Finals 2016

Testing at the end of a semester is part of the process and helps to determine growth, but it’s a time when students are anxiously finishing papers, cramming for tests, and, in the case of one library student worker, finishing a beautiful drawing of burning heart tulips.  The end of the semester has been much different for me.  I haven’t taught in a few weeks and have spent the time working on some on-going projects: instruction scaffolding, assessment, and conference planning.  I’ve also used the time to join together with my coworkers and create a bit of fun to ease those testing brains.

Inspired by some of the work by members of the Library Marketing and Outreach group, we decided to hold a raffle and give away the librarians’ conference room as a designated study space for one lucky winner and their friends.  And to make the win even sweeter (and the poster way cooler), we through in a pizza… and a box of donuts.  It was nice to make a few students happy.raffle-for-finals-2016

We did have a bit of an ulterior motive.  We were hoping that everyone who entered the raffle (66 people) would follow us on social media in order to see if they won.  It seemed logical to us, and we don’t think that we have a lot of current students aware of our social media presence.  But, it didn’t work!  Not a single additional follower!  I’m not entirely sure why.  But, the conference room, donuts, and pizza were a hit.  Our winner was very thankful for the designated space since the library has been very full during the past week.

We wanted to bring joy to more than just a small group of students, so we had a special activity on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Do you like my designs?

Free coffee for students studying in the library was the first by-product of the first meeting of our Student Advisory Board.  (YAY!)  And the coffee was a hit for the entire day!  We went through 160 cups of coffee, which we diligently brewed with a humongous percolator.

One of our student worker’s mothers led us in meditation on Tuesday.  This was my personal favorite moment of finals fun.  Cindy discussed chakras, energy, and how people born after 1991 have an easier time seeing the colors associated with the energy centers of the body.  Apparently this has something to do with crystals in one’s teeth and joints.

And then on Wednesday afternoon we put out cupcakes, icing, and sprinkles for students to decorate!  I’ve had a love affair with Funfetti since high school (you can read more about that in a lovely piece written by my girl) – I have yet to meet someone on this earth who doesn’t love the sprinkles and the sweet fluff of pudding cake.  img_20161214_162004645

And now, as students finish their semester one final at a time, the library is slowly emptying.  It will be very quiet for about a month until the spring semester starts.  I’m anxiously awaiting that time – I’ve been reading the Critical library Pedagogy Handbook and have so many ideas for classroom conversations regarding social justice!

Author: Jess Denke

Assessment and Outreach Librarian at Muhlenberg College

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