GLLS2007: The Role of Gaming in Libraries - Taking the Pulse

Nicholson, S. (2007). The role of gaming in libraries: Taking the pulse.

Here are a few of the statistics that stuck with me from the presentation Scott Nicholson, associate professor at Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Follow the link above for the full report.

Scott takes a inclusive view of “gaming” in libraries, from board games and chess to casual computers and console gaming tournaments. Of the 400 public libraries he surveyed, the largest category were libraries that serve 30001-10,000 patrons:

  • 77% acknowledged that they support “gaming” in their libraries
  • 43% of libraries surveyed run gaming programs; most of these were traditional board games
  • 24% run console gaming programs
  • 20% of libraries surveyed circulate games
  • The #1 goal public libraries identified for gaming programs was to bring new users into the library

Scott is working on creating a Library Game Lab that seeks to be a resource for all parties involved with gaming. The long term goal of the Library Game Lab is to develop collection development guides for librarians to use.

Scott’s presentation contained more relevant to public libraries, but he did survey some academic libraries in one study. The idea of treating all games as “gaming” is not bad. As I’ve said before, I’m thankful for the wide scope that people are taking to apply and use games (traditional and electronic) in the library.