Serving all of Berkeley County!

Serving all of Berkeley County!

How Do I….

General Help

Get a library card?

Who is eligible for a free library card?

  • Berkeley County residents
  • Dorchester County residents
  • Berkeley County school teachers* (public, private, and home school parents)
  • Active College Student with proper student I.D.*
  • Berkeley County property owners*
  • Berkeley County business owners*
  • Berkeley County Government Employees*
  • U.S. Active Duty military employees and dependents*

* Free library cards are available to the persons listed above with* even if they do not reside in Berkeley County.

Can I apply for my card online?

YES! Now you can apply for a library card online!

This is online registration will provide you with an e-library card number for immediate access to our digital content such as our e-Books, e-Magazines, e-Audiobooks, and online resources and databases. Click here to obtain an e-library card now.

If you are new to Berkeley County or a new library user, the e-library card is the perfect way for you to begin using our e-resources immediately.

Your e-library card will allow you to:

Online registration remains active for 30 days and a library card will be mailed to the address provided. To receive your permanent  library card, please bring the library card received in the mail with along with photo identification and verification of Berkeley County address at any of our locations. Applicants 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with picture ID and proof of address. If you already have an active BCLS library card, a new card may not be mailed to you and a staff member will contact you within 2 business days of your registration for further instructions. 

Who is eligible for a renewable, one-year $30.00 card?

Persons living outside Berkeley or Dorchester county (with the exception of those listed under “free” library card).

**Persons residing in Berkeley County temporarily (less than six months) are eligible for a $15.00 temporary card.

Do I need a library card to use the library’s computers?

Your library card, with a signed Internet Agreement, gives you free access to the computers.

“Computer Use” cards are now available at no charge.

What if I am new to the area or just moved and do not have proof of residency yet?

BCLS now offers a complimentary Non-Verified Resident card. This NVR card will allow you to use the library and its services for 30 days during which time, we ask that you return to the library with proof of residency to activate your permanent library card. With a NVR card you can check out 5 items.

Manage my account

  1. Login to the catalog.
    Enter your 14 digit library card number without spaces.
    Enter your PIN number.
  2. My Account
    If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to do so before accessing your information.

    1. Review My Account
      Shows both a summary and detailed info on holds you have placed and materials you have lost.
    2. Renew My Materials
    3. User PIN Change
      Enter your card number and PIN then enter and verify a new one.
    4. Change My Address
      Fill in only the information that has changed.

Renew my materials

You can renew materials from My Account.

  1. Click Renew My Materials.
  2. Log in, if you have not already done so.  This login is only valid for the current transaction.
  3. Select the Select Items to Renew or Renew All option.
  4. If you are renewing selected items, select the check box next to the items you want to renew.
  5. Click Renew Selected Items to renew your materials, or click Clear Selections to start over.

Or, you can renew materials from Review My Account.

  1. Click Review My Account.
  2. Log in, if required.
  3. Click the Checkouts tab.  The number of items eligible for renewal appears in the tab header.
  4. If you are renewing selected items, select the check box next to the items you want to renew, or select the Select All check box to renew all items.
  5. Click Renew Selected Items to renew your materials.
  • If your library limits the total number of renewals or the number of consecutive unseen renewals, the total number of times renewed and the number of unseen renewals may display for each item.
  • If the current renewal is the next to last renewal permitted for the item, a message displays.
  • If an item cannot be renewed for any reason, a message displays.

Place or Change a Hold

When you want an item that is checked out to another patron, you can place a hold on it.  When the item is returned to the library, the item is checked in, and if there is a hold on the item, it is placed on a special shelf, and the library notifies you to pick it up.

You must log on before you can place a hold.  Some libraries let patrons place holds on items currently on the shelf at another location.

Search the catalog for the book/DVD/etc.  If it is checked out or at another branch of the library, you can place a hold in the catalog.

To place holds:

  1. Click Place Hold next to the item you want on the list or on the record for the single item.
  2. You will be prompted to log on if you have not previously done so.  The Submit Hold window appears.
  3. Select a library where you would like to pick up the item.
  4. Type an Expiration Date if you want to tell the library that you will not need the item after this date.
  5. Type a Suspension Start Date and a Suspension End Date if you want to put the hold “on hold”.  For example, you are going on vacation.  If you enter suspension dates, your name is temporarily removed from the hold queue.  At the end of the suspension, your original place in the hold queue is restored.
  6. Click Submit Hold to place the hold, or click Reset Query Values to start over.

Cancel a Hold

You can cancel a hold from My Account.

  1. Click Review My Account.
  2. Log in, if required.
  3. On the Holds tab, select the Cancel check box for hold items to be canceled.  Or, select the Select All check box to cancel all holds in one step.
  4. Click Cancel Selected Holds.

To view more information about the title on hold, click the Details link.

Request Materials from Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows a user of the library to borrow books that we do not have in our collection from another library system.

Who may use ILL?

Berkeley County residents with a current Berkeley County Library System card in good standing can use this service.

How do I request materials through (ILL)?

You can make a request at your local branch or click here to request an ILL online.

How many requests can I place?

You can have 4 requests at one time (requests include: items requested, items pending, items awaiting checkout and items currently checked out.)

How will I know when my request(s) arrive?

You will receive an email or a phone call.

How long may I keep the item?

The lending library determines the loan period.

May interlibrary loan items be renewed?

You may request a renewal before the due date.

May I return the interlibrary loan item at any branch?

Interlibrary loan books are treated differently than our own collections. You must return the item to the branch where you picked it up.

What is the band placed on my interlibrary loan item?

Please, do not remove the band. It identifies the item as an Interlibrary loan and provides information to you (due date, renewal date & BCLS return location).

How much will the loan cost?

There is no charge for the loan with the exception of the following: *the item is not picked up ($2.00) *returned late (0.50¢ per day).

Request an Interlibrary Loan

Register for a technology class

To register for a technology class, click here
It contains an online registration form. Use this link to check for current class offerings.

If you do not want to register online, call or visit your library branch.

Volunteer

Volunteering can be rewarding.

Spending just a few hours of your time each week can lead to:

  • Meeting new people.
  • New experiences.
  • Learning about what the library has to offer.
  • Satisfaction from helping others.

Volunteering is easy.

Ask your branch manager about current volunteer opportunities. You’ll get an application to complete. When you submit it, include a copy of your driver’s license (18 years old and older). Once your application is screened, we’ll help you decide how your talents and interests can best help the Berkeley County Library System in their quest to provide great service.

High school students (14-17 years old) are advised to apply for volunteer openings early in the school year as there are a limited number of volunteer projects.

Areas the library could use your help.

  • Show films on early dismissal days.
  • Help keep book shelves in order
  • Help set up exhibits
  • Keep magazines and newspapers in order
  • Shelve books
  • Assemble packets
  • Process withdrawn books
  • Identify CDs and DVDs for resurfacing
  • Resurface CDs and DVDs
  • Mend books
  • Storytelling
  • Promotion of programs

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Volunteer Applications

Volunteer Needed

Looking for a computer-savvy volunteer to help with the input (scanning and handling) of historic documents and photos. Please contact us.

Book a meeting room

The Berkeley County Public Library provides free use of its meeting rooms for library sponsored, or co-sponsored events and programs; Friends of Library events; programs presented by individuals, community groups and organizations whose focus is cultural, intellectual, civic, informational or educational; and, county and other governmental agency meetings and programs.

Click here for the Meeting Room Use Request form. Please complete, print, and submit to the library where you would like the room.


Searching the Catalog

Getting Started: Searching

Begin exploring the e-library from the Search/Home page, where you can do different types of searches, log in for patron benefits, and access all types of information that your library has selected for you.

  1. To begin searching, type a term in the search box under Quick Search.
  2. To narrow your search, select one of the following options before clicking the Search button. Some systems may require that you click an option button, such as Author or Title, to begin your search.
    • Words or phrase
    • Author
    • Title
    • Subject
    • Series
    • Periodical title
  3. Select a location or all branches, to search in the Library  box. You may select ALL to include all branches in the search.
  4. Select Advanced Search to find Digital Media (e-books). Select the Search Only Electronic Books check box to search only electronic texts.
  5. If available, you can redo a search you’ve already done by selecting it from the Previous Searches box.

Your search results may be a single catalog record or a list of catalog records.

*If you look at the details of an item in your search and want to return to your search, use the “Go Back” link in the light green bar. If you go back by clicking your browser button, you will lose your search.

The first search page that you access in the e-library has simple Quick Search options. You can return to Quick Search from other search pages by clicking  New Search.

Click Advanced Search to further refine your initial search.

Click Browse to browse on authors, titles, subjects, series, or journal titles.

From the Advanced Search, look to right to find Call Number Search to search for a specific call number. If you are familiar with your library’s catalog record item types, you can choose a specific item type to search under from the Type box. You can limit your call number search by the area of the library that the item is located from the Location box.

Click Bookmark This Page to create a bookmark so you can return to a particular e-Library page, including a Search Results page or a Details display page.

Click Permalink to create a permanent link (permalink) to an e-Library page. The permalink can be copied and used in a Web page, e-mail message, or a Web log (blog).

More about Searching

How to Find DVDs in the Catalog

If you know the title of the film, select Browse, type in the title of the movie, from the dropdown list select “title”, then click on Search.

If you want to find films with a specific actor, by default “Keyword” is already is selected. Type in the actor’s name, by default the dropdown box is already on “words or phrase,” then click on Search.

For example: I want to find all the movies with Colin Firth. So the search looks like this: Keyword, Colin Firth (in the search box), “words or phrase” (in the dropdown box). The search returns 31 items. One item is a music CD, three are books and 27 are movies.

You can also search movies by genre.

Select Browse, type in a genre (listed below), by default the dropdown box is already on “words or phrase,” then click on Search.

Genres:

  • Action and adventure films
  • Action and adventure television programs
  • Animated television programs
  • Biographical films
  • Children’s films
  • Children’s television programs
  • Christian films
  • Comedy films
  • Detective and mystery films
  • Detective and mystery television programs
  • Documentary films
  • Documentary television programs
  • Educational films
  • Fantasy films
  • Historical films
  • Historical television programs
  • Horror films
  • Instructional films
  • Made-for-TV movies
  • Musical films
  • Nonfiction television programs
  • Romance films
  • Romantic comedy films
  • Science fiction films
  • Superhero films
  • Teen television programs
  • Television adaptations
  • Television comedies
  • Television programs
  • Thrillers (Motion pictures)
  • War films
  • Western films

How to Find Music CDs in the Catalog

If you know the title of the CD, select Browse, type in the title of the CD, from the dropdown list select “title,” then click on Search.

If you want to find films with a specific singer or group, by default “Keyword” is already is selected. Type in the singer or group’s name, select “author” from the dropdown box, then click on Search.

For example: I want to find all the Black Eyed Peas’ CDs. So the search looks like this: Keyword, Black Eyed Peas (in the search box), and “author” (in the dropdown box). The search returns 3 music CDs.

You can also search music by genre.

On the search page, select Advanced Search.

Type Country Music in the words or phrase search box, then in type, from the dropdown box select Music CD, and then click on Search.

Before you search, you may want to sort the list by: oldest to newest, newest to oldest, by author, by title, etc. Look for sort by, and then select how you want to sort from the dropdown box.

Genres:

  • Country music
  • Country music–2011-2020
  • Popular music
  • Popular music–2011-2020
  • Gospel music
  • Contemporary Christian music
  • Rock music
  • Rock music–2011-2020
  • Rhythm and blues music
  • Jazz
  • Children’s songs
  • Christmas music
  • Latin pop (Music)
  • Operas
  • Folk-rock music

Advanced Searching Tips

Searching using Operators allows you to focus your search by linking search terms and defining the relationship between them.

  • Boolean operators
  • positional operators
  • relational operators

Some operators take precedence over others when searching the catalog; refer to operator precedence for more information.

In addition, the e-library will not allow you to search for operators when they are at the beginning or end of a search expression and not enclosed in double quotation marks.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators (AND, NOT, OR, XOR) locate records containing matching terms in one of the specified fields, both of the specified fields, or all of the specified fields. Use Boolean operators to connect words or phrases between more than one text field, or use Boolean operators to connect words or phrases within a text field.

  • Use the AND operator to locate records containing all of the specified search terms. For example, if you search under “dogs AND cats”, the e-library locates records containing all of the specified terms.
  • Use the OR operator to locate records matching any or all of the specified terms. For example, if you search under “dogs OR cats”, the e-library locates records containing either the first search term or the second.
  • Use the NOT operator to locate records containing the first search term but not the second. For example, if you search under “dogs NOT cats”, the e-library locates records containing the first search term but not the second.
  • Use the XOR (exclusive or) operator to locate records matching any of the specified terms but not all of the specified terms. For example, if you search under “dogs XOR cats”, the e-library locates records matching any one of the specified terms but not all of the specified terms.

Positional Operators

Positional operators (SAME, WITH, NEAR, ADJ) locate records in which the search terms are in close proximity within the same bibliographical record. Positional operators can be used to connect words or phrases within a search field but not between search fields.

  • Use the SAME or WITH operator to locate records in which a bibliographic record field contains all of the specified terms. For example, if you search under “Chicago SAME history”, only records containing both “Chicago” and “history” within the same bibliographic field will be retrieved.
  • Use the NEAR operator to locate records in which a field contains all of the search terms next to each other; however, the order of the terms does not have to match the order they were entered. For example, if you search under “Chicago NEAR history”, only records with the terms “Chicago” and “history” next to each other within the same bibliographic field would be retrieved from this search. “Chicago” or “history” could display first in the field.
  • Use the ADJ operator to locate records in which a field contains all of the search terms adjacent to each other and in the order they were entered. For example, if you search under “Chicago ADJ history”, only records with the terms “Chicago” and “history” adjacent to each other within the same bibliographic field and with “Chicago” listed first in this field would be retrieved from this search.
  • In addition, you may append a number to the positional operators NEAR and ADJ to limit or broaden the proximity between words. For example, “FROM ADJ1 HERE ADJ2 ETERNITY” shows how to search for the title, “From Here to Eternity.” ADJ2 means that the words may be within two searchable words of each other, but they must be in the order they were entered.

Relational Operators

Relational operators (<, >, =, <>, <=, >=) allow you to search numeral expressions. Use relational operators by enclosing a field name or entry tag number in braces {}, then typing a relational operator and number.

OperatorDefinition
<less than
>greater than
=equal to
<>not equal to
<=less than or equal to
>=greater than or equal to

For example, if you type “{DATE} < 991022", SirsiDynix Symphony searches for records whose Date field contains values less than 991022.

Operator Precedence

When the search expression consists of a combination of terms, the order in which these terms are searched can be defined. If two operators are at the same level in the list, the e-library first searches the term at the left, then moves right. Refer to the following list for operator precedence, with the highest listed first.

=
<>
< <= >
>=
NEAR, ADJ
WITH
SAME
AND, NOT
XOR, OR

Precise Phrase Searching allows a set of terms to be marked as a single phrase by enclosing the expression in single quotes. This enclosed search expression must be matched in the catalog exactly as typed in the search field.

Nesting allows search expressions to be grouped or nested using parentheses. The e-library searches the expression located in the innermost set of parentheses first, and then continues the search, moving outward to the terms at the edges of the expression.

Searching Keyword Index Synonyms allows one or more of entry tags to be represented with a keyword index synonym name (such as AU for author or TI for title).

The e-library ignores Stopwords when searching the catalog, allowing the e-library to search on the keywords of an expression. These stopwords are usually articles, prepositions, or conjunctions, such as a, an, as, at, be, but, by, do, for, if, in, it, of, on, the, and to, among others. Enclose your expression in double quotation marks to prevent the stopwords from being ignored.

Searching Using Substitution and Truncation allows the symbols ? and $ to be used to represent substitution and truncation.

These two symbols can be used together or separately, and at the beginning, middle, and end of a term. To literally search these symbols, enclose them with quotation marks.

The ? symbol is used as a substitute for a missing character in a search term, usually when you are unsure of a spelling or when you want to find two forms of one word. For example, if you enter WOM?N, the e-library locates records containing either “woman” or “women.”

The $ symbol is used to truncate search terms and can represent a single characters, many characters, or no characters. If you follow the $ symbol with a number, the e-library limits the number of characters matched. When more than one term in a search expression is truncated, each term is searched for all variations. For example, if you enter JAME$, the e-library locates the specified records containing the terms “Jame,” “James,” “Jameson,” and “Jamerton.”

To individually Search Numbers in a List, you must type a space between each number. The e-library searches numbers separated by commas as if the numbers were not separated. The following examples may help you search numbers in a list.

  • The e-library searches 1,2,3,4,5 as a single term.
  • The e-library searches 5000 and 5,000 as the same term.
  • The e-library searches 1 2 3 4 5 as separate terms.

To see a Browse List of possible search matches, leave the Search For field blank, or type in the first part of the search term.

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