Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Playing at Pirates...

The library was asked to come up with a fun, non-threatening introduction to some of our interesting features and services, a sort of "library lite" for incoming freshmen. So, we put our heads together and came up with what we perceived as fiendishly clever clues and a variation on the (ick!) library scavenger hunt... a library treasure hunt with a very loose pirate theme. Today Librarian Martina Nicholas and I tested the activity with the community advisers from the residence halls. The idea being that the advisers may want to conduct the activity with their residents...

Conclusions: Our fiendishly clever clues only took milliseconds for these students to decode and some were finished in about 15 minutes. Most enjoyed the hunt and had some good suggestions for refining it a bit. It's not a good idea to do such a large group (75 advisers) because they can see where the other groups went even when the start times are staggered. Everyone would rather have chocolate gold coin candy instead of bubble gum gold coin candy.

While I don't think these conclusions will form the basis of any forthcoming scholarly articles, I thought it was an interesting exercise. The treasure hunt took an incredible amount of prep work... elaborate Photoshopped treasure maps, testing of obscure clues, the acquisition of free Pirate baseball tickets by our Director for the top prize, etc. but it was, indeed, "fun." Our Pirates baseball ticket winner, by the way, was Kalia Mason. Congratulations, Kalia!

Incidentally, the image of pirate Jean Lafitte (above) came from the Jewish Journal, illustrating an interesting article on Jewish pirates. Who knew?

This type of serendipitous learning then reminds me to mention web site StumbleUpon , which connects you with random web sites matching your interests and provides some good time-wasting surfing.



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