Charleston Library Renamed Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library After Branch Manager Killed In Emanuel AME Church Shootings
In a fitting tribute to one of the nine victims of the Charleston church shootings, the local library where Cynthia Graham Hurd worked will be renamed in her honor. Charleston city council voted unanimously to rename the library the Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library, with Hurd's family and friends sitting in the front row of chambers.
Hurd was killed on June 17 during a Bible study in downtown Charleston after Dylann Roof allegedly opened fire in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Hurd is one of nine people who lost their lives; three people survived the shooting.
In a statement to the press, Hurd's family called her a "librarian's librarian" who spent 31 years of her life dedicated to working for her local library and community. Hurd was the longest-serving part-time librarian in the entire country. In the statement, her brother Malcolm Graham spoke about his sister's commitment to the library and Charleston youth as a whole:
She enjoyed working with the kids, but she also realized her job extended beyond the walls of the library. She helped them discover themselves and learn skills that gave them the ability to live and grow, but she also was there to help people work through their problems. It went beyond just checking out books and helping people find jobs; she was there for people throughout the community who sought her advice on a variety of issues.
Although she had no children, she had a community full of children. She helped them discover ways to help themselves and learn skills that would give them the ability to live and grow and make lives for themselves.
The newly named Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library celebrated her memory on its Facebook page.
In memorial of Hurd's dedication to the children of her community, Hurd's alma mater, the College of Charleston, changed the name of an existing scholarship to the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Scholarship, according to Melville House. Her family also began the Cynthia Graham Hurd Fund for Reading and Literacy.
Hurd's husband, Arthur Stephen "Steve" Hurd, believes that the library rename will help his late wife's memory live on in Charleston.
"People will look up and see her name and remember her every day," he said.