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Newsletter of the friends of the South Caroliniana Library.

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From the President's Pen:

Our Society's Business

Harvey S. Teal
Sections of our constitution define the purpose of the University South Caroliniana Society, the governing structure, the duties and responsibilities of officers, etc. From just reading a constitution, however, sometimes one does not come away with a clear understanding of how this organization conducts its business, either on a day-to-day basis or a long term one. For the benefits of our members and other interested parties I will attempt to describe in more detail the business of the Society, the responsibilities each of us has to the society, and how the Society operates both annually and day-to-day.

Put simply, the business of the University South Caroliniana Society is to assist the South Caroliniana Library to collect, preserve, and publish Caroliniana. Society members, as "Friends of the Library," are responsible for the contribution of historical materials and/or funds for the benefit of the library. Each society member is encouraged to recruit others to become Society members and join our efforts to assist the library in its mission.

Beyond these responsibilities Society members may become more deeply involved in the program of the library and Society by serving on our Executive Council, serving on a working committee, volunteering to help process a collection, or hosting a local meeting to recruit Society members, to name a few. A call to me or to Allen Stokes will result in as much (or maybe more) involvement than you wish.

The Society holds its annual meeting of the membership in the spring and devotes a portion of the meeting to conducting business. During the remainder of the year the Society's Executive Council, composed of Society officers and elected Council members, meets twice a year, usually in the fall and early spring, to address Society business matters and activities. The last meeting of the Executive Council on November 17, 1997 serves as a good example of business conducted at a meeting.

At this Executive Council meeting Mrs. Ann Bowen of Greenwood, S. C. was appointed to chair a membership committee, to organize the committee, to develop plans to increase membership and to report these plans to the April Council meeting. A life membership in the Society was awarded to Mrs. Carolyn Morse for her donation to the Library of the Stanley Fletcher Morse collection of 32.50 linear feet of manuscripts, pamphlets, books, magazines, photographs and other materials dating from the early 1900s to the 1950s. We agreed to continue funding the publication of the papers of John C. Calhoun and Henry Laurens at the same levels of the past year. The Council approved the sending of an appropriate memorial when a library staff member experiences a death in the immediate family. We approved the inclusion of a form for giving a Society membership with the dues notice which has already yielded twenty new Society members. Reports were received on investments, progress on the construction of an off-site storage facility and conservation lab, and progress on conservation work financed by grants.

From time to time the Society employs ad hoc committees to study a particular matter and report the findings to the Executive Council. Over the years these committee reports have resulted in amending the constitution, changing the membership fee structure, etc.

The Society has only one standing committee, an Investment Committee, which meets quarterly with our secretary, Dr. Allen Stokes, for the purpose of supervising the investment of Society funds. The work of this committee is reported to the Executive Council at its meetings and is subject to its review.

On a daily basis our secretary, Dr. Stokes who is also the Director of the South Caroliniana Library, attends to routine matters concerning Society membership, donations, purchase of Caroliniana, investment of our funds, etc. He is ably assisted in many of these endeavors by Ann B. Troyer of the library staff who maintains the Society membership files and other records. On a regular basis Dr. Stokes briefs your president about routine Society business and appropriately refers items to the president or the Executive Council when action by them is needed.

I hope this brief explanation provides you with a better understanding of your Society and its operation.

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