American Library Association Pushes For More Video Games In Libraries

from the someone-alert-Nebraska dept

Just last week, we wrote about how officials in Nebraska were coming down hard on a library for buying a PS2 and the game Rock Band as an educational tool and a way to bring more kids to the library. The officials there (and many in our comments) seemed to think that there was no redeeming value for the library to do so. Yet, as reader Tyler Hipwell points out, the American Library Association is now pushing new gaming in libraries initiatives, including an online toolkit for building up gaming resources at the library. Someone should alert officials in Nebraska.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    Maybe the association thinks video games are the only way to get visitors other than homeless people in the doorway.

    Getting your funding cut will make people change their tune pretty quickly.

     

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    Slackr, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    Oh the irony.

     

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  3.  
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    Gunnar, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    There's no redemptive value to the Da Vinci Code, but every library has a copy. Libraries aren't in the business of providing redemptive value, they're in the business of providing common media to the public. They have DVDs, why wouldn't they have videogames?

     

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  4.  
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    Annoyed Librarian, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 4:39pm

    I'm a librarian, a tech savvy one at that, but never have been able to buy into the gaming in libraries phenomenon. They argue it is a way of getting kids into libraries, kids that otherwise wouldn't pick up a book. I know when I was a kid I could've seen right through that ploy.

     

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  5.  
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    Stute, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    I didn't know this wasn't already some sort of common practice

    The local library in my city in central Arkansas has kept video game systems to attract younger people since I was in 4th grade (I'm currently a Junior in College).

    Heck, last time I was there (voting) I could have sworn they even offered short term video game rentals!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Seen through that ploy? It's not like encouraging a kid to read is diabolical plot.

    Surround the gaming area with books that appeal to younger readers of all sorts and books on music. That is all you have to do. Who knows, when they are waiting for their turn to play maybe they'll pick up a book or one will catch their eye and they'll take it home.

     

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  7.  
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    Future Librarian, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    I think libraries in communities where a large percentage of patrons play video games should keep collections of games -- not to lure kids into the library or bribe them to read, but because games are a type of media the community is interested in, same as books, newspapers, DVDs, audio books, etc. Community interest, not "redeeming value" should be a driving force behind library collections and purchases.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 6:48pm

    What is a Libary's Mission?

    I suppose that is ultimately up to the library's owner, but according to the American Library Association at http://www.librarygamingtoolkit.org/, it includes providing "cultural, recreational, and entertaining materials". So yeah, I guess if you include provision of recreation and entertainment as part of their mission and include "activities" as "materials", then video gaming would be covered.

    But if you're going to say that libraries should provide entertainment then you should include other forms of entertainment as well. I mean, libraries aren't just for kids, are they? How about adult entertainment? I once knew of a strip club that was even named "The Library". The interior had ornate wooden bookshelves lining the walls with real books and the strippers came out dressed as conservatively dressed librarians before stripping off their clothes on stage and then going around to the tables to do lap dances.

    So for you librarians who think that a library's mission is to provide recreation and entertainment, go ahead, but don't forget to install that stripper pole. Because if I'm paying taxes to support you and you're supposed to entertain me, then entertain me. And if you don't look good with your clothes off, then maybe it's time for you to get out of the business.

    Or maybe libraries should just stick to their traditional mission of providing literature and information rather than "recreation and entertainment".

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

    Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    I think this is a great idea to draw people into the library. Strippers would also be a good idea to draw people into the library, you could surround the poles with books on dancing and massage. However it is much easier to round up enough money to fund a 800 USD gaming station instead of hiring a stripper for a year, I imagine that would be around 50-70k USD.

     

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  10.  
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    Pre-professional Novelist, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 3:09am

    My public library (Iowa City, IA) has had video games for a while now, and I can assure you that the sky is not falling. We fall into this trap that books are somehow empirically superior to other forms of information or entertainment-- why? What does "Twilight" have to offer me that "Rock Band" does not? For that matter, what does "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" offer me that "Rock Band" does not? The former gives me insight into Russian mindsets and human nature and blahblahblah, but the latter gives me better dexterity and rhythm-- which I'm sure is rather more useful to my everyday life. If my library can have books of instruction on topics like yoga and tai ji quan, which ostensibly do similar things, why not Rock Band? If it can give me books solely to entertain me like Twilight, why not Final Fantasy? The latter is probably a lot more valid as "literature" (and what, exactly, defines such?) because it actually has elements like character development and conflict. (I'm considering a thesis on FFX as a bildungsroman)

    Book purists, get off your high horse. Dead trees do not intrinsically have more value to society. And this comes from someone who plans to make a living off said trees (and, what's more, endeavours to make them Art).

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Hey, they could put in a pool and in the summer, attract lots of visitors. Course, then I guess it would be called a pool and not a library.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    However it is much easier to round up enough money to fund a 800 USD gaming station instead of hiring a stripper for a year, I imagine that would be around 50-70k USD.

    Nah, just hire better looking librarians and have the librarians do the stripping.

     

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  13.  
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    Carolyn Wood, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    How do you suggest garnering public opinion to pay benefits for that type of library position? Libraries are drastically understaffed at the present time. There is no room for additional diversification of duties. Today's librarians are already stretched to the max. without adding pole dancing to the mix.

    If you consult the dictionary at your local library, you will see that the correct spelling is "library" not "libary." On the upside as a librarian, I am impressed at your ability to spell both "stripper" and "massage" correctly. (Reprimand added to validate the traditional librarian stereotype for fun.)

    Food for thought -
    What if expanding gaming into libraries prompted vendors to improve gaming products shifting from strictly entertainment - of the pole dancing caliber - to entertaining educational games created to expand learning opportunities for a wide variety of library users in the public sector?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    The Coward said, in part:

    I suppose that is ultimately up to the library's owner, but according to the American Library Association at http://www.librarygamingtoolkit.org/, it includes providing "cultural, recreational, and entertaining materials". So yeah, I guess if you include provision of recreation and entertainment as part of their mission and include "activities" as "materials", then video gaming would be covered.

    But if you're going to say that libraries should provide entertainment then you should include other forms of entertainment as well. I mean, libraries aren't just for kids, are they? How about adult entertainment? I once knew of a strip club that was even named "The Library". The interior had ornate wooden bookshelves lining the walls with real books and the strippers came out dressed as conservatively dressed librarians before stripping off their clothes on stage and then going around to the tables to do lap dances.

    So for you librarians who think that a library's mission is to provide recreation and entertainment, go ahead, but don't forget to install that stripper pole. Because if I'm paying taxes to support you and you're supposed to entertain me, then entertain me. And if you don't look good with your clothes off, then maybe it's time for you to get out of the business.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Has anyone ever seen a librarian who was younger than 50 and looked older than 75? Now, about maintaining the status quo...

    V

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    If you consult the dictionary at your local library, you will see that the correct spelling is "library" not "libary."

    One might think that you would have taken a clue from the correct spelling in the rest of the comment that "libary" was a typographical error. But apparently, you are rather clueless.

     

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  16.  
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    LemonJoose, Mar 11th, 2009 @ 9:16pm

    Some videogames are indeed of educational value. For example, playing strategy, puzzle and simulation games like Chess, Civilization, Simcity, Poker and Tetris are mentally challenging and teach a lot of different cognitive, spatial and reasoning skills. Even some of the better-done FPS wargames teach a fair bit about history.

    However, some games truly don't have much educational value though, and unlike fiction books don't have the redeeming quality of at least getting people to read something

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    "Some videogames are indeed of educational value. For example, playing strategy, puzzle and simulation games like Chess, Civilization, Simcity, Poker and Tetris are mentally challenging and teach a lot of different cognitive, spatial and reasoning skills. Even some of the better-done FPS wargames teach a fair bit about history."

    I agree, however there is room for improvement and growth.

     

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  18.  
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    Sammy the librarian, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    Carolyn,

    Before you cast your lofty derisive insults down your snooty nose, you should have noticed that "libary" was used once. The rest of the time it was spelled correctly. Alas, you as the ALA kool-aid drinker, missed the point.

     

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  19.  
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    Tired of old librarians unable to see the future, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    video games in libraries

    Video games are the next step in the library those that cannot see that should retire. It is not our job to judge what patrons want only to provide those resources.

    In all of my library classes my professors go on and on about video games being the down fall of the library. But video games and DVD's have brought patrons back to the library and made the library relevant to a new generation. Librarians need to look past their own bias and begin to see that in order for the library to thrive we must adapt to the next generations needs. This next generation learns through facebook, youtube, and video games.

    Strongly consider retiring if you cannot understand this you are no longer relevant to the library cause.

     

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  20.  
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    John Nobody, Jul 2nd, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    How did you get from video games to pornography? I think any sane person can tell the difference between that and genuine entertainment. The point is, video games have redeeming artistic value, just like books, and movies, and TV shows.

     

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  21.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    bob

    games rule

     

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  22.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    me like games bitch

     

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  23.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    games r better than your fucking loser asses so shut the fucking hell up bitchass fucking losers

     

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  24.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    stop swearing, guys. Seriously. FUCK U

     

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  25.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    FUCK U FUCK fucK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

     

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  26.  
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    bob, Apr 18th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: What is a Libary's Mission?

    fucking idiot pervert shitty fucking loser bitch shit heaad fucking loser

     

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