From Video Games to Real Life

Tapping into Minecraft to Inspire Creativity and Learning in the Library

by Mary L. Glendening


Having sold more than 50 million copies, the video game Minecraft is hugely popular with both boys and girls. Tap into that universal appeal to develop skills such as collaboration, trial and error, and discovery in young learners, ages 8–14.

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Cover image for From Video Games to Real Life

September 2016

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 115
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/General
  Children's and Young Adult Services/General

This guide shows youth librarians how to use the appeal of Minecraft—a game that many young learners are intensely passionate about—to create engaging library programs that encourage creativity and build STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning through library programs.

Minecraft is more than "just a video game"; it's a powerful tool that librarians and other educators can use to engage students and spark legitimate learning experiences. This book shows you how to use Minecraft as a vehicle to promote learning and creativity, supplying specific, easy-to-replicate programs, ideas, and instructions for hands-on activities.

By connecting the game to the maker movement and building off the game's popularity, you'll be able to use Minecraft to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning. The book ties Minecraft to maker activities, learning in the library, three-dimensional printing, literary activities, crafting, and more. The activities in this book will also enable you to help children ages 8–14 to expand their key 21st-century skills, such as collaboration, trial and error, and discovery.


  • Helps librarians harness the power of an incredibly popular game and use it effectively as a springboard to learning
  • Assists librarians in supporting STEM and STEAM initiatives
  • Offers specific guidance for dozens of hands-on activities
Author Info

Mary L. Glendening is director of the Middletown Free Library in Media, PA. She runs the library's makerspace, CreateSpace@MFL, and founded the library's Minecraft in Real Life Club. She received a Pennsylvania Library Association Best Practices Award in 2014, recognizing the club as one of the best in the state serving school-age children.



"From start to finish, this volume is a valuable tool for anyone looking to capitalize on the popularity of Minecraft and/or Making."Booklist Online

"Overall, Glendening does an exemplary job of providing libraries with an idea of the tools and resources required to create, organize, and offer a genre-themed avenue into exciting, creative lab activities and STEM programming."VOYA

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