"Got a message for a friend, or for everyone? Leave it here," it said. Within an hour, someone had already shared a greeting, and since its September debut the whiteboard has become a familiar yet ever-evolving presence in the high-traffic area where it stands.
"I like how the message board has enlivened the main entrance and given students a direct and highly visible way to interact with each other," says Sarah Laaker, manager of user space planning and campus liaison. "Students have told me they love the board, and that's music to my ears, because the board is for them."
From animal drawings, to remembrances of Pete Seeger and Philip Seymour Hoffman, to notes of encouragement around finals, WUSTL students have made the board a channel that continually offers something unexpected, amusing, heartwarming, and sometimes downright impressive.
"An unanticipated benefit has been receiving unexpected comments and insights about the library itself," Laaker adds. "Last semester, we briefly took down the large clock at the Help Desk, and students wrote pleas on the board to bring it back, which we promptly did. I'm glad we had a tool in place allowing students to tell us how they felt, in a quick and easy way."
To view a handful of memorable whiteboard messages just too much fun not to capture before erasing them, see this growing set on the Libraries’ Flickr photostream.