The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 14
Bulletin 292 page 14
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Service Limitations

Attention is called to four types of limitations which Table 3, reveals. First, there are libraries whose volumes are too few for the populations of their locations. Second, there are libraries seen to be in danger from expansion of service to comparatively large, numbers and areas before their resources warrant it. Third, there are counties in which there are several small independently functioning libraries which for more efficient and economical operation should be consolidated into one, county library system. Fourth, there are small book collections in charge of volunteer librarians, which are open only to subscribers and to them for only a few hours a week.

The hours when the 56 libraries are open vary. Only 23 report "open daily" except Sunday, and some of this number are open for only a few hours daily.

Thirteen of the libraries of the state are catalogued, six others are partly catalogued. There are 32 libraries and book collections serving the public which are not catalogued; from two information is lacking; one is closed; and the books of two others are stored. Cataloguing is one indication of the trained librarian; more efficient library service is possible when the volumes are catalogued. The libraries with book provision and income approaching adequacy are usually, though not invariably, those which are catalogued. Neither book provision nor income of any public library or book collection in South Carolina comes up to the standard set by The American Library Association.

Adequate information concerning the training and amount of salaries of the librarians is not available. Both are known to be subject to wide variations. The salaries of librarians serving the libraries and book collections with precarious support are exceedingly small. Some librarian service is by volunteers without pay. In some instances those in charge are untrained.

Twelve of the book collections are housed in buildings which are owned by the libraries, 28 are located in buildings owned by municipality, district, or county, and six in buildings owned by the clubs which sponsor the book collections. Two occupy donated quarters and three rented quarters. For two information is lacking; one collection is closed; and the collections of two counties are stored. It is clear that the public profits by the housing of libraries in buildings designed for reading room and loan service which are permanent quarters for the collections. In some states the public library building is found to be one which is almost as invariably a part of recent county or municipal planning and provision as is the school house.

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