November 24, 2015

Twenty-Five Vlogs for Teens (and Teen Librarians)

Librarian and blogger Molly Wetta presents 25 notable channels and vlog series—covering categories such as gaming, beauty, and science and technology, and more—that may be of interest to teens.

The Human Connection | The Digital Shift 2015

Libraries may be going digital, but librarians still bring—and need—that personal touch. On October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal’s virtual conference, The Digital Shift, Libraries Connecting Communities, aptly demonstrated this in a wide range of offerings throughout the day-long event.

Game Design Proves Popular at Orange County Center

Since its grand opening in February 2014, the Orange County Library System’s (OCLS) Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation, and Creativity has offered patrons access to high-tech tools ranging from 3-D printers to flight simulators. In the past year and a half, the center, located in the library’s central branch in Orlando, FL, has become a locus of creativity within the community, helping patrons connect and collaborate with others who share their interests. Ormilla Vengersammy, Melrose Center manager and Technology and Education Department Head for OCLS, described the center’s growing video game design program as one such example.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Launches Crowdsourcing Games

The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums.

Gaming the Common Core: Many board games align with the standards


When the library profession gathers in Las Vegas this month for ALA’s annual conference, how can we not consider gaming in libraries? Play-based learning is an effective way to address the learning style changes of the Common Core and other emerging standards.

Board Games to Support the Common Core


Christopher Harris believes that board gaming is a strong contender to become the “Next Big Thing” in schools. Yet no sector of education has laid claim to it. Could libraries be the place where gaming flourishes?

California 10th Graders Improve Their Writing Skills—Through an Interactive Fiction Game

Jason Sellers and 10th graders onscreen at 
the French American International School, San Francisco, CA.

“You hear a lot about gaming and engaging kids in STEM subjects, says teacher Jason Sellers. “So, I wondered, what does gaming look like in English?” Sellers, a teacher at the French American International School in San Francisco, found out, basing a classroom lesson in Playfic, an online community where users write, share, and play games using Inform 7, a programming system for creating interactive fiction based on natural language.

U.S. State Department Launches Online Game to Aid English Learners

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The U. S. government has joined the list of organizations using gaming to enhance learning. This week, the Department of State released a new game to give English-language students a hands-on way to augment their mastery of English.

How Minecraft Mixes with Fiction

A view within the Gift Minecraft map

Andrea Buchanan’s young adult novel Gift was the first to incorporate Minecraft. What’s that you say? The creative game, in which users build stuff out of cubes within a 3-D environment, deserves a closer look. YA librarian Erin Daly offers an expert’s view of the Minecraft element in Gift and how well the sandbox game worked as an element within a novel.

Minecraft in the Classroom and Library


Minecraft 101, with resources for getting a program started in your school or library.