Equipment: A server hosting the Minecraft game engine.
Price: Self-hosting requires a server. The software is free but Minecraft player accounts are $26 each. There are many sites that will host the server portion of Minecraft for you, some as little as $20 a month. Also, library bandwidth to the Internet will be used unless both the server and clients (players) are on your library’s network and no outside access is allowed.
Other costs: Library bandwidth to the Internet will be used if the server is on the library’s network or if patrons are allowed to play on library computers.
Software: Minecraft Server This is known as the “vanilla” or unmodified version of the server in the player community. Minecraft enthusiasts will ask if the server is modded or will request mods to be added to the server. Mods are third-party extensions to the game that require significant effort to install.
Why this project? Minecraft is very popular with a certain age group ranging from pre-teen to young adult.
Appeal Factors: Great way for teens to interact with the library.
Tech savvy needed to implement: Depends on implementation. Self-hosting requires someone with server knowledge and capabilities, but external hosting would be easy for a beginner.
Staff training: We have several staff members who were already interested in and familiar with Minecraft. This is probably the best recommendation we can make for this project.
Implementation tips and hints: It seems important to have staff members interested in Minecraft and who have played so they can develop programing and events around this service. This is most attractive to kids and teens so best if the interested staff works with this population.
Patron feedback: Popular with the expected age group.
Things we should have done differently: Market directly to teen/pre-teens as much as possible. Be sure your teen librarian understands Minecraft and is a fan of the game.