Sunday, October 11, 2020 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston County Public Library is mourning the death of one of its valued staff members. Christine Whipple died Thursday, Oct. 8. 

Christy worked in adult services at the Wando Mount Pleasant Library since March of 2019 and was part of the staff that helped open the Wando branch in that year. She was highly respected by her peers for her professionalism, warmth, and above all, her sense of humor. CCPL was a second career for Christy after working 21 years as an English Instructor, first at Trident Technical College and then at the Art Institute of Charleston, where she also spent two years running their library. She shared her love of writing and literature at CCPL and was beloved by her patrons for her innovative programs, especially her writers group and popular Mystery Writers book club. Not one to be deterred by the COVID-19 shutdown, she also helped start a gardening club in the past several months and recently jumped into the virtual programming world with a series to teach Sculpey polymer clay modeling. Christy was the type of staff member CCPL is honored to have had as she connected with her community and was a friend and mentor to her colleagues.

From her supervisor Frankie Lea Hannan, "Christy was a charismatic much-loved employee. Her coworkers and patrons were always tapping into her boundless energy and willingness to take on any project. Christy was a writer with a passion to share her talent and expertise from her years as a college professor. Christy also loved to do crafts and her rolled bowl (using recycled magazines) was super popular; she had a couple of classes and she created a take-n-make of this project. Christy believed in empowering the community through learning and developed a how-to sew class with coworkers. Christy was a renaissance woman, and her death has left a hole in the hearts of those who love her."

From branch manager Delores Schweitzer, “From Day 1, Christy was an ambassador of all the values CCPL holds dear. In her interview, I remember how she spoke of her work at the Art Institute, creating programs to get the students talking to each other first, and then empowering them to share and lead. She loved connecting with people and creating community, and she had a story for every situation. She eagerly roved the library, sharing her recommendations with our visitors, and connecting patrons to resources and ideas to help them succeed and move forward. She encouraged us all to turn our ideas into realty, and her affirming challenge of “Let’s do it!” will be in our minds and hearts for years to come. She was quick to help in any way she could, for the team and to lighten an individual staff member’s load, and we knew that she cared deeply about us. Even as we mourn, Christy would have wanted us to act, and so we are planning some programs to honor her memory, starting with a Thanksgiving Day shoebox parade – something Christy initiated last year and we hope to continue in the years to come. It is a fitting tribute, as we are filled with gratitude to have known Christy.”

CCPL mourns the loss of Christy and our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.