Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Library Gaming Tournaments! Awesome.

(Week 3, Thing 7)

I am slowly recovering from the American Library Association conference this past weekend in Washington, D.C. My current level of physical discomfort was worth it, though, because I was able to learn many useful things from other librarians. One program that really stood out was a panel on video game tournaments in libraries held by the Ann Arbor District Library.

AADL has hosted game tournaments for several years now, making the library more relevant to younger people. They actually run their tournaments in seasons, so that gamers are encouraged to come back each week for a period of several months. To keep interaction high, the librarians there also maintain a blog where gamers can post comments and keep track of everyone's scores. The scoring system is a plug-in that can be added to any blog, and AADL plans to make a public version of the system that can be used for free by any library. We plan to introduce gaming tournaments at the Calvert Library sometime in the coming months, so these tools would be very helpful.

AADL also wants to coordinate gaming tournaments at libraries throughout the country. This way, gamers at each library would be able to get to the finals at their location and then, through coordinated online play, compete against players throughout the country. If this happens, libraries will be able to coordinate funding for a grand prize and possibly work with Nintendo for sponsorship and promotional work.

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