This week, Virginia Tech’s library system will be hosting a 'Hokie Hijinx' scavenger hunt, which aims to get Tech students more familiar with the university library system and its layout.
The idea for the scavenger hunt began as a suggestion from Scott Fralin, the library billing coordinator.
“The original idea was not a scavenger hunt, but a video contest. However, it turned into one once I talked with some colleagues and realized that the scavenger hunt format is more feasible,” Fralin said. “It is scalable, flexible, competitive and can be tailored to almost any situation or place.”
This is not the first scavenger hunt the library has done, according to Monena Hall, learning commons and assessment librarian.
“The library has done in-house scavenger hunts that have been well-received, but nothing this big,” she said.
The event will begin today at 5 p.m. and run until Saturday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. To spark student interest, the first hundred participants to register will receive a pair of free sunglasses from the library. As of the Sept. 21 registration deadline, 24 teams were registered to participate.
“Hokie Hijinx isn’t just about the library, although there are a lot of questions that do focus on the library and library resources,” Hall said. “These questions will take participants all over campus and the downtown Blacksburg area.”
“This is another example of the library creating an engaging experience that is fun and a little wild, but also very informative,” said Brian Mathews, Associate Dean for Learning & Outreach. “It's great to be able to pique curiosity, discovery, and exploration.”
Participants will search for 150 different clues placed all around campus and throughout Blacksburg, with prizes awarded to top-scoring teams. Team leaders will be notified of the winners during the first week of October.
Prizes will include gifts and gift cards from local businesses. The top teams will also receive vouchers for hundreds of dollars worth of library printing services.
“University Libraries is working to renew our image across campus and the community as a place where interesting things happen,” Hall said. “We are actively building collaborations with partners across campus to improve student services and experiences.”
Library staff hope that the Hokie Hijinx scavenger hunt is one way it can accomplish this goal.
“While I love the research side of libraries, I also believe it’s important to support the whole student experience in order to build solid relationships that will last a life-time,” Hall said. “In short, this is the students’ library. We are trying new things to see what they enjoy.”
Franlin also noted that events like these can help students realize what resources are available to them.
“There are a lot of resources in the library and on campus that the majority of (Tech) students will not discover unless there is some external force pushing them in the direction of these resources,” Fralin said. “(I hope that) the hunt steers people towards some of these resources on campus and enhances their academic experience.”
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