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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