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Librarians and Children as Design Team Partners: Creating a Digital Game for Young Innovators Game

  • 1.  Librarians and Children as Design Team Partners: Creating a Digital Game for Young Innovators Game

    Posted 8 days ago


    Dr. Ruth Small, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor Emerita and Research Professor and her team of research assistants at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University are seeking a total of 12-15 librarians, currently working in elementary school or public libraries that serve children in grades 2, 3 and 4 (ages 7-10), to join our Librarian Design Team (LDT) as part of our IMLS-funded project, "Librarians and Children as Design Team Partners: Creating a Digital Game for Young Innovators Game" (IRB23-042). This project supports the creation and assessment of an innovative, digital educational story-game that combines literacy and gaming to teach young children the inventing process and supportive skills in information literacy, problem-solving and team-building 


    Participation in this project spans an 12-month design, development and evaluation period; all work will be conducted online. LDT members will be expected to attend two meetings and 10 monthly focus group sessions over a 12-month period. During these meetings and sessions, the researchers will demonstrate newly created or planned digital story-game segments about which participating librarians will be asked selected, relevant questions. Questions will elicit their opinions, creative ideas and suggestions for improvement on a range of elements (e.g., characters, storylines, settings, games).  


    LDT participation is voluntary and a participant may withdraw or stop participating temporarily at any time, for any reason. The estimated number of LDT participation hours for this project is 30-40 over the 12-month period.  


    The project's research team is seeking an LDT, made up of members who: 

    • are 21 years of age or older; 

    • are currently employed as an elementary school librarian or a youth services public librarian in a U.S. school or public library serving child patrons currently in grades 2-4 (ages 7-10); 

    • have Internet access to a computer with a microphone and camera 

    • have experience and/or interest in offering invention education programs for young children in their libraries;  

    • have experience in using Zoom and social media; and  

    • represent a diverse and inclusive group of participants (race, gender, age, ability, geographic regions of the U.S.) that bring a range of interests and perspectives to the game design process. 


    In addition to active participation in two (2) monthly meetings and ten (10) monthly focus group sessions, LDT participants will be expected to: 

    • Design and develop a public library program or school library unit of instruction in their libraries that incorporates the full story-game and implement their program or unit with 15 or more children from the targeted grades (2,3,4), where students will learn the invention process and relevant supportive skills and apply them in the context of solving an identified problem in their own community; 

    • Observe, document and assess student' attitudes, reactions, behaviors, and outcomes in response to participation in the program or unit of instruction and the story-game and share this information through an online implemented plan evaluation questionnaire; 

    • Create a short story (3 pages, max), using the project's template, that is based on their program/unit plan implementation experience and results, for inclusion as contributing authors to the creation of a best practices guide for librarians on digital learning games in libraries, to be published and freely available on the project website, The Innovation Destination (  


    Compensation for the LDT work described above (up to $1000 total) will be pro-rated, based on defined levels of output, will be offered to LDT participants.  


    For more information about this project or to indicate your interest in volunteering to be considered for inclusion on our project's Library Design Team, please contact Dr. Ruth Small at 

    Emily Smith
    Syracuse University