How do I…

Get a Card?

How do I get a library card?

A Dorchester County Library card can be obtained at one of our branch locations or from the Bookmobile. Library cards are free for Dorchester County residents, Dorchester County property owners, Dorchester District 2 & 4 teachers and students, and Berkeley County residents (through a reciprocal borrowing agreement).

To receive a card, you must complete an application and present current identification with proof of address indicating residence or property ownership within Dorchester County or Berkeley County. Teachers will be asked to show current proof of employment, and students will be asked to show current school identification.

With proper identification, a card will be issued and ready to use the same day. Cards for Dorchester County residents and property owners are valid for two years from date of issue or renewal. All other cards are valid for one year from date of issue or renewal.

Parents/Guardians are welcome to obtain cards for children ages 0-17. An application form must be completed for each child. The parent/guardian agrees to assume responsibility for all materials borrowed and for any fines or fees that are assessed on a child’s library card.

A Dorchester County Library Card Application can be printed and presented at the library, or completed onsite.

How do I get a library card if I don't live in Dorchester or Berkeley County?

If you live outside of Dorchester or Berkeley County, you can get a library card for an annual fee of $35. To receive a card, you must complete an application and present current identification with proof of address. With proper identification, a card will be issued and ready to use the same day. The card is valid for one year from date of issue and can be renewed by paying the annual fee.

Borrow Items?

What can I borrow and for how long?
  • Media Type
  • Loan Period
  • Borrow Limit Per Card
  • Books
  • 21 days
  • 30
  • New Books
  • 14 days
  • 30
  • Hot Picks Books
  • 7 days
  • 30
  • Audiobooks
  • 21 days
  • 30
  • DVDs & Blu-rays
  • 7 days
  • 10
  • Video Games
  • 7 days
  • 3
  • Music CDs
  • 21 days
  • 30
  • Magazines
  • 21 days
  • 30
  • Early Literacy Kit/STEM Kit
  • 21 days
  • 2
  • Guitars (St. George)
  • 45 days
  • 1

Note: Reference materials cannot be borrowed.

Where do I return the items that I borrowed?

Items may be returned to a Dorchester County Library branch or the Bookmobile. Items may also be returned to any SCLENDS library. Items should not be returned to Berkeley County Library or Charleston County Library.

To avoid a $.20 fine per item, per day, items should be returned or renewed before the due date. Receipts can be printed or emailed when checking out items to remind users of due dates.

My borrowed item is lost or damaged. What should I do?

Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of lost or damaged items. Please contact your local library branch for information on a lost or damaged item.

What are the fees if items are not returned on time?

Overdue library materials assess fines at $.20 per item, per day, up to a maximum of $10 per item.

How do I pay my fines?

Patrons may pay fines and fees by credit card, debit card, cash, or check at any library branch. Fines may also be paid by check or money order via postal mail. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept payments electronically or over the phone.

Payments of a fine or fee less than $1 cannot be accepted by credit card or debit card.

What if an item I returned still shows as checked out?

Call the branch that you borrowed the item from and ask to speak to someone about a returned item showing on your account.

Reserve Items?

Are there any reservation limits for library materials?

You may place a reserve on any circulating item except Hot Picks books, and a maximum of 10 items may be reserved at one time.

How do I reserve library materials?

Library materials can be reserved in person, over the phone, or online. To reserve over the phone, please have your library card number ready to share with library staff. To reserve materials online, you must have your library card number and PIN. If you don’t know your PIN, you can click on the “Forgot your PIN” link or visit any library location to reset your PIN.

How will I know when my requested items are ready to pick up?

The library offers a choices of phone, email, or text message notifications. This preference can be set up in person at any library branch with your library card and identification. Once you receive a notification that your item is available, it will be held for you for 7 days.

Manage My Account Online?

How do I access my library account online?

By logging in from the My Account link at the top of the Library’s website, you can manage multiple aspects of your library account. You can view a list of items that you currently have checked out, review your due dates, renew items that are eligible for renewal, place reserves on items, and view your checkout history (this feature must be turned on). A library card number and PIN are required to access the My Account feature. When entering your library card number, you must enter all of the numbers on the back of your card with no spaces. If you don’t know your PIN, you can click on the “Forgot your PIN” link or visit any library location to reset your PIN.

How do I get a PIN?

When you applied for a library card, you were asked to create a PIN, or one was generated for you. If you don’t know your PIN, you can click on the “Forgot your PIN” link or visit any library location to reset your PIN.

What should I do if I cannot access my account?

If you are unable to access your account, you may contact any branch location for assistance.

Use Computers and Print?

Does Dorchester County Library offer free Wi-Fi access?

Free Wi-Fi is available at all Dorchester County Library branches 24 hours a day. Users must accept the online “Computer Use Policy” before using the service.

Are computers available to the public?

Dorchester County Library branches offer access to public computers for cardholders and visitors. The computers offer Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as access to the Internet using the Google Chrome browser.

Can I photocopy, scan and print materials at the Library?

Photocopy and print services are available at a cost of $.25 per page for both color and black & white copies and prints. Double-sided copying and printing is available at a cost of $.25 per side.

Scanning services are free, and documents can be scanned to an email address or a flash drive.

The Library does not maintain a public fax machine.

Can I print from my own laptop or mobile device?

Dorchester County Library offers wireless printing at the cost of $.25 per page. To access this service, please ensure that your device is connected to the Internet. Within the Library, you may connect to our free Wi-Fi (DCL Wireless or DCL Wireless 2). This service is compatible with laptop computers, Android devices, and Apple devices.

Once connected, the wireless printing portal can be located here.

Creating/Accessing Accounts

First Time User:

  • Click on the “First Time User” button.
  • Replace the card number and PIN with your permanent library card number and PIN.
  • Enter your phone number or email address in the provided fields.
  • Click “Submit” to be directed to your newly created account page within the portal.

Guest User:

  • Click on the “First Time User” button.
  • Write down the card number and PIN provided. Enter your phone number to have the information sent to you via text message.
  • Click “Submit” to be directed to your newly created account page within the portal.

Returning User:

  • Enter your library card number or email and the PIN for your account.
  • Click “Log in” to be directed to your account page within the portal.

Uploading a Document

  • Upload a document by clicking on “Choose File.”
  • Select the file to upload from its location in the file explorer window that appears.
  • Click “Open.”
  • In the account window, click the “Upload” button.
  • Once the file is uploaded, click “Preview” to see a PDF version of your document, or click “Delete” if you wish to discard it from the portal.*

Printing a Document

  • Visit the Smart Kiosk in the Computer Center to print your document using the “Wireless Printing Payment” option.

*Documents stay within the portal for 7 days before automatic deletion. An expiration date for each document is provided

Use Interlibrary Loan?

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service provided by Dorchester County Library to enable patrons to access non-fiction items that are not owned by the library. Libraries throughout the state and the country are contacted to see if any of them are willing to lend a particular item.

Who can borrow items through Interlibrary Loan?

This service is provided to patrons with no overdue materials or fines owed. The service is available for Dorchester County residents and for patrons who pay the out-of-county annual fee. The service is not available for reciprocal borrowers. Only ILL requests for Adult Non-Fiction books are processed if the information is not available within the consortium. Genealogy materials cannot be requested.

How do I place a request?

You may contact your local Dorchester County Library branch to place an ILL request. You may also complete an Interlibrary Loan Request and submit it to library staff for review.

Please provide as much information as possible about the item. The Library will, as a policy, request only 3 items unless the patron specifies more when asked by staff.

Library staff will make every attempt to fulfill a request, but there are instances when a title cannot be borrowed. Patrons will receive a response about every ILL request, whether it can be filled or not.

Is there a charge for using the ILL service?

Some lending libraries charge a fee for ILL services. Any patron who requests an ILL will be allowed to decline the service if a fee is charged. If a fee is charged, library staff will discuss the fee with the patron before a final request is made. ILL fees must be paid before the item can be borrowed by the patron.

Charges will be assessed for lost or damaged materials. The cost will be determined by the lending library.

A late fee of $2.00 per day will be assessed for an ILL that is returned past the due date.

Reserve a Meeting Room?

Who can reserve a meeting room?

Government agencies, non-profit groups, groups providing educational programs, and community service groups are all welcome to reserve a meeting room.

Only library-related groups and other government departments and agencies may charge an admission fee or sell a product.

All meetings or programs must be open to the public.

The Dorchester County Library Meeting Room Policy outlines additional details for using a meeting room.

How do I reserve a meeting room?

To reserve a meeting room, please complete the Meeting Room Agreement Form and submit it to the requested branch location.

St. George: StGeorgeLibrary@dcl.lib.sc.us
Summerville: SummervilleLibrary@dcl.lib.sc.us

Support the Library?

Does Dorchester County Library accept book donations and other items?

Dorchester County Library accepts donations of gently-used books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. Items not added to the collection may be sent to the Friends of the Library for public book sales. Gifts are not returned to the donor.

Can I volunteer at a library branch?

All volunteer positions are fully staffed at this time.

How do I make a donation to Dorchester County Library?

Donations may be presented to the library by completing and submitting a Gift/Donation Agreement Receipt. Patrons may also contact any library branch and request to speak to the Branch Manager to discuss a donation.