The foundations of this strong public library system took time to develop and are the work of many different people. Those foundations, however, are now firmly anchored in the bedrock of tax support provided by the individual counties and the state. The South Carolina State Library exists for the purpose of maintaining and strenghtening that foundation by supporting the county library systems and providing information services to the state government.
This modern building is the focal point for today's public library services that extend throughout the state. South Caroina's public libraries have come a long way from a box of books delivered almost 300 years ago.
State Public Library Association and a State Library Board were established in 1929 by an act of the General Assembly. Using funding from grants from the South Carolina Library Association and foundations, it began to operate in 1929. The first state appropriation of $3,000 was made in 1943.
In 1969, the Board was renamed the South Carolina State Library. According the fuller history of the State Library:
In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. In 1985, an act was passed providing for the recodification of the State Library's legislation. The new legislation reauthorized all functions of the State Library and consolidated a variety of authorizations found in state and federal laws and regulations, executive orders and budget provisions.
The 60,000 square foot building was completed in 1969. It houses approximately 228,000 monographs, 21,000 reels of microfilm, and 498,000 microfiche. The Library subscribes to over 2,100 periodicals.
The entrance to the building is flanked by two bronze lions. To read more about themand their namessee the South Carolina State Library history page which is a part of its Web site.