Special thanks to Jenny Levine (aka The Shifted Librarian) for providing a virtual handshake with Lisa Hinchliffe, an associate professor in library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lisa is also the Head of the Undergraduate Library and the Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction. A lot of titles to be sure.
It turns out that the Undergraduate Library at UIUC is one of the most socially-networked libraries I’ve ever seen. As Lisa pointed out to me, they blog, Twitter, IM, text, and use Facebook, MySpace and Second Life with regularity. From what I can tell, this is absolutely one of the most up-to-date university libraries in the country. They know that their primary clientèle are traditionally-aged undergraduate students, and as Lisa wrote to me, “we have to go where they are going or we just aren’t part of their world.”
As a literacy, games, and new media researcher, I’m always on the lookout for great university support. You can imagine how thrilled I was when Lisa directed me to their gaming collection! They have collected consoles and gaming titles, of course, but they are also building an entire community and network around gaming and games-based research at U of I that is just wonderful. They point to resources on the web, faculty and courses, and campus gaming groups. Fantastic.
I hope to go out and see this all for myself this spring, so more to report later for sure.