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At the University of Dayton, the alumni association and libraries partner on programs that reach out to younger alumni without asking for much. This includes a fundraiser for a pizza break for students and a note-writing drive that brings smiles. UD is a Catholic, Marianist institution that is known for its sense of community, nice people, and everyone holding a door open for the people behind them. These programs align with the community spirit of the institution.
One program we repeat every semester in the University of Dayton Roesch Library — the Club Roesch VIP contest — is my favorite for three reasons. One, the idea initially came from a student who thought library "super users" should be rewarded. Two, it helps promote our social media presence and drives followers and engagement. And three, the prize is the best prize ever, according to students, and it’s completely free for us to provide. What is it? A study room during finals week.
By now, most people have heard of Minecraft. You may have even played it, and your young patrons certainly have. It's amazing how long this game has remained popular in a world where the shelf life of technology is so short. This long-term popularity is in part due to Minecraft's flexibity. It is a building game, sure, but it's also a game that can be used to build other games.
Library programs and events are things we do not only because we enjoy doing them, but because they fulfill a need in our community. I have, however, oftentimes heard a disgruntled colleague or two claim that programs do little to encourage the use of the library. This, of course, is a matter of philosophical debate in the profession and is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. I would argue — as, I suspect, would many of you — that programs are use of the library.
We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.