Gaming in Libraries in the News

Board game night went over big at the Paola (KS) Free Library, with over 60 attendees enjoying snacks and board games like Twister, Uno, Chutes and Ladders, even poker.

Games for training and learning tools were highlighted at the Special Libraries Association Conference. A roundup of the conference was published in the Washington Post; Elizabeth Lane Lawley, the director of the Lab for Social Computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said game developers are a lot like librarians as they classify, disseminate and determine how knowledge is found. Interesting!

Westerville (OH) Public Library gets a Wii game system at last – they’ve been gaming for 2 years. Library spokesperson Linda Wilkins says, “Since (the) introduction of gaming in the library, we’ve seen a 22 percent increase in teenagers getting library cards and a similar increase of 23 percent in the circulation of young adult books and magazines. (Teens) come to play, sign up for a library card, and wind up staying to study or using their new card to check out materials.”

Racine (WI) Public Library is hosting game days for ages 55 & up, featuring Wii Sports, Wii Play and Guitar Hero. “Now you’ll have a chance to [try videogames] in a non-threatening and stress-free atmosphere,” writes Jill Lininger on the library’s blog.

Peters Township (PA) Library is already doing this, with teen volunteers to offer assistance as needed. Participants are quoted in the local newspaper, the Observer-Reporter, as saying that playing Wii Bowling is social, competitive, and good exercise!

Last but not least, this column aimed at parents published in the Bennington Banner from Wesley Knapp, superintendent of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union. counts board games, videogames (but not GTA) and going to the library this summer among activities that help students maintain skills.