I get paid to play games for two hours every week. Being a librarian is the best! In all honesty, working with teens is one of the best parts of my job, and being in charge of the Teen Minecraft Club is always the highlight of my week. The teens that come are enthusiastic, hilarious, and incredibly clever (sometimes too smart for their own good). I love both the regulars that come every week, and the newbies that come and start playing for the first time. Everyone brings a unique perspective and building style to our world. From pixel art to trading posts, taverns to rejuvenation temples, and PvP arenas to parkour, their creations are amazing and a benefit to everyone.
The Teen Minecraft club plays together in a survival world created for/by them that is only accessible from within the computer lab every Friday from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. There is no pre-registration for the teen club, and more often than not we fill up all 18 computers in the lab and still have some players waiting, so we rotate every half hour (as needed) so that everyone gets plenty of playing time.
The game world is reset about every three to four months so that new players get a chance to start out fresh along with everyone else. These resets are both exciting because they provide a fresh, blank canvas to create and play on, but also sad because previous builds are lost. That being said, I’ve discovered that as the teens learn, grow, and discover how to build new things, their creations seem to get more complex and amazing with each new world.
I feel very lucky to work with these amazing teens, and I can’t wait to see what they build next!
(The Teen Minecraft Club has approved this message.)
Ever wonder how something like a Fairy Tea Party comes together? Here's a quick video documenting some of our work setting up for last weekend's Fairy Tea. We only wish it actually went this fast!
Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you. So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading: Games and Globalization.
American by birth, author Erin Moore, now living in London with her Anglo-American husband, uses wit and humor to explore the historical and cultural differences of English language usage between Americans and British. Through several themed chapters on topics ranging from snacking habits to raising children, Moore explores the etymology of words on both sides of the pond and what these differences say about us.
Robert McCrum discusses how English language usage has spread from Great Britain to everywhere on earth as he takes readers on a whirlwind tour of British and American history and their mark on the world up through modern times where people in Asia are racing to learn the English. In the 1980s, there was a fear that the English language would degenerate into a vast number of dialects. However, with the modern globalization of the world, English has not only avoided this fate, but grown to become the language of choice around the globe.
Using soccer to show differences and commonalities, Foer reveals how the globalization of the world is simultaneously making everywhere more alike and more different as people seek to define themselves through their love of soccer. By examining the game, he focuses on understanding how international forces affect politics and life around the globe. Showing how in some places sport and competition can be used as a method to keep hatred, racism, or religious tolerance alive and in other places it is used as a modernizing force (such as in Iran where women forced police to allow them into a men’s-only stadium to celebrate a win for their national team).
Sport and competition have always resulted in high stakes. Look no further than Mary Pilon’s revealing book into the turbulent history of the Monopoly board game. Pilon reveals the Monopoly's interesting origins including the lost female originator of the game, the Parker Brothers' attempts to blockade the development of other similar games, and the competitive rivalry between Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. This is an interesting read about the origins of a beloved board game, the folk history surrounding it, and the corporate greed that made it into the iconic game it is today.
WORD FREAK looks into the world of extreme competitive Scrabble. What began for author Stefan Fatsis as a curious look at the sport for a journal article quickly turned into an obsession for the board game that converted him from a “living room player” into actually competing along with the world’s best players. The book humorously portrays the irreverent crowd that competes at this level and mixes in historical facts about the board game. Fatsis also explains how players must be able to memorize words well above what one would use in normal language usage. This is a provocative look at the world of games and the way the mind works with words.
The fascinating look into how a madman and murderer submitted over ten thousand definitions of words for the first Oxford English Dictionary. Genius Dr. W.C. Minor was diagnosed with schizophrenia after his experiences in the American Civil War. After traveling to London where he killed a man and was sent to an insane asylum, Minor came across a leaflet asking for volunteers to help compile a history of the English language. Minor wrote to the editor and offered his services while remaining vague about his circumstances. Author Simon Winchester not only chronicles this interesting man but also the momentous effort it took to build the Oxford English Dictionary as a way to help document the etymology of words in the English language.