Rebecca Forth doesn’t want kids to simply play Minecraft, she wants them to design their own worlds in the virtual building game. They can do just that and learn the necessary coding skills in a program set to launch at the Healdsburg branch of the Sonoma County (CA) Library in March 2014.
Inspired by the experiences of Connecticut librarian Sarah Ludwig’s Minecraft library club, Elizabeth Grohoski and Karen Letteriello of the Mattituck-Laurel Library (NY) are now using a virtual Minecraft library to attract young patrons. The game allows users to build in a 3-D virtual world with cubes similar to Legos—but without any proscriptive kits and manuals.
This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
The popular game Minecraft “is accessible, fun, and, ultimately, an excellent learning tool for both nerds and non-nerds,” says Sarah Ludwig, who takes us step by step through her process of creating a thriving Minecraft club in her library. New to Minecraft? There’s a video primer.
Searching for some great ways to get kids hooked on creating digital content? Attendees at the October 17 Digital Shift event got some great tips from Wes Fryer, Melissa Techman, Liz Castro and Erin Daly, all participants in a panel on “Makers in the Library.”
Andrea Buchanan’s young adult novel Gift was the first to incorporate Minecraft. What’s that you say? The creative game, in which users build stuff out of cubes within a 3-D environment, deserves a closer look. YA librarian Erin Daly offers an expert’s view of the Minecraft element in Gift and how well the sandbox game worked as an element within a novel.
“Can you teleport me?” “How do I fly?” “I need a sword.” “What are you building?” These eclectic exclamations are the sounds of a room full of teens playing Minecraft (www.minecraft.net). We play every other Wednesday in Chicopee (MA) Public Library’s computer lab, often filling all ten computers, and are occasionally joined by teens playing from home. They play freely, building whatever suits their fancies. As I’ve watched these teens discover skills in the game, I’ve been thinking about Minecraft’s potential for both structured and unstructured activities.