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From across the pond comes this opinion piece from one Helen Martin, probably one of the stuffiest people I've ever read. Her problem is, at heart, a simple one. Apparently, they're letting kids come to the library. I mean, what next? Story time?
It seems to me quite unjust that well-behaved, adult library users who have already been subjected to the odious behaviour of little neds ruining their literary oasis, should now have to witness whole swathes of their library being handed over to the very people who should have been banned. "Oooh! You can't ban them!" squeal the do-gooders. "We need to engage them and turn their energies to productive use."
I'm guessing she probably isn't very pro library technology either:
In this new-style library, teenagers can chill out, play computer games, learn to make movies and relax in their own dedicated area. Naturally I have no objection to any of that, except that it should take place somewhere else – perhaps a community centre or a youth club.
If there's anyone who knows anything about fictional violence, monsters ripping into young children, and vehicles mowing down anything in their way, it's Stephen King. This man wrote some of the classic horror novels of our time and has been in publication for almost forty years. So you just know he's going to have an interesting take on the whole concept of video games and the violence they supposedly cause.
On 6th September 2007, the Prime Minister asked Dr. Tanya Byron to conduct an independent review looking at the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. Her Review is about the needs of children and young people. It is about preserving their right to take the risks that form an inherent part of their development by enabling them to play video games and surf the net in a safe and informed way.
By listening to children and young people and putting them at the heart of this Review - and by replacing emotion with evidence - she hopes she has provided some very necessary focus to what is a very necessary debate. PDF versions of the Full Report, Annexes and supporting documentation are available.
Striking Librarians in Victoria BC are spending a few hours this week and more next week walking the downtown streets, talking books to people. "We don't stop caring about literacy in Victoria because we can't be doing the jobs we love," Andersen said yesterday, as she walked downtown, asking people what they've been reading.
Dave Gibson Complains Our Public Libraries Are Being Turned Into Video Arcades.
Generations of Americans who valued education and insisted that their children understand not only the importance but the enjoyment of the written word, have given way to barely functioning illiterates who spend hour after hour trying to get to the next level of Guitar Hero. We are headed back to a time in this country when only the rich could read and write with any proficiency, and apparently our public libraries are now on board with that disastrous goal.
Sad news for the world of geekdom as Gary Gygax passed away today at the age of 69.
For those unfamiliar with the name, you're surely familiar with his creation: Dungeons & Dragons. D&D, originally only a role playing game, spawned enough books, both fiction and non-fiction, to fill their own library.
Gather a kid or two, design some cover art, and take a photo.
Oh yes, and you'll want to create a small, but incredibly cool, optical illusion.
And you wind up with some fun and lively photographs reminding us how books can change and enhance the lives of children.
If your library hosts gaming, you may want to follow along on the new Gaming Alliance that has been created. They don't be clear on what they plan to do yet but it suggests that conversations are being had and might lead to collaboration and future communication.
Whether or not you agree with the ideas and concepts of video gaming in libraries, the facts are that video games provide a lure to get those oh-so-cool teenagers into the library.
Metro Detroit libraries currently offer a wide selection of games for an equally wide selection of systems. Besides the collection, they also schedule competitions using the popular games Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
"I think that pretty soon more people will be going to the library. It changed my whole opinion of it," said Phillip Lane, 18.
Me, I wanna start a Rock Band competition, creating a librarian band called Borges' Paradise.