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Video Game Systems at RCLS: About

All About Video Games in Libraries


59% of Americans play VideoGames

The average age is 31

(ESA, 2014)  

What does this mean for libraries?

We have to think about the gaming

options we are offering.

Click across the tabs for some ideas.

Guinness Book of World Records: $815 million first day sales

Biggest entertainment launch in history

Links that may be interesting:

ALA International Games Day

Pew Internet Research on Gaming

Entertainment Software Association


(granted, these are well developed and funded, but I think libraries can provide some variation of programs like these)


From the YALSA STEM Programming Toolkit:

Why Should Library Workers Pay Attention to STEM in Education?

Over the last 40 years the United States has seen a sharp decline in the number of students who pursue degrees in STEM fields. In 1966 84% of STEM doctoral degrees were awarded to U.S. citizens.  In 2004 that number was only 59%.  In 2009, American teens ranked 23rd in science and 31st in math.  At the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics estimates that STEM jobs will grow twice as fast as other fields.  Even jobs that are not strictly in STEM fields will require technical skills.  As a result, both the government and the foundation /nonprofit community are directing funds at STEM efforts in order to reverse the trend.


Many libraries, whether by conscious effort or not, already provide some support to tweens and teens in the area of STEM, but are probably not seeking out the available grant funding to support it.  Yet libraries are in a good position to help young adults gain key skills in STEM areas.  By providing fun programs that incorporate STEM ideas, libraries can spark an interest in their young adult patrons and demonstrate to the community the important role the library provides in helping prepare teens for a 21st century workforce.  Libraries already offer access to the tools necessary to pursue STEM projects such as computers and devices, and Internet access, which young adults may have only limited access to at school and may not have available at home. Public libraries often have more freedom in programming options than schools, and can help to fill some of the gap American youth are experiencing in STEM education.  With fewer restrictions on time and content, public libraries in particular can provide the opportunity to experiment, allowing tweens and teens the time for trial and error.  There are no grades or formal evaluations for students in a public library, which allows for a stress-free environment to play and find inspiration.

Research Articles

Here is a section from David Lankes' book "Expect More" (he is a Syracuse University professor of Information Studies)

Why gaming in the library, by the way? Because, as a great librarian will tell you, gaming is central to the lives and learning of teens—and just about everyone else. Kids learn to read through games. Teens learn to solve problems through games. College students study to get jobs in the gaming industry. Adults use games to stay mentally active. Communities across the country have adopted gaming as a way to socialize (Words with Friends, anyone?), relax, and learn.
Great libraries understand this; bad libraries think it’s “Pizza, pizza, pizza, book!”


Video Game Genres



Instead of movie nights, watch a game walkthrough - or better yet play a game as a group by taking turns with the controller. You may need permission slips as these games are for older teens but both of them have storylines that will provide you with hours of discussion. (Rated M for Mature)

The Last of Us