College campuses offer a vast allowance of academic resources, but not all colleges can supply outlets for leisure and recreation. With the taxing demands of the college lifestyle, the importance of providing students with a remedy to their overwhelming workload can be put on the backburner of most college checklists. Luckily, Vanguard University has continued to integrate new ways for students to reset, with the university’s O. Cope Budge Library’s board game checkout system being the most recent addition.
Vanguard’s library has remained one of the hotspots on campus for students to dive deeper into their studies. In fact, in the last month of this past semester alone, the library saw 11,136 visitors pass in and out of their doors. While many of the student population leans on the library to be an anchor of their academic success, what they don’t recognize, is that the library offers so much more than a simple space for students to work.
The library’s newest amenity– their board game checkout system– has proven to be another avenue to support their students. VU Lions can simply make their way to the library’s front desk and make their board game selection, gaining access to them for up to three days at a time. Students can choose from a wide variety of board games classics like: Monopoly, Yahtzee and Chess, as well as some new strategic adventure games like Catan and Ticket to Ride.
The library launched the new system at their first ever Board Game Night, back on Nov. 9. There, students were welcomed into the library’s break room for snacks and board games; with a loud match of Exploding Kittens and mystifying game of Clue proving to be the highlights of the evening. Lucas Davis, Library Coordinator, gives more insight as to what the new system means for the university’s library.
“I think it is a small step in the right direction to shift the narrative of the library that students may have with all the stereotypes of mean librarians who shush constantly,” Davis notes. “Our staff are extremely friendly and helpful people who want the library to be associated positively with students throughout their time here.
Davis, a former Vanguard student himself, (August, 2012- May, 2016), also remarks at the steady improvement the campus has made in their recreational aspirations. He classifies the rising tide of new clubs, VU Rec League competitions and plethora of newfound student led events as a “world of difference” compared to his time at the college.
The Library Coordinator also shares another crucial element to the library’s shifting culture: student engagement. He discusses what he finds to be the two most underutilized services that the library has to offer, the Course Reserves and Research Librarians. “Course Reserves are simply textbooks and material put on hold in the library by professors,” explains Davis. “The reserves can ultimately save students hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on textbooks. We may not have every textbook for every class, but for core classes and General Ed courses, it’s almost guaranteed.” Davis then dives into the topic of Research Librarians, staff members dedicated to navigating students through elaborate academic databases and articles to help students both expand and dissect their research.
Davis hopes students can take of advantage of the library’s countless resources and engage in a proactivity that benefits both the student and the library as a source of academic and recreational relief. “We want the library to be not only be a place where students can learn or have a quiet place to study, but a place where students and faculty are creating and communing with one another at a high level. The library is a place of great resource for students, but it is also a safe space where students are empowered and encouraged to create at a high level.” Davis and the library staff aim to see developments in their journey to craft creative outlets for students to operate.
They plan to stack out the second half of the Spring semester with more public events toward student engagement such as more board game nights, open house, scavenger hunts, and venues for clubs to express themselves.
The library will look to set their plan of increased student engagement and recreation in motion on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. as they’ll host the Sigma Tau Delta Open Mic Night, presented by the Creative Writing Society! Come see how action unfolds next week at the O. Cope Budge Library!