Fort Mill

The Fort Mill Public Library is the youngest of the libraries in the county. Library service in Fort Mill was envisioned by Zack Spratt in a letter to the editor of the Fort Mill Times in March, 1950.

Fort Mill Public Library

It was not until 1964, however, that a library became a reality. Following a town meeting in May, Fort Mill Library Board members Robert Hill, Joseph Brown, B.W. Downing, Mrs. Paul Harkey, Mrs. Norman Gholson, Ned Borden and H.M. McCallum arranged for the library to open in rented quarters on Confederate Street. The building opened in August, with the formal dedication on September 13. In October, Mrs. Mary Hinson became librarian, and is still librarian for the community.

In 1969, Libraries, Inc., a non-profit group of citizens, directed a campaign launched by the Chamber of Commerce, to raise funds for a new and larger library. Construction began in January, 1972, and the new building was dedicated May 28. The two-level, 4000 square foot building on Confederate Street houses the library on one level and a community meeting room on the other.

York County Library System

The 1960's brought many changes in the quality and depth of library service to Rock Hill and York County citizens. The four libraries in the county were governed by the school districts, though each had its own board of trustees. The Rock Hill library was the largest in the county.

As early as 1955, the York County Legislative Delegation had suggested consolidation of library services into one library system. Supporters of the plan noted that a county-wide system would eliminate duplication of staff, books and equipment. Books would be interchangeable among all libraries in the county.

Beginning in 1961, representatives from different areas of the county and the SC State Library met to discuss consolidation. Five years later, plans were accepted, and the York County Library system became official on July 1, 1966.

Miss Norma Lightsey was the first director. The new county library board met for the first time in August. Mr. R.E. Barron, Jr., was named chairman. Serving with him were E.R. Jeter, A.M. Morrow, Charles Ridley, Mrs. J.W. Milling, Mrs. Caroline Turner, George L. McGill, Robert Hill and C.S. Little.

In May 1974, the first formalized Friends of the Library was organized under director Joseph E. Garcia. Also by that year, the book collection exceeded 104,000 volumes.

Reorganization pains surfaced again in 1978 when the General Assembly amended the code of laws to clarify the state of county public libraries under what was known as the "home rule legislation." By July 1979, all counties were to have a county library funded by appropriations from county council. The law disbanded all existing library boards and gave their property to the county.

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