Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Permission to play article

I've just had my latest article published in the Journal of Play in Adulthood - "Giving permission for adults to play".

It is (of course!) free to read, hope some of you enjoy it and perhaps find it useful.


Play is often seen as inappropriate in adult settings, with social expectations causing adults to frame situations in such a way that we often lack permission to play. Semi-structured interviews with fourteen people who use playful approaches with adults were carried out to explore how they gave this “permission to play” in their contexts. It was seen that they used a range of different ways consistent with the idea of needing to signal a shift in frame, and this range of approaches to giving “permission to play” are grouped and summarized in the article.

More from the journal at: https://www.journalofplayinadulthood.org.uk

Friday, 17 May 2019

Playful Practice in H.E.: The zine

I've just won a small grant from the OneHE Foundation to create a series of zines about playful practice in Higher Education.

Details are below, but more importantly, would anyone like to sign up to get (free) copies in the post?

If so, pop your contact details in here:  (Link deleted as I've now sent out the first 2, so too late for new signups!)
(Details will only be used for this project, will not be shared with anyone, and will be deleted after the project is over)

There will be a series of 10 zines (mainly 8 or 16 pages long) sent out roughly monthly, starting in June. Some will be text heavy, some might be more heavily weighted towards images depending on the subject. They will also be available as PDFs online, but the physical ones will have extra "bonus" playful materials included at least 50% of the time :)

Numbers will be limited depending on postage costs, so exact numbers of people able to receive the physical zine depends on the mix of domestic & international postage... but should be at least 50 people before the money runs out :)

Monday, 10 December 2018

A new journal around play and playfulness in adults?

a pile of journal articles
I've been analysing some data recently and started to think about where I might be able to write it up for. What journal would suit something on adult play? There are plenty of digital games type journals, and a few play journals that concentrate on aspects of play in children, there isn't a great deal of choice if you want to publish research on play in adults. There are options, of course, but adult play seems on the periphery of even the best options out there. Add in my fussiness over things being as open access as possible, and that reduced the field even further.

After a bit of whinge on Twitter, I seem to have agreed to set up a journal specifically for articles on Adult Play.
Tweets between myself and Mathia Poulsen
I've pulled a proposal together and sent it to the University of Huddersfield Press to consider... so in the next few weeks I should know what they think and either go ahead with them or another (uni?) press.

There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from interested people and I have loads of people offering to be on the board / reviewers, as well as interest in writing for it. So (fingers crossed), early in 2019 I should be able to start firming up a new journal and putting out the first call for papers - perhaps with the first papers being published late Spring, early summer 2019?

Whatever happens, my intention is the the journal to be fully open access (including "licence to publish" rather than assigning copyright to the journal, CC-BY licences), no APCs (charges to authors), primarily double blind peer reviewed (but with a section for less traditionally academic material / formats too), and international in scope.

The name of it is still under discussion (might do another post about that), but will probably be something like the "Journal of Play (or playfulness?) in Adulthood" to make it easy to discover and see at a glance what it is about!

Friday, 19 October 2018

Possible Counterplay proposal

Paper Castles hanging from wires
I'm currently pondering ideas for the current call for proposals for Counterplay 2019, but it's all a little in the air at the moment.

I'd welcome comments on the draft proposal below! Basically considering giving people a (non-literal) map that playfully challenges people to reflect on how the library space (the venue) makes them feel as they consider different aspects of their space and their own (and colleagues) experiences.

Draft follows:

Navigating the lines between the mental and physical library spaces.

This is an experimental intervention, guiding participants through a psychogeographic exploration of the physical library space in order to allow them to consider their mental models and prior experience of such a space.
Playfully crossing the edges between physical and mental library spaces, participants will explore different ways in which they may experience physical and shared social spaces such as Dokk1. All participants will be armed with a map and instructions and sent out into the library, before returning to reflect upon their experiences.
Based on Counterplay participants’ feedback, this approach may be adapted to help enable new undergraduate students next year to playfully consider themselves within their new, confusing, scary university environment. It is hoped that this approach will allow them to reflect upon their prior expectations and experiences, and allow them to find new ways of belonging within these new social and physical spaces. It may also be adapted by anyone who wishes to explore how people experience a social space, or who would like to help people reflect upon their own sense of belonging within such a space.

Monday, 10 September 2018

LibraryCampCamp has finished

Handwritted note saying: Really great time at library camp camp, met some inspiring people, had some excellent talks, and picked up some good ideas. Would recommend to anyone.
It's Monday as I write this, after the weekend of #LibraryCampCamp, a new library learning festival. Thank you so much to the Information Literacy Group of CILIP for sponsoring it, and the attendees for their engagement and participation that made it work.

We made draft zines (on reading for pleasure and on play (they do need tweaking before they could be printed / distributed!), manually tweeted, chatted about lots of interesting and library related things, tried new teaching ideas out, played games, made fire, and explored the gorgeous site.

At some point soon I'll think about whether we run it again (we collected ideas for future events!) and what that event will look like... but for now I hope people enjoy seeing some of the content we created under the links above.

Look for another iteration of the festival in 2019 if we can manage to organise something...

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Permission to play research interviews

Set of goodies from the CounterPlay conference including mask and chatterbox
I've been thinking about the idea of "permission to play" a lot recently, putting some of those early thoughts into a paper for the HEaD conference.

More recently I've been interviewing people who use play with adults about how they use play, trying to dig a little into how they enable people to play, or help to give "permission to play" to them. I've talked to a series of fascination people (15 of them?) and it's been brilliant hearing the amazing range of things happening and the different approaches that people take. It's also wonderful how generous they've been in offering up their time to talk about these things - the play community is full of great people.

As soon as possible I'll be transcribing, analysing, and generally puzzling over all the stuff that people told me about and trying to work it into a journal article (or a short book if I think I can justify it).  I'm sure I'll present it to at least one conference as well, though not 100% sure where (except perhaps Counterplay).

So thank you to everyone I interviewed and watch out for outputs at some point in 2019!

Monday, 23 July 2018

Moar books! 2nd Edition of The Mini Book of Teaching Tips for Librarians

Book cover
Another book due out at the start of September!

I created the Mini Book of Teaching Tips for Librarians as an experiment - it 60+ pages of teaching tips and ideas, most of which on one page, in a mini A6 format.

This is the 2nd edition, expanded to 100 pages long. It's due out early September, but if pre-ordered will probably arrive before then!

ISBN: 978-1911500117 - only £9.95