A New Age of Resources

by Elize Fourie | Librarian

We are excited to announce that we are investing significant resources into the development of a digital library which will see all our students have access to online materials in the near future. This digital library will provide students with much needed resources to use as they research their assignments and seek further information on topics which are discussed in the content of their courses. This is just another measure which shows BTC’s commitment to providing our students with an excellent theological education.

 

Anyone who has visited the BTC Library in the past two or three months would have noticed that we have undergone significant changes. These changes, however, are not merely change for the sake of change. The changes to the Library in this season have been strategically geared toward ensuring the proper development of our facilities to accommodate the growth of our student body and research capacity as an institution.

 

This fresh chapter was ushered in after receiving a donation which allowed us to build a new entrance for the Library on the south side of the building. This entrance (the building of which has now been completed)  will host a special exhibition known as ‘The  Diary’ which will house a collection of the personal diaries of Carl Hugo Gutsche and tell the story of his life and ministry in South Africa. We hope to have this exhibition completed in October, allowing us to open it to the public by mid-November.  Realizing that we would have a nice new Library entrance, it made logical sense to use the momentum that this new building  brought about and continue making further changes to the rest of the facility at the same time. If you are going to create a little bit of dust in a library, you might as well create a lot of dust all at once and be done with it for a while. Well, that was our thinking at least. 

 

So it all started off with the laying of a new carpet – a task that is certainly more complex than it sounds, bearing in mind that the Library floor is home to shelves which hold  no less than 16 000 books. Just before the carpets were laid, the decision was taken to switch around our lending and reference sections, allowing for better use of space within the Library, and granting us a number of extra shelves to house more lending books which our students can take out. More shelving space has been a need for a number of years, and so this seemingly drastic swapping of two sections made logical sense, bearing in mind that it would require a lot of work. 

 

Yet, as they say, ‘Many hands make light work’ and after rounding up the troops of willing students (who had no idea of what they were getting themselves into), we began the great move. Every book that we own was moved from one place to another at least three times, all the while trying our best to keep the structured Dewey decimal ordering system. This worked for the most part, except when one row of shelves, home to at least 3 000 books came crashing to the ground. The ‘lot’ of work that we were prepared for became just a little bit more.  

 

Nevertheless, our Library staff and student volunteers got to work reordering the books and after a few weeks of chaos, the Library was finally moved.  

 

What Is Next for The BTC Library

While our big move is complete, we look forward to: 

  • Acquiring 100 new books for both our missiology and youth studies sections, and 50 new books for our practical theology collection.
  • Developing a new digital library to provide much needed resources for our distance learning students.
  • Moving over to a new library system, Koha, to manage our library collections.

 

We look forward to the fresh chapter ahead!