Libraries are known as the place to go to share culture in the form of books, music, movies and even technology. More and more they are becoming not just a place for books, but also a gathering place for all ages, including for the purpose of playing games.
During International Games Week, Nov. 4 – 10, more than a two-thousand libraries across the planet will showcase gaming programs and services as they transform their libraries. Many libraries are planning special programming revolving around celebrating the mutually-reinforcing power of play and learning.
These programs could include video game or board game competitions, large scale role-playing game competitions, or perhaps a game that will pass through libraries around the world. Some of these participating libraries have reported is an increase in recreational library attendance for all age groups from small children through senior citizens.
Here at the Leavenworth Public Library, we host Board Game Night for adults the first Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For children age six to 12, we offer video gaming every Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. and for teens, from 5 to 6 p.m. The Youth Services staff also incorporates games into some of their regular weekly programs. Gaming is yet another example of how we are fulfilling the desire to learn, play, and yes, read at your library.
We have a collection of 22 games that patrons age 12 and older can check out to play at home. The checkout period is one week. Our collection features games that foster collaboration between players, encourage communication skills and support critical thinking. Some examples:
- Codenames – a cooperative strategy game where two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first.
- Concept – a language game where players guess words through the association of icons.
- Forbidden Island – a cooperative game that uses teamwork skills to retrieve treasure as an island sinks beneath the water.
- Snake Oil – a storytelling game where players combine word cards to create an invention in order to sell it to others.
- Ticket to Ride: Days of Wonder – a strategy game that takes players on a cross-country train adventure of connecting different cities by laying claim to railway routes on a map of North America.
In addition to the games you can check out, we have more traditional games such as checkers, chess, Monopoly and Scrabble in the Children’s and Teen rooms for patrons to play while they are visiting the Library.
We invite everyone to browse the catalog or visit us during International Games Week to learn about our selection of games. Bring Grandma and Grandpa and the kids and take a new look at what your library has to offer – it just might surprise you.
International Games Week is an international initiative supported by the American Library Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, Nordic Game Day and L’Associazione Italiana Biblioteche. For more information on International Games Week, please visit the Games in Libraries blog http://games.ala.org.