Playing Games in the School Library: Developing Game-Based Lessons and Using Gamification Concepts

Facet. Sept. 2021. 192p. pap. $65.99. ISBN 9781783305339.
From designs to definitions, every page of this definitive title Pavey’s authority and expertise from years of experience in school libraries and educational training shapes. Differentiating between game-based learning and gamification, Pavey offers an overview of the research supporting game-based learning, followed by a discussion of how that learning helps students develop resilience as well as emotional and social skills. Subsequent chapters offer comprehensive information on implementing slide-based games, digital games, physical games, mixed-media games, student-focused games, and live games in the school library. Each chapter is rooted in learning theory and consistently references intended students’ needs and abilities. The clearly organized information includes real-world examples that illustrate the concepts and suggestions Pavey provides. Practical information saturates this text: a chapter on gamification discusses the pros and cons of rewards-based programs, and a chapter on impact gives solid rationale for contextualizing game-based learning and gamification techniques within the long- and short-term goals of school library services. The concluding chapter emphasizes the importance of collaboration with teachers and administrators in game-based learning projects and partnerships. An extensive list of references and an index are included.
VERDICT Pavey’s text is dense with ideas, from copyright to assessment, and is always centered on the student. School and public librarians considering adding game-based learning to their list of accomplishments would do well to start here.

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