Sometimes geocaching offers much more than a treasure hunting adventure at the intersection of a certain of latitude and longitude. The Long Beach Public Library Foundation in California, USA is tapping into the power of geocaching to encourage kids and adults to crack open the pages of a library book.
Geocaching is now part of an annual event called, “Long Beach Reads One Book.” The book selected this year is Zorro by Isabel Allende. Di LaPlume with the foundation says, “For the first time ever, we are adding geocaching to the lineup [of activities for the event]. For March, we’ve hidden a series of six Zorro-related caches in Long Beach. They are what I would describe as “mini” Multi-Caches. Each cache has its own theme that is related to the story of Zorro.” All the geocache descriptions are in English and Spanish. One of the Zorro-themed geocaches even leads geocachers into a library.
LaPlume says the Library Foundation hopes the Zorro-themed geocaches promote literacy, encourage people to get outside, learn more about the book, and have fun.
Geocachers are given some incentive to find more than just one of the caches. LaPlume says, “During the month of March, anybody who finds all six caches can enter to win a special Zorro prize.”
So far the caches have been logged dozens of times. Geocachers in the Long Beach, California area still have until the end of March to discover all the caches and earn an additional prize. But the real prize might be that snapping open a geocache leads to more people opening books.