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.
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.