Our meeting started off with introductions and a brief synopsis of any type of gaming we are using in our libraries. The popularity of video gaming at libraries currently is in direct correlation to the needs of the library’s community. It appears that the more affluent communities do not feel the urge to attend gaming events that feature the Wii when they have their own systems at home. However, there has been more participation when inviting teens to challenge one another on the Wii system at the library. In addition, board games continue to remain popular on all levels.
Our featured guest speaker for this meeting was Lauri Moreno from the Booth & Dimock Library in Coventry. She recently received an LSTA Grant for gaming at her library. In her grant, she showed the benefits on gaming particularly with the connection to literacy. With the LSTA money, she has been able to purchase 4 laptops, a projector, the Wii, Nintendo DS hand held systems with chargers, chairs, gaming books, a locked closet, board games, Playstation 2 (PS2) games as well as games for all systems. She already had the Playstation 2 system.
Each game has its own place in the room she uses so the teens are able to choose what they want to do. They are able to meet weekly and it currently has been very successful. We were able to actively engage in these systems at the meeting.
The biggest downfall has been with her collaborating school system on the grant. After the original agreement between the library and the school, the school has not actually been receptive to any involvement. Although discouraged and frustrated, this has not allowed Lauri to be dissuaded in her pursuit to make Gaming at the Library a positive experience.
On a sadder note, we discussed the current economic crisis and the possibility that the Library Service Centers could face budget cuts. What Service Center resources are most useful to us? The service centers provide book loans, book sets, puppets, equipment, consultations on early childhood education and young adult, in addition to providing meeting space and workshops. There are professional development books available, resources provided on WebJunction, Nutmeg Discussion Guides which will be moving to the Nutmeg website but still provided by WLSC. I am sure I have only just skimmed the surface of what WLSC stands for in the little Northeast corner of Connecticut. What would we do if these services were not available? One thing we can do is be sure to make our voices heard about what these library development services mean to us.
Our next meeting is set for March 13th at 1:00 at Otis Library. We will be discussing Summer Reading and the Express Yourself at Your Library Theme.
Stay Warm Everyone!
Claudette Stockwell, Children’s Librarian Assistant, Killingly Public Library