School Libraries Worldwide - Volume 14 Number 2, July 2008

Welcome to a special edition of School Libraries WorldWide (SLW). The theme for this edition (Volume 14, Number 2) is New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries.

The goal of this issue is to explore some of the current research and emerging notions of School Libraries 2.0. By this we mean implications for libraries of Web 2.0, or “the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology, social software and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users”(Wikipedia, ¶ 1). Library 2.0 entails “both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting” (Wikipedia, ¶ 1). We are publishing this issue in blog and wiki formats to reflect new ways to publish and share information and to allow viewers/readers to add their responses and comments to the content presented. Thus the journal itself is a living example of socially constructing knowledge with Web 2.0 tools.

We have gathered an eclectic set of articles all of which are linked to a variety of web-based resources which support and extend the content in the articles. The authors have varied perspectives and experiences and present a wide variety of issues related to the challenges facing the worldwide school library community. The idea is to present the core set of articles for all to share and then have viewers explore beyond that core in order to build their own understanding of Web 2.0 and the influence it continues to have on emerging notions of new school libraries (what some are calling school libraries 2.0).

While the influences of Web 2.0 may vary in regions around the world, there can be little doubt that the challenges raised by new technologies must be addressed by the entire school library community. Without facing the new realities of how people use information and communication or digital learning technologies, we risk a real danger of becoming isolated as print-only learning environments. We need to draw on our traditional leadership in building collaborative teaching and learning activities in order to engage students in new learning environments which harness their innate interests in new technologies and connect their in-school and out-of-school literacy practices.

While these challenges seem daunting on many levels including providing adequate and equitable access, improving teacher and teacher-librarian education, and developing curriculum aligned with current notions of literacy and learning, we hope this issue will foster an international conversation about how school libraries can show leadership and create compelling models for school libraries in the 21st century.

Guest Editors: Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

Table of Contents

School Libraries Worldwide
Volume 13, Number 2, July 2008

New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries

Editor: Dianne Oberg, University of Alberta, Canada

Guest Co-Editors:
Marlene Asselin, University of British Columbia, Canada
Ray Doiron, University of Prince Edward Island Canada

Critical Concepts
Towards a Transformative Pedagogy for School Libraries
Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

Youth and their Virtual Networked Worlds: Research Findings and Implications for School Libraries
Ross Todd

Open Access and the Open Journal Systems: Making Sense All Over
Rick Kopak

Shaping Global Criticality with School Libraries
Keith McPherson

Diverse Contexts
Popular Culture in the School Library: Enhancing Literacies Traditional and New
Elizabeth E. G. Friese

Videogames in the Library? What is the World Coming To?
Kathy Sanford

Immersive Learning Environments in Parallel Universes: Learning through Second Life
Jeremy W. Kemp & Ken Haycock

Towards School Library 2.0: An Overview of Social Software Tools for Teacher-Librarians
Jo-Anne Naslund & Dean Giustini

Creative Expressions
New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries - a wiki
Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

School Library Mash-Up
Lillian Trousdell & Sharon Doyle

Technology in our Lives- Voices of Two Learners
Kaitlyn & Allen

Young People Talk about Libraries - A Video
Maryam Moayeri

Abstracts and Links to the Articles

Included below are the abstracts and links to all the articles in this special issue of School Libraries Worldwide.
You are invited to read any and all of the articles and add your comments at the link below each abstract.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Article 7: Videogames in the Library? What is the World Coming To?

Kathy Sanford

Sophisticated and complex learning happens through multiple forms of literacy and text types; and while schools and classrooms are slowly embracing learning through new media, libraries are rapidly and increasingly restructuring in ways that support learning through new/alternative technologies and texts. Videogame play supports learning in many complex ways, encourages positive interaction with computers, the use of imagination, problem-solving skills, and enables opportunities for collaborative engagement; these types of learning are being recognized and supported in public libraries and can be utilized more effectively in today's school libraries. This article focuses on videogames as sites of literacy, entertainment, and socialization that engage many 21st century adolescents, and suggests how school libraries, as the hub of the school community, can support learning through a range of new types of texts and modes of learning.

View the full article.


Anonymous said...

I do not consider myself one that needs to be converted regarding positive attributes of games. I feel that electronic gadgets are part of the future and are here to stay and can be educational. Who are we to define a "New Literacy?"

Personally, I see many positive aspects to games including a way for kids to socialize. My husband and son play racing games together, too. We often have friends over to bowl “Wii style”. (No violence here.)

I thought of the expert, Marc Prensky, who has written books about gaming while explaining the positive qualities that can be gained by playing games. His lists are long. His famous quote, “Engage Me or Enrage Me” has stopped educators in their tracks! While holding an educational perspective he boldly wrote that todays kids are not A.D.H.D. they are E.O.E.,

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 5 (September-October 2005): 60–65. Published his article, “Engage Me or Enrage Me”:What Today’s Learners Demand, stating that educators can identify these three types of students, The students who are truly self motivated, students who go through the motions and the students who tune us out! Prensky says it’s the third type that we see as a challenge in our classroom .
Here is a quote from his paper

All the students we teach have something in their lives that’s really engaging—something that they do and that they are good at, something that has an engaging, creative component to it. Some may download songs; some may rap, lipsync, or sing karaoke; some may play video games; some may mix songs; some may make movies; and some may do the extreme sports that are possible with twenty-first-century equipment and materials. But they all do something engaging. Except in school.

Extreme? Perhaps. However it does provide food for thought.

Yes, many games are violent, but many are not. It’s like saying “all teenagers are bad”. Blanket statements are uneducated.

It is part of a parents responsibility to be sure that games are suitable for their children. There are many “how to” websites if parents are not sure how to decide on web/ game safety habits although nothing can replace discussion and sitting side by side.

Can games provide educational importance? My vote , “yes.”

Prensky, M. 2005,40(5). “Engage Me or Enrage Me”:What Today’s Learners Demand, Educause Review.
Retreived Nov 2008 from


Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
Interesting quote by Marc Prensky - "Engage me or Enrage me".
I do have a number of junior high students who love to play games at lunch time. They are able to sign-up for a 15 minute time frame which seems to work well, or they can visit the junior high lab. Students seem to like the opportunity to share with others the activities that engage them.
True, the blanket statement can create more negative issues instead of looking at the positive contributions of playing games.
Thanks, for your yes vote.

Donna said...

Well i am now transformed because i have been dead set against games because my two youngest would be at them all day especially our son. I have refused to buy them for him nor allowed him to 'waste ' his money on them.After reading the last two articles especially the last one I have 'seen the light'. my engagement with computers has improved as i have allowed myself to explore a little more and stay on toop of things more; that is checked emails and sites more often. My son is so capable on the computer and he has hardly spent any time on it in comparison.
Dawn , I think I'm with yu on this one because i want my children to be computer savvy. With other children i have been concerned about not doing enough exercise but not my sn; he swims about 16 hours a week, so he actually needs some down time. I never thought about him improving his computer skills or any of those other skills the article mentioned.Problem solving and decision making are good skills and we or rather I, don't give my kids enough opportunity to develop those skills.I guess I am going to have to revise my christmas list and add a computer game or two.
As well i am going to have to inform my husband of the latest research finds on gaming. Video gaming is not a far stretch from gaming so I know I am going to have to include guidelines in the use , frequency and cduration of playing the games so that we have no issues with homework and school work.
This also changes my approach to including computer games in my lessons. I certainly support playing games for learning, I've just had a blind spot for computer games. So I am going to have to spend some time looking for some good sites and games.
Thanks for the focus on the articles ladies; I've learned a lot. My son thanks you. ( in advance, of course)

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,
which game to put on your Christmas list is hard to answer. Mostly it depends which system yo own due to the fact that you will want one that is compatible. Interests will also be a factor.

Guitar Hero rock bands or dance mats can bo a lot of fun for the whole family.

In school games can easily be found on your hard drive. Dept, of ed. has many installed, like polygon.

Keep asking questions and try a few yourself. You'll soon find you way.


Anonymous said...

This is Melanie D
I am a fan of computer games that promote learning. The first school I ever taught at (for 4 years) had oodles and oodles of computer games and there was 30 minutes dedicated every Friday to getting the children on the computer and playing these games. Now these were software programs such as Reader Rabbit etc, but these game taught the children and me so much. I was surprised at the amount of little tips or songs I learned that I could transfer into my classroom to illustrate a point. My other Grade 2 teacher friends and I are always sending “good” sites back and forth so that the children can get on a and play a game to help illustrate what a noun is or help explain place value. I think that so many these games work wonders for the visual learner who has to see the ten ones get traded for one ten etc.

Pam said...

Pam's comment;
Hi Melanie,
I agree that a lot of video games especially ones that are
Math related do benefit the visual learner. I know during lunch time a number of special resource students and junior high students like to compete against themselves to improve their scores for certain games.Games for them are relaxing and enjoyable, we just need to make sure their exposure is a positive experience.

Pam said...

Pam said
Hi Donna,
I'm sure your son will be over joyed that you now have a different view of video games and their benefits to children.
Problem-solving and decision-making skills are key components that students experience when engaged in playing video games. Most children that I have observed who play video games like to challenge themselves to preform better through repetition, always striving to improve. Some student like to create video games as a way to express their creativity, and then invite others to interact with them.
Donna, welcome to the transformation that video games can create a positive learning environment for the participants.
Good luck with selecting a video game for your son.