Category Archives: CeLIBration

August 20, 2008, 6:52 am

GT CeLIBrates the New School Year: the biggest library party in the nation?


It’s all fun and games here, but if you want to read something more thought provoking try the book bashers at Arizona State U.

CeLIBration 2008 went well. Our door count was nearly 600. I’ve written many posts about this annual event in the past and I am not really sure what I can add. Our staff worked well on pulling this off and the new Dean even pitched in to help with the clean up.

Some thoughts

  • This year I am going to do some follow-up assessment checking back with students in a few weeks to see if the event encouraged them to visit the library again.
  • I emphasized this point before, but we have evolved away from video games. Originally it was about hosting a big LAN party, like this:


Sure, it looks impressive and was very cool, but the attendance dwindled each year. Video games are a draw, but there is more to life than Wii Sports. Over the past three years we…

Read More

August 6, 2008, 9:51 am

Helping students develop critical thinking skills: Dodgeball in the library

  • Critical thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Team building
  • Planning
  • Non-verbal communication skills
  • Ethics

Who am I kidding? It’s Dodgeball in the library!

�Basically we’re going to transform this:


Into this:

For the purists out there—this is technically not dodgeball–students will chase each other around the maze of cubicles, but nonetheless it should be a lot of fun.

The Ball:

I'm working with Sara Fuchs on D-Ball and we're really looking forward to the library staff bonding match.

Yes, it is CeLIBration time again. Our annual welcome event for freshmen the Saturday before the Fall semester starts. Past CeLIBrations

I have to be honest– I wasn’t really feeling it this year. Don’t get be wrong, we’ve had some great events over the years, but with the wedding and book deadline in September, my heart wasn’t into it. But then I looked at the line up and we have a lot of cool…

Read More

August 20, 2007, 12:08 pm

CeLIBration 2007 – recap (Diddy ain’t got nothin’ on us)

On Saturday we kicked off our welcome event from 7 – 11pm. If you read my blog, I’m guessing you’ve seen my past posts on this subject. We hit over 700 students, far exceeding my expectations. This event is targeted toward freshmen (our incoming class is typically around 2,000) however, open to all students.




If you’re planning some type of event I highly recommend aligning yourself with the undergraduate/orientation/student success/freshmen Office. We were able to generate large attendance by not competing with other “official” campus events. Furthermore, we gained free publicity by becoming an “official” event.

We also handed out event flyers at incoming-student orientation “marketplace” sessions throughout the summer, and pushed the event (and other library info) at a Residential Assistant/Housing Retreat. I posted a Facebook flyer ($5 per day) for…

Read More

August 3, 2007, 11:32 pm

Raising our Game – ideas for the next phase of Gaming @ the Georgia Tech Library

If you are a librarian with a blog then you have to mention gaming from time to time. This is my obligatory post. Here are a few upcoming projects — a peek at what’s on my drawing board.



Many librarians have expressed interest in our CeLIBration event. We’re gearing up for this annual “welcome” event the weekend before the start of the Fall Semester. (Aug 18) This time around I am hosting a poker tournament (and we’ve still got ninja tag , speed dating , retro video games, board games, ddr , improv, and pizza.)

Poker, Round 1 begins at 8pm. 10 tables, each with up to 5 players. Participants are given 25 chips at the start. After 1 hour of play, the top chip-winners at each table will advance to the championship round starting at 10pm. Those 10 battle it out for a trophy and a fabulous prize.

I’ll post a follow-up review of the event later this month, along with our…

Read More

March 23, 2007, 9:33 am

Welcoming Freshmen Event – 2007 – (preview)

The murmurs have begun about what we’re going to do this year for our welcome freshmen event. Last year we had a decent turnout and I hope we can continue that success. I also hope we call it something other than CeLIBration, but people around here tend to like to stick with a name rather than mix it up.

The biggest lesson I learned last year was the need to make the activities structured more concurrently. For example, with speed-dating a patron needed to commit a full hour and consequently had to miss out on other activities. So I am going to strongly urge that we try to build everything into 30 minute segments.

Last year I co-hosted/co-coordinated speed-dating, which had a high turnout, but I have no interest into doing that again. I hope someone else will run with it this year. If anything, several of the patrons I spoke with said they’d like to see some type of formalized…

Read More

September 14, 2006, 6:13 pm

Justification: Why do we do these things in our library? (CeLIBration, PART 6 – the finale)

Why do we offer Speed Dating? Why do we let students run wild in our stacks? Why do we go through all the trouble of hosting these elaborate events? Academic Libraries are about academics, right?

It’s larger than a welcoming event. It’s more than food and games. It’s really about who we are now. What is the modern library, or rather, what should the modern library be? It’s about really transforming, both our space and identity. On blogs we all post about the need to get beyond just books and service points—so what else is there?

I’ve said before : “I am much more interested in what a person can do in a library than what we can put in one.” Function is the key. Action is the key. Verbs, not nouns. And I am very pleased that our Admin is on the same boat. In fact, this had a lot to do with why I wanted to work here. But no more commercials for Georgia Tech, let’s get back to the…

Read More

September 7, 2006, 3:10 pm

Food, Movies, Music (CeLIBration, PART 5)

As I mentioned in the original post , our goal was to host an event for incoming freshmen with mass appeal. We pulled together a few specialized activities, such as speed dating and ninja tag , and surrounded them with games , food, and other amusements.

Food is a big deal. The common thought is that you can draw people into any event if you feed them. Two years ago we offered pizza, but it went too quickly. Last year we offered hot dogs and were stuck with tons of leftovers. This year we switched back over to pizza. Dominos offers mediums for $5 each, so we planned on ordering 100 pizzas, 25 each hour. We had to alter our plans because turnout was greater than expected. Dominos suggested we pay $2 more for larges—which seemed to work out much better and over all didn’t cost us too much more. (Yeah, yeah, I know they just wanted to get paid!)

Students had to wait in a long line until…

Read More

August 30, 2006, 7:46 am

Games @ the GT Library (CeLIBration, PART 4)

As I mentioned in part one , we had tried the LAN approach with mild success. The students that were into it were REALLY into it, but with less than 100 attendees two years in a row, it didn’t make sense to continue targeting that niche. Our goal was to appeal to the widest group possible, so we scrapped the LAN plans. Here is what we did instead:

The Arcade

Background & Setup

Retro Gaming is hot right now! What’s that? Old school games. Stuff that us Gen X kids grew up on. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Atari. While modern game systems are sleek and offer complex challenges , there is just something cool about playing Super Mario Brothers. Essentially we turned our Multimedia Center into an arcade. This is a small area filled with Macs. We also offered Dance Dance Revolution , which had been popular at last year’s event.

We cranked up the volume and it was packed all night.


Read More

August 25, 2006, 2:53 pm

Ninja Tag @ the GT Library (CeLIBration, PART 3)

I was not very involved in this activity, other than helping to unscrew (and than re-screw) about 100 fluorescent lights. This was the brainchild of the stealthy Bonnie Tijerina . Bonnie is very involved with the Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference . Hmmm, Meredith is offering her content for free . ERL offers their content for free . ACRL, get a clue!

One of the things I liked about our CeLIBration crew was that it was very open and nimble. We had a little over $1,000 to spend and tossed around a ton of ideas. One that stuck was idea of playing tag in the library. Bonnie (and Charlene) ran this activitiy and sexed it up with a “Ninja” theme. Very successful!

Here’s what Bonnie shared with me, combined with my observations.

Background & Setup

Initially we wanted to create a huge game of tag throughout the library, but we narrowed it down to most of one floor. This…

Read More

August 24, 2006, 2:10 pm

Speed Dating @ the GT Library (CeLIBration, PART 2)

[NOTE: I was a little off on my original budget for the night. We actually had $1,200 to work with (not $2,500) and ending up spending around $1,500. Not too bad for entertaining 600 people.]

We had eight staff members volunteer to serve as coordinators for the CeLIBration event ( see intro, part1 ). I was paired with the ever c ourteous, super stylish, ultra-disarming Julie Griffin to handle the Speed Dating activity. One of the most common complaints about GT is that there are not enough single girls. So we did our part to help address this need on campus. Speed Dating is VERY popular and some club, group, or organization has already done it at your school. And I’m sure that someone from some library in New York will probably post a message saying they’ve been doing speed dating for years now. Yeah, yeah and those people in Belgium . The point was not about trying to be fresh, but…

Read More