Gamification is a powerful method of bringing video game elements into real world environments, as a way of motivating users to engage and use services. So how can gamification be used in a library setting to encourage new users?
Over recent years, its popularity has increased, especially with its usage in mobile apps where users are encouraged to come back each day for example, Duolingo and FitBit.
Generally, elements of gamification can be seen through badges/awards, points, challenges, online leader boards and directly competing with friends.
These challenges and rewards can then be themed to suit a given environment or app, tying into the experience in a natural way. These features tend to make tasks more enjoyable to users where they might otherwise not have much interest, by engaging a user’s desire for rewards and friendly competition.
Gamification has proven to be highly effective in educational settings, especially for children. Use of game elements can provide instant feedback to users, allowing them to improve over time and see their progress tracked within the app.
These benefits also translate over to library environments. The clearest example of this is the rise of reading challenges, which are used to encourage users to read more books and to help build an enjoyable habit of reading. Readers can compete with each other by comparing the number of books read, rewards earned, etc.
Library visits can be incentivised through the use of rewards. This can come in many forms, including stickers and digital in-app rewards which users can collect. Areas within the library can even be adapted to suit gamified experiences. This gives users a hands-on experience, along with the opportunity for collaborative elements to be included between users.