Attract Teens to Your Library with Minecraft
Angela Hanshaw | July 25, 2013
I stumbled across a mention of a library hosting its own Minecraft server and offering regular teen programming, and thought, “What a great idea!” Turns out a lot of libraries have had that thought, too, and Minecraft has become a popular way of getting teens into libraries.
Before we get into library programming, however, some information for those of you who aren’t Minecraft experts. The official Minecraft website describes it as:
… a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things. It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It’s pretty. Brave players battle terrible things in The Nether, which is more scary than pretty. You can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds more like your cup of tea.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Minecraft:
The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. … Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game.
Intrigued? Want to know what other libaries are doing, and how you can do it, too? Library Journal offers a great look at Minecraft in the Classroom and Library on its The Digital Shift website. On her blog, Gretchen Kolderup provides a detailed recap of her libary’s Minecraft contest, complete with photos. Jessica Schneider shares her first Minecrafting experience, completel with tips and resources, in this YALSA blog post. In addition, Australian library student Mica Meerbach recently wrote a blog post on the topic, complete with a comprehensive, A–Z list of Mineraft-related programs in libraries.
Finally, now that you’ve read about Minecraft in libraries, how about seeing a few libraries in Minecraft? Check out this gallery of 11 Unbelievable Minecraft Libraries.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.