Monday, May 10, 2010

Devastating Fire at Columbia International University Library

Some astute users of our library catalog may have noticed that we share our catalog with several other colleges and universities in South Carolina. One of these schools, Columbia International University, had a devastating fire in their library this weekend. We worked extensively with the staff and librarians at CIU when we trained on our current library catalog system.

The heat was so intense that when firefighters entered the building, books were undergoing spontaneous combustion. Metal shelving warped due to this heat. The entire building has smoke damage and has suffered severe structural damage. Every item has some smoke damage, and an estimated 20,000 volumes were completely destroyed.

Although there is never a "good" time to have a fire in a library, CIU is heading into final exams this week, with commencement scheduled for May 15th.

The state academic library partnership -- PASCAL -- will be mobilizing to help CIU's library get back on its feet.

We will keep everyone informed with whatever statewide recovery plans emerge in the next few days.

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