I teach at an academic magnet high school where 99% + of my students go to college. This is my fifth year as librarian, and I’ve noticed how stressful midterms are for my students. A few years ago, I started an after-school event to promote the library’s resources for preparing for midterms, which I deemed Studypalooza. With free food (and lots of it), available study guides, and materials for test preparation (free notecards, white boards, etc.), it’s always been a big hit. This year, however, I decided that I could offer more to my students.
I’ve never been happy about the fact that Studypalooza had so many students who were studying, but without any real guidance. I certainly couldn’t help with Physics or Chemistry. So this year, I tried something new: I partnered with our National Honor Society (NHS), and I specifically recruited tutors from NHS for the hardest exams – math, the sciences, world languages, and the like. We had everything covered! I then asked 4 nearby teachers if I could borrow their room for Studypalooza, and they said YES! With everything in place, I advertised as well as I could using email, my twitter and Facebook page, and intercom announcements. I have over 100 people show up!
After getting their food, I had students spread out with tutors into different rooms. Anticipating a large number for physics, they had their own room, with a tutor who had successfully completed the course before, and was planning on being a physics major in college. The NHS tutors had done a great job of preparing by talking to the teachers in the subjects they would be tutoring.
The event was a big success, and I think it will only improve from here! If there was any advice I would give, it is to think big and look at what other libraries do. I often look at what sort of outreach college libraries have, and I try to implement some of those same events. We also hosted therapy dogs where students could distress right before exams!
A few students came to see me after they had finished their exam and personally thanked me for hosting Studypalooza. I know that some students received higher midterm grades than if they had not come to Studypalooza.