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Subject: Board games in public libraries rss

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Renni Honkanen
Finland
Helsinki
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Hello,

I've tried to search this information by going through various library catalogues, but without a good answer. So I'll try it through the bgg-community.

Do you have Board games in your local library? And I mean games that you can loan and take home with you. Not just to play in the library.

A little background first : I work at the Helsinki library, and work with games almost every day. And I'm looking for little reference to that work.

In Helsinki metropolitan area we have well over 300 different titles, which are free to loan out, and they also ship those to other libraries in the area so you can pick it up where you want.

Complete list:
http://haku.helmet.fi/iii/encore/search/C__Slautapelit__Ff%3...

The exact number seems to be 337 right now. It's been growing quite rapidly in recent years, three years ago it was about 20 titles.

You can see the same trend elsewhere in Finland also, but not to that extent. And these games ain't only focused to children, but to heavy gamers and families as well. I think all genres except train games and heavy war games are quite well represented here. And customers have found these games also, they loan out really really well.

So whats the number in your local library?
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Renni Honkanen
Finland
Helsinki
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Oh, sorry. That link was to finnish version of the catalogue. Here it is in english:

http://haku.helmet.fi/iii/encore/search/C__Slautapelit__Ff%3...
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Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
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The Brussels library has games you can loan, however these are meant for families who want to tip their toe in the gaming water, not for gamers.

Gamers can rent games at their gaming club - usually for 1 Euro / month
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Chris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
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Jason Bush
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Agreed, not an American thing in any library system I've seen.
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Renni Honkanen
Finland
Helsinki
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
The Brussels library has games you can loan, however these are meant for families who want to tip their toe in the gaming water, not for gamers.

Gamers can rent games at their gaming club - usually for 1 Euro / month


Ok, this was interesting. I finally found the catalogue and correct keywoards. You seem have a really large collection there, over 40 games from Knizia for example (Knizia is boring). But seems like most of these are not for loan... But I don't really speak french so I'm just guessing

So far I've only found one game which is for loan : Mr. Jack
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Renni Honkanen
Finland
Helsinki
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Recistor wrote:
[q="eddy_sterckx"]The Brussels library has games you can loan, however these are meant for families who want to tip their toe in the gaming water, not for gamers.

Gamers can rent games at their gaming club - usually for 1 Euro / month


Oh, now I see. The catalogue includes this BIBLIO LOCALE ANDERLECHT : Ludothèque
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Jürgen K
Germany
Dortmund
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I think most libraries in Germany have games. Here you can find the games of the library in Dortmund: https://katalog.dortmund.de/
Go to "Erweiterte Suche" and filter "konventionelles Spiel"
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Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
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Recistor wrote:
And I mean games that you can loan and take home with you. Not just to play in the library.
I have multiple library cards across a dozen counties in two separate states. I am only aware of ONE with a tiny sample of Euros, and indeed that is only for use IN the library.

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David
Switzerland
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Actually I haven't seen a library from the inside since I left school. But we have 372 specialized toy libraries throughout Switzerland.

I don't exactly know how many games our local one carries but compared to mine I'd estimate around 500 games. A bit more than half of it is for children, about a quarter are party games and the rest are a mix of light and medium games.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Recistor wrote:
Recistor wrote:
[q="eddy_sterckx"]The Brussels library has games you can loan, however these are meant for families who want to tip their toe in the gaming water, not for gamers.

Gamers can rent games at their gaming club - usually for 1 Euro / month


Oh, now I see. The catalogue includes this BIBLIO LOCALE ANDERLECHT : Ludothèque


I'll elaborate a bit. I haven't set foot in a library in over a decade or two, but I've been informed by local gamers that some of them have games you can loan and that they are introductory level games. Think Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Dixit, etc.

Gamers by and large do not use that system, instead when they want to rent games they join one of the various clubs which have their own collection, then rent games from them for 1 euro/month. My own local club has about 300 titles, others have many more. There's even a federation of a dozen or so clubs whereby members of any individual club can rent out games from all the clubs.

A high population density coupled with many gamers and clubs make this a viable system.
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Jason Daly
United States
Pasadena
California
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Hi Renni,
I'm a public librarian in California, USA, and, while we do have a few family-type games (along the lines of Checkers, Monopoly, Sorry, etc.) in our library, they are only for in-library use. I would love to have some good games to loan out, but I just don't see how it would be feasible. Unfortunately, a small but significant portion of our users don't really take very good care of library materials (as evidenced by the number of DVDs that come back looking like someone has strapped them to their feet and used them to skate on concrete). I doubt many of the games would survive more than a few checkouts complete and intact. And I can't imagine how much staff time it would take to inventory the games when they came back to make sure they're ready for checkout to the next patron. So I guess this would really only work if we could find games where losing or damaging a few parts would not make them unplayable, and I think that would probably exclude most quality games. Sigh. . . Cool idea. I don't see if working for us.
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Mike W
United States
Portland
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Washington Co Library (outside Portland, Oregon) has somewhere around 100 boardgames you can check out (if I did the search right):

http://catalog.wccls.org/polaris/search/searchresults.aspx?c...

(click on 3-D object artifact on the left column -- I can't get this to come across in the link)
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GeJayGe
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jdaly72 wrote:
Hi Renni,
I'm a public librarian in California, USA, and, while we do have a few family-type games (along the lines of Checkers, Monopoly, Sorry, etc.) in our library, they are only for in-library use. I would love to have some good games to loan out, but I just don't see how it would be feasible. Unfortunately, a small but significant portion of our users don't really take very good care of library materials (as evidenced by the number of DVDs that come back looking like someone has strapped them to their feet and used them to skate on concrete). I doubt many of the games would survive more than a few checkouts complete and intact. And I can't imagine how much staff time it would take to inventory the games when they came back to make sure they're ready for checkout to the next patron. So I guess this would really only work if we could find games where losing or damaging a few parts would not make them unplayable, and I think that would probably exclude most quality games. Sigh. . . Cool idea. I don't see if working for us.


Not to mention people using it as a parts supply center for their incomplete games.
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Renni Honkanen
Finland
Helsinki
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Gejayge wrote:

Not to mention people using it as a parts supply center for their incomplete games.


We were actually quite worried about these things before we started loaning games in bigger scale. But all of our worries have proven false.

Helsinki city has more than 30 public libraries and one of them (medium size) has well over hundred games in their shelves. Not one of them has been removed from the collection because of missing parts. And they have loaned those out for a couple of years now.

And we have couple of Eclipses (of course, finnish design), and one of those has been loaned out about 80 times. And is still in good condition. This is a big mystery for me also

So it would seem that people do care about those games, even if they are not their own. Perhaps it's because children and occasional weekend players don't loan heavy stuff, and people who do respect them.

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Renni Honkanen
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egg_salad wrote:
Washington Co Library (outside Portland, Oregon) has somewhere around 100 boardgames you can check out (if I did the search right):

http://catalog.wccls.org/polaris/search/searchresults.aspx?c...

(click on 3-D object artifact on the left column -- I can't get this to come across in the link)


Nice, some cool stuff there. And it seems that almost all of them are loaned out, and some have a line of reservations.

Good
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RJD
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Same here I'm afraid. To my knowledge, none of the libraries in my area - of which there are quite a few - really carry much beyond the tiniest handful of boardgames, and only the most common and well known of mass market fare like Scrabble, Sorry, Checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, etc. They're only for In-Library Use, and they are generally only found in the young adult or childrens' sections of the library and do not usually stay in well kept condition for very long.

On a related note, none of them carry any roleplaying books either except for a miniscule and completely random sampling of Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks scattered one or two here and there at the various separate libraries. Of the two libraries I've worked at, I once asked my Director at the first why, and she told me that roleplaying game books had a very strong tendency to vanish from library shelves, often within the very first week they were made available to the public. At the second library, we once had a single copy of the 3rd edition D&D Players Handbook that was requested and checked out by a customer at one of the other local libraries. Our copy was never returned to us. Upon investigation, it was found that this individual had been ordering through the library system a copy of each of the separate D&D books needed to fill out a D&D player's collection, our Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide, the Monster Manuals, etc. And once he had the complete collection, he kept it.
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Caroline Berg
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DanielFirestorm wrote:
Agreed, not an American thing in any library system I've seen.

I run a board game night at my local library.

The library owns a bunch of games that people can play - far more than just the normal fair too - but you can't check them out of the library. Hence the board game night.

People can ask to play the games in the library - they have a room where people can play - but yeah, we don't allow the games to leave the premise.
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Caroline Berg
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UnluckyNumber wrote:
Same here I'm afraid. To my knowledge, none of the libraries in my area - of which there are quite a few - really carry much beyond the tiniest handful of boardgames, and only the most common and well known of mass market fare like Scrabble, Sorry, Checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, etc. They're only for In-Library Use, and they are generally only found in the young adult or childrens' sections of the library and do not usually stay in well kept condition for very long.

On a related note, none of them carry any roleplaying books either except for a miniscule and completely random sampling of Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks scattered one or two here and there at the various separate libraries. Of the two libraries I've worked at, I once asked my Director at the first why, and she told me that roleplaying game books had a very strong tendency to vanish from library shelves, often within the very first week they were made available to the public. At the second library, we once had a single copy of the 3rd edition D&D Players Handbook that was requested and checked out by a customer at one of the other local libraries. Our copy was never returned to us. Upon investigation, it was found that this individual had been ordering through the library system a copy of each of the separate D&D books needed to fill out a D&D player's collection, our Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide, the Monster Manuals, etc. And once he had the complete collection, he kept it.

That's disappointing.

Our library system has a number of RPG books - but instead of books going missing, it is usually pages... specific pages of the character they want to play, or the racial traits... or the weapons table... how hard would it be to just make a copy of those instead of expertly cut them out?!? *sigh*
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Mindy Basi
United States
Urbana
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Our library has a great collection of games (Euro, Amerithrash, and others), sponsors a gaming day once a month, and allows them to be checked out for a week.
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James C
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I'm another librarian at a public library. We don't loan games. At my branch our Children's librarian does a kids board game program every so often. She has a bunch of games for them to play. Nothing terribly exciting, but it gets 8-15 kids which is fairly good.

It would be hard for us to try something like this from a cost standpoint. Budgets are tight.

I might try a monthly boardgame night in the future with games that I own.
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Renni Honkanen
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Helsinki
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Kwill2 wrote:
Our library has a great collection of games (Euro, Amerithrash, and others), sponsors a gaming day once a month, and allows them to be checked out for a week.


Great!

Where is this? Could you give me a link to the database?
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Adrian V.
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OK, let's raise the bar a bit. Here's a new number for you:

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Public city library: Almost 900 board and card games. All free to borrow and take home. Catalogue includes numerous kids games as well as heavy games like Through The Ages.

https://katalog.stadtbibliothek.freiburg.de/webOPACClient/hi...

Edit: I just realized that the link automatically expires after a couple of minutes. So, if you want to take a professisonal look into the catalogue, Renni: here's the primary link to the catalogue: https://katalog.stadtbibliothek.freiburg.de/webOPACClient/st...

Edit one of the to search bars to "Signatur/Standort" and search for "Spiel".
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steve perkins
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Telford
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For one time only (I think) Oswestry Library will be allowing and indeed encouraging board game playing, tomorrow Saturday 15th Nov from 10.00am to 1.00pm.
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Renni Honkanen
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Panzerknacker wrote:
OK, let's raise the bar a bit. Here's a new number for you:

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Public city library: Almost 900 board and card games. All free to borrow and take home. Catalogue includes numerous kids games as well as heavy games like Through The Ages.

https://katalog.stadtbibliothek.freiburg.de/webOPACClient/hi...

Edit: I just realized that the link automatically expires after a couple of minutes. So, if you want to take a professisonal look into the catalogue, Renni: here's the primary link to the catalogue: https://katalog.stadtbibliothek.freiburg.de/webOPACClient/st...

Edit one of the to search bars to "Signatur/Standort" and search for "Spiel".


Wow! Thats impressive.

I have to investigate this deeper with better time.

Thanks
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