Libraries got game – do you?

Read, learn, play during International Games Day @ your library Nov. 3

On Saturday, Nov. 3, more than 20,000 people in communities across the U.S. and around the world will celebrate the fifth annual International Games Day @ your library.

Why do libraries celebrate gaming? Today’s games not only require interaction and socialization amongst players, but they also encourage the development of information literacy skills that are linked to national standards for student achievement and necessary to succeed in today’s digital world. Games today require reading, critical thinking, problem solving, the ability to understand and evaluate information and foster the ability to make informed decisions.

For example, in the card game Pokémon, players must evaluate if/then clauses to determine the outcome of battles that ensue when cards are played. And in Pictureka!, creative problem solving, strategy and understanding how to overcome failure are three main themes. In addition to these information literacy skills, gamers often get involved with writing and reading fan fiction sites as well as creating fan pages and contributing to game forums.

During International Games Day, participating libraries from all 50 states and countries abroad including will hold a variety of gaming activities that include board games, role playing games, as well as two international video game tournaments featuring the games Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart time trials.

Through the generous donations from International Games Day sponsors, registered libraries will receive free copies of Bookworm and Bookworm Adventures (2,000 copies via PopCap); Labyrinth (1,000 copies plus gaming coupons via Ravensburger); and access to all of GameTable Online’s games the day of the event.

International Games Day @ your library is an annual initiative of the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational and social value of all types of games.

In 2011, nearly 28,000 people of all ages participated in gaming events at more than 1,400 registered libraries in the U.S., and 21 international libraries in 14 countries. The ALA anticipates that more than 20,000 people will participate in International Games Day 2012.

If you’re interested in publicizing this event in your local community, the ALA is offering free publicity resources including logos and other downloadable artwork, sample press release, letter to the editor, customizable PSA scripts and post cards.

To find gaming events taking place in your community or for more information on International Games Day @ your library visit

*Submitted by Jennifer Petersen, Public Information Office

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