Fall 2009 – Stay Up Lat(t)e: Study Strong

The staff of College Library organized a series of final events designed to keep students healthy and able to “study strong” during final exams. In conjunction with the Open Book Café, the Wisconsin Union, GUTS, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Athletic Department, events were planned every day from December 14 through December 21. Additional support was provided by the College Library Director, and the John M. Gaus fund.

Events opened with a “Study Strong – Helen C.” bracelet give-away. The bracelets were purple in honor of Helen C. White, who wore purple every day. Students were encouraged to wear them in solidarity with everyone busy studying for final exams in College Library and to show their commitment to “study strong” – this semester’s theme for finals week. Also on Monday, Dec. 14, students had the opportunity to be a part of a chain of good will and to show strength in numbers by building a chain of shout-outs for success. As the chains grew throughout the week, library staff decorated the 1st floor desk with everyone’s good wishes. Shout-outs were also featured on the College Library website with an RSS feed from the library’s Twitter account. It was wonderful to see the library’s “study strong” hashtag being re-tweeted and used by people across campus.

On Tuesday, December 15, the Wisconsin Union and Open Book Café provided free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to students studying at the library from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. More food was provided on the university’s official study day, Wednesday, December 16, when GUTS and the Dean of Students Office offered coffee, doughnuts, and fruit to students stopping by the library’s new student services area for some last-minute tutoring.

On Thursday, December 17, students were encouraged to send their “Study Strong Shout-Outs” using the College Library webcam, located in first floor center. Participants could view themselves on the webcam at the large display monitor on the 1st floor or let friends and family view their shout-out by going to Flickr. On “free candy Friday” the library put out sugar-laden treats for quick energy. And, just to make sure studiers were not relying on sugar alone, the library also offered packets of Emergen-C to help keep everyone healthy and studying strong.

The library promised a “weekend surprise” for the 19th and 20th which was… free printing! From about 4:30pm to 7pm on Saturday, there was no charge for b/w printing in the Computer & Media Center. The lucky students who were in the right place at the right time were able to take advantage of this special giveaway from College Library. Other weekend activities included being able to take a study break by watching some football or catching the score in 1st floor center as the Packers and Vikings games played on the display monitor. Quite a crowd gathered for the final exciting, although ultimately disappointing, minutes of the Packer game. At 7pm, a flash mob occurred, when a few hundred students suddenly appeared on 1st floor, did a quick Jump Around, and quickly dispersed. It was a fun way to reduce the stress of finals and congratulations to the students who organized it. Finally, Bucky Badger made a visit to students in the library to boost morale and provide a few picture-taking opportunities. It’s pretty apparent that everyone loves a visit from Bucky!

On Monday, December 21, the last day of events, patrons had the chance to Study Strong/Be Strong with Wii Fit. The unit was available in 1st floor center, and offered a study break with yoga, strength training and balance games. Students definitely enjoyed this series of finals events and College Library plans to work with other campus partners to continue offering similar programming in the future.

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