Finding the Future – Part of the rest of the story

When I got done reading:

Danforth, L. (2011, April 2). Finding the future [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrieved from

I was intrigued but also a little disappointed. The Library Journal article was written before the event. I like knowing the rest of the story, especially in view of the shear effort that went into this game. What happened at the event? How was it received? What has happened since? Was the book ever written? So I did some digging. What follows are some touch points bridged by my speculation.

Brian Fiore-Silivast wrote about his locked in experience for the blog Doers & Thinkers on May 26, 2011. We know that he was there because his name appears in the WorldCat record for the eventual book. He was enthusiastic and implied that most of the 500 people locked in with him shared his excitement.

After the lock-in experience, Finding the Future remained available as a game for smart phones and on the web. The website for the game is no longer on the web. According to the Internet Archive, it seemed to disappear sometime in 2012. A version of the site lacking its look and feel is available at the Internet Archive.

In September of 2011, writer Kristopher Jansma wrote about the exhibit and the game players he observed playing while the library was open. He was mostly unimpressed. He had a “poor libraries, it’s all on the net” attitude for most of the article, though he allowed that having artifacts like Virginia’s Woolf’s cane was cool. He just didn’t think that could hold a future for libraries.

The book of stories was created. It was titled 100 ways to make history: May 20th, 2011. According to WorldCat, there is only one copy. As you might expect it is in the New York Public Library. There is a note in the NYPL online catalog that holds may not be placed on this item, implying it is reference only.

This seems like a sad end to the story. All of that effort poured into this initiative, to produce one book on a reference shelf. Some of the references I found on the net implied this book of stories would be placed online, but this does not seem to have happened. I’d like to be wrong. On the plus side, this event clearly transmitted a sense of wonder at the library’s collection to 500 people. That must count for something.

I titled my post “part of the rest of the story”  because there may well be aspects to this story I missed. Also, I doubt I’m the only curious one here. If your investigation of this story led you to other results, especially positive ones, let me know. Link to your blog post, if you have one.


Fiore-Silivast, Brian. Finding the Future: My night spent at the New York Public Library [Web log post] May 26, 2011. Thinkers & Doers. Accessed at

McGonigal, J., Llewellyn, C., Camoens, A., Monsef, K., Dovey, G., Paper Dragon Books., & New York Public Library. (2011). 100 ways to make history: May 20th, 2011. New York: The New York Public Library.

Jansma, Kristopher. Literary Artifacts: Finding the Future [Web log post] Sep 13, 2011. Accessed at

Find the Future Game Site from Internet Archive

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