National Gaming Day @ Your Library Video

Scott Nicholson, a faculty member at the Syracuse University school of Information Studies has developed this video for librarians to help celebrate National Gaming Day @ Your Library on November 15. Scott describes how to play Hasbro’s Pictureka! which (thanks to ALA and Hasbro) every public library in the U.S. will receive a copy. The goals of the event being:

  • Raise awareness about the use of games as a library program
  • Expose people to a new type of board game
  • Establish connections between local board game groups and the library

Scott also gives a handful of other ideas in the video for participating on this day. Feel free to share your thoughts as well.

Games and Gaming Member Initiative Group

On January 16th, the ALA Council approved the formation of the Games and Gaming Member Initiative Group. The charge for the group, is:
To engage those interested in games and gaming activities in libraries and to collaborate with ALA units to support gaming initiatives and programs across the Association. Games, as defined in their broadest sense to include traditional and modern board, card, video, mobile, computer, live-action, roleplaying and miniature games, and gaming activities, including planning and running gaming programs, providing games for informal play, developing a game collection, creating games, development of information and other literacies through games and partnering with other community organizations to support gaming, will be topics for professional exploration. This group is open to all members.

Scott Nicholson (srnichol at, associate professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies and director of the Library Game Lab of Syracuse, appeared before the ALA Committee on Organization on January 15th as a Designated Organizer with a petition with 149 member signatures to request that the group be started as a channel to bring together librarians of all types to talk about tabletop and digital games.

The Member Initiative Group structure is designed for new topics and creates an ALA organization that lives for 3 years. After that time, if the group is flourishing, it can apply to become part of the ALA’s permanent organizational structure as a Round Table. ALA will be creating a discussion forum, blog, wiki, and other methods for the group to begin discussions shortly. More information about the Library Game Lab of Syracuse and updates on the Games and Gaming MIG will be posted here.

This group does not replace the YALSA Gaming Interest Group but will only make it stronger as we can collaborate more across divisions over the topic of gaming.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Gaming and families

My colleague recently shared this videocast (14 minutes) from a professor at Syracuse that demonstrates various board games that many people might not be familiar with.

While I liked the video, the host of the program starts off by saying, “Back in the day, families got together to play any variety of games at home, but in this day and age of electronics, it’s tough to unplug and get together.”

We recently had a family gaming night with console games such as Super Monkey Ball, Madden ’06, and DDR, board games such as chess and Monopoly, and retro games on the PC such as Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Tetris. Do other libraries have stories to share with family gaming nights at the library?

As James Paul Gee says in the following article in regards to computer and video-“that games are more a social pastime than an antisocial one.”

Don’t Bother Me Mom-I’m Learning! by Prensky talks a lot about the interaction that can take place with families and video gaming.

I think family gaming nights with video and board games can be valuable for libraries and teens-especially to help create those situations where teen participation can take place to figure out how such an event might run.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki