Carry picture books or other children’s literature.
Provide programming of any kind.
“We are not a recreation center” attitude is not doing us or our community any favors.
Provide a third place.
Provide a safe place.
Provide a place to socialize.
Provide an experience that you cannot get at home.
Gaming can be a piece of this picture.
Gaming and Story
Libraries are about stories and information and access to stories and information regardless of format. Videogames must be regarded as a new, interactive, multimedia, three dimensional digital format for conveying stories and information.”
Game On! By Beth Gallaway, Neal-Schuman, 2009.
Teens are more invested in the story of videogames because they are the ones shaping the course and tone of the story in the moment of play.
Stats of highest selling video games here
Consoles and games have controls to tone down the violence (no blood, flowers instead of blood, green instead of red.
As library staff you are in control of what games are played and in what modes.
The Gamer Generation is…
Open to risk-taking , exploring, trying new things, and solving problems creatively.
Social , and understand that sharing their interests with others does not depend on georgaphy.
Content Creators (fan fiction, character blogs, machinima.
One Library’s Story
How It Started
2005 Gaming Symposium
2006 Gaming Proposal
2006 Board approval
2007 Teen Tech Week roll-out.
Supplies and Budget to Start
PS2, Guitar Hero, DDR, Nintendo Wii
Each branch had $260.00
Circulating collection, $1,000 worth of games
$750.00 each branch, some bought extra Wii consoles, accessories, games, replacement items
$475.00 per branch (budget cuts)
$700.00 circulating board game collection.
Teen Tech Week 2007
PS2, Guitar Hero w/two guitars and DDR pads.
378 teens attend programs in one week.
Summer Reading Club 2007
Some branches offered gaming as often as once a week over the 8 week period. 2,118 teens attended gaming programs across the system.
Teen Read Week 2007
Branches offered both open play and Guitar Hero II Tournaments. Red Octane, the company that makes Guitar Hero donated hats, t-shirts and wrist bands to every branch that hosted a tournament.
378 teens came to these gaming programs.
2007 Total Numbers
Teen Tech Week: 378
March to June : 678
Teen Summer Reading: 2,118
Teen Read Week: 378
August to December: 1809
Total to Date…
Over 15,000 teens have attended gaming programs in three years. When we take the total cost spent from 2007 to 2009, the average amount spent per teen is:
Beyond Statistics: Literacy
…it was a great opportunity for me to interact with teens who would not normally open up to me. I set up a book display featuring books from the Teen Tech Week booklist and after I promoted them, nearly all of them were checked out. –Dublin Branch
Beyond Statistics: Literacy
After Wednesday’s program, I was talking to Katelyn, the girl to beat at DDR yesterday. We were talking about some books she had in her hand and turns out she was interested in WWII because her grandfather was in it. This lead to talk about the Diary of Anne Frank, which she had never heard of, so we then found it and she checked it out. Hopefully as this evolves, we will find even more “book connections” with regular participants. -- Franklinton Branch
Beyond Statistics: Relationships
The Karl Road Branch has built a Teen Advisory Board from regular gamers.
Northern Lights Branch has a large Somali population and gaming gives Somali teens a safe, non-confrontational venue to socialize with an activity that has high appeal.
Nuts and Bolts Basics
Can be an easy sell.
Opportunity to build advocacy.
Allows you to work out the kinks.
Build the excitement before a mandate from admin comes down.
Quick Set-up and Tear Down
Opportunities for teens to be the experts.
Library staff are able to shift from presenter to facilitator.
Any staff person can host gaming.
What to Buy
Accept that like any electronic technology, gaming changes rapidly.
Choose things with wide appeal first, then consider what your regular gaming participants recommend.
Be prepared to trade games in for newer ones.
What to Buy
Remember it’s less about equipment and more about environment.
If teens bring items from home, discuss responsibility and liability.
For big ticket items, buy one or two and share among branches/libraries, to see what to further invest in.
Provide gaming and they will come.
Schools, parent newsletter.
Talk with other youth serving agencies.
Unroll gaming alongside a larger event like Summer Reading Club or large community event.
Newspaper, local news gaming shops
Provide and ongoing story
Helps customers build teamwork and participate in healthy civic engagement.
Can become a tradition that cultivates interest from the community at large.
Provides opportunities for teamwork and other confidence building activities.
Ann Arbor District Library
What? Gamers in the Library? By Eli Neiburger, ALA Publications, 2007.
Allowing the gaming environment to be shaped by your teen customers.
Gaming Then and Now
2005 Symposium, new idea, few model libraries sharing their stories. Articles in Voya.
2010 Corporate Grants for Gaming, Regular columns on Gaming at School Library Journal, Voya, and Library Journal blog.
Moving into Game Design Programs.
Liz Danforth Blog:
Electronic Software Association
Voya Column by Matthew Roach
Gaming Life Column, School Library Journal
What? Gamers in the Library! By Eli Neiburger, ALA Publications, 2007