The team’s second event this week was at the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians’ digital training day (ASCEL) held in Middlesborough’s Great Library.
It was a long drive across the country – but very much worth the early start. The event had around 40 attendees who worked (for the most part) in library services across the North East. An entirely new (but extremely relevant) audience for us. The other sessions explored the ways in which different institutions were exploring and integrating technology, coding, and gaming platforms into their services. All sorts of innovation, from the Code-a-Pillar (and connecting it with The Hungry Caterpillar, for example) through Escape Room boxes (to teach indexing, referencing, microfiche – all skills relating to info seeking).
Stella had been invited to present, given her role in developing a staggering array of digital and gaming initiatives at the BL, and she was extremely kind in giving up over half her session for us. Despite a technical hiccup interfering with James’ new training module map, the attendees readily leapt right into the game – despite a lack of experience with Minecraft. A few pointers helped guide the way, but navigation and control was picked up with remarkable adeptness. And – most importantly – it was enjoyed.
In gathering feedback, the response was incredibly positive, with many really liking how we had intergrated the text in such a novel manner. It wasn’t a re-telling of the story, but of exploring a wonderful setting and slowly uncovering parts of the text, building up to an understanding of how it formed the pirate archetype. Exactly what we had hoped would form a core goal of the resource resonated with the audience. We were thrilled with the level of enthusiasm showed, and the team has made many new contacts with whom we hope to trial other litcraft resources in the near future.
It was an excellent event, which would have stood outside the attention of traditional academic work, had we not had Stella on the team. But the resources’ potential userbase has now doubled – exciting times ahead as we develop new lesson ideas and plans accordingly.