Josh Hadro provides coverage of the “Play, Learn, Innovate” Symposium:
Guiding the event was the prevailing notion of integrating “playfulness in your life, career, and work as a whole,” noted opening presenter and moderator Liz Danforth, a freelance game illustrator, scenario designer, and game developer, and librarian at the Pima County Public Library.
Danforth established the framework for the session, touching on “innovation, creativity, motivation, games, critical and strategic thinking,” all in an effort to spark positive change and overcome fearful reaction and resistance.
As she noted and other panelists affirmed, activity flexibility and a positive, fostering environment are some of the essential ingredients for creative output. A playful work atmosphere, or an environment in which patrons are encouraged to offer up their own ideas and input, is a boon to staff and patron creativity alike. And from that kind of environment, innovation and experimentation more easily flow. “Fun can be an extremely effective way to get something serious accomplished,” said Danforth, noting that a simple rock, paper, scissors decision mechanism or a point rewards system can make drudgery and repetitive tasks more palatable.
Likewise, “we’ve been gamifying libraries for a long time [to entice patrons],” she added: “we call it the summer reading game.”
I’m happy these concepts are being explored in this format. To me, a “positive, fostering environment” is synonymous with human-focused, heart-based institution.