Zombie column, technology keynote, festive wonder

It has just been announced that I’ll be one of six keynote speakers at VALA 2014, the biennial technology conference for culture professionals in Australasia – you can see more about the event, which runs 3-7 February, on the VALA website.

My paper’s called ‘The Book of the World: Pushing Boundaries in Culture and Outreach”, and the organisers have assigned me to the conference’s publishing strand – so I expect they chose me on the basis of the recent debate about e-books, centralisation, and public libraries in Australia.

You can get a flavour of my views on technology and libraries in the latest edition of the American journal Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ). My guest column, “Less Like A Lesson, and More Like An Adventure”, was written earlier this year and describes the vision behind our original 2012 zombie roleplay in the Australian town of Tullamore. Thanks to the wonders of open access, you can read a proof copy of the article for free here. You can also find the finished piece online at the RUSQ site. (To see how the zombie game developed in 2013, check out this coverage from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

2013 has been an incredible – and incredibly busy – year for me, ranging from Foyles’ Future of the Book consultation in London to work at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila, via library burlesque in Auckland, live-action gaming in rural Australia, and interactive storytelling at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre. I’m looking forward to the coming year, but now’s a time for rest, remembrance, and celebration.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year; see you in 2014,

Matt

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