Gaming in Our Library?

Posted on Wednesday 14 March 2007

Why gaming in public libraries? Isn’t that just entertainment? No, gaming has tremendous potential for libraries to reach out to new users, offer new services, and help complement efforts in community building, information literacy, and other areas. Public libraries today are much more than just a warehouse for books providing study areas.

Our public library also serves as a community center, a gathering place for citizens and as an information hub for the community. Libraries have long served the role of providing a safe and clean environment for people of all ages and particularly for our youth after school.

Gaming in libraries provide an activity that draws youth to the library. What better place for your teen to spend time. Did you know that the fastest growing customer base for our library is teens? Did you know, after introducing gaming at the library, circulation has increased by over 22%? Yes, it is true, once teens come to library because of gaming, they also find time to study, to check out books. Most importantly, they also find time to learn. They learn about infomation technology, they develop research skills that will serve their life-long learning neads.

And yes, they learn how important public libraries are in their daily lives. Gaming in libraries? You Bet! with an investment of about $900, (less than 1 tenth of 1% of budget) we have over 3,000 new young adult library users.

That’s a great return on investment!

12 Comments for 'Gaming in Our Library?'

    March 17, 2007 | 3:14 am

    Gaming is a natural extension of library services. Younger generations of gamers have gained confidence, resiliency, motivation, analytical thinking skills, and team loyalty (See: Tom Story’s The Big Bang). These are attributes of any great leader.

    Public libraries have been perceived as instructive, cultural institutions–places where one can further one’s knowledge. Adding gaming to a library’s mix of relevant programming is just one more way for the library to meet the community’s expectations.

    Gamers are becoming and will be our next generation of leaders. What better place than the library to nurture them?

    March 19, 2007 | 11:58 am


    Thank you for your comments. I could not agree more with your assessment!


    April 10, 2007 | 5:48 pm

    Overheard at our Dance Dance Revolution tournament for teens:
    “I never knew a library could be this much fun!”

    May 1, 2007 | 12:54 pm

    I’m voting for. You folks have worked hard to give us a better library than that of any in the country, although I’m not that well travelled. While I’m uninformed about the “Gaming” deal, I assume they won’t be slot machines. Ha! I know we pay for WPL through taxes, but getting the best for only a little? Can’t beat it!

    While I have contributed a few books (and a movie soon), should you wish to have a few extra bucks for the WPL soon, I would like to buy one or maybe two of the empty stones/bricks you have outside to honor a number of folks who meant everything to me.



    August 28, 2007 | 12:25 am

    Don, can you elaborate on what you mean by “3,000 new young adult library users?” These are great statistics, but I want to make sure I understand. Thanks!


    August 29, 2007 | 11:45 am


    Thank you for your question. Since gaming was added as a service, a little over 3,000 teenagers applied for library cards! So, 3,000 teenagers that previously did not use the library or have cards are now active library users.


    February 12, 2008 | 10:54 pm

    I like gaming myself, but I still think the main purpose of a library should be to nurture READING. Books should be the first priority.

    February 15, 2008 | 3:07 pm


    Thank you for your comment. Encouraging lifelong reading is certainly one of our core principles and highest priority. As with most educational ventures, we are more successful if we also provide a fun experience. We enjoy it more and learn more. An interesting fact is that since we provided gaming in the library, we have experienced a 22% increase in teenagers getting library cards. More importantly, we have witnessed a similar increase 23% in the circulation of young adult books and magazines.

    Again, thank you for your comments!


    June 4, 2008 | 4:47 pm

    [...] Want to find out more about gaming at the library? Read about it here. [...]

    January 10, 2009 | 4:03 pm

    good luck

    February 15, 2009 | 6:30 am

    I’m new there
    Nice forum!

    November 19, 2010 | 3:51 am

    Gaming on libraries is such a great idea, most teens find libraries so boring and this will definitely change the norm. thanks for the post.

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