When most students go to the library, they don’t expect to come across a board game from the ‘90s or the opportunity to meet their favorite author.
However, Alkek Library is working to make those events and more a reality for students throughout the fall semester.
On Oct. 1, Joan Heath, associate vice president and university librarian, said students will have a chance to read excerpts of banned books from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. during the “Read-out” event.
“People can sign up for a five-minute reading slot or upload a video of themselves reading a banned book, and we will be having a playlist going in the Instant Theatre,” Heath said.
In addition to Banned Book Week, students can also view a screening of the film Who is Dayani Cristal? Oct. 21 as part of the library’s film series, Heath said.
Heath said the film’s premise relates to this year’s common experience theme.
“It is about a migrant who died crossing the border to the United States,” Heath said. “It is a story about who this missing person was, his family and tracing his steps and what happened.”
November will consist of five major events, including an open house, game night and the first Long Night event of the semester.
The library will be hosting a retro-style game night Nov. 4 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., which will offer students the opportunity to play a variety of ‘90s board games, Heath said.
Heath said the event was created in honor of Alkek’s 25th anniversary and the class of 1990.
One of the month’s biggest events will be Alkek’s open house Nov. 7 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Heath said. The event is designed to showcase the library’s collections and services with a particular focus on the organization’s new 3D printer.
Liz King, library experience librarian, said the open house is a great a way to show off resources that may be unfamiliar to students, faculty and members of the community.
“The open house is a way for us to share with members of the public who don’t know what our future plans are and what’s really cool in libraries,” King said.
Alkek will be hosting Rodrigo Moya’s Photography and Conscience exhibition reception on Nov. 15 from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Heath said.
Moya’s gallery is already on display in the Wittliff collections, but the reception will offer guests the opportunity to meet the artist.
“We are having the official opening and book signing for that event,” Heath said. “Moya will be here, which is also very exciting and a great opportunity for all of us.”
King said the first “Long Night @ Alkek” event will be held Nov. 17, from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
The event, co-hosted by the Student Learning Assistance Center, Brilliant Bobcats and the on-campus housing facilities, is scheduled to occur prior to Thanksgiving break to help students finish their assignments before going home, King said.
“We’re trying to help students on projects that they procrastinate on,” King said. “You can come for that long night, and we’re right here with you.”
The long night will consist of study help and stress relief stations, King said.
“There’s a silent dance party, bubble wrap station, yoga,” King said. “So you go from station to station to studying, but you also get study breaks.”
Heath said November will end with Geographic Information System Day on Nov. 18.
Heath said the library recently hired a GIS specialist who will teach students and staff how to use the technology.
“We will be demonstrating using GIS in various ways,” Heath said. “We just want to promote and help campus students and everyone on campus become more aware on how GIS is used.”
Heath said the library teamed up with a local volunteer organization to bring trained therapy dogs into the library Dec. 7-8 after a lot of success with the event in the past.
Students can visit with the animals from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. to help relieve anxiety before final exams.
“This is just a stress reliever during final exams, and that is why we keep doing it,” Heath said. “It’s a successful event. You’d be surprised by how many students come by. It’s just a little break.”
To end the semester at Alkek, the library will be hosting its “25 Hours @ Alkek” event Dec. 8-9 from 8 a.m.-9 a.m, said Sarah Naper, director of research and learning services.
The event aims to help students prepare for their final exams, Naper said.
“We do this towards the end of the semester knowing people will be coming here with final exam anxiety,” Naper said. “The idea is to come here and for 25 hours we will be here to assist you more than what we even normally are.”
Follow Denise Cervantes on Twitter @cervantesdenise.