About Us

The South Carolina State Library's Talking Book Services department provides informational and recreational reading materials in accessible formats for free to qualified users. The program serves South Carolinians unable to use conventional print materials because of the following:

  • Visual problems such as blindness, legal blindness or extreme low vision
  • Physical disabilities that make holding and reading printed books difficult
  • Reading disabilities resulting from organic dysfunction
  • Institutions serving clientele with qualifying conditions are also eligible.

South Carolina residents (all ages and income levels) unable to read or use standard print materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical limitations are eligible for this service. Blindness is not the only qualifying condition. Even those with low vision due to problems such as macular degeneration, are eligible. Physical conditions such as missing arms or hands, lack of muscle coordination, or prolonged weakness are qualifying conditions when their result is an inability to hold a book or turn pages. Persons with physically based, medically certifiable reading disabilities (such as dyslexia), and institutions serving clientele with qualifying conditions are also eligible. 

Vision

The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger.

Mission

We serve the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.

Facility

Talking Book Services is housed at the South Carolina State Library building at 1500 Senate Street, which was authorized by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1965. The building was financed with state funds and with a federal grant under the Library Services and Construction Act. Construction on the library, which was designed by architect John Califf of the firm of Geiger, Califf and Player, was begun in 1967 and completed in 1969.

The most distinctive features of this building are the two bronze lions that flank the front entrance. These statues were designed by sculptor A. Pelzer and manufactured by the firm of W. H. Mullins in Salem, Ohio. They originally stood at the Court Inn in Camden, South Carolina.  After the Inn closed in 1962, a private citizen in Camden acquired them. When they were offered for sale in the fall of 1965, the lions were purchased by South Carolina state government for use at the planned State Library building.

The lions were subsequently nicknamed Sol and Edgar, after two powerful state politicians, both from Barnwell County. Sol, the lion on the west side, was named for Solomon "Sol" Blatt (1895-1986), Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives for more than three decades. The lion on the east side was named for Edgar Brown (1888-1975), long-time President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate.

Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Closed on state holidays.