Library Spotlight

A South Carolina library's "tender and attentive" approach
Spartanburg County, South Carolina
Todd Stephens


"Our library doesn't have a social worker. We're all social workers here." - Todd Stephens, county librarian, Spartanburg County Public Libraries

At TechSoup for Libraries, we like covering the latest technology innovations in libraryland. This time of year, we thought it fitting and proper to cover one of the oldest of human innovations — human decency. We found it alive and well at the Spartanburg County Public Libraries in their work with homeless patrons.

I found out about Spartanburg Library's work in this area when I chanced to meet Lisa Lyon who runs the Lanier Library in North Carolina. I asked her if she has come across any extraordinary library work in the southeast lately.

She told me about county librarian Todd Stephens and his old fashioned southern approach to a challenge that most libraries across the country have — homeless patrons trying to live in his libraries.