Charleston County Public Library launches new website

November 1, 2017

Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) has launched its new website at The dramatically redesigned site, built by the library’s in-house digital and communications team, is the next step in CCPL’s commitment to its patrons.

Based on librarian and customer research results, the site offers:

  • Full-featured content provided by staff across all of CCPL’s branches.
  • Streamlined search functions for the catalog and the website, as well as a new search called Bento that compiles the website and the library collection search results and presents information on one page.
  • A completely redesigned calendar system that includes a way to filter events by branch, age group and type.
  • A community meeting room reservation system that makes it easy to request reservations and see what days and times are available.
  • Interactive information and Google Maps with details about the Bookmobile and library construction projects.
  • A more intuitive and searchable archives department that makes it easier for historians and genealogists to find resources and materials.
  • A How Do I? section that provides answers in one place to the most commonly asked questions by new library users.
  • A live stream of CCPL’s in-house radio station, WYLA 97.5.

The site’s homepage is bigger and bolder while remaining uncluttered. There is easy to find featured content and direct access from the homepage to the digital collection, something patrons and library staff requested repeatedly during development. The website is also responsive, which means the content will be clear and easy to read and find whether a user is on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

Patrons may see many familiar faces in images across the site, too. Weeks of casting calls at CCPL’s regional branches provided hundreds of photos for use on the new website and on CCPL’s social media channels.

“With changing web technologies, growing information needs of our patrons, and the introduction of new library services, it was time for a comprehensive redesign of our digital branch. The new is easier to use, reflects the diversity of our staff and patrons, and provides a solid foundation for future growth and flexibility,” said CCPL Executive Director Nicolle Davies.

Each year, more than 250,000 people check out or download nearly 3 million items in CCPL’s collection, attend the library system’s 6,400 events or take part in the myriad other features offered by CCPL. Development of the new website began earlier this year, and numerous prototypes and mock sites were created to allow for feedback.

That research showed a need to migrate away from the previous content management system and find a new service provider who could meet all of the challenges and demands of a site in need of considerable growth. The new is powered by the Stacks content management system, which is also used to power library websites from Microsoft to CalTech.