By the time October rolls around, students across campus are in want (and some in need) of a short break. After spending the previous six weeks getting back into the routine of class, internships, activities and studying, a few days off feels like a precious gift. And with midterms just around the corner, Fall break couldn’t come at a better time. The extra-long weekend is a great chance for students to make a quick trip home, relax or catch up on some of the Descartes reading they’ve put off since the third week of the semester. So how can your library motivate students both on and off campus to make the most of their Fall break? Take a look at a few of our suggestions below.
Offer late-night study opportunities
College student are notorious for their night owl tendencies. They stay up late, wake up late and seem to hit their active stride later in the evening. They’re also notorious for putting off schoolwork for as long as possible – a habit many are not proud to have. Motivate those students still on campus to get some studying done at their peak productive times by extending library hours past midnight, if possible.
Post on social media and the library’s website and put signs up in the library alerting students that hours will be extended during Fall break. Remind them that these extended hours are a great time to take advantage of a less crowded library before the madness of midterms week descends upon them. Getting started on their biology lab report now might save them a couple hours of searching for a quiet space to study in the coming weeks.
Leverage students on campus
The go-getters who’ve managed to stay up-to-date on their studies before Fall break can be a great resource for your library. Invite upperclassmen to hold “office hours” in the library to help underclassmen with their studies. If it’s in your budget, offer them compensation for their time as well.
Otherwise, enlist students’ help in keeping your library in top shape during this time. If you’re looking for an excuse to clean out your stacks or update your data management system, students can provide some added assistance. Put volunteers to work reshelving books, research new data repository systems you’re considering implementing or assess which resources are being most commonly used. With their help, you can compile the information necessary to keep your library meeting every student’s need.
Promoting online resources
Many students use their Fall break as an opportunity to make a quick pit stop back home before the holidays. With plenty of students away from campus and unable to use physical resources, now is a great time to promote your online resources and let students know that there’s no excuse for them not to get started on their next term paper. Be sure to give them plenty of attention on the library’s website and on social media. Students can’t use resources that they don’t know about! Online journals, photo collections and digital archives are great things to promote to students on the move during Fall break.
Whether students are staying on campus or taking a road trip back to Mom and Dad’s house, Fall break is a great time for them to get ahead on making flashcards for chemistry or playing catch up on a pile of reading for English lit. Keep the library open (and keep the snacks flowing—no matter their GPA or extracurricular resume, students respond well to edible incentives) to encourage students to use this time for studying.
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