A Farley Library scavenger hunt goes mobile

Alyssa Stencavage, Staff Writer

At first glance, the Farley Library is the last place one would find students using smart phones to accomplish something to win a prize.  Now students are being given the opportunity to do exactly that through a mobile scavenger hunt initiated at the Farley Library in October.

This scavenger hunt has been going on sinceOct. 15, 2011and will continue until just before winter break.  Depending on how many entries the library gets, a similar contest may take place again next year.  The only criteria for the hunt is that students need to own a smart phone.  Students that enter are automatically eligible to win a Nook color by entering the hunt.

All it takes is a tour of Farley Library’s resources using a quick response code reader on a smart phone.  Once students have completed the tour, they will be entered to win a Nook color from the Barnes and Noble bookstore.  Students begin the scavenger hunt by scanning the QR code with their phones.

Electronic Resources Librarian Kristin Pitt is responsible for initiating the mobile scavenger hunt.  She says she started the scavenger hunt because QR codes are appearing everywhere, and many libraries are starting to use them as a means to advertise collections, link resources to video tutorials and provide information to supplement exhibits.  She had been keeping an eye on this trend and looking for an opportunity to see if it could be implemented to engage students at Wilkes.

“I had a couple goals in mind when I created the scavenger hunt,” Pitt says.  “The first (goal) is to simply get the students into the library and interacting with library resources.”

The scavenger hunt is full of useful information on how to make the most of what the library has to offer for research and assignments.  The second goal Pitt has in mind is to gage students’ response to this new technology as current research indicates that a significant number of students are using smart phones.

“I wanted to see if QR codes are something that students would use, and if they are something that librarians should be using to promote resources and possibly to make library instruction more interesting,” Pitt says.

Due to the positive response from students, the scavenger hunt will continue until Dec. 15, when the drawing for the Nook Color will take place.  The winner will be announced on Dec. 16.  Students can seek more information about the mobile scavenger hunt at the Library Reference Desk.