ALA Cognotes 2014 Annual Conference Highlights - (Page 1)
ANNUAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Jane McGonigal Connects the Dots:
From Game to the Brain
By Brad Martin
ane McGonigal opened the
ALA Annual Conference
in Las Vegas June 27, telling the audience how 10 positive emotions experienced in
the brains of gamers not only
mean great hope for solving
real world problems in the
future, but also for harnessing
McGonigal, author of
Reality is Broken: Why Games
Make Us Better and How
They Can Change the World,
played her first computer
game in 1986 at a school
Opening General Session presenter Jane McGonigal describes
library in Morristown, N.J.
how alternate reality games affect the brain.
She drew a sharp contrast
between the degree to which "positive emotions," which up" during interactive game
the global workforce and she demonstrated in a se- playing, but do not during
gamers are engaged in their ries of photographs of wide- passive exposure. Games
respective activities - point- ranging facial expressions of teach players that it is posgamers in action. sible to learn how to solve
ing out that 81
These 10 posi- sometimes difficult challenges
percent of the
"The opposite of
tive emotions are and the positive reinforceglobal workplay isn't work.
joy, relief, love, ment they receive makes for
force do not feel
surprise, pride, an "upward cascade" of imengaged with
curiosity, excite- provement, she said.
their work and
ment, awe and
"Games make us more
what they are
doing, and this costs com- wonder, contentment, and resilient," said McGonigal,
panies about $3.1 trillion a creativity. Creativity is the explaining how "super-emyear (Gallup 2013). Gamers, most positive of these emo- powered, hopeful individuals"
numbering about one billion tions, McGonigal said, add- are more likely to be able to
worldwide, are much more ing, "these are the faces you collaborate - unlike in much
of the working world, where
engaged in their activities want to see in your library."
She pointed out how speand experience a whole range
» see page 6
of feelings McGonigal called cific areas of the brain "light
Video Highlights of the
2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition
» see page 2
Session Concludes Successful
Annual Conference with B.J. Novak
uthor, actor and
from a boyhood
as an author
children's "pic- B.J. Novak speaks at the Closing
ture" book ap- General Session.
pears on library
shelves, at the July 1 Closing
Novak said that his first
ambition - before he wantNovak, who is probably ed to be an actor or a writer
best known for his role as or a player for the Boston
Ryan on the sitcom "The Red Sox - was to become a
Office," charmed the crowd librarian.
from the start, when he an"I was enthralled by the
nounced that he was excited library in my elementary
to speak before thousands of school, where anything
» see page 14
librarians in Las Vegas.
ALA President Barbara K. Stripling interviews award-winning
actor, producer, and country musician Jeff Bridges and bestselling youth author and two-time Newbery Medal winner Lois
Lowry during the ALA President's Program.
Lowry and Bridges Talk Creativity,
By Brad Martin
uthor Lois Lowry and
actor Jeff Bridges
shared their personal
memories, creative processes,
and responsibilities as artists
at the ALA President's Program on June 29.
Lowry, whose book The
Giver has been made into a
film to be released in August,
and Bridges, who plays the
title character, conversed with
each other as they responded
to ALA President Barbara K.
Stripling's questions. The audience was treated to a "sizzle
reel" of the film, which also
stars Meryl Streep.
The subject of memory,
central to the themes of The
Giver, was explored, and
» see page 9
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ALA Cognotes 2014 Annual Conference Highlights
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