I recently went by the new St. Helena Branch of the Beaufort County Library, figuring I'd critique it in my usual tax-miserly manner. But I was pleasantly surprised.
The building, landscaping, parking (free) and location are all great, but the very impressive interior is really wonderful. Large, open, plenty of sunlight, "green," and all very functional. Special audio-video rooms, a soundproof teen lounge, large and small conference rooms that see a lot of activity, and computers everywhere.
But the real beauty and value of this library is the staff -- well-trained, knowledgeable, very friendly and so very helpful. Manager Maria Benac gave me a tour, answered all my questions and invited me to participate in the monthly Gullah cooking potlucks. Staff researchers can find literally anything; at check-out, staff members make you feel they are really happy to see you each visit.
But they are even better than that. When music I ordered came inBlueray format, they took the initiative of finding a regular CD copy in case I did not have Blueray. I did not. No big fuss -- they just care.
If you haven't discovered this media oasis in the middle of historic St. Helena Island, stop by soon. Beaufort County has spent the people's tax money very wisely.
Joseph W. Rochefort
St. Helena Island