The popular game Minecraft “is accessible, fun, and, ultimately, an excellent learning tool for both nerds and non-nerds,” says Sarah Ludwig, who takes us step by step through her process of creating a thriving Minecraft club in her library. New to Minecraft? There’s a video primer.
Playaway View units were designed with kids in mind. But two librarians who participated in a pilot test with portable audiobook and media platform provider say that the units’ portability and ease-of-use has also proven popular with adults, since the company began offering units featuring classic TV shows, do-it-yourself (DIY) videos, documentaries, and other content.
Recorded Books has announced worldwide availability of IndieFlix for Libraries, an online streaming service that will offer access to independent films, shorts, and documentaries to library cardholders on computers, Android and iOS tablets and mobile devices, Roku, and later this year, PS3 and Xbox game consoles. The service will offer patrons unlimited access to films screened at more than 2,000 film festivals worldwide, and interested libraries would pay a flat annual fee using a tiered pricing model based on total materials circulation.
Like VHS recorders before them, DVD and Blu-ray players will eventually vanish from U.S. households, as people transition toward options such as cloud storage for content that they own and streaming services for content they want to rent. And, like every media format transition before, this shift is posing challenges for libraries as they attempt to serve their existing patrons, plan for the future, and maintain circulation figures on limited collections budgets.
Over the past year , the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) has enjoyed the successful rollout of its Fabulous Laboratory (Fab Lab), a Maker space that resulted from the library’s commitment to community engagement and innovation. During this time, the library’s staff have been honored to speak about the Fab Lab and to explain not only its success but also the variety of challenges and assumptions that most libraries will face when developing a similar space.
Over the past 40 years, public libraries have followed popular culture through the ever-more-abstract artifacts of the digital age, offering music and video in every format, public computers for Internet access, online branches, and downloadable content. Now, some libraries are following Maker culture back to things we can hold in our hands.