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South Carolina

Contact Name: 
Ms. Leesa Aiken
Contact Title: 
State Library Address: 
South Carolina State Library
1500 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
+1 803 734 8668
+1 803 734 0876
Contact Email Address: 

The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.


“Technology eases our ability to share information resources throughout the state, and also to share innovative ideas and best practices among library staff. We’ll work on literacy, expand partnerships, and offer competitive mini-grants. Leadership training will bring staff to the table for community planning.”

--South Carolina State Library

The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan. For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.

Project Examples

StoryfestSC 2013
The third annual StoryfestSC was conducted in early June as the kickoff for the statewide summer reading program. Library Development Services staff coordinated and implemented the event, which was intended to stimulate public interest in reading and participation in local summer reading program activities. Partnering again with the South Carolina State Museum, the event featured award-winning authors, and families took advantage of the museum atmosphere to hear stories and have their faces painted inside the exhibits. A new event this year celebrated the teen Summer Reading theme, Beneath the Surface, with a video contest and film screenings in the museum’s theater. StoryfestSC attracted 1,284 children, parents, and caregivers from multiple South Carolina counties and local states. It resulted in increased, positive attention to the state library and its services for families and children as well as promotion for the summer reading program.
IMLS Funds: $114,273

Digitization Projects and Preservation of Materials
The state library devoted trained staff to internal collection development of historic state resources as well as mandated digitization of state-produced documents. During the project period, the State Documents Depository added 2,400 documents from over 50 state government entities, for a total of 8,500 publications available online. The depository offers South Carolina citizens immediate online access to the work of state government. The state library also worked with the South Carolina Digital Library and a University of South Carolina undergraduate intern to publish a collection of historical and contemporary images of public library bookmobiles from the 1930s to the early 2000s. Both the bookmobile collection and a group of historic school directories will also be available through the Digital Public Library of America. Staff also trained public library staff on best-practice scanning procedures and provided technical support.
IMLS Funds: $103,515

Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:

Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.

View the IMLS funding by state report - South Carolina (PDF 1.07 MB) with additional information about all IMLS funding for this state (FY 2011 – FY 2016).

Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning


  • Promote reading skills in children and youth through a variety of programs and services that foster reading readiness, skills, comprehension, and fluency.
  • Support the annual Summer Reading Program and expand the program to year-round activities.
  • Maintain and expand the South Carolina Day-by-Day early childhood literacy program statewide.
  • Support bookmobile and other innovative mobile library services for rural and remote communities.
  • Support library services for those whose first language is not English.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Maintain and increase the state library’s investment in e-books and other downloadable materials for our collection, and ensure their availability for all state library cardholders.
  • Provide leadership and infrastructure for online resources and database initiatives throughout the state.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Through SC LENDS, continue to support and expand membership in the open source integrated library system (ILS) to increase sharing of materials via interlibrary loan.
  • Provide leadership and infrastructure for shared catalogs throughout the state.
  • Continue to support statewide efforts to increase the availability of high-speed Internet access.


  • Provide support for library resources in digital formats through the South Carolina Digital Library and subgrants for local projects.
  • Provide leadership and infrastructure for digital collections and digital preservation throughout the state.

Economic and Employment Development

Job Seekers

  • Continue to initiate and support programs to assist job seekers, including job search and resume assistance.
  • Target workforce development services to people who may be unfamiliar with library initiatives in this area, such as returning military and inmates in correctional institutions.

Business Resources

  • Continue to initiate and support programs to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Investigate the feasibility of a mentoring program between well-developed and under-developed public libraries to encourage best practices.
  • Prepare library staff to train the public in 21st century skills to foster the public’s ability to access information in all formats the libraries offer.
  • Ensure through training in techniques and policies that public library staff have the tools needed to develop collections that the public will find useful.
  • Investigate and create a library leadership training program for library managers and potential managers.
  • Train and support public library staff in their work with emergent readers and their families, as leaders of story times, in creating programs that attract teens, and in other programs.
  • Develop and provide training programs in library strategic planning, budgeting, and financial management.
  • Encourage home-grown staff training programs that address specific local needs through subgrant funding.
  • Continue to fund tuition for library school students.

Marketing and Market Research

  • Ensure that underserved South Carolinians are aware of programs, services, and materials their libraries offer.
  • Build awareness of South Carolina libraries as community centers that offer unique resources for civic engagement. Collaborate with other agencies and community groups to develop this objective.


  • Continue to provide leadership and guidance for E-Rate funding.
  • Continue to develop and maintain the state library’s resource-rich website, exemplifying best practices in web design, content, and networking among library workers and stakeholders.
  • Lead the development of innovative, cutting-edge resources and services, including the use of mobile devices to access information from library sources.
  • Provide services on website development for public libraries.

Civic Engagement


  • Encourage and fund opportunities for public engagement in discussions and projects that celebrate and interpret their communities and diverse heritages.

Access to Government Information

  • Fund subgrants that help citizens participate in and benefit from e-government services and resources.

Civic Collaboration

  • Provide data and training services related to public library resources as requested by government agencies, businesses, academia, nonprofit organizations, and private citizens.
  • Strengthen programmatic partnerships with the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina First Steps to extend services to public school media specialists.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Continue to serve as a regional library for the Library of Congress’ National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
  • Continue to implement the digital conversion of Talking Books Services collections for use by blind and physically disabled library users.
  • Investigate and create a plan for serving inmates in South Carolina’s correctional institutions through the development of institutional library staff and collections.
  • Explore the need for other special content-based programs and training, such as consumer health, and implement programs/projects as indicated by need.

IMLS Data Collection

State Library Administrative Agency Survey
The State Library Administrative Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Public Libraries Survey
The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from more than 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Explore state-level profiles to find and compare totals on key data such as numbers of libraries and librarians, revenue and expenditures, and collection sizes.

Content last reviewed on
December 11, 2017