The Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award Committee has selected Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Scott Nicholson as this year’s recipient of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation award for his creative use of gaming and social media to attract more users to public libraries.

“The Committee is impressed by [Nicholson’s] creative approach to teaching and research,” Ingrid Hseih-Yee, chair of the award committee wrote in an email to Nicholson. “Use of games and gaming is a significant and innovative approach for students to understand users’ information and recreational needs, and may well have an impact on the future of public libraries.

“[The] use of social media to reach intended audience and engage the library communities successfully underscores the need for library information professionals to use information technologies creatively to achieve the mission of the profession,” she wrote. “It is clear that [Nicholson’s] work has an important impact on students and the profession.”

Sponsored by the Pratt Institute, the ALISE Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award was established in 1996 to encourage faculty members to be innovative in incorporating evolving information technologies in the curricula of accredited masters degree programs in library and information studies. Winners are awarded $1,000 and a plaque. Nicholson will be formally awarded at the 2011 ALISE conference in San Diego held in January 2011.

In addition to teaching “Gaming in Libraries” and recently completing a term as the director of the library science graduate program at the iSchool, Nicholson is the author of the book Everyone Plays at the Library and numerous scholarly articles about the impact of gaming on library attendance and interactivity. He is also a professional board game designer, maintains a blog dedicated to gaming at, and founded the Games and Gaming Members Initiative Group for the American Library Association. Originally a computer programmer, Nicholson earned an MSLIS from Texas Christian University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.