Your Library Can Do Minecraft; Here's How

Kids playing Minecraft

The Groton Public Library, part of the Finger Lakes Library System, runs a simple Minecraft program that has led to a boost in youth attendance and book circulations. Additionally, Minecraft has had a positive influence on the lives of the young patrons who play it, increasing creativity, teaching cooperation, and even helping develop social skills.

Why Consider Minecraft?

Minecraft is especially popular with elementary and middle school-age kids, and is a tremendous draw that can bring this age group into the library on a consistent basis.

Minecraft books are also immensely popular. Since the beginning of 2015, a number of Minecraft books rank near the top in total circulations at Groton. This includes both "how-to" non-fiction books and fan-created fiction.

Author Sean Fay Wolfe at the library

In September 2015, Groton hosted Sean Fay Wolfe, a rising star in the world of Minecraft literature. More than 50 youth turned out for this author visit, with each family getting a free autographed copy of one of Wolfe's books.

Minecraft players learn to cooperate with one another to survive, have their creativity spurred, and learn basic social skills as they interact with each other and library staff. A number of Groton kids have shown tremendous social growth from playing Minecraft — a benefit that has measureless worth.

Interacting and Gaming Sessions at Library 2.011

This week I had the pleasure of listening to several webinars that were part of the Library 2.011 worldwide virtual conference. Even before I get to the content, let me say that I was incredibly impressed at the amount of presenters contributing to this global event. My kudos goes out to Library 2.0 and The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University for organizing this impressive virtual experience.

Gaming and Libraries

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the 8th Annual Games for Change Festival in New York City. One of the sessions that piqued my interest was entitled Games and Cultural Spaces that included a look at the use of games in libraries.

I laughed, I cried: why the ARSL-ABOS 2010 conference was a hit!

Librarians, bookmobiles, and a whole lot of inspiration captivated and captured my attention a couple weeks ago. The setting was the mile high city of Denver, where over 400 rural and small librarians and bookmobilists convened to share ideas and spark new ones.

Gaming and Online Education at the Library During Tough Economic Times

Last week our good friend, astute colleague and soon-to-be-mom Brenda Hough forwarded two articles that made me think about the role that libraries play in their communities during tough economic time.

Gaming in Florida

Lori Reed is most likely a familiar name to you. She's a regular contributor to TechSoup for Libraries and MaintainIT. She recently facilitated an online class for NEFLIN, "Gaming in Libraries", which was based on content from the MaintainIT Cookbook, Planning for Success. I talked to Lori after the session and asked her how it went. Here's her reply.

It All Started with Runescape

I recently spent a day in the Teen Tech Lab at the McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky. Although I wasn’t there for gaming (the library generously allowed the lab to be closed from 9-3 for a technology planning workshop for librarians), I did have a chance to talk to Jay and Roy – the library “tech guys” – about the extensive gaming opportunities provided at the library.

National Gaming Day @ Your Library

Another dispatch from the ever-informative ARSL listserv: ALA's first annual National Gaming Day @ your library is coming up on Nov. 15th this year! 

In an effort to: