The University of Minnesota Libraries launched a grassroots forum for staff interested in video games that hosted three events and attempted to kickstart a small lending collection. These efforts resulted in spectacular failure and helped us develop new programming that positioned the Libraries as a hub for gaming communities throughout campus. We are building connections between students, researchers, and the public, and will discuss the following programs:
- Co-hosting “Co-Op Talk,” a monthly student discussion group
- Partnering with a STEM student group on an Oculus Rift sandbox event
- Hosting a gaming research showcase for faculty, staff, and students
- Co-sponsoring a “Games, Gender and Identity” event with the UMN Institute for Advanced Study
- Creating an interactive gaming installation for a city-wide art festival
Our outreach has led to valuable partnerships across campus and increased awareness of the value of games and gaming. We suspect our experiences are not unique and want to add these insights to the existing conversation on gaming in libraries.