Librarians - Gotta Catch'em All

Pokemon releases in the U.S. this week for the Nintendo DS. Since Pokemon is a license to print money (there are over 500,000 pre-orders) there are two different versions; Pearl & Diamond.

Now I've already about the educational and literary benefits of Pokemon... and I'm not alone in that thinking. But in the honor of a game where the goal is to collect hundreds of unique creatures, train them and battle them against others, I wanted to throw out a marketing application.

Collectible Librarian Cards...
Hear me out here before you write this off. I know the librarian trading cards in the library world has already come and gone. It was hot for a while, but I haven't heard much buzz recently. I never really found the idea all that appealing... it always just seemed tacked on to pop culture. But what if the trading cards are tied to library services and there are rewards for collecting them. Here's my pitch:

  • Each staff member has a unique card, with abilities and description of the services they provide (a card for the inter library loan staffers, circulation, reference, acquisitions, etc.)
  • Students would receive a card when they used the related service (borrowed a book, checked out an item, asked a reference question, requested a new title, etc.)
  • There would be weekly drawings for prizes, where students would write their names on any collected card for the drawing
  • In addition, after a set period of time (4 weeks), there would be prizes for any student who collected a full set
This could be an interesting way to introduce students to the library during the first few weeks of a new school year. It would ideally encourage students not only to seek out services again and again for more cards (and chances at the prizes), but could motivate people to use lesser known services in order get a full set.

How have other libraries used "library trading cards," what examples do you have?

Images via Amazon


Andrew said...

Interesting idea Paul. How about a variation on your theme, resource cards. The PsychINFO card might be more rare than the Academic Search card. Did you read Amanda's post on how trading cards were used as an ice breaker at the IA Summit?

Paul said...

Nice idea Andrew. I think that would work as well. It could really depend on the audience you are working with.

Thanks for the link.