Allendale County Library
Public library service in Allendale County pre-date the establishment of the county by thirteen years. In
1905 a group of interested citizens organized a library and housed it in the offices of Mr. J. M. Patterson.
In 1919, when Allendale County was formed, the library became a county library-one of the first in
South Carolina. When the new courthouse was built, a room was provided in it to house the public
library. In 1941, with the assistance of the Works Progress Administration, a regional library was
established serving Allendale, Barnwell, and Hampton counties. With WPA help a bookmobile was
purchased to serve the rural areas of all three counties. When WPA assistant was withdrawn, Barnwell
dropped out of the regional library, but Allendale continued to maintain some service in both counties.
A small appropriation was made by each county towards the support of the library. In 1950, the
Allendale War Memorial building was completed which provided quarters for the Allendale County
Library and for the regional library headquarters. In 1947, Jasper County joined the regional library
system and the library became known as the Allendale-Hampton-Jasper Regional Library. Since that
date, the history of the individual county libraries has become the history of the regional library. No
account of either the Allendale County Library or the regional library can be complete without a tribute
to Mrs. James M. Patterson, “Miss Belle”, and to Mrs. T.O. Lawton, Sr., who served as library trustees
both of the county and the regional library. In 2011, the Allendale County Library was moved to a newly
renovated historic structure in downtown Allendale and became the Allendale County Learning Center
housing the Library, the Regional Offices, and a Denmark Tech Quick Jobs Development Center. Under
the leadership of Frances Chavous, Library Board Chairperson, the quest for a new facility became
reality when an old delapidated body shop and store was rehabbed to serve as the new home for the
Library. Architect for the project was Daniel Shelley and Query Pritchard Construction Company from
Barnwell performing the transformation.

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