While I missed part of the discussion group and was disappointed because I am co-chair, I couldn’t pass up speaking at the Sirsi Dynix booth right before the meeting. It was announced on Saturday and Sunday at Midwinter that they are sponsoring the two main islands in the InfoIsland project on Second Life. This includes virtual library services on the adult grid as well as the teen grid. I mention this, because while Second Life is not a game, it shares some similarities such as participants creating their own experiences.

The Gaming Discussion group meeting also took place in Second Life, where participants joined us via text chat in the Open Air Auditorium on InfoIsland. Check out the YouTube video by HVX Silverstar here.

What I did catch was over 40 strong attendees sharing their library gaming stories, tips (ask gamers to bring in their own equipment or use a mobile console that can travel to the branches if buying one for each branch is not affordable), questions, tie-ins for Teen Tech Week (hosting tournaments), and justification for gaming as a viable and core service in libraries to administration (publications such as Gaming & Libraries: Intersection of Services by Jenny Levine is helpful for this).

Jami Schwarzwalder presented information on table top games including types such as card (including CCGs-collectible card games), miniature, and RPGs (role-playing games). Ideas for programs such as ‘build a deck’ tournament with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to create a social group and friendly competition, partnering with a local gaming store for ideas and resources, and tapping into the readers of historical and fantasy fiction by offering a wide selection of table top games at the library. For reviews of table top games and various types, check out Jami’s site here.

Scott Nicholson, from Board Games with Scott, was present to discuss how he reviews various games through instruction video on his web site.

Thank you to Sophie Brookover, for gathering publication ideas and a representative from School Library Journal for attending the meeting and talking with us afterward.

We discussed that a proposal was sent to the YALSA board to consider creating a video game selection list (similar to the other lists already in existence here). Since video games are content, many libraries circulate games, and game reviews are included in such publications as School Library Journal by Amy Phillips and Beck Spilver, YALSA would be a source many librarians would trust for game recommendations for their library. A proposal for 2008 was submitted by Gaming Discussion Group chair, Beth Gallaway, regarding delivering engaging programs around tabletop and video games for teens.

Handouts on Gaming and Community Building and Virtual Worlds, along with a YALS 2007 issue, Get Connected @ your library were shared with the group. One lucky winner walked away with a copy of Gaming & Libraries: Intersection of Services by Jenny Levine.

The discussion group concluded by learning how to play Set Game (available in card and online), Guillotine, and more.

Don’t forget to join the LibGaming google group which is a forum for discussion of gaming and libraries. Also, consult or share your gaming information on Library Success: A Best Practices wiki.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

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