We think libraries and the people who work in them play an incredibly pivotal role in a civilised society and we’re in the really fortunate position as a small company to be doing something to help with our flavours of Librarygame™
…a society where the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is considered desirable, where reading is cherished and encouraged, where people can find out more about their area by exploring their local archives, where there are bright, civilised library staff on hand to help with these goals.
- Why save libraries by James Delingpole
yep we’re totally behind the statement above and many more like it, but we thought we should elaborate upon a sort of roadmap and mission statement, to be quite specific about the steer and directions we’d like to be taking in the near future, seems like the thing to do if we’re actively not participating in writing pitches, refining and subsidising the development of our own offering and well within the spirit of frankness that we set out to maintain with this project.
Whether it’s public libraries or academic libraries- our first objective is to help make the experience of using the library more engaging and attractive and get its activities more noticed on channels where its not currently being noticed. We’re doing this as a means of getting low/non use potential users to find space for using the library in their incredibly busy digital lifestyles.
We’re also doing it as a means of rewarding those who are already using the library with enhanced utility, in the form of a service based offering which recognises and highlights their loyalty and assists in their discovery and use of the library. If we’re being optimistic, perhaps this is ultimately one means of sparking microsocial interactions amongst patrons in a space that traditionally engenders solitary experiences.
We’re fully aware that we’re operating in a highly contested space of social interactive services that vie for a slice of everyones attention, but we also find the spaces that libraries can create to be quite compelling in themselves so it’s not just providing a layer that leads to nothing, it’s a layer with a fundamental experience attached to it that is full of intrinsic value. It’s providing yet another method with which to filter and curate existing collections and to interact with others while we’re doing so, with the key differentiator that it will be playful, memorable and enjoyable!
How we’re doing it
We’re designer / developers and more fundamentally interaction designers. There are all sorts of ways in which library interactions can be affected and a sense of utility, microsocial interaction and flow can be achieved.
Using the language of games and the mechanics of gaming (competition, leaderboards, messaging, reciprocity, collection) in the design of interactions, would be potent forms of achieving this goal.
Our master plan for the Academic edition, currently in operation at the University of Huddersfield, in the form of Lemontree (which has been up for about a week) is to:
1. Keep refining the existing offering and finish adding the features that we have planned. next on our list are player to player interactions and the activities which also enrich the catalogue.
2. Look at integrating the interactions even more with the academic experience, a form of Edu.RPG with the library at its hub and the main quest giver!
3. Work with specialists to support more library systems and interoperate with other services. we’re obviously really keen on talking to Talis, Axiell and SirsiDynix as well as the people behind enrichment services such as librarything *which we love* and organisations that share some of our core values and beliefs such as the awesome Reading Agency who we’re meeting in January!