Horry County may take over Myrtle Beach's city-run library

Chapin Memorial Library

Myrtle Beach is considering turning over its library to Horry County.

Chapin Memorial Library, which opened in 1939, is the only city-run library in the state. If the county takes over the library, that means it may move.

"It probably has outgrown the space. The library technology has changed, the flow has changed, so it really is time to either do something better to that building or look for another building," said Myrtle Beach city spokesman Mark Kruea.

That decision would be up to Horry County. Myrtle Beach has considered turning the library over to the county for years.

"At some point down the road, we would like to see a new county library that would serve the City of Myrtle Beach," said Kruea.

But, residents are divided on the issue of a possible relocation. Victor Malvarez hopes moving would mean better books and technology.

"I think a bigger location, something larger and more modern, would probably serve the city better," Malvarez explained.

He said he's tired of paying taxes to both the county and the city for library service.

"Paying a double tax, that's not fair to the citizens, I mean, considering that the library is a bit older and, you know, the selection of books is not as large as most other libraries, to pay that much money really is not fair."

Diane Horrigan worries if Horry County takes over, they will lose staffing to handle the collection. She believes the benefits of paying more in taxes far outweigh the costs.

"That's not double taxation. You're saving money. You don't have to build an addition for a personal library in your home, you have access to the material," Horrigan said.

Horry County says it could take years before they take over operations. .

The county gives $35,000 a year to Chapin Memorial Library. There are nine other libraries in Horry County.