Archive

Archive for the ‘libraries’ Category

Video Gaming and Information Literacy

Here is a short presentation I put together to fill in for my absence during the information literacy workshop at the ULS.  I apologize immensely but hope that everyone takes something promising away.

Feel free to post any comments or questions to this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

**Note:  The embedded video isn’t working in WordPress for me at the moment.  Here is the direct link.  http://www.slideshare.net/johnfudrow/infolit-gaming

Advertisements

Gaming in Libraries gets press, sort of

 

Image used from Flickr.  CC ownership by j.c. westbrook.

Image used from Flickr. CC ownership by j.c. westbrook.

From a recent post on Game Couch, a Nebraska news team forgot to actually investigate their reporting and claimed that the public libraries in their towns were buying video gaming equipment and using them on taxpayer supported time. 

The reality was that the outreach program involving video games has been around for some time and is supported by those approving the library funding.

I would call them “gotcha” media, but it doesn’t work if the media reporter looks like the fool.

I believe that this may be their next teaser: 

Tomorrow on Action News, the libraries are using tax payer dollars to buy books on Socialism and then encouraging your kids to take them and read them for free. We’ll show you the reactions by Joe 6-pack right after our ongoing coverage of several, local, untamed bears defecating in a wooded area…

Lively from Google

Google has unveiled a new offering entitled Lively.  This application allows users to chat in a virtual world, eerily similar to Second Life.  Though it is still in early development, one can see the appeal of something fairly new to the chat world.  Having Google behind this product may attract users addicted to all things Google.

At this point the ability to create items, as in Second Life, hasn’t been implemented.  But there is some speculation that their other tool Sketchup, might be used to facilitate such an endeavor.  At this point you can stream your photos and videos to those joining you in a room.  I haven’t tried the software yet so I won’t speculate on what may be possible, but will say that for all you might want to do in such a room the options seem fairly adequate.

One aspect that I find interesting is the ability to “embed” your room onto your website or blog.  It would be fun to see a library create a virtual reference desk room and allow users to chat away.  This may be more interesting for public libraries, but it never hurts to experiment with new concepts such as this.

User Feedback Model from Starbucks

java is good

Michael from Tame the Web posted his thoughts on the new Starbucks user driven idea site.  Basically users can share their ideas for more effective services and products, vote on other people’s ideas, and see the results made by the company.  This is done in one site, and seems to have a general turn around time of 1 week or less.

For those of us who have seen good ideas in libraries get swamped under the mountains of bureaucratic posturing, all to often found in libraries, wouldn’t it be nice to utilize a system such as this to gather external, expedient information?  The ability for the user to be a part of their own environment gathers their trust in the library and can then lead to a stronger connection for future needs. Though there is a growing concern for students having too much sway in their educational practices, I think implementing something like this could transform many stagnant areas of library services. (But not all, as I would hate to leave things such as collection development and circulation policies hinging primarily on student feedback alone.)

I may be putting this on my plate soon, as this is a form of assessment and planning.  We shall see.

Knowing who you are

05/08/2008 1 comment

While searching for information about new ways to log virtual reference chat sessions, I stumbled upon a new concept in user to service interactions. APML or Attention Profiling Markup Language, is a Web 2.0 driven standard meant to allow you as the user to “inform” the system you wish to use, of the types of things you would be interested in. (In theory.)

What if a library catalog supported this type of language? Imagine uploading your “profile” into the catalog search and being presented with related topics and collections of resources that you may find interesting. Yes this may rely more on the machine and preordained associations, but doesn’t the APML feel a bit like LCSH.  Maybe that is a jump, but as libraries search for ways to make their services adapt to the user while still maintaining some structure; is there a way for us to explore this new concept?

Social Responsibility Education

A short article by Paula Wasley in the Chronicle of Higher Education reminded me of something I had discussed with colleagues awhile ago. Paula was reporting on a survey done by the Association of American College and Universities, titled the Personal and Social Responsibility Institutional Inventory. The main points that were taken away focused on student and faculty views on how well their campuses were providing personal and social responsibility. This topic spans ethical practices, personal representation, and social activities.

Though the figures weren’t completely shocking, at least to me, the question lies as to who would be best suited for teaching such lessons? Granted, this question wouldn’t be appropriate for campuses who were willing to hire a specialist for such curricula, but smaller campuses may begin looking for an advocate.

To me there seems to be a connected path between some of the lessons we are teaching through Information Literacy. When we talk about authoritative sources and avoiding plagiarism, aren’t we instilling some small part of ethical behavior in the student?

Click here to read the entire post

Lessons for libraries from Blizzard

 

Reading this fun article about the 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft, I was impelled to draw parallels between libraries and game designers.

Designing ambitious and popular games isn’t too far removed from outlining and implementing efficient library services. Many of the concepts that have made the World of Warcraft so successful, may well be useful to librarians looking for ways to shake up their possibly “dusty” services. Though detailed by Blizzard executives in the original article, here are the 11 points:

  1. Rely on Critics
  2. Use Your Own Product (Meaning try what you give to users for yourself)
  3. Make Continual Improvements
  4. Go Back to the Drawing Board
  5. Design for Different Kinds of Customers
  6. The Importance of Frequent Failures
  7. Move Quickly, In Pieces
  8. Statistics Bolster Experience
  9. Demand Excellence or You’ll Get Mediocrity
  10. Create a New Type of Product (Or to me, don’t be afraid to do so.)
  11. Offer Employees Something Extra

I know I may be a bit biased due to my fascination with Warcraft, but watching the game evolve around the players seems on par with the more modern “user centered” library mantras.


References
“Inside Innovation with Colin Stewart » Blog Archive » 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft – OCRegister.Com.” http://innovation.freedomblogging.com/2008/04/04/11-innovation-lessons-from-creators-of-world-of-warcraft/ (accessed 4/7/2008, 2008).