Christy Branson, Eli Neiburger, Matt Gullett, Kelly Czarnecki, George Needham
Christy Branson: as an academic, she’s thrilled to see what the publics are doing
Eli: it’s not really if you’re going to do gaming, but when; or are you not going to do them anymore because there’s no millage support; now that we’ve had a conference about this, it’s officially legitimate
Kelly: there’s certainly a community here to help you; want to give you confidence you can do this
George: one of the things Matt said gave him an a-ha moment, that libraries shouldn’t be approaching these organizations as beggars; we have reams of data about our users, and we’re nervous about using it, but we could leverage this in exactly this kind of situation (we have 20,000 patrons within 5 miles of your shop)
Matt: the biggest thing he’s taken away from this is how Les characterized this as the library as a center for technology and innovation; Eli made the point that books are a technology – a good one that’s been around for a very long time – but now we’re talking about a different technology that incorporates a lot of aspects from other items or services we either offer or missed the boat on
Eli: another thing we’ve touched on here and there is that there is an image problem with games, and libraries certainly understand image problems, but every medium has its detractors (I’m sure there’s a Torah scribe out there that is still mad at Gutenberg); the market demands prurient use of the materials, but that doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater; the truth is that there are things on our shelves that are FAR WORSE than the worst thing in Grand Theft Auto
George: just wants to reiterate how much this sounds like the arguments about videos in libraries in the 1970s; it’s just another way of conveying information
Kathryn: thinks about the phrase “le livre retard” = “the slow book” from the time of Gutenberg; it was considered to be a ridiculous effort, slowing down progress instead of speeding it up
Kelly: brought up Steven Johnson’s book “Everything Bad is Good for You” and the example of what would have happened if video games had been invented before books
audience member: the media curve for take-home technologies is increasing rapidly; maybe we become multimedia formats (“a box of bits”) to prepare for the next and future formats; George, how do we deal with this?
Kathryn: thinks policy-making is a methodology for anxiety avoidance – we create policies to avoid dealing with issues that cause anxiety, when we need to really examine if we should just figure out a how to make it work
audience member: it didn’t work with movies to say people will come in for DVDs and take books, too; can’t hang your hat on loss leaders; now is the time to have the dialogue, and this argument needs to have validity on its own
audience member: every boy has discovered Runescape, and now Omaha PL is looking at doing multi-location Runescape tournaments; does anyone have success stories with this kind of thing?
audience member: has anyone tried contracting with Apple for a group license
audience member: when we think about creating a game for teaching information competencies, we’re realizing that if we don’t contribute to these kids environments and learning, then we won’t be relevant; digital divides, what does information literacy really mean? (can you find a resource, can you evaluate it becomes can you collaborate in a group environment?); we need to be very explicit and demanding with our vendors, and we’re the ones that need to say that they are doing it wrong; these kids can do World of Warcraft but not our vendors’ products, and that’s a problem
audience member: we focus on the materials aspect of it, but the social aspect of making a truly all-ages family event has a very high value; saw this in Eli’s presentation; it’s an opportunity for the public libraries, at least – an ideological shine of being a safe and enjoyable place; but we have to make sure we’re doing these things; what can we use to do this? libraries are still meeting places despite all of the coffeehouses, bookstores, etc., some of whom never check out books; when she asked them why they come there, it’s because of the technology
too many distractions at home, so they come to the library; how do we retain that gathering place, because that may be what partially saves us
audience member: trying to shift their services (musiclibrary.com)
will there be a model for delivering gaming to patrons offsite?
audience member: the other great thing about the library as a “third place” is its neutrality; eg Christmas
wants to get away from all of the commercialization of it, so goes to the library where they don’t have anything about it; question about other countries and how does this translate there? are we behind them?
audience member: not just urban vs. rural, but also rich vs. poor; showed article about a CPL branch that is packed because the library has internet access on computers; it’s a disservice to say either/or; it’s not video games OR books; we shouldn’t make it oppositional because that makes it harder to go to your board and make the argument
Kathryn: where would you like to see the kinds of conversations and the things you’ve seen here go? what would you like to see happen to support you?
Christy: likes how Matt is getting the students to build their own games; it’s great that librarians are building content for them, but wouldn’t it be great if the kids learned the content enough to build the games themselves
Kathryn wrapped it up, and we’re done!
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