On Wednesday, June 6th, I gave a presentation to the staff of the Joyner Library at ECU on GetGame@ZSR. Mark Sanders, one of their librarians, heard me speak on the topic at ALA in New Orleans last year, and he had Emily Blankenship, from the Joyner Reference department ask if I would be willing to drive over to Greenville and give them a presentation on gaming in academic libraries as a precursor to their Student Services committee offering a game night this Fall.
A group from the Joyner Library, including Mark and Emily, took me to lunch prior to the program and we had a great discussion about gaming in academic libraries and what worked and didn’t work with these programs. After a spirited lunch discussion at a local Chinese restaurant (where the chef had a photo of himself and Henry Kissinger on the wall by the cash register) it was time to return to campus and give my presentation.
I learned in advance that the Joyner Library had not been using Audience Response Systems, so I brought our “Clickers” and asked them a few questions to warm up the audience and learn more about them prior to the presentation. The “Clickers” were a huge hit, and a great way for me to find out how much my audience knew about gaming before I started talking! I highly recommend using the “Clickers” and plan to take them to the ALA Gaming Symposium in July.
After 45 minutes of describing the various “GetGame@ZSR” events we have hosted and the details of how we organize them, I took questions from the group and found them to be very excited about the prospect of gaming in academic libraries. Several of the staff had visited NC State’s new library facilities and seen their Nintendo Wii available for public play. I was interested to learn that Joyner is facing some of the same issues as ZSR. They need more power outlets for users; they want to build an Information Commons, and there is never enough study space. Some library issues seem to be universal.
I have included a photo I took of my audience and one of the fascinating water feature in front of the Joyner Library.