YALSA will offer three online courses in October: AIMing at Tweens: Advising, Involving, Motivating, taught by Teri Lesesne; Graphic Novels and Teen Readers: The Basics and Beyond, taught by Francisca Goldsmith; and Reaching Teens with Gaming, taught by Beth Gallaway’  (hey, that’s me!).

Gaming at the library refers to board, card, role-playing, and big games, not just digital video games. Thinking about hosting board game nights or starting a circulating video game collection? Already offering Rock Band and Mario Kart and looking for a next step program? Would you like to engage RuneScape players, RPGers, or use a big game to promote the library? These topics, and more, will be covered in this session. The main focus is to educate non-gamers about what games are and introducing librarians to the many formats of hobby that engages the free time of their teen clientele. The session concludes with creating a plan of service to engage gamers at the library.

The gaming course runs six weeks and has been revised and adapted to include multiple types of board games, not just video games. Expect to spend 8-12 hours total on the course work, playing games and responding to discussion board questions. All required readings are free and available online, in text, audio and/or video format, with many optional resources.

The course is designed to bring the beginning gamer up to speed in weeks 1 & 2 (and be a review to some extent for those already doing gaming). The gaming & literacy connection is relatively new for everyone, and it never hurts to get a refresher in advocacy or to establish a common vocabulary. In weeks 3-6, the course will offer creative solutions for intermediate and advanced gamers to take gaming to the next level while newbies get their feet wet. Strong focus is on services that support gamers, without librarians needing a lot of expertise, or having to pick up a controller or pair of dice – themselves. My intent is that those who are doing NO gaming, will try something after the class is done – and those who ARE, will go beyond a video game program a month.

Registration for all three online classes is now open; classes begin October 5, 2009.

About Beth Gallaway

Beth Gallaway was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2006 for her work in advocating for videogames in libraries. She is an independent library trainer/consultant specializing in gaming, technology, and youth services, and is a YALSA certified Serving the Underserved (SUS) trainer.

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