University Libraries Open House

The University Libraries Open House event is a two-day event held every year at University Park, typically in early September. It's an interactive and fun event that introduces students to University Library resources and services. Each year, approximately 3,000 students participate in the event, held at Pattee and Paterno Libraries, and at all four branch library locations at University Park. The event is widely publicized every year through Penn State News and our own News & Events features. Make sure to visit these resources for current year Open House dates, times, and details.

Here's a snapshot of Open House activities:

  • Students swipe their PSU ID+ cards to check-in at each location designated on the self-guided tour.
  • Students who swipe their cards at each stop receive gifts and are eligible for several grand prizes.
  • Students who complete all the stops get a free University Libraries t-shirt.
  • Typically, the event covers 5 to 7 stops in Pattee and Paterno and one stop each at the four libraries:  
  • Generous sponsors, donors, and volunteers make this event possible.
  • Faculty often require students to complete the Open House tour for course credit.

Information for Faculty

We invite faculty to encourage students to participate in this informative but fun event. Here are some incentives you can share with your students:

  •  Consider requiring attendance as a homework or an extra credit assignment.
    By doing so, you will give your students an overview of our libraries and help support student confidence in doing research, while still reserving valuable class time.
  • Upon completion of the event, students will be able to show you what they've achieved.
    As noted above, students swipe their PSU ID+ cards at each stop they visit. When they're finished with at least the core Pattee and Paterno stops and have visited The Finish Line, they'll receive an email (to their Penn State email address) that details which stops they visited. The email contains a link to their completion certificate - students can either print it for you or forward the email to you.
  • The Open House "tour" is self-guided and takes about 50 minutes or less to complete.
    Students can come and go as they please during the two days of the event.
  • Give your students the edge they deserve!
    In previous years, 96% of students participating in the Open House said that the event helped them to learn more about the Libraries' many resources and physical spaces.
  • Learning Outcomes:  Upon completion of the Open House, students will be able to:
    • effectively navigate the Libraries' physical spaces to locate resources, services, and assistance from library staff and faculty.
    • identify that the Libraries groups its collections, people, and resources by subject areas and centers.
    • recognize the variety of resources available beyond the classroom, including Libraries' subject guides and experts, databases, website resources, the Ask a Librarian service, and more.
    • feel comfortable approaching Libraries' faculty and staff for assistance.

Questions about the Open House should be directed to