Code of Conduct

The Charleston County Public Library is dedicated to protecting the rights and safety of library users, volunteers, and staff. Our goal is to enable all library visitors to enjoy a welcoming, safe, and secure environment. Each person is expected to respect the rights of others and comply with the following Library Use Guidelines while on library property. Library property includes both virtual space and physical space, including interiors and exteriors of library buildings.


A. Respectful Behaviors

  1. Understand that the Library is a shared public space and respect the needs and diverse expectations of all library users.
  2. Comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as County and library policies.
    1. Youth Policy
    2. Internet Use Policy
  3. Refrain from behaviors that hinder or prevent others from also using the Library.
  4. Respect library staff, security personnel and library resources and property and conduct yourself in a safe and orderly manner.
  5. Safeguard personal items and remove said items from the Library after your visit.
  6. Consume covered drinks and snacks in designated areas and away from electronics. In the event of a spill, alert staff so the area can be cleaned.
  7. Alert library staff or security personnel if something is interfering with the enjoyment of your visit.


B. Disruptive Behaviors which disturb library users or staff may result in temporary loss of library use. The age of the patron and any disabilities that play a role in the inappropriate behavior will be considered. Authorities will be notified as appropriate and necessary.

  1. Entering or remaining in the Library buildings without being fully clothed (torso must be covered including shirt and bottoms) or without wearing shoes.
  2. Entering or remaining in the Library buildings with foul body odor or personal hygiene, including clothing odor.
  3. Bringing animals in library buildings, except for ADA recognized service animals and animals participating in library programs.
  4. Smoking, use of any tobacco products or e-cigarettes, including, but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco or use of a nicotine delivery system that produces smoke or vapor in the buildings or within 50 feet of any library entrance.
  5. Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  6. Bringing in items that could impede the safety of others or leaving items unattended. The Library is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged on library premises. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the Library. All bags and other articles are subject to inspection by library personnel. Unattended items may be removed.
  7. Bringing wheeled devices into the Library (bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and other similar items), other than medical equipment, strollers, or wheeled book bags.
  8. Monopolizing space or creating safety hazards by obstructing access to aisles, services, equipment, seating, or materials with personal belongings, by lying down, sleeping, sitting on the floor or by moving library furniture.
  9. Creating any loud and/or disturbing noises or actions, whether by an individual or electronic device, including running, shouting, cursing, speakerphone, and playing audio without headphones.
  10. Using library facilities or equipment for other than library purposes, including loitering, solicitation, selling or distributing materials without prior written authorization, entering non-public areas of the Library, or using non- public library telephones without permission, misusing library restrooms for bathing, shaving, or any other inappropriate behavior.
  11. Leaving a child under nine years old in the Library unattended by a responsible person 12 or older. Leaving a child or young adult under 16 years old in the Library or library premises after closing time.
  12. Refusing to leave the Library at the designated closing time.
  13. Disregarding fire regulations.
  14. Engaging in any behaviors that fail to comply with the Library’s established standards and guidelines.


C. Severe, Violent, or Illegal Behaviors, along with Repetitive Disruptive Behaviors may result in a temporary or permanent trespass depending on the severity of the infraction. Some behaviors may result in the pursuit of criminal charges. The age of the patron and any disabilities that play a role in the inappropriate behavior may be considered. Law enforcement officers will be notified as appropriate and necessary.

  1. Possessing weapons, except by law enforcement officers.
  2. Violent, threatening, or abusive behavior toward another person – verbally, physically or in writing, including all forms of electronic media.
  3. Assault, fighting, or threatening to fight.
  4. Harassing, including, but not limited to, stalking, excessive staring or lurking, taunting, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure.
  5. Engaging in sexual conduct.
  6. Intentionally damaging, defacing, destroying, or stealing property belonging to the Library, a patron, or employee.
  7. Violating Library Internet Use Policy.
  8. Selling and/or possessing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  9. Engaging in any behaviors that would constitute a crime under applicable law.

Library staff and/or security personnel will intervene to stop prohibited activities and behaviors. Failure to comply with the Library's established standards of acceptable behavior may result in removal from the building and/or restriction of library privileges.


D. Trespass and Appeals Process

Individuals who violate the Library’s policies may be placed on Trespass Warning, pursuant to SC Statute 16-11- 625, by the Library Executive Director, Branch Manager, or the Acting Branch Manager of the Library in consultation with the Library director for repeated and/or serious offenses. Individuals on Trespass will be informed in writing of their ban and the ban length. Individuals on Trespass are subject to arrest and prosecution should they enter any Charleston County Public Library property or premises without legal cause or good excuse.

Appeals may be submitted within five business days of receiving the Trespass Warning Notice to the Library Board of Trustees, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC 29401 or email [email protected]. The Board of Trustees will review the appeal and then provide a hearing within ten business days of the request for an appeal.

At the expiration date of the Trespass Warning, if not permanent, the individual may be required to sign a Commitment to Adhere to Charleston County Public Library Code of Conduct.


Approved by CCPL Library Board of Trustees on April 28, 2022.

Mission Statement

Charleston County Public Library connects our diverse community to information, fosters lifelong learning and enriches lives.

General Collection Development Plan

To achieve the goals outlined in the library's mission statement, the library must take a careful, systematic approach to building collections that meet the needs of all the residents of Charleston County. It is fiscally and operationally impossible to include all possible titles and formats in the libraries collections. The library will make decisions as to what specific titles and formats will be added to each specific library collection based on these collection development levels:

Print, audio-visual, and electronic materials selected at the Limited level offer the casual library user a brief introduction to the category or subject, its most important authors and artists, or the most current data. These collections are often dominated by recent best selling titles. No concerted effort is made to provide an inclusive overview or historical perspective. These collections are browser oriented, demand driven, and restricted by space and budget limitations.

Print, audio-visual, and electronic materials selected at the Basic level effectively introduce and define the category or subject to library users. Materials will include major reference works and bibliographies, historical surveys, original works by significant writers and artists, and websites and databases providing comprehensive information and statistics. These collections will respond to the needs of our community's secondary and post-secondary students and fulfill the information and entertainment demands of the average library user.

Print, audio-visual, and electronic materials selected at the Research level support independent research in categories or subjects of well-defined local importance. Materials will include the complete works of significant writers and artists, selections from secondary writers and artists, a wide selection of commentaries from a variety of points of view, academic and professional journals and reference works, and websites and databases of professional publishers and societies, governmental agencies, and educational organizations. Original source material will be acquired as needed. These collections represent a major commitment of library resources and become long term community and regional source centers.

Collections at the library's small and community branches will consist of materials defined by the Limited level. Collections at the library's regional branches will consist of Limited level materials plus Basic level materials in some well defined categories and subjects. The Main Library's collections will consist of all materials at the Basic level in almost all subjects and categories. The Main Library will also collect materials at the Research level in some well defined categories and subjects.

Basic Criteria for Selection

The Charleston County Public Library acquires print, audio-visual, and electronic materials of both permanent value and current interest in all subject areas and for all age and reading levels. The library recognizes and respects the cultural diversity of the many communities it serves, and selects materials that will meet the interests and needs of those varied communities. The following general criteria are used in adding specific materials to the library's collections, either purchased with library funds or gifts:

  1. Timelines and/or popularity of a subject or title
  2. Reputation of author, artist, publisher, or producer
  3. Local interest
  4. Relationship and importance to the collection
  5. Critical reviews and publicity
    1. Professional review journals
    2. Local media reviews and publicity
    3. Regional, national & international awards
    4. Standard bibliographies
    5. Recognized websites and databases
  6. Availability of materials on the subject
  7. Provision of alternative viewpoints
  8. Purchase price
  9. Accessibility to materials elsewhere in the area
  10. User suggestions and requests
  11. Suitability of format to library purposes

Each of these criteria may not and need not be used to evaluate each item, but are applied as general guidelines for consideration of all materials, regardless of format. The Charleston County Public Library recognizes that materials selected for the collection may be controversial and that any given item may offend some individuals. Selections will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval but solely on the merits of the work in relation to the collection as a whole, and to serving the needs of our diverse community of library users. The Library is committed to the principles and ideals contained in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read and Freedom to View declarations.


To ensure that the Library’s collections of books, electronic media, and other resources meet the current needs of our changing and diverse community, the Library systematically evaluates and removes, or weeds, items from it’s collections. The following criteria for weeding or transfer to another CCPL branch are used in this continual evaluation process:

  1. An item is out of date or includes inaccurate information.
  2. An item is damaged and cannot be mended or rebound.
  3. Newer editions or formats have been acquired by the Library.
  4. Multiple copies of formerly high demand items that are no longer needed.
  5. Item is no longer being used at specific community Library.
Freedom to Read

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  1. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  1. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  1. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  1. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no grouphas the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self- censorship.

  1. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

New Technologies

The Charleston Public Library is committed to utilizing new technologies to achieve our goals of responding to the informational and recreational needs of our community. As digital technologies, electronic databases and the internet have evolved; the Library has evaluated and employed the most appropriate and effective of these new products which are now essential to our reference and information services, replacing many standard print sources. Direct links to free websites, evaluated and vetted by library staff, are accessible from the Library’s homepage.

The Library now offers downloadable audio books and will be adding more downloadable print and streaming audio-visual products as those technologies develop. And while the Library’s basic selection criteria apply to all these electronic resources, availability of offsite access, at home or work or school, is a critical factor in their selection. Current and new electronic products are regularly evaluated by the Library’s Electronic Resources Evaluation Team which consists of public services staff from various Branches and Main Library departments, and is chaired by Collection Development.

Responsibility for Selection

While the ultimate responsibility for the selection of materials rest with the Library Board, it is the responsibility of the Collection Development Department, under the supervision of the Library Director and the Deputy Director, to implement this policy by delegation of authority and duties.

Labeling and Rating Library Materials

The Charleston County Public Library is committed to using only viewpoint-neutral labels and direction aids. The library rejects any labels, signage, or rating notations that restrict or discourage access to materials, or implies any doctrinal or moral recommendation.
The use of subjective, value-driven labels, notes, or direction aids violates the Library Bill of Rights.

Reconsideration of Materials

Library users occasionally object to specific items that have been selected for the collection. Persons seeking the reconsideration of library materials are asked to complete a reconsideration form. Completed forms are reviewed by the Library’s Reconsideration Committee which consists of public service staff from various branches and Main departments and Collection Development Librarian, and is chaired by the Deputy Director. The Committee reviews the specific item for inclusion in the collection in the context of the Library’s overall objectives, the Collection Development Policy as a whole, the basic selection criteria, and the Library Bill of Rights. The chair of the Committee relays the committee’s recommendation to the Library Director who has final authority overall all library collections.

Preservation and Conservation

Library collections in general and the South Carolina Room collection in particular, are at risk because of chemical deterioration of acidic paper and inferior bindings, conditions that are exacerbated by heavy use, mishandling, improper storage, and poor environmental conditions. The Charleston County Public Library is addressing this problem through staff education efforts on proper handling and recognition of book repair needs and conservation of selected items by such methods as containment, restoration, photo duplication, and repair. Preservation and conservation efforts are being coordinated systemwide by specialists assigned to the South Carolina Room.


The Library accepts donations of books, magazines, and audio-visual materials. The Library reserves the right to make final disposition of all gifts. Before being added to the collection, all gift materials must meet the same criteria as materials purchased with public funds. Gifts may be added to the library collection or rejected at the discretion of the library. Rejected gifts may be sent to the Friends of the Charleston County Library for public sale, may be discarded, or may be disposed of in some other way. Gifts are not returned to the donor.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948. Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 24, 1996 by the ALA Council.

Freedom to View

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore these principles are affirmed:

  1. To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
  2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
  3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
  4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video and other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or film maker or on the basis of controversial content.
  5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Boar of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989. Endorsed January 10, 1990, by the ALA Council.

Posting and Distribution of Non-Library Materials

Recognizing its role as a source for community information, Charleston County Public Library provides space at its branches for the posting and distribution of printed materials informing the public about events, services or resources that are civic, cultural, educational or recreational in nature. Branch libraries have a bulletin board for the posting of fliers; some branches also provide racks or table space where brochures or other literature may be left for patrons to take.

To be eligible for posting or distribution, the materials must be produced and represent activities by local nonprofit organizations, arts affiliates, educational institutions or government agencies. Authorized materials should provide timely information and will be displayed if space is available. The library reserves the right to refuse any material based on size, weight, format, content, volume or timeliness.

The library will not post or distribute advertisements or commercial notices from businesses or individuals. Bulletin boards and display space are not intended as a forum for the expression of the views of individuals or groups; therefore, the library will not display literature for political parties or candidates, petitions or other materials advocating a position on a public or social issue or materials supporting or opposing a particular religious conviction.

Postings should be given to the library staff. Unauthorized materials will be discarded. Acceptance for posting or distribution does not imply endorsement by the library.

Youth Support Policy

The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for youth. The purpose of this policy is to establish CCPL’s scope of services for youth, define objectives, and to outline expected standards of behavior of youth who use the Library’s spaces and resources. This policy also contains expectations for caregiver supervision while visiting the Library. It is also the purpose of this policy to provide guidance to the staff on the best practices to follow when serving youth.


Youth is a broad term used to refer to patrons aged 0 to 18 years old. Youth are welcome in our libraries and may have their own designated spaces for programming and resources, according to age and development levels.

  • CHILD: Birth to 5th grade, approximately 0 to 10 years old.
  • YOUNG ADULT/TEEN: 6th to 12th grade, approximately 11 to 18 years old.
  • CAREGIVER: Parent, legal guardian, or other individual, 12 years of age or older, to whom the guardian has given responsibility for the care of the younger child while at the Library.
  • YOUTH AREA: Distinct area for youth in the Library that is separate from the adult area. Anyone may browse the collection in the youth area; however, the youth spaces are reserved for youth and their caregivers. Adults unaccompanied by youth may be asked to relocate to the adult section of the Library.

Middle grade/tween resources, typically for patrons 8 to 12 years old, may be found in the Young Adult/Teen and Children’s collections. Refer to branches for specific programming for all age groups.


We are excited that children and young adult/teens are using the Library! CCPL is pleased to connect our community to information, library resources and spaces. We hope all youth who use the Library are inspired by what they read and learn.

Caregivers are responsible for their youth’s safety and behavior while on the Library premises whether the caregiver is present or not. Library employees cannot function as caregivers and are unable to provide long or short-term childcare. The Library assumes neither responsibility nor liability for the actions, care, supervision, or safety of minors. Library staff are available to assist and support youth and their caregivers in the Library. Should you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, please see a Library staff member.

The safety and well-being of youth left unattended in a public building is of serious concern. We ask your cooperation in the following areas as we strive to make the Library a welcoming and accessible place for your child:

  • Children 5 years old and younger (birth to kindergarten) must always be accompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver 12 years old or older.
  • Children 6 to 8 years old (1st to 3rd grade) must have a responsible caregiver 12 years old or older in the building at all times.
  • Children 9 years old and older (4th grade and up) are responsible for their own behavior in the Library and must follow library rules and regulations. Any child 9 years or older who is left unattended must have a means of contacting their caregiver or have a safe way to return home. Youth must know how to reach an adult in case of an emergency, and both child and adult should be aware of library hours. Caregivers should have made arrangements clear with their youth regarding leaving the Library on their own or with a designated caregiver.


CCPL has a robust collection of materials specifically for youth, however, youth have access to all materials in the Library. As your child’s first and best teacher, it is your responsibility to take an active role in selecting materials appropriate for your child and to be aware of what your child is checking out. Library staff does not take responsibility for judging the appropriateness of materials selected by your child when you are not present to supervise those selections.


Youth Expectations:

  • Respect the Library space, material, staff, and the right of other patrons to use the Library.
  • Comply with the Library Code of Conduct.

Youth Library Rights:

  • Use the Library without discrimination.
  • Receive friendly, respectful, and professional service.
  • Have free and equal access to information.
  • Have a clean, comfortable, and pleasant environment.
  • Youth patrons at CCPL are in control of their own consent and bodily autonomy. If they feel that this has been violated, ignored, neglected, or not given, please see a staff member immediately. Bodily autonomy is defined as the right for a person to govern what happens to their body without external influence or coercion. Consent is defined as granting permission.
  • Intellectual Freedom: Youth have the right to intellectual freedom. They have the right to access all materials and services offered within the Library. Their inquiries will be answered without judgement, in confidence and with respect. Staff may suggest materials appropriate to meet the needs of youth but will not censor materials or services.


Charleston County Public Library staff are dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment that encourages youth to visit the Library, use our collections and services, and attend programs. Please note the following policies:

  • Charleston County Public Library requires all visitors, including children and young adults to comply with our General Policies and Rules (Code of Conduct).
  • Library staff are available to assist and support youth with their use of Library resources.
  • When a youth is unattended or under-attended and:
    • The behavior of the youth is disruptive or inappropriate (or)
    • The youth appears to be a danger to themselves or others (or)
    • The youth appears to be ill or upset

            Library staff will address the youth to fully assess the situation and attempt to resolve it. If the situation is unable to be resolved by staff, they will immediately contact the caregiver. If the caregiver cannot be located within a reasonable period, staff will contact the appropriate authorities. Library staff may ask a teen or child to leave for the day at their discretion if there is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

  • Library management may temporarily suspend a youth’s library privilege for repeated or severe violation of the Code of Conduct. The length of suspension will be determined by the manager, and the caregiver will be notified. Prior to reentry, the youth and caregiver may be asked to have a conference with library management about appropriate behavior and the Code of Conduct.
  • If any youth under 16 has not been picked up at closing or does not have a safe way to leave the premises, the Library will attempt to contact their caregiver, however, the Library may contact proper authorities to provide custody if the youth has not been picked up 15 minutes after closing. Library staff will not leave a child unattended at closing time and may not provide rides for any youth library patrons.
  • Caregivers are responsible for noting scheduled Library closing times and should be aware that a Library facility sometimes may have to close unexpectedly due to emergencies or safety issues. Any youth who is allowed to be in the Library by themselves per the Safe Child Policy should have a safe way to get home or way to contact caregivers for a way home prior to the Library closing.
  • The Library is not responsible if youth leave the Library unattended. It is the responsibility of caregivers to plan with their children what they should do when leaving the Library. However, if it is after closing, library staff will act in accordance with our Safe Child Policy.
  • Children’s areas are designated for children from birth to 5th grade (approximately 10 years old and under); Young Adult/Teen areas are designated for youth from 6th through 12th grade (approximately 11 to 18 years old).
  • Adults may visit Young Adult/Teen and Children’s areas when accompanied by youth using those departments or retrieving materials for research or checkout.
  • Adults unaccompanied by youth may be asked by Library staff to use the restrooms, facilities, services, and/or equipment in the adult section of the Library.
  • Special consideration is to be given to youth in the following areas: sleep, clothing, and hygiene. Young children may be allowed to sleep in the care of a guardian in the Library. Young children may be allowed to be without shoes or other covering, as is appropriate. Youth may be allowed to change clothes in a private library restroom. Staff are to take care when addressing hygiene and/or body odor issues with developing young people.


As a public building, the Library does not monitor the activities of its patrons unless there is a concern with conduct, or a youth is inappropriately left alone. It is not the role of library staff to closely monitor youth utilizing the Library during school hours and determine whether they are truant. It is the role of staff to provide a safe and welcoming environment.


Library staff are not able to provide confidential information about a youth’s library records or borrowing history without the youth’s consent. Caregivers wishing to gain access to their child’s library record may do so by meeting any of the following requirements:

  • Caregiver is listed in the Care/of field and have appropriate ID
  • Possession of the child’s library card
  • Possession of the child’s library card number or username and password
  • Presence and approval of the child

In order to access the borrowing history, the card must also have this option activated.


Staff will not give information to any person over the phone as to whether a minor is currently in the Library or has been recently. If the situation appears to be serious, staff may offer to take a message and ask the child to call the person back. If there is an active police investigation, staff will cooperate with the police in helping to locate a missing minor.


Access by Minors – Caregivers must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Caregivers must guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. The Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of caregivers to monitor and determine their children’s access to materials and resources including those available through the Internet. Library staff do not actively monitor Internet use.

The Library has an opt-out form for any parent or legal guardian who wishes to deny the use of the Internet by a minor for whom they are responsible. When the opt-out box is checked, the child’s card will not allow them to log on to an internet computer. Without this notation, a minor with a Charleston County Public Library card will have access to the Internet. CCPL complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandates that access to the Internet be filtered for those under the age of 17. All internet access computers at the Library for children and teens are filtered, including wireless access.


  • Youth must abide by the Code of Conduct and CCPL’s Internet Use Policy.
  • Computers in the Children’s and Young Adult areas are for Juvenile and YA cardholders only. Adults may request to use available computers designated for children and YA/Teens, acknowledging that they must adhere to rules regarding computer use by youth. Allowing adults to use children’s or YA/teens’ computers is at the complete discretion of library staff and only when the adult is accompanied by a child or YA/teen.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on April 28, 2022.

Room Booking Policy

Purpose: To make community and meeting rooms available to non-profit, civic, educational and cultural groups or organizations on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

The Library’s community and meeting rooms are available for reservations during normal operating hours. The meeting rooms are available at no charge for use by non-profit, civic, educational and cultural groups or organizations and official government entities (Federal, State, County, and Municipal). All activities conducted inside the community and meeting rooms must be open to general public audiences.  Outside Organizations may reserve rooms up to 90 days in advance. A single organization may make a reservation no more than once per week.

The branch manager, according to the following priorities, will approve requests for use of the rooms:

  1. Library-sponsored or related meetings and programs;
  2. Government-sponsored or related meetings and activities; and
  3. Community groups as described above.
  4. Regular library service takes precedence over all other activities and the use of the meeting rooms must not interfere with the operation of the library. Library meeting rooms are intended to serve the community in its broadest sense.
  5. Only library-related groups, either sponsoring or co-sponsoring a program, may charge an admission fee or sell a product. A percentage, to be determined by the Charleston Friends of the Library, of the admission or product's revenue is subject to be collected and donated to the Friends to benefit the Library.
  6. All meetings or programs must be open to the public.
  7. The name, address and phone number of the Library may not be used as the official address of any organization using the meeting rooms, nor may any non-library group using the meeting rooms publicize its activities in such a way as to imply library sponsorship.
  8. The branch manager reserves the right to refuse the use of the rooms whenever, in the branch manager's best judgment, the use does not conform to this policy.
  9. In unforeseen emergencies in which the Library has to cancel a meeting, the Library will attempt to give the group as much notice as possible.
  1. Use of the meeting room must be in compliance with the CCPL Meeting Room Use Policy and Code of Conduct, as well as all applicable federal, state and local laws.
  2. Parking availability may be limited. Parking garage beneath the Main Library is free for the first hour; and $1.00 per hour subsequent to that.
  3. Applicant must be a Charleston County resident or taxpayer 18 years of age or older and should leave a phone number that can be given to patrons requesting information about the group’s meeting. Out of county library card holders are also eligible to use a meeting room.
  4. Applicant must present a valid state identification card or driver's license.
  5. No material of any kind may be posted directly on the wall of the meeting room, doorways leading into the room, walls or in the halls outside of meeting room.
  6. No smoking or use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or other smoking devices is allowed inside any library facility.
  7. All meetings must be held during regular library hours.
  8. Meetings must end and rooms must be empty and returned to original condition 15 minutes prior to closing.
  9. The library does not provide staff, porter, or cleaning service for meetings.
  10. The applicant must accept responsibility for safety, order and condition of the room. The applicant’s responsibility for the room shall be terminated only when they have informed an authorized staff member that they have vacated the room and that it is ready to be secured.
  11. The library is not responsible for items left in its facilities. Storage space is not available.
  12. Meetings involving minors must be supervised by adults and reservation requests signed by an adult.
  13. With prior approval, light refreshments are permitted in large meeting rooms; however, food preparation, and Sterno fuel use are not allowed.
  14. The library reserves the right to cancel reservations for reasons dealing with unexpected library needs or closures, including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disasters).
  15. The branch manager or in-charge staff are authorized to revoke this agreement at any time.
  16. Applicants may not engage in profit-making activities including, but not limited to, selling or exchanging goods/services; promoting sales or soliciting for future sales by samples, pictures, descriptions or collecting personal contact information.
  17. Meeting spaces may not be used for workshops, seminars, or programs which include direct or indirect promotion of a business or solicitation of clients. Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, a free presentation or seminar that is similar or identical to the Applicant's for-profit business services/activities; a presentation about a product, program or service that would be available in the future at a cost to the attendee, or a presentation that endorses membership in tiered marketing or home-based sales.
  18. Programs involving physical activity or food distribution may require waivers on the part of the applicant.
  19. Groups or individuals are not permitted to conduct fund-raising activities or events except those sponsored by the Library or the Friends of the Library.
  20. Noncompliance with these requirements may result in denial of future requests for use of meeting rooms.

Reservation requests will be on a first-come, first-served basis. First priority is given to Charleston County Public Library programs, agencies, or affiliated groups such as Friends of the Charleston County Public Library for public programs, staff training, and business meetings. 

Reservation requests may be made up to 90 days in advance and may be made online, in person, or by phone. Groups may book a maximum of one (1) meeting per week. Completion of a meeting room application includes providing an email address and phone number to confirm any booking request. The Contact Name and Contact Number submitted when a room is requested or booked will be provided to anyone, from CCPL or the public, inquiring about the group's reservation.


Cancellations should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to do so may prevent the group from further use of meeting rooms. 

Room Arrangements

Groups may arrange tables and chairs as desired in the meeting room with the requirement that they be returned to their original arrangement. Reservation requests should include adequate time before the meeting commences and after the meeting is finished, for room setup and breakdown.  All meeting rooms must be left in a clean and orderly condition. Failure to do so may affect future bookings. Groups must assume all responsibility for damage to library facilities and equipment, and the library is not responsible for supplies, equipment, or other items owned by the community groups and used by them in the library. The library does provide some A/V equipment, provided the applicant requests use of these items at least 48 hours prior to use. 

Meeting rooms are arranged conference style only; no furniture may be added to the meeting room.

Computer, Printing, and Internet Policy

In recognition of our community’s need for digital literacy and free access to computers and the internet, Charleston County Public Library provides several tools and services, as well as staff support. Provided resources include desktop computers, public wi-fi, all-in-one printer-scanners, in-house and extended-use loanable laptops, and internet hotspots (note: the specific technology available varies by branch). The following policy outlines the conditions and limitations under which these tools may be used.


Adult patrons with internet-enabled library cards may utilize our public desktop computers during branch operating hours, dependent on availability. These computers are equipped with internet access and basic productivity tools. Additional software may be requested for installation on a per-session basis, although CCPL reserves the right to review requested installations and to refuse or restrict access by staff discretion. For security and privacy reasons, these computers are completely erased at the end of each session. All personal documents must be saved on either a personal, external drive or in the cloud to prevent data loss. Headphones are required for all auditory resources but are not provided by the Library. Webcams are disabled.

Computer sessions are timed and limited to 60 minutes; extra time may be granted if computers are available. Sessions will automatically log out at the end of the time allotment, and any data not saved to an external source will be lost. Users may lock their screens if they need to step away for a short period; an unlocked and unattended computer may be released to another user after 10 minutes. If all stations are currently in use, a patron may reserve a computer (either the “next available” on the same day or a future session within the next 2 business days). Reservations are held for 10 minutes; after that time, the reservation will be canceled, and the computer will be made available to the next patron.

The Library affirms the right of every user to have equitable and free access to information in accordance with the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights. Users are subject to all applicable local, state, and federal laws, including but not limited to copyright law. The Library does not routinely monitor public computer use but reserves this right when illegal or ill-intentioned use is suspected. Users may not intentionally display content that may adversely affect or offend others. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect users and equipment, including contacting law enforcement, requiring a user in violation to leave the premises, or restricting or revoking future access. The Library does not retain browsing history.

CCPL does not guarantee the reliability of public computers and is not liable for time or data loss due to computer failure. Users are advised to remain vigilant against possible viruses, phishing scams, malware, and other malicious programs and websites. Users should not provide personal information to or download material from unknown or untrusted sources.

As the usage of the Library’s computers is a privilege, not a right, violations of this policy may result in the forfeiture of library privileges.


Individuals who do not qualify for a free library card may request a free internet-only card that provides computer access without borrowing privileges.


Visitors who do not have a CCPL library card may request a single-use guest pass, which will be provided if no card is found. All the stipulations and limitations specified above apply.


All new minor accounts default to computer/internet access. Parents or guardians of prospective new account holders under the age of 12 may “opt out” of computer/internet access for said minors. Parents or guardians of patrons aged 12 to 17 may fill out a Computer Access Revocation form to remove computer/internet access. Although the Library will block and filter objectionable and illegal material in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or guardian to restrict minor internet access and the Library is not responsible if objectionable material is accessed.


CCPL supplies free wi-fi access at its locations. The Library cannot guarantee the safety of a user’s transmitted data over our wi-fi network, and the user should be aware that personal information sent to or from their devices may be captured and reviewed by other parties. Wi-fi availability continues after- hours and is accessible outside each branch.

Users may not intentionally display content that may adversely affect or offend others. Although the Library will block and filter objectionable and illegal material in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or guardian to restrict minor internet access and the Library is not responsible if objectionable material is accessed.


Public printing is available for a fee. Patrons may also submit a print request from a personal device via our mobile printing interface.


The Library’s commitment to providing access extends to circulating tools to access the internet at home and on the go; these tools include laptops and mobile hotspots. Borrowers accept full responsibility and will be held financially liable for damage, loss, or theft. The functionality of a hotspot will depend on the accessibility to a cellular network from your location. Hotspots filter to protect against adult content and malware and block certain content in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

However, it will not filter content accessed via email, text message, or non-browser applications. These items must be returned inside at a branch Welcome Desk.


The internet, as an information resource, enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe.

Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, but it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.

Library staff will identify specific starting points for searches on the Library’s home page and the Library’s kids’ page, which are appropriate to the Library’s mission and service roles. Still, individual users must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet.


Approved by the Board of Trustees on April 28, 2022.

Online Privacy

The protection of your privacy when visiting this web site is important to the Charleston County Public LIbrary (CCPL). This policy explains the way information is collected and used during your visit to our site.

Information Collected on Our Site

When you visit the Library's web site, we collect and store only information to measure the number of visitors to different areas of our sites to assist us in making our sites more useful to you. This information includes:

  • The address (IP) of your computer or internet provider
  • The date and time you accessed our site
  • The Internet address of the web site that referred you to our site.

Some pages on our site let you make requests for information, sign up for programs and make comments. The types of personal information that may be requested and collected at these pages include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number
  • Library card number (used when accessing your account, databases from home, or requesting materials)
  • Name of branch most often used (used for Summer Reading program registration only)


How This Information Is Used

CCPL will not sell, lease or distribute or disclose your e-mail address, postal address, phone number, borrower records or other personal information for non-library purposes to outside parties unless required by law. We will never disclose a child's personal information as name, address, etc. without written approval from a parent or legal guardian. In accordance with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), we will only display on our pages a child's first name, last initial, location and/or age on our sites to announce contest winners and display user submitted comments.

How This Information Is Used

CCPL will not sell, lease or distribute or disclose your e-mail address, postal address, phone number, borrower records or other personal information for non-library purposes to outside parties unless required by law. We will never disclose a child's personal information as name, address, etc. without written approval from a parent or legal guardian. In accordance with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), we will only display on our pages a child's first name, last initial, location and/or age on our sites to announce contest winners and display user submitted comments.

Links Off the CCPL Website

The Charleston County Public Library Website offers recommendations of electronic links to subject-focused sites selected by trained professional staff. The Library uses the guidelines found in its Collection Development policy in linking to sites outside its copyright pages.

When visiting sites outside the Library's pages, please note that we have not participated in the development of these other sites and do not exert any editorial or other control over these sites.  Any link from the Library’s Website to another Website is not an endorsement from the Library.  The Library does not warrant that its Website, the server that makes it available, or any links from its site to other Websites are free from viruses or other harmful components.

Security Camera Policy


Charleston County Library utilizes security cameras as an aid to monitor library property and the safety of individuals on library grounds. Video surveillance will be conducted in public areas of the library in a manner consistent with library policies, while adhering to the applicable federal, state and local laws concerning the confidentiality of library records, the disclosure of public records, and the protection of individual privacy.


Charleston County Library values personal privacy and is committed to maintaining appropriate confidentiality of its library users while protecting the public through cooperation with law enforcement when public safety and/or property is at risk. This policy should be interpreted with the understanding that the image of a person on library property is not protected, but anything that would identify the content of a library user’s account is protected and held private.


Signs will be posted at library branch entrances informing the public that security cameras are in use.


Cameras will be installed in areas of the library where individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples may include parking lots, entrances, public seating spaces, service desks, community rooms and within the library collection.

Cameras will not be installed in areas of the library such as restrooms or private offices. Cameras will not be intentionally positioned so an individual’s reading, viewing, or listening activities may be identified.


The library has no obligation to monitor the cameras in real time. Therefore, library staff and the public should take appropriate precautions for their safety and for the safety of their personal property. The library is not responsible for the loss of property or personal injury.


CHARLESTON COUNTY EMPLOYEES – Charleston County Employees, as authorized by the Executive Director, will have access to real-time monitors. Images will be viewed on desktop monitors placed in secure areas to ensure privacy.

Access to archived video to document incidents of injury, criminal activity, or violation of the Code of Conduct is limited to the Executive Director and designated staff specifically authorized by the Executive Director.

GENERAL PUBLIC – Confidentiality and privacy issues prohibit the public from viewing any activity recorded by the library’s security cameras.


Unauthorized access or disclosure of information by library staff will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Library staff, who become aware of any unauthorized access, disclosure, or privacy breach, are required to report the incident. Failure to report known security breaches will also result in disciplinary action.


Recorded data is confidential and secured in a controlled manner. Recordings will be stored for no more than 90 days, unless required as part of an ongoing investigation or potential security threat.


Approved by the Board of Trustees on April 28, 2022.

Gift, Solicitation, and Acceptance Policy

PURPOSE: To define what the Library will accept as gifts, who is authorized to accept gifts and how those gifts are accepted and to help donors determine how to present gifts for acceptance.

1. Works of Art
Donations to help acquire works of art or donations of art may be accepted based on the recommendation of the Library's Board of Trustees.

2. Library Materials
Books and other library materials may be accepted by library staff per the Policy on Collection Development.

3. Other
Gifts with a value under $500, to include gifts of cash, may be accepted by library branch and division managers. Such gifts may include supplies, funds for programming and labor. Any gifts which have a maintenance impact -- e.g., landscaping and equipment -- must be forwarded to the Library Director for approval by the appropriate department.

Gifts with a value between $500 and $2,500 may be accepted by the Library Director, with a recommendation from the appropriate library branch/division manager. Gifts with a maintenance impact will be forwarded to the appropriate department for approval.

Gifts with a value of $2,500 or more will be accepted by the Library Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the Library Director.

All gifts will be evaluated for appropriateness in light of the library's Strategic Plan and other existing policies. The Library's Board of Trustees and staff are under no obligation to accept gifts, items or funds and reserve the right to refuse any gift. All gifts that are accepted become the sole property of The Charleston County Public Library.

This policy does not apply to in-kind or monetary donations initiated by the library when securing partners or sponsors for library programming and events.

4. Gifts will be reported to the Board as part of quarterly financial reports at the Board of Trustees meetings by the Finance Director.

Extraordinary Contributions

The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) Board of Trustees approved a procedure and criteria by which to honor individuals by any association who have contributed in extraordinary ways to the success of CCPL.

Criteria for Honoring Extraordinary Contributions

  1. Individuals, organizations, or businesses shall be named on the Extraordinary Contributions Plaque.
  2. Applications for Extraordinary Contributions, if any, will be made once a year to the Board of Trustees Naming Committee, who will submit final nominations to the Board. 
  3. Nominations for Extraordinary Contributions must be presented to the Board of Trustees by a current Board member.
  4. CCPL staff can submit applications to the Naming Committee.
  5. Extraordinary Contributions will be assessed by the Board for each nominee.
  6. Applications to nominate former elected officials will only be accepted for a specific contribution, to be named in the application.
  7. Name plates for Board approved contributors can only be placed on one Extraordinary Contributions Plaque, in one library location.


Adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 26, 2021.

Social Media


The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL or Library) utilizes social media in promoting programs and services and engaging with our communities regarding matters related to library-resources, services, and subject-matter.

Designated CCPL staff members will manage, maintain, and publish content on all CCPL social media accounts to comply with all Library policies and procedures.


Social media is forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking) through which CCPL designated users share information, messages, and other content (such as photos and videos).


CCPL’s mission in the use of social media is to promote the value and importance of library services, programs, spaces, and collections, and of libraries and literacy matters in general.
Unprotected speech, including but not limited to the following, is not permissible and may result in the removal of the post or the temporary blocking of a user:

  • copyright violations
  • obscenity
  • child pornography
  • hate speech
  • imminent or true threats against the Library, Library staff or other users.

Posts will not be removed by CCPL staff without following the approved procedure and no content should be removed upon the authority of a single staff member or administrator.

Users who publish a post on CCPL social media sites that do not meet CCPL policy will be notified detailing the reason for the removal of the post or temporary block of the user. If blocked, the user will be notified of the time of the suspension and may appeal this action for reconsideration by the Library’s board of trustees.


CCPL staff will protect patron privacy and confidentiality whenever possible. Social media platforms will not be used to collect information about the Library’s users. Information shared by patrons on the Library’s social media will not be kept by the Library or used for other purposes.

Users engaging with CCPL’s social media accounts are subject to the privacy and user policies of the host social media platform.

Comments expressed on any social media platform do not reflect the views or positions of the Library, its officers, or its employees. Social media users should exercise their own judgment about the quality and accuracy of any information presented through social media.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on May 26, 2022