Escaping through literature

  • Friday, March 21, 2014

Libraries are espoused as bastions of escapism. People read for many reasons, not the least of which is to take away the stress of the day. Going to a different place and time for a while is the mission of patrons in public libraries around the nation.

But what happens when you don't want to go somewhere else? What if you want to stay right where you are? Well, the library can help with that, too.

A stack of nondescript filing cabinets sits against the back wall of the Mount Pleasant Regional Library. At first glance they are unremarkable, detritus of a public bureaucracy. But inside, neatly filed away in manila folders, is a glut of information.

Referred to by information professionals as ephemera – items meant to be used once and thrown away – the newspaper articles, public notices and press releases are snapshots in time, filed away by librarians for future generations. In Mount Pleasant alone, one can find articles on topics of local interest ranging from the Charleston earthquake of 1886 to local ornithology – and it doesn't stop there.

Next to the filing cabinets, a set of shelves houses books that have been compiled for their subject matter – the history of Mount Pleasant and surrounding areas. Collections detailing architectural and historical surveys sit next to slim volumes about Hobcaw Creek and oral histories of residents.

Beyond the reference desk, books of Charleston history sit waiting to be plucked from shelves and taken home. Historians can study Mount Pleasant and the outlying areas before moving on to see how it plays a part in the larger history of the region. The reference staff are more than willing to locate any information or resources one needs; librarians can locate and retrieve information, or direct patrons to other libraries in the county as well as around the nation.

Perhaps nonfiction isn't your style. Mount Pleasant Regional Library also houses novels showcasing familiar locales. Pick up one of Dorothea Benton Frank's “Lowcountry Tales” series, or follow Charlestonians down the centuries with John Jakes's “Charleston.”

It's fun to escape, but between work and family, not to mention other responsibilities, sometimes the only vacation available is the space between book covers. Luckily, you don't always have to go elsewhere. Sometimes you can stay right in your own town and see the streets and woods and creeks of Charleston from a fresh perspective.

Library Programs:

– Lego Club (ages 4 and up)

Saturday, March 22 from 2-3 p.m.

What can you build with library Legos?

– Great Decisions Group II (adults)

Wednesday, March 26 from 4-6 p.m.

The discussion topic is “Islamic Awakening.” For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or mtpreference@ccpl.org.

– Family Fitness Fun

Monday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m.

Valerie Kirkland of Generation Healthy Kids will demonstrate parent and child fitness.

– National Autism Awareness Month

Throughout April

In America, autism affects at least one in 88 children. Parents and children of all ages are invited to visit the window display in the children's department to learn more about autism spectrum disorders.

– Early Literacy Station

Throughout April

Visit the Early Literacy Station for a fun activity about reading.

– Mount Pleasant Reel Club

A book/movie discussion group (adults)

Wednesday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird. Not Rated; 130 minutes.


Held at Mount Pleasant Regional Library. No registration necessary.

– Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver)

Thursdays, March 20 and 27

– Twos & Threes Storytime (ages 2–3 years with a caregiver)

Tuesdays, March 25 and April 1

– Fours & Fives Storytime (ages 4–5 years)

Thursdays, March 20 and 27

– Saturday Storytime (Intended for ages 2–6 years, though all ages are welcome to attend)

Saturdays, March 22 and 29

Michael Bruton is a circulation assistant at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161.

If you would like to receive a PDF copy of their monthly program calendar, please email mtpreference@ccpl.org.

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