Our guest post this week comes from Michelle Gohr.
Michelle Gohr is a Library Assistant at Arizona State Universities Fletcher Library. She will be earning her Masters of Library Science in June and is looking forward to her future career in librarianship, wherever it may lead. As an avid gamer and also academic, Michelle is incredibly passionate about raising awareness for the importance of games in learning and literacy and hopes to work towards her goals of building, maintaining, and promoting both tabletop and video game collections as she makes her debut into librarianship.
2014 was the first of many years to come that Arizona State University Fletcher Library was able to participate in International Game Day. Although it was a big success, there were many lessons learned and we hope that the event will only get better over the years. Unfortunately, on the Friday before the event a water pipe burst in the libraries basement, causing widespread flooding, but since so much planning had already gone into the event, we decided that the show must go on. To make matters worse, an automated message was erroneously sent to all ASU students and staff that the library would be closed on Saturday due to the burst pipe, which caused a great deal of confusion among registered attendees and significantly impacted the expected turnout. But the local gaming community came together at the last minute to spread the word about the event and help us attract 425 visitors throughout the day! We couldn’t have done it without them, and from our experience we highly recommend partnering with local community groups to help make your next IGD @ your library spectacular.
One of our most popular activities of the day was the Minecraft Photobooth. Months prior to the event the library partnered with a campus costuming club to create life size Minecraft animals, blocks for building, a full size Ender Dragon and her egg complete with glowing eyes, and even wearable props for visitors to build their own worlds and take pictures with. It’s a very fun activity that all ages can enjoy. Partnering with local groups made a huge difference, and the community felt that the event was a joint effort, and were happy to support it! The Minecraft props were fun to make together as a group, and were super cheap too, which is perfect for any library on a budget.
Unfortunately, because of funding issues, but also because we’re an academic institution, and there is still apprehension in regards to purchasing a video game collection, so we were really worried that we would not be able to provide gaming for visitors. Fortunately, we contacted a local gaming café, and they volunteered their time and staff to bring over consoles and games, and even run some tournaments for Halo and Mario Kart Wii U! We also partnered with a local tabletop and card shop that sent volunteers to teach visitors how to play some of the many demo games they donated, and handed out prizes and coupons to attendees!
We’re already being contacted by groups that participated last year, and they are all helping to put together even more activities for the year to come! This year we will be holding a Minecraft scavenger hunt, where participants have to find hidden treasure chests that hold various materials, then use those found materials to craft objects at crafting stations. We will also have a life size Pacman game, where participants take turns in the large maze tapped off on the floor to gather all the cherries. Other activities include holding a Pokémon League where visitors can bring their Nintendo 3DS’s and challenge each costumed gym leader to collect gym badges. We also always encourage our visitors to attend the event wearing their favorite video game costume. This year, we’ve already contacted tons of costume groups who will be attending in full costume for pictures, and teaching visitors how to make their own video game armor!
We can’t wait for this year’s event, and hopefully our experiences from last year and partnering with groups and clubs will make it even better! We at Fletcher highly recommend contacting clubs at local colleges and universities, or find Facebook pages or meetup groups to partner with for your next event. Not only will it save you and your library time and money, but it brings the community together to create something unique and special for everyone involved. Even as library workers we should all share our great ideas with one another so we, as a collection of information professionals, can be the best we can be for our patrons globally!
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
-Michelle Ashley Gohr -- michelle.gohr at asu.edu
Fletcher Library as Arizona State University