in Gaming, General, Libraries/Info Sci

Gaming in Libraries 2005 – What Libraries Can Do for Gamers – Beth Gallaway

When: Tuesday, December 06 2005 02:00 AM
Where: American Dental Association, Chicago
More Information:
My Role: Attendee
Beth gets to close us out as the last speaker!

Seven things you can do tomorrow to make your library more welcoming to gamers:
1. Use games to do readers advisory
2. Be a strategy guide
3. Embrace your inner technogeek
4. Be flexible
5. Plan change
6. Immerse yourself in pop culture… especially video game culture
7. Try some games!

Beth’s library gaming blog:

Reader’s Advisory:
Instead of recommending books based on their recent reads, ask them what movies/tv shows/games they like.
For example, roleplaying and MMORPG games can mean they’d probably enjoy fantasies or Arthurian legends. Historical simulations like Civilization or Oregon Trail might lead to biographies, historical fiction, mythology, etc. Sports games mean sports books or maybe even statistics. Strategy/puzzles can point at mysteries or puzzle books. First person shooters can mean military fiction, sci-fi, etc. Players of simulations like The Sims might enjoy romances or sociology or architecture. Japanese Manga and Anime can be recommended to Katamari Damacy, Fainal Fantasy players or Pokemon. You get the idea!

(Lots of audience suggestions and questions here, most of which I’ve touched on elsewhere.)
Also there’s a list of gaming-related books suggested for Librarians to read. I see Chris typing it up, and its somewhat long, so go check his site out 🙂

Even at a pre-school level, boys are attracted to the games.

Be a Strategy Guide:
-Don’t be a level boss
-Show, don’t tell
-Make it interactive
-Get them started
-have a free-for-all
-Ask for a demo of expertise from teenagers
-Be open minded

Embrace your inner technogeek:
-Upgrade (via grant money?)
-Get a screen name
-You can’t break it – just try the new tech!
-Pilot projects
-Read tech news

Be Flexible:
-Change the space – reorganize, new posters, etc.
-Flexible furnishings
-Say yes – it is good to help customers/patrons do what they want, within rules of course
-Go meta – deal with both small details and the broader picture
-Customize – create a library toolbar? RSS feeds? etc.

Plan Change:
-‘Sticky’ content – Periodically updated pages (ex: blogs) that users like to check for new material
-Accept change – Perhaps the hardest item here

Immerse yourself in pop culture:
-Know what’s hot/what’s not
-Pop goes the library
-Know about crossovers (Doom, the movie, or music/soundtracks from games, books based on games, etc.)
-Video game culture – RedvsBlue, Penny Arcade, PvP, etc. Pay attention to the game kiosks at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Lurk around and see what kids are playing.

What services from games can libraries adopt?
-Free services – chat, music, articles, movies, games
-Home delivery/online content delivery
-Social bookmarking or tagging within the library catalog
-Nonjudgement from librarians
-Avatars / immersive library tutorials
-Food – we eat at our computers

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