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* Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hey, Kids - We're Putting on a Show!

I can finally, finally, finally announce it! After I attended the Games, Learning, and Society Conference back in June, I wrote up my impressions from it and talked about hosting a similar conference that focused on gaming and libraries. Well, I work with some pretty cool people who agreed, so we’ve put together what I think is a pretty amazing slate of speakers for the Games, Learning, and Libraries Symposium.

This will be a two-day event, taking place in Chicago on December 5–6. Speakers I can announce now include:

  • Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library
  • Beth Gallaway, NorthEast Massachusetts Library System
  • Les Gasser, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Matt Gullett, Bloomington Public Library
  • Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • George Needham, OCLC
  • Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library
  • Constance Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • and more!
  • Matt and Kelly are doing some incredible things to create community with their gaming patrons, while you already know how I feel about Eli’s incredible gaming tournaments. Beth has been pushing the envelope with the LibGaming mailing list and Game On blog and advocacy for gaming in libraries in general. Constance co-authored the seminal Library Journal article, and George has been a vocal proponent within OCLC (and externally) of gaming. Steve is going to share some of the research he’s done for the Pew Internet folks for the last six years about gamers/millennials. It’s an incredible line-up, and we have a couple of other surprises up our sleeves that I hope we’re going to be able to add.

    We’ll have speaker bios, session descriptions, and full details posted by the end of the week, but basically we’re going to address the how and why of gaming (and gamers) and libraries. If you’re at all curious about or interested in this topic, you don’t want to miss this event! In fact, if you’re not sure if you should attend, then you should, because you’re exactly who we want to be there! We’ll talk about gaming as a service, as programming, gamers and their characteristics, what librarians can learn from gamers, what you can do besides holding tournaments, and more. We’ll discuss all of this in the context of academic, public, and school libraries, all aimed at librarians who serve youth, teens, and college students. We’re even encouraging administrators to attend, too.

    Anyone from anywhere can register, although we can only take up to 220 participants. I use the term “participants,” because we want this to be interactive - lots of questions, lots of discussion, lots of brainstorming, creative thinking, sharing, and opportunities for partnerships. When you leave, we want you to have concrete ideas and suggestions for implementing whatever piece works best for you, even if that’s just creating awareness back at your institution. We’ve intentionally priced the registration fee at $115 (that’s both days and four meals!), even though we might lose some money on this because we really want to make this affordable for all librarians. We feel that strongly about the benefits of understanding the significance of gamers and gaming in libraries, as well as how we can serve these patrons through programming and other services.

    Obviously I’ll be talking about this in more depth during the next few weeks, but registration is officially open so save your spot now! If you have questions about the symposium, feel free to contact me for more details. I really hope to see you there!

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