Finals Fairy: A Failure?

This past week was finals week at DeSales and students were appropriately stressed; many students seemed to live in the library.  We try to give students a way to relieve their stress and have some fun in between their intense study sessions.  We had some success with a coloring competition in the past, but decided to step up our game this semester.  We followed the lead of librarians at Lafayette College, Salisbury University, and Michigan State University and introduced our campus to the #TrexlerFinalsFairy.  We were hoping that treats hidden around the library would be received well and that students would enjoy sharing their findings with others through our hashtag.  We envisioned many students finding the Trexler Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and our social media audience widening.

We apparently did not have realistic expectations.  We were extremely disappointed when only five students posted the success of their findings.  We had 64 packages floating around the library and so little response!  We even found some of the packages in the trash.  The majority of students didn’t seem to be interested in the stress balls, pencils, finger mustache temporary tattoos, or candy!  The five students who did post made us smile, so I include them finals fairy response

We aren’t certain why the Finals Fairy didn’t provide us with the social media boost for which we had hoped.  It wasn’t for lack of finals fairy.PNGadvertising, I made a few posters that were put on social media and hung throughout the library.  finals fairy promo It wasn’t because there was a shortage of students or gifts.  Perhaps we just didn’t pick the right
gifts?  In the end, we decided that our endeavors weren’t a complete failure because we made a few students happy and showed them we care.

I am interested to know if other libraries have had more success with efforts to make finals fun…

Author: Jess Denke

Assessment and Outreach Librarian at Muhlenberg College

2 thoughts on “Finals Fairy: A Failure?”

  1. Don’t feel bad. Trying is what helps you figure out what works or doesn’t work. Have you ever read Think Like a Startup? It’s a white paper for library leaders about having a startup mentality: Once I read that, I felt a whole lot more free to experiment. I work at a very small commuter community college campus located off a highway (just farmland and dairies are aound us), and we don’t have a lot of space with 2k square feet. I tried so many things out here, I can’t even think of them all. If it makes you feel better, after much trial and error, I just simply offer a bowl of Starbursts with a “Need a burst of energy?” sign and another bowl with mini Crunch Bars with an “It’s Crunch Time” sign. LOL!

    You never know what will or won’t work until you try. You might give it another go next term with a new set of students and maybe some other kinds of prizes. Not that I know which ones, but maybe check back with the students who participated.

    I am sorry because I know how much work and thought you put into this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Lindsay! 🙂 I am not too disappointed, but I am looking forward to trying something else next time. I love your Starburst and Crunch Bar ideas. We are thinking about using a week long reserved study space as motivation to enter a drawing or do a survey next semester. Part of the frustration is that we’re trying to establish relationships with students, which we rarely have with students other than our student workers. But, like I told my friend here, the students change every four years! So we can just keep trying!

      Liked by 1 person

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