HBLL creates ‘Milktoberfest’ holiday to celebrate students

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The library worked with the creamery to create special "Milktoberfest" chocolate milk labels. The specially labeled milk will be available all over campus. (BYU Library)
The library worked with the BYU Creamery to create Milktoberfest chocolate milk labels. The specially labeled milk will be available all over campus during the week of Oct. 3. (BYU Library)

Silence and study groups will give way to folk dancing and mini golf on Thursday, Oct. 6 for the Harold B. Lee Library’s fabricated holiday “Milktoberfest.”

In a stone-cold sober mock of Germany’s Oktoberfest, Milktoberfest will give students a chance to take a break, drink milk and participate in one of the many games and events the library is hosting. Attendees can play mini golf in the atrium for free T-shirts, watch the International Folk Dance ensemble, play a party game with Divine Comedy and receive free chocolate milk and cookies.

Library communications manager Roger Layton said the library is trying to help students know it’s a friendly and inviting place.

“We know people come here because they’ve been given assignments in their classes, and a lot of students come here and they’re a little intimidated,” Layton said. “Our library is bigger than their high school.”

He hopes students attending Milktoberfest will notice resources and spaces they could later use for studying, Layton said. This could help them adopt the library as a a sort of home away from home.

A student plays mini-golf in the library atrium during last year's "Love Your Library Week." This year's mini-golf holes will be specially designed by various library departments to showcase what they have to offer. (Roger Layton)
A student plays mini golf in the library atrium during February’s “Love Your Library Week.” This year’s mini golf holes will be specially designed by various library departments to showcase what they have to offer. (Roger Layton)

Setting things in place for an event like this took the combined creativity and effort of most of the library’s department staff and student employees. The HBLL’s multimedia project manager Chris Garcia said the event’s theme was originally a choice between Halloween and something the library came up with themselves. The committee decided on creating a library holiday, but no one knew what the theme should be. Then someone suggested Oktoberfest.

Committee members didn’t know what to think of the idea at first, but it quickly morphed into something that was more in keeping with honor code standards.

“Someone was like, ‘Oh, we could do Milktoberfest,'” Garcia said. “Because we’re BYU and we love our chocolate milk, and we’re certainly not shy to point that out and make fun of ourselves for it.”

A primary purpose of the event is to celebrate students in their scholastic endeavors, so Milktoberfest is essentially a holiday created for students and by students. Student employees planned most of the event, running through ideas and whittling the program down to what would be both fun and feasible.

Jason Hunt, the student producer for the Milktoberfest promotional video, said although the event’s concept started out as more of a library promotion, it ended as a campus-wide celebration of student academic achievement.

“Homecoming’s in October and is a celebration of athletics and sports, but what about the everyday student who just comes to the library and does their homework?” Hunt said. “Have a milk. Celebrate. You’re doing a great job.”

Students are welcome to drop by the library and participate in activities anytime on Thursday, Oct. 6. This time, study breaks are encouraged.

“We love quiet, but we do make exceptions,” Layton said.

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