in Gaming, General, Libraries/Info Sci

Gaming in Libraries 2005 – Semi-final thoughts

At some point I would like to write up my closing thoughts on Gaming in Libraries. For now, here’s some bits and pieces from the closing speakers’ panel:

These students, coming up with gaming and now with libraries with gaming, will come to universities and will have expectations.

Libraries are a center for community innovation, and always have (or should have) been.
Books are a technology too, just an older one.

Is gaming finally reaching critical mass?

Needham: “the hell with fines” Litclick – This program is a netflix model – books to your door by mail with no due dates. Also, libraries won’t survive on information alone. The advent of viable micropayment systems could blow us apart in the supply chain.

Again, libraries as the ‘third place’. There’s home, work/school, and where else?

Is policy mostly a mechanism for annoyance avoidance?

Not a good idea to repeat the “coming in for videos as a loss leader” methodology? Videos and DVDs were justified in libraries because of course people using them would check out books as well. But, book circ stats have not kept pace with A/V materials’. Gaming in libraries needs to be justified and stand on its own.

If A/V materials are the growth area now, what’s going to happen when direct delivery (via the internet, for example) is king?

Licensing issues – no OCLC Netlibrary titles are allowed on iPods. But, Random House is disaggregating their books. What happens when users can buy books by the page? Convenience will always trump quality. It is our job to make quality convenient.

OK, so things veered away from gaming a bit at the end. But, still very interesting!

I saw wonderful demonstrations of programs this week, and also came away with a much better understanding of the intellectual background and basis for promotion of gaming. Kudos to MLS and all who contributed to the event!

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