IGD Anecdotes: All kinds of libraries, all over the world

Welcome to the next edition of ALA’s IGD Anecdotes!

Libraries from all over the world have the potential for successful participation in International Games Day. Our survey indicates evidence of success reinforced by positive reactions and interactions between library visitors, regular patrons, staff, and other community members. The library types vary between public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries. Stories from past years indicate that any kind of library can be a venue for an IGD event – here are some success stories from past years.

In a rural public library, one library commented, “I was pleased to see interaction between home-schooled students and traditional students. The social aspect of this type of program is especially useful to students who have underdeveloped social skills and are less likely to participate actively in our programs.” Activities from IGD provide opportunities for students to participate and interact in ways that are not available for many home-schooled students. IGD is effective at getting students to step out of their comfort zones so that they can interact with their peers in safe, fun, and engaging ways.

From a suburban academic library: “I was really happy to see that a very diverse group of college students attended events at the library for international game day. It seemed that participants for the time trials came alone and played with people they had never met. Great to see the library as a place to meet new people and make friends.” There is no question that multi-player racing games like Mario Kart bring people together in a fun, playful, and competitive way. College students, particularly new first-year freshmen or transfer students who are building their network and making connections, acquire tremendous benefits from IGD events.

From a suburban high school library: “The students, parents, and teachers absolutely loved playing the Global Gossip Game. This aspect, I think even more than the physical games themselves, was a source of incredible excitement. In the process of communicating with our contacts in the Global Gossip Game, we have formed a relationship with people we never would have met. These connections are very powerful for our community. Many great conversations occurred revolving around verifying information, the transmission or information in an oral tradition, and the validity of translated information. Our experience with the Global Gossip Game illustrates what I hope to teach students and faculty every day. This has been an amazing experience for us all.”

From an urban public library: “The majority of our younger patrons come from homes where Spanish is the first language. We saw many youth communicating between cultures and using Spanish and English to teach each other. Many of the older youth took on the role of mentor at the board game tables, patiently working with the children who were playing a game for the first time. Success!” In urban areas where children are bilingual and developing their language skills, having a game at the epicenter could help develop basic words that can be associated in Spanish and English. It is also an opportunity for non-Spanish speakers to pick up basic words in a foreign language as well.

And from another urban public institutional library, halfway around the world: “Everyone was mesmerized by the fact that the secret phrase [of the Global Gossip Game] had come from Antarctica. It would then travel to Uganda. The entire world across seven continents is participating.”

The impact that IGD has on people can be enlightening. Not everyone realizes the potential and possibilities in which games could bring people together from different continents around the world all at the same time. Discoveries such as this could inspire people to learn more about the world around them.

Thanks Hannah! And don’t forget that this year we have an entirely new offering – AADL’s amazing Minecraft Hunger Games! We’re looking forward to seeing what you all think of that…

 

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