I attended a session this weekend on gamifying the library experience, based on a game launched by the University of Huddersfield called Lemontree. This game came about after the university’s library impact data project seemed to indicate a strong correlation between a student’s level of honors upon graduation from college and the time spent in the library/using library resources. Lemontree – a game in which users earn point for carrying out activities in the library and using library resources -- was created in response to this to try and increase library engagement amongst students. Some examples of ways one can earn points while playing and level up:
- points for entering the library
- points for logging into an e-resource
- points for borrowing books
- “early bird” or “night owl” badges are earned for coming into the library at certain times of the day
- users that ask good reference questions are given a bonus code by a librarian to enter for additional points
- bonus codes are hidden in certain course readings (in consultation with professors) for additional points
At some point in the future, the library envisions that these points could be "converted" to the ability to print X number of pages per semester for free, or to pay off library fines -- to add an extra incentive for playing.
It will be interesting to see how this game takes off -- while a number of students have signed up to play, although it is too early to gather any data. In any event, it's always fascinating to look at the different ways that institutions are using to learn and measure the impact of libraries -- beyond the usual usage statistics.
(There is also a useful blog with useful technical details as to how the system is set up.)