GRR! Investigation for gaming in libraries? Srsly?

Man, if this is the case, I’d better get packing.

Librarians buy Rock Band and video themselves using it for YouTube. You’re seriously going to tell me that this warrants an investigation for wasting tax payer money??? These people have 1) obviously never been in a library and 2) obviously have never looked at what libraries in other states are doing. A huge portion of my job involves programming for teenagers. Gaming, when you look at the lifespan of the equipment versus the number of uses, is one of the most cost effective solutions to get people (especially tweens and teens) into the library and keep them entertained.

A full Rock Band set costs about $100, throw an extra guitar in there you’re getting up to $130-150. Okay, lets go full tilt and say you needed the game system to go with it- the game is out on all systems so go with the cheapest model of Xbox (okay, I don’t advocate for anyone to buy the Arcade instead of the slightly better model, but that is a discussion for another day) or the Wii (then you get WiiSports but have to get another remote for the other guitar). Lets say you’re even pushing $350 dollars now, oh no! Oh wait, I’m going to use this system again and again for gaming programs, staff development (we always have bonding sessions off the clock), non-gaming specific programs (anime club, teen advisory board, summer reading party) for years. I’m going to take care of the equipment so the likelihood of it breaking is low. My kids are going to bring in their own games for us to use on game day, like they always do. Say that we even only use this equipment 7 times a year (the number of game days I held last year) for 5 years. 35 events. That’s about 10 dollars an event. How many events can I host that cheap- and no less bring the kids to the library in droves?

Idiots- this investigation is going to run them way more than $350.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Emily said,

    It’s actually really cool to read the comments on this article. Some people – who don’t appear to be librarians – seems to really appreciate libraries! haha! Sometimes it’s great to read stuff about libraries that wasn’t written by librarians.

  2. 2

    cornfedgamer said,

    As a resident of Nebraska, library patron and a fellow wordpress blogger on video games I must say I agree wholeheartedly that this investigation was a waste of money.

    I think it’s pretty clear that video game events can help libraries increase attendance and relevance with young adults. Libraries are repositories of all media and a place where the community should be able to gather and learn how to use new media, be it DVDs, CDs, books or video games.

    I’ve written a more detailed account with the videos and photographs posted by the library commission that started this debacle. It is here, if anyone is interested: http://cornfedgamer.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/nebraska-bureaucrat-says-games-and-libraries-dont-mix/


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