Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gaming in Libraries

This article was sent to me by a good friend of mine, a Librarian in Minnesota.

A new library for a new century
"Innovation happens in the most surprising places. If asked which US library is pushing the envelope on introducing interactive computer gaming in public libraries, how many would look to the most rural, poor, and isolated corner of a county in South Carolina? And if informed that this corner of the library world has a 30% illiteracy rate, a 15% unemployment rate, a poverty level exceeding 30% with up to 90% of school kids eligible for free or reduced-rate lunches, and a meager 2% rate for library card registration, what odds would you give that it can even keep its doors open?"

Editor's note: If you want to see what other libraries are doing with interactive gaming, check out the listings on the Library Success wiki.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Carling said...

I'm not sure how I feel about gaming in the library. Using it as "bait" might be a way to get students to check out books, but will they actually read them? Or will they just check them out in order to keep their status for games? I think the effort is good that they are taking on a new approach to get kids involved in the library - I really like the idea of having the reward system of points by actually doing and participating in activities. I'm interested to see how it pans out in a few years though...

At 11:25 AM, Blogger brendanpatrick said...

I dont altogether with the way gaming is framed here, both in the article and in the program itself. I think that gaming, in the right context, could be viewed both as the positive behavior AND the reward. There's lots of recent scholarly research on the benefits of gaming (improvements in spatial relationships and hand-eye coordination, better problem-solving skills, etc). Perhaps in the not-too distant future we in the library community will accept games as a valid part of our collections, just like has been done with Graphic Novels. I'm sure we can all agree that there are more inherent benefits in using video games as a reward than simply giving out candy bars or trips to the amusement park.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Ardoin said...

This is a good example of what a library can accomplish if it knows its community needs. More and more we are seeing how libraries provide items to entertain but this article is less about entertainment and more about what that the community needs. It is one of those libraries that functions as a community center for a specific group of people, which I think is very positive direction for this field.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Ardoin said...

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At 8:00 AM, Blogger Ardoin said...

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