When librarians realized the apprehension students had of the stacks inside Rush Rhees Library, they played right along. The result: Scare Fair.  But despite its name, the fair is designed to make the stacks seem less scary, not more, all while channeling the spirit of Halloween.

“Scare Fair is a way to celebrate the community,” library assistant Katie Kulmer said.
The annual event, existing a little over a decade, will be held Thursday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of Rush Rhees near the circulation desk. There, students may participate in a Stack Stalk — a scavenger hunt that will offer the opportunity to explore the stacks and meet the library staff.

“We want to know what you think and how we can make it better for next year,” Lori Birrell, a librarian at the Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation, said.

According to Birrell, those who complete the task will be allowed a trip to the tower of Rush Rhees. The fair will also feature photo booths, cider, a fortune teller, candy, and a costume contest judged by Vice President Paul Burgett.

“It’s like the most fun part our job,” Kumler said.

Each year’s Scare Fair will feature a host of organizers besides the Rush Rhees Library staff. This year, student groups ranging from Sihir Bellydance Ensemble to the Writing Fellows will make an appearance.

“It’s our chance to do something as a whole library,” Kulmer said.

This year’s theme is spiritualism, the belief that communication can be made between the spirits of the dead and mediums. The city of Rochester was a watershed for the spiritualist movement during the late 19th century, Birrell said.

When asked if this event was going to be scary Birrell and Kumler agreed that it would be “more fun than anything else.”

Johnson is a member of the class of 2017.

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