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  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Past Events
  3. Success Stories
  4. Resources



Beck, John C and Mitchell Wade. Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. Harvard Business School Press, 2004.

Cassell, Justine and Henry Jenkins. From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. MIT Press, 1998.

Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Palgrave McMillan, 2003.

Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today's Pop Culture is Making Us Smarter. Riverhead, 2005.

Prensky, Marc. Don't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning. Paragon House, 2006.

Journal Articles

Levine, Jenny. "Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services Library Technology Reports (ALA TechSource) Sep/Oct 2006, vol. 42, n. 5.


4Librarians A companion website developed for a Michigan Library Association presentation

Education Arcade Partnership between MIT and University of Madison WI investigating educational games

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Organization responsible for video game ratings, regulation and more.

Escapist Magazine Weekly online magazine covers industry issues and news with a personalized spin

Game Professor Good collection of resources related to video games research, conferences, academic papers, etc.

Gaming Learning and Society Annual symposium associated with the University of Wisconsin Madison

Game Research A collection of professional research related to gaming]

Innovate Journal of Online Learning Regularly features articles about games in education

MLS Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Conference Conference Website - go here to register!

OpenContent Wiki This wiki was started by game researchers to help educators find information about using games in the classroom.

Pew Internet and American Life Project Many studies relate to teens, technology and gaming

The Video Game Librarian Excellent articles on game collections and libraries.

Core Collection

Schwartzwalder, Jami. Mario Brothers Memorial Public Library: Game List

Schultz, Jack. Westmont Public Library: Game List

Tips N Tricks

  • DDR Settings: How do you avoid having to reset the game.. going through the steps of selecting "game mode", 2 players, and choosing characters. Eli says: You're looking for event mode. Go into options, then game options, and turn event mode on. That ought to do it. We also usually set game over to 'end of music' to keep really bad players from the shame of failing in the middle of the song.
  • If possible, using a projector screen for console play really gives that 'wow' feeling that most players don't get at home, and is useful for multi-player FPS matches that can look really small on TVs.
  • If using a projector for fighting games such as Smash Bros. Melee or Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, make sure to test your projector for lag. Certain projectors may leave a bit of a trail when characters start to move fast, which can really hurt frame watchers and other highly skilled gamers. If possible, split the video feed between both the projector and a TV, so that the gamers participating can use the TV, and spectators can view the match on the projection screen.
  • To find tips and walkthroughs for your patrons try

Blogs/Websites to Watch

Blog for AADL, which publicizes and tracks their video game tournaments for adults, teens and children.

Site/blog for BPL (in Illinois) which promotes their quarterly Game Fests for teens.

  • Gaming in Libraries Photos. Flickr group of photos tagged gaminginlibraries
  • Website featuring reviews by and for teens, and forums for teens with news and reviews by teens on Video Games, Anime and Graphic Novels.
  • MBMPL. Website featuring Wii reviews and a collection policy for video gaming.

Specific Blog Posts/Articles to Check Out

Levine, Jenny. "Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services" Library Technology Reports (ALA TechSource) Sep/Oct 2006, vol. 42, n. 5.

Scalzo, John. "The Video Game Librarian: Year 2006 in Review". Gaming Target, January 29, 2007.

  • Book review of gaming-related titles for library purchase

Scalzo, John. The Video Game Librarian: Book 'Em". Gaming Target, July 20, 2005.

  • Book review of gaming-related titles for library purchase

Sutton, Lynn and Giz Womack. Got game?: Hosting game night in an academic library. College and Research Libraries News, March 2006.

  • A success story about hosting game nights at Wake Forest University.
  • Giz Womack also gave a presentation about Wake Forest's game nights at the Computers in Libraries 2006 conference. His PowerPoint presentation is available here.

Van Eck, Richard. Digital Game-based Learing: It’s Not Just the Digitial Natives that Are Restless. EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (March/April 2006): 16–30.

  • Author outlines "why DGBL is effective and engaging, how we can leverage those principles to implement DGBL, how faculty can integrate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) DGBL in the classroom, what DGBL means for institutional IT support, and the lessons we can learn from past attempts at technological innovations in learning."
  • Available as html or PDF.

Libraries Hosting Gaming

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of Gaming: Monthly videogame tournament weekends for various age groups
Games: Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., DDR, Karaoke Revolution, Pokemon, Retro Gaming, Guitar Hero, Monkey Ball, etc.
Contact: Eli Neiburger

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: monthly board gaming group for junior high through adult
Games: Acquire, Puerto Rico, Transamerica, East Front, Victory in the Pacific, San Juan, Settlers of Catan, Aladdin's Dragons, Ingenious, Cartagena, Power Grid, Ra, Medici, Samurai, Guillotine, Union Pacific, Axis & Allies
Contact: Shaynie Klein

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: Collectible card games; chess club; starting a strategy gaming club in May 2006
Games: Dueler's Guild, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic; will start D&D, Risk, and Settlers of Catan for the strategy gaming club; about 20 various board games; DDR on PlayStation 2; Mario Kart on GameCube
Contact: Melissa Willer

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: quarterly play and Game Fests in Library and community at large
Games: DDR tournament; Other console games like Guitar Hero, Mario Kart, Dead or Alive, NFS; Come for the company, stay for the Karaoke, board games (Monopoly, Chess, Clue) and puzzles like life-size Sudoku
Photos available at Flickr
Contact: John Fischer

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: starting this spring, we're starting by hosting some X-Box LAN parties after hours on Friday nights
Games: first one will be Halo on X-Box
Contact: Cindy Moriarity

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: Weekly video gaming night (Xbox, games & snacks provided), Tekko (anime/gaming convention hosted at library), weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign, weekly Dance Dance Revolution night
Contact: Carnegie reference desk

Type: school
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: not sure yet; we are hoping to host a gaming event, maybe in conjunction with National Library Week
Contact: Mindy Null

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: tournaments and open play
Games: DDR, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers on GameCube; Unreal Tournament 2K4 LAN party on library PCs
Contact: Eric Currie

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: Carvers Bay High School Gaming Club and open play
Games: Current popular XBOX-360 and PC titles
Contact: Truman Winns

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: every fourth Saturday, we have Game Day where the kids play board games and card games
Games: bingo, Uno, Connect Four, puzzles, checkers
Contact: Kelley Nichols

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: Weekly Magic: the Gathering events, Video Gaming
Games: ESRB E - T, Guitar Hero II, Dance Dance Revolution Supernova, Sing Star Karaoke
Contact: Trevor Oakley

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: Video Gaming, Yu-Gi-Oh
Games: Guitar Hero II, Dance Dance Revolution Supernova
Contact: Alex Hernandez

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of Gaming: Monthly videogame days for various age groups
Games: Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., DDR, Guitar Hero, Monkey Ball and other games upon request.
Contact: Megan Johnson

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: Currently trying to organize a group of Runescape players for regular events.
Games: Runescape. Some interest has been expressed in console games and RPGs.
Contact: Karl Siewert

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: open sessions and tournaments.
Games: DDR on playstation Contact: Alexandra Tyle

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: game afternoons with video games, online games, and board games
Games: DDR; Mario Kart; Karaoke Revolution 3; Runescape and other online games; board games (Connect Four, Scrabble, etc.)
Teen Interviews from gaming event--hear how they liked it, and what games they want!
Contact: Kelli Staley (IT) and Gail Guzman (Youth & Teen Librarian)

Type: academic
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: still in the planning stage
Contact: Susan Wardzala

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: open play (DDR) and open LAN parties; after hours open internet play
Games: DDR; internet games; CD-ROMs
Contact: Cynthia Maxwell and Julia Driscoll

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: online access; kids download video games - we usually do not put them off; they seem to know tons of resources
Games: whatever the internet offers
Contact: Victor Dixon

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: Young Adult Media Bar with 6 PS2s; LAN Parties daily on 4 dedicated PCs; online gaming in Teen Tech Lab; board and card games
Games: YAM Bar offers 20 PS2 titles rated E for Everyone; Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Vietnam, Rise of Nations are regular choices for LAN; Runescape online; Heroscape Table
Contact: Iris S. Garrott

Type: public
Size of library: small - medium
Types of gaming: GAME ON ~ a monthly gaming event just for Teens. Super Smash Brothers, Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero II and the new Nintendo Wii are just some of the games set up for the teens to play. Also - free food.
Contact: Rebecca H. Spence

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: game nights - started in February 2006
Games: DDR on PlayStation; board and card games
Contact: Tom Kochinski

Type: Association
Size of library: small-medium
Types of gaming: Scrabble, chess, Yu-Gi-Oh. Coming soon - DDR, euchre, console games.
Contact: Patty Uttaro

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: DDR for teens, console games, game nights for teens, trying senior gaming this summer.
Games: Circulating PS2 and XBox games in the collection, DDR for PS2.
Contact: Sheri Chambers

Type: public
Size of library: large
Types of gaming: DDR tournaments (for teens - trying families this summer); chess program for all ages; we also have public access computers that we use frequently for online gaming; certain computers have CD-ROM games pre-loaded (very popular with preschoolers); board game nights in the summer for teens (trying for younger this summer)
Games: DDR; chess; karaoke; board games
Contact: Kelly Laszczak

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: boardgame afternoons and video game days
Games: Gamecube, Playstation 2, XBox and XBox 360 video games for checkout, Mario Kart Double Dash and DDR tournaments beginning in August 2006, CD-ROM games pre-loaded on Youth Services Department public computers
Contact: Brian Vagt

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: drop-in after school program one or two days a week if staff available to mintor room
Games: Nascar; Spiderman; WWF Wrestling; various PlayStation games
Contact: [mailto: Magan Szwarek]

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: computer gaming; held one open play day so far
Games: letting kids play Runescape on library computers; DDR for Playstation 2 and Mario Kart for GameCube during open play; own X-Box systems but haven't used them yet
Contact: Dayna Tucker

Type: public
Size of library: supersize
Types of gaming: open play (nights); computer games in teen area; starting to circulate games; starting a 'Teen Gamers Group' in Fall 2006; game days with LAN parties; will start podcasting reviews in January 2007
Games: Sims 2, Madden, Tony Hawk, Midtown Madness, Life, and Monopoly on computers; DDR and Karaoke DDR; using Playstation 2 and X-Box systems
Contact: Amy Alessio or Amy Peterson

Type: public
Size of library: medium to large
Types of gaming:
Main Branch:

  • Console game open plays and tournaments every 2nd and 4th Saturday (Spring Season), 1st and 3rd Satuday (Fall Season).
  • Tournaments: Mario Kart: Double Dash, Smash Melee Singles and Doubles, DDR (Perfect Attack Style), and Pokemon Battles.
  • Gamecube games: Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Pokemon XD with GCN > GBA connectors
  • GameBoy DS games: Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing, Tetris
  • PS2 games: DDR Max 1 and 2, Extreme 1 and 2
  • Card games: Yu-gi-oh!

Other Branches:

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Computer LAN compatible games
  • DDR
  • Yu-gi-oh!

Contact: Marianne Kruppa or Pedro Galicia

Type: public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: board games, mostly for youth; card games for the monthly senior meetings
Games: for youth, bingo, Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Uno, checkers (Chinese and American), puzzles, and whatever is on the computer; Connect Four; for seniors, bingo, PoKeNo, Big, Whist, Spade; on the computer, Solitaire, Bejeweled, etc.; Monopoly
Contact: Loretta Burgest

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: plan to offer a game day program in Fall 2006
Gaming: probably Euro games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne; plus open gaming; would also like to do some easy, fun group card games like Apples to Apples and Bang
Contact: Tom Sievers

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: console video games and board game days
Games: all board games (including Candyland and Risk); DDR; Mario Kart Double Dash; Lego Star Wars; we are planning a D&D program for summer read & a Magic the Gather card game event.
Contact: Jack Schultz

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of Gaming: Monthly Open Gaming Nights, Bi-monthly DoubleDash Tournaments, game design classes
Games: Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., DDR, Simpsons Road Range, Retro Gaming, etc.; board games; for youth: Dora, Candyland, etc.
Contact: Brian Myers

Types of gaming: Mario Kart Tournament at Con. Entrance requires library Card
Contact:Jami Schwarzwalder

Type: public
Size of library: medium
Types of gaming: tournaments and open play
Games: DDR, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Superstar Baseball on GameCube
Contact: Scott Duimstra

Type: public-for kids and teens
Size of library: super duper size
Types of gaming: console video games, tournaments, open play, and board games
Games: DDR, RuneScape, Retro games (Space Invaders, PacMan, Asteroids, Tetris, Simon and Donkey Kong), Guitar Hero, Burnout, Madden 2005, various board games-checkers, chess, Twister, Scrabble, etc. The list keeps growing.
Contact: Kelly Czarnecki

Type: Public
Size of library: small
Types of gaming: Tournaments, open play, board games, regularly scheduled young adult programming
Games: Halo, Halo 2
Contact: Valerie Jensen

Size of Library: Medium
Type of Gaming: Teen Game Nights once a month in four locations. 2 PS2 and 2 XBox consoles, 6 DDR Mats, 2 Guitar Hero controllers, a Wii console and future Xbox Live subscriptions are featured.
Games: All E and T, except for Halo 2
Contact:Andrew Cherbas

Size of Library: Medium
Type of Gaming: We had our first Teen GameFest in July 2006. The library purchased both a PS2 and a GameCube console and 2 DDR Mats. It was very successful with approximately 30 teens participating. We plan to do it again in October, and perhaps have them quarterly if not more often.
Games: DDR Extreme 2, Mario Kart Double Dash, Super Smash Brothers, and lots of board games, including Life, Monopoly, Fact or Crap, Chess, playing cards, etc.
Contact:Jessica Marie

Size of Library: Medium
Type of Gaming:

  • The Juvenile Section has 7 old computers running several dozen games and educational software that get almost constant use. We also have many more kids games and software for circulation. (makes the older gamers jealous.)
  • Teen After School Gaming twice a month. Currently using employee's xbox and PS2 hooked up to projectors in the program room.
  • A new computer in the YA section loaded with donated and free games.


  • For the little ones we have a ton; The Magic School Bus collection, Super Duper Music Looper, and the classic Oregon Trail to mention a few. We even have games En Espaniol.
  • For the console after school program, no M games, then whatever the players bring in from home. Current big hits include; Tekken Tag, Magic: Battlegrounds, StarWars Battlefront II, (no library investment... yet...)
  • As for computer games; AOE II, CIV III, Riven, Risk II, and a bunch of free downloads like Scorched Earth 3D.

Contact: Dan LeRoy

Wii Libraries

Benicia Public Library California
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Escondido Public Library (lends out Wii Games) California Lafayette Public Library System Louisiana
Norman Public Library Oklahoma
The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County North Carolina
Rochester Hills Public Library (lends out Wii Games) Michigan
Ada Community Library (lends out Wii Games) Idaho

Blog posts:
Nintendo Wii at Your Library Alternative Teen Services
Librarian miis Timothy Grieg
First Wii impressions Silversprite
ReviewThe Rock and Roll Librarian

The New York Times How the Wii Works 12/21/06
Lafayette Public Library Library Draws Gamers

An Avatar's Reflection MBMPL

Libraries Circulating Games

Library: Wilbraham & Monson Academy Library
Donated by parent of student
Contact: Sarah Ludwig

The WMA Library is currently working with the parent of a student to collect and house at least 25 board games. We will house the games in the library and lend them to students for library use. Boarding students may take the games back to their rooms for a 1-night loan. We're trying to figure out how to make sure that students return games with all of their pieces---without asking staff to count pieces every time a game comes back. We've hosted several very popular game nights here at the library as well.

Library: Baltimore County Public Library
Purchased from: Baker & Taylor
Ratings: EC, E, E10+, T
Contact: Todd Krueger

Baltimore County Public Library (Md.) currently offers over 2000 videogames at 17 branches for 7-day circulation, with a limit of 2 games per checkout. It was decided to catalog the E and E10+ games in the kids collection, and the T games are in the adult collection. The platforms supported are Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube. Portables have been determined to be too unwieldy for circulation at this time. Limited programming at some branches has included Runescape and GameCube tournaments.

Library: Bloomington Public Library
Purchased from: EB Games (Game Stop) and Game Exchange
Ratings: E & T
Contact: Amy Richards

Bloomington Public Library now offers video games for check out. We have current and classic titles for X-Box, Playstation 2, or GameCube systems. You can take up to two games at a time and keep them for one week. If the game you want is checked out, be sure to place a hold on the title and we will set it aside for you when it comes back. If you want to play the games you have for another whole week, just renew them if no one else has requested them. Consider this your warm-up for Game Fest in July...Don't be shy! Game on, gamers!

Library: Guilderland Public Library
Purchased from EB Games, Wal Mart, Best Buy. Donations accepted.
Ratings: E - T
Contact: Trevor Oakley
As of February 2, 2007, the Guilderland Public Library in Guilderland, NY, circulates console games. The library is launching a circulating collection of 102 games for the following platforms: Playstation 2 (PS2), XboX, Xbox 360, Nintendo Gamecube (GCN), and the Nintendo Wii. In the future, I would also like to support handheld platforms and the Playstation 3 (PS3). All games are loaned for free on a first-come, first-served basis for seven days. The library's Teen Advisory Committee will be organizing and planning gaming events after its February 2007 meetings!

Library: Rochester Hills Public Library
Purchased from: Gamestop, GameRush (Blockbuster) Best Buy and Baker & Taylor
Ratings: E - T
Contact: Megan Johnson
News about Games at RHPL:

Rochester Hills Public Library offers games for Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PS3, Gamecube, Wii, PSP, Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS for checkout. The games circulate for 1 week, and can be renewed if no one is waiting for them. You can place holds on the games and the library has more than 800 titles in this growing collection. For reviews from teen gamers in the community check out!

Library: Park Forest Public Library
Purchased from: Baker & Taylor and eBay
Ratings: Everyone & Teen
Contact: Brian Vagt

The Park Forest Public Library offers games for Xbox, XBox 360, PS2, and Gamecube for checkout. The games circulate for 1 week and cannot be renewed. Holds cannot be placed unless you are a Park Forest or Olympia Fields patron for the new titles. Older titles are available for ciruclation to other MLS libraries. The library has about 90 titles in this growing collection.

Library: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library
Purchased from: EB Games
Ratings: All
Contact: David Ward

The University of Illinois Undergraduate Library started collecting video games in Spring 2006. We are looking to support student interests, curricular and teaching needs, as well as the research of many scholars on campus. We are starting with new and best selling games for platforms like Playstation 2, GameCube, XBox, and XBox 360. We also plan to collect portable games (Nintendo DS, PSP, etc.) and vintage games as well.

Library: Mobile Public Library
Purchased from: Ingram
Ratings: E - T
Contact: Lauryn Poynor

I am doing video game selection for the Mobile Public Library system in Mobile Alabama. We are currently putting together a start-up collection of console games (X Box and Playstation 2) for our Main and West Regional libraries. I am hoping librarians who are readers of this wiki might be able to give some guidance in the area of reviews and purchasing.

We are currently using these sources for evaluative reviews: PC Gamer Magazine, Game Informer, Official X Box Magazine, Playstation Magazine, Sound and Vision, Electronic Gaming Monthly. Given their target audience these are all heavily weighted towards titles rated for Teen or Mature with less coverage of E titles for Everyone and very little coverage of materials geared for children. Are there websites that are authoritative for reviews that we might use to supplement these print magazines? Also, do you know of print or web-based sources that review games for children (console, not PC)? Are there any review sources (for either children or adult games) which review in advance of release?

As regards purchasing, which vendor(s)are you using? In your experience, which provide the best discount and fill rate?

All suggestions / recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Library: McCracken County Public Library
Purchased from: GameStop, WalMart, Sam's Club, and Best Buy
Ratings: E - T
Contact: Iris S. Garrott

We are circulating Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation2. Playstation2 is by far our most popular platform. These games are setup to circulate just as DVDs. They check out for one week and are not renewable. We also have been circulating PC games for a long time now. They are setup to circulate just as CDs which checkout for three weeks and are renewable.

We select titles from Xbox Platinum Hits, PS2 Greatest Hits, and Gamecube Player's Choice. We also buy games based on user ratings that are within our price guideline of basically under $25.00 per title. New releases are available for in-house play at our Young Adult Media Bar.

Since console game circulation is new for us, we consider it a demonstration project and thus have a limited budget until it is a proven success. We are evaluating customer response and request, overdue and billed items, as well as how often items are damaged or needing repair. Since the beginning this project in December, 2005, our customer response has been fantastic. We have doubled our collection twice during that time.

We currently hold about 300 games for circulation.

Library: Oakland Public Library
Purchased From: Baker & Taylor, Best Buy, and EB Games
Ratings: E-T
Contact: Susy Moorhead
We are currently circulating Sony PlayStation 2 games. We decided on PS2 as it is the most popular platform with our teen patrons. Xbox is a close second and some branches of Oakland Public Library (OPL) plan to purchase Xbox games for their collections soon. The games check out for one week only without renewals or holds. Fines are $1 a day. We have been circulating games since Summer 2006. We choose which games to buy through patron requests and reviews online and in print review sources. We do plan to purchase consoles for gaming programs in the future. We currently circulate a little over 100 games at 14 branches.

Library: Ada Community Library
Purchased From: Hastings, Wal-Mart, and
Ratings: EC, E, E10+, T
Contact: Dylan Baker
We are circulating Microsoft Xbox, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Gameboy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 2 and Sony PSP games. Games rated "E" are shelved with our juvenile collection, while games rated "T" are shelved with our young adult collection. The games checkout for one week (limit of five per card).

Digital Projector Compatibility

works with Xbox

  • In Focus LP725
  • Mitsubishi Electric EX100U AC100 - 240V
  • Sharp XG- NV25B Notevision 2
  • Viewsonic PJL802