A library scavenger hunt is not only fun, but also teaches the players how to use the library and find information. The person or team that gathers all of the items in the scavenger hunt by the deadline wins. A library scavenger hunt requires problem-solving skills, as well as teamwork abilities if the players play in teams. Design your library scavenger hunt so that it takes advantage of all the library has to offer, making the players dig through dusty books, frantically search the card catalog and use a variety of skills to attain the winning answers.
Identify what you want your library scavenger hunt to do: provide fun or educate, or both. If a goal is education, tailor your questions to what you want to teach the players.
Set rules for the scavenger hunt. For example, decide what the time limit is, whether using the Internet is allowed and the size of the teams. Share these rules with all of the players before the hunt begins.
Offer a prize for the first team to correctly complete every step of the scavenger hunt. Offering a prize motivates players to work hard and strive for accuracy.
Create the questions that can be solved in a number of ways. If a question’s answer is found in just one book, you’ll have multiple teams fighting over the same book at the same time. To avoid this problem, pick questions that can be answered with a number of books or other sources.
Create questions of varying difficulty. “What is the name of a book by R.L. Stine” is fairly easy, while “List four different types of reference books” is more challenging. This variation keeps the hunt from being taxing or too easy.
Create questions that utilize different sections and resources of the library. This includes fiction, nonfiction, reference, periodicals, media and card catalog. This gives teams experience in different areas of the library.
Specify a particular method of finding an answer if you’d like to teach the players specific skills. For example, if you want them to learn how to use the card catalog, say so in the instructions for the question: “Using the card catalog, find the call number for….”
Make a sheet that each person or team must fill out with the answers. This can be the same as the questions/clues sheet.
Position yourself or another person in a central location where teams/players turn in the answer sheet when finished.