Thursday, June 20th, 2019

TinyCat’s June Library of the Month: The Harriet Hancock Center

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

We’re thrilled to feature The Harriet Hancock Center this month for Pride Month, an organization and lending library that is the only one of its kind in South Carolina.

HHC’s Operations Manager Matthew Butler fielded my questions this month:

First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Harriet Hancock Center (pictured right) is South Carolina’s only LGBTQ+ Community Center. We’ve been in operation since 1994. Our mission is to be a safe and inclusive home that supports, educates, and empowers the LGBTQ community, our allies, and our neighbors of good will.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

We offer lots of monthly programming at our center aimed at all corners of our community—some of which we sponsor—and include:

  • a community potluck every first Sunday
  • a (sponsored) psychosocial supportive youth group the first and third Sundays (and which just had their fourth annual “Queer Prom”)
  • a support group dedicated to the bisexual and non-monogendered attracted community, called Bi+Space, that meets the first and third Mondays
  • a (sponsored) support group for folx in the trans community, Midlands Area Trangender Support, that meets the second through fourth Tuesday
  • a new young adult group called Queer Collective, a social group, that meets the second Wednesday
  • a group called GAYARP for our LGBTQ seniors (though they like to remind us that ALL ages are welcome) that meets the first Thursday, and
  • a (sponsored) group for LGBTQ folx from the Latinx community, Del Ambiente, that meets the first Saturday of every month.

In addition to these regularly scheduled group meetings we’ve partnered with Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services to offer free STI/HIV testing on the last Saturday of the month, and we host various groups and fun nights of movies.

Beyond programming, we have our Resource Guide that is not exhaustive but certainly encompassing for the community in our area, with a soon-to-be computer lab. We also have our library, named in honor and memory of local activist Sam Nichols. We believe our lending library is one of the largest collection of queer books in the region, so we’re very proud!

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Some favorite items in our collection include Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, Hiding My Candy: The Autobiography of the Grand Empress of Savannah by Lady Chablis, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio by Dr. Ed Madden (pictured left), just to name a few, but really we’re PROUD of them all.

What’s a particular challenge you experience as a small library?

A particular challenge we have as a small library in the age of the e-reader is reminding folks that: (A) we exist and (B) books are wonderful creatures, and an amazing way to experience a story.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat? Anything you’d love to add?

We love the portal and rolling marquee of our collection for folx who want to search our collection before even stepping foot in our center. One of our challenges is reminding folx it’s time to return the book.

I hear you. Automatic checkout reminders and overdue notices are features high on our list of things to add! We’ll be sure to announce if/when anything changes here.

Want to learn more about The Harriet Hancock Center? Visit their website here, and be sure to explore their library on TinyCat.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat


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