Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is preparing for a phased reopening of its library branches, which have been closed since March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the important dates related to the resuming of in-person services. These dates are subject to change.
- Monday, May 18, 2020: Book drops are expected to reopen at 16 of its 17 locations to allow patrons to make returns of their materials including books, DVD’s and Blu-Rays. This includes all branches except Poe/Sullivan’s Island, which will open its book drop on June 8. All fines incurred during the closure period have been waived and will be extended through June. Per CCPL policy, the Library does not fine patrons for late printed books. Fines do apply to all other materials returned beyond the due date as well as lost items. CCPL highly encourages patrons who still have materials to return their materials between May 18 and June 8 to allow staff to quarantine the items. Patrons are asked not to return the following items in the book drops: Interlibrary Loans (ILL’s), storytime kits, telescopes, digital magnifiers, museum passes and book club kits.
- Monday, June 8, 2020: CCPL locations are scheduled to start providing limited in-person services including the ability to pick up books and other items placed on hold at all locations. This limited re-opening may include amended hours and access to the locations. Specifics will be announced in the next few weeks. In-person programs or the use of meeting rooms will remain suspended at this time. However, video programs will continue online.
“CCPL is looking forward to a safe reopening of our locations in June. I know our physical buildings have been closed to the public for several weeks, and we have missed seeing our patrons in person,” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig. “Our phased reopening is to ensure that our beloved public and staff are safe as we reacclimate to in-person services. We thank the public in advance for their patience and support while we offer modified hours and services.”
All items returned to the library will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are processed and re-shelved or transported to other locations to fulfill holds.
During the closure, CCPL issued more than 1,000 temporary e-cards so patrons without library cards could access all the digital resources including the lending of e-books, audiobooks, movies and music and free access to all subscription-based services. E-cards will be valid until June 30. More information will be released in the next few weeks on instructions on how to transfer e-cards to permanent library cards.
During the closure, CCPL also continued operating its Wi-Fi to allow the public to access internet at 16 of its 17 branches (all but Folly Beach). Since the March 16 closure, an average of 1,000 people per week have connected to the Wi-Fi with a total of more than 13,000 connections.
“This core service, which has helped bridge the digital divide for so many members of our community will continue to operate between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at all our locations,” said Craig.
Workforce Development Resources & Assistance
CCPL has also shifted many of its resources to assisting the community in workforce development. A special task-force of staff members are working to expand services and programs that would help community members find jobs, find job seeking resources, assisting in navigating the unemployment process, assistance in creating a resume and much more. These efforts include a weekly workforce-related blog, a special section on our website featuring resources to workforce services, assistance for small businesses, resources for financial support, food resources, internet access information and more.
They also expanded fax services by making them virtual. Through Faxscan24, community members can use the online fax services from any device. At a low cost of 99 cents for the first page and 49 cents for each additional page, patrons can send faxes using their own devices.
During the closure of the library, CCPL has continued serving the public through virtual online programs and presentations. Nearly 200 programs presented by staff have been viewed more than 50,000 times. These free programs, which are available through the CCPL website and social media, include children’s storytimes, episodes of the award-winning podcast, Charleston Time Machine, staff book recommendations, Spanish language lessons, MET Opera performances, educational resources, virtual field trips, art classes, book lists, and more. New programs will continue being available and featured on our website and social media.
Ask a Librarian
If you have a question for the library, you can connect with a librarian on CCPL’s website via chat, text, email, or by leaving a phone message at 843-805-6930 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.) or connect with CCPL on Facebook. Starting June 8, patrons will also be able to call and speak directly to staff at their local library branches.