Like many academic libraries, our library has just remodelled two floors to make a Learning Common. It is aimed at capitalising on the building as a social space – a place that creates a community of learners and provides a venue for students to hang out and (hopefully) do some self directed learning. We are opening part of it 24/7 and have soft drink vending machines, junkfood vending machines, comfy couches, a coffee shop…
Is a gaming space really so far from that continuum? During mid semester break, we have PC labs that stand empty. Would a leisure reading collection also fit in somewhere? I’ll bet our DVD collection isn’t borrowed primarily for scholarly reasons. Would it be just too hard to justify to funders who want academic libraries to be only about research? Would our funders laugh and ask when we were going to install the laudromat, the minibar and the exercise benches?
People who know how to game know a lot about human/computer interfaces. They have an intuitive understanding of how to quickly read and understand a screen. Problem solving, creative thinking, and even teamwork in MMPOGs are developed via gaming.
Great post from Kathryn Greenhill. Glad to see posts like this and the discussions at the Gaming Symposium. Kathryn concludes her post with a mention of engagement and offering a place for students to take a break from their studies. Those are great reasons to explore gaming in the academic library setting.