Last Monday when speaking with a colleague of mine we decided it would be really cool for the library to host some sort of “study break” for the students during finals cramming time. This is something we talked about at the end of last semester but we didn’t have the time to make it happen. This time we thought let’s go for it, even though we only had a few days to plan it (finals began on Friday).
Magically, everything came together. By Tuesday I had communicated with my team leader, he had communicated with the dean, and she had communicated with other team leaders. We managed to secure a $250 budget from the combined donations from team events budgets of Social Sciences Team, Team Y & Materials Access Team. We established a date and time of Sunday at 8pm – the night before finals week, and I’ve since heard the busiest night of the year in the library.
After talking with the knowledgeable events coordinator in our administration office as well as a number of other admin assistants & the manager of Bookend Cafe nextdoor, on Friday I ordered coffee & hot water/tea from the student union to be delivered Sunday evening.
Friday afternoon 3 freezer bags full of cookies were sitting on my desk as donations, left over from a staff workshop earlier that day. I printed signs advertising the event and put them at the service desks.
Sunday afternoon I went to Grocery Outlet and picked up $80 worth of goodies – about 10 packages of cereal bars, a dozen snack cakes, 3 tins of wafer sticks, handfuls of bags of crackers & chips, a case of bottled water, a ton of candy, and 24 bottles of grape juice.
I arrived to the library at 7pm, went down to the information commons to work with the staff on sending a message out to all the computer stations at 8pm letting them know about the event upstairs. We set up in the main lobby near our open reserves/holds section. 1 table for library materials (advertising study areas & new services), water/juice bottles, and the bowl of candy. The other table for all the other food, napkins & plates. And a third table for the coffee, tea, & ice water.
8pm rolled around and students started arriving. By 8:15 there was a line all the way across the lobby area. By 8:25 all the food was gone except for the candy. By 9pm the coffee & tea was all gone, too. Crazy! The students absolutely loved it, though. They were very appreciative and I’m sure needed the break. We’ll definitely have to do this again at the end of the fall semester. I think a cool thing to do would be to have the library staff bake & bring things in. That way we’d save money, have more food, and have personal, homemade stuff from the librarians to the students 🙂