Libraries, especially academic libraries, are known for being quiet spaces where students can find their favorite study spot and curl up with their assigned reading. The occasional outburst greeted with a stern warning from the Student Assistant covering the front desk and the noise coming from groups collaborating on their projects masked behind the thick walls of the study rooms. Stony Brook Southampton was anything but your stereotypical academic library yesterday, as hundreds of writers and artists swarmed in for the annual Southampton Writers Conference. As the Library begins its first year officially partnering with the Stony Brook MFA Program and the Southampton Writers Conference, the students and staff at SBU Southampton are beginning to see just how crazy life as a writer can be.
All in all, the small, usually quiet confines of the Southampton Library saw nearly 500 people (495) come through the doors between open at 8am and close at 11pm (the Library’s hours have been extended for the duration of the Conference). In addition to the regular crowd of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Health Informatics students, came the 150 or so Writer’s Conference attendees and a slew of student staff and MFA Faculty. The Library staff answered numerous reference questions and scores of directional inquiries as attendees sought out books, computer stations and directions to the now brimming Southampton dorms. Not only did the Library host registration, but it also played a role in the introductory Scavenger Hunt, in which writers had to decipher limericks and work their way around campus, and will host workshops in the Library Meeting Room as the Conference progresses.
With day one over and done, the Library expects to see its already growing usage skyrocket over the next eleven days of the Conference. Want to keep up with conference news, events and features? Just follow the conference hashtag, #SouthamptonWritersConf, across all social media platforms.
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