The South Carolina State Library is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state's libraries. 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.
We develop, support, and sustain a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger.
We serve the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.
The South Carolina State Library (SCSL) serves as the primary resource center for information and library services for the state of South Carolina. The SCSL provides support and coordination for the state's public library system, which consists of a network of public libraries located across the state.
The State Library serves and supports the general public, the public library system, and state agencies and employees through various programs and services including:
- Library Development - The State Library offers training, consulting, and support to public library staff, trustees, and Friends groups. We provide assistance in areas such as collection development, accessibility, technology integration, programming, and outreach.
- Statewide Library Catalog - The State Library manages a shared online catalog, SCLENDS, which allows patrons to search and request materials from libraries across the state.
- Talking Book Services - The State Library administers the South Carolina Talking Book Services (SCTBS) program, which provides library materials in alternative formats, such as audiobooks, large print books, and braille, to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or print-disabled.
- Online Resources - The State Library offers a variety of digital resources accessible to all South Carolina residents, including databases, e-books, audiobooks, and educational resources. These resources can be accessed through Discus and the main SCSL websites or through local public library websites.
- Grants and Funding - The State Library administers state and federal grant programs that provide financial support to public libraries for various projects and initiatives, such as facility improvements, technology upgrades, and literacy programs.
- Library Advocacy - The State Library advocates for the importance of libraries and promotes public library services at the state and local levels. We collaborate with library organizations, policymakers, and community partners to raise awareness about the value of libraries in South Carolina.
Headquartered in Columbia, SC, the State Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.
The South Carolina State Library building, located at 1500 Senate Street, was authorized by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1965. It was financed with state funds and a federal grant under the Library Services and Construction Act. Construction on the library, which was designed by architect John Califf of the firm of Geiger, Califf and Player, was begun in 1967 and completed in 1969.
Sol and Edgar
The most distinctive features of this building are the two bronze lions that flank the front entrance. These statues were designed by sculptor A. Pelzer and manufactured by the firm of W. H. Mullins in Salem, Ohio. They originally stood at the Court Inn in Camden, South Carolina. After the Inn closed in 1962, a private citizen in Camden acquired them. When they were offered for sale in the fall of 1965, the lions were purchased by South Carolina state government for use at the planned State Library building.
The lions were subsequently nicknamed Sol and Edgar, after two powerful state politicians, both from Barnwell County. Sol, the lion on the west side, was named for Solomon "Sol" Blatt (1895-1986), Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives for more than three decades. The lion on the east side was named for Edgar Brown (1888-1975), long-time President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate.