Donald Dennis
United States
Pawleys Island
South Carolina
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I will be presenting in a seminar at ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium this July.

Building a Gaming Community and a Game Friendly Environment

Game environments for traditional and modern board games, card games, RPGs, or even electronic games are not the traditional domain of libraries. Games are, by and large, an interactive activity. Formal and informal communities have developed around board games, card games, RPGs (role playing games), and electronic games.

This presentation will discuss physical and social issues library facilities must consider to best facilitate games programs - physical needs, developing game collections suitable for your existing library environment, tapping into game communities, and exploiting industry resources. Dennis will discuss outreach to local clubs, companies, area events, and game industry organizations.


What would you find useful at the library, or what do you already find useful?

What kind of games would be a must have for libraries building game communities and why?

If you play games or know of game groups that currently play at libraries, (or have in the past) please drop me a note.

Companies wishing to participate or have information distributed to library representatives should feel free to contact me.
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Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
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May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
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Re: Building a Gaming Community and a Game Friendly Environm
Great topic!

Please come back to this thread & let us know how it went!
 
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Tom Sievers
United States
Wauconda
Illinois
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I'm an adult services librarian at the Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire, IL. I guess I could be described as a wargaming grognard, but in taking my son to GenCon for the last seven or eight years my gaming horizons have opened up, first to Pokemon, next to MageKnight, then to designer games.

Inspired by "The Dice Tower", and Tom Vasel's descriptions of school, church and military game groups, I volunteered to host monthly gaming sessions at the library. We started our "Games for Grownups" program in September '06. We'd had indications of community interest in Chess, had hosted some Chess instruction sessions, and wanted to continue offering playing opportunities for those interested. So we combined Chess sessions with open boardgaming...one month our Chess instructor Robert Krause makes himself available to play, instruct and coach, the next month we emphasize designer games. Altho we alternate emphasis between Chess and boardgames, both are available for play at each session. To start things off, the library purchased a half-dozen designer games (I used award lists and Dice Tower "Top 10" lists to select), and six excellent Chess sets (Thanks to Rob Krause's affiliation with the Renaissance Knights Foundation, a local group promoting Chess, we got a great price on them). The library provides use of the meeting room, snacks (cookies and pretzels), and drinks (soda and bottled water) at each session.

We've had a mixed response...some months we see good attendance, some not-so-good. We have several factors in our favor tho... Boardgamegeek member Nate Johnson (Limey Sponge) has been a regular (see his session reports at BoardGameGeek Forums » Forum Index » Game Groups » United States » Midwest >> Subject: Games at the Library: Lincolnshire, IL). He generously shares his expertise, teaching games to one and all at every session. Robert Krause, our Chess instructor, excels at patiently communicating Chess strategy and tactics. He's also an avid eurogamer, and attends nearly every boardgame session too.

I bring an armful of my own games to each session, and Nate brings a bagful too. We draw a variety of participants. Some read about us in the library newsletter, or see posters in the building. Some have read Nate's session reports. Some hear about us through the Chess grapevine. We're beginning to see some returning faces, and our April session was the best yet. Lots of games got played, and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves.

My hopes for the group are simple...I want to draw adults of all ages, and older teens to the group (tho younger kids are welcome too, with their parents...I don't want our sessions to become a dropoff point for babysitting). I want to promote gaming as a social activity, for friends and families. I want to encourage people to try new games. I really enjoy our sessions, and I hope we can continue offering them.
 
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Donald Dennis
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Pawleys Island
South Carolina
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Re: Building a Gaming Community and a Game Friendly Environm
I have started a Wiki section where I hope to build a resources for gamers looking for libraries with resources and resources for libraries that need info on games and game collection. Check it out.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/libraries
 
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