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Expect the Unexpected: A Day in the Life of Your Library

By Gerald Dierkes

What do Harry Potter, the Villanova School of Business, the Irish Studies Program and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies have in common? Falvey Memorial Library hosted events for each of these on Oct. 3, the day Falvey participated in Snapshot PA: One Day in the Life of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Cold, hard facts—Within an hour of opening, a fire alarm (later discovered to be a false alarm, triggered by a contractor working on renovations) forced everybody to enjoy the comfortable weather for a few minutes. Falvey’s gate count for Oct. 3, excluding reentry after the alarm, totaled 3,258 patrons. In addition, the Library experienced

3,682 website visits

96 new items added to our collection

641 library books checked out

123 InterLibrary Loan requested items received

4 course-related instruction sessions, 126 total number of students attending.

The top blog story on our homepage was “Election News: Student Groups Promote ‘Ignite Change, Go Vote!’”

And librarians helped students to research questions ranging from “I want to find information about the physical and facial representations of embarrassment for a psychology of emotions class” to “How can I find out about the economic, social and technological trends impacting the newspaper industry?”

The supernatural—Falvey’s 24/7 lounge featured Sorcerer’s Semester: marathon readings of the Harry Potter stories. Students, staff and faculty took turns at the microphone until they finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and had read well into Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. A promotional life-sized cardboard cutout of a wand-bearing Harry Potter guarded the doorway.

At some point that evening, the cardboard Harry Potter disappeared.

Falvey’s Facebook message: “REWARD for bringing back Harry: all-u-can-eat jelly beans & a rare coveted ‘HP @ Falvey 2012 LIVE’ button, usually given only to LIVE readers.”

Falvey’s Twitter message: “One does not simply … walk away with a life-sized Harry Potter display!?”

Warm fuzzies—Dozens of students responded to our informal survey. To the question “What does the library mean to you?” one student responds, “It stands as a pinnacle of knowledge and human achievement, a depository of near infinite information. A place to inspire dreams and fuel greatness. (And pick up cute ladies who like to read).” This word cloud illustrates the survey results.

That’s just another day at Falvey (we’re still awaiting the return of our cardboard Harry Potter).

(Visit the SnapShot PA Flickr account to see more photos from Falvey Memorial Library and other PA libraries.)

Also contributing: Jutta Seibert, Linda Hauck, Barbara Quintiliano, Luisa Cywinski, Melanie Wood

Photographs by Alice Bampton, Laura Hutelmyer, Joanne Quinn; Graphic Design by Joanne Quinn


1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Judy — November 14, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

    This is a great snapshot of what the Library does!

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Last Modified: November 13, 2012

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