Get Your Game On, Online!

I’m teaching an online class for Infopeople this winter, titled Get Your Game On, Online! This four-week online learning course will provide a snapshot of videogames in U.S. popular culture and the current state of gaming in libraries, and provide models of ways to serve gamers of all ages with programs, collections and more. The session runs February 3, 2009 – March 2, 2009. Details from Infopeople follow after the break.

Register at

Fee:  $75 for those in the California library community and $150 for those out-of-state.


Many stories in the media show videogames to be violent, addictive, and controversial. But just like books, videogames can also be literary, educational, socially relevant, identity forming, and challenging. Videogames, the medium of choice for the millennial generation, may be the next format for libraries to consider.

• Are you concerned that people aren’t reading anymore?

• Are your library’s computers being taken over by Runescape?

• Do you need some help convincing the “powers that be” that gaming is a worthwhile investment?

• Are you looking for ways to serve gamers, other than programs or collections?

• Are you looking for how-to information on selecting and purchasing games, or how-to run a videogame tournament?

In this online course you will discover the benefits of harnessing the videogame format to attract new library users of all ages, and learn how to deliver exemplary services to gamers in your community.

Workshop Description:

During the course, you will be doing exercises and taking quizzes, and playing games, as well as viewing slides and listening to audio, and reading articles online. You will also participate in online discussion forums as part of the online learning process.

Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:

1. Module One: Advocating for Gaming at the Library

  • Icebreaker: what games do you play?
  • Gaming in popular culture
  • Gaming in libraries
  • Talking point: making the case
  • Games to play

2. Module Two: Videogame Programs & Tournaments

  • Deciding what kind of gaming experience to provide
  • Gaming programs with consoles, handhelds, and LAN parties
  • Gaming tournaments
  • Games to play

3. Module Three: Videogame Collection Development

  • Evaluating & selecting videogames
  • Purchasing & cataloging
  • Displaying, circulating & troubleshooting
  • Digital and print collections
  • Games to play

4. Module Four: Other programs and services

  • Creating an avatar
  • Cheat codes & strategy guides
  • Reader’s advisory to gamers
  • Videogame design
  • Games to play

Instructor:  Beth Gallaway.  Beth Gallaway, a Library Journal Mover & Shaker (2006), is an independent library trainer/consultant. She is an adjunct lecturer for Simmons College and teaches online classes for YALSA. She has been playing video games since she was five. Beth is the founder of the LibGaming listserv, an active YALSA volunteer, and the co-author of Get Your Game On: Video Games and Libraries. (Neal Schuman, 2007). She is a member of many social networking applications, and you can find her using the handle “informationgoddess29.”

Online Learning Details:

This four-week course will be taught online using the web. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation that will include the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password.

Every student proceeds through the online learning modules at his or her own pace. Students should expect to commit to spending a minimum of 2 to 2 1/2 hours per week on this course in order to be successful. Every week you will have different game options; it is not expected that everyone will play every game, or spend more than 45 minutes on a game.

You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, you will be expected to log in to the course each week to do that week’s assignment. We ask that you log in sometime during the first week of the course to begin the course work.

Your instructor will be available for limited consultation support for two weeks after the official end date of the course, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that, to give those who have fallen behind time to work independently on the course. However, you will be expected to accomplish the majority of the course in synchronization with your peers during the first four weeks.

Who Should Take This Course: Anyone with an interest in keeping current with library trends, serving underserved populations, and understanding the gaming phenomenon will be interested in this course. Gaming is fast becoming something everyone (children, teens, parents, seniors) does, so understanding the gamer mentality is useful for all library staff, from circulation desk staff to custodians to reference librarians to directors and trustees. Additionally, this course may help managers to better understand staff born after 1970, offering insight into the values and attitudes of digital natives and those who grew up gaming.


This course is taught over the web. You must:

• Be able to save Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at . Search for “Word Viewer.” For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at ).

• Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.

• To be most successful in this course you should be willing to share information with your colleagues and be willing to spend time reading and participating in the weekly discussion boards.

System Requirements: The online learning product that Infopeople uses is called Angel. The following are minimum system requirements for using Angel. You will need access to a computer that has at least these specifications to participate in an online course:

• Windows:

Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Vista

Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above

Phishing Filter disabled (IE 7)

• Macintosh:

OS X and above (OS 9 will NOT work with our online learning product)

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above, Safari 2.0 and above

• General

High speed Internet connection (dial up not recommended)

Java enabled (from Sun Microsystems not Microsoft) – test my computer ( ) – Java download latest version ( )

Pop-up blockers disabled

If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.

If you would like to subscribe via RSS and be notified whenever new Infopeople training events are available, you can use these links:

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To view a complete list of Infopeople workshops and for general information about Infopeople Training opportunities, go to the main Infopeople Workshops page at

If you have questions about registration or scheduling of workshops, please contact Linda Rodenspiel, the Infopeople Project Assistant, at or by phone at 650-578-9685.

Published by Beth Schreiber

reader, writer, gamer, LEGO enthusiast. Avid romance reader.

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