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CCPL named one of the best nationwide
April 13, 2009  

Charleston County Public Library
named one of the best nationwide

Charleston County Public Library is one of the best library systems in the nation, according to a new rating system measuring library services of 7,115 systems across the country.

Library Journal, the oldest and most respected publication in the field, named CCPL a “star” library, putting it in the top 3 percent of library systems throughout the country. This first-ever service comparison clusters libraries with similar operating budgets then rates the libraries in four main categories: number of visitors, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use.

This high national praise prompted Charleston County Council on April 21st to adopt a resolution praising the Library and its staff members for their exceptional service and continuing commitment to improving the lives of local residents.

“We’re a community resource, not a vault with books that are kept under lock and key. From computer training and entertainment events to homework help and finding the most recent book or DVD, libraries provide residents with essential services and information,” said Cynthia Bledsoe, Acting Director. “Library Journal’s star rating is a reflection of how Charleston County residents have embraced the library and understand its importance as a vital cornerstone in the community. We’re proud of our rating and of the support from our community.”

Library Journal’s accolade comes at a time when CCPL is busier than ever, reflecting a national trend of increased Library use from residents suffering in this economic downturn, searching for ways to save money or needing help finding a job. This higher demand resulted in a 22 percent jump in new Library card registrations when compared to last year.

A 2007 study by the S.C. State Library found that CCPL was the busiest public library system in South Carolina, ranking first in circulation, patron visits, programs offered, program attendance, reference transactions, public Internet computers and number of branches. The same study showed that Charleston County’s available operating revenues ranked third, behind the library systems in both Richland and Greenville counties.

And, the most recent budget year was the busiest ever when circulation reached 3.42 million, patron visits exceeded 2 million, nearly 1.93 million reference questions were answered and more than 4,700 programs drew an audience of 147,500. These numbers reflect double and triple digit growth in just five years.

Charleston County’s recognition in Library Journal comes just in time for National Library Week, April 12-18, and National Library Workers’ Day on April 14th. To coincide with these events, the S.C. State Library, the Association of Public Library Administrators and local
 libraries statewide are encouraging the public to join the celebration by sharing why they think Libraries are important to their community and include stories of how libraries have improved their lives, helped them find new jobs, learn new skills or simply brought them enjoyment. See what your neighbors say about CCPL.