OCLC has a mini-feature up on gaming in libraries. I’m glad to see this area getting some attention, but have a few things to add:
- Gaming is not just for teenagers. I’m 22, play video games routinely, and know many older than myself who do the same. We grew up with the medium and aren’t likely to give it up anytime soon. So, isolating all gaming materials in the Teen section may not be the best idea.
- OCLC mentions adding video game strategy guides and hint books to your collection. While this is a good idea, one thing to remember is that they need to be constantly weeded. Long ago the library I used to work at started adding these types of books, although in small amounts. Those same old books are still on the shelves, often for video game systems now multiple generations out of date. They look extremely worn and are not a sign of a library being in sync with the culture of gaming.
- I’d be interested in hearing more about the administrative issues in building a gaming collection and holding LAN parties. Are ‘M’ rated games (17 and up) used at the LAN parties? Are younger gamers allowed in? Similar issues exist in collection development, I’m sure. Given all the superfluous hoopla about the ‘video games make children violent’ issue lately, I have a feeling parents are more likely to raise issues about the content of video games in libraries than other media types.
In fact, I’d ditch the broader ‘hint books’ entirely, and focus on volumes specific to in depth coverage of one game. Video game cheats and codes can be found in abundance, and fresher, on the Internet for free. Why duplicate? Strategy guides for one specific game will have a longer shelf life and fill a ‘not for free’ niche.