Have you visited the Ballentine Branch of the Richland Library System yet? If you haven’t been there recently, now is the time. They have lots of special features and public programs, most of which are free. The staff is beyond helpful and there is so much to explore beyond the books (which are awesome too!).
Start with a library card
Library cards are free for residents and property owners of Richland County and Education cards are available free for students (Pre-K through college), K-12 teachers and daycare employees in Richland County educational institutions.
Ballentine Library Features
- Children’s Area
- Nature Walk & Raised Garden
- Pick-Up Window
- Reading Nooks
- Teen Area
- Meeting Spaces
- Library of Things
- Living Room
Peek Inside Ballentine Library
Free Programs at Ballentine Library
Family Story Time
Family Story Time occurs twice weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 am and is intended for families with young children from birth to preschool but of course, older children are welcome as well. Families will listen to stories, sing songs, and have fun together while building literacy skills with their early learner.
Monday Morning Makers
Monday Morning Makers is on Monday mornings from 9:30 – 11:30 am and you can drop on anytime within those hours. The projects, which are designed for those 6 years old and up, are different each week and all ages and abilities are welcome.
This program takes place in the Makerspace which is packed with art supplies to fuel your creativity! The Makerspace also features a corner of windows that stretch to the ceiling and allow for some amazing birdwatching! Seventy-two different species of birds have been sighted here.
Read to a Dog
The Read to a Dog program typically occurs once a month and allows children to spend 10 minutes, one-on-one, practicing reading aloud to Bailey The Therapy Dog. There are only 10 spots available to read to Bailey, so this program is first come, first served. The handler will be with the dog and child at all times.
Birding at Ballentine
Birding at Ballentine is a monthly program led by the Ballentine Library Staff where you will learn how to use binoculars to identify local birds, plus how to help the birds in your own backyard beyond bird feeders.
Come see how many of the 72 different species you can spot!
Career Ready: Resume Help
Career Ready: Resume Help provides community members with individual help in building a resume from one of the library’s Career Coaches. This is recommended for both adults and teens, whether you are creating your first resume to transition into the workforce for the first time or refining an existing resume, the Career Coach is available to answer your questions.
Make and Create: Adults Get Crafty (Adults Only)
With all the time you can spend here as a family and with the kids, you may be craving some alone time. That’s okay too. They have several adult-only classes available also. Every Friday, adults gather to create some really fun projects.
Every other week the craft typically incorporates some form of crochet to give a variety of projects and plenty of opportunity to use different crafting materials and techniques. There is a wall in the Makerspace that features examples of past (and some future) projects and inquiries into the techniques used in each are welcome.
Benefits of Free Library Programs
Not only are these programs a great way to bond with your child and make learning fun but they provide an excellent opportunity to make new friends as well.
Let’s be honest, being a parent isn’t always easy and sometimes it can even feel isolating. Getting out, connecting with others, and taking advantage of the FREE library programs is beneficial in so many ways, plus you may even discover a skill or interest you never knew you had.
Additional Ballentine Library Info
Be sure to visit the Seed Library after your program! They have flower seeds and Non-GMO vegetable seeds. You can take up to 10 packets. Each packet is labeled with details and instructions so you’ll know exactly when to plant, how long until harvest, and how to grow your new seeds.
Grab a scavenger hunt sheet at the seed library for the kids and head out back to the large patio and nature trail.
Library of Things
The staff at Ballentine Library is super helpful, friendly, and excited to share about the resources the library has to offer.
Ballentine is one of 4 Libraries within the Richland Library System that has a Library of Things. Baking supplies such as stand mixers, cake pans, cake decorating tip set, bread and scone kits, and cookie cutters are available to check out.
You are also able to check out games like corn hole, a giant wooden Connect Four set, Bean Bag Bucketz, Croquet Set, and a Giant Tumbling Timber Toy. Tools, including an electric tiller, electric pressure washer, electric earth auger, push reel mower, and lawn maintenance kit are also available to rent at Ballentine.
Some other noteworthy items are a film-to-digital converter, binoculars (and birdwatching kit), monoculars, trail cam kit, sewing machine, and Cricut Maker Machine which are also available here.
There are rules and restrictions associated with checking these items out so be sure to read those in detail beforehand. You must have a library card to access the Library of Things and check items out. Main, Lower Richland, and Edgewood locations also have a Library of Things which includes an unbelievable variety of items from tents and telescopes to projection screens and a Stop-Motion Animation Kit.
More to Love at Richland County Libraries
There are programs for every age, ability, and interest across the Richland Library Branches. Programs they offer across the branches include family storytimes, Read To A Dog, Make & Create, Bilingual storytime, Crafternoon (babies, toddlers, teens, and adults all welcome), Teen Gaming Night and so much more.
Each branch also has a unique feature like the Print Studio at the Eastover Branch, Bike Repair Station at Edgewood, and Recording Studio at North Main. The Richland Library Main Branch has a Makerspace, Fiberworks Studio, Production Stage, Post-Production Lab, Theater, Artist-in-Residence Studio, and more. That’s just to name a few of the unique features they each offer.
You can read more about those at the Richland County Libraries Website.
We highly recommend you take advantage of the many free and fun resources the Richland Library has to offer. There is literally something for everyone. We highlight some of the upcoming events on our calendar.
Which is your favorite Richland Library location to visit and why