The Verizon Foundation, Verizon Communications’ philanthropic arm, has provided a $1 million grant to the American Library Association (ALA) for a project aiming to track and measure gaming’s impact on problem-solving literacy skills. With its research, the ALA hopes to build a model for library gaming that can be deployed nationally.
The organization will work with 12 “gaming experts” to document how gaming can be used as a literacy tool, monitoring the results of those initiatives. The ALA plans to build a comprehensive, online literacy and gaming toolbox, titled The Librarians' Guide to Gaming. The guide will then be field-tested at select libraries.
Claiming over 65,000 members, the ALA cites its mission as promoting “the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.” The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its Thinkfinity.org program.
Said ALA president Loriene Roy: "Gaming is a magnet that attracts library users of all types and, beyond its entertainment value, has proven to be a powerful tool for literacy and learning. Through the Verizon Foundation's gift, ALA's gaming for learning project will provide the library community with vital information and resources that will model and help sustain effective gaming programs and services.
Verizon president Patric Gaston added: “In today's technology-driven world, where learning does not stop at the classroom, the role of libraries in supporting literacy and learning is more critical than ever before. Gaming for learning presents a tremendous opportunity for libraries to further literacy skills in children as well as adults.”