iSchool professor receives first grant for gaming lab
iSchool professor receives first grant for gaming labFebruary 06, 2008Margaret Costello Spillettmcostell@syr.edu
Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) professor Scott Nicholson, director of the M.S. in library and information science program, recently received a Gaylord grant worth $5,000 to support his gaming lab, which focuses on the intersection of gaming and libraries. “We’re so excited and thrilled with Gaylord,” Nicholson says. “By giving us this first grant, the company recognizes that this is interesting and it deserves some attention.”
The Gaylord grant will go toward setting up an infrastructure for the gaming lab and purchasing such crucial equipment as televisions, projectors and gaming consoles. The lab will initially operate as a portable gaming lab that Nicholson will take to library conferences to shed light on different gaming types and how to go about setting up gaming programs.
This is one phase of what Nicholson hopes will grow into a place where he and a team of students show librarians how to play a variety of games and monitor the issues that arise with the games, as well as do research about what types of games are most appropriate for different groups of users. “The students will be my ears and eyes, helping me notice when there are problems,” says Nicholson, who recently started an American Library Association Members Initiative Group to explore gaming in libraries of all types. “It will help any of these students who want to go to a public, academic or school library and run gaming events, to have experience knowing how to pull this off.”
Through its gift, Gaylord, a Syracuse-based library supply company, marks a growing trend in libraries, educational institutions and companies investing in gaming as a popular and increasingly effective new learning method. While the Gaylord grant represents a significant start, Nicholson hopes to attract much more funding to further develop his studies. His immediate plan is to draw at least two other sponsors at the $5,000 level.
“The hope is that now other organizations will see that we’re getting funding, here’s what we’ve done with it, and will want to help out as well,” Nicholson says. “Our goal is to build up a funding base for future large-scale projects.”