The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 6
Bulletin 292 page 6
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What is a Public Library?

Since the term "public library" is differently interpreted in various communities of this state, library authorities were consulted in order to arrive at an acceptable definition.

Dr. Bostwick(2) says: "In general, a 'public' library in the United States is either owned or controlled by the public, or freely accessible to the public; or it has two of these features or all three of them."

It is, evident that many of the 56 libraries in South Carolina listed as public do not in reality come under that classification since many of them are neither owned nor controlled by the public although they are accessible to the public on payment of a subscription fee.

When measured by the standard set for public libraries, it is found that relatively few of the 56 South Carolina libraries measure up to the standard.

What is a County Library?

The county library is a free public library system reaching every person in every section of the county. The main library at the county seat, or other convenient point, is the central reservoir which supplies books to branch libraries and reading rooms in the larger centers and to deposit and delivery stations in the smaller ones. From the main library, book collections are sent at regular intervals to rural schools, cross-road stores, filling stations, post offices, churches, clubs, and homes. Books are changed as needed. Any book in the system is available to any reader through delivery service. Response is made to request for reading information. Any form of transportation may be used. A book truck is desirable. It is literally "a library on wheels."

What is a Regional Library?

A regional library is one which serves a larger area than one county. The expense of library service may be reduced for sparsely settled counties by consolidation of library resources and sharing of library costs, service to be from one centralized library and its many branches.

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