Library Program//Hogwarts Study Hall

December means dark and chilly nights, lots of gingerbread treats, and more patrons in the library because of finals. Our library completely fills up near the end of the semester. Every table and outlet is used after school and other patrons are left to find another place to study. I started holding special study sessions for teens at my library after noticing how many high school students were leaving the library to go elsewhere because there was no room for them. Lots of teens would come to the library after school only to find that there was nowhere to sit. I hated seeing my target audience leave after making the effort to come to the library.

What is it?

Copy of Hogwarts Study Hall.jpg
An example flyer for Hogwarts Study Hall. Include a brief description of the event and theme.
    • Teens study, work in groups, complete homework, and do other quiet projects while enjoying free snacks. Our study sessions are not silent. Participants can talk quietly. A fun theme makes teens take a second look at the flyer.
  • Supplies
    • Power strips or extension cords if you don’t have many outlets or they’re hard to get to. Many students will be working off of laptops or want to charge their phones
    • Snacks- if you want to stay on theme then you can do fun Harry Potter snacks or any other type of free food that will pull people in the door
      • Broomsticks- pretzels and string cheese
      • Polyjuice potion- serve any types of juices, flavored water, or other beverage
      • Butterbeer treats- any type of butterscotch food works well for this theme
      • Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans- jelly beans or check your local Walgreens for boxes of the real beans
      • Golden Snitch Cake Pops
      • Wands- Large pretzel sticks can be called “wands” in a pinch!
      • Hogwarts hot chocolate- We bring our Keurig machine to our study sessions to have a nice, warm beverage for studying
    • School supplies- I’ve had teens request supplies for making posters, extra paper for when their binders run out, and they’re always looking for some tape or scissors!
      • Pencils
      • Lined notebook paper
      • Pencil sharpener
      • Colored pencils
      • Glue
      • tape
      • scissors
      • Extra chargers if you have them
    • Background music or noise
  •  Ages
    • High school students- these are the students most likely to be studying for exams and working on final group projects
    • Adults- My library also has a lot of college aged and adult students in the area and they’ve have asked to participate in the past. My event is teens only but this event could definitely be successful in libraries with a lot of older students studying during this time of the year.
  • Program time
    • Drop in event from 1 to 2 hours long though the event could be longer during finals week
    • At least 1 hour because it takes teens a bit to get snacks, get set up, and start studying
    • We repeat this program weekly during school months and add more sessions closer to finals.
  • Tips
    • Advertise free food and chargers. Teens who are hungry for an after school snack will often wander in for the snacks and end up staying and doing homework.
    • Don’t limit the event to only studying or homework. Encourage teens to bring art projects, knitting, or other quiet projects. We’ve had teens work on fanfiction, self-portraits, and their art blogs at our study halls.
    • Include easy stress relievers like coloring sheets for teens who are looking for something to do in between studying
    • Require teens to come in and study, read a book, or work on homework in order to enjoy the snacks. Put out comics, graphic novels, and short stories for them to read while eating a snack. Most of the time the teens end up staying longer once they’ve sat down and started a book or project.
    • Change the theme each month or highlight different Hogwarts houses. We’ve done Chocolate Study Hall, Pumpkin Study Hall, and this month will be Gingerbread Study Hall. The snacks change each month.
    • Download a Hogwarts font for all your marketing and fun signage in the room

Let teens get involved with picking snacks, background noise, or changing the theme of the study sessions each month. Let me know if you have any other tips for running study sessions for teens!

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