Library Events Boost Student Success
by Alex Boris
February 29, 2024  •  3 minute read
Students serve snacks at the International Coffeehouse: Nigeria in the Mary Greer Room of Hodges Library.

UT Libraries values reaching students across campus and supporting them in various ways. Recognizing that a sense of belonging is as critical to student success as library research skills, UT Libraries hosts programs and events that promote engagement with the campus community.

Some events like DeStress for Success, Writing Blitz, and the International Coffeehouse are staples to students, while others are created yearly—for example, the Devine Music Library’s Tiny Desk Concert, a takeoff on National Public Radio’s intimate concert series presented in partnership with the Black Musicians Alliance. 

Student creation during DeStress for Success

The libraries even reach out to the broader community with programs like the Ready for the World Music Series and Big Orange STEM Saturday, a hands-on conference where local high school students come to the library to experience what we have to offer and receive encouragement to pursue STEM fields.

UT Libraries continues to grow successful programs to engage with students. For example, the Writing Blitz paper writing marathon, co-sponsored with the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center, was held at both Hodges Library and Pendergrass Library this year. This expansion aims to reach students where they are most comfortable studying and help them gain confidence in their writing.

Hundreds of students joined Dean of Libraries Steve Smith and UT Vice Provost for Student Success Amber Williams for a late-night breakfast at Hodges Library during final exams.
Student creation during DeStress for Success

The library reaches even further by offering events connected to other institutions across the nation, such as Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health, a traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine. Throughout November there were speakers, conversations, and displays geared toward educating students on the importance of mental health and ways that the past influences how we view mental health conditions today.

Students take part in the short story writing contest in November, hosted by UT Libraries and the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center, in honor of National Novel Writing Month.

Whether it is an event like the National Novel Writing Month Short Story Contest that fosters students’ talents, or one like the International Coffeehouse that immerses them into a different culture, UT Libraries champions student success as one of its core principles.