This Way to the Library 

Timothy Ang, Kansai University

Quick Guide

  • Keywords: Library activity, task-based, scavenger                                                                                      
  • Learner English level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Learner maturity: University                                                                         
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes                                                                                             
  • Activity time: 60-90 minutes, multiple sessions, depending on class size                                                                                             
  • Materials: Handout with library-related discussion questions and tasks tailored to your campus library (see Appendix for example)

Libraries are an integral part of society in Japan. They promote literacy and community building, and in an age of increasing digital media, they continue to thrive and receive public support. Similarly, campus libraries are also of vital importance. This activity is designed to promote an appreciation of libraries among students and lead them to a lifetime of reading. Using authentic materials and task-based learning, this customizable scavenger hunt activity introduces students to their campus library and familiarizes them with library facilities. It would be particularly suited for freshman students at the start of their university life, but could also be used as a refresher for students of all levels. Teachers can adjust the depth, number, and difficulty of the scavenger tasks based on the student levels.



Step 1: Get the necessary permission to conduct an activity in the library, and coordinate with the campus library staff to arrange a tour of the library facilities.

Step 2: Check the library before the start of the activity to make sure all the necessary books are available and in the correct locations for the scavenger hunt part of the activity.

Step 3: Tell students to remember to bring their library cards to class. 



Step 1: Break the class into groups of three to four. Tell them that they will be talking about libraries today, and finding out how to make the most of the campus library facilities for their studies.

Step 2: Distribute the handout (see Appendix), and ask the groups to discuss the questions in Activity 1. Give them 10 minutes to talk, encourage them to add details and ask each other follow up questions.

Step 3: Tell the students to get ready to go to the library. Remind them that they must try to observe library etiquette (this may vary depending on your library, but may include low voice/silence, no food or drink, etc.)

Step 4: Bring the class to the campus library. Introduce them to the library staff who will conduct a basic tour of the facilities. Tell students to stay with their groups, and to pay attention during the tour as it will help during the next activity.

Step 5: After the tour, direct students’ attention to the library scavenger hunt part of the handout (Activity 2 of the Appendix). Explain that they have an hour to explore the library with their groups and complete the tasks.  Routinely check on the progress of the groups as they conduct the activity, and assist as necessary.

Step 6: Review the answers of the scavenger activity with the class. The team who manages to complete the most challenges within an hour wins the scavenger hunt.

Step 7: Thank the library staff as a class to end the activity.



The long-term survival of a library depends on its patronage. Without support, there will be less funding and access to this wonderful resource. Teachers have a responsibility to prevent this, and one way to raise awareness is to include an engaging library activity into the curriculum. Teachers can remind students that libraries are relevant and important, and pique their interest in books. 



The appendix is available below.