The Charleston Southern library: more than just books

By Sam Arp | January 31, 2023

The L. Mendel Rivers Library at Charleston Southern exists to “support the mission of Charleston Southern University by providing students and faculty with bibliographic, physical, and intellectual access to recorded knowledge and information.” The director, staff, and work-studies all work toward the goal of serving students in their academic career. One of the major ways they do this, is by providing free resources to Charleston Southern students.

The Charleston Southern library offers over 135,000 print titles, and through its partnership with PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries) offers over 1 million electronic titles. What many students and faculty don’t know, however, is that the library has much more to offer the campus than just literary resources.

For education majors, there is a specific librarian on staff who works hand-in-hand with the College of Education to offer training and hands-on experience with modern technology to encourage students to consider how to integrate technology into their classrooms in the future. The CSU library partners with the state library to gain access to things like drones and small, programmable robots as inspiration for lesson plans and teaching tactics, as well as to demonstrate how to use them in a classroom setting. 

For STEM-focused students, the library’s collection contains many scientific journals and research articles that enhance what is already being taught in the classroom as well as provide sources for extended research.

In their time on campus, Christian Studies majors spend a whole semester learning how to research and access academic sources in their discipline and are able to access the extensive library of theological dictionaries, commentaries, and biographies that aid in their research. 

If a student is unfamiliar with how to access all of these materials, the library offers personal research appointments with librarians who help students learn how to find properly verified sources, how to use them correctly, and how to cite them in their papers. 

Physically inside the library, there are tables for individual and group work as well as open study rooms to provide students with quiet or collaborative study time, as well as small stations throughout the library where colored pencils and coloring pages are provided to give students a stress-free break from studying when needed.

All of these resources stand available to students , fulfilling the purpose of the library, which is to serve students. Eric Kistler, director of the library, says that everything from the one-on-one help to the quiet place to study is an effort to reach “outside of the library walls to serve students in whatever way we can.” 

L. Mendel Library page for library hours and full information!

Samantha Arp is a junior English with a writing emphasis major. She is a Fall 2022 intern in CSU’s marketing and communication office.

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