ltr: Vol. 42 Issue 5: p. 63
Chapter 9: Bibliography and Resources
Jenny Levine


“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?” author Jenny Levine asks in the introduction to “Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services,” the 5th issue in volume 42 of Library Technology Reports.

In this issue of LTR, 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 your 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.”
  • 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 setups/configurations in libraries.

About the Author

Jenny Levine is the author of the popular blog The Shifted Librarian blog. She is currently Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide for the American Library Association's Information Technology and Technical Systems and Publishing departments.

Learn more about gaming and libraries at the ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, July 22-24, 2007, in Chicago, IL. Visit for more information on the event and/or to submit a proposal (deadline March 1, 2007) for the Symposium.

Academic Courses
  • Gasser, Les. LIS490: GC: Game Culture and Technology. University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, www

  • Beck, John C. and Mitchell Wade. Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
  • Bell, Irene Wood and Robert B. Brown. Gaming in the Media Center Made Easy. Chicago: American Library Association, 1982.
  • Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2003.
  • Herz, J. C. Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds. New York: Little Brown, 1997.
  • Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter. New York: Riverhead Books, Berkley Publishing Group, 2005.
  • Kent, Steven L. The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon—The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Three Rivers Press (Crown), 2001.
  • Prensky, Marc. Digital Game-Based Learning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.
  • —. Don't Bother Me Mom—I'm Learning: How Computer and Video Games Are Preparing Your Kids for 21st Century Success and How You Can Help! St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2006.

Electronic Mailing Lists


Periodical Articles

  • Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan—Video: Environmental Scan Discussed. “Gaming and the Significance for Information Literacy.” (accessed August 28, 2006).

Web Sites, Blogs, and Other Online Resources
  • BBC News, “U.S. Pupils to Dance Themselves Fit,” January 27, 2006, (accessed August 23, 2006).
  • Bell, Lori, et al. Second Life Library Blog, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Brookover, Sophie, Liz Burns, and Melissa Rabey. Pop Goes the Library Blog (“Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better”), (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • DDR Freak. “Dance Dance Revolution: DDR Freak is dedicated to Dance Dance Revolution players in and around the US,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • De Rosa, Cathy, et al. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report to the OCLC Membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC, 2005, (accessed August 18, 2006).
  • Dobnik, Verena. “Surgeons May Err Less by Playing Video Games.” MSNBC/Associated Press, April 7, 2004, (accessed August 21, 2006).
  • Edheads. “Edheads will create unique, educational Web experiences designed to make hard-to-teach concepts understandable using the power and interactivity of the Internet,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Education Arcade. “The Education Arcade is committed to research and development projects that drive innovation in educational computer and video games,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Entertainment Software Association. “Top 10 Industry Facts.” Facts & Research, 2006, (accessed August 16, 2006).
  • Experimental Gameplay Project. Entertainment Technology Center Project: Online project for which four Carnegie Mellon University graduate students are attempting to discover and rapidly prototype “as many new forms of gameplay as possible,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Gallaway, Beth. “What Librarians Can Do for Gamers (Other Than Programming & Collections).” Presentation, Gaming in Libraries Symposium, December 5–6, 2005, (accessed August 27, 2006).
  • —, et al. Game On: Games in Libraries Blog, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Game Rankings. CNET Networks Entertainment. “Video Game Reviews, Release Dates, Cheat Codes,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Game Research. “Game Research attempts to bring together knowledge on computer games from the areas of art, business, and science,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Game Skanker, The. “Game Cheats, Hints, Codes, Tips, Walkthroughs and Guides,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Game Spot. “GameSpot, a property of CNET Networks Entertainment, is a leading online source for gaming information visited by more than a million gamers every day,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • “Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research.” (“Game Studies is a crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year… ”), (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Games to Try. Get Your Game On (Boston Public Library, Nov-ember 10, 2005).∼begallaway/gamelist.html (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • Gaming in Libraries Photos on Flickr. “Flickr: Photos tagged with gaminginlibraries,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Gaming in Libraries Symposium 2005 Presentations, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Gaming, Learning, and Society Conference. “Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and the Academic ADL Co-Lab,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • “Gaming.” Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Gaming Target. “… dedicated to providing the best and most personal views of the gaming world that we can,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Get Up Move! “Promoting fitness, confidence, and fun with video games,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Gullett, Matt, et al. Teen Second Life Library Blog, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Haefele, Chad. “DDR Advice for Libraries.” Hidden Peanuts Blog, December 10, 2005, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • “Games, Cheats, Movies and More.” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Jenkins, Henry. “Reality Bytes: Eight Myths about Video Games Debunked.” Impact of Gaming Essay for PBS, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Jones, Steve. Let the Games Begin: Gaming Technology and Entertainment among College Students. Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2003, (accessed August 24, 2006).
  • Kirriemuir, John. Silversprite Blog (“Examples of COTS [Commercial Off The Shelf] games being used for curriculum-based learning… .” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Mathews, Brian. “Games @ the GT Library (CeLIBration, PART 4),” The Ubiquitous Librarian Blog (August 30, 2006), (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • National Institute on Media and the Family, “Effects of Video Game Playing on Children,” Resources: Facts: Video Games, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • New Media Consortium (NMC) Campus Observer. “The Observer publishes the latest news and reports related to the NMC Campus in Second Life,” (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • 1Up. “Your home for PC Games, PS2, Xbox 360, PSP, DS, GBA, PS3, WII, Cheats, Previews, Reviews, Boards, Blogs,” (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • “PC Gamer: The World's Best-Selling PC Games Magazine.” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Penny Arcade, (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. “It's All Fun & Games: If You Like … Teenspace Blog, (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Ripple, Chris. “Runescape Night at Hutchinson (Kansas) Public Library,” (August/September 2006), (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • —. “Library Runescape Teams,” (March 30, 2006),∼crippel/runescape/teams.html (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • Scalzo, John. Video Game Librarian Series (Gaming Target), (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • Serious Games Initiative. “The Serious Games Initiative is focused on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy,” (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • Serious Games Source. “The Serious Games Source website was founded by the CMP Game Group in March 2006 as the leading editorially-driven website specifically for the ‘serious games’ market (games created for training, health, government, military, educational and other uses),” (accessed September 26, 2006).
  • Social Impact Games. “Entertaining Games with Non-Entertainment Goals,” (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Survey, 2005 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement, May 16, 2006. Full report at (accessed August 18, 2006).
  • Video Game Voters Network. (“The Video Game Voters Network is a place for American gamers to organize and defend against threats to video games. This medium is fully protected speech under the Constitution, and receives the same First Amendment protection as books, movies, music, and cable television programs.”) (accessed August 28, 2006).
  • “We ♥ Katamari.” Wikipedia, English-language article on Katamari Damancy video game developed by Nameco Limited, (accessed August 21, 2006).

Scales of Service for Gaming in Libraries
Free! (Except for Staff Time)
  • Learn about readers' advisory based on gaming (Beth Gallaway, consultant)
  • Host Runescape tournaments or Runescape nights (Chris Rippel, Central Kansas Library System)
  • Allow open play of free Internet games on library computers
  • Plan and faciliate open game play or tournaments using patrons' equipment with board games available (Dan Braun, Worth Public Library)
  • Create an online trivia game that builds and tests library information knowledge (Mindy Null, Downers Grove South High School Library)
  • Volunteer to help with the Second Life Public Library (Lori Bell, Alliance Library System)
Middle-of-the-Road Expensive
  • Start a collection of video games to circulate (John Scalzo, Video Game Librarian Series on Gaming Target Web portal)
  • Help teachers integrate commercial software into the curriculum (John Kirriemuir, consultant)
  • Purchase one console, dance pads, and a Dance Dance Revolution game for open play or tournaments (Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library)
  • Purchase multiple copies of commercial computer-based software games, such as Battlefield 1942 and Soul Caliber (Matt Gullett and Kelly Czarnecki, ImaginOn and both formerly of the Bloomington [IL] Public Library)
Expensive But Great Return on Investment
  • Purchase multiple consoles and multiple copies of games for open play or tournaments (Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library)
  • Create a learning-based digital game (Jennifer McCabe, James Madison University Library)
  • Offer “digital-creation computer stations” that gamers can use to create multimedia presentations, such as their own video games (Matt Gullett, ImaginOn and formerly of the Bloomington [IL] Public Library)

Library Gaming Innovators/Implementers

Lori Bell, Director of Innovation Alliance Library System (East Peoria, IL)

Dan Braun, Head of Youth Services Worth (IL) Public Library

Kelly Czarnecki, Teen Librarian ImaginOn, The Public Library of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) (and formerly with the Bloomington [IL] Public Library)

Beth Gallaway, Consultant Information Goddess Consulting

Matt Gullett, Technology Education Librarian ImaginOn, The Public Library of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) (and formerly with the Bloomington [IL] Public Library)

Erin Helmrich, Teen Services Librarian Ann Arbor (MI) District Library

John Kirriemuir, Consultant Silversprite Research and Consultancy

Jennifer McCabe, Health & Human Services Librarian James Madison University, CISAT Library (Harrisonburg, VA)

Mindy Null, Library Department Chair Downers Grove (IL) South High School

Eli Neiburger, Technology Manager Ann Arbor (MI) District Library

Chris Rippel, Head of Continuing Education Central Kansas Library System (Great Bend, KS)

John Scalzo, Author of the Video Game Librarian series Gaming Target

Kate Williams, Assistant Professor Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science (River Forest, IL)

H. David “Giz” Womack, IT Specialist Wake Forest University, Z. Smith Reynolds Library (Winston-Salem, NC)

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