Here’s a great article written by Julie Anne Nitz-Weiss about how the Lincolnwood Public Library District is using games to enrich their programs. Great stuff. Thanks, Julie, for letting us add it here!
Games in the Library
by Julie Anne Nitz-Weiss, Head of Community Relations & Library Programs
Lincolnwood Public Library Dsitrict
The kids who come to the Lincolnwood Library for monthly Parent-Child book discussions are doing more than just discussing a children’s novel—they are getting out of their chairs and playing games based on books. Each month interactive games are developed that not only help kids make a personal connection with a work of literature and develop critical problem solving skills—but also make reading fun for “active” kids!
Like many libraries, the Lincolnwood library has a chess club for kids that meets in the winter months and any number of board games such as Chess, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, and Sorry that children can request to play while in the library. It has been well documented that game playing can develop critical and abstract thinking skills as well as aid in fine motor and social development. Now, with the growing popularity of computer and video gaming, it is not unusual to find a group of middle school aged kids playing a fantasy adventure game called RuneScape on the computers in the teen section of the library. While completing progressively more difficult RuneScape quests on-line, the young teens are strategizing and socializing face to face. The teen department hosts monthly teen gaming events such as Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), where kids compete to imitate intricate dance movements, and a Madden Tournament—a football-themed video game where players can control individual players, teams and even franchises. During the tournament, teens that are not playing, can watch, play active games such as Connect 4 or Twister, or just chat with their friends. These games promote spatial reasoning and information literacy skills and provide social opportunities under the watchful eye of youth services librarians.
Lincolnwood also hosts family games such as theme based bingo and geography quiz games which provide fun and brain stimulation for the whole family. Theatre games during Acting and Improv classes help teens with social confidence. Feel like a quiet game of chess or a rousing round of Madden football? You will find them at the Lincolnwood library—Let the games begin!