State of the Union: Gaming in Libraries in 2007

Scott Nicholson from Gamelab presented findings from the 2007 gaming survey. PC & board gaming is down; console gaming is up. New this year: policy questions (4% expressly forbid gaming); information on tournaments (not working as well in low income environments). Gaming is not a standalone program – tie-in other library programs like summer reading. The most popular game in libraries is… Guitar Hero Everyone WON a copy of Backseat Drawing Goals:

  • providing entertainment
  • attract new users
  • community hub (school libraries)
  • serve active users
  • create publicity (academic libraries)
  • introduce other service
  • improve skills/knowledge
  • new media support

Negative Outcome: we annoy other users about 10% of the time Positive Outcome: 3/4 of the time, participants came back for non-gaming service Cost: on average, $650

  • 22 libraries – $0
  • 49 libraries- $10-50
  • 2 libraries – $15,000 & $25,000 (Columbus Metropolitan Library)

To REPEAT a program cost about $2 per user – libraries on average ran 14 programs a year. If our goal is to reach underserved users, repeat programs is a way to change their behavior/use of the library. Next steps:Watch for assessment tools, Take the 2008 survey in 2009 (and keep good track of your programs so you can report in the future) Requests from the audience – Please track:

  • use of teens/volunteers to staff programs
  • stats about circulating games

For prizes: Red Octane