“Library” and “Gaming” were words that you likely saw rarely paired years ago. I was a library junkie as a kid, loved wandering stacks, walking out with piles of books, but it’s hard to shake the imprint that it was a place were the main noises you heard were were “Shhhhh” not “boing!”
It’s hardly news to hear of a public library experimenting game setups to attract people to come, stay, be part of a library. A google on “public Library” and “wii” brings in.. oh… 383,000 results (no I have not looked at them all!). Is that astounding or ordinary? Is that yet another one of those fun measures I like to use to suggest the scale of the size of the net?
I had a fabulous time in at the "Gaming in Libraries’" session of the Midwest Library Technology Conference, where they not only talked about games, they let us play. It’s more than a Field of Dreams approach, just tossing games into a room; I have worked with, read about, and heard from those clever librarians who design activities, resources that do what librarians do so well, put information in context for us.
This is not even meant as a post to ponder the implications, more of an observation I had a few weeks ago when I stopped by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library in Pine, Arizona — the closest town (3 miles) with a gas station (actually 2) and a market (1) to where I live. The population of Pine is likely a bit over 2000, and the library is a real gem.
Housed in this tiny building is a diversity of books, magazines, videos, audio books, community resources, computers connected to the internet, and a gung ho team of librarians that politely fall over themselves to help you.
And darned if on my last visit there, they had re-arranged the checkout racks of DVDs to make room for a single Wii station!