I hope by now most of you have heard about the popularity of gaming in libraries.
From the ALA press release 3/2/2009:
In recognition of this trend and the increasing value of gaming to literacy improvement, the American Library Association, with assistance from a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation, has developed an online toolkit to aid librarians in serving this growing constituency.
The Librarian’s Guide to Gaming: An Online Toolkit for Building Gaming @ your library offers content contributed by expert gaming librarians across the country. The toolkit includes a wide range of resources to help librarians create, fund and evaluate gaming experiences in the library.
Games, from traditional chess games to authentic board games to popular video games, help libraries fulfill their mission by providing educational, cultural and recreational resources for patrons of all ages.
“Games of every type play an important role in developing fundamental competencies for life,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “They require players to learn and follow complex sets of rules, make strategic and tactical decisions, and, collaborate with teammates and others, –all things they will have to do in college and in the workforce.”
By providing grant dollars to fund the project, Verizon recognizes the growing importance of gaming in promoting literacy.
“We at the Verizon Foundation believe that learning is not only for the hours between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the classroom,” said Albert J. Browne, national program director and vice president of education and technology for the Verizon Foundation. “We believe that libraries can help children learn more and continue to learn even when they are not in a classroom environment.
The Guide to Gaming toolkit is packed with valuable information for libraries or anyone interested in gaming.
I found some fun, inspiring, nonfiction books on gaming for kids. Check 'em out:
Ben Buchanan (author) Doug Buchanan(illustrator) Lantern Books June 2001
More info about Journey to Gameland
Celebrating Board Games
Nina Chertoff Susan Kahn Sterling October 2006
More info about Celebrating Board Games
Theory of Fun for Game Design
Raph Koster Paraglyph November 2004
More info about Theory of Fun for Game Design
And, while you have their attention, make sure you tell the students all about the Young Inventor's Challenge - a wonderful opportunity for kids to present their toy and game concepts to the experts in the toy and game industry. The Young Inventor's Challenge is part of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. This year promises some fun surprises so look out for updates. All the forms and information should be online soon, or please email me (ideasplash at annamlewis dot com) for any information. It's my goal to spread the word about this amazing program so all kids have a chance to share their ideas. The creativity and ideas of today's students are the future!