The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 13
Bulletin 292 page 13
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Counties Having Service Reaching a Part of the Population

Eighteen counties have libraries which serve only a part of their populations, namely, that part living within the service area. Considerable variation is apparent in the proportions of the populations receiving book service, in the book provision and support, in librarian service, and in the hours the libraries are open. Only one-third of the total population of these 18 counties is in the book service area and for them the average provision is only 0.56 of a book per capita. The remaining two-thirds, or 529,446 persons, are beyond the territory served.

Some of these 18 counties have several libraries within their respective areas. A study of their book provision and circulation reveals that the number of libraries in a county does not always mean that the county has an adequate book service. On the other hand, it usually means an unnecessary duplication of books and of work in preparing them for circulation. This is an expensive method of giving a limited service. A larger service might be given if the small, independently functioning libraries were a part of a county system.

Anderson Carnegie, Gaffney Carnegie, Darlington Public, Greenwood Public, Marion Carnegie, Kennedy Free (Spartanburg), and Sumter Carnegie libraries are attempting some service in their respective counties to the rural populations. It is obvious that unless their financial support is considerably increased, these libraries, cannot give a free county service without spreading "too thin" in books available and librarian service to make the service desirable either to the communities of their location or to the counties at large. As a matter of strict justice to the population from which the tax is derived, book service beyond the area taxed is questionable. However, it may lead to provision for library support from public funds by the larger area

Counties Having Small Book Collections, Not Truly Public Libraries
Thirteen counties of a third group have small book collections open for only a few hours a week for loan service to subscribers or to those who desire to rent. Only 14.1 per cent of the population of the 13 counties is in the area served by these libraries.

Counties Without Public Libraries or Book Collections
There are two counties having a total of three book collections that are stored and eight other counties without public libraries, making a total of 10 counties in South Carolina without access to free reading matter. These are as follows:

Counties   Population
Barnwell   21,221
Berkeley   22,236
Calhoun (Not used by the public--housed in St. Matthews high school) 16,707
Horry   39,376
Jasper   9,988
Lee   24,096
Lexington (Two collections are stored in Leesville and Lexington) 36,494
McCormick   11,471
Oconee   33,368
Pickens   33,709
Total   248,666

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