Institution Case Study: Charleston County Public Library, Main Branch

Institution Case Study: Charleston County Public Library, Main Branch

J. Walker (IT Consultant, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4739-8.ch009
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Place Information And Introductory General Observations

Location Address

  • Charleston County Public Library, Main Branch

  • 68 Calhoun Street

  • Charleston, SC 29401

Introduction and Location Background

Each institution is unique in its own way. The idea of this case study is to analyze its components by the following general sections and detail considerations that are either good or poor. Being a case study, observations are subjective to the observer. This introduction takes into account the following general points of consideration (not all points will necessarily apply to this institution): location data, purpose/mission of the institution, its background/history, and general feel of the facilities on arrival, etc.

The Main Library downtown branch of the 16 location-wide and one Bookmobile Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) system is found near the heart of the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina—a city of history that has played a central part in our country's first 200 years, from the city’s founding in 1670 to the American Revolution and the Civil War. The public library has a patron base of over 355,000 citizens in the county and a corresponding tax base for its funding and community support (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009).

The Charleston County Library was established in 1930 and formally opened on January 1, 1931. It was first housed in the Charleston Museum building. Within the first two days, four hundred cards were issued, and by the end of February, 8,473 books had been circulated. The library's services expanded rapidly, and by June, 1931, the first library branches were opened to make library materials accessible to residents across the county. By the end of the first year, the library had 9,705 card holders and had circulated some 77,459 books. In 1935 the library had expanded rapidly and it was felt that a separate building was needed, so the library moved to a new location at 94 Rutledge Avenue (CCPL, 2011).

By 1954, the 94 Rutledge Avenue location had also been outgrown and a public campaign was launched for construction of a new headquarters library building. A bond issue was put before the voters by County Council and was passed with a large majority. A site was selected on Marion Square (404 King Street) where the west wing of the old Citadel was located, and the new headquarters building opened its doors in November, 1960. This location stayed open until February 8, 1998, when it closed its doors for the last time in order to be relocated. A new library was built only a few blocks away at 68 Calhoun Street, and the grand opening was held Tuesday, April 7, 1998 (CCPL, 2011).

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