Monthly Archives: March 2015

Library Play Day

Ideal Librarians in LegoLast Friday, Gavin, Caroline, Matthew and I attended a Library  Gamification day organised by the Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group. Andrew Walsh, from the University of Huddersfield gave us an introduction to gamification and then gave us all a pack of Lego with the challenge to build our ideal librarian.

We then playimage2ed different games to discover the different game mechanics we could use when building our own library games later in the day. The Lego was again utilised to form groups for the rest of the day based on common issues we wanted to address. Here’s my Lego model of a problem we face here at the University of Edinburgh, the Lego wall represents the Main Library, with the pink and red blocks being the floors most undergraduates visit and the grey floors the Lower Ground Floor, fifth and sixth floors containing the rare and unique collections that are unknown to many of our students.


We then created board and card games based on the common issues we face in our libraries.

The group I was in created a caimage1rd game called ‘Library Soup’, where each player was given a ‘recipe card’, representing an assignment that they had to complete with five visits to the Library (five turns). The player with the highest points at the end was the winner. The aim of the game was to teach the  players that not all library resources are equal. As the assignment could be completed with resources with low points, e.g. a magazine article or high points e.g. a peer-reviewed article.

IMG_0115Gavin and Matthew’s team created a board game called ‘Find-It‘ to encourage users to discover resources in their University Library. Players started off at the library entrance, drew cards to see what items / resources they had to locate and then searched for these in the physical and digital library space. The game aimed to raise awareness of the diversity of library resources available while orientating students around the library building.

In Caroline’s teams game ‘Database Acedatabase_ace players worked their way up the board picking up reward, risk and chance cards. The cards taught users about the use of online database in their assignments.





Andrew, also gave us an overview of ‘Lemon Tree‘ a rewards based application developed in partnership with University of Huddersfield Library, which gives users points and badges for library activities.

Videos of all the games designed on the day are available on Andrew’s Blog .

Claire Knowles, Gavin Willshaw, Caroline Stirling and Matthew Pang