Tuesday, October 6, 2020

LOC Mystery Photo Contest - A Good Test of Search Strategies

At about this time last year the Library of Congress hosted a mystery photo contest. They're hosting another one right now. Just like last year's contest the challenge is to identify the people in twelve pictures pulled from the library's moving image section. Before you say, "just do a reverse image search" you should know that the LOC has already done that and not found any matches. That's what makes this contest so difficult. Just like last year's contest, this year's LOC Mystery Photo Contest doesn't offer any real prizes other than the satisfaction of being right.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a difficult search challenge activity to use with your students, the LOC's Who Am I? Mystery Photo Contest could be just what you need. Students will have to string together as many clues as possible in order to get to arrive at an answer.

On a related note, Dan Russell's The Joy of Search is a must-read for anyone who wants to get better at using advanced search methods. I also offer course on teaching search strategies to students. You can access that course here