Columbia International University Library Destroyed

5:55 PM, May 10, 2010   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Students taking finals at Columbia International University are looking for books and alternative places to study after a weekend fire destroyed the school's library.

The fire took place at the G. Allen Fleece Library and Resource Center.

The school lost over 15,000 books, some of them very old and probably irreplaceable.

"I was distraught when I found out this had taken place and many seniors and many graduates are hear finsihing up their papers and finals exams," says Courtney Spergeon, a student at the school.

Some of these books date back to the 1700s and have been translated from obscure languages into Bibles.

"Everybody who studies here majors in Bible [studies] and it has a great impact in what we have to offer our students," says Library Director JoAnn Rhodes. "It really hurts to see all of those books in that core curriculum in that subject area gone."

Rhodes says it will take time to replace these books but that won't be the case for the schools archives dating back to the 1920s.

For now, the cleanup and restoration process is underway. The school hopes to sift through some of the debris and save what they can. The school is working with students like Spurgeon to get through this week of finals.

Damage estimates are in excess of $1.5 million. The school plans to build a bigger better library with new material and technology. They also plan to set up a restoration fund to replace the books. 

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