Oct. 17, 2007
By Michelle Davey
Alden Library isn't quite on par with the settings of Dan Brown's novels, but over the past few weeks, more than 150 students visited the second-floor reference desk to begin their own adventure in code breaking.
The Library Code Game helped familiarize new students with the intricacies of Alden. Participants started at the second-floor Learning Commons services desk, where they received their first of nine clues. Breaking the codes sent them all over the library, introducing them to the ALICE catalog system; Academic Search Premiere, an online database; popular study areas; Cafe BiblioTech; and more.
"The goal was to have students find out a little bit about the library," said reference and instruction librarian Sherri Saines. "We wanted them to see it, run around, experience it and have fun."
Students were eligible to win prizes each time they completed a clue, including Frisbees and food coupons from local vendors. They also were entered in weekly drawings for 2G jump drives.
In the grand prize drawing, held earlier this month, the 31 students who completed all nine tasks were eligible to win a $100 gift certificate from local bookstores. Two students' names, Corrine Swarta and Brittany Monnier, were drawn for this final prize.
"Our goal was to get 400 tasks back, and we received a total of 1,060 completed tasks," Saines said.
Feedback forms indicated participating students enjoyed themselves. Students were asked about the best part of the experience. Comments included: "meeting the librarians"; "getting sweet prizes"; "learning about Alden"; and "meeting new people."
The forms will help library staffers determine if the competition will become an annual fall-quarter event, Saines said.