Gaming in libraries is a relatively new concept. Gaming has become increasingly popular over the last 30 years since the introduction of Nintendo in the late ’80s. While I never had a Nintendo, Sony’s Play Station, or a Sega system growing up, I knew several who did. Video games have become part of our culture, there is no denying it. They are more popular today then ever before it seems between consule games, massive multi-player online roleplaying games (MMORPGs), and even games for our smart phones and other devices. They are increasingly popular with children and teens. So it was only a matter of time before libraries got on the bandwagon so to speak.
Libraries are no longer just places to hold books, for years they have had movies, DVDs, and CDs. So why not gaming programs? In an effort to appeal to the next generation of library users. Supported by the American Library Association, and it’s affiliate the Young Adult Library Services Association, libraries across the country are getting into gaming. The Pasco County’s Regency Park Library has a Tween game called Rock N’ Games on June 22 and has had several other gaming events for tweens and teens. The New Port Richey Library has several Summer Game Days this summer on various days. I like to think this change is due in part to the next generation of librarians, many of whom are like myself and have chosen librarianship as their career choice and therefore gone to library school immediately after college. Gaming is here to stay, so having video games sessions in libraries is a great way to grab younger patrons and provide a safe place for them to get together with their friends and hang out having fun.