Friday, 8 December 2006

Playground wars

Some innovative ideas in the field of library design at the moment, amongst which, these new designs for children's furniture from Opening the Book , which I have managed to get my hands on some photographs of.

The reading tunnel and reading tower are rumoured to be the centrepiece of the design of the children's area in the new Swansea Central Library and are causing some debate here in library land.
"It's a library, not a playground!" remarked one erstwhile librarian, while another spoke grandiosely of "interactive reading adventures".
Personally I'm just sorry I'm not small enough to enjoy them myself as I think they look rather fun.

So, what do you think?


Carole - Children's Librarian Swansea said...

How sad to think that a librarian actually said that 'it's a library not a playground'!!! Just imagine how much fun one piece of furniture could produce and perhaps make a child want to come back to the library, or is it a case of children should not be seen or heard in a library? I for one would love to be small enough to be able to crawl inside one of the fab tunnels and I do hope that the said librarian is not a member of staff from Swansea Libraries.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to turn things upside down (in our thinking that is) Play is a worthwhile activity and next to reading to and by children 0 + are fundemental. If we as a society valued play & reading for kids it would cut out the need for many of our governments lets shut the door after the horse has being given a ASBO approach to the world. sorry bit of a rant !

I think public libraries should always be designed around the book and the customer. If play type equipment allows books to connect with the audience then great.

Don't want go into the book verse gimick debate but hey .. playstations in libraries .. why not spuds !

Anonymous said...

About Play Stations. The online gaming culture is taking off. People are using their imagination to explore in different ways. People publish on blogs and live their imaginary stories in games rather than books. How will these long term changes in peoples leisure times play out in libraries. Books are here to stay but can sit alongside other leisure activities but do they sit together in libraries?

Anonymous said...

Karen - About electronic games in libraries
- just found this really interesting article which explains what we can learn from and how/why people play games.

Keynote presentation at What Do Games Teach Us About Learning Conference 17th August 2006.

What Video Games have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy Good computer and video games are learning machines. Despite being long and complex, they get themselves learned and learned well, not just in tutorials, but as part and parcel of playing the game to the end. Thus, designers face and largely solve an intriguing educational dilemma, one also faced by schools and workplaces, as well: how to get people to learn and master something that is long and challenging - and enjoy it.

Schools, workplaces, families, and academic researchers have a lot to learn about learning from good computer and video games. In this talk I will explicate the learning principles that are built into good video games and discuss their implications for learning in and out of schools for a global, high-tech, and risky world.

Date: Thursday, August 17, 2006

Time: 9:30 AM

Duration: 1:22:34


Take a look and see what you think!