The next time you walk into your local library, you might find
more than just Jonathon Swift. According to a recent study performed by the Syracuse
University’s School of Information Studies, about twenty-five percent of all
libraries are holding video game events.
Here in Los Angeles, about half of the county’s eight-six
libraries hold a gaming event at least once a month. According to a recent
article in the Los Angeles Times, these programs may be responsible for increasing
teenage foot traffic by fifty percent. Nationwide, public libraries have been incorporating
game nights as a way to lure readers, young and old, through their front doors.
Surprisingly, the American Library Association has given
this practice their seal of approval. The group has even designated today
National Games @ Your Local Library Day. Near Tech-Gaming headquarters, the San
Fernando Public Library will be hosting a Guitar Hero 3 event tonight.
Librarian Lydia Harlan hopes that attendees, “will become more comfortable with
the library and become familiar with the librarians.” And, if even a few attendees
come back to pick up a book next week, the event will be a success.
Critics might say that libraries are for quiet book reading,
and frown upon this carrot-on-a-stick approach to bolster attendance. We’re
happy that these institutions are offering a substitute for the social
interaction lost when arcades became extinct in the U.S.The next time you’re at the front desk, ask for SingStar with your Shakespeare.