The Critical Role of the College Libraries

The College Libraries make up the nexus of CofC, and with hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemictheir critical services are needed now more than ever.  

From the laptop lending program to research help for students and instructional support to faculty for online classes, the Libraries are dedicated to serving the CofC community  no matter the medium.  

The Libraries’ decision to pursue online avenues of research, instruction and accessibility aggressively long predates COVID-19. In 2014, before many of their South Carolina higher-ed peers, the Libraries embraced emerging digital technologies and pedagogies  e-books, streaming video servicesmandatory distance education training for librarians and more.  

These innovations are made possible through the support of the Dean’s Excellence Fund (DEF), but the current supply of laptops and other technology is insufficient to meet student demand. With an ever-increasing reliance on digital resourcesthe DEF is pivotal for students’ academic success.  

Prior to the move to hybrid learning, the Libraries’ DEF supporters have long been moved by its impact and transformative power.  

“The Deans Excellence Fund is vital because it supports both students and faculty, ensuring the Libraries and their facilities are able to provide essential resources to every patron,” says A. Foster Thalheimer, a stalwart supporter of the DEF and committed advocate of the Libraries.  

For many Cougars, these resources are fundamental. Nearly a third of students lack consistent access to a personal computer. It is surprising how many students completed their spring 2020 coursework  Zoom lectures, writing papers, navigating OAKS — via their smartphones out of necessity.  

Regardless of the circumstances, the Libraries remain steadfast in their mission to provide premier resources and information literacy to every user  in person or online. Learn more about supporting the DEF at