Registration for Local Authors and Publishers for 2nd Annual Tri-County Literary Celebration is Open















Please join us at the 2nd Annual Tri-County Literary Celebration at Old Santee Canal Park February 6th 2015 from 10 am to 3 pm noon. The celebration aims to recognize the special talents of people like you, who reside in Berkeley, Charleston, or Dorchester Counties, have written and published a book and made it available to purchase. This gathering is a forum designed to introduce you and your published works to the general public.

You are cordially invited to exhibit and sell your books to people who attend.



TumbleBook Library Now Available Statewide to Public Libraries

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina State Library is pleased to announce the agreement of a two-year statewide subscription to the TumbleBook Library for all South Carolina public libraries.

The TumbleBook Library collection includes over 500 fiction and non-fiction animated and talking story, and chapter books.  Also included in the collection are French and Spanish books as well as National Geographic videos, puzzles, games, and songs; all resources designed to teach children the joy of reading and learning.
South Carolina public library patrons now have unlimited access to the TumbleBook Library from computers or mobile devices so this great resource can be used in the library, at home, or on the go.
For more information about the TumbleBook Library, please contact your local BCLS public library to get your user name and password.
About the S.C. State Library
The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.  For more information, please visit or call 803-734-8666. 

New BCLS Teen Loyalty Cards!


With school in session, we don’t want to be left behind and forgotten! So come show us how much you love your local library by grabbing our brand new “BCLS Teen Loyalty Card”. All you have to do is present your loyalty card to a library staff member at the time of checkout, and they will stamp it for you.

So simple – Fill the card up, Drop it in the bucket at your local BCLS branch or bookmobile, and be entered to win the monthly drawing.


Want to fill up the card even faster?

Attend a teen program at any BCLS location and you will get an extra stamp on your loyalty card!

The more cards you fill up and turn in, the better chance to win!

Berkeley County Flooding Update and Resources

SCDOC is working with The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to applying for a Disaster National Emergency Grant, seeking federal funds to cover costs associated with

photo from the Berkeley Observer

photo from the Berkeley Observer

temporary employment services needed for humanitarian efforts, clean-up and restoration in areas impacted by the flood.  This not only assists with the clean-up efforts, but also gets displaced workers employment quickly.

DEW also is looking to implement the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, which is a federally funded and mandated program to provide temporary assistance to individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of a disaster that has been declared by the President.
There is a very tight deadline with the US Department of Labor to apply for the funds. We need your assistance in providing the impact data and the proposed clean-up needs involved.
Understanding that we are still in the initial assessment phase and may only have projections at this time, we need your help and are seeking data on the following:
  • Number of businesses unable to operate in each of the impacted counties.
  • Number of workers separated due to business operations ceasing.
  • Number of potential temporary positions needed to provide assistance to those who have been evacuated, by county.
  • Number of potential temporary positions needed to facilitate public clean-up and restoration activities, by county.
Any info you can provide to help us gather this data will be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance for your assistance in gathering or providing this information and for recognizing our window of opportunity is very limited.
Flood Debris Collection Information
SCDOT Provides Flood Debris Collection Information
In anticipation of a major effort to collect debris resulting from the rain and flooding in the state, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) wants to make the public aware of the guidelines for the collection of debris.
Categories of debris that will be collected by SCDOT:
  • Vegetative debris – Tree branches, leaves, logs & plants. DO NOT BAG this material.
  • Construction/Demolition material – Carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses, plumbing materials, shingles and tiles.
  • Appliances – Air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers.
  • Electronics – Computers, televisions, stereos, radios and other devices with an electrical cord.
  • Household Hazardous Waste- Cleaning supplies, lawn chemicals, oils, oil-based paints and stains, pesticides
If you have or will receive insurance proceeds for the removal or disposal of flood generated debris, do not place on right-of-way for collection by SCDOT.
SCDOT will not collect normal household trash and bagged debris of any kind. Property owners should continue to follow normal garbage removal schedules.
The debris should be separated into the categories listed above.  Property owners should not stack or lean debris on or near trees, fire hydrants, mail boxes or other structures. Debris should be placed at the edge of the property line at the curb. Any debris placed between a sidewalk toward the property will not be collected by SCDOT. A schedule will be released when the details have been determined.
A chart illustrating the information in this release can be found in this link:
Allen Hutto
Government Relations Officer
South Carolina Department of Transportation
Office:  803-737-0593
Mobile:  803-665-2764
Road and Bridge Closings
We have just updated the Road Closure document to reflect the most current information issued today, October 8, 2015.
Road Conditions
SCDOT has posted up-to-date road conditions by county.
Go to:
Business Recovery Guide
When a disaster occurs, businesses must take care of their employees’ needs, communicate the impact, address financial matters (e.g., insurance, disaster assistance), restore operations, and organize recovery. Below are resources to help reopen your business and make progress through long-term recovery.
Go to:

National Disaster Help Desk
The US Chamber Foundation’s CCC launched the National Disaster Help Desk for Business (1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP) in 2007, a resource brought to you by the Office Depot Foundation. The Help Desk is designed to enhance community economic recovery after a disaster, but also starts with building contacts and relationships before one occurs.

The Help Desk will provide coordination of information among businesses, local chambers of commerce, nonprofits, government, and disaster recovery specialists. The purpose is to support and enhance existing systems, and facilitate information sharing where there are gaps. After a Presidentially declared disaster where the Help Desk is activated, you should call if:

  • You are in the impact area and want help navigating FEMA, SBA, and other assistance programs.
  • You are in the impact area and are not sure who to call for a particular need or assistance.
  • You want information about recovery best practices.
  • You want to support the recovery process and connect with chambers or businesses in the impacted area.

Source: Berkeley Chamber of Commerce President, Elaine Morgan

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors


Columbia, S.C. – Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre (fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic) explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s life or view of the world.

The 23rd annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with the South Carolina Center for the Book and the South Carolina State Library with financial support from the South Carolina State Library Foundation.
Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The South Carolina Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in an awards ceremony on April 29, 2016. Their winning letters will be published online at the South Carolina Center for the Book’s website. South Carolina winners will also receive monetary prizes, and then advance to the national judging.
South Carolina winners will receive $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place in each level. For more information and entry forms, please Last year’s South Carolina winners may be found at the website.
Submissions from Grades 9-12 must be postmarked by December 4, 2015. Submissions from Grades 4-8 must be postmarked by January 11, 2016.

Source: South Carolina State Library

Friends of the BCLS Host Annual Meeting Oct 8th to Elect New Officers and Celebrate Local Author Sherry Schumann

The Friends of BCLS is an incorporated non-profit organization of volunteers that promote, enhance, and support the Berkeley County Library System to bring all the exciting, involving, inspiring programs our county’s residents both need…and deserve.

Money is raised through membership fees, corporate incentives, Friends’ book sale shelves at each library and special fundraising events. Funds from the Friends help support programs and initiatives for children, teens, and adults including the Summer Reading Program.

It’s that time of year again to celebrate the success of one year closing and plan for another year to come at the Friend’s Annual Meeting. The 2015 Annual Meeting will be Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 pm at the Moncks Corner Library. (1003 Highway 52). Lite refreshments will be served and local author Sherry Schumann will featured.


About Sherry Schumann 

Moncks Corner Resident and Local Author Sherry Schumann

Moncks Corner Resident and Local Author Sherry Schumann

Having traveled along a journey of healing and redemption, Sherry’s greatest joy is the LORD. She leads women’s Bible studies, speaks at Christian retreats, and co-chairs a community James 1:27 Team (support group for those of us who care for elderly parents). Her wildlife photography from the South Carolina Lowcountry is featured at women’s prayer and healing services. She and her husband are blessed with three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and an adorable granddaughter.

Sherry’s first novel, The Christmas Bracelet, was published by WestBow Press. She also published an Easter drama, They Knew No Easter, by Lillenas. Her article “Meeting Jesus at the Toilet Bowl’ (strange title but definitely worth the read) will soon appear in Christmas Moments.



2015 Annual Meeting Candidates

Sue Kelley (President Nominee)

Sue Kelley grew up in the Smoky Mountains of Western NC and East TN with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. She attended East Tennessee State College with an English major. She has always been an avid reader and encourages others to read. She worked several years in retail management; was a rural carrier, as well as a rural delivery and driver trainer for the United States Postal Service.



CharonCharon Gadsden (Vice President Nominee)

After relocating to SC many years ago, Charon Gadsden considers the St Stephen area as her home. She has been able to raise three wonderful children and flourish her entrepreneurial goals in Berkeley County for over fifteen years. Her passion for reading, literacy, and understanding the many advantages of having a library makes her eager to serve the BCLS and her community.



20150826_155831Nancy Shaw (Secretary Nominee)

Nancy Shaw is currently a work-at-home mom living in Goose Creek. Previously, Nancy was a public high school English teacher, and before that, she served in the Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in China. Nancy says, “The Berkeley County Library System provides so many wonderful resources for our community, so it would be great to try to give something back as the secretary of the Friends.”



PatPat Whetzel (Treasurer)

Pat Whetzel was born in Summerville, SC and has been married to Frank Whetzel for almost 50 years. She is the proud mother of two and grandmother of three. Pat retired as an Office Manager of approximately 30 yrs. She is an active member of Moncks Corner United Methodist Church, Chairman of the History and Archives, a volunteer for Mepkin Abby Creche Festival, and a volunteer for Rosco Reader as well as the Treasurer for the Friends of Berkeley County Library System.

The Treasurer is a paid position and not up for election at this time.

There are also a few Friends of the Library Board Seats available.

To RSVP, please call Gwen Lewis at 843-899-4502.

Not a member yet? Join today online at


Tri-County Literary Celebration

The Berkeley County Library System and The Town of Stephen Celebrate New St. Stephen Library Sunday, September 20th

Deputy County Supervisor, Tim Callanan and County Councilman Caldwell Pinckney, Jr. cut the ribbon.

Deputy County Supervisor, Tim Callanan and County Councilman Caldwell Pinckney, Jr. cut the ribbon.

In 2007 a Space Utilization Study was commissioned by the county. One of the recommendations from the study was a larger, permanent library, owned by the county, in the St. Stephen area. The library there had, since its inception, been housed in leased buildings. County Council created a capital projects list in 2008 and a new library for St. Stephen was included. The funding for the new library consisted of a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, approved in December 2012, and a measure passed by County Council for the rest of th

e project, including a new Magistrate’s Court to share the building.

The town of St. Stephen offered the empty and historic St. Stephen School, built in 1928, as a site for the new library and magistrate’s court in 2012. SGA Architect, Luda Sobchuk, designed the library and Lauren Williams of Herald Office Products selected the interior furnishings. The bid for the renovation was issued in 2013 and Allied Contracting Services from Summerville submitted the lowest bid. The project took much longer than anticipated to complete because of renovation challenges and decisions that involved the input of the Department of Commerce.  The contractor is due to be out of the building soon.

Refreshments provided by The Corner Cafe and Bakery, The Friends of the Library, and IGA of St. Stephen

Refreshments provided by The Corner Cafe and Bakery, The Friends of the Library, and IGA of St. Stephen

The Library officially opened September 8, 2015 with the grand opening celebration just a few weeks to follow this past Sunday.  Speakers for the ceremony included Library Director Donna Worden, Representative Joseph H Jefferson, Jr. of the 102 District, Deputy County Supervisor Tim Callanan, County Councilman Caldwell Pinckney Jr., and chair of the library board of trustees Patricia H. Richards. A generous donation from local employer, Albany International, assisted with the cost of the event. Refreshments were provided by The Corner Café and Bakery of Moncks Corner, IGA Grocery of St. Stephen, and the Friends of the Berkeley County Library. Music was generously provided by DeeDee Cumbie on behave of The Lowcountry Bluegrass Academy. Volunteers from Timberland High School’s ROTC and National Honor Society helped set up and clean up the event.

More than 250 attended the celebration and toured the new space including: a community meeting room with a kitchen area and seating for 45, a conference room with seating for 6 and a private study room to accommodate 6 individuals, a children’s area with a reading corner and 6 computers, a separate room for teens with 4 computes and study tables, 10 public computers and 5 laptops for adult use, and an informational desk for reference assistance.

The new library will also feature new programs such as family movie matinees, a new weekly story time, and technology workshops. For more information about the new library or for a schedule of events, please visit

DeeDee Cumbie from the Lowcountry Bluegrass Academy

DeeDee Cumbie from the Lowcountry Bluegrass Academy


The Library Board of Trustees

The Library Board of Trustees