Ohio University

The Libraries Welcomes Students Back at Camp Alden [Photo Essay]

Dozens of students packed all seven floors of Alden Library on Sept. 4 when the Libraries hosted the second Camp Alden event from 8 p.m. to midnight. 

The first Camp Alden was held in 2017 to celebrate the fourth floor opening 24 hours a day for 5 days a week. This year, Camp Alden became a welcome week activity, and it came back bigger than before. The newest addition to Camp Alden was a scavenger hunt that took participants on a hunt around all seven floors of the Library where they could learn about the things the Libraries provides.

“This is a fun way to introduce special [unique] collections [and other] things that students may not realize are here,” said Jen Harvey, the Library events coordinator. “We focused our promotions primarily on first year students and students in special populations who might feel a bit more anxiety coming into the Library for the first time and not realizing that there’s more to it than the second and fourth floors.”

Once participants completed the seven-floor scavenger hunt and filled out a short survey, they received an Alden Library 50th Anniversary T-shirt. In addition to the scavenger hunt, there was a button making station, cornhole boards, a trail mix bar, s’mores and a two-hole preview to the Alden Open, the 18-hole mini golf course event held at Alden Library on Dads Weekend. 

Sonya Ferrier and Will Quinn were the first people to finish the scavenger hunt. Ferrier, a senior studying environmental geography, says she found out about the event through her father who works at the Library, but she generally spends a lot of time at Alden.

“[My advice is] find a good study space that you love because roommates and friends can be overbearing sometimes, not letting you get your studying done and that’s why you’re here,” she said.

Camp Alden Scavenger Hunt
Sonya Ferrier and Will Quinn


Claire Beatrice, a senior media and social change major, says that events like Camp Alden are great for freshmen to become familiarized with the Libraries.

“I [still] remember being with my learning community and studying on the first floor during finals week,” she said. “It’s such a great way to welcome new students and also let them know that it’s a safe space.”

Kristen Hoffman, a sophomore studying integrated language arts, and her friend, a new transfer student, Lauren Asberry said that Camp Alden was a good chance to show Asberry, a junior early childhood education major, around the Library. Hoffman recommends that freshmen come to events like Camp Alden to learn more about what the Libraries has to offer.

Camp Alden Scavenger Hunt 5th Floor
Kristen Hoffman and Lauren Asberry


Madeline Bishop, a senior studying forensic chemistry, and Lanina Smith, a fifth-year senior studying biochemistry, spent a lot of their night on the seventh floor spinning in the zero gravity chairs. Bishop says she saw the poster for Camp Alden on a bathroom stall in the Library and thought it would be a fun event to come to. Additionally, Smith recounted her multiple finals weeks spent at the Library over the course of her college career and where she found her favorite study spot.

“There are hidden nooks everywhere, especially after floor four [of Alden]. I used to hide on the sixth floor in the back because there’s cubbies, and I think that’s the best place to study if you need solitude,” she said.

Camp Alden Scavenger Hunt 7th Floors
Madeline Bishop and Lanina Smith


Some students, like senior sociology major Kasydi Dunaway, hadn’t even heard about the event, but when they saw the grill outside at Wolfe Garden, they stopped to have a s’more. Dunaway says her favorite time to come to the Library is in the morning because it’s less crowded.

“Nobody wants to roll out of bed before noon, but it helps because nobody’s here in the morning,” she said. “If you go on the sixth floor there’s a really pretty lounge [where] you can sit on the couch, look outside and read.”

Harvey says the Libraries are hoping to make Camp Alden an annual welcome back event to ease the transition for freshmen between their high school library to OHIO’s academic Library. 

To view more photos from Camp Alden, visit the Libraries’ Flickr Page.

All Photos by James Year/Ohio University Libraries