Category Archives: Gaming & Gamers in Libraries


In the grand tradition of Abram-isms:

“We need to stop thinking we are Information Priests and Priestesses…”

“If you wrap something up in the mantle of training, you’re going to turn them off..give them short cuts instead…”

“Nobody ever died of bad cataloging…”

“We need to get over the fact that libraries are not the first place people go for information and never have been…we need to be something else.”

On change in Libraries: “We need to appeal to different learning styles…”

“IM is the way people are communicating today..we need to use it.”

“Bring Digital Natives into your planning process (even if they don’t have an MLS)…”

“Let’s try things…”

On Gaming, Libraries, Librarians & the Future


I’m sitting in Blogger’s Alley, listening to George Needham from OCLC talk about gamers and libraries.

But inside I’m marvelling at what is actually happening in this room, in Chicago, in December of 2005. This is a moment of watershed proportion. I truly believe that.

These are the conversations that need to be happening – now. These are the services and technologies that need to find their way into our meeting rooms, online presence and into our catalogs. Can you imagine the future ILS that includes components of gaming environments? Can you imagine library signage and services developed for all types of learners, including the non-print learner? Can you imagine a librarian as guide (with an avatar) appearing to help a user navigate the online information the library provides. I hope so.

There is a load of blogging going on here, and presentations will go up soon at Pay attention. Download. Read. Discuss with your staff.

Finally, this needs to be said: We should all thank Jenny Levine for having the foresight and brilliance to make this happen. She and her colleagues at the MLS (Kathryn and others) have created a very special moment in time that will define what happens next for gaming in libraries. The folks assembled here as speakers are at the top of their game and the folks listening and takingnotes and blogging have a mountain of evidence and techniques to go forward.

Readers, pay close attention to gaming and libraries. The time has come.

Les Gasser On Gaming in Libraries

Les Gasser, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, opened the Gaming in Libraries Symposium. This spoke to me:

“Libraries need to adopt a new model of service: where we are stirring up society, enhancing learning and contributing to communities of practice. Gaming offers this: a way to learn and participate in open communities, how to interact with the world and collaborate….We need to move our services into gaming environments, virtual spaces, and out into the community.”

SJCPL Gets GAMING! (And Library 2.0 Blogging too!)

SJCPL Game Blog

While I was in Chicago, things really ramped up on the SJCPL Gaming front. I am happy to announce here at TTW that my library is implementing a gaming tournament program as well as a complimentary online presence allowing interactivity between the game organizers and the gamers we seek to serve.

First: Read the Lifeline post about Gaming! “P” lays out what’s happening.

“Starting in January of next year, the Main Library will be the site for video game tournaments featuring Mario Kart: Double Dash, Nintendo’s infamous multiplayer racer. Gamers will be able to play against each other using one of eight different Game Cube Stations hooked into each other for eight-man multiplayer mode. Our Grand Tournament is open to anyone in grades 7th to 12th, and our Open Plays are for anyone.”

Then, zip over the the Official SJCPL Game Blog: where we have official SJCPL Game Bloggers and Commentors (our users, thank you).

Note that we are using images for the bloggers. I said every chance I could at CPL that we need to put a face on our services! Well done Maire, Julie and the gaming team!

Got Game?

Via Maire, who gets it:

registration is now open for AADL-GT Round 2, happening this Saturday, September 24th, from Noon – 5 PM in the Basement of the Downtown Library. Doors will open at 11:30 for players in grades 6-12, so be early to get checked in and start warming up. Winners of the Sur-Prize round game will take home $70, $50, and $30 giftcards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. We’ll have single-player and team events in both Mario Kart Double Dash and Super Smash Brothers: Melee, and the event will (really this time) be broadcast live on Comcast channel 18 in Ann Arbor, so be sure to bring a signed release form if you haven’t turned one in before. We’ll be implementing several enhancements this round, including smoother, faster registration & check-in, split-screen single player Kart for more races in less time, checkin and food and tables outside the room, and definitely more pizza. Read on for more.

We’ll also be having an All-Ages DDR Tournament, Sunday Sept. 25th, from 1:00-4:00 at the Malletts Creek Branch. Open Gamecube play will be available, and prizes are $40, $30, and $20 giftcards.

Take a look for two reasons: AADL gets gaming and they do it well. Wowza. But also note the CONVERSATION occuring between the library and the gamers. This is important. If conversations like this play out between libraries and users – in human voices as well — watch out! This is Cluetrain stuff of the utmost importance.

AADL, rock my world forever, ok?

Libraries that “get” games (p. 45 GOT GAME)

Survey respondents “who had grown up playing games reported sharply different attitudes about the very foundations of business: risk, achievement, the vaule of their experience, their own capabilities….Without question, the game generation is already having business impact far beyond the Internet. The effects of video games in our economic lives will soon be hard to ignore. Firms (substitute LIBRARIES here) that “get” games will unlock assets at every level of their workforces. Firms (LIBRARIES) that don’t will wonder where all their best employees (and patrons) went.”

This was a big “aha” moment for me.