The 'library of the future' has opened in Ballentine

The 'library of the future' has opened in Ballentine

BALLENTINE, SC (WIS) - The library of the future is right here in Richland County.

The Richland Library held a ribbon cutting for its newest location in Ballentine on Tuesday. The site is located on Dutch Fork Road. A crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting before exploring the new spaces inside.

New spaces include a "Makerspace" for arts and crafts, meeting spaces for neighbors and coworkers to gather and a kids' loft for play and reading time.

"Libraries used to'd go in and it'd be real quiet, you get your book and go sit in the corner," Beverly Bouknight said. "That was it, that was all it was... it wasn't very much fun."

Bouknight spent her time in the Makerspace creating beaded jewelry. Bouknight says the old location in Ballentine was a quarter of the size, and the new space offers endless opportunities.

"I mean that's not normally what you'd see in a library, but, you've got your books here, you've got your teaching elements here," Bouknight said. "This is the place to be."

The Ballentine site is the second Richland Library location to open in 2017 after the Sandhills location opened in February.

Through funds allocated by the new Richland County 2017-2018 fiscal year budget, the library is planning for a new building in the Edgewood area of Columbia.

Details on that location will be released late this summer or early in the fall. For now, Richland Library employees continue to cater to the needs of specific communities. In Ballentine, they say it's all about embracing nature.

"We really think of this almost as 'Camp Ballentine,' said Melanie Huggins, Executive Director of the Richland Library. "It's almost like a camp for adults and kids alike."

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