Ann Arbor District Library’s Summer Game: Branching Out

This post is part of my on-going series on the Ann Arbor District Library’s (AADL) Summer Game.

So far it might seem like the AADL Summer Game was almost completely on-line. Au contraire. Yet another clever thing about the 2012 AADL Summer Game: it encouraged you to actually visit the library and explore. I’m ashamed to admit it, but, before playing the Summer Game, I hadn’t visited two of AADL’s branches. And even at my home branch it’s usually in the door and out again, as soon as I’ve picked up my holds. That was remedied when I decided to go after the two badges that required you to visit each of AADL’s five branches to collect codes.

Earning the first branch related badge, Branch Explorer, was pretty simple. All you had to do was go to the circulation desk at every branch and ask for that Library’s secret code. Once you knew the code you had the option to write it down and enter it later on a computer, enter it via the Internet browser on your smart phone, or text it to the Summer Game account (I know, fancy, just like American Idol).

The second badge, or rather set of badges — one for each library branch along with one bonus master badge if you completed all five — built on the Branch Explorer.

Each branch’s secret code turned out to be one piece of a larger scavenger hunt. Here’s the completed scavenger hunt for the Pittsfield branch:

Notice that significant features of each branch were highlighted. The Pittsfield branch, for example, looks out over wetlands.

And the Downtown Library has a Fairy Door:

But the actual services within the library were identified too. Each clue nudged players to think about what’s actually in each branch. Did you know that there’s a vending machine on the first floor near the back? Well, now you do. And here’s where the copier is. Did you know you can check out magazines? They’re right this way!

I see what you did there, AADL.

Tomorrow, what do you say to a Friday field trip? I’ll close out the week by taking you along on my scavenger hunt through AADL’s West Branch.

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2 Comments

Filed under AADL's Summer Game, Field Trip, Professional Practice

2 responses to “Ann Arbor District Library’s Summer Game: Branching Out

  1. Thank you for highlighting some of the off-line components of the game. Working on-desk, it was fun to give players clues as to where to explore and find various codes. They often ventured to areas they hadn’t really noticed before. I also think that the exploring part of the game and codes for events help reassure those who are worried that the game is *only* about screen-time!

  2. Definitely! I love that there are hours of entertainment to be had, especially for families, for free (with tax dollars of course). Great community service.

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