We've been hearing from a lot of libraries about how much fun patrons had at their National Gaming Day events, and now we have some numbers and anecdotes to help illustrate what happened. We're still going through the 845 survey responses, but here's what we've found so far.
- Number of libraries registered to participate: 1,882
- Number of libraries that submitted # of players for NGD activities: 787
- Total number of players for NGD activities: 26,504
- Number of libraries in the national Super Smash Bros Brawl tournament (simultaneous): 47
- Number of libraries in the national Rock Band High Score tournament (asynchronous): 40
- Number of non-US libraries that participated (that we know of): 5 (Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, South Korea)
You can see more about the 2010 national video game tournament results or compare these numbers to the 2008 and 2009 Gaming Day events.
As usual, though, the anecdotes submitted by librarians are what really tell the story -- and success -- of National Gaming Day. This year, we again received stories about intergenerational gaming, kids and teens becoming more invested in their libraries, displays of sportsmanship, librarians building relationships with new patrons, and more. Here are just some of the stories that embody the goals and objectives of National Gaming Day @ your library.
- "...a lot of the teens who did not know each other before the event made friends and exchanged email/phone contacts with each other."
- "Our game day attracted people we wouldn't normally see in the library and we received rave reviews from them."
- "They even helped me clean up afterward! I was very lucky to have been blessed by 3 awesome (unofficial) teen volunteers that helped me control the crowd of rambunctious kids and tweens! (They now have volunteer applications and will hopefully soon be official.)"
- "A family with young children came in and instead of just getting on their own individual computers, they sat at a table and played Connect 4 together for about an hour. It was really fun to see the little girls and their parents all laughing and having a good time together."
- "Our high expectations were met: nothing was lost, broken or stolen; there was no smacktalking; everyone took turns; no fights or behavior problems; and a wide variety of ages played together, including teens with younger kids and older developmentally delayed adults. Also, no patrons complained about the noise or energy levels :)"
- "A reserved homeschooled high-schooler and a bouncy talkative middle-schooler ended up being our SSBB team for the final round -- and somehow in the course of the afternoon they'd developed a good luck ritual and handshake before they took up their controllers."
- "Most of the kids that attended the gaming program walked out of the library with books; many of those are not what we would call active/regular library users."
- "Two fathers stopped in with their children. Neither the children or the fathers knew each other but by the time they had finished their lunch they had exchanged addresses and the teen-aged daughters had become friends."
- "One patron, when he learned that the library stocked manga and anime, went scrambling out of the gaming room. He returned 5 minutes later with a stack of 15 books in hand."
- "The library has a chess table that was donated by a patron. Two elderly gentlemen, both friends, came to Gaming Day to use the chess table. They were so impressed by the turnout and the excitement they saw from the youth that they became excited about starting a chess club with the goal of teaching youth how to play chess. We also had several adult and senior gamers who, because of what they observed and participated in, are interested in forming a Wii bowling league after the holidays."
- "Gaming always brings new kids to our library and every time they want to be part of the fun and end up getting a library card."
- "It was nice to see our teens helping younger children to understand the math concepts used in Wits and Wagers Family Edition. The players discussed concepts like percentages and fractions in a way that made the younger players understand what the question was asking."
- "A senior citizen came in with his backgammon set and was happy to find someone to play with. He would like us to set up a backgammon club at the library which we will try to do. Also, it was interesting to note that several children who usually are a bit disruptive while waiting for their parents on the computers were very quiet and cooperative while playing the games."
- "Several people (of all ages) thanked us for hosting this event. One man told us he's a single father and sometimes forgets to just have fun with his kids. He appreciated us providing him with this opportunity to spend time having as a family enjoying themselves."
- "Most of the gamers stayed afterward and joined our Teen Council and were really engaged and energetic with new ideas for activities and programming."
- "We had a young lady attend who is physically disabled. She has very few friends and doesn't have many chances to interact with people. During the event, she was able to play games with a number of people."
- "The teens designed a gamer's card and the participants received a star for every station they visited--five stars earned them a 10.00 gift card from one of the local vendors. It was a very successful day and the teens saw their planning efforts pay off for themselves and the attendees."
- "This library serves a bilingual (predominantly French, then English) community; it was great to see the kids interacting with kids from the same neighbourhood but who go to different school and speak the other language."
- "The children were wonderful at taking turns playing Super Mario Brothers on Wii and really helped and encouraged each other, suggestions tips and tricks so that other players could succeed at the game. Some families stayed from beginning to end, taking breaks to get books and DVD's and then coming back for more games and snacks."
- "The kids were drawn to the assortment of games arrayed on the reading tables and many stayed for hours, inviting each other to join them in a game. Many of the kids in this neighborhood are from Mexican immigrant families and I was surprised to see how many were already familiar and excited about games such as Uno, mancala, Jenga, Chutes and Ladders, and Candyland.... One of our Homework Helper volunteers showed up with his very nice chess set and stayed FIVE hours teaching the kids how to play chess! This is a game I did not think these kids would have patience for, but throughout the day, I continually saw kids hanging over the board with Ted, studying the pieces, trying out moves, and listening to Ted's comments and suggestions. I purchased a Scrabble en español to supplement the games collection and while no one picked this up to play, a Spanish-speaking mother used it to teach her toddler alphabet letters. She later commented to me what a great program and positive activity this was for the kids."
There were many more such stories, and they all highlight why National Gaming Day @ your library is such a positive event at all types of libraries. Remember to mark your calendar now for National Gaming Day 2011 on Saturday, November 12!
Eval at end of day at Haverhill Public Library