by Shelley Macon, Head Editor, INALJ Florida
Gaming @ Your Library
There are many diverse (and often heated) opinions on whether video games belong in libraries or library collections. Are they library-worthy digital media? Are there benefits to playing video games in terms of social issues and their educational value (including their link to literacy)? Regardless of your view on this topic or these questions, games and gaming draw people to libraries. The results of the International Games Days and other library gaming initiatives, clearly show that people, not just children and young adults, will come to libraries for gaming. So why wait for an annual event to bring gaming to your library? It is something libraries can offer year-round. The ALA wiki even states that:
Gaming services epitomize library as third place, creating a community gathering spot between home and work/school. That third place encourages play, socialization, and cultural enrichment. Libraries looking for ways to reach beyond their traditional patron base are turning to gaming.
Board games, card games, and videogames are, in essence, information, and the human act of telling stories, presented in new formats that involve the player. Games may fulfill a library’s mission to provide cultural, recreational, and entertaining materials; to provide academic curriculum support; or to provide resources and support their industry or profession.
Retrieved from http://wikis.ala.org/professionaltips/index.php/Gaming
So, why not try it at your library? Here are some resources to get you started.
ALA Professional Tips Wiki: Gaming
The ALA has compiled a great set of resources on this topic and created a toolkit for building gaming at your library.
ALA Techsource: Gaming and Libraries
This site will help keep you up to date on news concerning gaming in libraries. Check out their Library Technology Reports also. Some of them contain great articles on gaming.
Google LibGaming listserv
A listserv dedicated to promoting gaming in libraries.
Bringing Gaming (and Gamers) to Your Library: 100 Tips and Resources
The Open Education Database has compiled a list of tips and resources to help plan a gaming event at your library.
International Games Day
This is the official home of the International Games Day event. It is never to early to start planning.
Bridging Generation: Games, Gamers, & Gaming
by M. Brandon Robbins
This article reviews some games your library may be interested in offering.
Video Gaming in Libraries 101 and Video Gaming in Libraries: ONE YEAR LATER
by Justin Hoenke
These two slide shows are freely available on slideshare. Who knows? They may help you change some minds about video games in libraries.
Libraries should be fun places. Get playing!