As part of Library and Information Week (LIW) this year, I was looking for an online activity that I could create to engage and educate the staff in my organisation about the library’s services and resources. I work in a special library which provides services for approximately 450 staff who are spread across 20 sites around Australia, so I was looking for something that could be completed anywhere and at any time during LIW. Inspired by the work of one of my colleagues in my previous workplace, and after reading about librarians using Google Forms to create online escape rooms, I decided to use LibGuides as a platform to create an online mystery for staff to play, with the offer of a gift card as a prize.
I chose LibGuides instead of Google Forms because I had recently taken out a subscription to LibGuides, so wanted to put the platform to use. It was also one of the resources that I wanted staff to know about, so it made sense to include it in the activity.
The premise of the activity was that the library’s resident skeleton, Seymour Skinless, had disappeared (Seymour is not the first library skeleton I’ve met, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr Thrifty and Lola). Staff would have to find clues and answer multiple choice questions in order to track him down. There were six services and resources that I wanted staff to learn about, so I came up with a clue for each one. Each clue had its own LibGuide created with four answers listed (A, B, C, and D); clicking on the correct answer would take staff to the next clue (incorrect answers resulted in a “Sorry, try again” message). Staff had to take note of the letter of each correct answer because that sequence of letters was needed to reveal Seymour’s location. When they’d located Seymour, staff had the option of entering a random draw for a $30 gift card.
If you want to have a look at the activity and play along, the launch page can be found here, however some of the links on some of the clues won’t work because they’re for pages on our intranet.
The feedback from staff who completed the activity was very positive, with several comments about how much fun it was to play. Based on this I’m planning on doing something similar for LIW next year – maybe a bit more structured and interactive. Whatever shape the activity takes, Seymour will be part of it.