The South Carolina State Library is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state's libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies.
Headquartered in Columbia, SC, the State Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.
Strategic Direction I
We sustain and enhance our relationship with partners and those we serve.
- Strengthen relationships and communication among libraries.
- Demonstrate how libraries are essential to educational and economic well-being.
- Facilitate informed governance.
Strategic Direction II
We implement and promote a strong technological environment statewide.
- Offer technical training and development opportunities.
- Develop technical expertise around technology trends, issues, needs and support.
- Lead a statewide digitization initiative.
Strategic Direction III
We provide equitable access to information.
- Negotiate collaborative purchases for statewide access to resources.
- Expand electronic resources in response to changing information needs.
- Develop and deliver programs that support literacy for children and at risk groups of all ages.
Strategic Direction IV
We create standards and provide guidance for excellence in library services.
- Design a new comprehensive statewide certification program.
- Support training for delivery of excellence in 21st century library services.
- Coordinate programs that address the needs of the underserved.
The South Carolina State Library building, located at 1500 Senate Street, was authorized by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1965. It was financed with state funds and a federal grant under the Library Services and Construction Act. Construction on the library, which was designed by architect John Califf of the firm of Geiger, Califf and Player, was begun in 1967 and completed in 1969.
The most distinctive features of this building are the two bronze lions that flank the front entrance. These statues were designed by sculptor A. Pelzer and manufactured by the firm of W. H. Mullins in Salem, Ohio. They originally stood at the Court Inn in Camden, South Carolina. After the Inn closed in 1962, a private citizen in Camden acquired them. When they were offered for sale in the fall of 1965, the lions were purchased by South Carolina state government for use at the planned State Library building.
The lions were subsequently nicknamed Sol and Edgar, after two powerful state politicians, both from Barnwell County. Sol, the lion on the west side, was named for Solomon "Sol" Blatt (1895-1986), Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives for more than three decades. The lion on the east side was named for Edgar Brown (1888-1975), long-time President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate.