Monday, March 9, 2009

Gaming in Libraries Resource from ALA

Here's a comprehensive guide to gaming and literacy in libraries (or games in libraries!) from the American Library Association website. It covers all sorts of games from simple board games to the most sophisticated online role-playing games.

There is a great video introduction to the site by Beth Gallaway, the head of Information Goddess Consulting and a consultant to the project.

One of the participants is Christopher Harris, Coordinator of the School Library System of the Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).

Here is the introductory statement from the site.

What is the Connection Between Literacy and Gaming?

More about the gaming and literacy connection can be found on the Literacy 101 page, and each model program has literacy components as well.

As new technologies, tools and toys have burgeoned over the last 20 years so has our understanding of what constitutes literacy. Libraries of all types have provided collections, programs and services in support of these traditional literacy skills for centuries. Today, concepts of literacy include digital, information and communication technology (ICT), media, programming, and visual.

Reading and understanding information is still vital, but so is evaluating and thinking critically in the multiple literacies just listed.

Libraries of all types promote the development of these literacy skills in numerous ways: information literacy classes in colleges and universities, gaming programs to promote problem solving and the development of higher order thinking skills, and services that improve technical and literary fluency. Regardless of the type of service libraries may provide, they are all important in strengthening these multiple literacies. Gaming in its various forms presents an additional service that supports and strengthens these literacies.

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