On Wednesday, October 22nd, Stony Brook University Libraries successfully pulled off another great photo scavenger hunt, thanks to some dedicated students! With some veteran hunters registering for the event, we felt compelled to redesign large portions of the hunt, puzzles and all, to keep the sleuths on their toes. New Library assets were highlighted, such as our recreational reading magazines, our vast map collection, and the Special Collections Department. With so many complicated bonus point categories to take into consideration, we decided to outsource point tallying to a new committee of professional number crunchers.
The first eager bunch arrived as soon as the event began. Team Reading Rainbow Road was the first to put the new clues and puzzles to the test. They were very eager to play and quite determined to win! But you don’t have to take my word for it, just look at the competitive spirit that shines through in their happy faces!
Our point tallying committee later learned that this team spent an hour wandering about looking for the Ashley Shiff Preserve, one of the campus bonus point options. For this effort they got an extra bonus point, which might not make sense to everyone, but hey! they were tallied by a collection of Halloween props.
Later in the day another happy team arrived, Team SAC (play off of SBU’s Student Activities Center, or SAC, and also the initials of the team members’ first names). These guys were great. Though they did not walk to the Ashley Shiff Preserve, they did photograph nearly everything else on their list. Not only did they correctly solve all the clues for this hunt, but they also somehow managed to solve a puzzle from last year’s Spy Hunt that mysteriously found its way into one of their clue envelopes. That was weird, but kudos to you! Team SAC pulled off some great team photos and won two best photo categories. They earned 89 points total, but all photo evidence shows that this was an effortless, enjoyable feat.
For their great effort, Team SAC won three season film passes that were kindly donated by the Staller Center for the Arts! Woohoo! Certificates of Awesomeness will soon be awarded, which we are quite certain will be found hanging on their walls next to their diplomas someday.
The Sherlock Cavaliers were next to join in the competition. They were quick to solve our first tricky riddle, taken from Tolkein’s classic The Hobbit, and soon found the magazine whose title spelled the answer. Don’t worry, we were not offended by the speed in which you solved a clue that we spent hours creating.
The Sherlock Cavaliers mastered the rest of our clues with as much ease and really proved that they were sleuths to be reckoned with! We will have to try a little harder next year if we’re to stump the likes of them.
As with every year, the final challenge that must be completed in order to conquer our hunt is the finding of the frequently relocating Interlibrary Loan Office. Hunters who were confident that they had seen it somewhere before were thrown for a loop when they learned it now has a new room number. We might move it again for next year’s hunt – just to keep things interesting.
Thanks to all the participants of this year’s scavenger hunt! We apologize to those who learned that there was a conflicting event on campus and were unable to attend. Next year we will plan more carefully and not leave it up to our Library fish to do the campus calendar research. Ooh…that fish!
We hope you all feel a little more at ease with our branches and services, and look forward to seeing you studying here in the future! Keep an eye out for ads for our next scavenger hunt, Spy Hunt, scheduled for next spring. Also look for fun and educational events, workshops, and more on the Library’s homepage! Until then, don’t forget to Get Your Read On!
This year’s logo explained…
Each fall, as the Library prepares to host its annual scavenger hunt, we come out with a new delightfully ambiguous promotional button. To get students into the spirit of the event, the image for each has traditionally been one that is as much of a riddle as the clues themselves: a sleuthing sandpiper, a segmented snake, and so on. This year is no different. But for those of you who would prefer saving your mental energy for game day, here is a brief explanation of this year’s button theme.
In preparation for Banned Books Week, which just concluded, staff read some of their favorite banned books to show their support for the annual event. I chose my favorite banned title, The Catcher in the Rye. When I came to main character Holden’s explanation of the title, I was able to empathize with his dream of aspiring to be a protector of sorts. To him, it was the protector of innocence. For me, and for many of us here in the Library, it is the protector of information literacy.
In Holden’s vision of his ideal role, he guards the edge of a field of rye, where just beyond lies a treacherous cliff. Children innocently run through the field, unaware of the danger that awaits. He catches any who attempt to venture too far. In the Library, we spot those students struggling to find information they seek, and we serve to catch and redirect them when their aimless internet searches lead them to Wikipedia or Google as opposed to a peer reviewed journal in one of our valuable databases. Without a knowledgeable hand to guide them, students today might easily be lost in the sea of not-so-credible information that is easily accessed on the Web. Their innocence of the differences that set these sources apart is understandable. Information Literacy needs to be taught the same as any other skill. Fortunately, their campus has a great library filled with many experts in the field who are looking out for them and making sure they know all they need to know about research, citations, and credible sources.
The Central Park carousel is where we learn this revelation of Holden’s. A picture of a carousel horse adorns the book cover. A similar horse now also symbolizes this year’s scavenger hunt and is depicted on the complimentary buttons found at the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room.
The scavenger hunt scheduled for October 22nd is a fun, casual introduction to the Library’s branches and services. Participants will solve a series of clues that lead them to a variety of important locations and require them to locate books, a DVD, CD, and other useful resources. There will be prizes for the winning team and for the runners up as our way of saying thank you for taking part in the event. Visit the official site to learn more. Pre-registration is required.