Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blog Post #3-My Interview with Jaap and Erik, and Library Gaming.

The Saturday of our second weekend class (LIS 752: Intenet Fundamentals and Design-February 10-11), we had visitors from the Netherlands, Jaap and Erik. They associated with a library in their homeland http://www.dok.info/ (the site is in Dutch). They were at Dominican University as a part of touring the libraries in the Illinois area. After their presentation, students had chance to be videotaped for an interview. Students, such as me, could speak on any topic he or she wished.

Since they mentioned gaming in libraries, I decided to talk about gaming in libraries. I told them about my experiences growing up with videos games when I was younger, starting. I had played video games from elementary school to about college age. So I was playing from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. I eventually grew away from video games, and became more interested in other pursuits and pastimes.

Now that I am in library school, video games have come back into my life, in of all things, as a learning tool in libraries. Both Jaap and Erik were enthused about gaming in libraries. At the same time they did not know how this trend will exactly play out. It seemed that they got involved as an exploration; because gaming is there, so why not play with it.

The interview brought something that I have been feeling about the subject; despite growing up with video games, I feel ambivalent about the subject. I am trying to figure out what is it about a gaming at a library that would make it a uniquely beneficial experience. I do have open and accepting attitude towards to gaming phenomena. I don’t oppose it. But what is it about a library gaming that makes it different and special from a video arcade or playing it at home? Or even just offering a room for game clubs--not affiliated with libraries—for their own use?

Sometimes I wonder if my age and generation is at play in my feelings.

Maybe, what is important is so long as the betterment of library patron is achieved, even with gaming, then it is my duty to do so using this way.

Here are some resources I found for further reading on the subject:

When I was searching for the resources in Dominican’s Database and Google, I noticed a pattern. Many of the places where gaming in libraries, or library gaming were taking place, happened to be in the U.S. Midwest. I saw Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Michigan. Of course there were other states like California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Being from the Midwest, I thought that was cool and something to be proud of.

I wonder why the Midwest is so prominent in the library gaming field.


EileenS said...

I believe libraries should be open to the gaming industry, even if it just to draw people to the library. Many older children and young adults don't feel it is necessary to go to the library for any reason. If more libraries offered things that this age group was interested in, such as gaming groups, gaming magazines, actual games to check out, maybe the teens would also realize what other great services the library offers.

DBQ Hams said...


As a gamer and a librarian and one of the writers on the Bibliogaming blog you mention, I feel that there are really two major paths that gaming in libraries tends to take: 1) Social interaction / circulation of popular items; 2)Educaitonal /learning.

I feel that there is value and a place for both. Gaming nights are great for social interaction and introducing patrons to the other materials and services at a library. Jenny's Levine's ALA Tech Source report "Gaming and Libraries" talks about games in this fashion and also makes the point that there is literacy value in having games in a library's collection.

This enters into the second point, that games, by there very nature, teach. Researches like James Paul Gee, Marc Prensky and others push that a lot can be learned from games and using games in education. Last fall, the Federal of American Scientists realized a report advocating the increase of gaming in education.

As a teaching librarian, my interests are in using games and game strategies in classes. I'm writing about it on my blog:
Please feel free to check it out for examples of how people are using games to teach.

Games have value for patrons and for libraries, and as an academic librarian there are a lot of parallels to gaming & information literacy.


Mary said...

If we are able to appeal to younger students by bringing them into the library because we offer games, it is a good idea and definitely something to investigate. Once they are in the library they might find other interests that will help them with studies and current events.