About Us

Innovation | Collaboration | Participation | Preservation

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.

The South Carolina State Library building, erected in 1969, is celebrating over 50 years of statewide library service at our 1500 Senate Street location. View our library history timeline.

We develop, support, and sustain a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger.

We serve the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.

 

View the South Carolina State Library Strategic Plan 2019-2022 (PDF)

 

STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS: WHAT WE PROMOTE

  • Strategic Direction I: Innovation
    The South Carolina State Library provides guidance for excellence in library services.
  • Strategic Direction II: Collaboration
    The South Carolina State Library sustains and enhances its relationships with partners and those we serve.
  • Strategic Direction III: Participation
    The South Carolina State Library provides equitable access to information.
  • Strategic Direction IV: Preservation
    The South Carolina State Library protects and promotes cultural heritage in the state.

 

WHAT WE BELIEVE

We outwardly demonstrate who we are as an organization through our values. Our people are our greatest resource and our values drive our people.

  • Communication
    We believe communication in every direction and through multiple methods is essential to doing our work at the highest level. As an information organization, we use a transparent process for decision making which encourages creativity and fosters collaboration among staff and our community.
  • Flexibility
    An agile organization is one that can change course to provide better services. We define our organization in this way and pride ourselves in being good stewards of all resources.
  • Community
    Driven Our community is the state. Our value is demonstrated in what we are able to give back as public servants. We believe that by remaining open to our community’s needs, we can personalize experiences for individuals and groups.
  • Inclusivity
    We strive to expand opportunities to better connect with others and break down barriers. Integrity, respect, and equality guide our performance and we are committed to hiring staff that reflect our community.
  • Professionalism
    Our staff model professionalism by providing a welcoming environment, excellent customer service, valuing diversity, and supporting multiple methods of service delivery. A wel-ltrained and knowledgeable staff is our greatest asset.

    Access U.S. Government information on the go and on the shelf.

    The Federal Depository Library Program was established by Congress to ensure American public access to U.S. Government information. As a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents since 1895, the South Carolina State Library provides public access as guaranteed by Title 44 of the United States Code of Laws. Our print Federal documents collection is available for check-out through SCLENDS. Links attached to catalog records allow many documents to be viewed online.


    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.