CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Back in 2014, Charleston County committed more than $108 million toward building new and renovating old libraries in the county.
Years later, this commitment is continuing to come to fruition with the latest portion of the project focused on renovations.
Over the next few weeks, three library branches will either be opening or closing for remodeling.
Toni Lombardozzi, the Charleston County Public Libraries’ Project Manager, said the county not only wants to improve the buildings themselves but redesign them to stay up to date with the needs of the community.
Lombardozzi said at the renovated facilities, visitors will still find a large physical collection of books and DVDs, but they will also find digital options.
She said they have focused on bringing technology into the libraries, like laptop checkouts, e-books, and digital access to newspapers and magazines.
By reworking layouts at some of the branches, they’ve been able to create separate areas for young adults and children, meaning quiet during story times will no longer be an issue.
She said these new designs create a more welcoming space for everyone and cater to the specific community the library is located in. But, those who love traditional books do not need to fear, Lombardozzi says they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
“I’m one of those people, I love to have my book. Whenever I travel, I bring two or three with me.. people say kindle is easier, but I like the actual pages.” Lombardozzi said. “There is still a huge demand for that, we don’t think that’s going to go away anytime soon, we just want to make sure we are providing the collections that the communities are looking for.”
So far, money from the multi-million dollar referendum has built five new library branches.
Wando Mount Pleasant Library opened in June 2019, the Baxter-Patrick James Island Library opened in November 2019, the St. Paul’s Hollywood Library opened on June 8, 2020, and the Bees Ferry West Ashley Library opened on Nov. 2, 2020. Construction on the Keith Summey North Charleston Library is currently underway with an anticipated opening in 2023.
The Village Library in Mount Pleasant closes for renovation on Oct. 1, the John Dart Library in downtown Charleston closes on Oct. 15, and the Dorchester Road Regional Library opens on Oct. 3.
For more information about the library branch updates, click here.
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