New library opens doors

SIX MILE — After months of volunteer work and thousands of donations, the Community Library of Six Mile officially opened its doors to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.
The one-room library, located at the intersection of S.C. 183 and S.C. 137 in Six Mile, has around 8,000 books stocking its shelves, according to committee chair Brenda Rippy.

“Every one of these books is donated,” she said. “And there are just as many in my garage.
“It’s amazing the community effort that went into this,” Rippy said. “It feels wonderful. It took a long time to get where we are.”

State representative B.R. Skelton, who lives a short drive from the library and was in attendance Monday morning, said he will no doubt be a regular.

“Reading is very important, not only to youngsters, but to adults,” Skelton said. “This will give the people in the Six Mile area an opportunity to have a source that they can go to for books and enjoy one of the great pastimes of life — reading.

“I think it’s a fantastic addition to the Six Mile community,” he said.
The library will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.
According to Beverly Wessinger and Alice Skaar, who will volunteer one day a week processing and cataloguing books, answering questions and checking books in and out, the goal of library organizers is to eventually have the library open daily throughout the week and on Saturdays for schoolchildren.
“Six Mile’s got a lot of potential,” Skaar said. “It’s going to be nice to be able to keep people in town instead of going to Pickens, Easley or Clemson.”

Another volunteer, Deborah Neill, will act as the librarian for the new facility.
Rippy said the most pressing need for the new library is continued volunteer support.
“We’d like to stay open longer for the community, so we’d like to have more volunteers,” she said.
She also said the library will need help with monthly expenses during its early stages.
“We hope the residents come in and help us with that,” Rippy said.

Rippy also said one of the long-term goals for the library is to become a part of the Pickens County Library System. She said the Six Mile library committee approached the countywide system’s board of trustees in October of 2009 about joining, but county board members said they’d like to see the community support the library before it can be incorporated.

Six Mile town council voted recently to form a committee to explore the possibility of establishing a library within town limits as part of the county library system. Rippy said she would like the Community Library of Six Mile to take that place.

“We originally wanted to have the library in town, but the buildings on Main Street didn’t have adequate parking,” Rippy said. “We’ve always wanted to put our library in town. If there is a building that the mayor thinks is suitable for our library, we’d talk to our board members, because that would open up opportunities for everybody.”