All Public Libraries and LGAs in Western Australia are invited to participate in the LibraryCraft Minecraft Server. LibraryCraft is a free Minecraft Server for WA children aged 7 to 17. It is a 24/7 server, meaning it’s available at any time, from anywhere with an internet connection. The current server owner is John Geijsman, Early Childhood Programs Officer at Fremantle Library.
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is known as a ‘sandbox game’. Created over 10 years ago, it’s a virtual space where players can create their own worlds, buildings and things to explore. Players can play in Single Player mode, or Multiplayer mode through public or private worlds called servers. LibraryCraft is one of those servers.
There are two versions of Minecraft – Java Edition and Bedrock Edition. Java Edition is the original and most supported version which runs on PC, Mac or Linux. Bedrock Edition runs on iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and Nintendo Switch. Bedrock and Java don’t connect to each other natively.
How do I play on LibraryCraft?
You need the base game (called Java Edition) on PC, Mac or Linux in order to play. If you haven’t paid for the game, it will cost around AU $35.
At it’s core, LibraryCraft makes use of Java Edition, with extra features called plugins. These plugins allow server operators to add extra elements to the game that aren’t included in the base (or ‘vanilla’) game. LibraryCraft uses plugins to add features like regions, land claims, rollback protection, a functional shop and economy system, and mini games. Check the LibraryCraft home page and scroll to the plugins list to see what we currently have installed. We also use a plugin to be able to extend the server to Bedrock users, albeit with a few minor differences.
LibraryCraft is a whitelisted server. A whitelist restricts who can and cannot join a server – it’s a list of usernames that are approved to join. When signing up to LibraryCraft, users must provide their active Java Edition username. A team member will verify the username is active, and once all information has been received (proof of age etc), will add the username to the whitelist.
LibraryCraft also has moderators – players with an extra level of responsibility and power. All current moderators are either Library staff, or official LGA volunteers. The moderators are there to help players if they are lost or stuck, to offer advice, judge our competitions, and create awesome content for the players. They are also there to ensure player safety online – making sure the rules are followed for the safety of all involved.
How can my library/LGA get involved?
There are currently a few levels of involvement. We invite all participating libraries/LGAs to show their support by providing a City logo for use on the LibraryCraft website. These images need to have a transparent background.
There is no need to set up any technology in your libraries or LGAs – LibraryCraft is already set up and managed by the City of Fremantle.
Option 1: Promotion Support
Feel free to promote this service as something that you offer from your libraries.
Use the posters and social media images in the new Promotion Support page in your library.
Thanks to our partners at the City of Canning, we also now have printable double-sided promotional postcards available.
Option 2: Financial Partnership
In addition to Option 1, a detailed Memorandum of Understanding would be created between the City of Fremantle (as the initial owner City) and your City, outlining the relationship. The amount of financial support is entirely up to each City, however, ongoing support of around $100 to $200 per financial year is ideal. These funds would go towards server operation (increasing capacity/power), or competition prizes.
Option 3: Moderation Support
Option 3 can be added to either options above. If a member of staff or one of your willing volunteers has considerable experience playing Minecraft, we’d love to have them on as another moderator, to lighten the load on the rest of the LibraryCraft team! This is becoming increasingly important, as we’re growing at a rapid rate! Moderators need to have logged a considerable amount of play in Minecraft Java Edition before, in order to moderate, teach and guide the other players.
As there is a bit more involved with moderation, we’d need to ensure the moderators are 20+, are registered with their home organisation as volunteers, have a police clearance done and registered with their home organisation, and have a current and valid Working with Children Check.
Why should we get involved?
Not every LGA has the capacity to operate an online gaming server, so why not team up with a group of like-minded LGAs and get it done together! It will provide something new to your community – a safe, secure, moderated online environment for players to:
- stretch their creativity
- strengthen their teamwork skills
- solve problems together
- engage in group builds, big or small
- strengthen their social skills in a different context
- learn about resource management and basic economics through the in-built Economy system
- exercise their spatial awareness through navigating expansive worlds and cave systems
- build on all of the STEAM skills
- Science through crafting and item creation
- Technology through engaging with the Server Owner about how Minecraft servers work
- Engineering and Maths through coding and redstone creations (redstone is the in-game conductive element)
- Art through designing pixel-art images and structures
Multiple LGAs working together means sharing knowledge and resources, saving money, improving planning and processes around similar programs, and improving access to community services. Plus, it’s fun – and that’s super important too.
What if my community has questions I don’t know the answers to?
You can consult the Libraries FAQ document. If a question comes up that isn’t in this document, reach out and we’ll add it in.
To get started, get in touch with John Geijsman through firstname.lastname@example.org