How Do I...

Get A 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.

Fill out a Dorchester County Library Card Application and bring proof of ID to your library branch within 48 hours so that we can finish processing your new library card. Applications can also be completed in the Library.

*Berkeley County Residents are restricted to borrowing Dorchester County Library materials under the reciprocal agreement. You have the option to access materials from all SCLends libraries for an annual fee of $35.00.

Do you need a library e-card? We’re here to help!
We are offering all residents the opportunity to receive an e-card so that they can enjoy all of the digital resources available through the Dorchester County Library system. Library cards are available to any current Dorchester or Berkeley County resident or property owner who does not already have a card. Complete our e-Card application here and submit the form to

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

Media Type Loan Period Borrow Limit Per Card
Books 20 Days 30
New Books 14 Days 30
Hot Picks Books 14 Days 30
Audio Books 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

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.

Receipts can be printed or emailed when checking out items to remind users of due dates.

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.

Beginning in January 2022, the Library will no longer charge late fees on overdue items.

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.

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

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.

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.

The library offers a choice of 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?

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.

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.

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

Use Computers & Print?

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.

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.

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.

Not at the moment, but we will have a new system to allow printing from your own device soon. Check back here for updates.

Use 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.

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.

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.

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?

Government agencies, non-profit groups, groups providing educational programs, and community service groups are all welcome to reserve a meeting room. The applicant must be a resident of Dorchester County.

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.

To reserve a meeting room, please complete the Meeting Room Agreement Form and submit it by email. Be sure to include which branch you are requesting a room for.

Support the Library?

Yes we accept books and DVDs in good condition. We do not accept encyclopedia sets or VHS tapes.

All volunteer positions are fully staffed at this time.

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.