On Saturday November 5th 2022, the SolarSPELL team held its first ever large-group Tag-a-thon event. This service-focused event was open to the entire ASU community, but invitations focused on Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) who live in the Phoenix area, as well as RPVCs who are current ASU graduate students, and current ASU undergrads who are in the Peace Corps Prep program.   

The SolarSPELL team has held many Build Days in the past, where SolarSPELL library cases were built assembly-line style. The team has also hosted multiple Curate-a-thon events, where new content is searched for, identified, and tagged to be added to one of the SolarSPELL library collections. What made this event unique was that we already had a vast amount of curated content that needed to be meta-data tagged, for it to be added to the library. So, Sara, SolarSPELL’s librarian, set up a new system that made tagging the content even more straightforward than it had been before, and we asked our volunteers to tag, tag, tag away!

The day started with a presentation by Courtney (above Right), SolarSPELL’s student engagement coordinator, who is also an RPCV who served in Fiji, and was a SolarSPELL champion in her school and community, while she was there. She shared testimonial, as well as some stories, of how the SolarSPELL library was used to good results in her school and community, and how the work the volunteers would be doing at this Tag-a-thon would help make SolarSPELL libraries even more useful to our future library patrons.

Sara then presented on SolarSPELL’s curation and tagging processes, and how they relate to the bigger picture of how SolarSPELL libraries are made. She then debuted the new tagging interface/system she had been working on diligently, to get it ready in time for the event. After a few minutes, everyone was able to start tagging: the new system was proving to be a great success. (Wearing headphones means they’re hard at work!)

There were plenty of opportunities for all of the attendees to get to know each other during the day, especially over lunch. Curious students had the chance to ask RPCVs more about their Peace Corps experience, as well.

In all, nearly 300 items were meta-data tagged during this Tag-a-thon event!

The SolarSPELL team is incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers, for giving of their time on a Saturday, to make sure that the content on the SolarSPELL libraries is continually improving, and our library users can easily find the information they’re looking for.