The Orangeburg County Library has officially closed its Louis Street doors as it begins the move to the new Orangeburg County Library and Conference Center on Russell Street.

“It’s been pretty intense,” Orangeburg County Library Director Anna Zacherl said in describing the move.

“We’ve been in the current location for many years and we have a large collection of materials,” she said.

The new, $9.2 million facility will include a library, amphitheater and conference center. There will also be much more parking.

Library employees have spent the past two months packing and moving items from the old library to the new. Over 115,000 books have been packed, along with about 65 public computers and 30 staff computers.

“We have over 120,000 items in the collection, so it was a tremendous job,” Zacherl said.

Zacherl said the new library just received the certificate of occupancy from O’Cain Construction, enabling the rest of the materials to be packed and moved. Programming materials, such as art supplies, story time supplements, and daycare collections that circulate around the county remain to be moved.

“It will take several weeks more to pack and unpack the rest of the library belongings,” Zacherl said. “There are lots of moving parts to the services we provide that we use to provide those services at a high standard. And it all needs to come with us to the new location.”

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She noted, “Because of COVID, we are still waiting on some final furniture pieces and some final shelving pieces to be delivered and installed.”

The library’s book drop will remain open during the transition.

“For the next several weeks, however, the community is going to have very limited access to us while we shore up this move,” Zacherl said. “It’s a huge undertaking and we need all hands on deck to get the job done. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for October opening.”

Zacherl said library services will be provided on a case-by-case basis until the transition is complete.

She praised the public and private partnerships that have made the new library possible.

“Over 14 million South Carolina residents visit their community libraries each year,” Zacherl said. “Libraries are the foundations of our communities, essential to their functioning, enrichment and sustainability, and a key component of our nation’s infrastructure.”

“They develop and strengthen human capital,” she continued. “We have a new logo and slogan to accompany this new chapter in the story of the Orangeburg County Library System. We want people to feel like anything is possible when they interact with our libraries.”

The new slogan will be “Innovate, Educate, Elevate … with OCL.”

The current library on Louis Street was last remodeled in the 1990s. The Louis Street library is about 22,000 square feet.

Orangeburg County officials are analyzing the best use of the space but no concrete decisions have been made on how to use the building.

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