Cornerstone University’s Miller Library celebrates 30 years
By Amy Etrheim
Cake. Guests. 30th year. What is this? Nothing less than a birthday party – not celebrating the birthday of a person, but of Cornerstone University’s Miller Library.
On Nov. 3, around 80 to 100 people gathered in Miller Library’s hallway to celebrate. Katie Selden, a student circulation desk worker at the library, attended the event.
Selden said CU president Joe Stowell spoke at the event. She also said that “some of the old yearbooks were out” and that there was “a big sheet cake.”
“About 80 people got cake that day,” Selden said. The attendees included administrators, students and the library staff.
“They talked about how the library has changed and how it has been good for the students,” Selden said. “It was cool.”
Fred Sweet, director of Miller Library, pointed out that this was the 30 year celebration of the CU library being in its current building, not of the library in general.
“Before 30 years ago, the library had been in different places,” Sweet said. He said that until 1982, the library was in the Ketcham building, and that it was known as the Ketcham Library.
Sweet explained that in 1982, John and Gene Miller provided the primary funding needed to start a new building, and thus the building was named after them – Miller Library.
“Libraries have changed dramatically in 30 years,” Sweet said.
He pointed out that 30 years ago, people did not own a personal computer nor use the Internet. They were the “pre-Internet” and “pre-personal computer” days.
“Not many people had a personal computer in 1981,” he said.
Now, things are much different. Much of the library’s collection and resources are electronic, “perhaps even a third,” Sweet said. “We are constantly seeking to increase our library electronic resources.”
Despite the movement toward more online materials, Sweet said that the physical space of an actual library building is important.
“Students think that too, and we get a lot of student use of the building,” he said. Sweet said that the use of the building has steadily been increasing through the years.
The library also contains the Curriculum Materials Center, the Writing Center and the university archives.
The university archives consist of “papers, documents, and photographs recorded of the school,” Sweet said. This includes thousands of sports photographs, a copy of each week’s The Herald publication, faculty papers, university records and more.
“We serve as the university archivists,” Sweet said. “That’s part of the library’s role.”
Sweet also said that the library puts on “various outreach events that would be of interest to the student body.”
This is seen in events such as LibraryPrize and Late Night at Miller Library.
Sweet said that Miller Library aims to advance the scholarship of the faculty as well as students. They aim to provide the best resources, in print and online.
Sweet also said there are six professional librarians.
“They really work at staying current in their subject areas so they can serve faculty and students well,” he said.
“Being a smaller university library, we like to really excel in services,” Sweet said.
He said that the students and faculty are important, and that they offer research assistance. “We do a pretty good job at servicing.
“We have an exceptionally busy interlibrary loan department,” he added as well.
Sweet mentioned the banner that hangs on the outside of the library building that says, “Advancing the scholarship at Cornerstone for 30 years.”
“That’s kind of our theme,” Sweet said. “That’s what we’re all about.”