Hooplaza Welcomes Students to Marriott Library


Jack Gambassi

Casey Hoekstra, associate director of the learning center, speaks to students about opportunities in the learning center at the Hooplaza event which took place at the Mariott Library on campus on Sept. 8, 2022. The library’s many resources are on display on the third floor for students to find out more about how they can better use their library. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Allison Stuart, News Writer


On Sept. 8, Hooplaza, an annual tradition that kicks off the new school year by welcoming students to the Marriott Library, took place on the second floor of the library.

Hooplaza provided free prizes and food as well as useful information about how library resources can benefit students.

Heidi Brett, PR and marketing director for the Marriott Library, explained the goal of the event.

The idea is to get students to come in, you know, especially new students to campus and see everything that the library has to offer,” Brett said.

This is the first year that normal Hooplaza festivities could commence in a couple of years, as they had to be virtually held during the pandemic.

In order to get students better acquainted with the library resources, there was a giveaway opportunity where students had a card to get stamps from different tables and turned it in at the end of the event. The prizes included were a Nintendo Switch and AirPods. 

The event also included free food for students from local vendors such as Banbury Cross Doughnuts and Roosters Gourmet popcorn.

Kendall Cender, a sophomore kinesiology student, said the Hooplaza event was very useful for him.

“I learned that there’s a lot of different press tables who like published different books around here,” Cender said. “And then there’s a bunch of different learning and professional advising centers. I will definitely be using the free professional advising for my major.”

Out of all the library resources available to students, Brett said one of the most underutilized is InterLibrary Loan, a resource to help students find items.

“If there’s an item that they need, that they can’t find easily in our catalog, we can borrow an item, or get an article from another library,” Brett said. “It’s totally free. And it’s really pretty fast.”

Students can also receive guidance from librarians one-on-one.

“We also have one-on-one consultations with librarians and staff so that students can really get better direction on ways to research things and so that they’re not so overwhelmed with all of the research or we can kind of direct students to narrow things down,” Brett said.

“We have everything from our special collections to our interlibrary loan to our 3D printing department,” Brett said. “And the idea is that the more students know about the library, the more they’ll be able to benefit.”

The event is held primarily for students who are new to the campus but can be helpful to anybody who doesn’t know about the many resources available to them as a student, especially ones that are more “behind the scenes.”

More library resources can be found here.

Even though the fair was advertised to students on campus, there are also plenty of resources available to faculty and staff.  One such resource is the Faculty Center, which includes amenities like an audio and video studio, as well as the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

According to the website, the center “aims to support the University’s teaching community through a variety of services, such as our courses, workshops, consultations.”

Brett’s hope for the event overall was for students to have fun while gaining knowledge about the library’s resources and mission. 

We just hope that students enjoy, you know, the festivity of it,” Brett said. “We want students to know the library is a friendly face … a place where students can be, not just for researching or interlibrary loan, but as a place that’s a hub.”


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