Monday, November 3, 2008

Gaming and Libraries

This post has been copied entirely from the blog Citegeist, written by Cindi Trainor, Coordinator for Library Technology and Data Services at Eastern Kentucky University Libraries. I met Cindi at the Bridging Worlds Confeence in Singapore where she presented a paper entitled "Open source, crowd source : harnessing the power of the people behind our libraries". This was a session I was particularly sad to miss, but it clashed with the session by Joe Pagano on web analytics, a subject important to have a handle on when arguing for funding and justifying my existence!

The post that follows is about the virtues of gaming written by Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library, and will help inform my future thinking around gaming in libraries; which will have to be worked through in the next year or so as we plan our new Young Adult library. Jenny Levine is another uber-librarian with a strong interest in libraries and gaming so her blog is worth following too: The ShiftedLibrarian and if you click here you can read the Library Technology Report, Gaming and Libraries : Intersection of Services (pictured above) written by Jenny .

Anyway, Cindi's blog is thoughtful and a must-read I have decided, and since I can't say it better than her here is the copied post:

Eli Neiburger, Assistant Director at Ann Arbor District Library, on gaming and libraries. This presentation concentrates on learning that happens in games (not on games designed for learning).


  • Require advanced literacy (words and interface)
  • Help users overcome achievement gaps
  • teach reading comprehension
  • teach skills useful in the workplace
  • teach search skills
  • teach that success requires risk
  • teach delayed gratification
  • teach perseverance with little risk of failure

Gaming events in libraries teach kids

  • that the community supports them
  • that the community values youth
  • constructive use of their time

Gaming events in libraries teach kids (in a world where athletic ability is valued in schools more than anything)

  • commitment to learning
  • positive values (caing equality social justice, integrity, honesty)
  • social competencies (planing & decision making, interpersonal competence, resistance skills, peaceful conflict resolution (peer pressure working for you: “shut up so we can play” rather than against you: “let’s see if we can get kicked out.”)
  • positive identity: personal power, self-esteem, sense of purpose, positive view of failure

They are gaming among you: 72% of Americans play video games. more adult women than kids.

Where are people spending their money: music $21B; DVDs $23B; $24B games; books highest. media almost exactly divided, percentage-wise.

What is at stake if we don’t do this? ask a travel agent. our collections will become irrelevant if we can get veryting ever printed with an ebook; all networked information with an implant

Libraries = conversations through content. we take content that is normally consumed individually and make a social event out of it. Library is adding value to content; it’s what we’re here to do. Games are only a new format.

Good games for libraries: Wii: rock band, big brain, wii sports, super smash bros, pokemon, DDR - online tournament scoring and management tools

  • includes blog, event registrations, brackes, generates leaderboards (local, regional, national)
  • GTsystem wiki for rules and history
  • synchronzed tournament days with online finals. winners play off each other online.

eli at eliworks dot com

Q&A: board games are really niche entertainment; video games have a larger draw

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