Tuesday, February 7, 2012

VALA 2012

Tuesday 7 February: attended morning sessions at VALA conference at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre 
Plenary session was Jason Griffey – Associate Professor / Head of Library Information Technology at University of Technology at Chattanooga, Tennessee – speaking on Libraries and the Post PC era, especially mobile technologies. He has written a book Mobile Technologies and Libraries. http://jasongriffey.net/publications/
Two of the concurrent session revolved around the use of Trove (http://trove.nla.gov.au/) –Allison Dellit and Sarah Schindler from NLA spoke about a trial using social media with Trove both as a marketing exercise and communication tool. This was followed by a talk by Tim Sheratt talking about using text analysis tools to analyse to explore large amounts of text material such as articles in Trove. He used as an example research about how people in 1913 viewed the future and showed how text analysis programs could aid historical and social research. http://discontents.com.au/ and http://wraggelabs.com/emporium/. More information about the above sessions in additional posts.

The final paper for the morning was a presentation from Philip Minchin from Port Phillip Library Service speaking about the use of games (of all sorts) in libraries, games clubs etc. This includes lending suitable games that don't require registration, use of in house board and card games as well as curation of games providing rules only - a gateway to games.
In the wider public gaming is more common than people realise. Games are a non threatening way to meet people - games clubs.
Issues with games in libraries include managing teens, children or rowdies. Games could be chess or scrabble clubs. The games may be informal or self- organised play. At a games club people may play and talk about the game.
Benefits of games in libraries include provision of a welcoming space, increased inter-patron interaction with more visitors and longer stays.
Drawbacks include increased potential for patron disputes, noise level management and staff to keep track of game pieces.
Game Days can be arranged working with clubs.
Tournaments not recommended as more need for supervision.
Self organised event - BYO games.
The concept of including games in library programs was also briefly discussed by Eli Neiburger in the final plenary session.

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