Shoreline Library Reaches Milestone: Celebrates Five Millionth Customer

From left to right: Media Assistants Brien Dickey and Charles Chitty with Reference Librarian Jonathan Betz-Zall.

From left to right: Media Assistants Brien Dickey and Charles Chitty with Reference Librarian Jonathan Betz-Zall.

April 30 marked a momentous occasion for Shoreline Community College’s Ray W. Howard Library. Just before 10 a.m., the five millionth person walked through the library doors since it installed gate counters in 2002.

The library first opened back in 1965, meaning the actual number of customers served is far higher, but it’s fitting that the gate counters marked number five million in the year the college is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Chris Matz, the library’s Director, said “the numbers are humbling because it means we’ve touched a lot of lives. But,” he added, “I can tell you on behalf of my entire staff that those customers have touched our lives as well. We are all better off for having served every single one of those people, as they teach us new ways to improve what we do every single day.”

Matz went on to say that, while the library’s staff is excited about having reached such an impressive milestone, reaching the five million marker isn’t what’s most important. Rather, he and his staff want to continue to focus on helping each individual who uses the library as a resource.

Ray W. Howard library at Shoreline.

Ray W. Howard library at Shoreline.

“We are building a relationship of trust here that enables anyone on campus or in the Shoreline community at large to walk through those doors and ask for help. We’re here to provide them resources in a way that gives them the confidence to ask even more questions and to keep coming back to learn more.”

In the coming months, the library will become even more of a resource for the campus community, as several of the learning and tutoring centers will be moved to the library to serve as a nexus for student learning and success.

“The melding of the library with the various learning centers across campus is such a natural progression,” Matz said. “It will give us the ability to make more effective referrals for students and the potential for cross-departmental synergy with the centralization of the learning centers is through the roof.”

Creating a nexus of learning on campus is “all about helping the student,” he said. And the move means the library’s next milestone likely won’t be 13 years in the making. “The turnstile is going to be spinning off its axis,” Matz said. “By turning the library into even more of a destination than it already is, we’ll reach 10 million customers served in no time.”

One of the gate counters at Shoreline's library.

One of the gate counters at Shoreline’s library.

The impressive numbers the library clocks are just proof of its continued vitality in this information age.

“When they come through the door it’s a marker of our appeal,” Matz said. “The best resource we have is the people who work here: we know things, we know the history of the college, we know the community, we know how to find things and we know how to teach people the skills they need to perform well in classes. Are libraries still important? Five million people think so.”

But it’s not just the library’s celebration, Matz said. “If the library has served five million people, think of all the other people who’ve visited campus as well. The entire college should be proud of this milestone.”

The library’s staff will celebrate reaching the five millionth customer marker with cake at 11 a.m. on Fri., May 1. All are welcome to swing by the library and enjoy a slice.

1 Comment

  1. Chris Matz says:

    During our celebration Friday, we asked patrons to tell us how has the library helped them. Cake was not withheld to generate these responses…

    * “Great place to study and focus.”
    * “Too many ways to count! I love the group-work pods in 4214. Students can work all together and see what they are doing on one screen.”
    * “This library has been my home base for studying and chilling with my friends. I spend most of my life here. Library staff are very polite and happy to help when I need something. Good cake!”
    * “You are giving us cake on top of helping us with every service? SCC Library rocks. Thank you. You are amazing people.”
    * “Love this library and the great service done for all. This was my second home for several years while I attended classes here. Achieved my AAAS Business Tech. Many thanks to Leslie and Claire for all the help they provided.”
    * “This library staff made a big difference to my SCC experience when I was a student. I knew there would always be help to figure out those things that I did not know — and that made my experience a much better one.”
    * “I am always able to use a computer, do my homework, check out books and earphones here. The staff are always very kind. Thanks for all the hard work.”
    * “The library provides me a quiet place to sleep.”
    * “The library is a great place to meet cute guys.”
    * “This place has helped me learn about topics I’m interested in majoring in.”
    * “The staff is friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and always greet me with a smile.”
    * “Love this library! Such a positive environment to study and learn. Thanks to the staff and community for the time, effort, and energy you put into this valuable asset to our learning environment.”
    * “The librarians are all respectful, funny, and helping. This is a wonderful place.”
    * “The library has helped all of us.”
    * “Too many ways to list, I love this place for studying and working. Very nice staff, always ready for helping.”
    * “The library is my second home. I live here. I cannot get any studying done without it. Thank you for providing this place for our whole community.”
    * “I spend most of my time in the library because it is the best place to study and meet up with friends. I have received a lot of help with the whole staff. They are so knowledgeable and sweet.”
    * “Thank you. Just thank you.”

    Onward to 10 million!