Thousands of libraries around the world celebrate International Games Day every November. International Games Day is an annual celebration of games, play, libraries and learning. It is co-sponsored by the American Library Association in partnership with Nordic Game Day and the Australian Library and Information Association.
This year was the second year for our library to participate. Our theme this year was “Games are Magic” and we were able to hire a local magician to put on an hour long show for the kids. We also had a variety of card and board games for all ages to play. Our library main focus this year was on technology-based game play.
We were lucky enough to receive a monetary donation to purchase a new Wii U and Playstation 3 game systems last year. The teens/tweens have regular monthly gaming programs and we hyped the kids/teens up by announcing the unveiling of our new games and systems at IGD. Needless to say, the new video games/systems were a BIG hit with the kids (and kids at heart). FYI- LEGO Avengers is AWESOME!!!
The only issue was that we had to limit the kids to 10 minutes of playing time. Four kids can play the Wii U at once, however, there was a big crowd (263!). Everyone got a chance to play but there was some grumbling and complaining about the limited playtime.
In addition to the video / board games, I set up five raspberry pi’s with Scratch and Minecraft Pi. Scratch programming is a computer programming language developed for kids by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach kids the basics of coding. We have been having a monthly tween SCRATCHer club so there was a lot of interest from parents and kids.
Minecraft Pi is a version of Minecraft developed for the Raspberry Pi that encourages users to open and change the game's code. Kids can modify their world to be anything they want. It’s Minecraft plus! We recently started circulating these Raspberry Pi kits and the already lengthy hold list doubled after showcasing the Pi’s at this program.
The come-and-go / multiple station set-up for this Saturday program was popular with all attendants. We had many people wandering in and out throughout the day. Everyone loved the focus on technology based games. I will defiantly be repeating this IGD format again next year.