What is Minecraft and How Does it Work at HML?

Minecraft is an online game where you dig (mine) and build (craft) different kinds of 3D blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats. In our current 6 week program, participants will engage in different challenges set by the instructor. The challenges are fun and designed to utilize the STEAM principles of science, technology, engineering, art and math. The program will be hosted on the library’s private server so you don’t have to worry about your children interacting with people outside of our program.

Minecraft Special Programs

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Minecraft Open Hours
We will have a few Minecraft computers and tablets available during our Minecraft open hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 pm in the Children’s area. First come, first serve.

Minecraft in the Library Statement

Bec Oakley, aka MineMum, an online resource for parents trying to understand their children’s interest in Minecraft, defines it as “a game where you dig (mine) and build (craft) different kinds of 3D blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats to explore.”

Our mission as a library is to provide a creative environment that supports life-long learning by making information freely available in order to improve knowledge and strengthen the community. With that in mind, we believe offering Minecraft at the Library will create an inspiring and fun environment for learning where children can utilize all aspects of STEAM as they create worlds, design and construct buildings, problem solve, and let their imaginations reach new heights. Minecraft is a great way for kids to learn both academic and life skills that they will need in the future.

Minecraft goes beyond the normal game-based learning and encourages problem solving, communication, creativity, and reflection. In a 2009 meeting with the National Academy of Science President Obama stated “I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, whether it’s science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and invent – to be makers of things, not just consumers of things. Minecraft encourages kids to do exactly what President Obama would like: create, build, and invent.

In a 2015 School Library Journal article John Blyberg details his library’s journey with Minecraft starting with a small program and scaling into a county wide collaborative effort. Blyberg remarks that “starting the Minecraft program helped transform his library into a meeting place where children can come in afterschool and work together to build something greater than just themselves”.

In Mattituck, NY when the library released their Minecraft program, Elizabeth Grohoski, the Mattituck Technology Librarian states “The reaction has been a “tornado,” she says, with children clamoring to sign up and play.” Grohoski goes on to explain how much Minecraft in the library has helped bring children into the library and encouraged them to use the libraries resources, all while learning.

In Art Education journal, two art educators argue that digital learning provides “problem-solving spaces that use continual learning and provide pathways to mastery through entertaining and learning.” Minecraft forces students to plan ahead and design structures using the resources at their disposal; for instance, a student could divert a river in order to make a pool inside their castle, or decide they want their underground lair to have lava entering from one side. The authors highlight some additional advantages of using Minecraft as opposed to alternatives: Minecraft is simple, self-directed and available at any skill level. Additionally, many children are already familiar with the gameplay and concepts at the heart of the game.

It is our wish that patrons both young and old will see our library as a center of knowledge and literacy for the entire community. Today’s library must broaden its choice of resources to include as much technology as its community expects. By offering Minecraft to its young patrons, the library will demonstrate relevancy and involvement in the ever changing and ever improving technological movement. Participants will increase their computer literacy and become aware of other resources available at the library.

The goal of the HML Minecraft program is to design and implement a curriculum that works with young people to encourage creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. Minecraft will provide participants with a positive experience while learning about digital technology that focuses on elements of STEAM education in a discovery-based learning environment. We will create an atmosphere of respect and teamwork.