The process of buying games for a library is cumbersome.
Libraries and book publishers have built relationships over hundreds of years to make sure books get into the hands of patrons fast, easily and fairly cheaply. Libraries sometimes get bulk discounts on books, metadata processing work, and help with shipping. At the very least, book publishers understand that libraries are a part of their market and will be buying books.
Buying games for libraries, is something new and publishers and libraries are still working out what arrangements could be made to get those games into librarians’ hands. Libraries often ask for donations, since the funding for game collections can be scarce. But donations put a strain on smaller publishers and is not a sustainable model for any publishers.
Below is a listing of programs that help libraries get the games they need for their collections. The support being offered ranges from donations, to a way to request a discount on retail prices. GameRT can’t swear that all of these programs are still running, or running as intended. Covid has been hard on all of us.
Also, if you contact each publisher, they will often offer to give you a small discount on games.
Calliope Games (https://calliopegames.com/)
Calliope Games offers educational resources to go with their games. If you sign up for an account, fill out an educator form and present proof of tax exempt status, libraries can get 30% off the price of games at the webstore.
Evan’s Games (https://www.evansgames.com/)
Cute games designed by a husband and wife team. These wonderful designers are offering games at 1/2 price to libraries who fill out this form.
Greater Than Games (https://greaterthangames.com/)
According to a Facebook post from a 6 months ago, Greater Than Games is offering libraries a free copy of one of their games each month. I know nothing else about this program , but I just signed up.
One of the older and well established library programs, Haba really does it right. Approved libraries get 35% off on games, help with shipping, and a replacement pieces program.
Peachstate Hobby Distribution (https://www.phdgames.com/)
PHD is not a publisher exactly, they are a distributor as the name implies. But libraries can sign up to be a vendor with them. Unfortunately, they are not currently accepting applicants for new “game vendors”. Libraries who have used Peachstate in the past say that they offer very good discounts on games. Because they are a distributor, Peachstate can cut down on the amount of work involved in contacting each game publisher individually.
Stonemaier games (https://stonemaiergames.com/)
Jamey Stegmaier, one of the founders of the company wrote a very nice blog post about why he started the library support program. “Sign up with proof of your tax-exempt status to order games directly from Stonemaier Games’ webstore at a 40-50% discount, tax free.”
This list has been pulled from the League of Librarians, the GameRT’s facebook group. Join us here https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeagueOfLibrarianGamers and look for #librarysupportprogram.
Know of any other publisher programs like this? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments.