Gaming in Academic Libraries: The Why and How
From TechSource Gaming Symposium
Presenters: H. David "Giz" Womack (Wake Forest University Libraries), Lynn S. Sutton (Wake Forest University Libraries), Lori O. Critz (Georgia Tech Library & Information Center)
Description: Gaming as a social phenomenon has been discussed in recent library literature. Since gaming is most popular with youth, public and school libraries have taken the lead in promoting electronic games as part of young adult services. Academic libraries have not been as active in the gaming environment, but their time has come, as the toddlers who grew up with Super Mario in the late 1980's are now college undergraduates.
In an effort to find innovative ways to connect with undergraduate students and encourage them to use the library, Wake Forest University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are offering patrons the opportunity to participate in gaming events in their libraries. At Wake Forest, the Library has teamed up with the Resident Technology Advisors (RTAs) to offer both LAN party gaming events and tournaments for gamers. At Georgia Tech, the Library partnered with the Office of Information Technology to provide LAN party gaming nights as part of the RATS (Recently Acquired Tech Students) Week festivities - a week of activities that give new students the chance to meet their fellow classmates and get acquainted with all that Tech has to offer. The networked competition, featuring Unreal Tournament in all its guts & glory, was the highlight of the Library's carnival-like night of attractions.
There are a variety of benefits to offering these programs, ranging from the goodwill generated in the student community by offering such an event to the excellent publicity these events generate for their libraries. Participants will discover the lessons learned by both these institutions while also learning how to replicate these models in their own libraries.
Learning Outcomes for the program
- Understand how to apply this model at other institutions
- Understand the value of such a program
- Be able to leverage resources required to implement such a program
- Pretty much any librarian
- Academic libraries