Archive for the ‘literacy’ Category

Ten "Libraries, Literacy and Gaming" Grants Announced

Monday, February 23rd, 2009


For Immediate Release

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications, ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546
Ten Libraries, Literacy and Gaming Grants announced

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services is seeking applications from public, school and academic libraries interested in developing and implementing innovative literacy gaming services for youth ages 10-18.

This program is part of ALA’s Libraries, Literacy and Gaming initiative funded by Verizon.

Ten $5,000.00 grants will be awarded to libraries clearly demonstrating creativity, capacity, sustainability and a strong commitment to literacy-related gaming services. In addition, the winning libraries will receive ongoing support and technical assistance from a team of nationally recognized library gaming experts. Winners will be announced during National Library Week April 12-18, 2009. The grant application is available online at . All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Friday, March 20.

“There is no doubt that gaming and literacy go hand-in-hand. Board and video games come with text of all kinds including instructions, menus and much more. Learning the language and mechanics of any game, from chess to Little Big Planet, involves acquiring a new vocabulary and a new set of 21st century literacy skills,” said Dale Lipschultz, Literacy Officer, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

Gaming is one example of how libraries continue to change to meet the needs of their communities and users, offering innovative programs and services that educate, entertain and expand interaction with their patrons.

On Nov. 15, hundreds of libraries across the country celebrated the ALA’s first annual National Gaming Day @ your library.  Libraries of all types joined in the celebration by registering for two national gaming activities: a national video game tournament and board game challenge.
For additional information about the grant contact: Dale Lipschultz, Literacy Officer, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, by phone, (312) 280-3275, or e-mail,

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 (

ALA Recieves $1 Million to Track How Gaming Impacts Literacy, and Create Model Gaming Programs

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

“The American Library Association (ALA) will launch an innovative project to track and measure the impact of gaming on literacy skills and build a model for library gaming that can be deployed nationally.  Funding for the project will be provided by a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation. ”

The funds helped us to pay for the Open Gaming Night and collect model programs from a dozen libraries, programs that will be instituted  in non-gaming libraries. We’ll also be creating “The Librarians’ Guide to Gaming,” a comprehensive, online literacy and gaming toolbox.

The Official Press Release from ALA


The Earth Times

Street Insider

Books for Gamers

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

My husband has played guitar –for fun, not profit–since he was around twelve. He knows how to read music, has played in informal bands, and could care less about being a Guitar Hero; rhythm games just aren’t his thing. In fact, he plays along on his REAL guitar while I strum hopelessly to “I Love Rock N Roll” (he might be mocking me).

While we were browsing at various instrument shops over the long weekend (Daddy’s Junky Music, and then at Guitar Center) I noticed two how-to play books by Hal Leonard, based on popular rhythm games, and thought, wow, a library that added these to the collection might be pretty cool.

The Guitar Hero Song Book came out last year. It contains notes and tablature from forty songs featured in GHI & II, most for more advanced players, with a strong focus on heavy metal songs. Rock Band: Songs from MTV’s Video Game contains the guitar tablature from twenty-five hits.

More titles in this venue are to follow. Rock Band: Drum Play Along comes out in November 2008 and will have drum notations songs from the hit game, PLUS an accompanying CD with adjustable beat, so you practice at a slower pace, or listen at normal speed to hear what you are supposed to sound like. The book will includes eight songs:

Rock Band: Drum Book

  • “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet
  • “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden
  • “Creep” by Radiohead
  • “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chli Peppers
  • “Enter Sandman” by Metallica
  • “In Bloom ” by Nirvana
  • “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters (one of MY personal favorites!)
  • “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer

Most of the Hal Leonard books cost around $20. I’ve heard lots of teens say at gaming programs that Guitar Hero inspires them to learn to play guitar, and I’ve heard from librarians that say while they don’t want to do a bait & switch (come in for the games, leave with the books), they are not adverse to softcover titles with relevance, i.e. books on how to play guitar at a Guitar Hero program. So, keep Hal Leonard titles in mind, especially if your library’s fiscal year is coming to a close and you have a little money to spend before June 30.