Fall 2010 – Make Your Fortune: Study Strong

Playing on the theme of “fortune,” the staff of College Library organized a series of final events designed to keep students inspired and able to “study strong” during the fall exam period. 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 an invitation to make your fortune by wishing upon a star – a star-shaped Post-It® Note that is. Students were encouraged to write down and post their “wishes” on the library’s Information Desk. In addition to the ever-popular desire to receive good grades, other wishes included a Rose Bowl win, world peace, good health, the ability to find an open table, and that “everyone’s wishes come true.” A number of these heart-felt sentiments were broadcast over College Library’s Twitter feed, along with the our #studystrong hashtag.

On Wednesday, December 15, the last day of classes, 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, Thursday, December 16, when GUTS and the Dean of Students Office offered coffee, doughnuts, and fruit to students stopping by the library’s student services area for some last-minute tutoring. GUTS staff also created a short video featuring Bucky Badger successfully receiving tutoring help which was featured on the library’s large monitor in a continuing loop throughout Study Day.

On Friday, December 17, the library offered patrons the opportunity to “Eat Your Fortune (Cookie)” with customized fortunes inside a tasty cookie treat. The theme continued on Saturday with a prognostication table where students were invited to forecast their success on exams using tarot cards, I-Ching coins, magic 8 balls, and a Ouija board. The effort continued on Sunday, December 19, with supplies available for students to “Make Your (Own) Fortune (Teller).” Students appreciated the opportunity to relive grade-school fun with folded finger-fortune devices.

Admittedly, Monday’s event pushed the theme a bit but student still embraced our ever-popular “Fortunately, There’s Candy” day. Free candy was available, while supplies lasted, at each of the library’s service desks. The week’s events concluded on Tuesday, December 21, with two palm-reading sessions. In addition, Bucky Badger made two visits to the library to help boost morale and provide a few picture-taking opportunities. It’s pretty apparent that everyone loves a visit from Bucky!

Although it’s hard to pinpoint who enjoyed this series of finals events more, the students or the library’s planning committee, College Library intends to work with campus partners to continue developing similar programming in the future.

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