234mm x 156mm
Sample Chapter [PDF] Download Flyer Request e-Inspection Copy

Playing Games in the School Library: Developing Game-Based Lessons and Using Gamification Concepts


Playing Games in the School Library is a comprehensive resource for those looking to explore the use of game-based learning and gamification in the library setting. It illustrates how game play can be developed through applying learning theory to practice, exemplified by case studies taken from a variety of international contexts.

The book begins by applying prominent learning theories, in particular the use of games to nurture natural curiosity, problem solving and creativity. It then looks at the effect of playful learning upon individual students and groups. Motivation, engagement and the development of self-esteem are explored alongside social skills such as team working, oracy, communication, motor skills and emotional intelligence. Separate chapters outline the practical use of different types of games including digital, mixed media, physical and active learning and live games, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each within a teaching and learning context. Finally, consideration is given to how game-based learning and gamification can be used to promote library resources and services for impact and how collaboration on this approach with subject teachers, senior leadership teams and the wider community, including parents can be beneficial.

Written in a comprehensive but accessible manner, Playing Games in the School Library will give readers a means of engaging with distance learning, as well as providing a more challenging environment within their physical space. It will equip them with both a practical and theoretical rationale for including the game-based approach in their work while supporting their school's aims and objectives.


  1. How do we know game-based learning is an effective approach?
  2. Developing resilience emotional and social skills through game-based learning
  3. Simple slide based games
  4. Digital games
  5. Physical games
  6. Mixed media games
  7. Student focused games and live games
  8. Gamification
  9. Game-based learning and gamification approaches for impact within your school library
  10. Working with teachers, senior leaders and parents using game-based learning and gamification techniques


Sarah Pavey has worked as a school librarian for over 20 years and is founder of education training company and consultancy SP4IL. She holds degrees in biochemistry and information science and is an established author and regular speaker at conferences for school libraries as well as wider education issues. Sarah is a Fellow of CILIP and the Royal Society of Arts and works with the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) in the field of adult education. Her training courses, both home and abroad, on a range of topics including playful learning, are practical and acclaimed for being rooted in theory.

'I have been admiring, from afar, for several years now, the possibilities of game-based learning within libraries. I've never been adventurous enough to sail in these uncharted waters, possibly due to many case studies being predominately focussed within HE. This book, however, will definitely put the 'wind in the sail' and confidently push school librarians into experimenting with gamification in their libraries.

The author begins the journey by simply explaining the numerous pedological learning theories. This I was very thankful for, as the success and impact of gaming, as it's consistently pointed out throughout the chapters, is the need to consider, not just emotional and social factors but also theoretical pedagogy when devising games.

There is a plethora of case studies, illustrating how games are created and implemented within school libraries. And if you work in a school where the 'computers don't always work' there are lots of physical games, alongside the digital. There's a useful chapter on 'live games' and on creating escape rooms, which may just inspire future library events.

I've gone away from reading this book with a 'can do' attitude, and so my gaming journey begins'.

- Kevin Sheehan

You might also be interested in..

« Back