Libraries Crusade for Literacy with National Gaming Day

by: Eva -
The American Library Association (ALA) is getting ready to get its game on as libraries across the nation prepare for National Gaming Day. Studies are showing that both kids and adults that come to play board and video games at the library stay to use its other services and resources.

Hasbro is donating free copies of the "Pictureka!" board game to 16,000 libraries as the ALA attempts to set a record for the most people playing the board game on the same day. There's a national videogame tournament online as well. Wizards of the Coast is also getting into the game. The company has donated all the source books needed to run Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing Game and decks of its Magic the Gathering Trading Card Game. I only hope that the participating libraries have enough room as gamers whether their into RPGs, TCGs, board games or videogames can rarely contain their enthusiasm.

Check your local public library to see if it's participating in National Gaming Day this November 15th.
POPULAR GAMES SUPPORT LITERACY IN U.S. LIBRARIES

Libraries gear up for National Gaming Day @ your library

CHICAGO - Game on! Hundreds of libraries across the country will join the American Library Association (ALA) for the first-ever National Gaming Day @ your library on Nov. 15, 2008. The nation's libraries will celebrate the popularity, as well as the recreational and educational value of board and video games.

During National Gaming Day, public, school, and academic libraries will participate in two national events. The first is an attempt to establish a record for the most number of people playing the board game "Pictureka!" on the same day at the library.

Through a generous donation from Hasbro, more than 16,000 public libraries in the U.S. will receive a free copy of "Pictureka!", a frenzied version of finder's keeper's, before National Gaming Day.

Library gamers will also participate in a national video game tournament via the web. Players of all ages and experience levels will be able to see how they rank on local, regional and national  leaderboards. The video game tournament is made possible by free Web-based tools provided by Ann Arbor (MI) District Library.

In addition to Pictureka! and/or videogames, libraries will offer a variety of roleplaying games. Wizards of the Coast has donated all the materials needed to run both the Dungeons & DragonsR Roleplaying Game and Magic: The GatheringR Trading Card Game to registered libraries.

Libraries are changing and dynamic places, and are continuously offering free innovative programs and services that educate, entertain and expand interaction with their users. Historically, libraries are well known as key providers of print resources. With new digital formats such as downloadable audio, video, and board and video games, libraries continue to create and promote modern educational opportunities for their users.

"Gaming formats have become a valuable tool for libraries," said ALA President Jim Rettig. "Not only has this new format increased library usage from hard to reach users such as teens, we also have found that video games attract a variety of users and are a great vehicle to teach basic technology skills."

A study of adult gaming at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County (NC) found that patrons who attended gaming events at the library were more open to using other services. Also, libraries around the country report young users who have come to the library for free access to games often visit the library again to take advantage of other free resources such as homework help programs. In addition to offering free access to educational and digital resources, libraries offer the expertise of librarians. Librarians can teach people how to use new technologies and supply users with tools to enhance their critical thinking skills.

In June 2008, the ALA received a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation to study how library gaming activities improve children's problem-solving and literacy skills. During the two year project, the ALA will work directly with public, school, and academic libraries to document the use of gaming as a learning and literacy tool.

For more information on National Gaming Day @ your library, and gaming in libraries, please visit www.ilovelibraries.org/gaming.
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