Annual 2009: Let the Games Begin

By Daniel A. Freeman |

Annual kicked off today, and at one of Chicago's swankier hotels I took part in a distinctly non-swanky event: Open Gaming Night. In an elegant ballroom at the downtown Hilton, a group of professionals from around the country gathered to kick back, socialize and have some fun.

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There were plenty of attendees from the time the doors opened, as eager gamers of all ages gathered at tables to play board games:

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Rock out to the Ramones:

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Or, lest you think this was a gathering that encouraged people to become couch potatoes, to Dance:

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The event was a great way to kick off a conference that--as anyone who has attended knows--can get a little intense. Librarians from many different types of facilities, from big cities and small towns, wore bright smiles as they played games together. Some old friends caught up, and a lot of people made new ones. As we get ready for a weekend spent hustling around Downtown Chicago for meeting after meeting, it was great to start off with some genuine fun.