Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Gaming in Libraries podcast, April 2009

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

The Gaming in Libraries podcast is one year old!   The April 2009 episode of the Games in Libraries podcast is up.  You can get it over at

In this episode,

– Beth Gallaway presents an update on the ALA’s Verizon grant to fund libraries.

– Kelly Czarnecki interviews Rafael Chandler, author of the “The Game Writing Handbook.”

– Brian Mayer does a review of Dancing Eggs from Haba.

– Beth Gallaway talks about different ways to fund a library gaming program.
– Scott Nicholson starts a series about Library Gaming Experiences.

– Eli Neiberger talks about GT System, a service for libraries to use to manage gaming events and multi-library tournaments for 2009.

You can chat about the episode right here!

Gaming in the News

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

In case you missed it, the January issue of American Libraries featured a cover story on “Gaming @ the Library” by Dale Lipschultz. The article connects games to literacy, updates readers on the $1 million Verizon grant received last June, and features best practices in gaming from experts around the country. In the same issue, Scott Nicholson’s article “Reframing Gaming” discussed the results from the 2007 Gaming census.

Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation game consoles encourage patrons to engage with one another at the Houston (TX) Public Library.

Melinda Wenner addresses “The Serious Need for Play” in the Scientific American, January 2009, citing childhood play as crucial for “social, emotional and cognitive ­development.”

John Lancaster’s article, “Is It Art?” published in the January 2009 issue of the London Review of Books makes an argument that videogames are a medium whose importance and cultural ubiquity should be equivalent to that of film or television.

In Janaury 2009, the New York Times covered the release of AudiOdyssey, an M.I.T. gamelab videogame designed for visually impaired gamers.

Two new blogs to add to your feed reader

  • Jim Peterson, writes about the technological evolution of the Goodnight Library, including the challenges of implementing gaming, at
  • Bob Beck, Computer & Network Services at the Central Arkansas Library System, will be chronicling an ongoing World of Warcraft program at the library at

Also of interest, though not directly related:

Amazon launches a casual games service, with FREE games to  download and play, and others to download and purchase for $10 or less. Is this a service you might take advantage of at your library?

Gaming Stuff at Midwinter!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009
  • Friday January 23 8-10 PM YALSA Social Mixer and Tech Playground, Hyatt Regency Denver (650 15th Street) and the room is Centennial A/B. Play The Game (you just lost the game!), try a people scavenger hunt, and play with Nintendo DS Lites.
  • Saturday, January 24, 10:00 – 12:00:  Games and Gaming MIG, Grand Hyatt, Mt. Columbia. Share what you are doing with tabletop and videogames @ your library!
  • Sunday, January 25, 4:00 – 5:30:  YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group (part of the YALSA Discussion & Interest Group Open House) Colorado Convention Center Room 203

Got another meetup? post in the comments & let us know!

Thinkfinity @ your library

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Demonstrations on how to use resources on, Verizon Foundation’s online portal to 55,000 educational resources, will be held during Midwinter at the Campaign for America’s Libraries exhibit space (street level of the Colorado Convention Center “B” lobby).   Thinkfinity trainers will be hand at on Friday, Jan. 22,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, January 23-24, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Drop by to meet the trainers,  learn  about, and discover how you can use its content. Thinkfinity content has been developed by  11 of the nation’s leading education and literacy organizations.   Be sure and check out  Don’t miss this great opportunity!

forwarded from the ALA Office of Literacy and Outreach Services and ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries.

ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Membership Interest Group Announces ALA SLymposium in Second Life

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The American Library Association Virtual Communities and Libraries Membership Interest Group is pleased to announce its first ALA SLymposium to be held in the virtual world of Second Life on ALA island on Saturday November 8.  There is no charge for the event.  The fall SLymposium will offer a look at what all types of library-related organizations are doing in Second Life.  A companion symposium for spring will explore what all types of library-related organizations are doing in other virtual environments.The keynote speaker for the SLymposium is Tom Peters, CEO of TAP Information Services, and author of the recently released “Libraries and Virtual Worlds,” an ALA TechSource publication.  Peters is also one of the conveners of the VCL MIG.   Other speakers include Sonja Morgan-Plummer, Tina Coleman from ALA, Carrie Pennell from Harvard University, FT Takacs from University of South Carolina, Carol Perryman from University of North Carolina SLIS, Kelly Czarnecki from Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, and Sue Bergren, a graduate student from the University of Illinois.To register for this event, go to more information on the event, please contact Tom Peters at, Lori Bell at, or Sonja Morgan at sonjamorgwain@yahoo.comEvent Schedule8:00 A.M. – Welcome and KeynoteTom Peters, author, ALA TechSource Library Technology Report on Librarianship in Virtual Worlds8:30 A.M.  – Public and Rural Libraries in Second LifeSonja Morgan. Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library9:00 A.M. – Library Associations in Second LifeTina Coleman, ALA9:30 A.M. – Academic Libraries in Second LifeCarrie Pennell, Harvard UniversityFT Takacs, University of South Carolina10:00 – 11:00 A.M. – Break11:00 A.M. – Special Libraries in Second LifeCarol Perryman, Coordinator of Health Infoisland11:30 A.M. – Schools, Teens and Tweens in virtual worldsKelly Czarnecki, Public Library Of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County12:00 P. M. – Graduate library students in Second Life – Sue Bergren12:30 P.m. – Social

Call for Chapter Proposals: Gaming for Classroom Based Learning

Saturday, October 11th, 2008


Proposal Submission Deadline: January 31, 2009

Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning: Digital Role Playing as a Motivator of Study

A book edited by Dr. Young Kyun Baek

Korea National University of Education, Republic of Korea



The new generation is particularly accustomed to playing games anywhere, anytime. Small mobile devices such as cellular phones and PDAs are in their hands at all times; they are ready to play! Thus, digital game-based learning, in which students are playing a game while they are learning is highly motivational as a game motivates students to engage in learning.


Digital games offer a powerful extension of play into complex simulations of concepts, theories and facts needed for classroom-based learning. This book will focus on advanced research topics concerning the implementation of games in classroom settings and will provide models for adopting games in classrooms at a variety of levels.


Many researchers have been reporting the potential of games as a tool for enhancing students’ achievements and individual variables related to their learning even though opponents are worrying about its harmful effects on players. However, there are many games which can be used and have been used in the classroom as tools for holding students’ attention, enhancing classroom activities, and helping students summarize what they have learned.


There are major challenges. In what ways should we implement games in a classroom? Is there a special type of game adequate for classroom teaching? Under which model of teaching are games most effectively used? What do we need to consider for the successful integration of a game into the classroom? What does previous teaching experience with games suggest to us in terms of research and development questions? This book will raise and answer these kinds of questions and provide both frameworks and concrete examples of how researchers are addressing the issues.



Objective of the Book

This book’s mission is to create an edited collection of essays that can be integrated into pre-service and in-service teacher training programs. This book aims to develop a trainee’s understanding of instructional games in order to increase game use in the classroom. For the theoretical reader, the book will support the examination and consideration of learning and pedagogical theories within a gaming context. The practical reader will find that this book assists people in the use of games that embody those theories.



Target Audience

The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and researchers working in the field of game-based learning in classrooms. It will include educational technologists, educational game developers, in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, and graduate students in educational psychology and educational technology.



Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Description of digital game-based learning: definition, background, and current research and usage in education

Methods, principles and structures for game use in classroom

Cases and examples of teaching games in various subjects

Future directions for games in teaching and learning


Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before January 31, 2009, a 2-5 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by February 15, 2009 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 15, 2009. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference) and “Medical Information Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit



Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) to:


Dr. Young Kyun Baek

Korea National University of Education

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:

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.

Collectible Card Games Panel

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Collectible Card Games (CCG) and other new collectible games are being discussed by a group of retailers and manufacturers at Gen Con.

Jon Huston, Owner of Troll and Toad
CCGs have hit the mainstream for American consumers. They don’t think about game stores, but rather Wal-Mart as a place for CCGs. These games also have a more maturing audience, sales have reamined steady since players began playing in the early 90s. People are buying for play these days, not for collections. Playability is driving prices, not collectability.

John Mansfield, Owner of Pendragon Games and Hobbies
Stores have a small amount of retail space, and a huge game play area. Small stores are thriving on having the play area. Game stores seem to be more about the gathering space than the selling – selling is being driven by web retailers. If you are a player who wants more playable cards, you have to pay a huge price online.

I know some libraries have CCG programs for playing or trading. Many schools have banned CCGs because of problems related to the trading and the fact that these cards can be quite expensive.  There is a high cost of entry for this type of game. With libraries looking at redefining collections (to the point of loaning people and their expertise) is there a chance that libraries might loan out CCG cards to help someone fill out a deck for a short time?

ALA @ Gen Con

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Waiting to present at the Gen Con professional/trade day, I must admit to having a few butterflies about the prospect of flipping from my comfortable role of talking about games to librarians, to talking about libraries to gamers. Gen Con, billed as “The best four days in gaming” is a massive gaming conference that beats ALA Annual conference by a few thousand attendees.
chrisgencon.jpgI Love Libraries has a booth on the exhibit floor to help emphazie the potential for collaboration betweeen gaming and libraries. They will also be passing out copies of the AASL gaming alignment document created by Brian Mayer and the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES (where I work). More updates from the trade day and exhibit floor to follow. For now, here is a shot of me at the Gygax memorial die and a link to my presentations for this afternoon.