March 23, 2018

NSCU Librarians Honored for Scavenger Hunt Orientation

Three North Carolina State University (NCSU) librarians have been honored for developing the NCSU Libraries Mobile Scavenger Hunt.

Anne Burke, Adrienne Lai, and Adam Rogers have been named the 2012 recipients of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) College Libraries Section (CLS) ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship Award. Winners receive $3000, which is presented at the ALA annual conference.

The Scavenger Hunt is a “gamification” of library orientation in which teams of first-year students must explore the physical and virtual library, take photos, question staff, and text the information they find back to librarians using iPod Touches and the cloud-based multimedia note-taking app Evernote.

Mobile scavenger hunt picture on iPod Touch

Mobile scavenger hunt picture on iPod Touch

After a beta trial during the 2011 summer session, more than 900 students participated in the scavenger hunt in the Fall 2011 semester.   In surveys after the hunt, 93 percent said that “they learned something new,” and 95 percent said they now “feel comfortable asking a library staff member for help.”

Casie Fedukovich, associate director of the First-Year Writing Program at NC State, said,  “this activity engaged students with library operations on a level that led to increased understanding, deeper learning, and almost complete recall of important library functions . . . . The Scavenger Hunt was able to … engage first-year students in practical methods of academic research in a way that … transfers between contexts.”

This isn’t NCSU’s first innovative use of apps: the university’s WolfWalk uses GPS-enabled devices to give students self-guided historical tours of campus, and Red, White & Black explores the history of African Americans at NC State.

In January 2013, the NCSU Libraries will open the new technological-enabled James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz ( is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

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