The Great InfoHunt 2022

As technology became ubiquitous in contemporary society, a plethora of games has emerged across various platforms and media with the intention to entertain and create a pastime for people. Similarly, Gamification as a concept involves the application of common elements present within games such as theme, narrative, point system, rewards, and the like in order to make a certain product or service more engaging and interesting for users. Eventually, Gamification found its way within the four corners of the library as a means to educate and update users on the resources and services of a specific institution. During the past few decades, libraries strived to design and create their own programs based on a specific agenda or tailored to the needs of their users. The adoption of gamification activities enabled libraries to depart from the conventional orientation and allowed users to directly engage with the librarians, resources and services.

That being said, the University Library held its first ever gamification activity in the previous semester entitled The Great InfoHunt 2022. The goal and objectives of the library program was to enable students to explore the various library online subscriptions, execute different search strategies, and familiarize themselves with the different library services at their own pace with little to no supervision. To promote inclusivity, the gamification activity was designed to involve undergraduate and graduate students from the entire UP System.

As a theme for the program, four socially relevant stories were employed which students of the University can relate to. Each story consists of the Great Tasks wherein the answers can be acquired or located through the use of the library’s resources and services, hence the term InfoHunt. After doing so, the participants are required to submit their responses for online verification. Participants who accomplished all of the Great Tasks correctly would eventually receive 1 raffle ticket per story. 

The Great InfoHunt 2022 Stories teasers. Clockwise from top-left: Sino Si Oble?, Blue Shirt, Bamboo Cart and Medals & Flowers.

The first story Sino Si Oble? was intended for students in the Diliman campus as it involved a task that would require them to physically visit the temporary location of the University Library at the Environmental and Energy Engineering Building. As the title of the story suggests, the participants were tasked to discover and unravel what is behind Guillermo Tolentino’s Oblation which is a well known symbol and representation of the University and its students. 

The following stories were open to undergraduate and graduate students from all the campuses. Blue Shirt, pays tribute to Kian Loyd delos Santos, a victim of the war on drugs campaign in 2017. Along with other victims of extrajudicial killings throughout the country, Kian’s story should serve as a reminder of the social injustice that hundreds if not thousands of Filipinos experience every day. Bamboo Cart on the other hand was about Ana Patricia “Patreng” Non, a kind-hearted individual who started and organized the well-known community pantry during the lockdown at Maginhawa St., Quezon City in 2021. Through her actions and determination to provide an equal opportunity for Filipinos, a handful of private citizens followed suit and organized their own community pantry in their respective areas throughout the country. Last but not the least, Medals & Flowers revolved around the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal for the country, Hidilyn Diaz. She won the coveted award when she bested her opponents in the women’s 55kg weight lifting category at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Their stories and struggle should not only serve as an inspiration to UP students but to the Filipino youth as well.

To determine the winners, a draw was held on January 6, 2023 via Zoom wherein a handful of students from all the campuses attended. In total, seven (7) winners were drawn and hailed as a Great Isko and Iska  for The Great InfoHunt of 2022. Two (2) winners were from UP Baguio, two (2) from UP Los Baños, two (2) graduate students from the UP Open University and one (1) winner from UP Diliman.  

Photos taken from The Great InfoHunt 2022 Culmination event.

As part of the culmination of TGI 2022, a closing event was held at the Environmental and Energy Engineering Building on January 13, 2023. To share the winners’ insights and sentiments on the library program, each Great Isko and Iska participated in a recorded interview. The recording was played during the event to highlight the positive feedback the library program earned as well as to showcase the advantages and benefits in gamifying the services and resources of the UP Library. The winners were joined and accompanied by some of the University Librarians from their respective campuses, namely Ms. Amelia C. Cendaña, Officer-in-Charge of the UP Baguio Library, Ms. Jennifer S. Belen-Bunao, University Librarian of the UP Open University Library and Ms. Elvira B. Lapuz, University Librarian of the UP Diliman Library. Several partner-representatives were also present to personally give the winners’ prizes.

Current and former members of the Information Services and Instruction Section (ISAIS) with their Head Librarian, Ms. Rizalyn V. Janio, pose for a photo with the award and certificate of recognition.

It is also worth noting that the Philippine Association of Academic/Research Librarians, Inc. (PAARL) has deemed The Great InfoHunt 2022 as the Outstanding Library Program of the Year in the recently held 50th PAARL General Assembly and Induction/Awards Ceremonies at the Far Eastern University – Manila on January 27, 2023. The success and credit gained by The Great InfoHunt 2022 cannot be solely attributed to the library but also to the students and the University as well.

We’ll see you in the next InfoHunt, Isko and Iska!