International Games Week October 29 – November 4



  1. When is International Games Day this year?
    This year's event will be on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at libraries everywhere.
  2. Does International Games Day fall on the same day every year? We'd like to plan ahead for 2016.
    Yes, International Games Day is now held on the third Saturday of November, so the 2016 event will take place on November 19.
  3. Where can I find the 2016 Map of Participating Libraries?
    A small embedded version of the map itself, along with links to the full-sized version and instructions how to embed it into your own pages, can be found on our Press Kit page.
  4. What happened to "National Gaming Day?"
    This is still the same great event but starting in 2012, we renamed it "International Games Day @ your library" to reflect the growing interest from libraries outside of the U.S.


  1. How do I register my library to participate?
    Just fill out the registration form.
  2. When is the deadline?
    Your library can register all the way up until Thursday, November 17, but by then the free donations are likely to be gone or they won't be delivered in time for the event.
  3. Why should my library register to participate?
    Registering will get your location(s) listed on the international map of participating locations, which is where we point the public and the press. It will also give us a way to contact you with the evaluation survey afterward, which will ensure your participants get included in the total count of people playing games in libraries that day.
  4. How do I know my registration was successful?
    You will receive a completion message at the end of the survey. If you chose yes on the map location question, your library should show up on the map about 2 weeks after registration. You can also contact us at email.
  5. Can libraries outside the U.S. sign up?
    Yes! We encourage libraries outside the U.S. to register for International Games Day so that we can include you on our map of participating locations. Please note, your eligibility for donations of physical games will depend on your location.
  6. My library is already planning to hold an event on November 19. Can we still sign up to participate as part of International Games Day?
    Yes, we'd still love to have you participate in IGD16! We just ask that you still register with us, use the IGD PR materials to tie your event to ours, and fill out the evaluation form afterward to report a head count to us.
  7. My library can't participate on November 19th - can we still register and run a game program on a different day?
    Yes! We know not every library can participate on a Saturday, or on that particular Saturday. We're happy to include your library as long as you register with us, identify your event as part of International Games Day in your marketing, and fill out the evaluation survey afterward to tell us what happened during your event.

How to Participate

  1. What does my library need to do in order to participate in International Games Day activities?
    It's completely up to you how your library participates in this international event. One of the great things about gaming is that it scales for any size library with any size budget in any size building. Some libraries ask patrons or staff to bring in their copies of games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, and Life, while others reach out to local board game groups/stores to bring in new games that patrons may not be familiar with.  Libraries that want to do a trial run for video game programming sometimes ask the teen advisory group to bring in equipment for International Games Day. If your library is too small to use even a corner for an IGD event or if you're not open that Saturday, consider partnering with another local library in your area (academic, public, or school) to participate regionally. All types of libraries participate in all types of ways, from a chess game out on a table all the way up to video game tournaments. Whatever works for you works for us.
  2. What does it mean to participate in International Games Day?
    You can plan whatever kind of gaming activities work best for your library. We just ask that you register with us and then fill out the evaluation form afterward to report a head count. Beyond simple numbers, one of the ways we measure the success of the event is the anecdotes about what happens at libraries that participate. We hope you'll share pictures and stories from your event, not just with us, but with your local press and the whole world.

Tabletop Games

  1. Will my library receive a free game this year?
    The earlier you register for International Games Day, the better your chances! If we still have supply, as part of the registration process, you'll be able to request the games donated by our official sponsors. Please also note that our donors may not be able to ship to PO boxes, and you need to provide us with a full postal address. We're sorry, but if we can't ship to something other than a PO box, we won't be able to send you the games.
  2. How can I tell if my library will receive a free game?
    If you were able to check a box on the form to request a game, then you'll receive that title. The registration form should only offer titles that are actually still available.
  3. Which libraries can receive donated games?
    US, Scandinavian and Australian libraries have local sponsors (sourced by volunteers in those countries) who will donate games. If you aren't in any of those countries, you might be able to secure the support of your local game store!
  4. When will the donated games ship to libraries?
    The games from our official sponsors will ship in October. We'll post on the blog and send an email to registrants when the board games begin shipping.

Video Games

Note:  Minecraft Hunger Games is no longer an international tournament. You can still access the servers to run a local event.

  1. What sort of gaming stations do we need in order to play? 
    You'll need a computer with Minecraft 1.8.8 for each of your tributes, and a minecraft / mojang account for each of them to use.
  2. Does ALA provide video game consoles and equipment?
    No, ALA doesn't have the resources to purchase, house, ship, and track equipment. If your library doesn't have any consoles, we encourage you to work with local retailers to donate, rent, or provide equipment for the day. Alternatively, you may be able to work with local teens (especially if you have a teen advisory group) or staff and ask them to bring in their equipment. You can also offer open game play on your library's computers, although that wouldn't be part of the tournaments.
  3. Where can I find out more about the video games?
    Eli Neiburger and the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library have again graciously agreed to allow the use of their GT System tournament software.
  4. Do we have to register if we're going to play video games?
    No - you do not have to register to use the system software! Please do register for IGD. You can run your own local tournament or just offer open play for any video games you want to play at your location.

Global Gossip Game

  1. What is the Global Gossip Game?
    It's an international twist on a classic parlour game, where a phrase travels from person to person evolving as it goes. For more information read here.
  2. Does it cost anything to participate in the Global Gossip Game?
    Only the staff time (typically 30 minutes on the day, plus about 30 minutes of preparation) and phone calls required to actually play. There is no fee to play.
  3. What's involved in playing?
    You need to have a reasonable number of people in the library and a staff person to oversee the game for the time you have it (usually 30 minutes). You also need to be able to speak to the library or libraries who have the game after you, and possibly the library before you if something goes wrong. Depending on where you are, this may require international phone calls. (If this will be a problem, feel free to register anyway and let us know that you can only manage national calls.)
  4. How do I get to play?
    When you register for International Games Day, you will be asked whether you would be interested in participating in the GGG. If you answer yes, you will go into the pool of candidates to play. You will find out whether you were selected and confirm the times for your section of the game in October.
  5. When is the deadline to register?
Help spread the word!
    Comments (29) Trackbacks (2)
    1. I was the IGD coordinator at my previous library but I left for a new position. Our director is taking over that project. How do I change our contact information?

      • Hi Daniel, I’ve forwarded this request to the volunteers in charge of the database – they’ll reply to you directly, and I’ll also add the answer to the FAQ when I get it. Thanks for asking!

    2. About a month after I registered, which was back in July, I did see our library on the map. Now, however I’m no longer seeing our library listed. I’m concerned that this means something happened to our registration.

      • Hi Melissa,

        Are you using the current link – I’ve just discovered that the link on the sidebar of this page is still pointing to last year’s map! That’s obviously going to be fixed as fast as I can get it done (I can’t do it myself, sadly), but if that’s the link you’re using, that’s probably the problem. Apologies! Let me know if you’re still not showing up.

        • I was using the only link that I’ve seen for the Map (above in #3). I am not aware of a way to locate the map other than above or the link you just provided. We are on the link you just provided.

          • Ah. Sorry! We seem to have omitted to update this copy of the map when we did the one on the Press Kit page (which also has the URLs and instructions for how to embed it in your own pages). I’ve now removed this one to point to that page so there’s no chance of this sort of oversight happening again. (In case anyone’s wondering how we missed it when it’s RIGHT HERE, we don’t actually see the page that comments are on when we respond to them, we use a separate interface.) A salutary lesson in the importance of regularly checking your FAQ page… and also structuring systems as efficiently as possible when you’re relying on volunteer hours to get everything done!

    3. I know that I registered, but my library (University of Houston Libraries) is not on the map. Also, when should we expect games to arrive?

    4. Hi!
      When will we hear more about the “Minecraft Hunger Games tournament”?


      • Hey Mikkel! If you expressed interest in the Minecraft Hunger Games when you registered (at, for any readers who haven’t done this yet), you should be hearing from AADL directly soonish – we just sent them the list of participants as they currently stand not long ago. I’m also hoping to have another post from AADL once they’ve got more of a sense of the shape of the day, too – I’m as excited as you are! They’ve said they want to, so look for that as soon as I get it 🙂

        The big thing to consider is of course whether the Microsoft acquisition of Mojang affects anything – but there’s no sign at this stage that it will.

        More news as it comes!

    5. Hello – I just tried to register and it took me back to a 2013 registration

    6. Hi. I registered our library sometime in August and am still not on the map. I’m concerned that we’ll miss out on the video game tournaments now that the deadline for registering for them has passed.

      • John, I checked our database and your library is indeed registered for International Games Day. I’ll forward your message to the person in charge of the map and ask her to make sure you start displaying.

        As for the video game tournaments, it looks like you should have received the email from GT System that went out this past Thursday. Did you see that message? If not, can you please double-check in your spam/junk mail folder? If you still don’t see it, you can contact them directly at gtsystem [at] to get set up.

        Sorry for the confusion,

    7. Hi folks! I owe you an apology – I’ve been publishing the map on the blog at least once a month, but had forgotten we had the old shortcut here on the FAQ rather than an actual map. That’s been fixed. If you still can’t see yourself on the map, please get in touch again!

    8. I registered August 3rd, and my library isn’t showing up on the map. I got the thank you screen, so did my registration not go through?

    9. We’ve registered out library but I don’t see us on the map–how can I be sure we are truly registered?

    10. I would love to help on this but I have a CON where I will demo in this exact date.

    11. You listed the 2014 date as November 21, but shouldn’t that be November 15? (Nov. 15 is the third Saturday in November in 2014.)

      • Good catch, Michelle! I’ve updated that question to note that the 2014 event will indeed be on Saturday, November 15. Thanks!

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