Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How to Gamify your Library: Reflections on a presentation

Last week I presented at the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) conference in Wellington.  Having done no public speaking since they made me at college, there were times when I did wonder what on earth I was thinking when I volunteered.  However, I gave my presentation, got some good feedback and may even do it again one day.  I think there is a need for more primary school librarians to present at these conferences so if I can't persuade others (I did try) then I may be back.

Here are some things I learnt about presenting:

  • It takes much longer than you think to prepare.  Particularly if you enjoy researching, there is lots of information out there, and you want to read it all!
  • The process of pulling together information, and organising it in a coherent way so that you can present it, helps give you a stronger and deeper focus on your topic.
  • There is lots of great information on how to present, and people who will help you if you ask.  Here are my favourite slides on presenting from Ned Potter .  I also had lovely support and advice from @MatthewWinner and @jenniferlagarde, who are American librarians and experts on gamification.  How cool is that?!  All I had to do was ask.
  • Think carefully about what to put in your abstract.  Although my abstract said my workshop was about how to use game elements to bring fun into the library, I met a few librarians who had obviously seen the title "How to gamify your library" and decided that it meant bringing video games into the library.
I'm going to embed my slides, although they are quite simple and had a lot of verbal explanations to accompany them.  I did also make a library gamification website that has a lot of the articles and videos I used in researching gamification.

I had a ball at the conference and am still writing up my notes.  I hope to post again shortly and talk about the keynotes and workshops I attended.

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