3 Reasons to Visit All Thirteen Richland Library Locations


Columbia has many family entertainment options, including Riverbanks Zoo, trampoline parks, bowling alleys, and museums. Libraries are sometimes an overlooked source of entertainment, but my daughter and I have made it our go-to activity. In my humble opinion, the Richland Library system is top tier! No matter the branch, you are met with friendly librarians, state of the art facilities, and endless adventures. 

Last year, we visited all thirteen of the Richland libraries and we are highly anticipating revisiting many of the branches. Now, we think all children in the Midlands should have this same experience! Here are three reasons why you should plan to visit all of the Richland Libraries.

1. Each library is unique.

Obviously, all libraries have librarians, books, and computers. It seems that if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to all, but this doesn’t apply to any of the Richland libraries. Each library has its own vibe that matches the local community it serves. For example, the St. Andrews branch has an eclectic vibe and is equipped with a recording studio, while the Ballentine branch has a relaxed earthy mood with a nature trail and outdoor seating. Some branches are huge like Main and Southeast, while others are cozy like Lower Richland and Wheatley. After visiting all of the branches, you may find that your favorite is not the one closest to you. 

2. The libraries are closer than they seem.

One of the main reasons I love being in the Midlands is because you can literally get anywhere from here! Regardless of where you live in or near Richland County, each library is probably within 35 miles from your house and near another place you frequent. One of our favorite libraries is Ballentine, which is actually the furthest from our house. Now that we frequent the Irmo YMCA, we will be able to visit it again soon.

We always maximize our long distance library visits by adding local parks to the itinerary or simply adding the library to future plans that bring us to the area. It may take some planning, but these libraries are really closer than you think! 

Toddler standing by Richland Library Eastover sign.3. It’s free!! 

I get it, driving to the other side of town costs time, gas, and may even run into lunch time, but thankfully the library is free. As a single mom, I’m always looking for cheap and free experiences for my daughter and visiting different libraries has become our number one activity. We have even started visiting libraries while traveling and have currently visited twenty three libraries across three states. For zero dollars, we can access books, participate in crafts, watch movies, attend story time, complete scavenger hunts, play with puzzles and so much more. What else can you ask for? 

Set a goal to visit all of the Richland libraries! Even if you cannot visit all thirteen, at least strive to visit a few different branches this year. It took us one year to comfortably visit all branches and we enthusiastically ended our library tour at the Main branch in the summer of 2023. I challenge you to visit all branches and share the fun with your family and friends using #RichlandLibraryTour.

Which Richland Library will you visit next?


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