The Academic Division of the Special Libraries Association is pleased to present the University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the Springshare Innovation in Academic Libraries Award. This award is granted to a library which creates a new program or service which demonstrates an innovative approach to academic librarianship. The Division presented the award during the Academic Library Division Business Meeting at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA.
The University Library at UNC Chapel Hill created an interactive game called “Should Brandon and Nicole Get Engaged?” or ShBANGE. In this “alternate reality game,” actors staged a mock wedding proposal in a high-traffic area on campus. Many students saw this live or watched the YouTube video and followed a URL to participate in a learning based online game. This game included a variety of seventeen puzzles for the students to complete which helped them learn about a wide variety of topics in their academic curriculum. Additional puzzles were provided to the students using social networking tools and other media.
The Academic Division of the Special Libraries Association found Chapel Hill’s use of alternative gaming, technology, social networking, collaboration and communication to be a worthwhile and successful way to engage students on campus and help them build “information literacy” competencies, such as: locating and analyzing information, understanding different information formats, and using technology to both study the interaction of ideas and to create documents/images and use them in differing contexts. The SLA Academic Division felt that this “reality game” was forward-thinking in terms of creating an interactive format encouraging student participation while teaching the students essential skills for locating, understanding and utilizing information in today’s society.
As a result of winning the award, the University Library at UNC Chapel Hill will receive $500, donated by Springshare.