International Games Day @ your library Game on November 15, 2014!


International Games Day @ your library is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world and auspiced by the American Library Association, in partnership with Nordic Game Day and the Australian Library and Information Association, to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.

It is completely free to participate! In fact it is cheaper than free, because after registering you stand a chance to get free donations for your library, and this site hosts a free press kit with press release templates and posters. When registration for IGD 2015 goes live, we will post the link right here.

In the 21st century, libraries are about much more than books. On Saturday, November 21, 2015, more than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of IGD15. This year marks our 8th annual event.

In the past 7 years:

  • We've had 151,011 confirmed individual participants, and we think around 260,000 actual participants.
  • 8677 libraries have registered to participate (and given that they often include multiple libraries under a single registration, we think the actual number of libraries is around 15% higher).
  • Of those, 333 have been outside the US; 192 of those happened last year alone. (This doesn't include most participants of Nordic Game Day, which had its own registration process, and last year included another 90 libraries.)
  • 380 libraries have participated in videogame tournaments.
  • 2073 people at 174 libraries have participated in the Global Gossip Game.
  • IGD has been celebrated in 53 countries and territories on all 7 continents: Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Northern Mariana Islands (a Commonwealth within the USA), Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more stats and feedback on previous years, see the following posts: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.

Gaming Day-4066
Skokie Public Library, National Gaming Day 2009

Gaming of all types at the library encourages young patrons to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others (including adults), and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. Plus, it's a way for traditionally underserved groups to have fun in the library and interact with other members of the community. Games Day is a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and play together in the one community institution that welcomes everyone.

Games Fair
Monterey Public Library, National Gaming Day 2009

In addition to local activities, each year volunteers coordinate two inter-library activities for International Games Day.

The first is a video game tournament. We'll be using the Ann Arbor District Library's GT software again for this year's tournaments, and Ann Arbor are promising a real extravaganza - an international Minecraft Hunger Games, less than a week before the release of Mockingjay Part 1 on November 21! Participating libraries organize a local tournament during which their players compete each other, and ultimately - maybe - against players at other libraries for national, and perhaps international, bragging rights!

The second is the Global Gossip Game, which takes the familiar game of whispering secrets from one player to another and laughing at how the phrase changes, and has it travelling from library to library around the world. The first year we started in Melbourne, Australia, traveled through 7 languages on all 6 inhabited continents, and finished in Homer, Alaska 26 hours later, with the phrase changing from "Life must be lived as play" to "He bites snails"! In 2013, thanks to the participation of an Australian Antarctic base, we traveled through all seven continents, and split 5 times, morphing from "Play is training for the unexpected" into "I love the world", "Zombie", "Clouds travel around the world", "Glow, glow, peanut butter jelly", and "Ian needs help"! (Maybe Ian is a snail?) And this year, we're already planning to go even bigger!

In addition, ALA partners with donors to provide free copies of games for libraries across the country. Our donors for 2014 were:

Past donors have included companies such as, GameTable Online, HasbroHeartland Products, Konami, North Star Games, Paizo, PopCapRavensburger, USAopoly, and Wizards of the Coast. (Thanks again to all of them!) Please contact us if your company is interested in sponsoring International Games Day or donating games, prizes, or snacks to local libraries.

Libraries that want to participate in this year's event need to register online (at in order to participate in the international events (Minecraft Hunger Games and/or Global Gossip Game), receive free donations (while available), and appear on the international map of participating locations.

Help spread the word!
Comments (15) Trackbacks (14)
  1. Our library isn’t open on Saturday, but I would like to participate on Wednesday as a pre National Gaming Day event. Would that be okay?

  2. Mary Beth, this is fine, as long as you tie your event to National Gaming Day and fill out the evaluation survey to report your participation numbers. Thanks for joining in!


  3. We didn’t register in time for the national competition; we can’t do Mario Bros. anyway, but we could reserve 2 of our Internet computers for Frogger. Is there anyway to join in the competition at this point?


  4. Thanks for giving your ideas. I’d also like to mention that video games have been at any time evolving. Today’s technology and improvements have assisted create genuine and active games. These kinds of entertainment video games were not actually sensible when the real concept was first being attempted. Just like other areas of technological innovation, video games also have had to grow as a result of many ages. This is testimony towards fast continuing development of video games.
    I have observed in the world nowadays, video games are the latest trend with children of all ages. Occasionally it may be difficult to drag your family away from the games. If you want the very best of both worlds, there are lots of educational gaming activities for kids. Interesting post.
    A further issue is that video games are generally serious in nature with the most important focus on studying rather than fun. Although, there is an entertainment aspect to keep children engaged, just about every game is often designed to develop a specific group of skills or course, such as math or science. Thanks for your post.
    I have realized some important things through your blog post. One other subject I would like to say is that there are many games available and which are designed especially for preschool age kids. They incorporate pattern acknowledgement, colors, pets, and models. These usually focus on familiarization rather than memorization. This makes children and kids engaged without having the experience like they are studying. Thanks
    One more issue is really that video gaming has become one of the all-time most significant forms of entertainment for people of every age group. Kids engage in video games, plus adults do, too. The actual XBox 360 is amongst the favorite gaming systems for folks who love to have a lot of activities available to them, in addition to who like to play live with others all over the world. Thanks for sharing your opinions.

  5. Is there a specific game being highlighted this year? A few years ago, it was Wits and Wagers and my family still enjoy this game.

  6. Is there a set number of hours for this event or is it up to each library? I have a few questions on how the tournament portion of this will work.

  7. At my last library a few years ago, and what I’m planning to do this year at my new library, I’ve held “National Gaming Day” events with board, card, and Wii gaming. Is it okay to do that without being tied in to the online portions? [do not have the capability to do the online]

  8. Hi – There seems to be something wrong with the registration url.

    Got this message when I tried the link on this page :

    Uh oh, bitly couldn’t find a link for the bitly URL you clicked.

    Most bitly URLs are 4-6 characters, and only include letters and numbers (and are case sensitive)



    • Hi Susan!

      Thanks so much for letting us know – that’s really bizarre. Somehow the “i” in igd14 had become a “1” in the HTML of the link – even though the text was correct. (Obviously it’s fixed now!) I take full responsibility, but I have to say, I have no idea how it happened – if it had been a manual link I could understand it, but it’s a link autogenerated from a 100% correct URL text!

      On the offchance anyone who’s already tried to register has come across the same glitch, I’d love to hear whether anyone else has had this problem – and how far back it goes… hopefully not far!

      Thanks again!

  9. Is this event always on the third Saturday in November? We would like to get it onto our calendar for 2015!

  10. When will the registration be up for this year? I clicked the hyperlink and it was not working. Thanks!

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