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Library wants public to get a clue

September 3, 2012
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

News Lifestyles Editor

Alpena County Library hopes folks in Alpena get a clue soon, though not in the usual sarcastic way.

Rather, the library has come up with a new Get a Clue mystery game and invites the community to play along.

The game was created in conjunction with the library's 2012 Authors in the Falls series. Since best-selling/award-winning writer Louise Penny is this year's keynote speaker and three other mystery writers are joining her for the series, the library staff has devised with a full roster of mystery-related activities, with Get a Clue among them.

"This is just one more of the author activities and the fun things we're doing," said Library Director Eric Magness-Eubank. "We spent a lot of effort on developing Get a Clue and are really pleased to be doing it."

The game kicks off Tuesday and runs through Oct. 3, the day prior to Penny's presentation in Alpena. Participants who are game to play can stop by the library to pick up a "game board," and then visit the various businesses, which include:

A clue jar at each location will hold the clues. After stopping at all eight businesses and collecting a different clue at each one, participants will then be entered in a drawing to win one of eight prizes valued at $20 to $25 that were donated by the businesses.

"There is a hidden message in all the clues," Magness-Eubank said. "If you put them together and figure out the message, you can get an additional chance to win one of the prizes donated by the merchants. It will take all eight clues. As a hint, there's a pattern to it and the first starts with something you'd teach your children."

The clue cards also feature either a historic photo related to each business or an advertisement from the early 1900s that shows the kinds of goods or services available at each location.

Magness-Eubank is pleased to be able to include several downtown businesses in its fall roster of activities.

"One of the things we've tried to do each year is broaden the number of participants in our programming," he said. "We wanted to come up with a good way to include an element of the business community. By brainstorming what could be done with mysteries and mysteries games, this is what we decided on. It's been a lot of fun, though also challenging."

Another aspect Magness-Eubank is enthused about is the opportunity that developing Get a Clue provided to use a portion of the historic photographs and documents the library houses in its Alpena History Room. Staff members Marlo Broad and Bob Lyngos sifted through those materials to help come up with the elements featured on each clue card.

"One of our long-term desires is finding a way to take the rich history we have in our archives and get it out there to be used in the general public, so this seemed like a neat way to fit that it in."

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