Freshmen ‘Chill Out’ in Alden During Bobcat Student Orientation

For years now, staff at Alden Library have been helping incoming students and their families beat the summer heat by giving them their first taste of freedom – in the form of freeze pops.

Library Associate Nathan Wolfe provides sugary goodness to the students at Bobcat Student Orientation.

At the popular “freeze pop stop” on the Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) tour, students learn that the library is a warm and welcoming place with many people who are willing to help them. BSO leaders, tour guides and library staff share their favorite features of the Library, from the study carrels in the stacks, to the writing center on the second floor.

At the stop, students and parents are free to grab library literature, bookmarks and other materials that promote the Libraries and help ease the transition for incoming students. For many incoming students, just the size of Alden Library can be intimidating, let alone the significant difference in the content and services offered compared to their high school or public library.

The popsicle break insures that students set foot in the library. As one of the most valuable resources on campus, it is important that students are exposed early to all of the benefits of the library. What better way to get teenagers psyched about something than by giving them a refreshing and tasty treat?

“I don’t know of any other library anywhere that hands out freeze pops,” said Sherri Saines, instructional librarian. “We’ve gotten really good at it over the years.”

Initially the Libraries handed out cups of lemonade to quench the families’ thirsts, but the sticky mess of spills and the large amounts of trash eventually led to the evolution of the freeze pops. Now it has become a staple.

Most of the library staff are involved. “It’s everybody from every department,” said Saines. It’s an easy 2-hour gig for staff, handing out freeze pops and standing by for random questions from parents and students if the tour guide gets a toughy. The tour guides are great at promoting the Libraries. They talk about how they use the Libraries, where they study and why. Nothing is more compelling to the incoming students than a testimonial from one of the older students saying, “I love the library. I am here all the time.”

While taking a break from the heat and learning about the Libraries, students enjoy their popsicles inside Alden Library.

The Libraries also participates in the Academic Resource Fair held every year during BSO. This year the fair is set up in the Trisolini Gallery at Baker Center. The Libraries’ table includes magnets, bookmarks, and literature about the services and resources of the Libraries as well as a trifold poster displaying information and photos of Ohio University students from the early years to the present. Staff are also on site to answer questions from, “Where is the Library?” to the ever popular question, “How can I get a job at Alden?”

Through both means, students are become more familiar with Ohio University Libraries and learn that it is a cool place to spend your years as a Bobcat.