November 27, 2007

Gaming in Libraries LTR Update

my LTR cover Last year I wrote the September/October issue of Library Technology Reports on Gaming in Libraries: Intersection of Services as a general overview that could help jumpstart a discussion in a library (especially with a department head or administrator). During the next few weeks, I’ll be writing an update to that issue, so I’m curious what you’d like to see in this new edition.

My intent is to broaden the discussion about gaming to include a more holistic view of the topic, beyond just video games, as well as diversifying the audience for gaming in libraries beyond just teens. So I have a pretty good idea of what I want to write about, and although I’ll have a shorter length to work with (half as long as the first one because TechSource is trying to reduce the cover price of LTR), I’d still like some input. What questions do you need answered? What do you need help explaining to others in your institution? Which areas need some further exploration?

I’m also hoping to highlight a few more case studies if there’s room. I’m particularly interested in showcasing unique gaming services offered by school and rural public libraries or services to nontraditional patrons, so please let me know if you think you’re doing something good.

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. Thanks!

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18 Comments

  1. We are talking about beginning a gaming club in our public high school library. Our school’s Acceptable Use Policy specifically forbids games being played on school computers. We are feeling frustrated because we feel like we need to start there- but changing our AUP may take up to a year as we must go through the school board to make any changes. ugh.
    We are considering surveying the students as a first step and then taking our data to the school administration and seeing where it goes from there.
    Are there many high school libraries who are gaming?
    Do you have any advice on initial steps?

    Comment by Pam — November 27, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  2. I’m interested in how gaming could be relevant in a VET setting (I work in a TAFE library) and many have a narrow focus of of what constitutes ‘educational’. I could see a boardgame like ‘Settlers of Catan’ being useful at a number of levels:

    1) Simple social interaction (something that is often underestimated)

    2) Literacy skills (learning and understanding how the various rules interact with each other)

    3) Numeracy skills (winning partly depends on understanding the probabilities of 2 6-sided dice work)

    4) Formulating objectives (deciding your best method of winning and sticking to your plan)

    Comment by John Nebauer — November 27, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

  3. […] Gaming in Libraries LTR Update » This Summary is from an article posted at The Shifted Librarian on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 […]

    Pingback by University Update - Video Games - Gaming in Libraries LTR Update — November 27, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

  4. Hello Jenny, I’d like to see more about collection development and maintenance issues, especially for games that circulate. Maybe something about board games too. I’d also be interested in reading about which games are most popular with various age groups: children, teens, older adults. Thanks! I’m excited that you will be writing a follow-up report to your fantastic gaming issue. Michelle

    Comment by Michelle — November 28, 2007 @ 12:31 am

  5. Hey Jenny-

    I think we’re all going to stake out our niches here, so I might as well give it a shot. Gaming in academic libraries. This is something I struggle with due to the fact that it seems that our use of gaming in the library is simply social – not tied to academics. I understand there is value in bringing students into the library for more than studying, but isn’t there something educationally related that we could tie to this?

    ~Kyle~

    Comment by Kyle J. — November 28, 2007 @ 7:52 am

  6. Hi Jenny. I’d like to see some focus on evaluation of gaming. Funders often want to see quantitative results that library programming is being put to good use. What proven evaluative methodologies can be used to capture something as seemingly nebulous as gaming in libraries? Chris

    Comment by Chris — November 28, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  7. Thanks, everyone! It’s interesting to see the diverse topics, although not surprising. If I can’t cover these things in the LTR, I have another possible way to help answer your questions but I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet.

    @Kyle: Have you read Paul Waelchli’s blog posts about how he’s tying the ACRL Info Lit standards to fantasy football and Halo? He even used fantasy football in his intro class. Paul’s blog is fascinating in general, so I highly recommend reading it regularly. http://researchquest.blogspot.com/

    Comment by jenny — November 28, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

  8. Hi Jenny. I am a middle school librarian in Virginia. I wrote a grant for $1000 to purchase a wii and wii games. So far, we have been using video games to entice students to read books for the Virginia Readers’ Choice program. Last year we had 25 students who participated in this reading program. In our first month of promoting the VRC program (using gaming as an incentive), we had 45 students who read their first book. They need to read at least 4 books to vote for their favorite. I have also added chess and checkers to our library. We also plan to buy other literature-based board games such as Harry Potter, Stormbreaker, Nancy Drew, etc. Gaming has really helped to improve our image in our school. I would love to hear about other school libraries that are using games to attract students to their libraries.

    Comment by Lauren Luke — November 29, 2007 @ 8:36 am

  9. I am the librarian at the Grand Island Veterans Home, the largest nursing home in Nebraska, which is home to as many as 250 members (residents.) Richard, from the Nebraska Library Commission, forwarded several e-mails to me, about the successful use of Wii with seniors, and suggested that I write a grant for the equipment. While I was in the process of researching Wii, with the help of Susan, also at the NLC, one of our doctors persuaded her friends to donate a Wii console, a TV, an extra remote and some other accessories, to be used in our Physical Therapy clinic. Although it is too soon to know how effective this will prove in the long run, Wii has been used successfully with some of our members. Now, several other members of our Department of Health and Human Services Library Consortium and I are writing a grant to bring Wii, through our libraries, to our facilities, which are home to children, men and women with varying degrees of mental of physical disabilities. We believe that the simplicity and FUN of Wii will provide our patrons with physical, mental and social benefits.

    Comment by Janice Rihn — November 29, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

  10. Hi Jenny,

    I like the idea of talking about non-video games. If you are going to support gaming – and as we know there are great reasons to do so – extend it to all ages, not just teens? And all types of games – I can see Flux or Apples To Apples as great games for a library setting!

    Comment by Scott — November 29, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  11. Hey there Jenny –
    I am with a small rural library in Florence, Colorado. We Use a Wii, a PlayStation 2, board games, computer games, and weird little games we invent to get folks excited at our library. Currently we are getting senior citizens ready for a match against the teens with the Wii. We are also figuring out if putting an old SNES in the teen area will lead to chaos or collective fun. I would love information from other folks that would help us establish intergenerational gaming. Stuff about literacy rates and games is always helpful to use. Anything you want (stats, profiles, humorous antidotes) from us for your project we will gladly provide (cheesy folk song perhaps).
    Thanks Again –
    Karen Hixon
    John C. Fremont Library District

    Comment by Karen Hixon — November 30, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  12. For an article and photos about our first Wii bowling event with members (residents) from the Grand Island Veterans Home, and teens and staff from the Grand Island Public Library, go to this link: http://www.theindependent.com/stories/12022007/fea_wiibowl02.shtml It was a little difficult, at first, to get our members to bowl, but after several experienced success, including strikes on their first throw, they couldn’t wait to bowl. The kids and staff were so encouraging, too. The event met all of our goals of mental, physical and social “exercise!” This time we did not really have teams or bowl complete games. We had two “teams” of teens & members who took turns bowling, to complete one game, then the kids demonstrated Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero on PlayStation 2.

    Comment by Janice Rihn — December 4, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  13. I’d like to see some focus on evaluation of gaming. Funders often want to see quantitative results that library programming is being put to good use. What proven evaluative methodologies can be used to capture something as seemingly nebulous as gaming in libraries?

    Comment by çadır — December 11, 2007 @ 3:33 am

  14. […] Gaming in Libraries LTR Update (The Shifted Librarian) […]

    Pingback by The OPLIN 4cast » Blog Archive » 4cast #81: Spectrum Auction, Kindle, Reading, Gaming — December 12, 2007 @ 10:16 am

  15. […] LTR update on gaming in libraries is just about done, and I’ve been reading some fascinating articles and books as background […]

    Pingback by The Shifted Librarian » Gaming and the Fall of Western Civilization — January 3, 2008 @ 6:56 am

  16. […] doing research for my LTR, I came across some sites for specific gaming audiences, so I thought I’d share them here, […]

    Pingback by The Shifted Librarian » Specialized Gaming Sites — January 23, 2008 @ 7:03 am

  17. I like the idea of talking about non-video games. If you are going to support gaming – and as we know there are great reasons to do so – extend it to all ages, not just teens? And all types of games – I can see Flux or Apples To Apples as great games for a library setting!

    Comment by Kanal Temizleme Araçları — March 5, 2008 @ 8:09 am

  18. […] writing a post about this entry http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2007/11/27/gaming-in-libraries-ltr-update.html Stay […]

    Pingback by http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2007/11/27/gaming-in-libraries-ltr-update.html — March 31, 2008 @ 5:24 am

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