Webinar | "Play Where the Knowledge Lives:" Why Libraries are an Obvious Space for Play

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 15:00to16:00
McLennan Library Building Rare Books and Special Collections, McLennan Library Building 4th floor, 3459 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C9, CA

Session 1: "Engagement, Play, and a Global Pandemic": Transition to Learning and Playing in an Online Classroom

The Rutgers University Art Library looks closely at learning through play by providing dynamic hands-on creative experiences that engage patrons in non-traditional ways. In the Fall of 2018 and Spring of 2020, the Rutgers University Librariestaught the course “Playing to Learn in Higher Education.” Course activities include participating in a LEGO workshop, playing games, weekly discussions, and  interacting with unique games found in newspapers, books, and exhibitions. All of these experiences prepare students for their final assignment, creating a game out of a 14-inch pizza box. However, things changed as a result of COVID-19 and the last 3 weeks of the course moved to an online environment.

This presentation will include a brief discussion on play pedagogy, an overview of the course, and provide tips on how to encourage a culture of creativity and play within one’s organization. But most important this presentation will discuss and focus on how to adapt a hands-on course based on play and engagement into an online environment during a global pandemic.

Megan Lotts is the Art Librarian at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she teaches research workshops, builds collections, facilitates programming and events, and closely engages with students and faculty researching in the Arts. Lotts has presented her research both nationally and internationally and has published articles in Art Documentation, portal: the Libraries in Academia, and Journal of Library administration. She is known for her work implementing LEGO play and a culture of creativity at the Rutgers Art Library, and her work curating the Rutgers Art Library Exhibition Spaces. 

Session 2: "Libraries at Play": Learning through Collaborative Design and Shared Experience

Libraries provide space for disciplines to break out of their departments and work together in a shared environment. As such, the library is the ideal place to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to methodologies requiring a breadth of knowledge, such as games and serious play. All games, tabletop or video, require skills in project management, system design, graphic design, subject specialization to create an effective experience.

This presentation addresses how libraries and library professionals can facilitate the use of games to promote learning through serious play. Games provide a mode of experimentation for fields lacking such options, such as history. The integration of primary source materials and games, and the value in studying games and their history, and will raise questions on best practices to employ and promote play, game design, outreach.

Matt Shoemaker is Librarian & Coordinator of Digital Scholarship Service Development,  and runs the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio in the Charles Library at Temple University. For the past decade, he has worked on building an interdisciplinary space through the library for digital scholarship and digital humanities work. He has integrated primary sources with commercial board games for history and primary source education, worked with faculty and students at Temple University on game design, game studies, and game-based pedagogy projects, and continues to promote and emphasis game-based methods for research and education through the Scholar's Studio. His company, Hit ‘em With a Shoe’, designs games with learning outcome objectives

Webinar begins at 3 PM

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