Games at ALA Annual 2017

The American Library Association Conference from June 22-27, 2017 in Chicago is again bringing games and play into your libraries. Games and Gaming Roundtable (GameRT) will have a number of events happening throughout the conference.

Start the conference off with Escape to the Library, a preconference about escape rooms and breakouts in the library. This sold out event brings together librarians from public, academic, and school libraries who have successfully implemented escape room experiences in their library programs. Attendees will learn about escape rooms and their use to support library programs and curriculum. They will go through a custom escape room experience to gain first-hand knowledge, direction and guidance in beginning to develop an experience to take back to their libraries. If you weren’t able to get a ticket, you have another chance to discuss escape rooms in libraries on Sunday, from 1 pm to 2 pm in the Gaming Lounge during the GameRT Sharing Sessions.

ALA Play
Friday night starts with a bang at ALA Play from 7:30 to 10:00 pm at the Hilton Chicago, Stevens Center, Salon A. This free event has grown to include a STEM and Maker playground with 20 tables of resources and activities including:  Sphero, Dash and Dot, Chibitronics, Ozobot, AR/VR Gear, littleBits, LightUp, Twenty One Toys, Osmo, Rokenbok Education, Squishy Circuits, Brown Dog Gadgets, SAM Labs Modular Robotics, Hopscotch, Terrapin, Primo Toys, Little Robot Friends, 3Doodler, Robo 3D, Inventables, ABC Mouse,

There will also be game publisher demos from Paizo, Asmodee, SET, HABA, Konami, Renegade Games, Arc Dream, and more; open gaming run by Peach Hobby Distribution and ACD Distribution.

Drop in RPGs with Paizo and Arc Dream. Learn to paint miniatures in a Paint and Take session with PHD and Ninja Division.

Take part in a GIANT Bloxels Video Game Design Challenge. Join Magic the Gathering and learn to play with drop in league play with prizes.

Also take your chance at an escape room experience crafted by Breakout EDU!

On the Exhibit Floor
Breakout Edu, a GameRT booth guest, will be running an escape room experience, The Mysterious Library Box, in the exhibit hall next to the Gaming and Graphic Novel stage every half hour. Be sure to sign up as spots are limited to 10 every slot! Also, game publishers and PHD Distribution will be running game demos in the Gaming Lounge during exhibit floor hours.

Signup here:

Saturday Conference Sessions
GameRT not only teaches you how to bring games into your library but also wants them to be managed well as a collection so they cosponsored the ALCTS presentation Enhancing Discovery of Unique Collection: Get ahead of the game. This presentation on Saturday, June 24 from 10:30-11:30 am, will discuss the use of standards, discovery layers, facets, controlled vocabularies, and genre terms to meet users’ needs when cataloging a large collection of tabletop games.

The GameRT presentation Keywords to Mastery Game will be held on Saturday, June 24th from 1:00 – 2:30 pm at McCormick Place. This session, Keywords to Mastery Game: An active learning approach to discover research topics, is a fun and interactive hands-on workshop that shows you how to build and play your own low-tech game to help students gain keyword and natural language processing skills for database searching.

Board Meeting
It’s a busy Saturday, but there is still time to join the GameRT as we plan our next year at our Board Meeting on Saturday, June 24 from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

Sunday Conference Sessions
Sunday gives you another opportunity to learn about how libraries manage their collections during the GameRT Sharing Sessions that will be happening in the Gaming Lounge on the Exhibit Floor. There are three sessions being offered during this hour.

  • Further Conversations on Escape Experiences allows you to learn how you can use escape experiences in your library to engage your patrons.
  • Teen Driven Game Programming give tips and tricks for a successful teen run gaming program.
  • Enhancing Discovery of Tabletop Games discusses best practices for providing access to tabletop game collections.

No time to make these meetings, you can still meet other GameRT members on the exhibit floor at the GameRT booth #1425 and in the Gaming Lounge #1225.

One comment

  1. Is “The Mysterious Library Box” Escape Room, a “story” that is available to other libraries with Escape Room supplies? How can we go about getting the story and solutions?

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