Friday, April 16, 2010

Library Fun Day: O week, games , prizes and QR code treasure hunt

Due to an extreme amount of peer pressure exerted via Twitter I'm going to do my best to join in #blogeverydayofjune and thought I'd start with this post I began months ago and only just realised I never published! Oh noes!!

During O week this year we held our inaugural Library Fun Day! And what a day of fun it was! There was Wii and Xbox 360 games, library trivia, rogues gallery, free food and drink and a totally awesome library treasure hunt! I really got into the fun spirit of the day as you can see I wore a maroon afro wig and orange T-shirt. This first photo shows people gathering for the first treasure hunt of the day.

I organised the treasure hunt with a little help from my friends (thanks) and gave participants the option of using QR code or paper clues so no one was disadvantaged. We thought most people would have web enabled phones and could download a QR code reader before starting if they didn't already have one. However, we found most people didn't have wifi enabled phones and couldn't utilise the QR code clues (BTW we ran the treasure hunt twice and both winners used the QR code clues)! There were six stations in the treasure hunt and participants had to photograph each station and be first back to claim the prize. The stations were: find the research help desk, find **** in the catalogue, find same book on shelf, take our librarian or not test, become our fan on Facebook and find the printing/copying room.

There was such excitement in the library as everyone scurried up and down the stairs looking for all the stations and clues. At one point @malbooth may have remarked that it was "an OH&S nightmare"! The triumphant winners exclaimed that they'd had so much fun and learnt a lot about the library! In light of this great success we're considering how we can integrate treasure hunts into our usual start of semester tours schedule! Information literacy and fun can be in the same sentence!

Library staff really got into the swing of things by participating in our Meet your Librarians gallery. Before the Fun Day a few of us went around taking photos of co-operating library staff using my iPhone and then manipulated the photos using an iPhone app. The results were so funny that everyone started emailing each other their photos, printing them and putting them up everywhere (see above)! It proved a really fun way to get to know library staff and start a little silliness! Breaking down the perceptions students may have about librarians being all serious and foreboding is a hard task but I think we really achieved this.

We had many goals for the day but I think a real positive to come out of it was students coming to the library, seeing it as a vibrant fun place to be and breaking down preconceptions they might have about libraries/librarians.

It took a team of people, much planning, crazy ideas and enthusiasm to pull off this extravaganza and it was well worth it. We really showed our clients that libraries aren't just about books. We had so many first timers to the library and we overheard many comments from people about how much fun they were having. Can't wait to make it even bigger and better next year!


  1. That afro wig is truly scary - but the enthusiasm looks amazing :-)