Library Discovery through Augmented Reality: A Game Plan for Academics

By Daniel L. Ireton, Joelle Pitts and Benjamin Ward.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 21, 2014 $US5.00

In order to create innovative pathways to services and resources, the authors propose placing a “game-layer” on top of the library, luring new patrons with the potential of playing an Alternate/Augmented Reality Game (ARG). Using both physical and virtual library space a variety of “nodes” are created, drawing players to various library locales even regular patrons may be unfamiliar with and presenting them with story fragments and puzzles. Each node requires players to use library resources like databases and books, or engage library staff at known service points in order to move forward. Players contribute to the game itself in the form of puzzle solutions. Far more illustrative than a guided tour or required course/class, this library ARG encourages players to discover and utilize resources within the context of the game, generating fluency in library systems, places and platforms. But more importantly, the ARG invites a process of “meta-level reflection” invaluable throughout a patron’s academic career.

Keywords: Augmented Reality Games, Alternate Reality Games, Libraries

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.119-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 583.809KB)).

Daniel L. Ireton

Assistant Professor/Undergraduate and Community Services Librarian, Kansas State University Libraries, Undergraduate and Community Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

I work primarily with undergraduate students, providing reference assistance and instruction in library tools and services. I also work heavily in outreach and engagement, spearheading events to bring students into the library and inform them of what libraries can provide. Prior to my faculty appointment, I worked at K-State Libraries in circulation and was in charge of sorting and maintenance of the physical collection. Along with my master's in libraries science I have a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. My chief interests are learning styles and popular culture, with a focus in gaming and graphic novels.

Prof. Joelle Pitts

Assistant Professor/Instructional Design Librarian, Kansas State University Libraries, Undergraduate and Community Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

Joelle Pitts is the Instructional Design Librarian and Assistant Professor at Kansas State University Libraries. She is responsible for the creation and maintenance of web-based learning objects and environments aimed at improving the information literacy of the Kansas State University community. Joelle’s research interests include distance education and the role of libraries in e-learning, gamification of bibliographic instruction, as well as the development of learning analytics for personalized instruction. She holds degrees in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University and Library Science from Emporia State University.

Benjamin Ward

Instructional Designer, Information Technology Assistance Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

Instructional designer, technologist, educator, and lifelong learning addict, Ben Ward has developed and designed training programs, distance courses, face-to-face courses, and instructional games. Employed as an Instructional Designer for Kansas State University, Ben has collaborated with a wide range of faculty in the creation of online and face-to-face courses. Recent presentations include “Going Mobile with ‘Smart’ Apps” and "Turning Epic Fail Into Epic Win: Embracing Gaming Culture In Teaching and Learning Today" for the Axio Community Conference; “Pecha Kucha: Cloud-based tools for educators” for the Colleague-2-Colleague Fall Symposium; “Creating Your First Mobile App” and “Building Educational Games & Simulations” for the IDT Roundtable series. Currently, Ben Ward has taken his lifelong passion and love of games and applied it to 15 years of instructional game-design experience to offer a series of four-hour workshops on instructional game design for wide variety of audiences.

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