James Island residents submit input for new library branch

James Island residents submit input for new library branch
CCPL will help serve underprivileged children this summer. Photo Source: Live 5

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - James Island residents get a chance to share their vision for their local library branch Monday night as Charleston County continues plans to build five new branches across the county.

Amber Rumsey wants the new site to have a better space for little ones.

"I'd like to see an improved children's center," Rumsey said. Rumsey was visiting the current James Island branch off Camp Road with her daughter. She said she'd also like to see more computers with interactive games and possibly a train set.

Library consultants have been collecting ideas from community meetings held throughout September and October before architects begin designing the five new branches.

"They should have a teenager section instead of having children and adults," Imani Baylock-Smith said. "We want something on our age level."

"People have told us they want more technology," Douglas Henderson, executive director for the Charleston County Public Library, said. "They want more study spaces and more designated spaces for children and adults."

Henderson said he wants to hear more from James Island locals Monday night.

"We want to know what the children want, we want to know what the teens want," Henderson said. "And I expect we'll have some people come in and want to tell us that they want to make sure we understand this is a library for the entire community."

Some locals were against the county council's decision to move the branch to its new location, the former site of Baxter Patrick Elementary School off South Grimball Road. Henderson says Monday's meeting will focus on design and not location.

"We need to have a balance between traditional and innovation," Henderson said. "Are people coming to the library? We're finding that they are and that books are still very important."

The meeting will be held at James Island Elementary School cafeteria at 1872 Grimball Road in Charleston at 7 p.m. Residents unable to attend the meeting can send comments to letusknow@ccplo.org.

"We want to be sure that we listen to people, that we provide them the services that they want," Henderson said. "But we want to be sure we keep the basis and tradition of what a library really is."

Last November, voters approved a referendum to spend $108 million to build the new locations.

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