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Partnering with Student Clubs for Library Events

March 27, 2023

Throwing events in an academic library has always been a tricky proposition for librarians.  How can you make a place devoted to (relatively) quiet research and study a welcoming spot for fun and socialization?  Libraries have tried several solutions, such as having escape rooms for students, scavenger hunts, book clubs, and countless others. 

At my library, I’ve recently tried a different approach by working with student clubs to arrange events at the library.  My college requires that official student clubs have a staff person to act as their advisor.  At the start of the year, I decided to fill this role with our Games Club.  The Games Club is made of up students who enjoy video games and board games. By having one foot in the library, and another within this student club, I’ve been able to arrange joint events called Gaming Night in the Library where we hook up a few game consoles and make board games like Dungeons and Dragons available to students.  We provide some pizza and soda for students too. Between members of the Games Club who attend, and other students who drop by, we’ve had steady attendance each time. 

I don’t see why this approach wouldn’t work with other types of student clubs as well.  The partnership provides the club with a space to have meetings and events, while the library gets to engage with students and encourage use of the library.  I also find that once students get in the habit of using the library as a social space, using it as a place for research often follows.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jennifercribbs permalink
    March 30, 2023 2:36 pm

    This sounds like a great partnership and I certainly agree that once a habit of going into the library is established, using it in other ways follows.

    Our community college library is open to the public and has a small, separate children’s area. We’ve had 2 of our campus clubs interested in providing a story time for community members and hope to make this a reality for the 2023-2024 academic year. We encourage student club meetings in our study rooms as well.

    • Alex K. permalink*
      March 30, 2023 3:34 pm

      I think working with the public is great. The more foot traffic in the Library the better.

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