GameRT Programs & Resources

Welcome to the GameRT Programs and Resources area!

GameRT Members can find more program and webinar recordings and other resources on the GameRT Member Resources page (member login required).

Be sure to also connect with us on the GameRT Discord and the League of Librarian Gamers group on Facebook!

Past Programs & Panels

GameRT Presents: Let the Games Begin: Escape Room-Style Library Orientation

Escape room-style games, both physical and virtual, can enhance library orientation or 101 introduction sessions, creating a memorable and interactive experience for students learning about library resources. The presenters will discuss three games developed for this purpose (one physical and two virtual), including the tools (from Excel to Qualtrics to Scratch to LibWizard) used and the development processes that helped bring these games to life.

PRESENTERS:

  • Katherine Jones, Head of Technical Services at State University of New York at Oswego
  • Morgan Bond, Resource Sharing Librarian at State University of New York at Oswego
  • Sharona Ginsberg, Head of Terrapin Learning Commons at the University of Maryland.

Learning Combos in Databases (Gaming Literacy & Information Literacy)

At the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, a large percentage of undergraduate and graduate students are gamers. Humanities Librarian Patrice Williams came up with a method to connect navigation of games to the navigation of library resources. Integrating students' existing gaming literacy into a framework to navigate databases, the library website, and research guides creates a playful learning experience that builds their information literacy. As a result, students feel more comfortable using library resources and reaching out to their librarian. Patrice will share her experience of building and implementing this playful framework.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Educational Video Games and Video Games Used in Education: A Lively Panel Brought to You by the Film & Media Round Table and the Games & Gaming Round Table

Do you collect video games for your library? Or do you do programming related to video-game playing or video-game creation? Do you teach with video games? Do you love video games? Do you do research about video games? Are you in a video game?

If any of these questions resonate with you, then you will love this upcoming webinar. It will feature a panel of people from the Smithsonian, the Internet Archive, and PBS Kids, and they will talk about making educational video games, teaching with video games, and the amazing resources out there available to educators. They’ll also be happy to answer your questions during a Q&A.

Moderator: Rebecca Strang, Children's Services Librarian at Naperville Public Library; President-Elect of ALA's Games & Gaming Round Table

Panelists:

  • Cody Coltharp, Digital Interactive Designer at the Office of the Under Secretary for Education, Smithsonian Institution
  • Jason Scott, Free-Range Archivist and Software Curator at Internet Archive
  • Abby Jenkins, Senior Director of Content at PBS KIDS

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Learn & Play - Miniatures Painting

Join GameRT for an introduction session on gaming miniatures painting! Learn about basic hobby tools, tips, and techniques to get started.


PRESENTER:

  • Sonny Laughlin - 73-year-old disabled veteran of the US Army. Sonny lived in Germany for 5 years and attended the University of Maryland/Munich. He graduated from Indiana State University Evansville in 1980 with a teaching license in Social Studies and German. He has judged the 4H Models project in Vanderburgh County since 1981.

Learn & Play - D&D Session Zero

Learn how to run a Session Zero for an RPG group! This session is meant for library workers who run games programming.

Before the adventure begins we’ve got a bit of housekeeping to do. Session Zero is where we work out not just the type of game we want to play but how we want to play with each other. This Learn & Play will focus on preparing players for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, but much of the advice can be applied to other role-playing game systems. We’ll explore the rules, tools, resources, and boundaries that all help get everyone prepared to play the game.

Participants will have a chance to walk through character creation after a presentation on running an effective Session Zero.

PRESENTER:

  • Danielle Costello, General Librarian, Research and Instruction Services at Louisiana State University Libraries

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

GameRT Presents: Build Community & Information Literacy with Esports

Esports (video games played competitively) dovetail perfectly with the mission statement of most school and public libraries. Video games may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word “library,” but when you look closely, an esports team has all the hallmarks of a perfect library program: builds community and contributes to positive academic outcomes for students. Esports teams also allow participants to develop leadership, entrepreneurial, and media literacy skills. Running an esports team might seem daunting for librarians that don’t play video games, but you don’t need to be a gamer to run a successful program. Librarians, by the nature of their profession, already possess the skill set needed to get an esports team up and running in under a year. We’ll show you how!

Participants will learn:

  • How esports align to library standards and missions
  • How to start an esports team in under a year, even if they have no prior gaming experience

GameRT Presents: Games, Academia, and Libraries

Games are cultural artifacts and courses and degrees related to game programming, narrative design, media arts, and the value of play are growing on university campuses. A growing number of academic libraries are curating game collections and developing spaces for play in support of research, instruction, and recreational play. Panelists in this session will discuss their collections and the ways games and gaming concepts are used across campus and in the library for research, instruction, and engagement.

Moderator: Joshua Newport (he/him/his), Math and Science Librarian, Illinois State University
Panelists:
Jonah Magar, Video Game Collection Coordinator, Michigan State University Libraries
Diane Robson, Games and Education Librarian, University of North Texas

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Be the Hero! Tween and Teen Live Action Roleplaying LARPing Games

Presenter: Brooke Windsor (she/her/hers), Teen Services Librarian | Stratford Public Library

Secure big numbers of tweens or teens with a real-life video game where they are the heroes! Live Action Roleplaying (LARPing) games allow for a unique opportunity that youth can’t get anywhere else. Get an in-depth look at this revolutionary event type and even create a mini version of the game on the spot.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Learn & Play - Loteria

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and learn to play Lotería. Presenters will discuss the cultural significance of the game and demonstrate how to facilitate play in an online setting. After learning about the game, attendees will get a chance to play, too!

Presenters:

  • Annette Alvarado, MLIS - Pronouns: she, her, hers, y ella (en español); Research & Learning Librarian, University Libraries - Loyola University Chicago
  • Cynthia Bautista - Pronouns: she/her; Senior Librarian, Youth & Family Services - Long Beach Public Library
  • Sonia Bautista - Pronouns: she/her; Senior Librarian, City of Commerce Public Library

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

GameRT President's Program: From Alphie to Zelda: Preserving the History of Video Games at The Strong National Museum of Play

Staff from The Strong in Rochester, NY, home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play, discuss the unique collections, preservation projects, and other initiatives that comprise the museum's efforts to preserve the history of video games. Participants will learn ways in they can use these preservation techniques and collection development strategies to preserve video game history at their libraries.

GameRT Discussion Session: “You have advantage!” - stories about how games and gaming can improve employability and enrich lives.

For years, employers have identified ‘soft skills’ as one of the largest deficiencies of newly hired employees. These ‘soft skills’ generally encompass communication, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork. All of these can be nurtured and strengthened by playing games. Libraries of all types strive to engage with their communities. By providing access to games and a space to play both of these two issues can be addressed. In this panel discussion, George Bergstrom, the Southwest Regional Coordinator in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, will talk with luminaries from the TTRPG community to learn their stories of how games and gaming have impacted their lives and are being used in their careers.

Gameschooling Using Board Games in the Classroom

Presenter: Catherine Croft, Ph.D (Co-Founder/CEO, Catlilli Games)

Board games are fun for children of all ages, but they are also promising tools for education. How can we best practically incorporate them into K-12 classrooms in order to optimize learning? As a former neurobiologist who transitioned to teaching, I have experimented for the past seven years with the integration of board games as educational tools. Here I will discuss best practices for using board games effectively to teach content knowledge, focusing primarily on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Topics covered will include gamer motivations, fun yet educational game mechanics, lesson plan structures, roles of educators in scaffolded learning, and common mistakes I have discovered in the “gameschooling” process. I will also show preliminary evidence that board games can effectively improve content knowledge. Overall, I hope to show how  popular modern board games could be utilized in educational arenas.

Resources mentioned

Quantic Foundry
Catlilli Games Teacher Resources

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

GameRT Presents: Pokémon Programming at the Library

Learn about fun ways to integrate Pokémon into library programming with Pokémon GO, Pokémon Trading Card Game, kits, and virtual activities. You, too, can catch them all!

Presenters: Alyssa Gudenburr, Youth Librarian, Canton Public Library in Michigan. Pokémon player since 1998 and Pokémon programmer since 2016. Favorite Pokémon is Vaporeon and favorite Pokémon game is Yellow.

Amanda Blau, Children’s Librarian, Naperville Public Library in Illinois. She’s been planning Pokémon library programs for kids since 2017. Her favorite Pokémon is Pyukumuku because what’s not to love about a creature who can use its internal organs to give you a high five?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Critical Hit - Using Dungeons and Dragons to Gamify

This session will distill Dungeons & Dragons down to its key concepts and show you how they can be implemented to track employee progress, achieve goals, and build a closely connected team of adventure seekers and problem solvers. Whether you’re a new adventurer or an expert D&D player, everyone is welcome to join in on the fun.

Download the character sheet and other presentation resources.

Virtual Gaming Programs: Resources for Fighting Social Isolation with Gaming

Libraries across the world are utilizing virtual gaming tools like never before. In 2020 we saw the dramatic rise of virtual escape rooms, Animal Crossing events, virtual role playing, and board game programs. GameRT members will discuss some ideas and tools that make hosting virtual gaming events a breeze. We will also be joined by an industry professional to discuss some of the changes in gaming and share the gaming industry's outlook for the future. Panelists: Dan Major, Erica Ruscio, Rebecca Strang, Jeff Pinsker

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Future of Gaming - GameRT President's Program ALA Virtual 2020

Women aren't just avid gamers they are changing the face of the marketplace. From boardgames to videogames they are both creating more diverse content and have become industry leaders that are both dreaming of and creating the future of gaming. A focus for the panel will be their experiences as women in the male-dominated world of gaming and how we can support and highlight diverse voices during the pandemic and beyond. Panelists include Darcy Ross (#MonteCookGames​), Keisha Howard (Sugar Gamers), and Shail Metha (The Last Gameboard).