The Wells Library was delighted to host literally thousands of students during Welcome Week 2023, many of whom attended our two annual signature events.
On Wednesday, August 16, we welcomed over 480 graduate students for a late afternoon reception featuring sweet treats, campus partners introducing their invaluable resources, and a photographer offering free professional headshots. Librarians helped students set up a research ID in order to begin establishing a scholarly presence online, and - most importantly - the chance to meet the expert librarians and library staff who will be available to help these students throughout the duration of their academic career at IU. The students' enthusiasm filled the lobby and Scholars' Commons with conversation as they connected with peers in their own departments and across disciplines as well as with their subject librarians.
The following evening, Thursday, saw the Wells Library filled with a different sound as undergraduates filled the lobby and the Learning Commons with all the celebration of a party - the annual Herman B House Party. The DJ's tunes had the lobby packed with dancers. Several library staff members, veterans of house parties past, commented that they'd never seen so many students dancing! Meanwhile other students played some wild games of table tennis and lobbed inflatable beach balls among circles of friends new and old. Pizza, cookies, ice cream, popcorn, and cold beverages flew off the tables and into happy students' mouths; by the end of the evening two thousand slices of pizza had been distributed with no leftovers. There were too many students to count, but library staff estimate somewhere between 2000-3000 students showed up for the party. Games including giant Jenga, cornhole, Trivial Pursuit, poker (led by indefatigable dealer and sciences librarian Bob Noel), and vintage video games on a big screen (with help from metadata librarian and certified video-game geek Julie Hardesty) kept everyone entertained, while first in line at the photobooth was a pair of friends who'd taken photos together at last year's House Party and were very excited to recreate the photos this year.
It wasn't all food and games, as students lined up eagerly to learn about offerings from the Libraries' Scholarly Communication department, Writing Tutorial Services, and other Libraries and campus partners who will be there for students long after the last bit of popcorn is swept off the floor, the hundreds of empty pizza boxes are long gone, and the party is a happy memory. Speaking for everyone in the Wells Library as well as the specialized branch libraries you'll find across the beautiful Bloomington campus, we hope to see all of you throughout the semester so we can help you make your time at IU productive and successful.
>>Check our Instagram highlights for photos and video from these two events!<<