Teen Gaming Interest Group Meeting Notes

The YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group meeting on Monday afternoon welcomed nearly 20 attendees to attendees to discuss teens and gaming in libraries. After a quick review of the mission of the group, announcements followed:

Beyond Gaming Tournaments (Teen Gaming Interest Group)
Sunday June 29th 2008 8:00am to 10am
Discover best practices beyond gaming tournaments in such programs as avatar creation, character worksheets, video game clubs, machinima contests, Cosplay and more. Elizabeth Saxton, Cleveland Public Library; Craig Davis, Youth Digital Arts Cyber School and Amy McNally, Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka, MN, with teens Karina Grimaldi and Brigit Boler, share their successes in delivering high quality engaging programs about and around tabletop and video games – that do NOT involve actual game play! The second half of the program consists of a breakout session to try program activities and exercises yourself.

Go have lunch, then return at 1:30 PM for ALSC presents: Gaming and the Elementary Age Child. It seems we have the makings of an ALA gaming track here!

Teen Tech Week runs March 2-8th, this year’s theme is Tune in @ Your Library. A Gaming Mini-Guide should be posted on the Teen Tech Committee page soon

The Teen Gaming Interest Group recently completed an article for YALS on Core Collections of video games for libraries, an annotated list of recommended titles. Look for it in the spring issue, out soon. A poster with titles was available at the YALSA booth. Content is online.

For more info about gaming in libraries, join the LibGaming group.

ALA TechSource announced Sunday that they have received a Verizon Foundation Grant for 2008-2009. Part of the project includes a website to foster online community hosted by an expert panel at http://gaming.ala.org, featuring links to incubator sites for gaming and research. The grant will produce a virtual institute in April 208. The focus is to develop gaming literacy.

Watch for a follow -up issue of Library Technology Report on Gaming in Libraries. Other projects include a National Gaming in Libraries Day (April 18) (with national tournament), GT System from the Ann Arbor District Library, a Big Game at ALA annual 2008 in Anaheim, and the 2nd annual ALA TechSource Gaming Learning and Libraries Symposium (Nov 2008) in the Chicago area.

Other Big News! The Games and Gaming MIG at ALA passed on Tuesday.

Beth recommended that someone else champion a Selected Lists of Video Games for Teens, by requesting
YALSA Board action.

Part of the discussion involved a question about research needs in regard to gaming.
What is the theft/loss rate of circulating video game collections?
Are teens allowed to check out videos/video games?

Is there a relationship between policies and theft rate: circulation policies, like circ period and fine rate

Q. Money: how do I spend in? Wii or PS2?
A. Get both! ASk your local teens for advice.

Q. How do I get a Wii?
A. Contact Nintendo, go early to game stores, try Nowinstock.net, check eBay. Don’t forget to purchase extra controllers and the proper controllers (for retro gaming)

Q. What games should I buy for programs?
A.Guitar Hero

Wii Sports
Wii Play
Rayman Raving Rabbids #2
Mario & Sonic Olympics
Naruto II: Ultimate Ninja
DragonBall Z

Q. How do I store my console/prevent theft?
A. Gaming configurations include a locked cabinet or behind the desk

Q. How much will this cost?
A. Starting Budget: $1000 – for 1 system, 3-5 games, & extra controllers

Q. Do people still play D&D?

A. Yes! D&D fosters imagination, teaches storytelling, and develops creativity! And Wizards of the Coast, a Teen Tech Week sponsor, has a free kit D&D available to libraries! They are out of kits, but you can DOWNLOAD all the kit materials.

Q. Does anyone do Yu-gi-oh tournaments – no problems with card theft
A. Yes! Other recommended Card & Tabletop Games

Hex Hex
Taboo & Gestures (get noisy)
Apples to Apples (Junior edition)
Set Game
Scene It? Junior
Carcassone Hunters & Gatherers

Settlers of Kataan
500 different games around the kit/pieces

Two great board game resources:
Board Games with Scott

Gaming Interest Group list on the YALSA community page (log in with ALA membership # and password):

Q. Help! They won’t come to the library, even to play games!
A. Take the games to them! High school lunch, local game stores/card shops, advertise on Meetup.com

Q. Are there age issues with video games?
A. It’s a two program opportunity! One for kids, one for teens. Start with age 12 (gr 6) – don’t forget that a game rated T for teen are for age 13.

Q. What are the behavior issues associated with gaming programs?
A. Theft and fighting for a turn are not usually an issue. In fact, teens in gaming programs are the best behaved kids in the library, and often self-police to keep their gaming privileges.

Q. Is there a basic list of resources about gaming that I can use to make a case for for gaming at my library?

A. Yes! For your perusal:
Wilson, Heather. Gaming for Librarians. Voice of Youth Advocates. Feb 2005.

Neiburger, Eli and Erin Helmrich. Video Games As a Service.” Voice of Youth Advocates. Feb 2005.

Gallaway, Beth & Alissa Lauzon. “I Can’t Dance Without Arrows: DDR at the Library.” YALS. Summer 2006.

Gallaway, Beth. Get Your Game On: What Makes A Good Game, Anyway?

Beck, John & Mitchell Wade. The Kids are Alright. Harvard Business School, 2007.

Nicholson, Scott. (2007). The Role of Gaming in Libraries: Taking the Pulse. White paper.

Q. How do you deal with time limits on your Internet computers?
A. Start a program! IE Runescape Club

Q. Other Gaming Ideas?
A. Bronx Library System – poker tournament – tutorials and 5 card stud and 7 card Texas hold’em play with real chips, no money.

Reader’s Advisory – if you like this game, you might like this book
Family Gaming Night with board games – library provides some, patrons bring their own in
Open Gaming once a week, programs twice a month
Newbie Game Day
Teen Choice Free Play (they bring their own games)
Teen Second Life

Global Kids

Q. Do kids bring in their own laptops for gaming programs?
A. Sometimes! And it can add to the program, IE, all playing StepMania.

Q. Are there games for developmentally disabled/delayed?
A. Not that we are aware of, at this time…

Q. How do you handle signups for game programs?

Black crow darts has a great chart
Jeff Wyner, Escondido Public Library, has designed an excel spread sheet with formulas for
Eli Neiburger from Ann Arbor District Library will be unveiling their tournament management software in April 2008.

Q. What is the ESRB?
A. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board! Among other things, they rate video games on a set of 40+ criteria, for ‘age-appropriateness.’
Visit http://www.esrb.org for more info.

Q. Suggestions for ways to clear up teens library cards?
A. Waivers, amnesty day, booksale fundraiser for fine scholarships, pay for fines via Teen Second Life

Gaming Interest Group Conveners Needed, please VOTE!

YALSA members: please take a moment to vote for co-conveners of the YALSA gaming interest group in the poll online at:


You MUST be a YALSA member to vote; have your ALA membership card handy! The two candidates with the most votes will be co-conveners for July 2007-June 2008. Choices and candidate statements follow; you can also write in a candidate.

Polls close at 11 PM EST June 30, 2007.

FYI: The purpose of the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group is to discuss
issues relating to teens and gaming and to develop and disseminate best practices in collections, programming, and related topics in the field of gaming (including video, computer, internet, handheld, mobile, board, card, and miniatures) for young adults ages 12-18. The group meets at Midwinter and Annual. Bring a program to share, a game recommendation, or your questions about starter collections or successful gaming events. Check out online discussions in ALA’s Online Communities, and Recommended Games Lists on the YALSA Wiki.

Please choose a convener for the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group. The two candidates with the most votes will be co-conveners for July 2007-June 2008. Choices and candidate statements follow; you can also write in a candidate.

Kelly Czarnecki: “Kelly Czarnecki has served as co-convener of the YALSA Gaming Interest Group for 2006-2007 where she helped add content to the YALSA wikiat http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Gaming_Lists_%26_Activities, invited speakers to the meetings at conference, and posted updates to members and attendees. She is active with teens and video gaming programs at her library in Charlotte, NC and writes a column for YAttitudes on a variety of game activities as well as School Library Journal. Kelly would like to see the interest group continue to work toward developing a selection list of games which was started by Beth Gallaway and continue to be a resource for libraries working with teens for gaming programs.”

Beth Gallaway: “As founder of the group, I’d like to see out the first three years of this Interest Group and help shape how YALSA Interest Groups work. I’ve been pleased to work with Kelly to put on three meetings that have had a program element and look forward to coordinating our first program in Anaheim in ’08 on programs related to gaming that aren’t tournaments. I’ve been gaming since I was five and travel around the country doing workshops on how libraries can appeal to gamers with programs, services and collections;my book on Gaming & Libraries comes out at the end of year.”

Jami Schwarzwalder: “Games, like teens, are often misunderstood, and as a leader for the YALSA gaming interest group it would be my honor to help support librarians, defend gaming, foster new initiatives in gaming services, as well as encourage gaming programs to become as common as preschool story time. Since I was young I’ve been involved in the world of gaming. As a child, gaming served as a way to socialize with my mother and friends. As a teen, I interacted in unique worlds available through Role Playing Systems, designed video games, and my own imagination related to tabletop games. In college I studied education, and soon discovered that gaming had many educational elements that also benefits today’s teens and children. While in library school, I evaluated many games and developed a collection policy. Both are now available online at my website www.mbmpl.org. I’ve also worked with individuals from the game industry to promote partnerships with schools and libraries.”

Results will be announced by July 1 2007. Thanks for your participation.

ALA Online Communities and YALSA

At my high school, after the first week of new quarter, members of the current graduating class in good standing could opt out of silent study hall and spend the rest of the quarter in the Senior Privilege area. “Senior Priv” was something for the freshman, sophomores and juniors to look forward to, and for the seniors to lord over the heads of the lower classes. It was nothing more than linoleum tiled room, directly under the library, outfitted with vending machines, breakfast service before noon, tables to encourage socializing — and games. Uno was the favorite activity in 1992, and pouring over Where’s Waldo? books in search of the man in the red & white striped shirt was a close second.

Today on the YALSA-BK list, someone asked about games popular with teens in libraries today – traditional board games, puzzles, and card games – that the library might purchase and have on hand. It sounds like a few librarians even jump in and play along.

The subject is a bit off topic for that particular listserv, so I recommended that we move the conversation to the new ALA Online Communities. Its like bulletin boards with discussion forums, calendar, and file space, and the new YALSA Gaming Discussion Group has a community all it’s own.

To access ALA Online Communities:

1. Go to http://communities.ala.org.

2. Login with your username (ALA #) and password). Don’t have a password? For password help, go to: http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=Login&Template=/security/PasswordHelp.cfm

If you know your membership # go to

(If you are REALLY in a pinch, try calling 1-800-545-2433 during regular business hours.)

3. After you’ve logged in, to locate the YALSA Gaming Discussion Group:
Click “Divisions” from the left menu
Click “YALSA” from the left menu
Click “Teen Gaming Discussion Group” from the left menu

Click “Discussion Forums” from the top menu

After you’ve logged in, click “Documents”
Open the ALA Participants File:

The original query about games has not been reposted yet but I did start to compile a list of responses – look under the Board Games forum and add your response: What card, puzzle and board games do YOU recommend for in-house collections?

~posted by Beth Gallaway