The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 32
Bulletin 292 page 32
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The experience of other states proves that the coordination of school district library resources through a central school library department within the county library greatly increases the number and range of books available for school use. Library authorities are agreed in opposing the school district as the unit for independent library establishment and operation. The population to be served is usually too small for the income from it to be sufficient for adequate service.

What constitute the most desirable locations for the establishment by the county library of branches and stations is a question for consideration. A large percentage of the branches and stations of the five county libraries in South Carolina are located in public schools. Adults are served in addition to the pupil population.

South Carolina's procedure in these matters is found to be in agreement with that of 32 other states, according to a study made by Miss Edith A. Lathrop. (5) Its findings are based upon replies to a questionnaire from 144 county libraries located in 32 different states.

County libraries depend upon teachers to serve as librarians in the branches and stations located in school buildings. This practice appears to be in line with that in other states and has much to commend its expansion. It has been found desirable for a county library to have a school contact librarian who keeps the local school branch library and librarian in touch with the county library. The "contact librarian" has intimate knowledge of the needs of the branch libraries and of the resources of the county library which are available to meet them. She visits the branch libraries at least once each month.

In South Carolina only four county libraries, those of Greenville, Richland, Charleston, and Dillon, have a school contact librarian.

Approximately 59 per cent of the county libraries included in Miss Lathrop's survey employ one or more persons who give full time or half time to school library duties.


Nine of the 30 South Carolina libraries supported altogether or in part from public funds report effort to direct the reading of children during summer vacation. The percentage of children reached is relatively small and there is remunerative work waiting to be done in this field. Miss Lathrop's(5) investigation shows that approximately 41 per cent of the county libraries report that special efforts are being made to direct the reading of children during summer vacations. It has been estimated that a healthy-minded child can read at least one book a week every week in the year.

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