Essentials for starting a video game program at your library

So you’re thinking about starting a gaming program at your library?  It seems like an easy thing to do.  You get a TV, a video game system, a few games and BOOM!  There you have it.

But wait!

In order to make the gaming program at your library something special, you’ll want to go that extra step. Here’s a few of the smaller details you won’t want to overlook.

1. Television:  Make sure you get a really good TV.  Patrons don’t want to come to the library to play games on a small TV when they could do that at home.  Go nuts.  Order that 50 inch HD Plasma TV you’ve got your eyes on.  Better yet, why not go for a projector?  You won’t regret it and your patrons will love it.  The flashier the video game program is, the better chance a library has to attract patrons.  We have to give them a unique experience!

2. Staff: Make sure you’ve got staff on board that are either gamers themselves or people that are interested to learn.  Your patrons just don’t want you to simply set up the games and let them be.  They will be begging you to join their band in Rock Band or they’ll want to brawl with you on Super Smash Brothers Brawl and you’ll want to impress them with your skills.  Positioning your staff as video gaming experts will be great for your community.

3. Materials:  Here’s a great basic start-up plan here [inactive]  It’s a quick run through of where to begin game and accessory wise.  A good place to start.

4. Schedule: To get them to keep coming back to your library, make sure your gaming program is not a one shot deal.  Establish a consistent weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly plan (I suggest weekly to start!) where you’ll be having regular gaming programs.  Your users will get into a routine of coming into the library a specific day of the week to enjoy a few hours of collaborative gaming.

Originally published 1/4/2010.

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