Adventure of the Week-Charleston Carnegie Public Library

Adriana Hernadez-Santana, Editor-in-Chief

Here’s the thing. Coming from someone who has never been to the Charleston Carnegie Public Library before, it may just seem like your ordinary library. 

But the thing that separates this library from all the others is how much the community relies on it, and how much the library gives back in return. 

According to Steve Larrick, a former writer from the Daily Eastern News, Charleston was allotted $15,000 to build a public library back in 1901.

The library was named in honor of Andrew Carnegie, a visionary who saw the power in knowledge. 

The building was completed 3 years later and opened its doors in 1904. 

Alright, enough about the history, what makes this library so special to the community? 

First off, we have the Kids Space. It’s located on the first floor and has a wide variety of books that suit the needs of any level of reader, whether it be beginner, intermediate, or advanced. 

And if you ever forget your books at home, no worries! As of April 21, 2021, the library has eliminated late fees for its readers. 

The library also offers free programs for any children in the summer. Even better, a library card is not needed, and no registration is required!

One popular event that is offered throughout the year is the make and take crafts. This week offered little ones the opportunity to create beaded dragonflies to take home and show off to their families. 

Other events that the library plans to host over the summer includes a Nintendo-themed library scavenger hunt, summer shirt bleach stenciling, and nature calling! 

Another thing that seems very unique is the seed library. A seed card catalog is offered to anyone over 18 who would like some help in creating their own personal garden. Individuals pick through the seed card catalog and decide which plants they would like to grow. From there, they take their chosen seeds and check them out at the library desk. After that, the seeds are yours to take home and plant!

While the library does understand that they won’t be getting these seeds back, (because you’re growing them), they would really love to receive some seed donations from the community. 

Something else that may not have been taken into account is the genealogy department. 

What is genealogy?

Glad you asked! 

According to Bing, genealogy is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. This can include things like oral interviews or historical records as a way to help others learn about the history of their families. 

But that’s not all the department has to offer. This section specializes in the Coles County history, as well as the other local counties histories too. There are phone books that date all the way back t0 the early 1900’s, and directories from 1937! All original books, all in their original condition. 

For all my fellow journalists out there, they even have clippings from the Charleston Courier that’s over a century old! The oldest one on display dates back to May 30, 1917. 

Crazy, right?

One of the other features that this library has to offer is the Navigator. The Coles County Social Service Navigators to be exact.   

This resource offers community referrals for individuals that may be struggling and don’t know where to look for help. 

They offer transportation assistance by providing Dial-A-Ride tokens, gas cards, and gift cards to low-income.

families to make getting around town a little bit easier. They also help with filling out SNAP and medical applications, free cell phone assistance, and affordable internet connectivity. 

Some of the other referrals include children and family programs, food banks, homeless shelters, substance abuse counseling, special needs and disabilities, legal aid, aging services, and special help for veterans. 

So for anyone who needs a place to check out a book, have a quiet place to spend time with their kids, or even get some help, the Charleston Carnegie Public Library is definitely a place to take a look at. 

Thank you for reading this week’s edition of Adventure of the Week. Check in next week to see where I go next, and what new places I learn about! 

Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].