August 1, 2008

It’s a way your two favorite things…can join into one.”

Empha­sis below is mine.

Libraries’ Video Games Are Teen Magnet

Although some par­ents dis­like the idea of video games in libraries, the Colum­bus Met­ro­pol­i­tan Library has spent $40,000 on video-game equip­ment in the first two years of a pro­gram to make teenagers feel more wel­come in libraries.

‘Gam­ing is sto­ry­telling for teenagers,’ said Julie Scordato, a teen-services spe­cial­ist for Colum­bus’ libraries. ‘You get to min­gle, play and talk, and you get to really know them. Then when you sug­gest a book, they listen.’…

…just one in 10 library patrons finds gam­ing in the library annoy­ing, accord­ing to the Library Game Lab study.…

Colum­bus Met­ro­pol­i­tan Library branches make their equip­ment avail­able only dur­ing teen meet­ings. Scordato said she wants the clubs to pro­vide a safe place for social and cul­tural lit­er­acy, not mind­less gaming.

At the North­ern Lights branch on Cleve­land Avenue, it’s quite the production.

Teens arrive early, flip­ping through books while they wait. Then the lights dim, and in a flash there are crowds around three TVs and a pro­jec­tor screen hooked up to a Nin­tendo Wii console.

We actu­ally like this,’ said Jeramie Sum­mer­all, 19. ‘They need to have it more to keep us out of trou­ble.’ ” [The Colum­bus Dis­patch]

Game for Gamers

Video games in a library may seem like an oxy­moron — librar­i­ans will­ingly bring­ing the elec­tronic enemy into the ven­er­a­ble fortress of all things paper­back and hard­cover, [Car­rie] Schindele-Cupples admits.

But in fact it’s just the oppo­site, she said. Since insti­tut­ing activ­i­ties aimed at teens last year, cir­cu­la­tion in the young adult sec­tion at the Spring­field library has gone up by 18 per­cent, Schindele-Cupples said.

They come to the library, get to know other teens in the com­mu­nity and real­ize that the library can be a nice des­ti­na­tion,’ she said. ‘It’s very excit­ing know­ing that teens are using the library.’…

Doing gam­ing events gets them in, but then I grab a hold of them and get them inter­ested in other things,’ said Traci Glass, teen ser­vices librar­ian at the Eugene Pub­lic Library.…

I had a teen say they’ve never been into the library before,’ Glass said. ‘It does increase lit­er­acy skills and it does bring teens into the library.’

Swing­ing away at the screen at the Spring­field Pub­lic Library, 12-year-old Hay­din Rosin said he tagged along with a friend. While his friend, Kevin Hagel, 12, ‘reads like crazy,’ Rosin said he ‘doesn’t come down often.’

Before the 3 p.m. gam­ing ses­sion Wednes­day, he checked out six books. He said he’ll likely bring them back and get more at the next game night.…

Librar­i­ans from Eugene and Spring­field say the youths are sur­prised to find illus­trated graphic nov­els, Japan­ese comics and gam­ing mag­a­zines on library shelves.…

Teens also befriend peers that they may not have oth­er­wise, librar­i­ans said.

You meet new friends,’ said Bre Wom­ack, 15, who had checked out a few books ear­lier in the day before com­ing back to play Dance Dance Rev­o­lu­tion and Gui­tar Hero with a friend. ‘It’s actu­ally pretty fun.’

Wom­ack, a mem­ber of the library’s Teen Advi­sory Board that helped librar­i­ans brain­storm the event, said she’s seen peo­ple sit­ting in chairs read­ing, wait­ing their turn at a game console.

‘It’s a way your two favorite things, books and video games, can join into one,’ she said.” [The Reg­is­ter Guard]

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