Monday, July 23, 2007

Eli Neiburger, AADL "The Payoff: Up Close and Personal"

Eli introduced himself as the third in a trilogy of bearded white males, Geek 3: the Geekinator before launching into a very clear and passionate presentation about all the video gaming program at the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library. He talked about details like budget - an intial investment of hardware has lead to three years worth of programs. For just $150 you can host a video game program for 30-50 people - you don't have to have 8 tvs and give away iPods. They are fortunate to have administrative and IT buy in, and a Friends group that buys prizes.

One thing I love about hearing Eli speak is that he tells great stories and everything he says is quotable. He mentioned at 40% of Americans don't read after high school, and gamer make up a larger portion of your community than readers.

AADL hosts a blog and leaderboards where players and one way the kids are able to express themselves is by posting on the boards. They can say anything, but they can also ask Eli to review posts and replace salty language with the word "snork."

The payoff is providing relevance to an audience that didn't think it was possible [for the library to be relevant in their lives]."

He concluded with a 10 minute video that showed highlights from tournaments and interviews with players, parents and librarians.

He also announced that in July 2008, AADL will make their leaderboard available NATIONALLY. Watch for details.

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