Role Playing Games and Libraries

Becoming RPG

My hubby (Brian Engard) is running a Kickstarter for his latest role playing game. This is his first solo Kickstarter – but not his first game. He wrote an awesome post on his site about why he’s including a reward tier for libraries (yes that means your library could get in on this):

But why did I include libraries in that tier? A couple of reasons. First, my wife Nicole is a librarian. She’s given me a healthy amount of respect for libraries as repositories of knowledge and centers for community. Beyond that though, libraries are starting to become places to go game too.

Many libraries have RPGs on hand, and many also have scheduled game days when people can come in and learn how to play those games. Most of the games these libraries have are the big ones, games like D&D. That people are learning about D&D through libraries is great; it gets people into the hobby, and it’s a fun game. I want to expose those people to other games, show them that D&D, while awesome, is not the only game in town.

And librarians, if $60 is too steep, there’s nothing stopping you from going in on that tier with multiple branches or libraries! Maybe you know a few librarians at other locations who want a copy for their collection.

So if you haven’t already – and your library does gaming nights – check it out and see what non-D&D Role Playing Games look like :)

Information Today Inc. Book Sale

Accidental SL Title

Information Today Inc. is running a sale on the following books (including The Accidental Systems Librarian) through Monday, June 10, 2013.

Information Today is offering 30% off the retail price on the following books:

  • The Accidental Systems Librarian, 2nd Ed [Sale price: $20.65]
  • The Embedded Librarian [Sale Price: $34.65]
  • Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook, 4th Ed [Sale price: $17.47]
  • Face2Face [Sale price: $17.47]
  • UContent [Sale price: $34.65]
  • LG to Negotiation [Sale price: $34.65]
  • LG to Micropublishing [Sale price: $34.65]

Pick yours up today!

Call for Chapters: More Library Mashups

Library Mashups

Library Mashups has been a huge success and has touched so many of you, and now it’s time to start thinking about the second edition! In 2014 Information Today Inc. will be publishing the second edition of Library Mashups entitled More Library Mashups. This edition will have new stories from some of the authors you have come to know from the first edition as well as some new examples.

Last time I compiled a list of authors that I knew were doing some great things with mashups, but this time I’d like to open things up to all of you to submit your proposals. If you’re interested in participating and sharing your library’s story or your own personal favorite mashup please take the time to fill out the proposal form. To get ideas for what your proposal should look like please review the table of contents from the first edition.

Decisions will be made by April 1 and the form will close on the 1st of March. Chapters should be 3,000-5,000 words each and should be written in an informal and approachable manner. All chosen authors will receive chapter author credit and a free copy of the book. The deadline for chapter submission (if chosen) is August 15, 2013.

First bookless library

Bookless Library

For years librarians have been trying to say that the library isn’t all about the books … and while I of course agree … I’m not sure I would go so far as to remove all books from the library – or in the case of San Antonio building a library without any books.

Books, who needs ‘em? Libraries? Not anymore they don’t. The first public, bookless library is coming to San Antonio soon and, possibly, to a (dystopic?) future near you.

The new book-free library, called “BiblioTech,” is intended to open in the fall and is part of a an entire bookless public library system planned for the entire county of Bexar. And it’s not “bring your own device” either. The library will actually lend out e-readers (of an unspecified brand) for two weeks at a time. There will also be computers and the like, but no books, and presumably no card catalog (!) either.

Read more on Gizmodo.

E-book reading on the rise

Ebook v. Print Book

The latest Pew Internet and American Life Project report finds that print book reading is going down and e-book reading up.

In the past year, the number of those who read e-books increased from 16% of all Americans ages 16 and older to 23%. At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%.

Since getting our e-readers my husband and I haven’t bought any fiction titles in print. I have bought some library science titles (just to have them) and he has bought RPG books (cause they’re just so pretty), but neither of us have bought our everyday reading in print. Given that we already have a house full of books (I kid you not) our e-book readers are saving a ton in storage space!

How about you – have you given up on your print books (or at least noticed that you’re buying fewer)?

Penguin Classics and dkimages APIs


Library Mashups fans might be interested in the latest APIs from Pearson:

  • Penguin Classics API includes works by Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and the Brontë sisters – enabling developers to build new apps from the work of renowned authors
  • dkimages API makes the professional collection of over 90,000 images accessible for developers to search, browse and purchase for inclusion in apps

Learn more here and if you’re using these APIs at your library let me know so I can put you on my list of cool mashups for a future edition of the book!

CA Law to Produce Open Source Textbooks

Open Source Logo

This from Ars Technica: Two bills were signed in to law in California recently. One to create the textbooks and the other to establish a California Digital Open Source Library to host them.

According to a legislative summary, the textbook bill would “require the California Open Education Resources Council to determine a list of 50 lower division courses in the public postsecondary segments for which high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials would be developed or acquired.” The council is to solicit bids to produce these textbooks in 2013. The bill makes clear that the council has the option to use “existing high-quality digital open source textbooks and related materials” if those materials fit the requirements.

The Accidental Systems Librarian

Accidental SL Title

After nearly 2 years in the works, The Accidental Systems Librarian second edition is finally ready for preorder!! That’s right folks, after juggling health issues, travel for work and just general stress I am happy to announce that this second edition of the first Information Today Inc book I ever read will be released next month, but can be preordered today for a nice discount.

Learn more about the book on the official site and visit Information Today Inc to preorder (if you want). You can also keep an eye out for a book signing event at the Information Today booth at Internet Librarian at the end of October – I’ll be there!