Tag Archives: Scott Nicholson

Day 2 at #cil11 (we can make this work, Twitter)

22 Mar

Tuesday isn’t the traditional day of rest, but it’ll do. Any conference day I feel comfortable wearing jeans start to finish is a good one.

The first item on my agenda was Lisa Carlucci Thomas‘ excellent Cybertour session on design tips and grabbing attention in the online environment. In fifteen minutes, she brought together lessons from as disparate sources as Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and Andy Woodward’s interaction with the Old Spice Guy* and made them relevant to libraries. (Also, double rainbows, which I’d meant to tell her afterward have even shown up in World of Warcraft.) It was a great presentation, and one I’d have loved to see get a full session on one of the main tracks.

The same can, and must, be said for Jennifer Koerber‘s Cybertour session on personas. Jen has a gift for bringing concepts in front of an audience in a way which makes them clear and concrete even to those completely unfamiliar to them. In fifteen minutes she laid out the concept of personas, explained why libraries should look to them as ways to keep the face and reality of their users clear during design processes, and laid out ways to start implementing them. Great stuff.

I also caught Scott Nicholson’s amazing session on gaming and game design as tools for instruction. Far too much information to include here — hell, I even feel odd trying to summarize it — but two of the major things I took away were the existence of the Global Game Jam, which is awesome, and the fact that he has a 22-session course on gaming in libraries up, for free, on YouTube. Check it.

Finally, I caught the tail end of Julian Aiken’s presentation on their implementation of Google’s 80/20 policy at Yale Law Library. His was one of the most highly regarded presentations of the day, with good cause: they’re doing some amazing things there, and I really want to hear more about how this goes for them. (Also, it’s totally his dog.)

Then, it was a fun dinner with friends in Chinatown, and even more Firecon and Lobbycon before bed. As days of rest go, it was damnably busy.


* Will I ever tire of mentioning him in this blog? No.


#cil11 Day 0

20 Mar

Sunrise found me walking the streets of Washington, DC in search of coffee and an oddly specific number of nickels and pennies.

I was walking alone, since a Sunday filled with eight or so hours of workshops is apparently sufficient cause for my wife and I to exchange our positions on early mornings. She’s sleeping soundly as I write this, and I’m only slightly envious.

The aforementioned coinage is necessary for part of my first workshop today. It’ll run from nine to noon, and my second from 1:30 to 4:30. I’m wired as all hell right now, over an hour before the party gets started. I have no idea what condition I’ll be in when it finally winds down.


Many hours later…

My feet are killing me.

Workshops went really well. Scott Nicholson is a damned genius at interactive games and teaching, and I’d have been glad just to watch.  Getting a chance to help him run a workshop was phenomenal. We ran folks through a number of learning games and discussed the principles behind them. I think his simulation section was stronger than my roleplay section, but I felt like I acquitted myself well.

One of the big things I took away from that was “Thiagi’s six-stage* debriefing process,” from Thiagarajan’s Design your Own Games and Activities, a book I need to pick up. I implemented the process in my own post-activity debriefs, both in this workshop and the next, and it worked great.

(While you’re taking my book recommendations: check out Scott’s awesome Everyone Plays at The Library, too. He really captures the wide applicability gaming has in this profession.)

After that, Amy Buckland and I talked shop about repositories with a fine crew of folks for our afternoon workshop. We had a good mix of folks: public librarians, academic librarians, school librarians, vendor reps, folks with repositories, folks planning ’em, and folks just thinking about ’em.

Great discussion resulted, focusing on the obstacles facing repository managers and librarians, and how best to overcome those obstacles. People were willing to bring their own experiences to bear on the discussion, and used that to build a list of stakeholders, what they could bring to a project and how to get them to buy in. Then we let folks do some roleplay of how they’d make the last bit happen; good times were had by all.

After that, it was just getting my butt kicked in that PS3 Move gladiator game, hanging out with some most excellent library folks, and walking with Nina to get burgers from Five Guys.

Oh, and I confess I find The Amazing Race oddly compelling. Not that I’m gonna get cable or anything, but I’m totally rooting for the Globetrotters.


* “How do you feel? What happened? What did you learn? How does it relate to the real world? What if? What next?”