Library opening in Charleston County Juvenile Detention Center

A partnership between the Charleston County Public Library system and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is making books more accessible.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 4:09 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:32 AM EST
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A partnership between the Charleston County Public Library system and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is making books more accessible to incarcerated teenagers.

Tuesday, the Charleston County Juvenile Detention Center is opening its first library. Library officials said access to books is important for teens in detention centers and can help prevent incidents.

Charleston County Public Libraries Associate Director of Community Development Kathleen Montgomery said they want the new library to mimic a typical library space.

She said the teens will be able to check out books, keep them for a month and then be responsible for returning them. The library will also take book requests, answer research or reference questions and put books on hold.

Montgomery said they’ve taken special care in curating the collection of books for the library, listening to requests and selecting storylines relevant to teenagers. It will have 400 books of all kinds of genres, including GED study and prep books.

“We have heard from teens that have said they have read every book that is in the detention center, every book that they currently have, so being able to provide new books to them and then giving them the ability to request books, and really have input into what they see there, is just so exciting,” Montgomery said.

She said she hopes the teens’ experience at the Juvenile Detention Center Library gets them familiar with the library system so they can visit when they get out.