Cynthia Graham Hurd

Cynthia Graham Hurd

Cynthia Graham Hurd’s life was full of clutter. But it was good clutter.

Books were everywhere in her house. Stacks here. Piles there.

Her younger brother Malcolm Graham said she was proud of being a nerd, from her childhood to the 31 years spent working with the Charleston County Public Library system.

Her biggest impact was what she did for the tiny John Dart Branch on King Street. It’s in a neighborhood where books often are scarce at home. It’s where she grew up.

Hurd expanded services for children at Dart, as they say in librarian speak, and started an evening program for locals to come in.

“We were told that it wasn’t a safe community to go into,” said library system executive director Douglas Henderson.

Hurd got police involved. People started to come back after dark.

“She did more than the librarian stuff,” Graham said. “She helped the children with their problems, their issues.”

More recently she was promoted to manage the St. Andrews Regional Library in West Ashley. But her dedication stayed the same. If she wasn’t at the library, she was at Emanuel AME, “the church where we were all born and raised in,” Graham said.

She was there Wednesday night when a lone gunman came in.

Graham said he wants to remember his sister spending her final moments in peace.

“She was in the company of God, trying to help somebody out,” he said. “She was where she needed to be.”

Today would have been her 55th birthday.

Schuyler Kropf