The Charleston County Library was established in 1930 and formally opened Jan. 1, 1931. It was first housed in the Charleston Museum building. Within the first two days, 400 library cards were issued, and 8,473 books were circulated by the end of the next month.
The library's services expanded rapidly, and the first library branches were opened in June 1931 to make library materials accessible to all county residents. At the end of the first year, the library had 9,705 members and circulated 77,459 books.
Over the next four years the library continued to expand. The staff felt that a separate building was needed, and the library moved to new quarters at 94 Rutledge Avenue that year.
By 1954, the library had outgrown the 94 Rutledge Avenue location, and a public campaign was launched for the construction of a new library building headquarters. A bond issue was put before the voters by County Council, and it passed with a large majority. A site was selected on Marion Square where the west wing of the old Citadel was located, and the new headquarters building opened its doors in November 1960.
On Sunday, Feb. 8, 1998, the library closed its doors at the 404 King Street address for the last time. A new library was built only a few blocks away at 68 Calhoun Street, and the grand opening was held Tuesday, April 7, 1998.