About Project: Main
The Main Library is the flagship branch of our library system. At 104,000 square feet it is the largest library location and is located in the heart of downtown Charleston, at 68 Calhoun Street. Built in 1998, this location has long been the center of the library system and provides unique departments such as the historic South Carolina Room, a dedicated gallery space, children’s and teen areas, meeting spaces, and the most robust library collection within CCPL.
The Project: Main fundraiser is designed to raise funding to supplement the funding provided by the referendum passed in 2014 to help Main Library keep pace with the system’s new and renovated library spaces.
The proposed enhancements to Main Library would help further CCPL’s mission to connect our diverse community to information, foster lifelong learning and enrich lives.
Read more about the Board of Trustee's announcement of Project: Main and how this funding is meant to enhance the downtown location's proposed innovative features.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I donate for Project: Main fundraiser?
You may make a donation through the Coastal Community Foundation.
Who is leading the Project: Main fundraiser?
The CCPL Board of Trustees recently formed a Fundraising Committee and will spearhead the fundraising efforts. The fundraising committee is board chair Melanie Collins, Vicechair Rob Byko, and trustees Gerri Riley, Dyllan Rankin, Enrique Grace, and Victor Rawl.
How much money is the library's board of trustees seeking to raise?
The goal is to raise $12.4 million. Combined with available referendum funding, this amount would provide $21 million to fund the Main Library’s renovation and construction.
How long will fundraising take place for Main Library?
About one year. Fundraising is expected to take place between February 2022 and January 2023.
Isn't the referendum funding supposed to cover the cost of renovating Main Library?
There are an estimated $9 million available in referendum funding for Main Library’s renovation. Since the project was approved almost 8 years ago, construction costs have increased and library services have evolved. Therefore, the buildings needs have changed, and more funding is needed to meet those needs. The Board of Trustees believes this library should mirror the features and technology of our new branches like Wando Mount Pleasant or Keith Summey North Charleston, and this additional funding will provide that opportunity.
Why is the library seeking funding for Main Library?
With the new library locations and renovated spaces, the library board of trustees and CCPL staff did not want to leave Main Library behind. The library supported the Charleston communities during its greatest time of need through the pandemic. As our flagship library, Main Library can expand on the current services offered and the building should reflect those needs.
What will the funding be used for at Main Library?
The funding would help expand features like the South Carolina Room, where additional funding can help upgrade shelving, build out and increase capacity within the historic archives and potentially have a program area dedicated to local genealogy.
It could enhance areas such as the youth space to have a dedicated children’s, pre-teen and teen space that match the innovations of the new and renovated libraries and Increase capability in career assistance and educational support through focused building spaces that support career growth and educational development.
Priority Fundraising Packages
The Project: Main fundraiser focuses on five areas within Main Library. These areas were selected as focal points to help Main Library keep pace with CCPL's new and renovated spaces and to center the system's largest library building as a hub. The goal of the fundraiser is to renovate Main Library to be expansive and inviting, opening itself up to the surrounding city of historic Charleston and offering a variety of integrated spaces for all ages and abilities that allow it to operate as a place for knowledge, exchange and engagement.