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Archive for the ‘Library Programming’ Category

I love telling stories and hearing stories. Who doesn’t? I went to the National Storytelling Festival for the first time last year and loved it! I heard the most amazing storytellers, and learned so much from them. It got me geared up and ready for my own scary stories night at the library for Halloween, which turned out to be a huge success and a blast.

However, as the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, and while I don’t think any storyteller can ever be perfect – (the imperfections are part of what makes each storyteller unique and wonderful) – a little practice and observation is good for everyone.

So, if you’re a storyteller or just enjoy hearing stories you should check out this free monthly open-mic night at Dominican University in partnership with Illinois Storytelling Inc. I certainly plan to take part, even if I just feel like sitting back and listening in… I might, at the very least, learn a great new story to share.

 

This following info is from the Illinois Storytelling Inc. calendar online:

 

April 4 – River Forest Open Mic Storytelling

DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY is now sponsoring a ONCE A MONTH open mic event for storytelling. Open Mic Night will be the first Saturday of the month, so mark your calendar and bring your stories. Bring your friends who want to learn how to tell stories. Bring your neighbors who want to hear stories. Eight minutes each.

7:00pm in the Rebecca Crown Room – it’s in the Springer
Suites on the lower level of the Rebecca Crown Library at Dominican University in River Forest.

Park in the west parking lot and go down the ramp; Springer Suites is direcly to the right as you enter.

There is a cafe just outside the room with coffee drinks and sandwiches.

7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305

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For more information: jdelnegro@dom.edu or megan@meganwells.com

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I think this is great news! I know the research has shown over and over again all the benefits of gaming in a learning environment, but mostly that’s been associated with high schools, junior highs, and elementary schools. Over the last several years I’ve noticed universities here and there trying on the idea of gaming. A lot of university libraries are creating flash games to teach information literacy skills to incoming freshman. I think that’s great! A fun way to learn about how to use the resources in the library so doing your homework, hopefully, becomes a little less daunting.

However, what I find even more exciting are libraries that are hosting social gaming nights. A good example right here in Illinois is at Western Illinois University. It’s held once a month and is called simply Game Nite. They have games of all types available from the most basic board games, even card games like Magic: The Gathering, to Wii and Xbox gaming. It’s open to the public, and they call it brainy. I love it! They also have games students can check out.. ..can I go back to undergrad now? I could have saved hundreds of dollars on games if my library did that. I’m now sending positive currents of encouragement and thankfulness to the wonderful folks at the Western Illinois University Libraries for doing this. Follow the link to Game Nite to get more info.

Does anyone know of more fantastic gaming programs taking place at universities elsewhere in the country?

If you happen to be reading this and are a mover and/or shaker in the university gaming world you should think about contributing to a new book. The Library Games blog posted an announcement looking for people to write chapters in a new book coming out from ACRL with the working title: Casebook on Gaming in Academic Libraries. Check out the links if you’re interested in finding out more.

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And, no, that doesn’t mean we will spend all day scratching ourselves…

scratchday2 Scratch Day is on May 16, 2009 – follow the link above to find more info. It doesn’t say, but I think this is the first of its kind. If there are any librarians out there who have considered trying something like this I think this is a perfect opportunity to see what your community’s reaction would be.

Scratch is that great free program from MIT that allows anyone to create their own computer games and animations. It’s so easy even kids are using it. I know there are several libraries in the Chicago area that teach classes on how it works to get them started. There are even gaming days where everyone can come in and play the games they made! I was hoping to get something like that started when I was at Indian Trails Public Library, but I wasn’t there long enough. In respect to offering workshops in a library setting I like that the kids can not only create games but tell their own stories through animations they can make themselves.

There is also a program called Alice that I’ve played around with. I can’t say one is easier than the other, but they do work a little differently. There is a version of Alice called Storytelling Alice that I think might be good for the younger set, but I have yet to try it out on anyone but myself.

In any case, I think kids around the world would love to be introduced to the wonders of Scratch on May 16, 2009. So, if you’ve been thinking about it go ahead and do it. If nothing else you can bring some kids in to the library and let them play the Scratch games other people have created available on the Scratch home page. That’s plenty of fun on its own!

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