And here are my favorite points:
- "We can't be all things to all people, but we should have something for everyone." In other words, the question isn't whether or not we should have something for gamers. It's a question of how we can most effectively serve them with our budget. And the answer is ...
- Buy the software and equipment for game tournaments rather than building a circulating collection of video games. A single game reaches a max of 52 people a year, assuming you check it out for a week, while a tournament brings in more than 50 kids each time it's held.
- The introduction of the wii has also made gaming more accessible. For the first time, it's bringing in seniors who want to simulate bowling--not just teens and twenties who want to crash race cars. We better get ready for the influx of new users.
- And this was my favorite point: you don't have to know anything about gaming to start a program like this. What you do have to do is reach out to people in the gaming community--which might include local teens, college students, or people who work in another department of the library.
It was interesting, because after the workshop, there were a series of annoying questions that were all along the lines of: but what if you don't know anything about gaming? I mean, the presenters had to find 5 or 6 different ways to say: find someone in the gaming community to provide leadership.
It reminded me of the challenge of Spanish-language outreach among libraries where none of the employees speak Spanish. Still, the librarians want to come up with their own initiatives rather than letting the local community take charge. I'm beginning to believe that the secret to success if often giving up a measure of control.