Gaming and Libraries: Intersections of Service – TSCPL #staffday

Jenny Levine, ALA

1850s – libraries in Britain – pool halls in libraries, 1880s early chess club in a library

2005 or so – entering Eighth Age of librarianship – a participatory age.

Redefining what we mean by reading (Second Life avatar reading a book, avatars listening to someone else read a book in SL)

Gaming has been in the library (1850s) longer than KIDS have been in the library!

“stare at the screen all day” – it’s not passive – it’s active, and two-way

“he just sits there all day long…” – balance is the issue – shouldn’t read all day, play sports all day, game all day – gaming is not the problem – balance is

What would happen if video games would have been invented before books? – books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)

“aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.

“they already play videogames at home” (Eli Neiberger) – well, why do we do storytime at the library, if you can read at home? The library adds value to it… same thing with the library and gaming. We’re one of the last non-commercial facilities out there!

“Gaming is too loud…” Our libraries are loud, too!

“Libraries are about books” – and crocheting, and music, and etc etc etc – not just books anymore

“violent video games” – 85% of games are rated for everybody

Numbers – define gaming: any type of game. Summer reading is the biggest game in the library!

Who’s a gamer? Everyone pretty much – average age of gamer – 35 – middle-aged women are the largest demographic of gamers

talking about teaching a college-level statistics course for athletes – using Madden Fantasy Football

Gaming is a social experience for teens – gamers tend to be more civically engaged than non-gamers.

Games as readers advisory (from Beth Galloway): if you like to play Halo, here’s what you might enjoy reading…

Some libraries are offering Senior Spaces that have gaming as an introduction to technology. They use the Wii or the XBox, teens show the seniors how, then the seniors move to computer tech from there.