In previous years the Emory library has had part of the official new student orientation day that we used to give library tours. This involved the students being brought over en masse by handlers, whereupon we'd give them a 10-minute "this is the library" presentation and drag them around the building half-asleep for tours.
This year the college didn't include the library on the mandatory orientation schedule, so we came up with our own show. We put on an Open House night organized and masterminded by my colleague Erin Mooney. There was a self-tour, with a map marked with several service points where students had to go to get stickers for their map. They turned in the completed maps at the end to enter a raffle for several $25 gift cards, and had the option to fill out a survey for an additional raffle ticket.
Meanwhile, around the building, we had:
Library staff performing music by the ref desk.
An immensely popular quiz game with USB drives as prizes.
Food and drinks.
A fantastic student a capella group.
Apparently I only saw about half of what was going on. I was giving technology demos all evening (though at least half of my attendees were just waiting for the next quiz show to start). The business librarians downstairs were doing trivia questions. I didn't even know until the next day that there was a student improv troupe performing elsewhere in the building.
It was a huge success in my book. I heard many students say how much fun they were having and how glad they were that they came. It took more work to set up than the old tours, but we got to have fun along with the students and I think everyone who came left with an impression of the librarians as friendly, helpful and approachable, and they learned something about our services and where to get help.