Pokemon Go: An Overview + Safety Issues to Consider @ School Library Journal

pokemongoMore librarians have discovered the joys of Pokemon Go, including Alanna Graves of School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox. She put together a great how-to guide for the app that covers how it works, safety issues to consider, and links to strategies a few libraries are using to lure in Pokemon Go players:

This weekend my timeline flooded with posts about Pokemon Go. Then on Sunday afternoon, The Teen came home from a friend’s house declaring they had walked 3 miles trying to catch Pokemons. So I decided I needed to figure out what this Pokemon Go is because my teens are definitely in to it.

Looking for more Pokemon Go information? Find all posts tagged with a Pokemon Go label now!

Pokemon Go and Your Library

Unlike a traditional Pokemon game, Pokemon Go asks players to use the GPS function on their smartphone (iOS or Android) to find Pokemon out in the real world. In addition to searching for Pokemon that appear randomly on the map, players can also use Pokemon Go to find “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms” in their quest to become an accomplished Trainer. It’s easy to think of Pokemon Go as an app that’s very similar to geocaching with a virtual prize at the end, but this gameplay description from The Pokemon Company is very helpful… Continue reading

International Games Day 2016 Registration is Now Open

internationalgamesday2016The American Library Association has announced that registration for the 2016 International Games Day @ Your Library is now open:

This year many donations will be managed through this blog. You can subscribe to the blog to receive updates about donations, resources, and information on running a successful event.

You must register to be eligible for donations. Donations are available while supplies last.

A Press Kit to help you plan your IGD@YL event is also available.

“Unplugged Entertainment”: What One Library Did For Games Day 2015 @ International Games Day Blog

internationalgamesday2015Looking for International Games Day @ Your Library ideas? Jake Hutton, a Children’s Library Associate at the Harford County Public Library, recently published a recap of his IGD@YL event from last year on the ALA’s International Games Day blog:

After months of preparation the day finally arrived. It was a resounding success. We had a total of 70 participants, with the majority either elementary aged or adults. Most of the participants stayed the entire day, playing pretty much every game we had available.

IGD was an extremely rewarding experience, and I left work already excited for next year.

Game Boy Inducted Into National Toy Hall of Fame

This article is from the first edition of The Video Game Librarian website I published between 2008 and 2010. It was originally written on November 6, 2009.


The Game Boy has been a fixture of pants pockets and backpacks for 20 years now, and thanks to its ubiquity, the portable video game system has been recognized by The Strong Museum of Play with induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Nintendo’s handheld was inducted alongside “the ball” and the Big Wheel, and it beat out other nominees such as Cabbage Patch Kids, Game of Life, Hot Wheels, the paper airplane, playing cards, Rubik’s Cube, sidewalk chalk, toy tea set, and The Transformers.

Inducted by Associate Curator Eric Wheeler, who is a major supporter of the museum’s National Center for the History of Electronic Games, the unveiling also got a hand from Nintendo’s mascot, Mario. The Hall of Fame cited the Game Boy’s innovative features and blockbuster gaming library as the reasons for its admission this year:

Admitted into the hall because of its role as a major industry innovator, Nintendo Game Boy transformed the electronic-games market by popularizing handheld gaming. No video-game platform did more to put gamers “on the go” than this invention. And go they did—bringing their gaming experience to school, to summer camp, and to the back seat of the family automobile. Over the past two decades, Game Boy has become synonymous with hand-held gaming fun. Its portability and efficient design, ability to allow simultaneous multiplayer gaming, and scores of intriguing games (like Tetris and Super Mario Land, featuring Nintendos’ already-iconic character Mario) make it a true innovator.

The Game Boy is not the first video game system to be enshrined the National Toy Hall of Fame. That honor goes to the Atari 2600, which was inducted two years ago.

Interview With David Carter, Librarian at Michigan Game Archive

This article is from the first edition of The Video Game Librarian website I published between 2008 and 2010. It was originally written on November 7, 2008.

When it comes to scholarly research and preservation, video games are not usually at the top of the list for librarians. After books and music and movies and about a hundred other things, there’s not much attention left over for games. But some people out there are attempting to change that. One of those people is David Carter, a librarian at the newly opened University of Michigan Computer and Video Game Archive.

Michigan’s Game Archive is a “usable archive” that allows students and professors the chance to come in and sit down with a variety of video games, both retro and modern titles alike. The archive is currently in preview mode with shortened hours, but the big Grand Opening has been scheduled for November 17. I recently had a chance to talk to David about what the archive is doing, what their plans for the future are, the challenges of running a game archive and what people have been playing (you’ll be surprised).

So hit the “Continue Reading” link for the lengthy interview. Continue reading

ALA Receives $1 Million Grant to Study Gaming

This article is from the first edition of The Video Game Librarian website I published between 2008 and 2010. It was originally written on June 30, 2008.

The American Library Association has announced that they have received a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation to “track and measure the impact of gaming on literacy skills and build a model for library gaming.” The eventual plan is to offer this model to librarians across the country.

The grant was announced at the ALA’s annual conference, which took place over the weekend.

As part of the grant, the American Library Association will work directly with 12 leading gaming experts to document the use of gaming as a literacy tool and monitor the results of gaming initiatives. The information will be used to build “The Librarians’ Guide to Gaming,” a comprehensive, online literacy and gaming toolbox, which will then be field-tested by additional libraries.

The gaming experts that will build this Librarians’ Guide to Gaming come from the following libraries:

  • Ann Arbor District Library, Ann Arbor, Mich.;
  • Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, N.C.;
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, Ohio;
  • Georgetown County Library, Georgetown, S.C.;
  • Minneapolis Public Library, Minneapolis, Minn.;
  • Old Bridge Public Library, Fords, N.J.;
  • Pima County Public Library, Tucson, Ariz.;
  • Reidland High School, Paducah, Ky.;
  • School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES, Le Roy, N.Y.;
  • The New York Public Library, New York;
  • Todd Wehr Library, De Pere, Wis.;
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.

For those who regularly contribute to the LibGaming Google Group, the names of these libraries (and the librarians who have been tagged as “gaming experts”) may look familiar to you. I wish them the best of luck as they build the Librarians’ Guide to Gaming and I hope to hear more about their progress soon.