Each spring semester, the CSUCI Broome Library throws the gala of the year, the Faculty Accomplishments Celebration.
The Library hosts the faculty accomplishments database, where you can go ogle our faculty and their work. The celebration is a chance for faculty to get together and see what each other are working on, and discuss interests over delicious foodstuffs. Not only does the library host the shindig, but the planning happens months in advance. This was my first chance to attend, as a newbie, and what a wonderful time it was! The library hands out awards, celebrity-roast-style, such as the Golden Bookend, the Golden Clicker, and the Golden Key to the Library, with concomitant descriptions for why each faculty member won. There was much laughter, and it was just the point in the semester where I think we all needed that to lift our spirits. We played Cards against Faculty (a slightly more PC-version of Cards Against Humanity) as well as mad libs where nouns and verbs were removed from faculty publication titles. A local Mexican food truck catered, and everything smelled heavenly. A nerdy good time!
Each faculty member’s accomplishments are included in a printed booklet, not only provided to attendees, but sent with a personal note from our President to each Board member to alert them to our faculty’s work. The Library also makes a lovely printed-and boarded poster for each faculty member with an accomplishment with the person’s name, title, and the title and abstract of their work. (I’m tickled that I’ll be getting one this year.)
In our recent external program review, it was mentioned that faculty members claimed to use the celebration as a goal, because they always wanted to have had something published or presented by the deadline to make it into the awards book and get a poster. When I was interviewing here in October of 2013, as soon as people realized I was interviewing for the Library position, each person regaled me with tales of the annual party, informing me that the librarians took their jobs seriously when it came to making sure faculty had fun. They would peer at me closely, and say, “Our librarians are party people. Are you a party people?” (I am pretty sure this was at least as important as my actual qualifications in terms of fit.)
My colleagues did a huge, wonderful job of planning and hosting the annual shindig, and I’m already looking forward to helping out with next year’s.
I don’t know that you can overestimate the value of the goodwill outreach can create for your library on campus. Here, our faculty really appreciate the fact that they are, well, appreciated. And that we show them a good time!