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We've all heard that video games are violent, expensive, inappropriate for their target age group, and addictive. But just like books, video games can also be literary, educational, socially relevant, identity forming, and challenging. And video games are a medium of choice for the millennial generation.

  • Are you concerned that young people aren't reading anymore, because of screen addiction?
  • Are your library's computers being taken over by Runescape?

In this course you will discover the benefits of harnessing this format to attract new library users and relate to your next-gen staff.

  • Are you already embracing gaming, and ready to start a video game collection?
  • Do you need some help convincing the "powers that be" that gaming is a worthwhile investment?

We'll also explore how to integrate video games effectively in a traditional library environment.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will help participants understand and articulate the benefits of video games in the library. The instructor will provide an overview of best practices in gaming programs, as well as practical ways libraries can support gamers through services, collections, and facilities. Through interactive exercises, students will also explore how the millennial generation thinks, acts, learns, and plays differently from other generations. We will examine gaming magazines as selection tools and discuss collection development policies, procedures, and issues specific to video games. Participants will receive a webliography of games to try, a gaming glossary, sample core collections, and proven program how-to's.

Finally, this session is not just hands-on; it's feet-on, too! The afternoon will conclude with testing a variety of games on several major gaming consoles such as Nintendo, Playstation, and/or Xbox.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Defining the Gamer
    • Demographics: who plays may surprise you!
    • Characteristics of the Gamer® generation
    • Meeting developmental needs; building developmental assets
  • Serving the Gamer
    • Six things libraries can do to serve this unique population
    • How to use games in reader's advisory
  • Developing Game Collections
    • Evaluating games
    • Purchasing, storing, maintaining game collections
  • Getting Active with Games
    • Model programs
    • Hands-on, feet-on practice: try it yourself!

Workshop Instructor: Beth Gallaway