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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: gamingandlibraries, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. More Praise for Susan Hill's THE RISK OF DARKNESS

"Fans of the new breed of British psychological mysteries, a sub-genre that has been led for years now by Elizabeth George and P.D. James, will be thrilled to know there’s a new series to add to their reading lists: Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler books. The Risk of Darkness is Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler’s third literary excursion and it is a doozy. If you’re looking for a sleepy Sunday read, this is not it. This book is a tense, surprise-packed, complex, modern mystery masterpiece. DCI Serrailler is asked to assist in the investigation of a missing 8 year-old boy, a case very similar to one he had run into a dead-end on months before. When the unlikely culprit is caught, a number of lives are affected. This main plot is interwoven with that of Serrailler’s physician sister, Cat Deerborn, and a distraught young husband under her care. Like the best modern mystery writers, Ms. Hill doesn’t tie off every loose end—as in real life, questions stay unanswered and lives are left in unresolved shreds. Unaccustomed readers may be disconcerted by this; however, if this type of tale is your cup of tea, get ready to pour, drink, and enjoy." - Michelle Kerns, Sacramento Book Review

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2. Starred Review in Booklist for THE RISK OF DARKNESS by Susan Hill

Susan Hill's third mystery novel featuring Simon Serrailler and the English cathedral town of Lafferton, The Risk of Darkness, gets a starred review in the current issue of Booklist: "Hill is a prolific and gifted writer who has tackled multiple genres, but she may do her best work in crime fiction, as illustrated by her gripping series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler. In his latest outing, the enigmatic Serrailler faces his most challenging case yet when a young boy is kidnapped while waiting for the school bus. It’s as if the boy has vanished from the face of the earth – no one saw him being abducted, there are no clues, and eight months later, the case is still unsolved. Then another child vanishes in similar circumstances. But this time there is a witness who not only sees the make of the kidnapper’s car but also catches part of the license-plate number. As if the main story line isn’t gripping enough, Hill adds several riveting subplots that, rather than detracting from the main story, add to it. This is an outstanding crime thriller from one of Britain’s best writers. Taut, inventive, tragic, intriguing, and full of unexpected twists, it’s a must-have for all mystery collections.” – Emily Melton (starred review)

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3. Susan Hill's THE MAN IN THE PICTURE in Los Angeles Times

Nick Owchar's "Siren's Call" column in The Los Angeles Times features the unlikely pairing of Susan Hill, author of The Man in the Picture and the forthcomimg The Risk of Darkness and the great H.P. Lovecraft. Looking at Hill's rceent ghost story The Man in the Picture, Owchar asserts: "Hill's story is a clear descendant of Henry James' ghost stories and their familiar elements -- the narrator with an odd tale to tell, the English infatuation with Italy, even the hearth fire -- without feeling derivative; and the use of so many hoary, gothic cliches (a hidden painting whose image alters under a supernatural hand) is a cross between "Dorian Gray" and "The Twilight Zone."And yet the terrain feels fresh and all Hill's own. . . Hill is a successful mystery writer living in England who also owns a small publishing house. A writer noted for her psychological detective stories -- The Risk of Darkness, featuring inspector Simon Serrailler, will be published next month -- she seems the model of that writer who has a serene, bookish, rustic life (she and her Shakespeare scholar husband live in the North Cotswold countryside) while her prose is full of violent, unsettled passions and disturbing situations."

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4. Stocking Stuffers for the Literati: Susan Hill's THE MAN IN THE PICTURE

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a great idea for a Christmas stocking stuffer: "Susan Hill knows how to tell a ghost story, and The Man in the Picture is a stylish little gem that's creative in conception and traditional in execution. Hill masterfully builds the dread as she lays out the story, but she never oversteps the bounds of edginess into excess. With a refined touch that other authors should envy, she makes this elegant story sing by melding the ethos of the traditional ghost story with the assurance of a contemporary prose artist."

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5. Susan Hill's THE VARIOUS HAUNTS OF MEN Now Available in Paperback

New in paperback this month is Susan Hill's The Various Haunts of Men, introducing readers the enigmatic detective Simon Serrailer and the cathedral town of Lafferton. Rich in psychological complexity, The Various Haunts of Men has drawn comparisons to the best works of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James. The sequel, The Pure in Heart, was released last year, and Overlook will publish Susan Hill's beloved ghost story, The Man in the Picture, in October 2008.

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6. Supporting Gaming on Campus, Including in the Library

Game On at the Undergraduate Library

“The upcoming November 3rd event is co-sponsored by the [UIUC] Undergraduate Library and the Sousa Archive and Center for American Music and is part of the celebration of American Music Month. The evening will focus on music in gaming and will include speakers from the Department of Music as well as industry experts from Volition, a growing gaming company in Champaign. The event will also introduce a game created by campus researchers (Musiverse).

Gaming at the library - come to play, come to learn. Game On!” [@ Your Service]

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7. Research Gaming in Libraries at Syracuse!

From Scott Nicholson:

“I’m a professor at Syracuse University, and we just got 5 IMLS grants for librarians interested in becoming LIS faculty members. Why is this relevant in LibGaming? Because if you come to Syracuse, you’d be welcome to work with me on research about gaming in libraries! Of course, you could also work with many other folks, as we’ve got a lot of interesting things going on.”

There’s much more in the full press release - iSchool Secures Grant to Fund Five Future Library Professors.

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8. House in the Technaeum

There were many reasons I hosted the ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium this past July, not the least of which was to share with others the breadth of gaming services libraries can offer. The fact that I got to meet some of my heroes (like Henry Jenkins and James Paul Gee), as well as meet new people doing interesting things around gaming, was rich and tasty gravy.

Two of those people were Mark Engelbrecht and Martin House from the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County, who received a $69,000 LSTA grant to study gaming for adults last year. There’s a reason we talk so much about the kids and the teenagers when it comes to gaming in libraries, but we can’t forget that there are valid gaming services for 20somethings, 30somethings, families, parents, boomers, seniors, and pretty much everyone else who enjoys games. So their session at the Symposium was high on my list to hear but as it turns out, when you host an event like this, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll actually get to see much of the presentations. So I missed almost all of their talk, and unfortunately we didn’t have video of it. There is audio, which you can grab to listen to here, and I highly recommend you do that.

But now, you can also read (and subscribe) to Martin House’s new blog Technaeum, where he will be posting excerpts of their research and data from the grant. I’m thrilled about this, because it solidifies 2007 as the first year we started getting actual numbers of any kind surrounding gaming in libraries, and just like Scott Nicholson’s data, PLCMC’s numbers are fascinating.


Gaming and Libraries: Reference Ain’t Dead

“As an indication that reference really ‘ain’t’ dead, I would like to share some research with you from an LSTA Innovations Grant. The library received $69,000 to create gaming programs for adults and study the impact of these events in terms of their library use. What we found is that the single biggest reason patrons cited for coming to the library was reference, or an informational need….

…libraries today are still faced with the age old charge, being ‘The People’s University.’ If my research is any indication of this, libraries are more needed than ever due to people’s needs to have knowledgeable professionals guide them through the world of information overload - oh and bad information too boot.

There is also a very good indication that patron who attended the gaming programs frequented the library more in subsequent months.”

Be sure to read the rest of Martin’s post and to check back or subscribe to his blog, because he will be posting about their research regularly. Thanks, Martin - this is a huge contribution to the profession.

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9. Another Article about Gaming and Libraries, Same Old Story

This time it’s in the Dallas Morning News and the article is called Video Games Encourage Teens to Check Out Libraries.

The good news: We learn that the Forth Worth Public Library is creating a room dedicated to gaming. Can’t wait to learn more about that!

The bad news: Yet another newspaper story that lets someone (this time a professor at the University of Maryland) get away with sweeping generalizations about gaming. Melanie Killen claims, “a vast majority of the games have negative content and the consequences can be destructive, including increased impulsivity, aggressive behavior and shorter attention spans,” without providing any proof at all.

Whether that’s her fault or the newspaper’s, let’s just nip this in the bud right now in case you encounter this argument at your own library.

First of all, 85% of the games sold in 2006 were rated E (for Everyone), E+10 (ages 10 and up), or T (for Teen). That means only 15% of video games sold in 2006 where rated for adults, so that’s hardly a “vast majority.” Only 4 of the top 20 games sold in 2006 were rated M (Mature) (PDF). That would be 1/5, which means the “vast majority” of games sold were actually appropriate for kids and teenagers.

Second of all, let’s define what we mean by “destructive” and “aggressive behavior,” because as video games have become more popular, youth violence has actually dropped, despite those stories that grab all the headlines.

Third, “impulsivity” and “shorter attention spans” can be attributed to many things, not just video games. If I’m not mistaken, these arguments were made against television forty years ago, so it’s not like this is something new and it’s not like you can blame video games as the master evil behind these problems. In fact, one wonders if shorter, less complex newspaper stories that fail to provide facts or links for further information or, you know, evidence/data/research might contribute to that trend, too.

What’s really ironic is that Killen is later quoted as saying, ” ‘There is a concern in our society about the preparation of the next workforce in terms of reading and math and science skills,’ she said. ‘We should be doing everything we can to facilitate that, and I think that allowing video games to go in libraries is a bad signal.’ ” If you run into this misguided assumption yourself, you can point folks to this report or this report or this report (PDF), which discuss how gaming can help with exactly those things.

The worst part? They cite a figure for the number of libraries offering console or PC gaming programs that is flat out wrong, all the more curious since the summary of the survey is available online (PDF). Had they bothered to point to it from the article, they might have gotten it right. Sadly, the DMN doesn’t allow comments or trackbacks, so their readers will never know just how wrong the paper got this story. Luckily, the rest of us do.

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