|The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
||(Click on image|
to view scanned
of Mary Frayser's booklet)
There are in South Carolina only three well organized, adequately supported public libraries giving
systematic county-wide service, and two others which are giving county service on exceedingly limited
resources. The fundamental reason for this situation is that public opinion is still uninformed
concerning the worth and service of a good free public library. Many of the other 51 libraries in the
state are so inadequately supported and administered that they give a wrong impression of the
service of a public library.
Public opinion and education laws in South Carolina, as in the United States at large,
are causing all normal members of all racial groups to be taught to read. It is hardly worth while
to teach individuals to read if good reading is not made available to them. As yet it is only
accessible to a minority of the white and to a few of the negro race in this
The book circulation in South Carolina is low. The per capita book circulation of 7.33 books
for the state of California is almost as high for the whole of that large state as the circulation
of Mullins, Marion, and Darlington, whose school district libraries lead South Carolina in their
use of library books.
The data gathered and the comparisons instituted between library provision in this and other
states lead to the conclusion that school and county library book provision are necessary if
the state is to afford the children and adults of South Carolina the quality of educational and
recreational opportunity offered through such provision in other states.
The pooling of school library funds and books with those of the county library has been found
to increase the number of books available for school and general use at a reduced per capita cost.
Improvement in book selection has also resulted from such action.
A study of the impetus which library stimulating funds are giving to libraries in other states
leads to the recommendation that the state appropriate a sum for a library stimulating fund
available to counties which arrange for county library support from county funds and perfect
county library organizations which meet the standard set by the State Library Board.
The extension of the principle of federal aid to include a fund to stimulate county library
development has been proposed. Such aid has been exceedingly stimulating to vocational
education, to agricultural extension, and to road building. There is reason to believe that both
federal and state aid would prove a great stimulus to the development of county libraries.