Nintendo librarians? A video game pavilion at the American Library Association conference? A million-dollar grant to “develop a national model for library gaming”?? Quick, someone check for locusts and plagues! Who’d have thought the ALA, that bastion of literacy, would ever promote video games?
“Libraries are adapting to new technology,” ALA President Loriene Roy told the Chicago Tribune in a story that ran yesterday. “It’s in the nature of the library to offer a wide range of material. It’s not the end of change for libraries.”
Nintendo‘s just as surprised as we are. And that video game booth at the ALA convention wasn’t some fluke either. A Syracuse University survey of public libraries last year found that 80 percent had video games on their library computers. Some 40 percent held actual video game events and 13 percent had Nintendo and Xbox. The surprising news? Nearly 75 percent of the video game devotees came back to check out a book.
So what do you think? Death of literacy? Publicity stunt? Cool way to bring new audiences into book-lined libraries? Click “comments” and weigh in.