The Institute of African Studies (IAS) is Columbia University's central forum and resource for African-centered academic research, program development, curriculum administration, student advisement, and local, national, and international dialogue and action. Founded in 1959, the IAS prepares generations of Africa practitioners for careers in academic research, teaching, development, diplomacy, business, governance, journalism, law, and human rights by sponsoring courses and offering events on Africa throughout the year. Through its many lecture-series, conferences, seminars, and workshops, the Institute provides a special forum for the coming together of distinguished Africanist faculty, scholars, and students, as well as for the broader community engaged in policy initiatives on Africa. IAS is unique because it is home to the African Studies Library, which is the country's tenth largest African studies library and learning resource center. Further, because it is situated in New York City, the home of the United Nations and crossroads of the global worlds of commerce, diplomacy, and culture, the IAS is able to provide hands-on programming that is directly relevant to current issues on the Continent.