets for children, as well as digital magazines, audiobooks, eBooks, and streaming media. Library cards provide access to reliable research resources, online classes, and even popular resources like Consumer Reports, Ancestry.com, and CreativeBug.
the Anderson County Library System will stop purchasing print books, eBooks,
downloadable audiobooks and books on CD for circulation from Macmillan
Publishers and its imprints. The Anderson County Library System’s boycott is
part of a national movement to protest Macmillan’s recent business practices
towards libraries. Books and other items that are already part of the Library’s
collections will not be affected.
On November 1, Macmillan
implemented an embargo on library eBook purchases that prevents any library
from purchasing more than one copy of a newly published eBook from Macmillan or
any of its imprints for eight weeks after the publication date. For a popular
release, the Anderson County Library System typically purchases up to six
copies to meet demand. You can read more about eBooks and the library from a
previous blog post here.
“The Library’s mission is
to provide free and equitable access to all our patrons, and Macmillan’s
embargo is antithetical to that mission. We have to send a clear message on
that,” says Library Director Faith Line.
Last fiscal year, the
Anderson County Library System circulated over 126,000 eBooks and audiobooks in
Overdrive alone, the Library’s main digital platform. It was a 20 percent
increase from the previous year.
eBooks aren’t just about
convenience, though; they’re about accessibility. “eBooks allow patrons to enlarge the
text, heighten the contrast, or even change to a font that is helpful for
readers with dyslexia,” says Heather Bistyga, collection development
manager. “And patrons who are unable to travel to the library can select their
own books and download them in the comfort of home.”
The Anderson County
Library System joins other
libraries in South Carolina and nationwide
in opposing the embargo and Macmillan. The American Library Association
launched a national campaign at eBooksForAll.org.
As of Nov. 21, over 209,000 people had signed a petition demanding that eBook
access for libraries not be denied or delayed.
Libraries already face limitations on eBook and digital audiobook purchases, since many Amazon eBooks and Audible exclusives are unavailable for libraries to purchase and make available to their patrons. Libraries also pay up to five times the retail price for downloadable books, many of which expire after a certain time period or number of checkouts.
Libraries are major
purchasers of books as well as a source of free marketing for books and authors. Like other libraries participating in this
boycott, the Anderson County Library hopes to make Macmillan reconsider their
embargo, remember the key roles that libraries play in the book and reading
world, and prevent other publishing companies from following suit.
“This boycott isn’t a
decision we go into lightly, but Macmillan is setting a dangerous precedent
that could influence other publishers in the future,” says Line. “We hope our
patrons will understand why we feel the need to take a stand to ensure free and
We understand that this
may be a source of inconvenience for our patrons and ask for understanding at
What You Can Do:
- Please keep using our Digital Library. We can’t demonstrate the
value and need for access without your support in this way.
- Let Macmillan know what you think. You can send them
an email at email@example.com.
- If you do check out the book from one of our libraries or
otherwise get a copy of the book, please consider cancelling your hold in
Overdrive or Libby. That way we can get the eBook faster to others who are
- Read more about eBooks and libraries. Libraries are fighting for
fair and equal access to books for everyone, especially through the