IGD Anecdotes: Outside groups

Feeling overwhelmed by all the exciting possibilities for IGD? Fear not! There are many supporters and gamers that are more than excited to see and help you succeed in hosting this event – or simply join in on the day. Whether it’s boy or girl scout troops, teens, or other community members, there are many groups out there who may be interested in helping.

The responses on the post-IGD survey last year offer some great examples of groups both outside and inside the library helping to bring IGD together. Here are just a few of the stories of people coming together from public libraries to help make their events successful and amazing.

Stair Public Library, MI:

I did not have a clue how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! even after looking through the instructions, so I was thrilled when I asked my teen helpers from our high school Volunteer Club if any of them knew how to play. One boy, mildly autistic, did and he was wonderful at teaching kids how to play. It was a great opportunity for him to be useful and important, and for kids to learn something from a teen. He was so kind and respectful of the younger kids and began every game with a handshake… and had them do the same.

Pickaway County Public Library, OH:

I invited local Girl Scout troops to assist me with IGD activities as part of their community service commitment. This was a win-win – the girls got service hours & I got help & participants! The Girl Scouts were a great help attracting additional participants (who would want to be the only one playing a game?); they brought their own games & taught others how to play them; they were gaming buddies with younger players helping them follow the rules; they learned how to play new games and shared that info with others; they brought their parents and siblings to participate; they helped clean up; AND they had fun! One Girl Scout’s family ended up getting library cards for Mom & all three children. (Dad already had a card.) This is a new community partnership for us & I hope it grows and the girls will participate next year.

Oldham County Public Library, KY:

We had a gaming group from a local university volunteer for the day as their service project. They brought games and spent the event teaching kids and adults how to play new strategy games. It was a great success, and awesome to see people of all ages learning together.

At my library, the part of IGD I am least prepared for is Minecraft. I personally cannot figure it out. I get the concept, but it does not appeal to me one bit. Fortunately, I have some great teens who love the game and who I plan to have organize the Hunger Games Minecraft in my library. I get to have someone enthusiastic about the game take over, explain the rules, take pride in sharing something they love, and acquire community service hours simultaneously. This will also let me spend my time teaching and playing games I love and want to share.

So ask around! If there are gamers in your library, see if they would like to help bring and teach games. They may even be part of a larger gaming group that would be interested in helping – or just swelling your numbers, which not only helps your attendance figures but means more games are available to be joined in at any one time. Many groups use Facebook to keep track of gaming events in an area. Try searching for gaming groups in your town, county, or region. Meetup has a list of gaming groups, and the nearbygamers website might also be a good place to start. Gamers love what they do and usually are really happy to share their passion with others.

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