Newsletter of the University South Caroliniana Society
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This is my first chance to communicate with the members of the South Caroliniana Society and to share some of my excitement regarding the collections and future business plans. First, though, I must recognize the outstanding efforts of our previous president, Harvey Teal. Both the collections and the resources of the Society expanded under his dedicated leadership, and the organization is stronger due to his efforts. It is my intent that we continue his emphasis on expanding the collections. I also hope to branch out in new directions and focus on expanding membership and improving public outreach efforts.
It is important that the Society diversifies its membership to include younger members. I believe we have a chance to reach a younger generation and interest them in the history of South Carolina. Studies have shown that an appreciation of one's roots and studies of history in general make more rounded citizens. If we can interest our children and their children in what we are doing here at the Caroliniana, I believe we will make their lives richer and our state a better place. In this regard, some of the ideas that people have mentioned thus far include:
1. Family memberships that would allow members to include younger children at a nominal cost.
2. Children's exhibits at some of our functions.
3. Traveling exhibits that could go to schools and serve to augment history lessons and interest students in South Carolina's history.
I also believe that we should broaden our outreach effort along general public lines, and that, by doing so, we will strengthen the Society. In particular, we should emphasize our links with local history organizations throughout the state. This is an undertaking already begun by Col. Frank Babbitt, our vice-president, through his implementation of a network of regional representatives. I hope those of you who are members of such groups will consider holding meetings at the Library. Some staff may serve as speakers for such meetings. Staff are also willing to serve as speakers before civic clubs or other organizations in an effort to bring more exposure to both the Library and the Society.
When Harvey Teal and I spoke about the role of the Society president, I asked him what he would like to see accomplished. He explained that the work of the Society is mainly about the three "M's": Manuscripts, Membership, and Money. His focus was on the first. Mine will be on the second. Maybe another person can address the third.
I welcome your input regarding the future of the South Caroliniana Society. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
--Harry M. Lightsey, Jr.
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