OpenTree badge examplesOne of the projects that we’ve been working on as part of our Library Futures programme has been a product called OpenTree.  OpenTree is based on the Librarygame software from a small development team at ‘Running in the Halls’.  Librarygame adds gaming and social aspects to student engagement with library services.

Librarygame was developed originally as Lemontree for Huddersfield University ( and then updated and adopted as librarytree and BookedIn for Glasgow and Manchester Universities respectively ( and

Being originally based around engagement with physcial libraries and taking data from library loans from the library management system, or from physical library visits, via building access logs, the basic game model had to change a bit for a distance-learning University where students don’t visit the University library or borrow books.

OuOpenTree screenshotr main engagement with students is their use of online library resources and library websites.  Fortunately most of our resource access goes through EZProxy so we were able to find a way of allowing users who sign-up to the game to get points for the resources they access.  We’ve also been able to add javascript tracking onto a couple of our websites to give students points for accessing those sites.

OpenTree gives users points for accessing resources and points build up into levels in the game.  Activities such as making friends, reviewing, tagging and sharing resources also get you badges in the game.  We’ve also added in a Challenges section to highlight activities to encourage users to try out different things, trying Being Digital, for example.

Because it lists library resources you’ve been accessing I’ve already been finding it useful as a way of organising and remembering library resources I’ve been using, so we’re hopeful that students will also find it useful and really get into the social aspects.

OpenTree launches to students in the autumn but is up-and-running in beta now.  A video introducing OpenTree is on YouTube at:

We’re really looking forward to seeing how students get on with OpenTree and already have a few thoughts about enhancements and developments, and no doubt other ideas will come up once more people start using it.