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“African Descent”

Missions Mobilizers

Conference Hosted

by CIU

Dozens of African-American missions

mobilizers gathered on the campus of

CIU for a one-day conference in October,

challenging a new generation of African-

American missionaries to spread the

gospel to the unreached, particularly

Muslims. Jointly sponsored by Urban

Discovery Ministries (UDM) and the

Zwemer Institute for Muslim Studies at

CIU, the conference featured messages

by UDM leader Dr. Michael Fariss, CIU

President Dr. Bill Jones, and The Rev. Ed

Thomas, a missionary to Muslims. From

the perspective of an African-American,

Thomas described his experience of

bringing Muslims to Jesus where he

minsters in Europe.

A national conference on African-

American missions is scheduled for June

22-24 in Washington, D.C.

Columbia International University

students said they needed more space

for quiet study. Library Director Cynthia

Snell was listening. She responded with

a comfortable, enlarged area for study in

the G. Allen Fleece Library.

Snell used student surveys and focus

groups to gauge library needs. So,

as soon as Christmas break began,

several stacks of books on the second

floor were packed up and the shelving

disassembled. Some books were moved

to the first floor while others were

donated to a CIU alumnus. In their place

is cozy furniture, new cubicles, as well as

new study carrels, each carrel equipped

with individual lighting.

Snell said the need for the action

became obvious during finals week of

the fall semester.

“We had more people in here than we

had chairs. We had people sitting on

floors,” Snell said. “It’s amazing how

many students use the library.”

Snell says even though a large number of

books were permanently removed from

the library, that doesn’t mean they are no

longer available.

“We removed any book that wasn’t

being used that was published before

the year 2000 that was available through

PASCAL,” Snell said.

PASCAL stands for Partnership Among

South Carolina Academic Libraries. It’s

a rapid book-delivery service enabling

students to request and receive books

from academic libraries across the state.

“We created more study area the

students were requesting, without them

losing access to the resources we had,”

Snell added.

Plus, Snell notes that many of the books

that were removed still had a smoky

stench from a fire that caused extensive

damage to the library in 2010.

The changes are driven by Snell’s

philosophy on overseeing a university


“We need to service the students and

service the faculty because we have

moved to a faculty-driven acquisition

system,” Snell said. “The librarians do

not pick the resources. (The faculty)

knows better when it comes to what their

students need to be successful in their


And when it comes to future student

requests, Snell says she will evaluate

them and see what she can do.

“Recently, we had students looking

around, and they asked, ‘Where are the

beanbag chairs?’” Snell said.

The old ones had lost their beans. Snell

took note.

Beanbag chairs, at total of 10, are


Library Listens, Study Space Expands

Sam Doster and Avika Bartlett take a

walk on the red carpet at the CIU Winter

Formal in December. Attendees made

a Hollywood-type entrance complete

with black backdrop, stage lights, and

Paparazzi-style photographers. Everyone

was a rock star for a night.



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