|Berkeley County Awarded $500,000 for St. Stephen Library|
Written by Curtis Rogers
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:03
Berkeley County was recently awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a state program funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The award of $500,000 is to move the St. Stephen Library from its current leased location to a newly renovated building, the former St. Stephen Elementary School built in the 1930’s, located near the corner of Hwy. 52 and State Road 45 intersection.
The current library has outgrown its 1,984 square feet. There is no room for additional materials, additional computers or additional seating. Service to library customers in the area is and has been inadequate for a number of years due to space constraints. The new location will have approximately 5,000 square feet, allowing space for additional computers, more seating areas and separate child and teen areas. The new facility will have a meeting room separate from the library’s public area allowing for more programming and computer classes.
Donna Osborne, Director of the Berkeley County Library System, commented, “By renovating the existing St. Stephen town building, the old St. Stephen Elementary School, a historic landmark to many of its citizens, the library will serve as an anchor for the community. The meeting room will serve as a community gathering place, as a technology training lab, a family literacy site and a place to begin or continue one’s education.” She continued, “Since 2007, the number of active library card holders, computer users, library visits, and items checked out has nearly doubled. Three staff members accomplished this despite the six parking spaces (one of which is a handicapped space) the staff and public shared. I am excited about the facility and the expanded service to the community.”
The St. Stephen Library is the northernmost library branch in the county and is used by people from several small communities in the surrounding areas.