The library at Central Baptist College (CBC) has a long history of serving our particular niche of students.
For example, as a religious institution, nearly half of our print collection is devoted to religion and theology. When the new Story Library opened in 2014, we created common spaces for our students, knowing they needed places to work on group projects, hold a club meeting, or print out a paper at 7:45 a.m. for an 8 a.m. class.
So, when CBC decided to add online classes, we knew we would need to develop a way to serve online students. We have since adopted this philosophy: Whatever a student can do physically in the library, they should also be able to do online. We love serving our students!
Access to over 100,000 eBooks
Since the early 2000’s, the library has provided online access to research materials such as online journals and databases.
We have continued to grow our collection of electronic resources to include access to over 100,000 eBooks, and over 60 database titles, which include access to hundreds of electronic journals.
All of these electronic research materials are searchable on and off-campus through our “StorySearch,” found on our website: library.cbc.edu.
Virtual Access to Librarians
Story Librarians strongly believe online students should have virtual access to a librarian. Even if we never meet a student in person, we can connect with them online to provide research assistance.
From our website, we provide virtual reference services through a chatting service; students can make an appointment with us and we can “meet” online via Zoom, a video-conferencing tool; or students can ask us a question using our “Ask-a-Librarian” feature.
Ronald V. Mitchell Archives
The mission of our Mitchell Archives is to preserve the history of CBC and that of the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA).
The Archives room in the Story Library is available by appointment only, but one of our long-term goals is to digitize the material within, thereby making the contents available online to alumni and the CBC community.
Currently from the Archives’ website, users can read Dr. Ronald Mitchell’s lecture notes, which he digitized himself and made available before he passed away.
CBC Online Yearbook Archive
One of our more recent offerings, of which we are particularly proud, is the availability of digitized CBC Yearbooks from our website.
Public Services Librarian, Allison Lightfoot, has spent the past 12 months painstakingly scanning the covers and pages of yearbooks from 1954 – 2018 and converting them into a format that is accessible online.
A user can take a walk back through time and “page” through a yearbook. To view these yearbooks, visit: library.cbc.edu/archives/yearbooks
Among the many contents located within the Archives, are hundreds of cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and reel-to-reel recordings that provide audio-visual (AV) recordings of sermons from BMA pastors, CBC Bible professors, mission symposiums, annual BMA meetings, and more.
It is our wish to digitize all these recordings – a project we have already begun, but that which requires funds in order to complete. In order to make a digital recording, these materials have to be sent off to the Center for Arkansas History & Culture (CAHC) in Little Rock. There, the files are converted to digital audio.
Eventually, these files will be uploaded to our website and a user will be able to listen to the content from their own home.
The Future of Archiving Content
A few items that have already been digitized include the D.N. Jackson and Guy Woods’ debate on water baptism from 1957, a 1980 minister’s conference at CBC, and Dr. Harold Cooper’s funeral service held at CBC in 1992.
These recordings are not yet available online as we are still working towards obtaining a content management system that will allow us to store and manage digital content.
A user could visit the library and listen to them on a computer in our office. Just contact me to make an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Near Future
Another challenge that remains is the hundreds of unlabeled photographs stored in the Mitchell Archives. We would love to digitize these, but it is difficult since people and activities pictured are not identified. Sometime in the near future, look for us to come up with a way to make these available to CBC alumni for identification!
Written by Rachel Whittingham
Rachel Whittingham serves Central Baptist College as the Learning Resources Division Chair and the Library Director of the Story Library.
Are you looking for a college where serving students academically, whether you are taking classes on-campus or online, is a top priority?
How about a college with a history of teaching students about Jesus and leading others to do the same?
Schedule a virtual meeting or a personal campus visit at cbc.edu/visit today to see if CBC is the place for you.