Gaming @ your library
Angela Hanshaw | May 01, 2009
Have you tried gaming @ your library? If you haven’t, but are looking to expand your patron base, then offering programming based on gaming is an excellent way to do so. And it’s not just videogaming for teenagers, either; patrons of all ages can enjoy board and card games.
Why gaming? As 2008–2009 ALA President Jim Rettig notes:
Games of every type play an important role in developing fundamental competencies for life. They require players to learn and follow complex sets of rules, make strategic and tactical decisions, and, increasingly, collaborate with teammates and others: all things they will have to do in college and in the workforce.
The American Library Association joined up with Verizon to create a gaming resource for librarians. Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming offers a wealth of knowledge for librarians who want to know more about gaming programs. The Tips section offers advice on identifying users, bringing colleagues on board, reaching out to the community, and developing a plan. The Best Practices section provides a number of simple, low-cost models for beginners as well as larger-scale models; it also features links to additional sources of information.
Librarians will also make use of the Tools and Resources available at Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming, including:
- Gaming Readiness Checklist
- Making the Case: Advocacy and FAQs
- Literacy 101
- Money, Money, Money: Budgeting and Purchasing Equipment
- Forms and Handouts
- Marketing and Publicity
- Telling Your Story: Evaluation and Assessment Tools
- Legal Issues
- Bibliography of Resources
- Expert Panel
In addition, the site details the history of gaming in libraries and discusses current gaming trends. There is plenty of information to get you started with your first board game tournament or after-hours weekend videogaming event.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.