On Thursday, September 14, Union’s Library took to the seas with their pirate-themed annual library fair.
With the front desk transformed into a ship’s hull, students signed up to compete in a library-wide scavenger hunt. Each one hoping to achieve the fastest time and win some “treasure” that included a Keurig, a Fire Tablet, Fire Sticks, and gift cards to various Lincoln locations.
The scavenger hunt consisted of several locations within the library that encouraged students to use the library’s resources as well as learn some pirate facts along the way.
Denzel Morazan, a junior nursing major, and Nathan Mena, a junior theology major, both participated in the scavenger hunt and commented that this was their first time going to the library fair.
“That [the scavenger hunt] was really exciting,” said Mena. “I realized that I know how to find my way around the library pretty well and use the databases and the computers and all that stuff.”
Although Denzel and Nathan didn’t achieve the fastest time for the scavenger hunt, they did win the best photo booth picture.
Sara Beaudoin took first place with the fastest time in the scavenger hunt, with Veronica Carrasco in second, and Emily Hehn in third.
A costume contest was also held with Guila Shielo Medrano in first place and Elyssa Petrick in second for their creative pirate costumes.
In addition to the contests, the library also set up several games and a photo booth with pirate props. The classroom was transformed into a theater showing the Pirates of the Caribbean, featuring everyone’s favorite pirate, Jack Sparrow.
The “Galley Grub” in the library’s lower level offered many nautical-themed treats including sea sponge cupcakes, fruit swords, (gold)fish and chips, and a much more appetizing version of “hardtack and bilge” using hummus and crackers.
One of the highlights of the fair was the Mighty Magic Pants’s performance. The lively group performed the VeggieTales favorite “We are the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” and many of their fun original songs, including “Buccaneer on Broadway” and “My Mom is Batman.” Their performance brought smiles to many of the patrons, even getting some to dance and sing along.
Melissa Hortemiller, the public services librarian, says that planning for the library fair started almost immediately when she started working at the library in May. A lot of the planning involved bouncing around different ideas, as they tried to come up with things that would be appealing to students. This included figuring out what library resources they wanted to help students become familiar with, setting up a photo booth, and deciding how to connect the theme.
The theme had come from her conversations with Mike Mennard who put on the Captain Scrooge and the Curse of the Red-Nosed Reindeer musical in 2016. The pirate theme was great for combining both fun and historical aspects in the library fair.
“The main goal [of the library fair],” Hortemiller emphasizes, “is to get students to feel comfortable in the library.” The fair helps to break the ice for students that don't normally use the library on an everyday basis and helps them to become more familiar with the services that they can offer. That way, students can feel more welcome within the library and come use it as a valuable resource during their time at Union.
Amanda McCarter is a junior studying biomedical science.