Play is not just for children. It brings a freedom to explore and innovate, creating 'safe' ways of developing information, digital, and political literacies for adults. It can effectively support the development of higher level, transferable skills that library users can apply to their lifelong learning journeys. Examples of games used in libraries can be found in the literature, though these often emphasise engagement rather than quality of learning, which can be problematic. This workshop challenges attendees to work in groups to create an outline of a library game in just 90 minutes that meets a challenge defined by the group. Based on experiences gained through running day long "Making games for libraries" workshops (http://gamesforlibraries.blogspot.co.uk/), the workshop is structured to allow attendees to work through the basic steps of creating a non-digital library game. Games making materials will be provided and the overwhelming majority of the session will be spent “hands on” creating games, operating within the scaffolding provided. Further materials showing the benefits of using play and games in libraries will be provided for attendees to read afterwards, along with examples of games and resources to help them create their own games and playful activities in their own library settings. While the formal process describe will drive the session, the final outcomes will depend on who turns up to play on the day, with the creative activity driven by the attendees.
By the end of the session, participants will be able to construct a basic library game using the scaffolding approach demonstrated and understand the key benefits of using a game based approach in libraries.
This session addresses the play and gamification theme of the Next Library Festival.
Andrew Walsh is a Teaching Fellow and Academic Librarian at the University of Huddersfield, UK, as well as writingbooks and journal articles, running workshops, publishing books for the professional development of librarians, a producer of library advocacy materials, and various other things in his spare time (see: http://innovativelibraries.org.uk/ for more details).
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