Explore your library
I just read David Lee King’s post about Foursquare and Libraries and I’m intrigued. Foursquare is a location based social networking game that encourages you to explore your city by “checking in” when you visit various places. You can see who else has been there, add tips, tags, and to-do lists, and earn points and badges depending on what you do. For example, the first time you use FourSquare you get the Newbie badge. After 10 check-ins you get the Adventurer badge. Visit a place more than anyone else and you become mayor – at least until someone unseats you.
Like many social networking sites, FourSquare had definite potential for libraries. After all, shouldn’t visiting your local library be a key part of exploring your town? Your library can add to-do lists for patrons – like get a library card, check out 5 books, or attend a workshop. You can also add tips like free wi-fi, closes at 6 on Friday, new video game collection, and so on.
Many businesses have already realized the potential for FourSquare by offering rewards to loyal customers. These generally are along the lines of a free drink for the mayor, or free fries to anyone who’s checked-in more than 10 times. What if libraries offered similar rewards? Perhaps a waived fine, free book from the book sale, the ability to check out an extra DVD, or even just recognition on the electronic message board.