The Ever-Growing World of Gaming in Libraries

By Daniel A. Freeman |

It seems like the role that gaming plays in libraries is expanding exponentially. What once seemed like a trend is now a deeply entrenched part of our profession. Gaming is playing a bigger and bigger role in academic, public and school libraries all over the world and librarians are not only increasing their gaming content and its availability, but are also using it prominently in library programming and public service.

Our colleagues have been working hard to keep up with constantly evolving technology and increasing demand, while trying to ensure that there is a method to the madness of the gaming world. Gaming played its largest ever part in the 2008 ALA Annual convention, with hoards of librarians attending gaming-related programs, meeting with vendors and participating in the open gaming night at the Anaheim Hilton. The blogosphere is abuzz with positive feedback about this year’s programming.

Gaming, of course, was only a small part of annual—the 2008 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, on the other hand, will be a chance for serious gamers and librarians to completely immerse themselves. The symposium is scheduled for November 2nd through the 4th in Oak Brook, IL. It will be a great opportunity to meet with vendors, hear some exciting speakers and learn more about what others are doing in their libraries.

While gaming in libraries may seem like a difficult concept to measure or quantify, the gamers are on the case. Our good friend Jenny Levine at The Shifted Librarian has been spreading awareness of the 2007 Gaming Census, a tool that has been extremely helpful in determining trends in this exciting and expanding area of librarianship. No matter what amount of gaming is going on in your library, you can contribute to the field by filling out the survey.