Gaming in the library; soft skills webinar announced

On Friday, Nov. 8, the Indiana State Library held a small gaming demonstration for library employees. The event was designed to help librarians and library employees begin to explore the use of board games in a library setting; especially the games’ ability to help promote the development of soft skills. It was held in conjunction with the American Library Association’s International Games Week. In the future, we hope to bring this type of discussion to library communities as a training opportunity.

In 2007, two librarians whom I consider pioneers in the use of games in libraries, Jenny Levine and Scott Nicholson, had the idea to attempt to set a world’s record for the number of people playing the same game at the same time at libraries. This day became National Games Day and libraries around the United States were encouraged to hold events to promote and play games and, if possible, help set this record. Five years later it was re-branded International Games Day and five years after that, on the tenth anniversary, it was expanded and re-branded again to International Games Week. For a full history, check out their website.

As I wrote about in my last blog entry, “Fun and games or secret career-building tool?,” games of all types can help the players learn and practice skills that are coveted by many employers. The participants at this event got a chance to discover and discuss these concepts and the consensus was to bring this discussion to the larger Indiana librarian community. Join me on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 10 a.m. for a webinar on this topic: “Engagement with soft skills – using board games at the library to engage patrons and improve career readiness.” Please see our calendar for this event and for other training opportunities.

This post was written by George Bergstrom, Southwest regional coordinator, Professional Development Office, Indiana State Library.

Future genealogy webinars

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get started on your family history? Are you wondering how to begin or where to start? The Indiana State Library (ISL) Genealogy Division wants to help you stay on track and meet your goal this year. Perusing your family history can be fun and rewarding. However, for the beginning genealogist, research can be difficult and many wonder how to get started. ISL can help you with this goal.

The Genealogy Division has created a brand new webinar that will be available online in the coming months. This webinar will help you tackle the beginning steps in genealogy research. The webinar will be recorded and available on ISL’s website. Once the webinar is published you will be able to access the recording free and on your own time. Learn about records sets, how to get started and why you might be having road blocks; all from the comfort of your home. Topics to be discussed include the basic principles of genealogy research, where to start and what information you can find in different records. Be sure to check out our website for updates on this and future webinars.

In the meantime, please browse our current collection of webinars and videos.

This blog post was written by Crystal Ward, librarian in the genealogy department. If you would like more information about this webinar or other genealogy events, please contact the genealogy department at 317-232-3689. 

Fair Use Week: Feb. 20 – Feb. 24

Everybody loves “Weird Al” Yankovic. Okay, maybe not everybody, but most people can find humor in his parody songs like “White and Nerdy” and “Amish Paradise.” Well, almost everybody not named Coolio. Word on the street is that “Weird Al” is a nice guy and gets permission to parody songs from the original artists. However, he is not legally required to do so thanks to fair use. A 1994 court case, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569, ruled that parody qualifies as fair use.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

In the United States, fair use permits the restricted use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the rights holders. This allows everything from “Weird Al” parody songs to movie reviews to certain “Saturday Night Live” skits to exist. Fair use is even the reason we’re allowed to use DVRs. So, if you DVR “Saturday Night Live” it’s double the fair use. Of course, there are academic applications relating to fair use, too. Try writing a scholarly paper without quotations. Thanks, fair use. For a great overview of fair use, click here.

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the doctrines of fair use and fair dealing, is in full swing, running from Feb. 20 – Feb. 24, and is commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries. According to the Fair Use Week website, the event “is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories and explain these doctrines.”

Fair use is important to librarians and educators alike. The American Library Association (ALA) is currently hosting, on their website, a webinar titled “Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators.”  In the webinar, Carrie Russell, a copyright expert, discusses common copyright concerns for librarians and educators.

Fair use applies to almost everyone. For a complete list of organizations, including many libraries and universities, participating in Fair Use Week, click here.

So, next time you try to imagine a world without “Addicted to Spuds,” research papers, movie reviews or an “SNL” cold open, remember that fair use makes it all possible.

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at communications@library.in.gov.