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Edens library celebrates 50 years

Temiloluwa Adeyemi, staff writer

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J. Drake Edens Library celebrated its 50th anniversary Nov. 15 from 2-6 p.m., with faculty, staff and students.

Edens Library is the second library in Columbia College’s history. The Edens library opened Nov. 17, 1967, and was named J. Drake Edens Library, after Drake Edens, a Columbia College board member and supporter of women’s education.  

J. Drake Edens Library archives
Front construction of J. Drake Edens Library in July 1967.

A building called Old Main occupied the site of the current library before its construction in 1967. Old Main was the only campus building until 1922 when the college’s first library, Vera Young Thomas Memorial Library, now Alumnae Hall, was built. Old Main housed the auditorium, dining room, parlors, classrooms and administrative offices until a fire destroyed the structure in 1964.

J. Drake Edens Library archives
The Fire of 1964 destroyed Old Main, built in 1910.

The fire destroyed many of the college’s historical records. The loss of records led to the decision to create the Columbia College Archives, an official collection of papers, digital documents, yearbooks, bulletins and other items committed to the historical records of Columbia College.

According to the library’s website, the Columbia College Archives is an outgrowth of the Columbia College Alumnae Association Historical and Archives Committee, which was established in 1971 to collect and preserve documents and artifacts related to the history of Columbia College.

J. Drake Edens Library archives
Moving of books from the Vera Young Thomas
Memorial Library to Edens Library. Nov. 1967

The Columbia College Archives is housed in Edens Library, which is home to the Communication, Language and Literature division, Honors office, IT department and Pearce Communication Center.

The library is managed by four staff members, assisted by 15 student workers at the circulation desk.

Jane P. Tuttle, M.L.I.S., library director and research and instruction/periodicals head, has served in Edens Library for 30 years. According to Tuttle, working with students, meeting a new set every year and getting to know the academic interests of students are what she loves best about working at the library. She manages staff members, trains new employees and handles other supervisory duties.

Josh Brunck, M.L.I.S., collection development librarian, has worked at Edens Library for four years. Denise Robinson, M.L.I.S., circulation and interlibrary loan librarian, came to the library a year ago after serving as head librarian at Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, South Carolina. Brittany Hickey, M.L.I.S., reference and instruction librarian, is the newest addition to the library staff, having served for two months.

The library’s hours are 8:00 a.m. – midnight Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday and 3:00 p.m.-midnight Sunday.

Click here to access more of the library’s resources.

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Edens library celebrates 50 years