Our Local Libraries
By Patricia Bryan
The Edgefield County public libraries operate as members of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System. There is only one other multi-county system in South Carolina, Allendale-Hampton-Jasper. Founded in 1957, the ABBE Regional Library System offers many advantages to its member counties and their citizens. All personnel operations are managed by the ABBE staff at its headquarters office adjacent to the Aiken County Public Library. All purchasing and contractual operations including copiers, self check-out, and computers are also maintained by the ABBE staff. The annual summer programs are coordinated by the ABBE children’s librarian and these free programs are rotated through all four counties during June and July.
Either Edgefield County or the towns own the buildings where the libraries are housed and they pay for utilities and maintenance. Funds from each county as well as state funds support the ABBE services and the procurement of materials o books, audiobooks, DVDs, and digital materials such as ebooks and audiobooks. The Friends of the Edgefield Library meet each month and raise funds for things like the new sign on the front of the library and the sliding entrance doors. They also make contributions to the programming activities at the library including 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Dr. Seuss Birthday, American Girl Club, Lego Club, and summer reading activities.
There are three libraries available to the citizens. The Edgefield County Public Library on Courthouse Square is open 44 hours each week. The hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Thursday from 10 AM to 9 PM, and Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. After operating hours, patrons may deposit books and CDs in the bins located at the front of the building. The Johnston library on Calhoun Street is open 18 hours each week. It is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 12 PM to 6 PM. The Trenton library is open 9 hours each week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3 to 6 PM.
Patrons with a library card may use computers in the library, access the free wifi to use their own devices, check out books, large print books, children’s and young adult books, audio books, digital books, movies, and music, have materials copied or laminated, or request materials from any of the other libraries(usually will be delivered to within a week). An initial library card is free. A replacement library card costs $2.
Citizens have access to many library services 24/7 through the ABBE website, www.abbe-lib.org. With a library card number and PIN, patrons may check your library account, renew materials, place items on hold for pick up, access databases for research and homework help, and download or stream items from the Digital Branch Library services including Hoopla and Cloud Library.
Check out these libraries soon! There’s something for everyone.