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Karaoke Study Break

December 28, 2018
Audience
College Students
Popular Topics
Community Engagement
Budget
Free
Advance Planning

We put the event together about a month in advance. A staff member made sure we had the necessary items organized — karaoke machine (owned by a staff member), laptop and speaker — and coordinated with a student who created the poster we used to promote the event on campus.

Marketing

We started promoting the Karaoke Study Break about 10 days or so before it happened, through posters on campus and via campus email. The study break had a spontaneous feeling to it; some people learned about the event through these promotional efforts, while others heard singing and came by to see what was happening.

Budget Details

We spent nothing on the program because a staff member already owned a karaoke machine, which we used for the event. The library already owned the other AV equipment we needed. 

The karoke machine originally cost the staff member around $100.

Day-of-event Activity

Set up seemed relatively straightforward: We moved some tables and chairs around, set up the karaoke machine, speaker and computer, and tested them. We strung up Christmas lights (brought from home by a staff member), then sent out a few emails to remind our community that the event was happening. 

Three students and one staff member worked on set-up, which was done in less than 30 minutes. Our AV specialist spent about 15 minutes making sure the karaoke machine and speakers worked together. 

We connected the karaoke machine to a larger speaker and a laptop from our AV collection, which provided a better quality of sound. We had a projector screen displaying the lyrics, for multiple people to use while singing. It has multiple methods to play music (CD, USB, and Bluetooth). The Bluetooth option seems the easiest, and anyone with a smart phone and access to YouTube can find just about any karaoke version of a song they'd like to sing. 

We also happened to have refreshments on hand (cookies, coffee and tea), which is part of our tradition during the stressful last couple weeks of each term. This was not directly a part of the karaoke study break, but an asset for the attendees. 

Program Execution

The program was a success. About 15 students attended, as well as some staff. Some people planned ahead to attend, others discovered the event through happenstance. There was a lot of fabulous singing, cheering and an impressive amount of dancing during the karaoke hour.

There was positive feedback for days after the event. Individuals loved witnessing and sharing favorite songs and singing talents. Many remarked on how interesting it was to be invited to break library etiquette, to amplify sound and dance in a quiet contemplative space on campus. The curious experience was delightful and a helpful way to decompress during a stressful time. 

It is fair to note that there were a handful of people who moved elsewhere to continue their work for that hour, but no one complained. The Reading Room was quickly converted back to a quiet space promptly at 9 p.m. It has potential to be a repeating event. 

 
 
Advice

Give it a try! If your community has personal resources on hand to help put it together, this can be an affordable, fun way to briefly shift the expectation of a library space, and fill it with the sharing of talents, love of music, and making new connections between people.

Maybe some libraries with budgets could consider purchasing a karaoke machine (even offering it as an item to circulate). The experience seemed like an immediate, powerful way for our students to release stress in a space where they often grapple with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Some may not appreciate the paradox, but others will be drawn to it.

Short Title
Karoke Study Break

Karaoke Study Break was held the second to last week of our fall term. The last two weeks of term is often a time when students feel heightened stress, as exams, projects, research papers and deadlines loom on the horizon. Karaoke Study Break, an hour of turning our library Reading Room into a Karaoke party, was created as an outlet for stress relief.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Program Date
2018-11-07
  • Promotional poster: Library with music notes coming out of window
    Karaoke Study Break poster
Summary

Help students unwind during stressful finals weeks with a simple and fun program that will get them singing!

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