What is the single best thing you can teach new users about your library? Who are the most powerful trendsetters of library use? When the staff at the Coates Library at Trinity University asked themselves that question, we found that our best answer was this: students who serve as residential life staff have an enormous influence on new student behavior; ask them to teach new users to feel comfortable in the library and to be aware of its resources. Comfortable people ask questions, experiment with new tools, and promote those behaviors in others.
The goal of promoting comfort with campus places, people, and behaviors was also shared by another powerful and highly relevant community: the New Student Orientation planning team at the office of Campus and Community Involvement, the people who run the campus-wide orientation for new students. To update, expand, and improve our traditional library scavenger hunt orientation while capitalizing on the success enjoyed by the New Student Orientation team throughout the rest of campus, the librarians of Trinity University adapted the model of the alternate reality game to create a dynamic multi-media library orientation.
Donald, J.W. “The 'Blood on the Stacks' ARG: Immersive Marketing Meets Library New Student Orientation.” Gaming in Academic Libraries: Collections, Marketing, and Information Literacy. Ed. Amy Harris and Scott E. Rice. Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries, 2008.