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  • 1. Multi-Lib Phase 2Report 1:Review of Multi-Lib Phase 1Library service development usingcomputer games technologySummer 2002 - Winter 2004/5Andrew Lewis1 June 2005 Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
  • 2. The author would like to acknowledge support for Multi-Lib development from Computer Associates and the South East Museums Libraries and Archives Council (SEMLAC). ” We are very pleased to partner community projects, that might otherwise not be possible, to flourish. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Library Services have created an innovative way to encourage children into libraries through technology. We see great value in this project and already the evaluation has proved it to be a success. CA continually look for projects in the community that empower children through technology. We wish them luck in the next phase of this project and hope that it will not be restricted by funding” Christina Leach, Community Relations Europe Computer AssociatesSupported by a SEMLACResearch and Development grant
  • 3. Multi-Lib Phase 1 Evaluation Review Abstract This report offers a review of work conducted within Phase 1 of Multi-Lib, a development sub-programme looking at using multimedia in libraries within Library and Information Services of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. It explores the rationale that lies behind this work, of using popular multimedia formats for service development in libraries, especially computer games technology for children’s services. These have proved to be very popular with children with high use and positive feedback from the target audiences. There has been some success in demonstrating simple models for recording user behaviour, the use of games for marketing, and for raising the profile and reputation of library services amongst parents and local authority stakeholders and advocacy within the wider LIS community. There is a discussion of resource issues that arose when creating multimedia content. These include costs for set-up, and the creative resources required, and whether it is cost-effective to develop these skills in-house or buy them in as an external specialist service. Based upon these cost estimates and the customer and service benefits identified, simple models for return on investment are considered for creating multimedia services that may be of interest to others considering similar work. The findings indicate that multimedia is a successful and popular tool for service development in libraries, but that careful planning is required, and attention should be paid to resource issues for sustaining ongoing services. Some reflections and suggestions for approaches are offered within the conclusions.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 3
  • 4. Contents Scope ........................................................................................... 5 Background .................................................................................. 5 Objectives ..................................................................................... 5 Objectives for computer games ................................................ 5 Objectives for animated trailers ................................................ 6 Activity during Phase 1 ................................................................. 6 Early work and rationale ........................................................... 7 Creating multimedia content ..................................................... 9 Computer games content ...................................................... 9 Animated trailer content ........................................................ 9 Resources used.......................................................................... 10 Capital resources ................................................................... 10 Revenue Resources ............................................................... 11 Impact ......................................................................................... 11 Usage ..................................................................................... 11 Customer comments .............................................................. 12 Direct comments ................................................................. 12 Comments from surveys ..................................................... 13 Comments from other promotions ....................................... 14 Publicity .................................................................................. 15 Publications ............................................................................ 16 Income ................................................................................... 16 Return on investment ................................................................. 17 Direct customer benefits......................................................... 17 ROI: Marketing computers ..................................................... 17 ROI: Developing children’s basic ICT skills ............................ 18 ROI: Measuring user behaviour ............................................. 19 ROI: Advocacy ....................................................................... 20 ROI: Simple financial model ................................................... 20 Conclusions ................................................................................ 22 Overall success against objectives......................................... 22 Resource issues ..................................................................... 23 Lessons for future development ............................................. 24 Recommendations...................................................................... 25 References ................................................................................. 26Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 4
  • 5. Scope This review was undertaken retrospectively to review the work of Multi-Lib Phase 1, alongside other research and piloting during Phase 2. The purpose was to inform service development, but is published as part of the ongoing commitment to dissemination of ideas. The report is not presented as a detailed case study, but offered to the professional library community for use when considering the use of multimedia development within libraries. Background Multi-Lib is a development sub-programme looking at the application of multimedia within Library and Information Services of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Multi-Lib evolved from attempts to encourage use of library computers within libraries following the implementation of the People’s Network. Phase 1 is defined approximately as the 2½-year period from Summer 2002 until Winter 2004/5. The main activity during this period consisted of the introduction and development of a suite of computer games for developing basic ICT skills, the use of cartoon-type advertisements to promote services, and simple attempts to use multimedia to record user activity in an automated way and by doing so understand user behaviour. Objectives Objectives for computer games The main purpose of creating the computer games was to market the use of library computers to young children. The reason for this was a perceived reluctance amongst adults accompanying children in libraries, such as parents and carers, to allow children to touch the new equipment.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 5
  • 6. The games were also designed to develop basic mouse skills amongst young children, by the use of simple gameplay that encouraged repeated practise of skills such as clicking, dropping and dragging, and double clicking. Objectives for animated trailers The use of cartoon trailers attempted to recognise the fact that in everyday life information and cultural content is presented via multiple media channels, in a highly complex overlapping way. It was felt that existing promotion of services within public libraries was quite crude and predominantly based upon text copy, whether printed or on-screen. Modern child audiences experience cultural phenomena via multiple media, which link books, television, cinema, computer games, websites, ring tones and often more. A recognisable example of this is Harry Potter, which cannot be considered as just being about books. It was felt that exposure to such rich media creates a sophisticated child audience with high expectations. While it was clearly not realistic within service budgets to promote all library services to commercial standards, the computer games were an appropriate contained service to try out some simple experiments at using multimedia for promoting services and to experiment with recording user behaviour. Activity during Phase 1 This section describes in brief the work undertaken and approaches adopted during the development of Multi-Lib Phase1 from a conceptual idea to a formal strand of ongoing development.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 6
  • 7. Early work and rationale Phase 1 initially developed rather in a rather exploratory way, and was driven by the strong view that whilst multimedia and gaming technology were universal in culture and marketing, the potential benefits of these technologies were not being considered in libraries in any serious way. This early, rather unstructured approach arose because here was no specific project budget beyond overall staff time for electronic development, and as a result the programme was not formally scoped. Initially, the vast majority of development was done by staff in their own time, with the remainder undertaken as and when possible, within staff development budget. It was felt that the use of computer games might be considered frivolous activity by staff and customers, compared to other traditional library activity. It was decided that the best way to convince people of the serious potential was to create real examples that would demonstrate directly what was intended. It was felt that time taken trying to win over sceptical people to a conceptual idea would be better spent creating the content itself. The tactic was in short to make a body of content that would reach the core audiences of children and achieve the objectives of increased usage, and then to demonstrate to doubters that this worked. To do this meant identifying the secondary audiences of people who might influence the progress of the work. The main groups of people identified as influential were parents of children, library staff, the profession in general, and the wider corporate audience.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 7
  • 8. Parents of the child audience controlled the access that their children have to library services. Parents’ willingness to grant access to services requires their trust that a service is good or appropriate for their children. The games’ underlying serious nature was put across to parents by including references within them to libraries’ role as providers of information, books, and development for their children. For staff and professional audiences the approach was initially to show that the games were popular, and were achieving their objectives. This justified the existing work to date, but it was felt that other future developments would require stronger advocacy of the serious benefits of multimedia and the need to explore this seriously. Advocacy work within the profession included disseminating information about the work to professional community as widely as possible. This included posting to lists, applying for awards, and submitting articles for peer reviewed publications and conferences. To achieve this effectively meant adopting a more formal research approach, and to this end the work was formally defined as an ongoing sub-programme of development work, called Multi-Lib. Advocacy for corporate audiences was pitched at two levels. For IT technical staff it was important that the work was being conducted professionally and attention was paid to addressing their concerns about issues such as network security. For corporate senior-managerial audiences, it was important not just to be using innovate ways to deliver value for money, customer focused services, but to be clearly seen to be doing so. Being more professionally presented and academically formalised also helped make Multi-Lib more attractive to innovation funding grants. The fact that the work attracted external funding and won an award thatLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 8
  • 9. highlighted the council services on a national stage was significant in achieving recognition for the library service as a can-do service. Creating multimedia content Computer games content The main bulk of work was in two areas: artistic design and programming. The artwork included drawing by hand and using computer software, taking photographs and creating sound effects and musical jingles. Programming the game scripts that control the interactivity was done within the Flash authoring environment (version 5). The remaining time involved testing. Attempts at estimating the ongoing staff resources required to create content were made during the latter stages of Phase 1 by recording the total time taken to create a single complete game from scratch (DoubleClicketyWinks). To do this a log of all activity was kept. Animated trailer content Two types of trailer were developed. The first took the form of an animated image on the main library web page that alerted users to the fact that a new game was coming soon on the library computers. The second trailer was designed to promote the Summer Reading Challenge (Reading Rollercoaster) to users of the library computers. This was more sophisticated in that it was aimed to link the audiences of two different services. It was also the first real attempt to monitor user-activity in a measurable way. This trailer was designed to exploit the popularity of the games on the library computers. When potential game users accessed the games interface they were exposed to a very brief but bold full-sound animatedLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 9
  • 10. cartoon featuring characters from the promotional material of the Reading Rollercoaster. The closing scene was a skeleton suggesting they: “go and ask a member of staff right now!” The normal interface was then presented with an extra option to find out more. This trailer was displayed every time any user accessed the games over a fixed period. A record was kept of how many people chose this option. This gave an indication of two things: The overall number of people who saw the trailer and then chose to follow it up, and how this changed over the period that the trailer was displayed. Resources used To attempt to gauge return on investment for the production of multimedia content within Phase 1, this section attempts to establish a measure of the resources used, as a benchmark to compare with any benefits that have been achieved. The resources required were of two types: initial capital resources invested for set up, and the revenue costs of ongoing creation of multimedia content. Capital resources The main initial investment was software, and staff knowledge. The specialist software used was Macromedia Flash 5 for games creation, Sonic Foundry Sound Forge for sound editing, and later Fruity Loops for creating sound effects. All other software was basic Windows utilities such as the Windows sound recorder for voice recordings. The project also depended upon having LIS development staff with sufficient knowledge and experience in multimedia software and programming, to be able to create a body of content within very limited staffing resources, already heavily commented to other work.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 10
  • 11. The capital resources required to be able to start producing multimedia content was approximately £500. This figure was based solely upon the purchase cost of software. The other essential capital resource of staff knowledge and expertise was available free, but was of considerable value, not factored here. Revenue Resources The cost of content development was estimated at £3,120. This was based upon a record kept of all activity requited to produce one micro which was logged as 32 hours, a staff rate of £15 per hour and represents the investment for producing 6 games plus 2 short trailers. In addition an estimated £1,110 was spent in staff time spent applying for grants, writing papers and other related paperwork (representing two 37hr weeks). The total revenue for Phase 1 is estimated at £4,730. Impact This section considers the measure of impact of Multi-Lib Phase 1 and outlines the evidence to support this. Impact can be considered as any beneficial effect that the work has had for the customers, the Library and Information Services section and the wider council organisation, and the library profession overall. UsageLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 11
  • 12. For impact upon customers, the most obvious area to start looking is the level of use of the games. In pure numbers the games have been remarkable popular from the start. The following graph shows a sharp rise, and a steady increase in use. The usage has also consistently coincided with school holiday periods when more children are in the library. Within these peak, the monthly total approaches 6000 uses demonstrating the popularity of the games amongst the target core audience of children. It also confirms that the content was of a high enough quality to sustain popularity over time. 7000 6000 5000 doubleclicket ywinks hobbit .swf 4000 pirat e_sam.swf squares.swf 3000 beeconst ruct or.swf keepy_uppy.swf 2000 index.swf 1000 0 Feb-03 Feb-04 Jun-03 Jun-04 Dec-02 Dec-03 Dec-04 Oct-02 Oct-03 Oct-04 Aug-02 Aug-03 Aug-04 Apr-03 Apr-04 Figure 1: Usage graph for games August 2002 - December 2004 squares correspond to school holiday periods Graph shows use of individual games proportionately by area. Customer comments Direct comments There have a small number of written comments from children that refer directly to the games content. My sister and I really enjoy sitting down and playing the games at the library. I like all the games, but I always play DoubleClicketyWinks. The first time I played I found it hard, butLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 12
  • 13. now I am always wanting to play when I am at the library. One of the other games I like is the Hobbit as I am reading the book so I already know some of the characters. Comment received from a child at Cookham library, November 2004. The comment is interesting for two reasons. Firstly it indicates a change in ability arising from playing the game DoubleClicketyWinks. Although only one example, this was evidence of the game achieving its design brief of improving the basic skill of double clicking, by motivating the user to practise the skill. It also supported the notion that children are comfortable accessing cultural content via multiple media. Comments from surveys The 2002 ePlus survey was targeted at adults (16+), but there was one specific reference to the games from a parent, which clearly indicates awareness of the games by at least one of this target audience: “my boy plays on the ‘Bee’ game” Within the 2004 Children’s Plus Survey, there was no direct question about usage of computer games. However in all comments about library services overall, there were 14 (3.46% of the total received for all services) asking for more computer games, indicating their ongoing popularity. There were no negative comments about the games in this survey Of these 14 comments, exactly half each were from girls and boys. The age range 3-11 years old, with an average age of 7.71. This showed a clear correlation with the target age group of 3-9 year olds.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 13
  • 14. Comments from other promotions The 2004 summer reading promotion The Reading Rollercoaster was used to experiment with identifying user behaviour. The regular game selection interface was replaced with a short promotional trailer before the game menu was made available, over a 33- day period. The start date was July 19th – the start of the local Reading Challenge. The end date was August 21st - as close as possible to one calendar month later to reflect statistical reporting period obtainable from web stats package. The rather crude method of determining use was comparing the total views of two files over two months. This was weighted to reflect the fact that the files were only visible for a part of each month was. The main importance is the indication of a trend amongst users going from quite high numbers seeking more information at the beginning, trailing off later. Total number who saw Number who chose to viewPeriod Percentage the trailer in period further info in period (weighted)Jul-04 1096 348.15 31.77%Aug-04 1453 209.62 14.43% Figure 2: Percentage of users who chose to view additional information within summer reading challenge. This implies that the interest is initially quite high with more than 30% of all users choosing to view the extra information. The tailing off of interest also indicates that there are at least some repeat users of the service. There was evidence from the cards used by participants of the Reading Rollercoaster challenge to record their activity that linked the gamesLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 14
  • 15. trailers with reading activity. Two people who had been reading as a result of the promotion indicated that had found this from the computer games. This figure may have been higher but the indicator only asked whether they out about it “in the library”, but not exactly how. Publicity Multi-Lib has attracted publicity nationally within the library profession by winning the Multimedia category of the 2004 CILIP Publicity and Public Relations Group Awards. It has also been successful in attracting income. Both of these have helped raise Library and Information Services’ profile within the council. There have been positive articles in local papers highlighting the innovative nature and educational nature of the games: “An award and a grant will keep libraries in the Royal Borough at the cutting edge” (Slough and Windsor Observer. 3 December 2004) Within these articles the support of elected members has been demonstrated:Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 15
  • 16. “the ground-breaking computer games are a successful and much loved service among children and we have shared this knowledge nationally to enable more children to benefit” Cllr Richard Fagence (Maidenhead Advertiser. 26 November 2004) Publications Submission to peer-reviewed publications has resulted in an article within The New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship (LEWIS, 2005), and a presentation at LILAC 2005, the Librarian’s Information Literacy Annual Conference. (LEWIS, 2005) The work has also been presented at the 2003 Public Library Web Manager’s Conference organised by UKOLN at the University of Bath. (LEWIS, 2004) Income Multi-Lib has been successful in generating capital income from grants, and revenue income from licensing. Capital income has come from a grant of £920 from Computer Associates under their corporate responsibility scheme that supports the use of ICT for child development. £4752.88 came from a research grant from the South East Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Revenue funding has come from a low-cost licence for the games made available to other UK library services for non-commercial use in libraries. At the time of writing one authority has taken up this offer, and this generates £300 per year.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 16
  • 17. Return on investment Direct customer benefits The main objectives for Phase1 were to get children using the library computers, to provide a learning resource for basic skills for young children, to change perceptions about Library and Information Services within the Borough as innovative and forward looking, and to pilot conceptual ideas about the effectiveness of multimedia amongst child audiences for popularity, as a means of identifying behaviour, and to link to other non-computer library services. ROI: Marketing computers Unfortunately there were no usage data for the computers, prior to the introduction of the games, which means that no direct comparison of their impact upon overall usage can be made. However, the two and a half years of evidence, accumulated for the games since launch, clearly shows a popular service, extremely well used by the target audience. The data for game usage is many thousands of times per month, and the users are children in the age that was targeted. The games on the computers are clearly in use by the intended audience. The appeal of the games to customers was also felt to have been a resounding success. The usage has not faded over time despite the content being very simple. This is backed up by the qualitative evidence, from customers’ comments and surveys, that users are repeat users. Another way of considering return on investment is how much usage the service gets for a fixed one-off investment. The games were designed to have lasting appeal from a one off set of content, because resources could not be guaranteed to create further content.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 17
  • 18. This was been achieved with effectively no further investment needed after set-up, because of the rapid turnover of new young children using a single unchanging resource. The following graph shows how the return on investment continues to grow because although investment has stayed static, the usage has continued to grow. Looked at another way, the cost per access continues to get smaller as the usage grows, with no ongoing revenue investment needed. 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2 3 3 4 4 2 03 04 02 03 04 03 04 05 2 3 4 r-0 r-0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 g- g- n- n- n- b- b- b- ct ct ct g ec ec ec Ap Ap Au Au AuJu Ju Ju Fe Fe Fe O O O D D D Figure 2: Return on investment cost per use Legend: = Cost (£ per individual use) = ROI (usage per £ invested) ROI: Developing children’s basic ICT skills Feedback has indicated that users have been motivated to progress in the games. Given that this is only possible by using the skills they are designed to develop (mainly mouse control), taken together with the fact that there is high, sustained and repeat use vindicates the game design strategy as successful in developing skills amongst a large number of children in the target age. Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead MultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 18
  • 19. The exact number of users is not know, and so it is not possible to measure the return on investment in terms of number of individual people who have benefited in this way. However it is likely to be significant, and because of the design strategy to create content that has lasting appeal, the number of children who benefit will continue to grow, giving ongoing returns for a fixed investment. For a local authority this is an efficient contribution to government shared priorities for local government published in 2005, notably that of “improving the quality of life for children, young people, families at risk and older people” (ODPM, 2004) ROI: Measuring user behaviour The later work in Phase 1 demonstrated the capability of multimedia to determine in an automated way what users do when given choices. The only concrete return in Phase 1 was to demonstrate proof of principle, although the scale and methodology of this work does not really give usable data to actually measure the effectiveness of these methods to compare to the investment required to create them. Games designed to pass information derived from user’s behaviour can be hosted upon networks that allow that information to be harvested remotely. This clearly has enormous potential for the efficient measurement of impact of learning or marketing resources. The challenge for future developments is how to track progress of individuals. For example a user could register to use a learning environment. For the sake of example this could be for reader development, information literacy or library resources awareness. By recording over time the way the user interacts with the resource, a picture of how the resource affects their behaviour can be seen.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 19
  • 20. By using other surveying methods it is likely a rich picture could be developed of user progress. ROI: Advocacy A crude measure of advocacy for multimedia in terms of return on investment is the extent of publication within the profession of the conceptual ideas upon which Phase 1 was based. The financial investment for this element was around £1110, which produced one peer reviewed article: New Review of Children’s Literacy and Librarianship (LEWIS, 2005), a CILIP PPRG award, and two presentations at conferences: UKOLN Public Web Managers (LEWIS, 2004), and LILAC 2005 (LEWIS, 2005) ROI: Simple financial model As the objectives for Phase1 did not include income generation, this can be regarded as a beneficial side effect. In purely financial terms Phase 1 made a net profit. A simple cost analysis for return on investment (ROI) can be made by comparing income against costs using the following simple equation: % £ ROI = (income/costs) x 100 Using this the following figure can be obtained for set up costs for creation of content to date, and one-off capital income during Phase 1: % £ ROI = (5,672.88 / 4,730) x 100 = 123.1% This is a net income gain of about a quarter more than invested.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 20
  • 21. In addition there is a further £300 annual revenue income from licensing content created within Phase 1. With no further investment the ROI (financial only) will also continue to increase at an annual rate of 6.34%.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 21
  • 22. Conclusions Overall success against objectives Multi-Lib Phase 1 achieved objectives of ensuring children are welcomed to use the computers. Although no record was kept of numbers of children who used the computers before the games were introduced, we now have more than three years of data about usage that clearly show high activity in basic usage numbers, patterns of use that identify peak use with children’s holidays, and comments in surveys from a significant number of users within the age range of the core audience that was targeted. There has been success in demonstrating some of the theoretical principles outlined in the rationale that lay behind Multi-Lib. These included linking promotions on computers to reading books and reading schemes, the use of data to identify user behaviour when offered choices, and the use of the motivational qualities of computer games to reinforce learning behaviour through play. The project has been successful in changing opinions and attitudes to libraries by generating a considerable amount of positive publicity showing Library and Information Services as innovative and cutting edge both locally to customers, internally among corporate staff and nationally amongst the profession, including a CILIP award. There has been success at advocacy of the serious use of computer games technology. The development of a formalised approach has started to identify some models of content-creation scalability for different audiences, ways of measuring return on investment, and monitoring of user behaviour. The dissemination of these ideas via peer-reviewed channels has opened up the concepts for debate by a wide professional audience.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 22
  • 23. The work within Phase 1 was not planned in as much detail as was required with hindsight. There is perhaps a balance that needs to be struck between detailed planning in advance, against having the courage to try out model ideas in practise, even when the outcomes are not fully predictable, and learning from the experience Resource issues Other people attempting to undertake a project involving content creation should consider the following when costing resources. These analyses apply to any planned project, but as multimedia creation is not yet a common skill amongst library staff, expertise as a resource is a key issue The set up cost for software is a simple pricing exercise, but the cost of staff knowledge will be a matter of local availability. If no staff are available with the skills required, then the costing model comes down to choosing whether to train staff to create content, or to buy in expertise. The decision will rest upon whether the work is likely to continue over time. For a one-off project, outsourcing the work is likely to be more suitable as the work should be guaranteed under contract, and the cost is usually fairly predictable. For ongoing work, the training model will probably be more efficient as it is largely a one-off initial cost, with the benefits coming from revenue savings over time. Developing in-house expertise has the advantage of flexibility, but has risks associated with knowledge management. For example if a member of staff leaves, will the work be able to continue? Using cultural media popular with children appears to have been vindicated by the success of Phase1. The strategy of creating content as a one-off exercise require no ongoing resource to update, but ratherLibrary and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 23
  • 24. creating generic content that rising generations of children will use also appears to have been successful. This approach is recommended for consideration as a strategy of managing high audience expectation. Lessons for future development The games as developed served their purpose of motivation and skills reinforcement, but for longer-term development of complex skill, more longitudinal information is required from individual users. The main area where the work needs development therefore is likely to be the tracking of individual users, and the use of network technology to transmit information about users to establish their behaviour. With this data, it should be possible to actually see what people do in model environments that represent their experience in core library services such as information seeking, accessing library resources and reader development. These methods of data collection have great potential to develop excellent services for users.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 24
  • 25. Recommendations That games are developed requiring users to be identifiable as individuals (even if only anonymously as a game user id), to establish a means of tracking and assessing longitudinal development. That the technology of server/game communication is investigated, specifically: to allow carefully designed games to collect data in an automated way for building patterns of individual and overall use to enable direct user to service interaction for sending feedback, comments, opinions, and other potential uses such as online mentoring. That further investigation into the use of multimedia and learning is conducted That user consultation is conducted: Ethnographic about use of games by children and their attitudes to games in different situations. Usability research about preferences including accessibility for people with sensory disabilities where multimedia may be beneficial or detrimental.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 25
  • 26. ReferencesHEMANS, O. 2004. Educational Games win major award. Maidenhead Advertiser, 26November.LEWIS, A., 2004. Practical experiences of planning and delivering library e-services in TheRoyal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Presentation in: UKOLN Public Web Manager’sEvent. 6 May. UKOLN, Bath University. Bath: UKOLN.http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/events/public-workshop-04/presentations/a-lewis.ppt[Accessed 31 May 2005]LEWIS, A., 2005. Exploring multimedia for engaging children with libraries in Windsor andMaidenhead. In: Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 5 April. London:CILIP Information Literacy Group.Available from: http://www.cilip.org.uk/groups/csg/csg_ilg/Lilac05/Papers/lewis.pdf[Accessed 31 May 2005]LEWIS, A., 2005. Marketing Library Computers to Young Children using Computer Games.New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 11 (1) Routledge.OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, 2004. Local Area Agreements: A prospectus.London: Office Of The Deputy Prime Minister. Available from:http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_localgov/documents/page/odpm_locgov_029989-01.hcsp#P141_25448[Accessed 31 May 2005]SLOUGH AND WINDSOR OBSERVER, 2004. Dad’s game books an award. 3 December.Library and Information Services The Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadMultiLib Phase 2. Report number 1 Review of MultiLb Phase 1 Page 26