Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where and How I Found the Money

To cut to the chase, my funding was derived from the Electronic Resources budget for my Library System. This budget pays for things like our database subscriptions, accessibility software and equipment, etc. The original thought was to split the money between adult and juvenile programming budgets (which are kind of skimpy to begin with), but the wonderful Electronic Resources Librarian swooped in and offered the use of that sizable budget.

We are also going to be cataloging the software when it arrives, which means it will be treated more like a resource than a prop for a program series.

Convincing the programmers and administration wasn't as difficult as I initially expected. Aside from the budget, the key hurdles I had to overcome were:
  1. Complete Lack of Knowledge - The game had to be shown to them to fully understand its scope. I brought in my own laptop from home, but I know most people don't play on laptops. The game has a Downloadable Version for current account holders which would work great for presentations. It's also a good idea to test game-play on your computers and to work with your IT department to make sure the proper ports are open for patching.
  2. Free Access - Librarians don't like to exclude anyone. Since many programs would involve new character creation for cooperative play, patrons could use the 10-day Free Trial Account without downloading. I have tested trial accounts on a full install of the game, and it does work.
  3. Location and Equipment - Libraries don't typically purchase equipment for gaming, and that is true for my Library. Total immersion in the WoW universe wasn't the goal of this program, so optimal performance wasn't key. We ended up using the laptops intended for use as a mobile staff training lab. The other option considered was using the computer lab at our Main Library.

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