Librarian, East Central Community College, Decatur, Mississippi
Interviewed by Julie Hornick
Tell us about yourself. In a nutshell, what is your role at your library?
I am a librarian at a rural community college library. I do a little of everything, (collection development, cataloging, information literacy, reference, circulation, database management, website management, interlibrary loan, etc.) We have a very small staff of three, so we wear all the hats.
How would you define a gamer?
Someone that finds enjoyment in playing any type of games. That could include board and card games, tabletop RPGs, video and computer games, 3D headsets, etc.; or even casual games on their phones.
What got you into gaming?
I grew up in the 80’s, so I remember having an Atari, Sega Game Gear, and several PlayStations. I got into tabletop RPGs with a group of friends in college, and played D&D, Vampires: the masquerade, and Champions, and this group of friends also introduced me to MMORPGs, so I played EverQuest, World of Warcraft, and Rift for a while too. My husband and I didn’t really get into contemporary board games until the last 10 years or so. I had no idea what I was diving into. We now currently have roughly 150 board and card games in our personal home collection.
What is your favorite game? Why?
Call to Adventure by Brotherwise Games is currently my favorite. I enjoy the storytelling aspect of it.
What game are you excited by right now? Why?
Wingspan by Stonemaier Games is exciting to me. It has a lot going on in the game, with multiple ways to win, and it isn’t cooperative, but it isn’t a “mean” game either. It is also educational and a beautiful game to look at component-wise.
What value do games or gaming bring to you, personally?
I think that with technology today, even though we are social creatures, we don’t often socialize face-to-face in groups, and, especially for those of us that are more introverted, tabletop gaming gives us something to focus on and still allows us to socialize with others.
Share a program that you have developed or participated in that you were really proud of or excited by.
We are in a rural area with dorm students, so we began offering “Board Game Afternoons” in the library once a month in 2018, to give them something fun to do and to teach them about more contemporary board games and how to play. Obviously, the pandemic halted our programs for a while, and we began playing more social deduction games, like Blood on the Clocktower by The Pandemonium Institute, where we can socially distance a little more. We usually have anywhere between 8 and 15 students attend.
Does your library have a gaming collection? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
Yes, it was born out of my passion for tabletop games. We currently have about 70 board and card games, and about 20 RPG books. I donated about a dozen of them, and the rest were donated from game publishers and distributors. I wanted to be able to showcase some of the games in our library collection when we did our “Board Game Afternoons.”
What is one thing about games or what you do with games that people don’t know about, but that you wish they knew?
Don’t let horrible memories of playing Monopoly as a child keep you from trying out tabletop games today. There are so many wonderful contemporary tabletop games out there that are great ways to spend time with friends and family. Also go watch Geek & Sundry’s TableTop series or No Rolls Barred’s Board Game Club series (adult language and content warning) on YouTube if you want to see how much fun contemporary tabletop games can be.
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.