New issue of Library Technology Reports reveals benefits of gaming services at libraries

Contact: Teresa Koltzenburg
Editor
tkoltzenburg@ala.org
(800) 545-2433, ext. 3252
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2006

New issue of Library Technology Reports reveals benefits

of gaming services at libraries

CHICAGO - ALA TechSource is pleased to announce the publication of its latest issue of Library Technology Reports, “Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services” by Jenny Levine, librarian, author of the popular The Shifted Librarian blog, and an avid gamer.

“What if traditionally apathetic library users were instead motivated to get up early on a Saturday morning and plead for library staff members to open the doors?” she asks in the introduction to this highly accessible report.

Numerous detailed examples of what libraries are already doing — including public, school, and academic libraries — provide Levine the springboard to illustrate how librarians can reap positive gains by proactively, creatively, and (above all) affordably integrating gaming into the services and programs already offered at the library. The case studies reveal that gaming programs often turn out to be among the most popular a library can offer. “I have yet to hear about a library of any type offering gaming that has received negative feedback from patrons,” Jenny notes.

All the way to the conclusion of her report, “What Librarians Can Learn from Gamers,” Levine entertains as she informs. Along the way, you can:

  • Read the section “But They're Not Books!” to discover how things look when you turn the question “Why gaming?” on its head.
  • Focus on educational value as she shows how these “cognitive workouts” are proven to enhance the development of learning and literacy skills.
  • Get insights into the social value of gaming—an activity that cuts across age, socioeconomic groups, gender, and technical know-how—from “Meet the Gamers.” (Did you know that the biggest group of online gamers is women older than 40?)
  • Learn how other libraries, with creative planning and little money, have incorporated gaming services for a big return on investment. The appendix section of the report includes materials (librarian-created press releases, real examples of promotional fliers, and staff checklists for game-day events) that librarians can build upon to create a successful gaming program at any type of library—which can engage your community's youth and adult gaming populations.

The issue covers video game consoles (e.g., MicroSoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's GameCube, and Sony's PlayStation), computer-based games (e.g., Myst, The Sims, Civilization IV), and Web-based games (e.g., Bookworm and PopCap Games) as well as some of the common gaming-equipment configurations in libraries. In addition, Levine briefly looks at the popular and rapidly growing virtual-reality online community Second Life and the library services now being offered there.

Jenny Levine is the author of the popular blog The Shifted Librarian blog and she has contributed to the ALA TechSource blog. She is currently Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide for the American Library Association's Information Technology and Technical Systems and Publishing departments. She earned her MLIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and was named one of Library Journal's 2003 “Movers & Shakers,” the publication's homage to “the people shaping the future of libraries.”

For more information about subscriptions and individual issues for purchase, call the ALA Customer Service Center at 1-800-545-2433 and press 5, or visit www.techsource.ala.org.

ALA TechSource is a unit of the Publishing Dept. of the American Library Association and publishes the periodicals Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter as well as the popular ALA TechSource Blog.