The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) and Richland County Library in Columbia, SC, are expanding their partnership to increase community access to a special collection of books about art history, exhibition catalogues and artist biographies. Gathered by Museum curators and given by donors since the founding of the Museum in 1950, the CMA’s Lorick Library collection has been a non-circulating reference library that served primarily as a staff resource since 2001.
Materials from the Museum’s Lorick Library (richlandlibrary.com) are in the process of being carefully moved and integrated into Richland Library’s collection, and will be accessible to the community beginning in the summer of 2014. In honor of the Lorick family and Museum donors who have contributed books to the CMA over the years, a special bookplate will be added to each book – designating it as part of the Lorick Library collection.
Reflecting the strengths of the Museum’s collection, primarily European and American art, materials from the Lorick Library will be available for checkout for the first time at Richland Library, making them accessible for anyone in Richland County through the 11 Richland Library locations and its state-of-the-art website.
“This thriving partnership underscores the Columbia Museum of Art’s deep commitment to accessibility and learning and, through the extensive network of Richland Library, helps to bring new resources to the 400,000 citizens of Richland County and the Midlands,” said CMA Executive Director Karen Brosius. “By transferring this collection to Richland Library, it becomes available seven days a week and in the evenings.”
“We’re hopeful that by adding these resources to the Richland Library’s collection, more people will discover the arts and be inspired in new ways,” said Bob Gahagan, Richland Library board chair. “Our efforts to partner with the Museum allow both organizations to reach more people of all ages in our community and have a more meaningful impact.”
This move is the latest example of a joint effort by the Museum and Library to provide arts and literacy education for the community. Together they pioneered a hands-on initiative in 2012 that enabled all third graders from every Richland District One school to learn about Richard Samuel Roberts, an important South Carolina artist. The effort has since been expanded statewide to reach nearly 1,500 students each year. Regular “Hands On” art programs are also held at four library locations, allowing Museum and Library staff to combine art activities and storytimes – sparking children’s creativity and imagination. In October, the Library established a free wireless hotspot in Boyd Plaza outside the Museum-offering access to hundreds of users during the first five months the service was available.
“When art museums and libraries work together, they can give all students a strong start in learning through culturally rich and engaging opportunities as well as provide lifelong learning to adults,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “This partnership allows the Richland County community access to resources that bolster the awareness and celebrate the appreciation of arts and culture from around the world.” The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses nearly 7,000 works and spans thousands of years of history, representing a full range of world cultures.
The 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 11 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library offers a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.