Gaming Librarian Spotlight: Carrie Lowery

Carrie Lowery, Bridgeville Public Library & South Fayette Township Library

Interviewed by Julie Hornick

Tell us about yourself. In a nutshell, what is your role at your library? 

Currently, I’m a Youth Services Specialist at Bridgeville Public Library and South Fayette Township Library. I build the teen collections at both Bridgeville and South Fayette and I help with the board game collection by giving suggestions of games I’ve heard of or have played and enjoyed. I also create and implement all of our teen and tween programs (in-person, virtual, and passive), help manage our teen volunteers, help develop TikToks for our libraries, and run our Sensory Storytimes and Storywalks. 

 What game are you excited by right now? Why?

This is such a difficult question because there are so many incredible games out there. Right now my favorite board game is Quacks of Quedlinburg. I love this game because it’s really easy to pick up and teach to anyone. To me, it’s the perfect combination of strategy, luck, and complexity. For video games, and my discord group may dislike like this, my favorite game is Kirby and the Forgotten Lands. I’m really enjoying this video game because it’s just so incredibly silly and fun. 

Share a program that you have developed or participated in that you were really proud of or excited by.

During COVID, I helped create a collaborative Teen Gaming Discord and a Teen Dungeons and Dragons Discord with around six or seven other librarians within the Allegheny County Library Consortium. We have been working together for the last year and a half providing weekly game nights to over one hundred teens. We’re even starting to do in-person events just for our Discord teens so they can meet one another in person. It’s been incredibly successful, and I would highly recommend trying something similar to anyone within the library world. 

What games are popular in your community?

We have a board game collection at Bridgeville, which is extremely popular with our patrons. Right now the most popular game that we have checked out is Dune: Imperium, and for good reason. If you haven’t tried this game and you like strategy, you should definitely check it out! It does a good job of giving you a feel of the Dune world while playing a board game. Coming in a close second is my favorite game right now, Quacks of Quedlinburg. 

 What would you tell someone who wants to bring game programs or collections to their library?

Games are a good way of bringing different types of people together who have a variety of interests. If you have game nights or a game collection within the library that helps build connections with your patrons. The other cool thing about games is that they help sneakily teach skill sets. For example, Dungeons and Dragons help build social, teamworking, multitasking, creativity, storytelling/story building, strategy, and financial skills. Not to mention there are so many fun, engaging board games for kids now (highly recommend checking out Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, and Outfoxed!).

 What got you into gaming?

Honestly, my family used to have a board game night every week before all of our schedules got too busy (like when my siblings were teenagers). I also grew up in the Sega age, and I loved playing Sonic the Hedgehog as an elementary school student. I’ve been playing video and board games for almost all of my life, and it’s awesome to see how much it has evolved and grown throughout the years.

Do you know a librarian or library paraprofessional who likes games and/or runs gaming programs at their library that should be spotlighted? Maybe even yourself? Fill out this form! Nomination is not limited to ALA Game and Gaming Round Table members.

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