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Greenville County, South Carolina, Public Library History

Greenville County Library "This library from its earliest days has had high aims and requirements of service greenville county library from its board as well as its staff. We have great adventures in prospect and a past of which we need not be ashamed.


We are faced not only by the need for securing much needed greenville county library dollars, but also with developing successfully, and employing vigorously, means to popularize the abundant use of good books in this city and county.

Parker, Chairman of the Board of the Greenville County Library in Julyembodies the spirit and the policy under which the Greenville county library County Library system has developed.

The first public library in Greenville was the Neblett Free Library.

Greenville County Library System - OverDrive

This library remained in existence and continued to operate until the Greenville Public Library was established in The Greenville Public Library greenville county library the Greenville County Library came into being and existed for greenville county library first years on funds donated by two farseeing and public spirited citizens: With funds provided by these donors, a demonstration of public library services was funded, the success of which proved the urgent need for such services in Greenville on a tax supported basis.

In a two mill tax was voted for public library service in the city of Greenville.

A few years later, greenville county library money greenville county library again donated to establish and maintain a demonstration of bookmobile service both in the Parker district and in the county, a county tax of one mill was voted to carry on the work in the Parker district and the county.

These two separate services were later merged to form the county department of the Greenville Public Library. The Greenville Public Library was opened in a small storeroom on East Coffee Street; later it moved into rented quarters in the rear of the Jervey-jordan building on Main Street and from there to a semi-garage and storeroom on College and Laurens Street.

After extensive alterations and repairs, the library moved into its new home on February 10, When public library service was first proposed for Greenville County all citizens were included regardless of residence or race. When the library was established a collection of books was placed in the Phyllis Wheatly building as a service to black patrons.

From this small beginning a flourishing branch service developed which was eventually housed in its own branch building on East McBee Avenue. Greenville county library branch was closed upon the complete integration of library service in the county.

By the early fifties it was apparent that the Greenville County Library, which had been preeminent among the libraries in the state in the level and quality of service, had lost that position of leadership.

Welcome to the Greenville County Library System

In the librarian's report for the greenville county library comment was made: Greenville does not possess the type library needed today. With a greenville county library library and a county library system, separate and controlled by dual boards, it was essential that a new plan streamlined for efficiency and economy be developed.

In the State Library Board made an offer to the city and to the county library boards in Greenville for a demonstration of a good level of library service for the entire area.


Both boards were enthusiastic over the demonstration proposal and a whirlwind campaign was staged to secure public approval for the proposed consolidation of the library and adequate tax support for greenville county library new system. All news media gave the proposal wholehearted support.


The County Delegation appointed a special greenville county library committee to make a detailed study of the library. The result was submitted by the delegation at the session of the legislature. The report began with this statement: During the session of the state legislature the new Greenville County Library greenville county library was established by law and a two and a quarter mill tax levied on county property for the support of the new system.

With the establishment of the system, in August of the library board signed a contract for participation in the-three year demonstration of county library service sponsored by the State Library Board and greenville county library by grants under the Library Services Act.

The Greenville County Library was charged with the responsibility of providing superior library service and for the greenville county library of policies and procedures applicable to libraries throughout the state.

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