The Library is Undead - LRSV


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This presentation describes the University of Florida Library's involvement with the alternate reality game Humans versus Zombies during the Spring 2010 semester. The library embedded with players of this popular university ARG and developed a mission that engaged students in information literacy activities.

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  • Imagine Florida in early April. The air is warming, the flowers are blooming, and the living dead are lumbering across campus in search of fresh brains. Such was the case during the student-organized Alternate Reality Game (ARG) “Humans vs. Zombies” of HvZThe premise was simple. About a thousand students participated, with one of them designated to be a zombie. The game lasted a week, and all the zombie had to do to infect humans was tag them. As zombie numbers grew the humans would have to do all they could to stay alive…
  • 12 days to infection: A cryptic flyer about the HvZ event is spotted…A librarian uses her skills to investigate and discovers an opportunity.
  • 10 Days to Infection:Suddenly signs appeared all over campus…Margeaux contacts instruction librarians all over campus
  • 8 days to infection:A group of library staff brainstorms a zombie-related library activity that will teach students about the various information resources to use during the zombie apocalypse. Librarians from across campus contributed.Tasks include: Finding electronic mapsUsing e-reservesTexting a call number Searching for articles
  • Feed Your Brains is born!
  • Institutional Readiness:Matthew Daley – zombie expert (info zombies 2007 and zombie masks)UF IT - Zombie Preparedness Plan (2009)Students hacked into road signs on campus to read “Zombie Attack. Evacuate!”
  • Librarians immediately establish a libguide pulling together information about the game and library resources related to zombies.In one weekend it gets 1,000 views.9,690 views since April (4th most popular guide)47,963 – databases16,725 – pharmacy14,665 – Writing for Engineers
  • 6 days to infection:The group posts Information Zombie masks around the libraries to publicize the event starts interacting with the HvZ player via Facebook and Twitter.HvZ game organizers make our activity the first official mission!
  • The day of the mission finally arrives. 4 hours before the library mission, zombie hunters congregate outside the library to secure the perimeter and defend the area from potential zombie attacks.Almost 200 players (or about 20% of HvZ participants) take part in the Library Mission.
  • Registration – students register and receive a guide to location based clues
  • Maps- At the Map library students uncover a historic map of Haiti that details the origins of the outbreak that has swept through the Caribbean an into Florida. They must find the city where the outbreak originated and navigate the libraries electronic map collections to discover a recent map of that city.
  • E-Reserves – university policy regarding the infection requires students to access all course materials from safe, secure locations. This activity trained students to create and use an E-Reserves account to access the materials for ZOM1000. After downloading a document and citing it, the students received a certification stamp.
  • Databases- Staying on the theme of acccessing completely digital information, students used the web of science to find the chemical compounds used to induce zombified corpses in Haitian rituals.
  • Text- In case students had to retrieve a print book from our collections, they needed to understand how to text the call number to their cell phone. This would ensure a quick run to the shelves with a communication device in hand in case they were trapped.
  • Final Certification- All 4 stages could be completed in any order with stamps collected upon verification of each stage. The reward…. Cupcakes for the first 100 students.
  • We directly observed students forming impromptu squads that allow them to complete the mission faster. Collaboration, Communication, and Team-based Problem Solving become key.
  • Article in Journal of Library InnovationAdventures in library instruction podcastVideo on YouTubeLibGuide
  • The Library is Undead - LRSV

    1. 1. The Library is Undead<br />LRS-V<br />October 8, 2010<br />Margeaux JohnsonUniversity of Florida<br /><br />
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    3. 3. 12 days to infection<br />
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    5. 5. 10 days to infection<br />
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    7. 7. 8 days to infection<br />
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    11. 11. 7 days to infection<br />
    12. 12.<br />
    13. 13. 6 days to infection<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Day 2 in the year A.Z.(anno zombii)<br />
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    24. 24. Further Info<br />Article:<br />Johnson, M., Buhler, A., and Hillman, C. (2010) The library is undead: information seeking in the zombie apocalypse. Journal of Library Innovation. 1 (2)in publication<br />YouTube Video:<br /><br />Libguide:<br /><br />Adventures in Library Instruction Podcast:<br />Episode 14: Zombie Invasion<br /><br />
    25. 25. Acknowledgements<br />UF Librarians, who made it all possible.<br />Amy Buhler, Tara Cataldo, Missy Clapp, Christine Cogar, Matthew Daley, <br />Chelsea Dinsmore, Stacey Ewing, Jennifer Ferrington, Sara Gonzalez, <br />Stephanie Haas, Deborah Herbtsman, Kenny Herniman, Chris Hillman, Jay Mann, Carol McAuffie, Paul McDonough, Melody Royster, Isabel Silver, Marijka Willis, <br />and Donna Wrublewski<br />Dr. Christopher Sessums, who introduced me to the MacArthur Foundation’s New Media Literacies and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework.<br />
    26. 26. Bibliography<br />Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robinson, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: media education for the 21st century. Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation.<br />Anderson, L., Krathwohl, D. and Bloom, B. (2001) A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman. <br />Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2007) The intellectual and policy foundations of the 21st century skills framework. Partnership for 21st Century Skills.<br />