Spring 2009 – Stay Up Lat(t)e: Leave Your Mark

Once again the staff of College Library organized a series of events designed to ease the stress of finals for our student patrons. 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 May 7 through May 13 to a) reduce the tension of finals; b) help students stay up late; and c) give them the opportunity to “leave their mark” before the first floor of the library undergoes renovation this summer. Because the library was open 24/7 from May 3 through May 15, library staff also enjoyed the opportunity to be even more creative during this time of the semester.

Events opened with a giveaway of temporary tattoos featuring Helen C.’s name decorating a heart. On Friday evening, the Open Book Café offered free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and on Saturday, GUTS and the Office of the Dean of Students provided more free coffee, along with doughnuts, fruit, and a cheese tray for students using the Drop-In center. On Sunday, the library put out a selection of “stress relievers” for students to use while in the library. Monday, May 11, was designated “Shout Outs” and “Chalk the Yard” day with white boards and sidewalk chalk provided so that students could leave their mark with encouraging messages. Monday also brought one of the more anticipated events – “Dogs on Call” – over ten dogs and their handlers stopped by from 4 to 8 p.m. and provided welcome stress relief for students. (We did not encourage the dogs to “leave their mark” in the library.) The library offered free candy at the service desks on Tuesday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 13, was devoted to “tagging the desk.” Since the first floor center is being remodeled this summer, students were asked to leave farewell messages on the “big blue” Information Desk. Nearly every inch of the surface ended up being decorated before the event ended on Thursday, May 14.

College Library also featured masks of Helen C. White – students were encouraged to make her a study buddy and send in photos throughout the week. Alas, students seemed more inclined to keep Helen as a souvenir. The library also invited Bucky Badger to visit the library during this week as a morale boost for those studying so diligently in the library. Bucky stopped by the library twice to cheer students on – at one point he mimed drinking Red Bull and then stood on his head to the delight and amazement of those studying on the 3rd floor.

Students definitely enjoyed this series of finals events and while some cannot be repeated (espcially “Tag the Desk”), College Library plans to work with other campus partners to continue offering similar programming in the future.

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