Cramming

Final exam season is here. This year, the knowledge that I neither have to take exams nor grade them fills me with giddy delight. Time that I once spent with towering piles of blue books is now dedicated to perfecting my glögg recipe and sleeping. I do, however, empathize with stressed-out students. I don’t like to see students so frustrated that they literally hit their books, as I witnessed last week. There must be a better way.

Academic libraries are in a great position to assist students during final exams. It is at this time of year that all manner of students will naturally gravitate toward the library to study. A few of these students will actually discover the library during final exam week. In an act of accommodation, most academic libraries extend their hours during the final exam schedule. At my library we also have a Food for Thought program, sponsored by the Student Government Association, which provides students with delicious snacks while they study. It’s a good start, but I believe that we’re capable of doing more for them.

I’d like to know how you support your students at this time of year. I brainstormed a few ideas, which I listed bellow; it’s by no means exhaustive or even very imaginative. Does your library offer any of the following services during final exam week? To what extent are they either popular or successful in helping students to achieve their academic goals?

24/7

If you open, will they study?

  • Group study led by subject liaisons
  • Study skills workshops
  • Increased group study area
  • Increased quite study area
  • Specialized study aids
  • Copies of exams from previous semesters
  • Stress relief therapy (e.g. chair massage, anxiety reduction techniques, etc)
  • Social hours
  • Parties (not always a good thing, see what happened at the reading room of the University of Memphis School of Law)
  • What else?

If you have ideas or comments, please share! In the Spring 2013, I’d like to give students more than food during final exam week. I feel it’s an opportunity to provide real academic support.

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