The AU Game Lab team along with support from our Leadership Panel is collecting examples of innovative library programs that feature games and game design activities. We will be updating this collection weekly so please check back for new exciting examples of game programs. If you have a game program, please click the Tell Your Story button and let us know about it. You may be invited to the conference to share what you’ve learned.

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Kids celebrating

eSports at Rosedale Library

Recreational sports leagues are a great way to introduce youths to new activities and place them in a social environment that encourages cooperation and healthy competition. Many youths grow and flourish socially as a part of a team and use sport as a common language to make new friends. But not all kids enjoy or are capable of physical exertion.

Screenshots from the educational game Factitious.

Factitious Test Sites

The AU Game Lab looking for librarians interested in being test sites for a “modifiable” version of its Factitious news game. According to Bob Hone, co-designer of the game, “we built Factitious as a ‘game platform’ that enables teachers and librarians to collect their own real and fake articles to produce custom versions of the game.” Hone will collaborate with a small number of librarians to show them how to customize the game. Interested librarians should contact Bob at hone@american.edu.

Boston Teen Central

Boston Public Library- Teen Central This youth-centered program promotes leadership skills by training teenagers to become Teen Gaming Specialists and Teen Tech Mentors to assist in the management of the heavily trafficked Teen Central facility at BPL.

Houston Game Program

Houston Public Library Game Program – Sandy Farmer, manager of Central Youth Services for the Houston Public Library, oversees an active gaming program, which includes twenty gaming consoles a few big-screen TVs. “It’s a primary part of our service that we offer, and it results in a 15- to 20-percent increase in the circulation of books” according to Farmer.

Games as Windows on our Culture

NYPLacrade provides a forum for adult and youth patrons to play and discuss independent, experimental, and thought-provoking games. Led by Thomas Knowlton, Outreach Librarian at the New York Public Library, the program approaches games as cultural artifacts that reveal social issues and tensions, in much the same way film critics analyze movies. The NYPLarcade also introduces patrons to the Twine branching narrative platform so they can construct their own interactive games.

Waseca library hosts video game charity

Extra Life, an annual 24-hour gameathon in which participants across the United States raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, returned to Waseeca Library for its fourth year. Teens played video and board games from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday — about 25 hours in all, raising thousands of dollars for research. “We get teens in the library, they’re showing some positive activism and outreach outside of our community, and they’re getting to do something they enjoy,” said Matthew White, lead librarian at Waseca Public Library.

Design Thinking for Gamers

Using the Design Thinking process, staff at the Chicago Public Library have been studying the gamer community of Chicago to better understand their unique needs. This had led to more customized programs and services that are proving to be popular with a millennial audience. Spending more time understanding the target audience saves staff from investing time and energy in a program that might not resonate with gamers.