On a recent evening, the library should have been filled with industrious students tucked away studying in its many nooks. Instead they were dancing in the stacks. The class of 2018 was gathered in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library for a Bowdoin College first: a dance party with DJs, disco lighting and Top-40 hits.
The unusual event was the idea of the library’s new director, Marjorie Hassen. Hassen, who started about a year ago, was searching for an opportunity for first-year students to “become acquainted with the library in an informal way,” she said. While most librarians might shy away from Nicki Minaj and Daddy Yankee tunes at their library events, Hassen wanted to engage students by inverting the traditional library environment. With help from Student Activities and library staff, she transformed Hawthorne-Longfellow into a literary nightclub. Students were even encouraged to dance atop the bookshelves!
In addition to grooving among the books, students also picked up their official class T-shirts, adorned themselves with temporary tattoos and participated in a scavenger hunt. Dining provided a literary-themed cake and students entered a raffle to win an iPad mini.
And what did the first-years think of the event? Noah Verzani ’18 summed it up elegantly: “The library is great!”