- “…the year gaming caught the imagination of libraries…” “Top 10 Library Stories of 2007,”
American Libraries, December 2007
“And what an amazing year it was,” recalls Jenny Levine in the new issue of Library Technology Reports, “Gaming and Libraries Update: Broadening the Intersections.”
“In an uncharacteristically (for our profession) viral and rapid way, videogame services in libraries broke through the niche, cult-like status that had relegated them to something only geeky nerds did at home in the basement,” she adds.
Game is still on…
In “Gaming and Libraries Update: Broadening the Intersections” Levine adds to the growing body of content documenting gaming and libraries.
In her previous “Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services,” (LTR 42:5) Levine identified the various gaming and videogame-related activities occurring in libraries — public, school, and college — as well as explained gaming activities outside the library domain.
In this issue, Levine focuses on unique videogame services libraries are implementing. “We will hear from nine innovators in the field, each of whom spent 2007 taking gaming in libraries in new directions, providing inspiration and leadership.”
Levine approaches the topic of gaming and libraries with her quiet and practical zeal and openness and wisely features the work of these innovators, who provide case history examples of these new directions at the intersection of library services and "videogames." [Says Levine of the spelling “videogame”: “In 2007, P3: Power Play Publishing released The Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual and noted the official spelling of video games as one word (videogames), not two. I have had trouble adapting to this convention myself, but this LTR represents my first full effort to finally integrate this new spelling into my own writing.”]
Contributors to “Gaming and Libraries Update: Broadening the Intersections” include:
- Scott Nicholson, Associate Professor, Information Institute, Syracuse Univ. and founder of Board Games with Scott (Broadening Our Definition of Gaming: Tabletop Games," Chapter 2)
- Eli Neiburger, author of Gamers… in the Library?! The Why, What and How of Videogame Tournaments for All Ages (Broadening Our Definition of Gaming: Big Games, Chapter 3, Case Study 3, Dewey Dare)
- Plus more case study contributions by Martin D. House, Mark E. Engelbrecht, and Paul Waelchli.
About the Author
Jenny Levine is the Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide for the American Library Association's Information Technology and Publishing departments. She earned her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992 and has been an eminent technology training evangelist for librarians during her career. In 2003, she was named one of Library Journal's Movers & Shakers, the publication's homage to “the people shaping the future of libraries,” published every March.
“Levine has one simple goal,” notes the March 15, 2003, Library Journal profile, “to help us librarians become as technologically adept as our users are so that we can deliver services to them when and where they wish to use them and in their preferred medium and platform.”
Levine is a keen advocate for gaming services and libraries, as she is a gamer and has witnessed, through personal observation and study, how gaming services can help members of several generations (particularly younger users) feel connected to the library.
“Gaming,” she concludes, “provides a wealth of service intersections for libraries today and for the libraries of the future. And that future is all about opportunities and weaving together threads, both old and new.”
Since writing a 2006 LTR on this topic, she has organized the 2007 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, helped coordinate ALA's first National Gaming in Libraries Day, and is already working on the next gaming and libraries symposium.
Levine also writes about gaming and libraries on a regular basis on her popular blog, The Shifted Librarian, which can be found at theshiftedlibrarian.com. She began the first librarian blog in 1995, The Librarians' Site du Jour, which can still be accessed at http://jennyscybrary.lishost.org/sitejour.html.