Archive for September, 2008

ALA provides free National Gaming Day @ your library activity resources

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

ngd2008 logoCan your patrons outwit other library gamers?
Hundreds of libraries across the country are preparing to celebrate the American Library Association’s (ALA) first annual National Gaming
Day @ your library on Nov. 15, 2008.  ALA invites libraries of all types to join in the celebration by registering for two national gaming activities: a national video game tournament and board game challenge. Libraries also can develop their own National Gaming Day activities by using free resources from the ALA Gaming Resources Website at

The national videogame tournament uses a GT System, a free service of the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library that provides web-based tools for
running tournaments for players of any age or experience level. On National Gaming Day, library gamers will be able to see how they rank
on local, regional, and national leaderboard.

In addition, libraries will try to set a record for the most number of people playing a board game at the same time. Through a generous donation from Hasbro, every public library branch in the U.S. will receive a free copy of “Pictureka!,” a frenzied version of finder’s keeper’s. Hasbro will ship the games in early November.   Libraries interested in participating in either activity and receiving additional products are encouraged to register at
The ALA will offer a National Gaming Day @ your library publicity tool kit to help libraries promote their gaming programs and events to
the media.  The online tool kit, available on October 1, includes downloadable artwork, a customizable postcard, a sample press release, a sample letter to the editor, and much more. To learn more about National Gaming Day @ your library, or to register for national activities please visit:

IMLS grant awarded to Media MashUp project

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

 The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced that the Media MashUp project will receive funding.

The three major focuses of the project include:

  1. To demonstrate the viability of rich media development workshops as a positive youth program in public libraries
  2. To measure and assess the 21st century literacy skills that youth learn as participants in these workshops
  3. To investigate and develop best practices around public library implementation of innovative technology programs.

Starting in November 2008, staff from Hennepin County Library and partner libraries (Public Library of Charlotte & Meckelenburg County, Free Library of Philadelphia, Seattle Public Library, Memphis Public Library and Wilmette (IL) Public Library) will learn how to use Scratch software; a game design and animation program.

Lead training, implementation and evaluation partners are the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Institute for Learning Innovation.

The second phase will involve libraries implementing their training into workshops for their patrons and to evaluate the literacy aspect of the programs. Reports and evaluation will be developed in the final phase.

For questions or more information, contact Jennifer Nelson at (

Games in Libraries Episode 5!

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Listen up at

Kelly Czarnecki reviews The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning (MIT Press, 2008) edited by Katie Salen and discusses contributions by Katie,  Jane McGonagall, and Barry Joseph.

Paul Waelchli relates information literacy and the research process to Fantasy Football, the practice of taking on the role of a team owner, drafting players from a league, and uses statistics to have teams compete until a winner emerges.  Paul mentions Carol Collier Kaulthau’s research and the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Paul provides Fantasy Football for Librarians 101, a quick overview of fantasy football, additional online resources that cover how to get started, and a number of quality online resources covering fantasy football news and analysis;  Fantasy Football as Information Literacy, a resource that maps fantasy sport activities to ACRL Information Literacy Standards, and a Sample Lesson Plan  that includes ACRL Information Literacy Standards mapped to potential activities within a class / workshop setting. He recommends Fantasy Football Librarian as an additional resource.

In the continuing release of segments recorded in June at ALA, Scott Nicholson interviews floor staff at the DEMCO booth, about special furniture and equipment for libraries providing a gaming experience, and talks with  Alice Cahn from the Cartoon Network. Alice shares partnership possibles and encourages librarians to investigate Game Creator, a flash based game creation software with characters and backgrounds modelled on the popular Ben 10 Alien Force series.

Beth Gallaway interviews Richard Glady about Family Gaming programs at Scottsdale (AZ) Public Library (part 1). Richard mentions a Computer Pen that he debuted at a gaming program, and talks about how gaming evolved as the Knowasis Teen Center grew.

What did you think of episode 5? We’d love to hear your comments! Want to contribute to Games in Libraries podcast? We’d love to hear about your gaming stories–successes AND flops!–as well as game reviews and other topics. Send MP3 files 5-10 minutes in length to Scott Nicholson for the October episode (September is currently in production) by October 1, 2008.