Nearly 2,000 visitors packed the 7th annual Helen C. House Party on Thursday, September 10th. From 8-11 p.m. the first two floors of College Library were transformed into party central with myriad games, crafts, and food choices. Upon entering the library, students were greeted by an enormous screen inviting them to join Wii’s Just Dance game. Party attendees could take a break at the face painting table, which was adjacent to the dance floor. Nearby was a popular cotton candy station that led to Human Foosball in Room 1193 and a selection of board games available to play in Room 1191. Rounding out options in the 1st Floor Center were the incredible balloon art of Lochlan Masters and fortune telling in Room 1209B.
Open Book, Room 1250, at College Library was converted into a “makerspace” for the duration of the house party with representatives from Sector 67, a hackerspace in Madison, showcasing their 3D printer and teaching attendees how to solder. In addition to Arts & Crafts (button making, tote-bag decorating, and finger knitting), staff from the Bubbler and Madison Public Library demonstrated how to use their animation stations to create short video projects.
Lengthy lines for sandwiches and pizza were entertained by a variety of performers including Omulu Capoeira, Madison Area Jugglers, Hypnotiq Dance Crew, and Bellydancing UW. Thanks to all of our food vendors who helped make the house party such a success. Food donations from Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Canteen Vending, Ian’s Pizza, Glass Nickel Pizza, Milio’s Sandwiched, Rocky Rococo’s Pizza, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, were all very much appreciated.
Party-goers could leave the event with more than just food if they participated in any of the carnival games or Team Trivia going on in Room 2191. With a chance to win tickets that could be turned in for prizes (everything from stuffed dinosaurs to light sabers), participants honed their dexterity on carnival games sponsored by campus libraries or programs. Featured games included Plinko (Memorial), Pick-a-Duck (SLIS), Bottle Pick-Up (MERIT), Flickin’ Chicken (Steenbock), Ring Toss (ISIP), Hit-the-Hits (Music), Weenie Roast (Limnology), and Cactus Bowling (Go Big Read).
On the other side of 2nd floor, party-goers could experience the fun side of library technology with a Retro Photo Booth (participants were “green-screened” into campus photos provided by University Archives). TAs from DesignLab worked with students to ensure the seamless integration into one of the photo backgrounds. Video games were available in the InfoLab, Room 2250 and students enjoyed playing Mario Kart 8 and Rock Band. On the other end of the room, students were able to check out a demo of Oculus Rift, a virtual reality system, that the library is exploring for eventual circulation.
College Library is grateful for the support this event receives from both the campus and community. It would not be possible without subsidies from the Center for the First-Year Experience and the Gaus Fund.
As an official Welcome Week event, the Helen C. House Party encourages students to get acquainted with College Library and each other. Planning will soon begin for the 8th annual House Party in September 2016.
For more photos of this Helen C. House Party, see our dedicated Flickr album.