To refresh your memory, StART is OWU’s placement testing and registration event. This year, the library was invited to host a table at the student information fair alongside other important campus offices and resources.
Our table looked like this (the lovely lady giving two thumbs up is Sarah, one of our student employees):
Sarah was an integral part of this event. As a rising junior, she offered answers and perspectives that I could not. She answered questions about dorms, study abroad programs, class schedules, and more. She’s also an incredibly enthusiastic young lady who was sincerely invested in doing a great job and being a spirited and honest ambassador for not only the libraries, but OWU as a whole.
Events like this take a lot of energy. Sarah and I talked to a steady stream of parents and students. I suggest you staff a table like this with at least two people. It makes it easy to slip away should you need a coffee or restroom break and to tend to other work matters as necessary.
Our table included a wheel for students to spin and win a prize. Prizes included buttons (made by me), school supplies (library logo sticky notes, sharpies, pencils/pens, dry erase boards, and Post-It notes in various shapes and sizes), sugar (candy), and toys (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, beach balls, play-doh, decks of cards, etc.).
Students also had the option to fill in one of our dry erase dialogue bubble boards:
The prize wheel was certainly a big hit. It not only drew attention to our table, but made our fairly modest giveaways seem a little more special. And while I love the dialogue bubble boards, I’m going to reserve them for other activities. For example, during freshmen orientation in the fall, my office will be a stop on a scavenger hunt in which orientation team leaders take small groups of freshmen to various campus locations. I will make each group fill out and pose with one of the dialogue bubble boards and post them to Facebook and Instagram. This should be a fun, memorable interaction between me and our new students (and a way for me to connect with them through social media).
I won’t see these students again until they arrive for Freshmen Orientation on August 21st. In the meantime, I’ve infiltrated the Class of 2018 Facebook group and will answer questions as I’m able so this new group of students will know that I’m helpful and friendly (hopefully leading to many meaningful interactions once school starts).