By Jennifer Taylor
If you have not heard of it before, the RPG Guild is a Discord server that was created earlier this year by ALA’s GameRT President-Elect Rebecca Strang. The Discord server exists as a resource and learning platform where librarians from all over can learn about many different varieties of games and methods of gaming. Members of the RPG Guild can learn through watching games being played as a spectator, or by jumping in and playing the games offered. It is also a place where librarians with experience and knowledge can share what they know by running games for others or providing resources and answers to questions about how to play specific games and about making gaming programming happen in other libraries.
Any level of experience is welcome on the server and, even if you are not a member of the GameRT group, anyone is welcome to join the server to learn and play. If you are not entirely familiar with using Discord, it is also a great way to experience and learn to use the voice, video and text chat app that is widely used by gamers with a number of members able to provide help and to answer questions about the app as well.
The membership on the server has grown to nearly 70 members since it first launched, with an overall positive experience by the spectators, players and moderators alike. I spoke to a couple members who had this to say:
“I’m happy that GameRT can provide a space for library workers to get RPG experience with peers who have already run this kind of programming. It’s a great opportunity for professional development, networking, and FUN!” – Rebecca Strang, founder & mentor.
“I have really enjoyed the experience of the guild so far. Creating the Discord server has allowed me to feel a part of a larger interest group in a way that email just couldn’t. I especially like the easy access to resources through the many text channels. It works nicely as an addition to the GameRT server where we can explore the ins & outs of RPGs more deeply. I am very new to Discord and find the RPG server set up in a way I understand and can easily follow librarian brains! Getting into a group for gaming was easy and Rebecca (Strang) was really good about checking in with us to make sure we were following and had everything we needed pre-game. It was fantastic to play with other librarians like myself, interested in running RPGs at their libraries. We could ask questions about game play that other groups might find annoying. Having a Session Zero allowed us to explore the rules and to begin creating a character, but nothing beats a friendly answer to an honest question. Being mentored by a librarian already active in gaming with her community was a real professional treat.” – Danica Sheridan, player.
So whether you already have a thriving gaming hobby & experiences, or whether you are someone who is interested in learning more about what this is all about, reach out to a GameRT Member for more information or join us by adding the Discord server: https://discord.gg/ja4AKp4UMn
– Jennifer Taylor is the Teen & Adult Services librarian for the Hagerstown Public Library in the scenic small town of Hagerstown, Indiana where she has worked for over 9 years, developing a circulating board game collection and multiple successful tabletop gaming programs. She is a “2nd Generation Gamer” determined to teach as many others as she can – be they family, friends or complete strangers – the joys and benefits of gaming, particularly RPGs.
Good afternoon! My name is Jeremiah Doyle, and I’m a grad student currently studying for my Master’s in MLIS at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. I’m actually reaching out because I am working on a professional specialization paper for one of my courses. I learned about the Gaming Round Table very recently (I’m very excited to start diving into all the content you have!), and I was hoping you might be able to provide an insight for me as I learn more. Namely, I was wondering what kinds of career opportunities might exist in the library space involving a specialization in gaming, or collection development for gaming. Any insight you might have for me would be incredibly appreciated!