CIU librarian picking up the pieces after Saturday fire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

CIU librarian picking up the pieces after Saturday fire

By Darragh Copley - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia International University Library Director Jo Ann Rhodes went beyond the yellow tape on Monday after a fire destroyed the majority of the library on Saturday.

Fire investigators believe a fluorescent light sparked the flames.

As Rhodes surveyed the damage, she found books that were damaged, destroyed, and some that can be salvageable.

"It looks like most of them were Bibles, commentaries and theology books, which is quite devastating because that's the core of our curriculum and it's the core of our library," said Rhodes.

One book she picked up, a commentary of the New Testament by John Calvin, is well-known in theology community. The book was on the first 1,500 books collected by the library.

"I've been so heartened since Saturday," said Rhodes. "I've received numerous phone calls and emails from librarians from across the state,"

Besides college and university librarians, CIU alumni, local businesses, and neighbors have offered to help replace books.

"It got me through the weekend because this is a very emotional experience for a librarian, but to know that other people are so concerned that they will do anything that you ask them to, it's just my job to figure out what they can do," added Rhodes.

Still, inside the building, disaster crews are working to salvage anything they can, by cleaning up the ceilings and carpet. Inside, there are still some shelves of books that were not damaged by the flames or smoke.

While the price tag for the damage is estimated to be more than $1 million, Rhodes feels some of the books are priceless.

But Rhodes still has her faith. "Lord willing in the fall, we will be almost ready to have our students back in the library," she said.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Israel's Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths

    Israel's Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 05:44:10 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-04-21 19:24:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...(AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Barbara Bush's casket wheeled out of church

    The Latest: Barbara Bush's casket wheeled out of church

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 3:15 PM EDT2018-04-21 19:15:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>
  • Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 3:15 PM EDT2018-04-21 19:15:01 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly