Geocaching and public libraries

Public libraries can take advantage of geocaching in order to encourage visits  to their buildings and to raise awareness of their location.  This article (reproduced with kind permission of its owner) goes into the whys and wherefores in detail.

For how to best hide a geocache in a library, see this discussion forum.  Omaha (USA) have a very good geocaching in libraries programme.

A popular way of doing library caches is to have a list of questions (in true treasure hunting style) that lead to the location of the cache.  These can often be used to highlight library services e.g. “how many public access computers are there?”.

United Kingdom

  • Bath – Central
  • British LibraryThis intricate puzzle geocache takes you throughout the building.
  • Cheshire West and Chester Frodsham Library – This is a multi cache where one gets clues from one cache to find the other. Barnton has one outside.
  • Cornwall – Bude (158 visits in 10 months), Liskeard (21 visits in 6 months), Camelford (76 visits in 3 years).  There’s also one just outside library HQ that is developing a following as the staff there wave (28 visits in 6 weeks).  Looking at putting geocaches in other branches but due to proximity of existing caches, these may have to be puzzle or offset caches.
  • Devon Axminster.
  • East Ayrshire Dick Institute, Kilmarnock.  Placed there by a library user.
  • Essex – Harlow, Chelmsford
  • Flintshire – Holywell Library has had one for several years, with geocachers tracking it down around four times per year.
  • Hertfordshire – Stevenage Central
  • Highland Thurso Library: user has to say at the counter that they’re a cacher and then they’re given a sheet of clues.
  • Lincolnshire – Market Rasen has geocache but not placed there by library staff.  A comment from a user of the branch sent to me is “A great idea, especially in holidays”.
  • Norfolk – Hellesdon. Also one at Long Stratton Library with 173 visits (inc 11 did not finds) so far: the staff there are well aware of the existence of the cache and try to see how many cachers they can spot.
  • Northamptonshire Northampton Central.  Recommended as a puzzle cache, with solution being hidden in a big book in the reference library.  Used to show history of library and its services: well-used according to number of signings and high awareness amongst staff.
  • Nottingham Central Library has a travel bug hotel (140 logged visits): staff are helpful and give cachers a fair bit of assistance in finding it.
  • Peterborough – A series of caches in the libraries there.
  • Stoke on Trent – A whole series of geocaches apparently placed officially.  See here.
  • Suffolk – A series of caches all including the name “bookworm” including at Lowestoft and Beccles.
  • Vale of Glamorgan – Have had geocaches since at least 2012.  They’re “very popular”.
  • Wrexham Wrexham Library.

See also Let a library geocache help in the hunt for new visitors – National Libraries Day.

  • #1 written by Nick Overfield
    about 8 years ago

    That’s great, super to see that there are so many! We have had a geocache at Eyemouth Library in the Scottish Borders since summer of this year. It’s probably best described as a multi-cache, as the coordinates take you to a microcache outside the library, but the logbook is to be found inside the library.

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