Read, learn, play in U.S. libraries

Contact: Macey Morales
Manager Media Relations
ALA Public Information Office
(312) 280-4393

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2009

Libraries gear up for National Gaming Day @ your library<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

CHICAGO - Game on! Hundreds of libraries across the country will join the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate the second annual National Gaming Day @ your library on Nov. 14, 2009. The nation’s libraries will celebrate the popularity of board and video games, as well as the recreational and educational value of play. Gaming also teaches leadership, problem-solving, and team-building skills. A recent Pew/Internet study found that social gaming that occurs in person in the same room encourages civic engagement among teenagers and helps them become invested in their community.

During National Gaming Day, public, school, and academic libraries will offer a variety of in-person gaming activities, including a national video game tournament. Players of all ages and experience levels will be able to see how they rank on local, regional, and national leaderboards.

Last year, more than 14,000 people participated in gaming activities in more than 600 libraries across the country on National Gaming Day. After the 2008 celebration, many libraries reported younger kids playing with older kids; families playing together; grandparents playing with grandkids; and kids making friends with the library’s staff. This year’s event promises to be even bigger, with more libraries participating and more games in the mix.

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. They play a valuable role in providing a social gaming experiences not found elsewhere in the community in a safe, non-commercialized space.

For more information on National Gaming Day @ your library, and gaming in libraries, please visit

The ALA also has a National Gaming Day @ your library publicity tool kit available to assist libraries with efforts to publicize local events.